Category Archives: Radio Highlight

Ex-UFC champ T.J. Dillashaw talks about why drama always seems to find him

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

Former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw isn’t quite sure why drama seems to follow him everywhere.

From his public fallout and feud with Team Alpha Male, to his failed attempt to get a flyweight title shot, to would-be contenders taking verbal jabs, there’s always something to talk about.

“I don’t know – maybe it’s just me getting out there and being around everyone,” Dillashaw told MMAjunkie Radio. “Jimmie Rivera’s talking about sparring footage we had back in the day, and the past with me and Alpha Male, there’s going to be stuff there.

“It almost sounds like jealousy, really. It’s gotten kind of childish and really embarrassing with how obsessed Alpha Male has gotten with my career.”

Things are unlikely to settle down now that Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) is officially rebooked to fight champ Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) at UFC 217, a do-over after Garbrandt withdrew from their highly anticipated grudge match at UFC 213.

Garbrandt and Dillashaw served as opposing coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter 25” and repeatedly clashed on the set, with Garbrandt once physically assaulting his ex-training partner.

When Dillashaw met with a few ex-teammates after the show to hash things out, Garbrandt wasn’t in attendance.

“I think it’s just all circumstances and the position I’m in,” Dillashaw said. “I’m on top, and I’m looking to get my belt back. People, I think, are just a little bit jealous of the lifestyle and what I’m trying to accomplish.”

UFC 217 takes place Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The event’s main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Dillashaw lost the title at the start of 2016 with a split-decision loss to Dominick Cruz. He’s since beaten top contenders Raphael Assuncao and John Lineker to put himself back in title contention. It’s been a rocky road to get a second shot at the belt. Garbrandt’s injury prompted him to volunteer for a fight with flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson, only to be rebuffed when Johnson declined the offer.

If Dillashaw is able to take the title from Garbrandt, it would be the validation of nearly two years of work toward a comeback. Then he could look forward to the real drama of keeping the belt.

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

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

Why ex-Conor McGregor sparring partner Chris van Heerden feels bad for Paulie Malignaggi

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

When the whole Conor McGregor vs. Paulie Malignaggi situation erupted, one man was hit with a sense of deja vu.

That’s former IBO and IBF welterweight champion Chris van Heerden, who had a similar experience with the UFC’s lightweight champion last summer. Unlike Malignaggi, who was hired to help McGregor prepare for a boxing showdown with undefeated Floyd Mayweather, van Heerden volunteered to help the Irishman for his UFC 202 rematch with Nate Diaz.

What happened after that, though, is quite similar. Like Malignaggi, who’s been making the rounds in the media after unflattering footage of his training sessions with the McGregor were released, van Heerden had videos of an encounter with McGregor made public. And he also wasn’t happy with his portrayal.

Van Heerden has spoken with MMAjunkie before about the situation (the account can be read in detail here). More recently he basically has seen a re-run of his own debacle unfold between McGregor and Malignaggi, who spoke with van Heerden before joining camp. While his fellow pro boxer seemed to immediately take a pro-Conor route, van Heerden says he wasn’t particularly surprised when things took a bad turn..

“It was like, ‘You know, guys, you’re all going to be surprised – Conor is not bad,’” van Heerden told MMAjunkie Radio. “And I thought, ‘You know what, these guys are buddy-buddying. And good for them.’ But deep down, I was expecting something to come out eventually. And it did. And I was like, ‘Exactly what he did to you guys, is what he did to me.’ And I was called a snake. But the only difference is I had footage. Paulie doesn’t.”

After images he says he never agreed to be make public ended up on TMZ and “The Mac Life,” van Heerden released his own video – shot unbeknownst to McGregor’s camp. Van Heerden caught some heat for it. But after the perceived back-stabbing, he was grateful for his decision to get his own recording of the sparring session out there.

Van Heerden is not at all happy about what’s been done to Malignaggi – who he likes and thinks deserved more respect.  But throughout the ordeal, he got some vindication of his own.

“A big part of me – and this is going to sound ugly – but a big part of me was relieved,” van Heerden said. “Because I was like, ‘I’m not the bad guy in this. I’m not the bad guy in this.’ This guy is just showing his true colors. He’s done it again.

“But this time, I hope that people can open their eyes. This big Conor McGregor guy that’s so blown up. That they can see that, hey, Conor is actually – he’s in it for himself. And he’s going to do whatever he’s got to do to sell this fight and make himself look good. And he doesn’t care about anyone.”

The whole situation doesn’t change van Heerden’s appreciation for McGregor’s (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) skills as an MMA fighter. In fact, he’ll be the first to say McGregor was nothing but cordial and gentlemanly in their personal interactions. After what he saw first-hand, however, van Heerden is not that generous when it comes to the chances he’s giving McGregor to do well against Mayweather (49-0 boxing).

But we’ll get to that in a minute.

First, the good news.

“Conor is a good boxer for an MMA fighter,” van Heerden said. “What was surprising for me was, the good thing about him was the same as in the UFC: his counterpunch. Straight left. (It’s) beautiful. His precision, his timing. If you’re lazy, if you throw a lazy punch at him, he’s going to make you pay.

“I’m going to be honest. We sparred, not throwing anything with bad intentions, and being a little bit lazy. He countered me, and he caught me. I was like, ‘OK, good man. Now I know what he’s up about.’ His timing, his precision is very good. He can fight. He’s a fighter. He knows how to fight.”

As for the bad news?

“His footwork is all over the place,” van Heerden said. “He’s dropping his hands, and he’s putting his chin out there. Stuff like that. Pretty bad. He doesn’t throw in combinations. That’s the big thing that MMA fighters lack. And that’s the upside of boxing.

“When I wanted to put Conor on is back foot, it was too easy. It was really too easy. And Conor is bigger than me. Believe it or not, I was surprised at the size of Conor, him being that big, how easily I could put him on his backfoot. Because I knew my footwork was in place, and his wasn’t.”

If van Heerden were to give McGregor any advice to avoid being embarrassed, it’s pretty simple: whatever he’s learned in boxing, throw it out the window. Make it as wild and ugly as possible, and make damn sure Mayweather is uncomfortable the second they step into the ring.

“Conor is going to forget everything he learned about boxing the moment he gets touched up,” van Heerden said. “The moment he gets hit, he’s going to drop his hands. He’s going to go right back into his MMA style, and he’s going to completely forget about boxing. Mark my words.”

To hear detailed accounts from van Heerden’s dealings with McGregor, check  out the video above.

And 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 to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Former UFC fighter Yves Edwards opens up on loss that still haunts him a decade later

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More than a decade has gone by, and Yves Edwards still has some problems digesting his UFC 58 loss to Mark Hominick.

Edwards, who retired from fighting and now works as an MMA analyst for Fox Sports, was returning to the octagon after a brief 1-1 PRIDE stint when he met Hominick in 2006 in Las Vegas. He already had 40 professional MMA bouts to his name at the time, while Hominick brought a 13-fight record into what was set to be his UFC debut.

In an upset big enough to spark fight-fixing accusations, Edwards ended up on the sour end of a second-round submission.

A lot happened after that.

Edwards went back to fighting both at PRIDE and the UFC – not to mention numerous others, like Strikeforce and EliteXC – adding another 26 fights to his record. He went won and lost to several other opponents.

But it’s that one setback that haunts him.

“That was the biggest deal,” Edwards told MMAjunkie Radio. “There are a lot of things I believe that were around that. I’ve spoken to a psychologist about it and been concerned about it. The reason why it was a big deal – before that, I went over to PRIDE. I came back, and the UFC was a different beast at this point. Like, instantly.

“I was the No. 1 guy when I left. Josh (Thomson) and I were supposed to be fighting for a belt. We were the best guys in the division. And when I came back, the arena – there were people at the weigh-ins. There weren’t people at the weigh-ins before that. It’s just bigger, it’s a different beast.”

The 40-year-old Edwards (42-22-1 MMA, 10-10 UFC) says he walked into the bout with Hominick (20-12 MMA, 3-4 UFC), now 35 and also retired, both comfortable with his kickboxing and confident that his ground skills were superior. Until it happened – the fateful moment he says a lot of his colleagues can relate to.

“There’s a moment in fights where you first feel your wind,” Edwards said. “At that moment, if you relax, and get through that, you’re good. But if you panic, that can kind of get straight to you. And I was like, ‘Oh (expletive). I’m getting tired.’ I remember thinking that. I was thinking, ‘OK, OK, I’ve got to change the game.’ I took him down, and I was in his butterfly guard. I use this pass all the time. I show it to everybody all the time.

“I’m trying to hit this pass, and it didn’t happen, so I was like, ‘Holy (expletive). I’m supposed to be so much better than this guy, and this is my pass. Why didn’t it work? What’s going on here? Oh, his leg is on my shoulder. Oh, don’t worry about that, because he’s still in his butterfly guard.’

“So I’m not even concerned with it. But why didn’t this pass work? This kid, I was supposed to be so much better than this kid on the ground, and then – oh (expletive), this triangle is real.’”

The triangle, as it was proven at the 1:52 mark of the second round, was real enough to end the fight. Finding himself tapping from that position, Edwards said, is something that still bothers him.

“At that point, I didn’t even know he got his leg out and got into position, because I was in another place,” Edwards said. “I wasn’t there in the fight. I was thinking about other (expletive), and I’m supposed to be better than this guy. I’m supposed to tap him.

“I’m supposed to get this fight to the ground and be able to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. And that wasn’t going on.”

It didn’t take long for Edwards to bounce back from the setback. Less than a month later, he went back to PRIDE to earn a unanimous decision over Seichi Ikemoto. But three months after that, a UFC 61 return against Joe Stevenson had him back on the losing column and out of the UFC.

Edwards would return to the octagon in 2010, going on to brighten up several weigh-ins with his often hilarious scale-snack gimmick. He amassed a 4-6 record in his final UFC run, before deciding to hang up his gloves.

But UFC 58 seems to have stuck with him.

“And then somebody questions me over that and say that I threw the fight, or even to say that I suck, because I panicked,” Edwards said. “I had a moment of weakness at a time when you’re not supposed to. I don’t know. I still have some stuff to work out to get through that. But it is what it is.

“I lost a lot of confidence then. And then I fought Joe Stevenson. (It) wasn’t my best fight the,  and then having to leave the UFC at that point. That was a hard time, man. That was (expletive) (expletive).”

To hear more on Edwards’ account of his career-changing encounter with Hominick, 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.

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

T.J. Dillashaw: 'Fingers crossed nothing happens' to stop UFC 217 title fight vs. Cody Garbrandt

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UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt made headlines last week when he tweeted he would be fighting T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 217.

For his part, Dillashaw today told MMAjunkie there still is no bout agreement but is hopeful “that’s what’s going to be going down” Nov. 4 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

“Fingers crossed nothing happens,” Dillashaw said. “I’m ready tomorrow, man. I’ve been staying in the gym. That’s what I love to do. I feel lazy when I’m not in the gym. So, yeah, I’m ready to go at 217. And just the fact to be able to fight in Madison Square Garden seems like a huge event.”

It’s shaping up that way with the scheduled return of Georges St-Pierre, who will come out of retirement to fight Michael Bisping for the middleweight championship. A bout between Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) and Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) would add a second title fight to the card.

Garbrandt and Dillashaw have a tenuous history after being teammates for several years at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, Calif. Dillashaw unceremoniously left the gym to train with striking coach Duane Ludwig in Colorado, and the disdain with former teammates has grown thicker ever since.

The feud grew deeper when the pair served as opposing coaches on Season 25 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series earlier this year, won by Team Dillashaw’s Jesse Taylor.

Garbrandt was forced to withdraw from their planned UFC 213 bout in July due to a back injury. That caused Dillashaw to seek a shot at Demetrious Johnson’s flyweight title as a backup plan, a fight that UFC President Dana White was on board with booking.

Johnson, who will be going for a record 11th straight UFC title defense, hated the idea, citing the fact that Dillshaw never has competed at 125 pounds. Instead, Johnson will face Ray Borg at next month’s UFC 215.

How things unfolded is just as well with Dillashaw. He’s wanted a shot at Garbrandt all along.

“This is the fight I ultimately wanted,” Dillashaw said. “That was kind of like going for a consolation prize. If I couldn’t get my belt at (135), I want a belt. And I felt like it was a big, hyped-up fight I could’ve pushed with Demetrious. Unfortunately he did not want that. Unfortunately he’s too cerebral of a fighter.

“He knows that’s not a good fight for him and wouldn’t accept it. He’s real worried about this record he needs to break. Go ahead and let him do that, I guess.”

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

For more on UFC 217, 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

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

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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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Source: MMA Junkie

With finance career on hold, Miesha Tate-managed Gustavo Lopez eyes UFC deal

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For some, pursuing fighting as a career stems from a lack of options. For others, it’s a logical development of lifelong athletic pursuits. But for bantamweight Gustavo Lopez, it was a conscious choice that took straying away from what was probably a safer path.

Lopez, 28, trains during the week and works two jobs – as security and as a busser – on the weekends to cover the bills. While his day-to-day isn’t that big of a departure from that of many up-and-comers who have yet to make it to the big stages, it’s one that would probably be a bit more comfortable had he not decided to go with his gut.

“I was starting my finance career, and I’m like, ‘My passion is in fighting,’” Lopez told MMAjunkie Radio. “I love to fight. I love to train. I was trying to do both. It was super stressful, and I just (said to myself), ‘You know what? I can always go back. I’ve got my degree. It doesn’t go away. It does’t expire. I’m still keep up on that stuff. If I ever need or would like to go back to it, the option is there.’

“Other than a bachelor’s (degree) in finance, I’ve got two associates in business accounting. (I’m) a very savvy, very smart with numbers, very intelligent kind of guy. But my passion is in competing. I want to be the best in the world. Right now, the pinnacle of fighting is being the UFC champion.”

Lopez (8-2) is currently riding a two-fight winning streak – both stemming from first-round submissions. The first of those, at Combate Americas, came over someone whose last name may sound familiar: Steve Swanson, UFC contender Cub Swanson’s older brother. It was a big one too; Swanson was coming off four straight knockout wins before getting caught in the first round by Lopez.

Considering his consecutive dominant displays, Lopez and his manager –  former UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate, who also happens to be his close friend and training partner of seven years – think that a big leap might be in the horizon.

“We both feel like we’re one, two fights away from just getting already in the UFC,” Lopez said.

In the meantime, however, Lopez wants to stay as active as possible. While he is a five-fight Combate Americas veteran, Lopez actually has an open contract that allows him to explore his options. The weekly Dana White’s Contender Series events on UFC Fight Pass, for instance, could be one of them.

“There’s a chance,” Lopez said. “There are some bantamweights I feel I can just dominate.”

But, willing to fight at either flyweight or bantamweight, the 28-year-old fighter also sees a possibility of bypassing the weekly series and making it straight to the octagon – even if that means taking a short-notice call. If not, there’s certainly no lack of options.

“(PFL President) Ray Sefo offered me a fight already, on the biggest (PFL) show here,” Lopez said. “Combate (Americas), (I’m) still talking to them, because even though I’m not under contract with them, if they keep me active, I’d love to keep fighting with them. Because they’re a great promotion and good fanbase, all Hispanics, all Latino. They treat their fighters really well.”

Despite the momentum, fact is that Lopez is still unable to support himself exclusively with fighting. And like probably everyone in his position, he certainly would like to change it. Which is what he hopes will happen now that he’s being managed by Tate and her agency, AO8.

“The plan, hopefully, with this management is picking up these big sponsors that would (say) like, ‘Hey, what’s your rent? What’s your this? What are your necessities? We’ll pay for it. Do your thing. We’re going to support you.’” Lopez said. “That’s the dream.

“I’d love to fight four to five times (a year), maybe. Even more, if possible. If I go in there and dominate like I know I can, I’ll keep fighting every couple of months. I have no kids. I just have my girl and my dogs, and now a cat. I love to train and fight. I’d love to do as much as possible, if I could. Working, it’s a necessity right now to pay the bills.”

For more on 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: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Gina Mazany talks pros and cons – well, just pros – of having ex-UFC champ Miesha Tate as manager

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As far as MMA managers go, it seems like UFC bantamweight Gina Mazany has a pretty complete package in former champion Miesha Tate.

After all, it’s not every day you get to be mentored by someone who not only knows you but has some valuable first-hand experience with a lot of your possible competition.

“One thing I love about training with Miesha is that her and I, we’ve trained together,” Mazany told MMAjunkie Radio. “We’ve sparred together. We’ve grappled together. We’ve wrestled together. So she knows what I have to offer, what I have to put on the table. I like it when she’s like, ‘You should fight so and so, I think that would be a really great fight for you.’

“Because she’s experienced – not only with the game and probably a lot of the girls that are currently in the 135 division, but also with me.”

Tate was the one who told Mazany (4-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) that, four fights into her professional MMA career, she had just landed a UFC contract. The news, however, came with a caveat: Mazany would have only 16 days to prepare for her debut against former title challenger and Olympic medalist Sara McMann.

Add to it that Mazany, who’d just finished “a big steak dinner,” was a little bit heavy, and you have some unfavorable conditions for her first time in the octagon. But, from the start, the answer to Tate’s offer was always clear on the newcomer’s mind.

“It’s one of those things where it’s like a door opens, and you’ve got to run through it,” Mazany said.

The debut, which took place at UFC Fight Night 105 in February, didn’t go well. Mazany ended up on the unfortunate end of an arm-triangle choke by her much more experienced opponent. But regardless, only five fights into her professional MMA career, Mazany is officially a UFC fighter.

Moving forward, the bantamweight plans on still getting another fight by year’s end. As far as possible matchups go, she’s already got some social media beef stewing.

Well, sort of.

“Her name is Lucie Pudilova,” Mazany said. “She’s newly signed. I originally wanted to fight her, because – she first got signed, and she fought Lina Lansberg. Good scrap, really good fight. Lina ended up pulling off the win. And then after, my Twitter was blowing up, with Lucie like, ‘I want to fight Gina,’ talking all this trash.

“And then I got on Instagram, and she was talking all this trash. And I was like, “I just got on the scene, I just got beat up by Sara McMann taking a last-minute fight, what did I do?’”

Mazany would later come to find that the confrontation with Pudilova, who recovered from the Lansberg loss with a decision over Ji Yeon Kim, was merely the work of a “total Twitter troll.” But now that the seed has been planted, she’s down if Pudilova is.

“I think that’d be a fun fight,” Mazany said.

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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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC exec Joe Carr thinks MMA could be in Olympics by 2024 or 2028

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Joe Carr, the UFC’s senior vice president and head of content and international, travels around the world to oversee international UFC events, and he thinks the global MMA market will expand in the next decade.

When more countries lend their best athletes to compete on an international level, he said, it’s only a matter of time before the sport becomes an Olympic phenomenon.

Carr said with more 60 MMA federations dedicated to overseeing and promoting the sport, a strong foundation to win recognition from SportAccord, the umbrella organization for the Olympics, is in place. Recognition from the International Olympic Committee is next.

By as early as 2024 or 2028, Carr said, gold medals might be the new title belts.

“The thing with the Olympics is, they’re trying to get younger,” he said. “Think of the majority of those sports and who those appeal to. That’s why you see beach volleyball. Surfing is going to be in the next Olympics, and snowboarding – all these younger sports, because the fan base is dying out. What better new age sport than MMA?”

Watch the above interview to hear Carr talk about MMA’s Olympic potential, as well as Dana White’s Contender Series and plans for UFC Fight Pass.

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.

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

MMA coach Ray Longo on how he looks for concussed fighters and has 'the talk'

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Fighting is a rough business, but veteran MMA coach Ray Longo tries to minimize risks in the gym.

When a fighter gets too banged up, he has “the talk” with them.

Such was the case with UFC veteran Pete Sell (10-6 MMA, 2-5 UFC), who suffered knockout losses in four of his final eight fights. Sell retired in 2012.

“‘Drago’ would fight you tomorrow,” Longo told MMAjunkie Radio. “He wants to fight. That’s what he loves to do. But we’re just not having it.”

Longo said his longtime charge Chris Weidman (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) hasn’t taken too many major hits during his decorated career in the UFC. But he’s watching.

“We do a lot of concussion testing in the gym with some newer technology stuff,” Longo said. “It’s a hot topic, and we’re definitely not turning a blind eye to it. I believe we’re on top of it.”

The gym is one of the last lines of defense when it comes to resting concussed fighters. Although state athletic commissions issue suspensions to those who’ve been through knockouts or tough fights, enforcement of no-contact orders is not realistic for a sport that’s so geographically spread out.

In reality, there’s little to stop a fighter who wants to jump back into sparring after a knockout, other than professional colleagues.

Longo said he used to be a “wild man” when he was a young martial-arts practitioner. But now, he sometimes keeps students benched for up to one month if they’ve been concussed in sparring.

“Both (Aljamain Sterling) and Chris, I pulled back on their sparring for (their respective fights at UFC 214 and UFC on FOX 25),” he said. “I don’t think you can ever be too cautious, but this is the sport they choose, and they are going to get hit.”

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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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC strawweight Angela Hill wants Cortney Casey or Cynthia Calvillo for next fight

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Filed under: Featured, News, Radio Highlight, UFC

Fresh off her first UFC win, Angela Hill has a hit list for her next fight.

Hill (7-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) would really like to mix it up with Joanne Calderwood (11-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC), whom she felt got too much credit for her striking skills during their time on “The Ultimate Fighter 20.” The only problem is that Calderwood is likely moving up to the newly opened flyweight division.

Then there’s Cortney Casey (7-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC), who recently outpointed Jessica Aguilar at UFC 211 to bounce back from a decision loss to onetime title challenger Claudia Gadelha. Casey also won a victory outside the cage when the Texas athletic commission rightly walked back a drug suspension.

But maybe the biggest target is Cynthia Calvillo (6-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC), who appears to have the inside track in the women’s strawweight division. She recently extended her current winning streak to three with a decision over Calderwood. She was a guest fighter this past Saturday at UFC 214, a nod that usually indicates favor from the promotion.

Now, Hill just needs someone to step up.

“I’ve been calling out Calvillo because she’s been super active,” she said. “I’m not sure if she’s going to jump right back in there immediately, but that would be a good fight for me, too. So yeah, I have a couple people in mind.”

Whoever steps up, Hill is at least on the right side of the column as she moves on with her UFC career. After a false start on “TUF 20” and a gritty loss to onetime title challenger Jessica Andrade, she has a debut win to propel her forward.

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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Source: MMA Junkie