Saturday's UFC 220 broadcasting crew is set, includes Jimmy Smith's UFC debut

The broadcasting crew it set for Saturday’s UFC 220 event, and it includes Jimmy Smith’s UFC debut.

UFC 220 takes place Saturday at TG Garden in Boston, and the main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

FOX Sports officials today told MMAjunkie the fight-night commentators include play-by-play man Jon Anik with color commentators Joe Rogan and Dominick Cruz. Megan Olivi will have on-site interviews throughout the broadcasts.

The FOX Sports desk in the Los Angeles studio includes former longtime Bellator broadcaster Smith, who recently signed with the UFC. He joins Karyn Bryant, Kenny Florian and Rashad Evans. Smith will also do color commentary for some future UFC broadcasts.

UFC vet Marlon Vera and Victor Davila handle the Spanish language telecast on FOX Deportes.

UFC 220 features heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic (17-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC) vs. Francis Ngannou (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC), as well as light-heavyweight titleholder Daniel Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) vs. Volkan Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), atop the card.

In addition to a UFC 220-geared edition of “UFC Tonight” today on FS2 (7 p.m. ET), FS1 airs the ceremonial weigh-ins on Friday at 6 p.m. ET, and a UFC 220 pre-show airs on FS1 on Saturday a 7 p.m. ET. Following UFC 220, a post-event show airs on FS1 at 1 a.m. ET.

For more on UFC 220, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

After viral video, UFC notables have a message for bully victim Keaton Jones

Keaton Jones’ emotional video – one that quickly went viral – showed the truly heart-breaking effects bullying can have.

Keaton Jones’ mom, Kimberly Jones, posted the gut-wrenching video after picking up her son from his Knoxville, Tenn., school.

In the video, as well as the accompanying caption, Keaton explains why he was scared to go to lunch because of the bullying, which included dousing him with food and milk.

Hoping to show the true effects of bullying, Kimberly posted the video (via Facebook):

As she wrote: “For the record, Keaton asked to do this AFTER he had he me pick him up AGAIN because he was afraid to go to lunch. My kids are by no stretch perfect, & at home, he’s as all boy as they come, but by all accounts he’s good at school. Talk to your kids. I’ve even had friends of mine tell me they’re kids were only nice to him to get him to mess with people. We all know how it feels to want to belong, but only a select few know how it really feels not to belong anywhere.”

The emotional video has resulted in an outpouring of support, especially from the Tennessee sports scene.

The UFC – including champs Daniel Cormiers and Tyron Woodley, fighter/commentator Paul Felder, vet Rashad Evans, and UFC commentator Kenny Florian – also were part of a video the UFC dedicated to Keaton (via Twitter):

Tennessee native and UFC Fight Night 123 winner Scott Holtzman also hopes to get some time with Keaton (via Twitter):

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

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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

Rashad Evans says commentating can make you 'feel stupid,' discusses move back to 205

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans is just trying not to look stupid – on either side of the cage.

Evans, who’s been with the UFC for more than 12 years now, will be working the FOX Sports analyst desk tonight for UFC Fight Night 123. Although the 38-year-old feels the pressure whether he’s fighting or simply covering the fights, he knows tonight’s competitors may be especially anxious.

After all, UFC Fight Night 123, which airs on FS1 from Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., follows a stretch of events that has produced some remarkable bouts.

“They’re going to feel it,” Evans told MMAjunkie Radio. “The UFC’s top brass will go in there in the pre-fight meetings and let the fighters know you have a lot to live up to because of the UFC (events) of the last few weeks have been amazing. They’re starting to set that as a standard.

“I don’t know what’s getting into these fighters, but I love it.”

If he’s not fighting, the next-best option for Evans is covering the events. Still, it also comes with its own challenges. As one of the more successful UFC fighters to dabble in MMA commentating, “Suga” is earning veteran status behind the mic too. He was a part of ESPN’s “MMA Live” show before moving to FOX when the UFC announced a multi-year deal with the sports-broadcasting giant.

He likes that FOX has committed to MMA and opened opportunities to commentate on the fights and other UFC specialty programming. But just as in fighting, the spotlight can be challenging.

“It’s tough, you know – it’s tough,” Evans said. “Every time you open your mouth and say something, it doesn’t always sound right. But you’ve got to find a way, no matter what comes out of your mouth – you’ve got to make it work, and you’ve got to flow.

“And you have to know what you’re talking about, or people are going to call you out, and you’re going to feel stupid.”

However, while that broadcasting work can provide a nice distraction from the day-to-day grind of being a top-level MMA fighter, Evans (19-7-1 MMA, 14-7-1 UFC) is still focused on his career. However, although once one of the world’s top 205-pounders, he’s currently on a four-fight skid, which included recent losses at middleweight to Daniel Kelly and Sam Alvey.

Evans mentioned Jimi Manuwa (17-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) as a possible next opponent – UFC Fight Night 127 on March 17 in London makes sense, he said – but he’s not really sure what’s next. But he’s “desperate” to get back on track and halt his skid.

“I really don’t know, to be honest,” Evans said. “I’m moving back up to (light heavyweight), I’m on a four-fight losing streak, and I’m looking to bounce back in a big way. I have to bounce back in a big way. …

“I don’t know who that person is going to be, but truthfully speaking, after what I’ve been through the last few years, it really doesn’t even matter to me anymore. I just want to go back and get back to my winning ways more than anything.

“I’m hungry, I’m desperate, and I’m ready for whoever.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 123, 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, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2577 with Rashad Evans, Rachael Ostovich

Stream or download Wednesday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Rashad Evans and Rachael Ostovich.

Evans, who is on the FS1 desk for UFC Fight Night 123 this weekend, called into the show to break down the card and talk about what’s next for him. Ostovich, who is coming off of a win over Karine Govorgyan at this past weekend’s TUF 26 Finale card, unpacked her experiences from fight night and her time spent on Season 26 of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

You can listen below or stream the entire episode on AudioBoom.com.

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

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with former UFC champ Rashad Evans, Rachel Ostovich

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Rashad Evans and Rachel Ostovich.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Evans will call in to help us take a look at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 123 event. He’ll be on the FS1 desk doing analyst work for the card. He’ll also talk about what’s next in his MMA career. Ostovich is coming off a submission win over Karine Gevorgyan at the TUF 26 Finale. She’ll talk about that fight, her experience on “TUF 26” and what she wants next.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTubepages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

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

Daniel Cormier, John Gooden on the call for Saturday's UFC Fight Night 119 in Brazil

Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 119 event will feature a rare broadcast duo.

UFC light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will team up with European-event regular John Gooden to call the action, officials announced on Tuesday.

UFC Fight Night 119 takes place Saturday at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo. The main card, including the Lyoto Machida (22-7 MMA, 14-7 UFC) vs. Derek Brunson (17-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC) middleweight headliner, airs on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

Cormier will handle color commentary while Gooden handles play-by-play.

Cormier recently provided some early insight on the featured bout (via Twitter):

Karyn Bryant, Rashad Evans and Kenny Florian will be the Los Angeles studio team for weigh-in, pre-fight and post-fight coverage. Heidi Androl will be on site for additional coverage. (Victor Davila and Erik Perez are cageside and on the call for the FOX Deportes broadcast.)

FS1 hosts a pre-event show (7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT) and post-event show (immediately following the main event) on Saturday. The coverage of the ceremonial weigh-ins kicks off Friday at 4 p.m. ET.

MMAjunkie will also be on scene in Sao Paulo with coverage throughout fight week.

The full UFC Fight Night 119 lineup and broadcast schedule include:

MAIN CARD (FS1, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Lyoto Machida vs. Derek Brunson
  • Colby Covington vs. Demian Maia
  • Rob Font vs. Pedro Munhoz
  • Jim Miller vs. Francisco Trinaldo
  • Jack Hermansson vs. Thiago “Marreta” Santos
  • John Lineker vs. Marlon Vera

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS2, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Vicente Luque vs. Niko Price
  • Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Jack Marshman
  • Hacran Dias vs. Jared Gordon
  • Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Max Griffin

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 7 p.m. ET)

  • Jarred Brooks vs. Deiveson Figueiredo
  • Christian Colombo vs. Marcelo Golm

For more on UFC Fight Night 119 check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Glenn Robinsons' JACO gym seeks court order against former Blackzilians coach Henri Hooft

Blackzilians owner Glenn Robinson isn’t going to let coach Henri Hooft walk away without a fight.

JACO Hybrid Training Center LLC, the gym owned by Robinson, seeks an injunction against Hooft, alleging he is violating a non-compete agreement by guiding fighters who defected from the Blackzilians’ home gym to a new facility, Combat Club.

The order, obtained by MMAjunkie, was filed June 14 in Broward County, Fla. It contains Hooft’s agreement with JACO, signed Dec. 22, 2013, which represents the coach as a trusted advisor to the company with access to proprietary and confidential information. It contains a non-compete clause that bars Hooft from training and coaching fighters elsewhere for two years after the termination of the business relationship. A non-solicitation clause restricts him from attempting to recruit any fighters to another facility for three years.

A list attached to the order highlights several well known UFC veterans – including now-retired Anthony Johnson, Michael Johnson and Kamaru Usman – JACO alleges Hooft is providing management and training services at Combat Club, which resides in Lantana, Fla., about 30 miles from JACO’s facility in Pompano.

“Based on Hooft’s continuing breach and violation of the restrictive covenant portion of the agreement, JACO is likely to suffer irreparable injury … and the public interest is served by the issuance of an injunction,” states the order.

In a response filed Aug. 21, Hooft, through his attorney, claims he never received any confidential information not available to others in the industry. Further, he claims the gym first breached their agreement by not paying his fees, leading to an excess of $10,000 in unpaid wages. He also claims JACO is no longer in operation, and there’s no legitimate business reason to keep the coach from training at another facility.

Robinson did not immediately respond to a request for comment; Hooft declined comment, citing pending litigation.

The Blackzilians, once a powerhouse MMA team, went south in 2016 after Robinson suffered a litany of health and business problems with his other company, Iron Bridge Tools, which filed for bankruptcy protection.

In a previous interview with MMAjunkie, Robinson addressed the team’s troubles head on after former Blackzilians team member Rashad Evans said the gym’s drama was “worse than 10 high schools put together.” He claimed Hooft began training fighters at a new facility after he accepted a buyout offer on the Blackzilians’ original gym. A new employment agreement didn’t come to fruition, and soon fighters began to defect.

“I believe he already knew what his plan was,” Robinson said. “Five weeks ago, I knew we weren’t going to come to terms. So I needed to let the dust settle before I went and lost a bunch of money.”

Robinson said he would continue the Blackzilians without Hooft and other key players, but would also change the way he did business.

Rumors of the team’s collapse surfaced in December 2015 when a report claimed Robinson was liquidating assets, including apparel company Jaco and Iron Bridge Tools, to pay fees owed to coaches on the Blackzilians team.

Robinson sternly denied the report and said he was only considering the sale of apparel brand JACO. He admitted business conditions had become more difficult under the UFC’s apparel deal with Reebok and also claimed he’d suffered health issues that left him ill for 90 days.

Hooft then defended Robinson and the team’s health.

“I’m the busiest coach, and I got paid every time, on time,” Hooft told MMAjunkie. “If I wasn’t paid on time, I wouldn’t cry to the press. I would just go to Glenn and say, ‘Give me my money.’”

Now it appears Robinson is trying to keep Hooft from making his elsewhere.

For more on the upcoming MMA schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 114 results: Sam Alvey outpoints Rashad Evans for split-decision win

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Filed under: News, UFC

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Sam Alvey eked out a split decision over former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans, but it wasn’t a fight that left anyone smiling.

Alvey (31-9 MMA, 8-4 UFC) and Evans (19-7-1 MMA, 14-7-1 UFC) played it as safe as they could be over three rounds, doing the minimum to secure victory. But because Alvey did more offensively, he won on two of three judges’ scorecards.

The middleweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 114 event at Mexico City Arena in Mexico. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

The final scores were 29-28 twice for Alvey and 29-28 for Evans, who suffered his fourth straight loss and second as a UFC middleweight. Alvey got back in the win column after a decision loss to Thales Leites in his previous outing.

Much like that bout, Alvey fought not as a man who’d felled several UFC middleweights with his powerful left hand, but rather one too afraid to let his hands go lest he be taken down.

Evans justified that fear early and often as he tried to stuff Alvey against the fence before finishing takedowns. And while Alvey’s defensive wrestling was sound enough to earn him escapes, he struggled to catch Evans once upright. A few knees and short hooks were his best weapons.

Evans made the job easy when he ran into a jab, but Alvey did little to capitalize once he had the ex-champ in open range. In fact, neither man gave the judges much to score, landing only sporadic punches that did little to sway momentum. Between the second and third rounds, Alvey got an earful from his corner while Evans got a soft warning from referee John McCarthy.

A big right hook in the final frame was Evans’ best punch of the fight. Alvey managed to land in close as he fought off the takedown. But the boo birds came out in force, and the close decision reflected an altogether indecisive fight.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 114 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 114, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan contributed to this report on site in Mexico City.)

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Twitter reacts to Sam Alvey's split decision over ex-champ Rashad Evans at UFC Fight Night 114

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

In his seventh UFC fight in nine months, Sam Alvey scored the biggest victory of his career on Saturday when he defeated former UFC champion Rashad Evans at UFC Fight Night 114.

Alvey (31-9 MMA, 8-4 UFC) was successful in his 40th pro bout when he earned a split decision victory over Evans (19-7-1 MMA, 14-7-1 UFC) in the FS1-televised middleweight bout at Mexico City Arena in Mexico.

Check below for the top Twitter reactions to Alvey’s victory over Evans at UFC Fight Night 114.

* * * *

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 114, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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

Street-fight story: UFC-Mexico's Rashad Evans explains how being KO'd led him to MMA

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, UFC, Videos

An MMAjunkie Radio tradition is to ask fighters about memorable street-fighting encounters. UFC Fight Night 114’s Rashad Evans offered up a solid one back in 2009.

“I got stole on,” Evans told MMAjunkie Radio. “As soon as I turned my head, this dude stole on me so bad. It was just one where I fell straight back, already knocked out, like knocked out before I hit the ground, and then my head hit off the concrete.”

Evans (19-6-1 MMA, 14-6-1 UFC), who meets Sam Alvey (30-9 MMA, 7-4 UFC) on Saturday’s FS1-televised card at Mexico City Arena in Mexico, described a nightclub encounter in his hometown of Niagara Falls, N.Y., that led to him being knocked out.

It turned out to be a positive, though, because the former UFC light heavyweight champion said the situation led him to training MMA seriously. Plus, he got revenge later.

“It taught me a valuable lesson: Don’t turn you back in a street fight,” Evans said. “Always be ready. Somebody says they’re going to knock you out, man, don’t even give them that chance.”

Evans will attempt to snap a three-fight losing skid when he faces Alvey at UFC Fight Night 114. Watch the video above to hear Evans relive one of his most memorable fighting moments from outside the cage.

For more on UFC Fight Night 114, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Source: MMA Junkie