Before UFC-debut win, Sean O'Malley went through DWCS 2 camp with concussion

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At the second Dana White’s Contender Series event, Sean O’Malley impressed with a flashy striking display that culminated in a first-round finish of Alfred Khashakyan.

The win, as we found out later that night, was impressive enough to catch the UFC president’s eye. At 22 and with an unblemished eight-fight record at the time, O’Malley was the only fighter to come out of the July 18 UFC Fight Pass event with a UFC contract and some serious hype behind him.

But what ended as a perfect night started as anything but.

“That Contender Series fight, I couldn’t spar,” O’Malley recently told MMAjunkie Radio. “That was the worst training camp I’ve ever had for any fight. I woke up that morning, and I was like, ‘(Expletive), man. Not feeling it.’ Just because I hadn’t been sparring hard. I wasn’t able to practice.

“I haven’t said anything about it, but I had a bad concussion that whole fight camp. I woke up that morning, I had headaches. I was like, ‘(Expletive).’ I was just thinking I had to go in there and scrap and just make it ugly – just do whatever I had to do to win it.”

Who knew having a lousy camp could end up working out so well?

Fortunately for O’Malley (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), things were different ahead of his recent UFC debut. In the months that elapsed between his DWCS bout and his TUF 26 Finale meeting with Terrion Ware (17-7 MMA, 0-2 UFC) on Dec. 1, O’Malley got to better every bit of his MMA game, throughout a camp in which he was confident.

We got to see the result of that in the octagon. While it wasn’t an entirely spotless performance – O’Malley’s slower second round cost him on all three judges’ scorecards for that frame – he showcased style and heart as he dug deep against a gritty opponent in a co-headlining affair. O’Malley took a unanimous-decision nod for his efforts.

Overall, O’Malley was happy with his display against a a “tough-as-(expletive)” opponent. Even as he stepped off the gas pedal in the second frame, “Sugar” was confident that his preparation would translate to a second wind when he came back for the last one. He never gave up on the finish, even though Ware wouldn’t let him have it, and ultimately got the win and the attention.

By all accounts, it was one solid way to kick off a UFC run. But for O’Malley, who’d finished seven of the eight opponents who came before, something was still missing.

“I was just upset I didn’t get the finish,” O’Malley said. “It just doesn’t feel right.”

A 23-year-old with an unbeaten record, a creative striking style and finish-driven mentality, one would assume, shouldn’t have too much trouble getting chances to right that wrong. When the next opportunity will take place, however, is to be determined.

With a few minor injuries to tend to right now, he’s looking at at least a few months of rest. He has no specific opponents in mind, but UFC 222, set for March 3 in Las Vegas, seems like a good option.

However it turns out, O’Malley wants to make the most of 2018.

“I definitely want to fight three or four times next year, as well,” O’Malley said. “I had four fights this year, so as long as I’m healthy, I want to fight.”

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, 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

TUF 26 Finale winner Rachael Ostovich wants Hawaii to get its MMA props

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After such a big weekend for the state, Rachael Ostovich hopes the MMA world is no longer sleeping on the talent that Hawaii has produced.

Take this past weekend, for example. Although Hawaii has produced some notable names – former two-division UFC champ B.J. Penn is the most obvious one – the recent UFC doubleheader featured some fresh faces.

This past Saturday at UFC 218, for example, Hawaiian and reigning featherweight champion Max Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) scored a third-round TKO victory over Jose Aldo (26-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC), and in a featured prelim, Hawaiian slugger Yancy Medeiros (15-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) scored a stoppage win over lightweight Alex Oliveira (17-5-1 MMA, 7-3 UFC).

And a night prior at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, Invicta FC vet Ostovich (4-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) made a successful UFC debut with a quick submission victory over Karine Gevorgyan (3-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC), who missed weight, in a 130-pound catchweight affair.

“I was lucky enough to share the weekend Yancy Medeiros and Max Holloway, and I feel like people are finally catching on that we’ve got some serious talent out here on the islands,” Ostovich, a quarterfinalist in the “TUF 26” tournament, recently told MMAjunkie Radio. “If they give us some attention, we can put on a show.

“There’s so much more talent out there. It’s really unbelievable how much talent we have just on our little island.”

Ostovich, who may have first come on some fans’ radar with her Wonder Woman-inspired fight gear while fighting for Invicta FC, is married to up-and-coming bantamweight Arnold Berdon (6-1), who headlines Victory FC 59 on Dec. 16.

The fact that so many Hawaiian fighters are hitting their stride at the same time may be no coincidence.

“I feel like we all want to represent our state, and we all want to do good,” said 26-year-old Ostovich, who credited her close-knit team for her TUF 26 Finale victory. “I feel like once we have that momentum going, we all feed off each other, working hard.

“We’re all being inspired by each other, and it shows in our fights.”

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, 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, 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

UFC champ Nicco Montano to have surgery on broken foot

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Nicco Montano’s reign as the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight champion has hit a snag, though it’s not completely unexpected.

Montano (4-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) last week told MMAjunkie after her title victory vs. Roxanne Modafferi at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale that she fought through a broken bone in her foot. As it turns out, Montano will go through with surgery, which will keep her out of action indefinitely.

“I need to have surgery,” Montano told MMAWeekly.com. “I definitely need to get that fixed before anything else – the sooner the better.”

Montano, ranked No. 14 of 16 competitors on “The Ultimate Fighter 26,” went on a remarkable run to earn the 125-pound title belt. She defeated Lauren Murphy, Montana Stewart and former Invicta FC champion Barb Honchak before earning the gutsy decision over Modafferi in the final.

Montano said she dealt with the injury throughout training camp, which hindered her strength and conditioning. She was forced to give up running, because she couldn’t put much weight on her foot for several weeks.

“When it happened, I remember saying to my coach something is wrong with my foot,” Montano said. “It was the ball of my foot, so pivoting or anything was hard for me. Holding hooks in grappling, there was nothing I could do for a while so I didn’t know if I was going to be able to fight.

“For about two or three weeks I was bed ridden, because I couldn’t walk and I had to instead of my strength and conditioning, I had to do (physical therapy), which was basically me holding my hands up against the wall, planting both of my feet on the ground and lifting my heel off the ground centimeter by centimeter on my left foot. That’s how bad it was.”

Montano wasn’t even sure during fight week that she’d be able to make it to the cage. It took a medical boost for it to happen.

“The only reason why I was able to do anything that night was because of the cortisone shot,” Montano said. “My range of mobility the night before was crap. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to fight. I was watching my fight, and that’s why my level changes were so high, because I still can’t roll over my left toes.”

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Joseph Benavidez (in studio), Sean O'Malley, Austin Vanderford

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MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Joseph Benavidez, Sean O’Malley and Austin Vanderford.

Benavidez will co-host the show in the studio. The perennial flyweight contender is nearing the end of his recovery from a serious knee injury, which has kept him sidelined all year. O’Malley is coming off a big bantamweight win over Terrion Ware this past Friday at the TUF 26 Finale in his official UFC debut. And Vanderford is getting ready to fight Kenny Licea next week at Victory FC 59.

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.

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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.

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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.

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Source: MMA Junkie

TUF 26 Finale salaries: New UFC champ Nicco Montano banks $100,000

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Newly crowned and inaugural women’s flyweight champion Nicco Montano took home a disclosed payday of $100,000 at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale.

MMAjunkie today requested and obtained the list of disclosed paydays from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

The TUF 26 Finale took place Dec. 1 at Park Theatre in Las Vegas, and it aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, Montana (4-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) won the “TUF 26” tournament, which crowned the UFC’s first 125-pound female champion, with a unanimous-decision victory over late replacement Roxanne Modafferi (21-14 MMA, 0-2 UFC), who subbed in after Sijara Eubanks failed to make weight for the fight.

Montana earned a flat payday of $100,000 and wasn’t eligible for a win bonus. Modafferi also earned $100,000 flat.

The total disclosed payout for the event was $553,000.

The full TUF 26 Finale payouts included:

Nicco Montano: $100,000 (no win bonus)
def. Roxanne Modafferi: $100,000

Sean O’Malley: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Terrion Ware: $10,000

Lauren Murphy: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Barb Honchak: $10,000

Gerald Meerschaert: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Eric Spicely: $14,000

DeAnna Bennett: $10,000*
vs. Melinda Fabian: $10,000*

Brett Johns: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Joe Soto: $31,000

Montana De La Rosa: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Christina Marks: $10,000

Ryan Janes: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Andrew Sanchez: $28,000

Rachael Ostovich: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Karine Gevorgyan: $10,000

Shana Dobson: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Ariel Beck: $10,000

Gillian Robertson: $20,000 (includes $ win bonus)
def. Emily Whitmire: $10,000

* – Fight ended in a draw; no win bonuses given

Now, the usual disclaimer: The figures do not include deductions for items such as insurance, licenses and taxes. Additionally, the figures do not include money paid by sponsors, including the official UFC Athlete Outfitting sponsorship program pay. They also do not include any other “locker room” or special discretionary bonuses the UFC often pays.

For example, as previously reported, UFC officials handed out additional $50,000 TUF 26 Finale fight-night bonuses to Montano and Modafferi (“Fight of the Night”) and Meerschaert and Johns (“Performance of the Night”).

In other words, the above figures are simply base salaries reported to the commission and do not reflect entire compensation packages for the event.

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

TUF 26 Finale reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media

Since the early days when the sport was anything but a mainstream endeavor, the MMA industry has thrived and survived through various websites, forums and, perhaps most importantly, social-media platforms.

Fighters interact with fans, each other and many more through the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which helps outsiders get a deeper look into the minds of the athletes.

Following Friday’s The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale event in Las Vegas, several of the winning and losing fighters, along with their coaches, training partners or family members, took to social media to react to the event or share a message with supporters.

Check out some of those reactions.

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The defeated

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The draw

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The victorious

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For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events 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

How Gerald Meerschaert went about 'exploding' Eric Spicely's liver with shin at TUF 26 Finale

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LAS VEGAS – Gerald Meerschaert noticed The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale opponent Eric Spicely was taking his shots to the head quite well. So Meerschaert came to a conclusion.

“He’s got a pretty tough chin,” Meerschaert said after the main-card bout, which aired on FS1 from Park Theater in Las Vegas. “It usually works one way or the other, right? Either you’ve got a tough chin and a weak body. Or you’ve got a weak body and a tough chin.”

Whether or not you agree with Meerschaert’s (27-9 MMA, 3-1 UFC) logic, the fact is that his strategy paid off. After some trouble in the first round, thanks to his opponent’s notoriously dangerous grappling, the second frame saw Meerschaert’s striking prowess shine until a liver kick had Spicely (10-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) folded onto the canvas.

The kick wasn’t just a lucky blow; Meerschaert looked to overload his opponent’s senses with numerous leg attacks. When an earlier body kick had Spicely wilting, Meerschaert got the opening he needed to proceed “exploding his liver with my shin.”

“The kick was just there and I knew I wasn’t going to get taken down off it,”  Meerschaert said. “And I know I’ve landed that body kick on a lot of good guys, a lot of times. I know if I can get that shin across your liver, it’s going to do some damage.

“Once I saw it open, I was like, ‘I’m going to make you (expletive) your pants. Or you’re going to quit. Something’s going to happen. Either way, it’s going to be awesome.’”

Granted, the kick probably wasn’t as awesome for fellow middleweight Spicely, who’s now on a two-fight losing skid. But it worked out pretty well for the viewers and for Meerschaert, who got a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus out of it.

Meerschaert, who wasn’t yet aware of the post-fight bonus by the time he talked to reporters, is probably not mad about the extra money But, coming off a knockout setback to Thiago Santos into what was the last bout of his UFC contract, a finish over Spicely had him pretty happy already.

“Every fight is important, but especially that,” Meerschaert said. “I’m coming off a loss. We each have wins over coming opponents, but he beat the last guy I fought. So getting a finish on him looks really good on my resume. Like I said, the UFC is my home.

“I want to stay here the rest of my career. And I’m here to put on exciting fights and fight the toughest guys I can.”

To hear from Meerschaert, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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By winning at TUF 26 Finale, Montana De La Rosa also made good on a promise

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LAS VEGAS – It wasn’t easy for Montana De La Rosa to be away from her daughter during “The Ultimate Fighter 26” tapings.

But the sacrifice paid off when it came to making her “that much better” of a fighter. De La Rosa (8-4 MMA, 1-0) got to showcase some of that evolution on Friday, when she put a first-round ending to her meeting with “TUF 26” castmate Christina Marks (8-9, 0-1 UFC).

Not only that – De La Rosa also got to make good on a promise.

“Getting this win really does mean everything to me and (my daughter),” De La Rosa said as she began to tear up. “I was talking to her today, and she was like, ‘You win or you lose, Mama. I’m going to be sleeping right next to you.’ I was like, ‘I’m going to go out there and win for you. I promise.’” (via Instagram)

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The women’s flyweight bout closed out the preliminary card of Friday’s The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale event at Park Theater in Las Vegas. It aired on FS1 following an additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on FS1.

Considering a professional record that shows six submissions among her eight wins, it wasn’t exactly shocking to see De La Rosa earning a tap. Marks, in turn, had her grappling skills questioned by coach Eddie Alvarez and was quickly submitted by Emily Whitmire in her first fight at the “TUF 26” house.

All things considered, De La Rosa had reasons to believe she could be in for a good night on Friday.

“I definitely thought, when I saw her on the show, that it would be a really good matchup for me,” De La Rosa said. “I know I have really good submissions, especially armbars, so I thought I would be able to land that against her.”

De La Rosa’s current winning streak might sit only at two, but it’s worth nothing that her most recent losses were to no slouches. Back in October 2016, De La Rosa had a six-fight winning streak snapped, via submission, by grappling ace and undefeated MMA prospect Mackenzie Dern, in the now-defunct Legacy FC promotion.

The 22-year-old’s second straight setback, at LFA’s inaugural event, came to Cynthia Calvillo – who’s quickly establishing herself as a menacing presence in the UFC’s strawweight roster. Before making it onto “TUF 26” De La Rosa bounced back with a submission win over Kathina Lowe.

All three outings took place in the 115-pound division, where De La Rosa had most of her pro bouts. Moving forward, though, she believes she might just end up making a home at flyweight.

“I think I could always go back to 115, but I really like the 125 division,” De La Rosa said. “I know I’m not small for the division. I’m still just as big as these girls, and I feel strong here. So I think I’m going to stay here as long as I can.”

To hear from De La Rosa, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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