Category Archives: UFC 214

Armed with new deal, Volkan Oezdemir plans to knock out Jimi Manuwa, claim UFC title shot

Volkan Oezdemir is having a pretty spectacular 2017, but the way he sees it, the good times are just getting started.

“I plan on accomplishing quite a bit more,” Oezdemir told MMAjunkie. “First, I’m going to beat Jimi Manuwa, and then my goal is to be the fastest guy to ever rise to the belt. I hope with a good knockout of Jimi, I’ll be fighting for the belt next.”

Oezdemir (14-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) faces Manuwa (17-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) at UFC 214, which takes place next Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The bout takes place on the incredibly stacked pay-per-view main card following prelims on FXX and UFC Fight Pass.

It’s a key fight in the 205-pound division, with Oezdemir ranked No. 8 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light heavyweight rankings, and Manuwa just ahead at No. 7. That, in itself, is a pretty impressive accomplishment considering Oezdemir wasn’t even in the UFC at the start of this year, but the Swiss product isn’t interested in contemplating his meteoric rise.

“Actually, not really, because this is an ongoing situation,” Oezdemir said. “I don’t want to sit back and think about something that’s not finished. I want to keep the train rolling. I have way more to prove.”

Oezdemir debuted for the promotion in February, stepping in on short notice and earning a hard-fought, upset decision win over Ovince Saint Preux. While the result was impressive, Oezdemir clearly fatigued as the fight wore on, leaving some questions about his cardio.

The 27-year-old insists he addressed those concerns before his second UFC fight, but he wasn’t given much of a chance to display the improvements, knocking out Misha Cirkunov in just 28 seconds. The back-to-back victories were enough to earn Oezdemir a new multi-fight contract, complete with a generous pay raise, after just two of four scheduled fights.

Now Henri Hooft-trained fighter wants to prove the UFC made a wise investment and dispatch of Manuwa in impressive fashion.

“He’s the striker to beat now that Anthony Johnson is gone,” Oezdemir said. “People think about him as the best striker in the division, and that’s also why I want to fight him, too. I want to go there and knock him out so people will know I belong in the game, too. This win will bring me closer to the belt.”

The light heavyweight title will be on the line, of course, in the main event of UFC 214. When champ Daniel Cormier puts his belt on the line against former champ Jon Jones. Alexander Gustafsson is likely next in line – especially if Jones comes out on top – but Oezdemir believes he could turn some heads and perhaps jump ahead in the pecking order.

“Gustafsson was there,” Oezdemir said. “He’s been in the No. 1 spot for a while. But Jimi was supposed to be in line for the belt before Jon Jones came back. The UFC told him he would be next, so after I beat Jimi with a good performance, hopefully I can be the one in that spot.”

Oddsmakers have Oezdemir as the underdog heading into the contest, but that’s a spot in which he’s certainly accustomed to being. No matter, he insists. He’ll just shock the world once again and prove his UFC success to date is certainly not by accident.

“Jimi’s only two losses were in the second round,” Oezdemir said. “I want to be the first person to knock him out in the first round.”

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Jon Jones mocks Daniel Cormier in Instagram photo updating his weight before UFC 214

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones continues to go at bitter rival and current champ Daniel Cormier.

With 10 days to go until their long-awaited rematch at UFC 214, Jones (22-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC) took to Instagram to tout his slimming waistline and mock Cormier’s (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC), re-enacting the champ’s infamous UFC 210 weigh-in that Jones called “one of the dirtiest things I’ve seen in sports.”

Instagram Photo

“All the discipline and hard work is definitely paying off, was a mean 217lbs today after practice. #NoShortcutsToGreatness #CheatingAsshole,” Jones captioned his post, which parodied Cormier’s obvious towel-grab before a rematch with Anthony Johnson.

UFC 214 takes place July 29 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The event’s main card airs live on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

The light heavyweight title headliner puts Jones and Cormier in the octagon two years after Jones beat Cormier to defend his title at UFC 182. The two were supposed to rematch one year ago at UFC 200, but Jones was scratched at the last minute after failing a drug test.

Jones was subsequently suspended one year and stripped of an interim light heavyweight title he won after being stripped of the undisputed title in the wake of a hit-and-run accident in April 2015.

UFC 214’s must-see promo video takes a look at the long-simmering rivalry, Jones’ fall from grace and subsequent quest for redemption.

The rivals have increasingly taken shots at each other as UFC 214 draws near. After Jones served his suspension, Cormier begged the former champ not to do anything to jeopardize the rematch. Cormier later posted messages Jones sent to him on Instagram.

Unlike previous fusillades, Jones hasn’t deleted all of his troll work.

“I have zero respect for you (expletive) you’re going to really hate me by the time I’m done with you,” he tweeted Monday.

July 29th can’t come soon enough.

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5503061506001
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Video: Watch that brutal Jon Jones submission of Lyoto Machida from 2011

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Jon Jones is back, and next week, he looks to reclaim the UFC light-heavyweight title. Before then, watch his second title defense, which came in 2011 with a brutal submission finish.

Back at UFC 140, Jones took on ex-champ Lyoto Machida, who had hoped to reclaim the belt he lost a year prior by taking out the young champ. “Bones,” though, spoiled those plans in a big way.

Check out the full fight, including the fight-ending choke, above.

It was title defense No. 2 of eight overall for the ex-champ, who reigned from 2011-2015 before he was stripped following a series of out-of-the-cage issues.

And catch (22-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC), who’s No. 1 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light-heavyweight rankings, back in action July 29 at UFC 214, where he takes on reigning titleholder and No. 2-ranked Daniel Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC). The pay-per-view event takes place at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

'Cyborg' Justino on standing her ground, filling Ronda Rousey void, Evinger, Magana and Holm

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

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Cristiane Justino is finally about to get her stab at the belt of a UFC division that she was basically responsible for creating.

But the road to get here was anything but smooth.

First, many wondered if the former Invicta FC featherweight champ would ever make it into the UFC octagon at all. That happened, but it took compromise – she’d have to make a tough 140-pound catchweight limit.  Twice. All the while, Justino made her weight struggles known. She spoke up about the UFC’s failure in promoting her. And she pushed for the creation of her own division.

“Cyborg” once again got her wish, but even that took a weird turn. When she was unable to make the turnaround that the promotion had in mind for its initial title fight, she was left out of it. All the while, UFC President Dana White made his difficulties in dealing with the Brazilian fighter clear. And she always fired back.

On July 29, at UFC 214, Justino (17-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) finally gets her UFC title shot when she meets Invicta FC bantamweight champ Tonya Evinger (19-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) for the vacant 145-pound belt. White has already admitted to a lot of wrongdoing when it comes to the long-reigning featherweight queen. And, at least for now, the two seem to have come to somewhat of a truce.

Through it all, was the vocal “Cyborg” ever afraid her willingness to speak up would hinder her career?

It doesn’t seem like it.

“I can’t be just another one in the UFC,” Justino said on Tuesday. “If I say amen to everything people say, I’ll be just another one. And I never wanted to be just another one. I want to make a difference. I want to improve this sport. I want to be remembered by the other athletes not only as the world champion, but as someone who made a difference.

“I try to fight for improvements for fighters, the same way I fought for women to have more divisions. I’ll keep fighting whenever I think something’s wrong, even if it might hurt me. I’m in there to make a difference. I’m not there just for status. Giving things to me just to keep me quiet? No, I believe that doesn’t corrupt me.

“I believe in making the sport better. I’m an athlete, and I know that I won’t fight forever. One day I won’t fight anymore, and what happens after that? I have to make things better for the athletes who come after me.”

UFC 214, which features three title fights, takes place at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FXX and UFC Fight Pass.

Ahead of the bout, Justino spoke to Brazilian reporters about numerous topics. One part of the chat, in which she addresses the rocky division, original UFC 214 opponent Megan Anderson and ex-champ Germaine De Randamie, can be checked out here.

For additional thoughts on filling the void left by former champion Ronda Rousey (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), the matchup with Evinger and a possible scrap with ex-champ Holly Holm (11-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC), as well as a (very) brief update on the situation with Angela Magana (11-8 MMA, 0-2 UFC), check out the translation below.

* * * *

With Ronda Rousey out of the picture, do you think a title win at UFC 214 would solidify your as the face of women’s MMA?

Justino: I believe women’s MMA can’t be about a single face. There are many athletes in the UFC. What happened was, they made Ronda the face of MMA, and when she lost, which she did twice, she didn’t want to come back. It’s about all the women who are in there, not just a face. When you make it about one face and the person leaves, you miss that. When I carry my belt, I’ll be representing all women. The same way women in the UFC are representing all women in MMA. I think it’s bad when you make MMA about one face. MMA is about all women.

Any updates on the legal situation after you “attacked” Angela Magana at the 2017 UFC athlete summit?

Justino: She attacked me, as well. There are many types of attacks. My lawyer is handling it. I have nothing to say. When I have more information, I’ll share with you. But my lawyer is handling it.

Thoughts on Evinger saying she’s your toughest challenge yet?

Justino: I think she’s been showing a lot of courage for taking this fight on short notice. She’s a great opponent. She has many fights. She’s experienced. I believe she’ll be more work than Megan Anderson (because she’s had) more time in the cage. Let’s see. Things are different in the octagon. Everyone has a plan going in there, but after the first punch that changes.

Considering Evinger is coming in from a lighter division, do you agree that you’re the favorite coming into the fight?

Justino: I believe Tonya taking this fight saved us. It was last minute, a month before. It was very irresponsible of Megan Anderson to accept the fight and not have the documents in order to fight. Thankfully, Tonya Evinger accepted it. I believe you have to respect your opponent, and a fight is a fight. You can’t judge it before it happens. You have to be ready for whatever may happen. Whenever someone goes in the octagon with me, I never see it as an easy fight. I see that I need to be prepared for five rounds. The win or the loss will be God’s will. I just need to give it my best in there.

Who might be next after Evinger?

Justino: Since Holly Holm fought for the 145-pound belt, I believe it’d be a good fight. The fans would like it. She’s a striker. She likes standup. I like standup. Why not? It could be my next fight. I know she’s up there for the 135-pound belt. Maybe if she fights for it, or wins the belt – though I believe it stays with Amanda (Nunes, current UFC bantamweight champ). If that opportunity comes up, it’s a fight that I think all fans would like to watch. Who knows?

Do you think there is such a thing as fighters being scared of certain fights or opponents?

Justino: I believe some athletes are scared. But they have to work on that. Athletes can’t be scared. Scared of what? Losing? Anyone can lose. Some days you win, and some days you lose. We’re in a sport in which it’s impossible for both fighters to come out victorious. You need to give it your best, train and leave it in God’s hands. It’s insecurity. But losing is not the end of the world. It happens to everyone, naturally. But you have to be prepared to give it your best. If the other person is better that day, they’re going to win. If you’re a fighter, you can’t lose – you can lose a battle, and not the war. You need to keep going. That’s what the fans like: overcoming. Getting back out there and winning again. That’s what makes athletes grow, and that’s what makes the fans follow you – overcoming adversity.

Your contract with the update has been reported to expire in October. Do you have any plans when it comes to that? Do you feel that, with that deadline approaching, there’s more pressure on your next fight?

Justino: I’m thinking about this fight now. If I’m happy, I’ll keep working with them. There’s no reason why I wouldn’t. (But) as far as my opponent goes, I don’t think there’s pressure. I need to be ready to fight at my best. And I always leave it in God’s hands. If His plan is for me to win the belt and the fight, I’ll win. If that’s not His plan, it’s OK. I’m prepared. I don’t see it as added pressure on me. I see myself as the champ. I’ll defend my belt. But there’s no pressure. I have to train, to be ready, give it my best inside the octagon and leave the win in God’s hands.

You’re already looking slimmer on social media this time. How’s the weight coming along?

Justino: I think these three years I’ve been cutting to make the (140-pound) catchweight helped a little in staying lighter. It made it easier for my (145-pound) division. It’s not easy, but I believe I’ve been getting better with my diet every day. I’ve learned a lot in these three years of dieting. Now it’s a lot more professional. I’m very happy with the results. I’m working and training well, training happy. My last weight cuts, of course, were a good opportunity for me to showcase my work. But I wasn’t going into training happy. The people in my camp are a lot happier that I’m in my division now. I’m happy in training, I’m eating a little more. And I’m enjoying it more. I love my job, so going to the gym (while I’m) happy is a different vibe.

Despite the weight difficulties, would you ever consider trying for a two-division championship?

Justino: Only if they open my division at 155 pounds (laughs).

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Sneak peak: UFC champ Tyron Woodley's childhood explored today on 'In the Clinch' on FS1

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5511200478001
Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

Tyron Woodley is the subject of a special that debuts today on FS1, and the UFC welterweight champion discusses his childhood in Ferguson, Mo.

“In the Clinch with Tyron Woodley” debuts at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT), and replays of the half-hour special air throughout the remainder of the week on FS1 and FS2.

The special focuses on Ferguson’s childhood, his family and how wrestling changed his life and eventually put him on the path to a standout MMA career.

“We lived there for 13 years,” Woodley says of Ferguson, which was under the national spotlight during 2014 rioting and civil unrest. “We would hear gunshots all the time. I used to have to walk up this street to my bus stop. You would look and you always see drug addicts, drug dealers, and you thought, “Am I wearing the right colors? Are they going to want to fight me or rob me?’”

Check out a preview of the special above.

Woodley, the No. 1 fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings (and No. 10 pound-for-pound), returns to action later this month while in search of his second title defense.

Woodley (17-3-1 MMA, 7-2-1 UFC) meets No. 5-ranked Demian Maia (25-6 MMA, 19-6 UFC) in the UFC 214 co-headliner. The event takes place July 29 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., and airs on pay-per-view.

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

UFC 214 lineup again finalized as newcomer Calvin Kattar steps in

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The lineup is again set for this month’s UFC 214 event with the addition of a UFC newcomer.

CES MMA vet and octagon debutant Calvin Kattar (16-2) has replaced injured featherweight Dooho Choi (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) and now meets Andre Fili (16-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC) at the event, officials recently announced. MMA-Today.com first reported it.

UFC 214 takes place July 29 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., the main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FXX and UFC Fight Pass.

Fili vs. Kattar opens the FXX prelims.

Kattar, 29 dubbed “The Boston Finisher,” is a 10-year pro who’s currently riding an eight-fight winning streak. He most recently scored a decision victory over Chris Foster at CES MMA 38 in September. He owns nine stoppages in 16 career wins.

Fili, a 27-year-old Team Alpha Male fighter, upset Hacran Dias via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 96 in October. It extended the win-one, lose-one trend that has formed over the course of his seven-fight UFC tenure.

The official UFC 214 lineup now includes:

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Champ Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones – for light heavyweight title
  • Champ Tyron Woodley vs. Demian Maia – for welterweight title
  • Cristiane Justino vs. Tonya Evinger – for vacant women’s featherweight title
  • Donald Cerrone vs. Robbie Lawler
  • Jimi Manuwa vs. Volkan Oezdemir

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

  • Jason Knight vs. Ricardo Lamas
  • Renan Barao vs. Aljamain Sterling
  • Renato Moicano vs. Brian Ortega
  • Andre Fili vs. Calvin Kattar

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6 p.m. ET)

  • Jarred Brooks vs. Eric Shelton
  • Alexandra Albu vs. Kailin Curran
  • Josh Burkman vs. Drew Dober
  • Dmitrii Smoliakov vs. Adam Wieczorkowski

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Sage Northcutt vs. John Makdessi scratched from UFC 214; both fighters injured

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The planned lightweight bout between Sage Northcutt and John Makdessi has been scratched from UFC 214 later this month.

UFC officials today announced the removal of the contest, citing injuries to both Northcutt (8-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Makdessi (14-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC).

UFC 214 takes place July 29 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FXX and UFC Fight Pass

The fight would’ve Northcutt’s return to the lightweight division after he suffered a submission loss to Mickey Gall in a welterweight contest at UFC on FOX 22 in December. He was originally supposed to fight Claudio Puelles at the event, but Puelles withdrew just over a month out.

UFC officials say the UFC 214 lineup will proceed with 12 scheduled fights.

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Champ Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones – for light heavyweight title
  • Champ Tyron Woodley vs. Demian Maia – for welterweight title
  • Cristiane Justino vs. Tonya Evinger – for vacant women’s featherweight title
  • Donald Cerrone vs. Robbie Lawler
  • Jimi Manuwa vs. Volkan Oezdemir

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

  • Jason Knight vs. Ricardo Lamas
  • Renan Barao vs. Aljamain Sterling
  • Renato Moicano vs. Brian Ortega
  • Andre Fili vs. TBA

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 5:30 p.m. ET)

  • Jarred Brooks vs. Eric Shelton
  • Alexandra Albu vs. Kailin Curran
  • Josh Burkman vs. Drew Dober
  • Dmitrii Smoliakov vs. Adam Wieczorkowski

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Daniel Cormier's thoughts on that Jon Jones-centered UFC 214 trailer

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

The must-see promo for this month’s UFC 214 was about Jon Jones’ quest for redemption.

What does UFC light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier think about that?

“I think the story of redemption is an easy sell,” Cormier told MMAjunkie Radio.

That’s not a knock. Cormier said he enjoyed the video and commended the UFC for giving a highly anticipated grudge match its proper due. An easy sell isn’t necessarily a bad one.

While most of the video was centered around Jones’ (22-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC) story, Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) liked the way he came off – as a counter-point to the former champ’s chaotic rise and fall.

“I feel like, watching it, I was like two parties,” Cormier said. “You saw all the ups and downs of his career, and I was the steady, more adult voice in that promo, which is I think the narrative of the fight. The steady person vs. the up-and-down person.”

That duality will be front and center in the final buildup leading to Cormier and Jones’ rematch, which headlines the UFC 214 pay-per-view July 29 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

Jones is trying to win back the title he lost after a 2015 hit-and-run sent his career into a spiral, leading Cormier to the title after he fell short to Jones at UFC 182.

Cormier, of course, is looking to avenge that loss and keep Jones from completing his redemption story. If he can show the world that bad behavior isn’t always rewarded, he’ll have done his job.

“I like having the opportunity of being the person that doesn’t allow for the redemption,” Cormier said. “I will not allow him to have the ultimate redemption.

“His redemption is in the form of him being able to fight again. His redemption is not being able to be the champion anymore. That is not his end goal any more. His end goal now is to get to the fight, stay out of trouble and become just a fighter again. His story doesn’t end with him getting the belt back.”

For more on UFC 214, 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: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2483 with Daniel Cormier, Laura Sanko and Muhammed Lawal

Stream or download Monday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Daniel Cormier, Laura Sanko and Muhammed Lawal.

Cormier defends his UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 214 on July 29 vs. Jon Jones. Sanko is part of the broadcast team for “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series,” which debuts tomorrow on UFC Fight Pass. Lawal is looking to challenge for the Bellator light heavyweight title later this year.

You can listen below or download the episode from SoundCloud.

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

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Daniel Cormier, Muhammed Lawal, Laura Sanko

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Daniel Cormier, Muhammed Lawal and Laura Sanko.

UFC light-heavyweight champ Cormier meets Jon Jones in UFC 214’s headliner on July 29. Veteran fighter “King Mo,” our in-studio guest host, is in Las Vegas after cornering American Top Team teammates at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale and UFC 213. Sanko, who joins us in studio, is part of the broadcasting team for Dana White’s Contender Series events, which debuts Tuesday on UFC Fight Pass.

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 YouTube pages. 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: Bellator, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie