Dana White thought he'd be mad about Georges St-Pierre vacating UFC title, 'but I'm not'


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

FRESNO, Calif. – UFC President Dana White isn’t surprised by Georges St-Pierre’s decision to relinquish the UFC middleweight championship, but he’s not exactly mad, either.

St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) decided this week to give up the 185-pound belt he won from Michael Bisping (30-9 MMA, 20-9 UFC) last month at UFC 217. It’s the second time in St-Pierre’s UFC career he’s vacated a belt, along with giving up the welterweight title in November 2013 to take a four-year hiatus from competition.

“Rush” cited uncertainty about his fighting future after a recent diagnosis of ulcerative colitis. He was criticized by some for trying to avoid a matchup with interim middleweight champ Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC), who he was contractually obligated to meet in a title unifier.

White didn’t exactly refute that notion following Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 123 post-fight news conference.

“There’s a reason I put that stuff in the contract for him to sign,” White told MMAjunkie. “There’s a reason. Am I shocked? I don’t think anybody’s shocked. He came out, and he hand-picked Bisping and went away again. So, whatever – it is what it is.

“I thought I would be (mad), but I’m not. I expected it. Listen, I had him sign a contract that said he would defend against Whittaker for a reason. Because I knew he wouldn’t.”

White said he has no idea what the future holds for St-Pierre, who believes his weight-gain and diet program led to his health issues, which is why a return to middleweight seems unlikely.

St-Pierre fighting at his natural weight of 170 seems like the most obvious situation should he compete again. White said he’s not convinced that happens, either, because he simply doesn’t feel there are any fights St-Pierre finds appealing.

“He doesn’t want to fight anybody at welterweight,” White said. “That’s why he fought Bisping. He didn’t want to fight (Tyron) Woodley. He didn’t want to fight (Stephen) ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. He didn’t want to fight any of those guys. He only wanted to fight Michael Bisping. He did, and now he’s off again. I’m not shocked; I’m not mad. It is what it is.”

For complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/t2pBbXqn6WUG8Z2WigLLpQ/290154”, customAnalytics: true, title: “St-Pierre def. Bisping”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Georges St-Pierre respects Michael Bisping for quick turnaround, criticizes UFC for allowing it

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Georges St-Pierre praised Michael Bisping but questioned the UFC for the fight with Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Fight Night 122 that took place just three weeks after “Rush” claimed the UFC middleweight title from Bisping.

St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) beat Bisping (30-9 MMA, 20-9 UFC) by third-round submission at UFC 217 in early November to win the 185-pound belt. Bisping agreed to fight Gastelum (14-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) as a replacement for Anderson Silva just three weeks later, and the result was a brutal first-round knockout loss.

After the contest there was a wide range of opinions on Bisping’s quick turnaround and whether he should have been allowed back in the octagon so soon after being dropped and choked unconscious by St-Pierre. Several fighters criticized the UFC, and longtime commentator Joe Rogan called it a “crazy” decision. St-Pierre has only positive things to say about “The Count” from a personal standpoint took umbrage with the fighter safety aspect.

“That was not a good thing to do medically,” St-Pierre said in an interview with TSN in Canada. “He took a big risk, and I respect that. He took a big risk. If he would have succeed, he would have been like a hero. ‘Oh my God, he just lost the title and came back with zero preparation, boom he wins a fight.’ I think he tried to do something that was very, very risky.

“At the time if he would have achieved it, it would have been a very big reward for him. I can respect that. I can respect the idea that he had, the goal he had doing that. However, I believe for the UFC it was not good to let an athlete fight after getting concussed in a fight for the world title and then getting choked out. I don’t think it was medically a good thing for the UFC.”

UFC President Dana White said recently that he had no regrets about booking Bisping for two event headliners in a 21-day span. Bisping originally said he had no regrets, either, but as time wore he’s admitted he made an impulsive choice that wasn’t in his best interest.

St-Pierre understands why Bisping would make the decision, and although it didn’t work out in his favor, he said he can relate to Bisping’s thought-process.

“For Michael, as a fighter, I understand his point of view,” St-Pierre said. “He wanted to turn around the table, and he wanted to do something that was special. I can understand that. Myself coming back after four years, it was a risk, and I wanted to do something special and succeed, and I did it. Unfortunately for Michael, it failed. But I can respect that from a man.”

For complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.


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

Coach: Michael Bisping's 'done enough' in career, not worth continuing only for money


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

DETROIT – Jason Parillo plans to have a conversation with Michael Bisping about his fighting future following the former UFC middleweight champion’s loss to Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Fight Night 122 a week ago.

Parillo, who has served as one of Bisping’s (30-9 MMA, 20-9 UFC) primary trainers for the past several years, doesn’t believe his fighter needs to continue to compete if he’s only doing it for the money. “The Count” was a UFC titleholder a month ago, but after back-to-back stoppage losses against Gastelum and Georges St-Pierre within a three-week span, Parillo doesn’t believe more fights are necessary.

“In my opinion, Michael Bisping’s done enough,” Parillo told MMAjunkie. “I don’t think Michael Bisping ever has to fight again. I think that he had such a phenomenal career – if we are just fighting for money, maybe it’s not worth it at this point. He’s made a lot of money. He can retire and be fine for the rest of his life. He’ll never be fine just sitting around being fine. He’s going to go out and be making noise doing something else. That’s a conversation that’s going to be had over the course of time, obviously.”

Bisping, 38, said following his brutal first-round knockout loss to Gastelum in Shanghai that he intends on having one more fight before hanging up his gloves for good. UFC Fight Night 127 is scheduled to take place March 17 in London, and as arguably the most successful British fighter in history, Bisping said he would like to have his farewell in his home country.

The issue, however, is that the event is a little more than three months away. Bisping took considerable damage between his loss to Gastelum and bloody third-round submission loss to St-Pierre at UFC 217, and Parillo said another fight so soon is not what he views as an ideal retirement scenario.

“The wound is still a little fresh,” Parillo said. “I’m still a little down about his last fight. Not because he lost. You’re going to be down. I tell these guys, ‘Don’t worry about what people say and what people think’ and the whole nine yards. But, at the end of the day you’re emotionally attached to these guys when you’re part of it. You’re not in there fighting, but you feel the wins and losses and the losses hurt. I want to see Mike rest. I can’t even get my mind wrapped around him fighting anybody at this point. I don’t even want to think about fighting anybody right now.”

Bisping, who holds the UFC record for most fights at 29 and is one of two athletes with more than six hours of octagon fight time, has received some criticism for agreeing to a quick turnaround against Gastelum at UFC Fight Night 122. UFC commentator Joe Rogan said the decision “does not make sense,” and several other fighters questioned the potential health risks.

Parillo said he fully supported Bisping’s choice, but now knowing the result, admits he would change things if he could. He knows Bisping is content with how everything unfolded, though, and as long as that’s the case, Parillo said he can rest easy at night.

“Hindsight, you’re always going to say it’s a regret,” Parillo said. “You’re going to say that about (regrets): ‘(Expletive), we shouldn’t have done that.’ At the end of the day, you can’t go back on it and have regrets really about it. That’s Michael Bisping. Michael Bisping’s going to continue. That’s his character and the personality he is. He wanted to take that fight and he knows that he’s going to live with himself no matter what happens and no matter what you say or I say or any of the fans say.

“At the end of the day Michael Bisping’s just fine with who Michael Bisping is. He’s fine with the choices he makes and I know that as a coach. Everybody on his team knows that. He made a decision and he knows he’s going to live with it no matter what direction it goes.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/wxf4t9d2Nf5GeFGVKDWQj6/287908”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Gastelum def. Bisping”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie's 'Fight of the Month' for November: Who thrilled most in an event-heavy month?

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best fights from November. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Fight of the Month” award for November.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting on your choice.

* * * *

The Nominees

T.J. Dillashaw def. Cody Garbrandt at UFC 217

The bad blood between Cody Garbrandt (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) and T.J. Dillashaw (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) finally got a chance to boil over, and an ex-champ got his title back in the grudge match with a former teammate.

Dillashaw stunned Garbrandt with a head kick, then moments later planted him again with a right hand before finishing him with a series of punches on the ground. The end came midway through the second round – and came after Dillashaw was saved by the bell in the first round when Garbrandt nearly had him finished.

Instagram Photo

Georges St-Pierre def. Michael Bisping at UFC 217

Georges St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) promised to make history against Michael Bisping (30-9 MMA, 20-9 UFC), and he delivered by becoming just the fourth fighter in UFC history to win belts in two weight classes when he claimed the middleweight belt.

Former longtime welterweight champ St-Pierre was successful in his return to the octagon after nearly four years when he defeated Bisping by third-round technical submission, tying the record for most wins in UF history.

Instagram Photo

Dustin Poirier def. Anthony Pettis at UFC Fight Night 120

After faltering in his first UFC main event, Dustin Poirier (22-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC) thrived in his second when he defeated former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (20-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) in a thrilling bout.

Poirier’s solid run since returning to the 155-pound division in early 2015 continued with the victory over Pettis. It was a back-and-forth affair, and while the finish was anticlimactic due to an injury, “The Diamond” won a highlight entertaining bout.

Instagram Photo

Frank Camacho def. Damien Brown at UFC Fight Night 121

In a no-brainer “Fight of the Night,” Frank Camacho (21-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Damien Brown (17-11 MMA, 2-3 UFC) beat each other up for 15 minutes in a lightweight affair.

In the end, however, it was Camacho who got the most work done, and bloodied Brown up on his way to a split decision win. The judges rewarded his output with scores of 30-27 and 29-28; Brown got a dissenting 29-28 score.

Instagram Photo

Fabricio Werdum def. Marcin Tybura at UFC Fight Night 121

Not many were expecting the heavyweight main event between Fabricio Werdum (23-7-1 MMA, 13-4 UFC) and Marcin Tybura (16-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) to go the distance. But that’s exactly what happened.

Werdum and Tybura went five rounds, combining for a single-fight heavyweight record 282 significant strikes landed. In the end it was Brazil’s Werdum, a former UFC heavyweight champion, who took the unanimous decision.

Instagram Photo

* * * *

The winner: Dustin Poirier vs. Anthony Pettis

Poirier and Pettis delivered on the expectations, engaging in a wildly entertaining fight that saw “The Diamond” take home a third-round TKO in a blood-soaked affair.

Poirier took the center at the start, looking to press, but Pettis was there to open with a few powerful kicks to the legs and then up high. A Pettis flying knee just missed, and Poirier then changed levels and quickly drove the action to the floor. Poirier kept the legs wrapped as Pettis patiently worked to a sitting position and looked to crawl to his feet. Poirier stayed heavy on top, and Pettis turned to a kimura, but Poirier reacted well and was able to pull free and move to his opponent’s guard. A slick Pettis sweep created a scramble, and the two moved back to the feet, where both men landed crisp right hands.

Poirier came up short on another takedown, but a nice right hand followed and briefly stumbled Pettis. Poirier turned up the head, and combinations rocked his opponent. Pettis answered with a spinning backfist that stunned his opponent, but Poirier and continued with the assault until the bell.

Pettis seemed fully recovered to start the second, coming out aggressive and looking to strike. Poirier again turned to the takedown, getting the fight to the floor and battling through a triangle attempt from his opponent. Poirier scored with a few big elbows from the top, slicing open Pettis, who was forced to roll and expose his back. With blood streaming down his face and impacting his vision, Pettis was able to spin inside and take top position, scoring a few big punches and elbows of his own. Wild scrambles followed, with both men covered in blood and battling for position. Eventually, they returned to the feet, where Pettis scored a takedown but was unable to control Poirier, who slipped out the back door and took top position. With blood pooling on the face of Pettis, referee Keith Peterson called time and brought the doctor in to take a look.

Despite a few nasty cuts in dangerous spots, the fight was allowed to continue, and Pettis locked in a dangerous triangle choke in the final seconds. Poirier survived the hold and wound up on top, striking until the bell.

Both men looked battered to start the third, and after a few back-and-forth strikes, Poirier again pushed inside for a takedown. Pettis looked to scramble free, but Poirier was able to slip around to the back and lock in a body triangle. Pettis did well to battle the hands, but as he again tried to spin inside the hold, Poirier transitioned over to mount. The torque was too much for Pettis, and he verbally submitted due to an apparent injury, resulting in a TKO finish.

“It was weird,” Poirier said of the finish. “I thought I was going to get the head-and-arm or rear-naked choke. He was hurt, and I felt the power leave him. You know the point in a fight when a guy gets broken. I do that to a lot of these guys.

“I’m a nasty dude. I love this. This is what I live for. The talking, calling people out and acting crazy? That’s not what I do. I fight.”

Take Our Poll
(function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src=’http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js’;s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !==’undefined’)jQuery(d.body).trigger(‘pd-script-load’);}(document,’script’,’pd-polldaddy-loader’));

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/oLeXGUMhkr8i7LDMVe8As8/286966”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Poirier def. Pettis”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie's 'Submission of the Month' for November: A slick choke caps a historic return

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best submissions from November: Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Submission of the Month” award for November.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting for your choice.

* * * *

The Nominees

Ilima Macfarlane def. Emily Ducote at Bellator 186

Ilima Macfarlane (7-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) may have become Bellator’s inaugural women’s flyweight champion, but Emily Ducote (6-3 MMA, 4-2 BMMA) did not go down without a major fight.

Macfarlane finally put Ducote away with an armbar and a verbal submission from a triangle choke late in the fifth round. But Ducote tested her most of the fight in what may have been a close one had it gone to the judges. The finish, however, came with less than 90 left in the final round.

Instagram Photo

Georges St-Pierre def. Michael Bisping at UFC 217

Georges St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) promised to make history against Michael Bisping (30-9 MMA, 20-9 UFC), and he delivered by becoming just the fourth fighter in UFC history to win belts in two weight classes when he claimed the middleweight belt.

Former longtime welterweight champ St-Pierre was successful in his return to the octagon after nearly four years when he defeated Bisping by third-round technical submission, tying the record for most wins in UF history.

Instagram Photo

Haim Gozali def. Arsen Faitovich at Bellator 188

Haim Gozali (8-4 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) made his way to the Bellator cage with style, complete with Israeli musical group The Shadow performing a song specifically for him. To be clear, Gozali entered with style and finished his fight the same way.

Arsen Faitovich (4-2 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) made the big mistake of shooting for a take down in the opening moments, and Gozali made him pay, transitioning to a triangle choke and putting Faitovich to sleep in his promotional debut.

Instagram Photo

Nik Lentz def. Will Brooks at UFC Fight Night 121

There was a little bit of bad blood between Nik Lentz (28-8-2 MMA, 12-5-1 UFC) and Will Brooks (18-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) heading into their lightweight showdown, but in the end “The Carny” emerged victorious.

Lentz submitted Brooks with a second-round guillotine choke, then called out anyone at his former camp, and Brooks’ current camp, American Top Team – with a $50,000 bet on the table. Lentz forced the 5-1 favored Brooks to tap in the second round.

Instagram Photo

Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Sheymon Moraes at UFC Fight Night 122

Zabit Magomedsharipov (14-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) made things look easy when he extended his winning streak to 10 with a dominant performance former WSOF title challenger Sheymon Moraes (9-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC).

Magomedsharipov outworked Moraes for nearly 15 minutes, then put the Brazilian away with a late anaconda choke. Magomedsharipov was on his way to an easy win on the judges’ scorecards, but no doubt was glad for the finish, which came with 30 seconds left in the fight.

* * * *

The Winner: Georges St-Pierre

After four years away, St-Pierre made UFC history in his long-awaited return to the octagon against Bisping.

St-Pierre, who left the sport as a long-reigning welterweight champion, returned to the UFC and choked out middleweight champion Bisping to become the new 185-pound titleholder and just the fourth two-division champion in the promotion’s history.

St-Pierre went to the center and faked a kick while Bisping circled on the outside. Bisping tried to pepper a jab, but St-Pierre landed a right hand over the top. He tried a spinning kick shortly after that. St-Pierre missed on a right hand that had bad intentions. Bisping landed a left, but Bisping hit a solid jab seconds later. With two minutes left, St-Pierre clipped Bisping with a right hand, but couldn’t drop him.

A spinning kick whiffed for St-Pierre with 90 seconds left, and with a minute left St-Pierre dropped down for a takedown and secured it. It didn’t take long for Bisping to get back to his feet, but St-Pierre landed a right and a glancing kick before the horn. If anyone wondered how St-Pierre would respond after four years off, they got their answer.

St-Pierre tried a side kick early in the second, then tried it again 90 seconds into the frame. A right hand clipped Bisping not long after that. But Bisping’s best punch of the fight came a little more than two minutes into the round when he popped St-Pierre’s head back with a right. With two minutes left, St-Pierre got Bisping down in the center of the octagon and got to half-guard.

But without taking any damage, Bisping was right back to his feet and landed a big right hand. Bisping nearly took St-Pierre off his feet with a punch and slip, and St-Pierre looked to be much slower deep in the second than he was at the start of the round. Bisping glanced a high kick off St-Pierre’s head, then another not long before the round ended.

Fifteen seconds into the third, St-Pierre took Bisping down for the third time. But Bisping landed elbows from the bottom and cut St-Pierre open. Bisping wrapped St-Pierre up in guard and played defense from his back. St-Pierre got an elbow through. Just past the three-minute mark, Bisping got back to his feet. St-Pierre was a bloody mess from Bisping’s elbows. Bisping landed a right hand, but St-Pierre landed seconds later.

But a perfect left hook landed for St-Pierre and put Bisping on the canvas. St-Pierre dropped down and started hammering away with punches. John McCarthy gave the champ plenty of time to defend and work his way out. But St-Pierre let Bisping get out – only to take his back and quickly sink in a rear-naked choke.

Bisping refused to tap and went out cold, and St-Pierre was the latest two-division champion in UFC history.

I knew he had a problem with the shot coming from the right,” St-Pierre said afterward. “That’s what we did most of the fight. (The submission) was a trick. I think the best thing in fighting is to set up a trap.”

Take Our Poll
(function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src=’http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js’;s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !==’undefined’)jQuery(d.body).trigger(‘pd-script-load’);}(document,’script’,’pd-polldaddy-loader’));


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

Ex-UFC champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk's message for critics: I will be more 'cocky,' 'arrogant' and 'loud'


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

SHANGHAI – Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s first pro MMA loss might have cost her a UFC belt, but it has in no way shaken her confidence.

Jedrzejczyk was on the losing end of one of the year’s biggest upsets, when a first-round knockout gave Rose Namajunas the 115-pound title earlier this month at UFC 217. Given the particularly rough loss, in New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden no less, few would fault the dethroned champ for needing some time to lick her wounds.

But judging by Jedrzejczyk’s chat with reporters in Shanghai, where she’s currently fulfilling guest-fighter duties ahead of UFC Fight Night 122, it seems that won’t be necessary.

“My life is better than before,” Jedrzejczyk said. “Some people, they can’t believe I’m smiling, I’m in good mood, and I’m looking forward. They think I should sleep and cry and do nothing. I do more. I’ve had more offers to work with big companies – the biggest companies everywhere than I had before.

“Because they see a human. At the end, they see a fighter. They see a professional athlete. I do my business from beginning to the end. And this is who I am. And I’m stronger.”

While Jedrzejczyk wasn’t exactly planning to come up short in her sixth attempt to defend the title she’d held since March 2015, she finds solace in a few things. The overwhelming support she’s received from her team, sponsors, her “real fans” and even the ex-minister of Poland – who was present at her fight – are among them.

The support, however, isn’t unanimous. While good-spirited and humorous in general, Jedrzejczyk has also been known to turn up the intimidation factor as fight time approaches. And, in the specific case of the recent title-costing bout, the Polish ex-champ’s jabs toward Namajunas’ mental state rubbed many the wrong way.

Add to that Namajunas’ post-fight vows to set a “good example” in MMA and the narrative pretty much writes itself.

But if you think the “accident” that took place at UFC 217 will translate to a change of attitude on Jedrzejczyk’s end, think again.

“People who are saying I was cocky or arrogant, this is why I lost,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I just want to tell you that I will be more cocky. I will be more arrogant. And I will be more loud. Because I know my value. I’m bigger than that night at UFC 217. Mistakes happen to everyone. And don’t you worry.

“But it was not a mistake. Because I didn’t do any mistakes. It was an accident. And people don’t know, I’m not going to blame it on anyone. Because I’m a classy lady. I’m a professional athlete. And I take this.”

Jedrzejczyk was ready for the title affair. Even two days before it, Jedrzejczyk says, she was in great shape – and she has her open workouts to show for it. But “something happened.” And while she won’t go into detail about it, she asks that people don’t place the blame of it on her team or in the UFC.

“It was not like a mental issue, or stress or pressure,” Jedrzejczyk said.

At the end of the day, Jedrzejczyk (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) gives “big respect” to Namajunas (7-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) for not only winning, but doing it in style. In fact, when it comes to all of the women she’s met in the octagon, Jedrzejczyk is clear in that she was never coming off a place of disrespect.

“When people say I don’t respect my opponents – I do respect them, more than 10 other fighters together,” Jedrzejczyk said. “Because I show that respect in how I work my ass hard every day in the gym. And that’s the thing. I never talk about their families. I never say bad things to my opponents.”

But, at the same time, the Polish strawweight believes that the belt she’s set on reclaiming is simply “on vacations” with the new champ.

“I’m still the champion,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I made this division. People texting me, ‘You’re not the strawweight queen anymore. You’re not Joanna champion.’ If you go the Olympics, you win the gold medal. If you flunk the Olympics four years after, you’re still a gold Olympic medalist.

“Same with the champion. I built this division. I defended my title five times. It means something.”

Now, after camp for UFC 217 and media duties, Jedrzejczyk is going to spend two months at home in her native Poland. She plans on returning to the U.S. for pre-camp in mid-January and also hinted at an exciting “big global thing” that she will be involved in, thought the former champion can’t yet give details.

When she returns to American Top Team, though, will Jedrzejczyk be preparing for a rematch?

“I’m clever, I don’t want a rematch,” Jedrzejczyk said. “What if (Namajunas) fights in February? What if she fights in March? What if she, for example, she will lose the belt? I will get the rematch. But like I said, I want my baby back. So I want to fight for the title. And this is what’s going to happen.”

To hear from Jedrzejczyk, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/PRfxKkNk5hxschbqceYpyk/286095”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Namajunas def. Jedrzejczyk”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Georges St-Pierre: 'My entourage told me it was a bad idea' to fight Michael Bisping at UFC 217


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Georges St-Pierre admits there was some conflict within his team regarding whether it was wise to make his return from a four-year layoff to challenge Michael Bisping for the middleweight title at UFC 217. As we now know, though, his decision paid off.

St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC), a former longtime welterweight champ, moved up a weight class to challenge then-champ Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) for the 185-pound title earlier this month at UFC 217 in New York. “Rush” emerged with the gold via third-round submission, proving wrong his naysayers, some of whom came from his own camp.

St-Pierre’s longtime training partner Rory MacDonald said he would have advised a different comeback plan. The French-Canadian’s longtime mentor Kristof Midoux publicly criticized his preparedness for the bout, and even grappling coach John Danaher admitted to having some doubts along the way.

Despite all that, St-Pierre claimed the belt from Bisping with a solid performance, which made him just the fourth fighter in UFC history to win belts in two weight classes. That historic moment is what St-Pierre was pursuing for his comeback, and he said he relishes his accomplishment even more after what he was forced to overcome.

“What I’ve done, it’s never going to be taken away from me,” St-Pierre told MMAjunkie at a media appearance following UFC 217. “It’s something I will keep for the rest of my life. Maybe one day I will go through some negative thing in my life. I will be able to think back about that moment, and it will make me smile. That’s what it is what people don’t understand. I do this to live a moment. (UFC 217), I lived a moment.

“I feel very privileged to live that moment. It was a big risk, but bigger the risk, bigger the reward. Even though a lot of people in my entourage told me it was a bad idea, I always trusted my myself and I always believed I was able to do it, and I did it and I’m very proud.”

In the wake of his legendary win, which took place Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden and aired on pay-per-view, St-Pierre said he was going on vacation before resuming business and deciding what’s next. He’s contractually obligated to meet interim middleweight champ Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) in a title-unification bout, but he also knows that could change at any time, so he left the door open for a return to welterweight.

St-Pierre also hinted that there’s no guarantee he actually fights again. At 36, he has only so many prime years left, and one of his biggest fears is to stick around the octagon beyond his expiration date.

For St-Pierre, the way he ends his career is just as important to his legacy as everything else he does along the way. He said that’s something he keeps in mind as he plots out his next move.

“The goal in this game is to retire on top, to not leave too late like a lot of guys like Muhammad Ali,” St-Pierre said. “They made the mistake of believing they were on top, but when you start to get a little bit greedy thinking that you’re special – we’re all human beings, and nobody is invisible. There’s no such thing as being the strongest man. When I was young, I wanted to do MMA because I wanted to be the strongest man. There’s no such thing. I realize now. Everybody can beat everybody on any given day.”

For complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/t2pBbXqn6WUG8Z2WigLLpQ/285861”, customAnalytics: true, title: “St-Pierre def. Bisping”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch Montreal Canadiens fans give UFC champ Georges St-Pierre a rousing ovation

Georges St-Pierre came back after nearly four years away from MMA and choked out Michael Bisping earlier this month at UFC 217 to become the new UFC middleweight champion, making him just the fourth fighter in UFC history to hold title belts in two divisions.

Pretty much everyone was in awe of what St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) accomplished that night, especially after the long layoff. Even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reacted.

The love from Canada continued Tuesday night as St-Pierre, with the title belt over his shoulder, walked out to center ice for the ceremonial puck drop in his hometown before the Canadiens-Blue Jackets game at Bell Centre.

Via Twitter:

So what’s next for St-Pierre? Well, first some time off. And then hopefully after that he unifies the middleweight title with interim champion Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC).

We’ll be waiting, but hopefully it’s not too long.

For complete coverage of UFC 217, 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 Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Justin Buchholz talks Cody Garbrandt's UFC 217 title loss and current Team Alpha Male role


Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Cody Garbrandt’s first attempt to defend the UFC bantamweight title didn’t go as planned. But given the rough road there, coach Justin Buchholz thinks the former champion’s solid start at UFC 217 served as a testament to his skills.

Garbrandt (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) was a 2-1 betting favorite heading into UFC 217’s co-headliner against then-ex-champ and former Team Alpha Male stablemate T.J. Dillashaw (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC). And his heavy hands almost confirmed those expectations in the first round, when he had the challenger in serious trouble.

But Dillashaw was able to turn things in around in the second, pulling off an unexpected knockout to take back the bantamweight title.

Buchholz, who cornered Garbrandt, hadn’t gotten back to Team Alpha Male by the time he checked in with MMAjunkie Radio. But he shared some thoughts on Garbrandt’s comeback.

“When it comes to Cody regaining the title, it’s honestly just the focus he has,” Buchholz said. “A focused Cody Garbrandt, man, you saw what he did against Dominick Cruz. You saw what he did last year. And he was on the losing end of kind of a firefight.

“It will be an interesting process, coming back.”

Buchholz went into some detail in regard to less-than-ideal leadup to the drama-filled UFC 217 match. The two bantamweights, of course, were originally supposed to meet in July, after they were done with their roles as opposing coaches on Season 25 of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

A back injury, however, forced “No Love” out of the booking – and we got about four extra months of beefing, with the occasional finger-pointing and even controversial leaked sparring footage.

When the two finally met in the octagon on Nov. 4, it was Dillashaw’s night. And Buchholz in no way takes away from Dillashaw’s merit there; he was always acutely aware of how dangerous of an opponent he was as they headed into the fight.

But what we saw up in the octagon was the result of a process that, especially considering such a worthy opponent, could’ve been better.

“Honestly, Cody, he was hurt a lot this year,” Buccholz said. “This is a known fact: The fight is won or lost in the gym. It’s such a known fact. So the camp going into it, it’s everything. With Cody’s injuries and what was going on with the gym. I just felt like – especially to get someone like T.J., T.J. is one of the most sickest competitors I’ve ever seen. He will train hard, and he will do whatever it takes to win this fight and this competition. He’s so ultra competitive.

“Cody has that competitive streak, as well, but I’ve never really seen another fighter like T.J. who has that type of just singular focus like that. And to train for T.J. Dillashaw for a year – this guy’s training, just in the gym, just trying to get back everything that he thinks was taken from him or whatnot. And this is the guy we’re going to face. I knew we were in for a tough fight.

“People would always ask me, they’d say, ‘What is the tougher fight?’ They’d do the MMA math, and they’d say, ‘Cody humiliated Dominick Cruz, and Cruz beat T.J.’ But that is MMA math. And we know it’s all bull(expletive). It doesn’t matter. It’s the setup. It’s the matchup. I knew we had a super tough competitor out there. And it was hard to get Cody the camp that I felt we needed to deal with someone like T.J.”

After the fight, Garbrandt briefly touched on the “long, hard road” and the adjustments he had to make “on the fly” due to the multiple procedures he had to have stemming from his back injury. But ultimately, he reiterated he made no excuses for the loss.

“I’m just thankful to be here and have health,” Garbrandt added.

Garbrandt went on to add that, at least, he went out on his shield. And the coach agrees that, all in all, his athlete did showcase some serious skill in there.

“With all that being said about Cody’s camp, he still almost put away in the first round,” Buccholz said. “That is a credit to how amazing of an athlete and a fighter he is. He was looking good. He was looking good and got caught with that kick.”

Buchholz also took the opportunity to address another topic that’s been on the news, though this time it’s one involving himself: his situation at Team Alpha Male. The UFC vet, who recently made a victorious return to fighting, caused some waves late last month when he announced that he was no longer the head MMA coach for the Sacramento-based team.

Buchholz, who now leads the muay Thai training there and has some “deep” loyalties to fighters such as UFC vets Darren Elkins and Cynthia Calvillo, clarified to MMAjunkie Radio that the situation wasn’t a “business thing.”

“I don’t run the MMA program anymore,” Buccholz said. “We were at the old gym, and I think two months into this gym we moved into a new facility. The program I had set and worked on and had coached over, it wasn’t really what I was trying to do.

“There was a lot of influences coming in. It wasn’t the same tone. I don’t want to be considered the head of a program I’m not in complete control over. It’s basically what happened.

” … Business aside, I love coaching. I love the team. I was the first guy to fight in the UFC on the team, when everyone was at WEC. I’ve done a lot for the team. So it’s not really a business thing, it’s just – I have these standards in the way that I like to run things.”

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

For complete coverage of UFC 217, 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.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/KoBeZjHtZFD3Q5mhhdpHZi/284451”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Dillashaw def. Garbrandt”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

'Big' John McCarthy breaks down bizarre situation that led to Curtis Blaydes' TKO win at UFC 217


Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

The star-studded UFC 217 had no shortage of remarkable moments. While most of it was for good reasons, such as massive upsets and unexpected finishes, there was also some negative attention – specifically, some head-scratching refereeing.

The first confusing moment of the night happened in the second bout, when an illegal blow thrown by Curtis Blaydes (8-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) on Aleksei Oleinik (55-11-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) prompted the referee to step in and halt the action. The replay showed that while an illegal kick had been thrown, it had only grazed the ear of Oleinik.

When a doctor’s assessment determined that Oleinik could no longer continue, suspense set in as to what would follow. By the letter of the law, an illegal strike had ultimately made its way to a fighter. But, quite obviously, the fight-stopping damage had not stemmed from it.

Ultimately, Blaydes was declared the TKO winner of the heavyweight bout. And, amid the mess, the MMA community seemed to agree the right call was made. But considering both intent behind the strike and the fact that the blow did touch him, would Oleinik be right in disagreeing with the result?

According to longtime referee “Big” John McCarthy, the answer is a clear no. The referee’s job, he explained, is first and foremost to ensure the safety of the fighters. And, with that in mind, all the steps taken by Blake Grice on that night were the correct ones.

“Blaydes did something that was illegal,” McCarthy said. “He threw a kick and he did touch the ear of Alexi Oleinik. Blake Grice comes in, he calls a stop to the action. When he calls a stop to the action, he separates the fighters – he does exactly what he’s supposed to do.”

When the doctors of the particularly cautious New York State Athletic Commission stepped in to assess the wobbly Oleinik, who’d been through the ringer in the minutes prior to the stoppage, it was decided he was too hurt to go on, which posed additional questions.

“So what was he damaged by?” McCarthy said. “Was he damaged by a foul or was he damaged by legal blows? Well, he was damaged by legal blows. All of the blows that hurt him and made it to where the doctors are now saying, ‘He is unable to continue’ were all done legally in that fight.

“What stopped the fight was an illegal action by Blaydes. He ends up throwing a kick. Did the kick touch Alexei? Yes, it did. It touched his ear. Did it have any effect? Did it hurt him? No. It had no effect on any of the damage he had occurred. ”

Faced with an illegality, the referee had to weigh the options.

“(The referee) says, ‘Yes, there was a foul. And if the fighter can go on, I may take a point for that foul. But I can’t take a point because the fight is not going on,’” McCarthy said. “And I can’t go to the judges scorecards based on the round that this is in.

“So I can now determine that this is either a no-contest, or I have a disqualification, or I can say that because the doctors say that the fight can’t go and that was caused by legal blow, this is a TKO victory by Blaydes.”

Ultimately, McCarthy believes that Grice’s thought process was one that did right by Blaydes, by the commission and even, as unhappy as he may have been hearing it at the time, Oleinik.

McCarthy also took the time to address what became yet another controversial point of that fight. Once the instant replay was requested, UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Rather could be seen showing it to officials on a screen octagonside.

Considering that the commissions are supposed to work independently from the UFC, and that Ratner is ultimately an employee who looks out for the interests of the promotion, his seeming involvement in NYSAC’s decision raised some eyebrows. And it wasn’t the first time.

Ratner’s role, McCarthy explained, is to use his expertise to provide insight and answers to the UFC’s commentary team – not commission officials. And, while he’ll admit that Ratner has in the past been (unwillingly) “stuck” in situations that he shouldn’t be involved in, that’s not at all what happened at UFC 217.

“What occurred was, Blake asked for instant replay,” McCarthy said. “And the commission has a monitor, but they couldn’t get the replay up on the monitor. So Marc took and swung his monitor around, said, ‘Here it is.’ And let them view his monitor.

“If you look, Marc’s not giving him any information. He’s got (referee) Dan Miragliotta there and he watches the replay on that monitor that is Marc’s monitor.”

To hear more from McCarthy on refereeing, instant replay and UFC 217 controversy, 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, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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