OSAC dismisses Michael Chiesa's appeal to overturn controversial UFC Fight Night 112 loss

Controversial or not, Kevin Lee’s rear-naked choke finish of Michael Chiesa at UFC Fight Night 112 will stand.

After discussing Chiesa’s (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) request for a formal hearing to try and change Lee’s (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) submission win into a no-contest, the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission decided there “wasn’t enough evidence” to overturn referee Mario Yamasaki’s decision to stop the headlining contest in the first round.

The lightweight bout took place at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City on June 25.

In a statement obtained by MMAjunkie, OSAC administrator Joe Miller wrote that officials reviewed the tape of the bout “in detail” and read the statements from both Chiesa and Yamasaki before the consensus ruling.

“In the referee’s opinion, just prior to the stoppage, your hands stopped defending the choke, were in mid-air, wobbly and limp, and were moving toward your waist,” the statement read. “This is confirmed by watching the tape in super slow motion.

“The referee had no way to know that you were actually relaxing, engaging your core and shoulders to shrug or release the pressure and flex your neck muscles. At that point, he was in perfect position and acted to what he was seeing.”

Chiesa cited Yamasaki’s “long history of failing to meet the standards officials are held to” in his formal appeal. The lightweight was very vocal in his outrage with the ref’s stoppage from the get-go, claiming he was never unconscious and was still defending himself. UFC president Dana White shared the lightweight’s discontentment.

Yamasaki, in turn, stood by the decision in an interview with MMAjunkie. The ref maintained that it’s his job to intervene whenever a fighter is no longer capable of intelligently defending themselves, and said that he stepped in as soon as Chiesa “went out.”

The OSAC administrator, however, did agree with Chiesa in another bit of his appeal – in which the fighter said the ref failed to see a number of “illegal downward elbows” that later required stitches.

“I do concur that two 12-to-6 elbows were thrown,” the statement said. “But those strikes did not impact the outcome of the bout and I have addressed this mistake with Mr. Yamasaki.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Why Mario Yamasaki still stands by that controversial Kevin Lee-Michael Chiesa stoppage

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When you’re a referee in any sport, criticism kind of comes with the territory. After two decades on the job, MMA ref Mario Yamasaki is taking his freshest batch of it in stride.

Yamasaki saw himself at the center of yet another controversy on June 25, when a first-round stoppage of UFC Fight Night 112’s lightweight headliner between Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) and Michael Chiesa (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) sparked some doubts.

While Lee did seem to have the rear-naked choke secured – and later stood by the finish and the ref’s call (check out the video above) – Chiesa never tapped or verbally submitted.

Chiesa was quick to express his outrage. While still up in the octagon, he said Yamasaki should be fired. Later, he went off on the ref, firmly stating that he was still defending himself. UFC President Dana White shared Chiesa’s wrath and compared Yamasaki to his notoriously least favorite ref, Steve Mazzagatti.

A few weeks later, Yamasaki has had enough time to go back on the events of that evening. And he’s standing by his call.

“It would have been easier to just have let it go on,” Yamasaki told MMAjunkie. “But the rule is clear, and when the fighters stop defending themselves intelligently, the referee must defend them. They don’t have to tap. As soon as he went out, I intervened. I’ve been in this business for over 20 years, and I know what I saw.”

Chiesa, in turn, maintains he never lost consciousness – as stated in the formal appeal he later filed with the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission. The lightweight also noted other alleged oversights made by Yamasaki during the scrap and cited past mistakes by the ref to substantiate his official filing.

Whether the commission might end up overturning the fight, Yamasaki doesn’t think is his place to tell. But he both trusts the commission’s process and defends Chiesa’s right to seek due diligence.

“The athletic commission has already gotten in touch with me so I can respond to what happened,” Yamasaki said. “I think he’s within his right to appeal. Chiesa is a great athlete, certainly one of the best in the world. The commission will assess what happened,, and I’m certain they’ll make the best possible decision.

“Our intention is not to harm anyone. I’ll keep doing my job ethically and certain of what is correct. That’s why I’ve stayed there for years.”

Yamasaki is understanding when it comes to Chiesa’s in-octagon outburst. Considering all the training put into that one moment, he said, the eventual hot-headed reaction is to be expected – and it’s part of the ref’s job to understand people respond to things differently.

And as far as the criticism – including the UFC president’s quite public and inflamed one – goes? Well, much like any other human being, Yamasaki is not necessarily a fan of getting called out. But, considering this is not his first rodeo, he doesn’t take it too personally.

“No one likes being criticized,” Yamasaki said. “Of course it gets to you. We like to get compliments. (But) it’s part of the job. Dana is a great businessman and promoter of the event, and he has the right to express his opinions. Considering I’ve been there for 20 years, I’ve learned a lot with time.

“It’s part of it that fans believe that they’re high-level athletes, that they (think they) know all the rules and that they can do what they see onscreen. I know how to deal with it, and it’s part of the job.”

Referees have to make quick decisions based on their point of view. That leaves room for subjectivity and, consequently, human error. And as much as he’s learned to take criticism in stride, that doesn’t mean he’s immune to his own when he does, in fact, make mistakes.

“I like to re-watch and go back on controversial fights,” Yamasaki said. “I get very upset, because I’m an athlete and fighter (Yamasaki is a jiu-jitsu black belt) before I’m a referee. I know exactly what they’re going through, and like I said, I’m always learning and evolving.

“We can’t be hypocrites. We need to correct things so we can move forward. People who think they know it all will get stuck and become outdated. Life goes by so fast. If we don’t keep up, we’ll fall behind.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Justine Kish smelled poop right after UFC Fight Night 112 loss but didn't know she did it

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Justine Kish had just finished a grueling 15-minute fight with Felice Herrig, which she knew would result in a loss, when suddenly the smell hit her.

“The bell went off, and I noticed something,” Herrig said Thursday on “The Domenick Nati Show” on iHeartRadio. “I was like, ‘What is that smell?’ I’m thinking is it the referee? Did he pass gas or something? And I look on the floor.”

That’s when she saw it. The poop smeared on the mat.

“I knew it wasn’t Felice,” Kish said. “I see myself, and I’m like, ‘Oh no. Oh my God, that’s me.’ And then I’m thinking do I clean it up? What do I do? I look at my corner, I’m pointing, and I’m like, ‘That’s my (expletive) on the floor.’ …

“You’d think I would feel it or something, but no, I was too busy getting the (expletive) choked out of me.”

Kish admits the unfortunate in-cage accident at UFC Fight Night 112 over the weekend “humiliated” her immediately upon realizing what happened. All she wanted to do in that moment was leave the cage.

“Defense mechanism is to leave and clean yourself up,” Kish said. “But it would be very rude to do that.”

So she stood around, with poop in her shorts, and waited until Herrig got her hand raised. Kish said tt felt like forever and once the announcement was made, she made a bee-line for the locker room.

She realized backstage there was no sense in hiding from something everyone had noticed. So she owned it with a post-fight tweet poking fun at herself. Kish made light of a crappy situation and continues to be a good sport about it.

But what did she eat on fight day to cause this?

“Maybe I had a little bit too much fiber,” Kish said. “I had steel cut oatmeal, bacon and eggs, and water, and refuel packs to hydrate. I probably had like a hundred bottles of water just because I had to lose so many pounds. I swear, I promise – I went to the bathroom like 20 times. That’s all part of pre-fight stuff. I didn’t think anything was left in my system.”

It happens. The good news is some unexpected opportunities are on the table for Kish, who said she’s been approached by DUDE Wipes, a disposable wipe product company featured on “Shark Tank,” with a sponsorship offer.

“I’m actually considering it,” said Kish, who adds she’s also “not above” doing an adult diapers pitch. “Because, you know what, we could have some fun with this and maybe make the product less embarrassing or more funny. You know, if it puts a smile on someone’s face.”

That’s the attitude.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Michael Chiesa formally appeals UFC Fight Night 112 loss, cites Mario Yamasaki failure to meet officiating standards

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Just as he promised, Michael Chiesa has indeed filed a formal appeal of his loss to Kevin Lee, seeking to have the result overturned to a no contest.

MMAjunkie today confirmed with Chiesa’s manager, Daniel Rubenstein of Ruby Sports & Entertainment, that the lightweight has asked the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission to review the UFC Fight Night 112 bout, which took place this past Sunday at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.

Chiesa specifically cited referee Mario Yamasaki’s “long history of failing to meet the standards officials are held to” in his request.

“While I understand that mixed martial arts referees have a very difficult job, licensed combatants like me enter into combative contests with the understanding that referees will follow highest standard of conduct,” Chiesa wrote in his appeal. “Mario Yamasaki, the referee in this contest, has a long history of failing to meet the standards officials are held to. For example, at UFC 142, Mr. Yamasaki improperly disqualified Erick Silva in a contest against Carlo Prater. Recently, at UFC Fight Night 105, Mr. Yamasaki publically (sic) said he had ‘no excuses’ for his late stoppage in the main event bout between Travis Browne and Derrick Lewis.

“In my fight with Kevin Lee, Mr. Yamasaki made multiple failures, oversights, and errors in officiating that ultimately led to this unfortunate circumstance. To be clear – I did not tap, I did not verbally submit, I was not knocked unconscious, and at no point did I go unconscious. At all times, I used my years of experience and training to intelligently defend myself. The first such failure to properly implement the rules occurred when Mr. Yamasaki did not warn, penalize, or otherwise follow professional guidelines when Kevin Lee landed numerous illegal downward elbows while I was backmounted at 3:46 of the first round [see in a replay of the fight that his elbow goes directly north to south (foul pursuant to Oklahoma Administrative Code 92:10-11-7:a9)]. These illegal strikes cut my head open, and I required 4 stitches after the fight was over.”

OSAC administrator Joe Miller confirmed he has received the request and will review the bout before potentially presenting it to the commission.

“I will review video of fight then present video to full commission if warranted,” Miller stated. “If commission sees merit in the appeal, a hearing will be conducted.”

Chiesa was outraged immediately following the loss, calling for Yamasaki’s termination. UFC President Dana White chimed in with his frustrations, as well, after Yamasaki called an end to the contest via technical submission when he believed Chiesa went unconscious due to a rear-naked choke. Chiesa contends that simply was not the case and outlines his actions in his appeal.

“Initially, my opponent utilized a traditional rear-naked choke grip,” Chiesa stated. “I fought this grip with what is commonly referred to as ‘hand fighting,’ pulling down the top of his hand in an effort to break the grip. My opponent then engaged an entirely different grip – ‘palm to palm.’ Because of the location of the grip, the defense to this form of rear-naked choke is entirely different.

“As a practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for more than a decade, I engaged my years of experience by (1) relaxing, (2) engaging my core and shoulders to “shrug” to release some pressure and (3) flex my neck muscles. It may not look pretty, but the positioning provides three important benefits (1) allowing increased blood flow and breathing ability, (2) creating space to ‘turn in’ to the opponent, and (3) forcing the opponent to exhaust strength to pursue a finish that may never come. I was in this specific position for less than two seconds before Mr. Yamasaki wrongfully ended the contest. Mr. Yamasaki offered no warnings that he may stop the bout and did not make any effort to check my condition or offer any verbal commands of any kind. As you will see on replays, I was not only awake, but animated. Again, I did not tap, I did not verbally submit, I was not knocked unconscious and at no point did I go unconscious.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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The Speed Bag: Nik Lentz, what are you trying to accomplish with these B.J. Penn tweets?

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To watch B.J. Penn, who used to be so good, go out and look so normal in a majority-decision loss to Dennis Siever at UFC Fight Night 112, was sad. Even sadder, though, might’ve been Nik Lentz afterward.

The UFC lightweight, in a a continued effort to start beefing with Penn, took to Twitter to gloat – gloat! – about the 38-year-old UFC legend losing his fifth fight in a row.

Not only is kicking Penn while he’s down just downright mean; it’s a bad idea for two reasons. All it does is make Lentz look desperate for attention, No. 1. And, No. 2, even if he succeeds in getting a fight with Penn, who is obviously on the decline in the twilight of his career, what good comes out of winning a fight against a guy who is no better than a shell of himself?

Check out the video above for my complete thoughts on this.

And for more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 112 winner Tim Means happy to be healthy after battling injury vs. Alex Oliveira

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Tim Means’ win over Alex Garcia wasn’t a particularly crowd-pleasing one. But happy with just being in one piece for it, Means will gladly take it.

Means (27-8-1 MMA, 9-5 UFC) used an intelligent approach to earn a unanimous nod over Garcia  (14-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC) at this past Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 112. Sure, Means could have done without all the booing that came with it. But fact remains, he was able to outwork a tough opponent and land back in the win column after a submission setback to Alex Oliveira in March.

If anything, given just how horrible he felt for that one, just being healthy this time around was a win in itself.

“I went into the Oliveira fight hurt,” Means said after the FS1-televised main card scrap vs. Garcia at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. “Nobody knew – the UFC knew. I had a bone bruise going into that fight from the fight in December, nearly broke my foot. Wound up fracturing my foot in my fight against Oliveira and had a nerve contusion. Bearing weight and stuff, a minute into the fight, was very bad. I felt like somebody was stabbing my calf with a knife or whatever.

“I wanted to come into this fight and just put on a better performance, get 15 minutes in. I wasn’t worried about the finish, I just wanted to beat him down and make a statement that my wrestling is getting better, and people just aren’t going to hold me down here.”

The fracture he suffered in his original UFC 207 encounter with Oliveira, which ended in a controversial no-contest after illegal knees by Means, healed in about six weeks. But the nerve problem persisted. As a result, Means estimates he was at about “60 percent” going into their do-over at UFC Fight Night 106.

On the one hand, he thinks maybe he should have listened to his coaching staff instead of trying to bypass the problem. But, at the same time, he considers himself a gambling man. And, as such, he doesn’t regret his decision to fight anyway.

“If I had to do it all over again, I’d probably still do it,” Means said. “We only get one shot at this. And, minus waiting on fight day, I love my job. That six, seven hours where you just have to wait and think about it all dang day – that’s pretty crappy.

“So, (I’m) happy to just get done, happy to beat a good guy with a durable record in Garcia. He’s had some ups and downs or whatever, but he’s very strong and comes from a very good camp.”

Means, who was on a two-fight streak before the first meeting with Oliveira, won’t use his win over Garcia to issue any callouts. But after he is done spending time with his kids and maybe catching some bass nearby, he will gladly welcome any fellow welterweights who wish to extend him that octagon invitation.

Could that man be, once more, Oliveira? Well, after traveling all the way to Fortaleza, Brazil, to meet with the Brazilian “Cowboy,” that will depend on the circumstances.

“If that’s the case,” Means said. “They only want to do that rematch in Brazil. I’m not going to travel 27 hours one way to let them sit on the couch. I gave him the benefit of the doubt for the knee I threw him in December. He was getting up, I threw the knee, whatever.

“I traveled 27 hours, one way hurt. I did the best I could in the situation I had. Hats off to their camp, I’m thankful for the ass-whooping he gave me. Life’s humbling, man. Life is humbling. So if he wants to get off the couch, and they want to meet us in Europe or in Ireland or something, let’s both travel.”

To hear Means’ full account of his injury, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Felice Herrig: UFC promoting me in 'hot girl' fights isn't good enough

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In the moments following her impressive performance at UFC Fight Night 112, Felice Herrig fought back tears as she talked about feeling “not young and beautiful enough” for the UFC to want to promote her.

The frustration for Herrig (13-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) seemed to stem from the fact that, while she’s on a three-fight winning streak, which includes knocking off two previously undefeated opponents, the 32-year-old veteran wonders if the opportunity to become a star is out of reach.

On Tuesday, Herrig expounded on why she feels that way durng an appearance on “The Luke Thomas Show.”

“I get promoted when it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s a hot girl fight.,’” Herrig said. “But I’m not the one they’re promoting. They’re promoting my opponent. I feel like I’m a stepping stone. I’m getting put on the main card every time, so obviously I’m some kind of draw. But, unfortunately, I’m fighting opponents who they’re trying to pump up and build.”

Herrig points to recent fights with Kailin Curran and Alexa Grasso as evidence. Herrig pointed out that Grasso, 23, was asked by the UFC to make more promotional appearances for their UFC Fight Night 104 co-headliner and was more prominent on the event poster, not just because she had been undefeated but also, as Herrig claims, because she’s young and attractive.

Which brings us to UFC Fight Night 112, this past Sunday in Oklahoma City, where Herrig knocked off another undefeated opponent in Justine Kish. Herrig wonders where all the promotion was leading up to the fight.

“Obviously it was a draw. People knew it was gong to be a great fight, because look where it was on the card,” Herrig said. “It was on the main card right before the main event. It got zero marketing behind it, zero pulse, zero attention, zero promotion. Why? Because it wasn’t a hot girl fight?”

Herrig’s arguments aren’t reserved for just female fighters, either, as she mentioned UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway and Sage Northcutt as examples of the company’s reluctance to push certain accomplished fighters, while others get special treatment because of their looks.

“It’s not just me. I’m not just speaking on my behalf. I’m speaking for all the fighters who feel this way,” Herrig said. “I am not the only one who feels slighted. … Look at someone like Max Holloway – 11-fight win streak, has more wins in his division than anyone in the UFC. Is he even getting attention? The respect that he deserves now that he’s the champ? I don’t think so. …

“Why is somebody like Sage Northcutt coming in, with what, two pro fights, he wins one fight in the UFC, and he does a backflip, and all of a sudden, ‘We’re going to pay you a (expletive)-ton of money. We’re going to pay you more than a guy who’s been in the UFC for 10 years.’ And then he gets choked out in his next two fights. And he’s still getting all this media attention?”

Despite how it might appear, Herrig wants to make it clear that she’s not against fighters; she’s against “the big machine,” as she calls it.

“I’m not against the fighters,” Herrig said. “I’m 100 percent not against the fighters. I’m against the system, because the system is (expletive).”

She continued, “this is not about beauty, and it’s not about looks. It’s about all the fighters who are getting overlooked who are very talented. If they even had just a little bit of push from the big machine, not even about their looks, just a little chance to shine, and to be put on the mainstream stage. That’s what it’s about.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 112 winner Tony Martin: 'I think I can be the best fighter in the world'

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Tony Martin made no secret of his general dislike for Johnny Case ahead of their UFC Fight Night 112 scrap.

But he also believed Case (22-6 MMA, 4-2 UFC) would be the right opponent to help highlight his own evolving skill set. As his unanimous decision win following an exciting, close fight showed, Martin (12-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) was on to something. For many – including Martin himself – Sunday’s battle was his best one yet.

And after 15 minutes of exchanged blows, nods and more than a few words, it seems like the two have reached somewhat of a truce.

“When you have a problem, you just get in there and you figure it out,” Martin said after the lightweight bout at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., which streamed on UFC Fight Pass. “You hash it out, and then you just earn your respect.

“I don’t have to like the guy; he doesn’t have to like me afterward. But at the end of the day, you do respect each other as fighters. He did show up, so I’ve got to respect that.”

For Martin, who says he’s used to “talking a little crap” to lighten the mood in training, having that kind of heat with Case helped him feel more comfortable inside the cage, even though some of those words, he revealed, were him calling Case a cheater after some eye pokes.

“But I was just amped up,” Martin said. “In the beginning of the fight, he hit me with a jab and said something like, ‘Alright, let’s fight now.’ I just faked a takedown. I said ‘alright,’ I started talking once I started landing. Like, ‘Let’s go, I’m here. You act like I was just going to try to take you down the whole fight, but I’m here. Let’s scrap.’

“And I think I broke him mentally. I think that he started fading. And I think that’s when I kept getting stronger. I think he didn’t expect me to strike with him the whole fight. He just expected to defend takedowns, and that was a bad game plan.”

But talking wasn’t Martin’s main tool – yet, it was the surprisingly crisp stand-up game he’s long been perfecting with the likes of boxing coach Eddie Alvarez. On his end, Martin understands why most weren’t expecting that level of striking coming from him.

Which is why Martin, who’s happy to go up against high-level strikers at the gym, took it upon himself to show it.

“I think my striking was extremely underrated coming into this fight,” Martin said. “And I haven’t shown it in any fight, so it’s not any disrespect to anyone else. But I had something to prove. I went out there, and I proved it. Now, people better start respecting my striking.”

Martin has faced some of the top competitors in the lightweight division before. In fact, he was rudely welcomed into the octagon by two of them, dropping back-to-back losses to Rashid Magomedov and Beneil Dariush before Fabricio Camoes became his first UFC victim.

But now, riding a three-fight streak and feeling like he’s finally come into his own as a fighter, Martin would like a new crack at the top 15.

“I was just this little kid coming in here, just an athlete,” Martin said. “And my skills weren’t anywhere near where they are right now. I’m at a whole other level. And really, just anyone. I just want to get in there and prove to the world. No disrespect to them, but that’s how you climb the ladder. You’ve got to start knocking down people.

“I’m just trying to be the best I can be. And I think I can be the best fighter in the world. I’ve just got to keep improving every fight, put the work in and train hard. Good things happen to good people that do things right.”

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

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Jeremy Kimball thrilled with UFC Fight Night 112 TKO after he 'couldn't sleep at all' on fight week

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Jeremy Kimball finally got his first taste of octagon victory, but it took some sleepless nights to get there.

Kimball (15-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC) walked away from this past Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 112 with a massive first-round TKO over Josh Stansbury (8-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) and a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus to show for his efforts. What turned out to be a good night for the 26-year-old “Grizzly,” however, didn’t start off that way.

“I was super nervous up until the point I started hitting pads,” Kimball told reporters after the light heavyweight bout, which streamed on UFC Fight Pass from Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. “Then I realized how much power was there tonight. Then I knew I was on, and it was going to be a fun night for me.”

This wasn’t Kimball’s first quick night in the octagon, but it was the first successful one. Back in January, on a short-notice UFC on FOX 23 encounter with Marcos Rogerio de Lima, the light heavyweight was the one on the unfortunate end of a first-round TKO.

Coming off a four-fight streak into his losing UFC debut, Kimball makes no secret of just how tough of a pill that was to swallow.

“I took it hard,” Kimball said. “All the way up to this point. I was nervous all week. I couldn’t sleep at all. I hate losing. So losing on the biggest stage really sucked. So I really wanted this one.”

In any case, there were at least some lessons learned in the setback.

“In my last fight, I didn’t pull the trigger with my punches,” Kimball said. “And my dad always tells me, ‘If you don’t pull the trigger, you can’t win.’ Stansbury caught me early, and I just decided at that point to pull the trigger. And that’s what happened.”

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

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

At 35, Clay Guida feels as strong as ever – but 'I don't want to be doing this when I'm 40'

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Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

OKLAHOMA CITY – Clay Guida knows he’s not going to be around forever, but he’s still got some fight left in him.

Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC) got himself back in the win column in assertive fashion at this past Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 112, dominating Erik Koch (14-5 MMA, 4-4 UFC) on the mat in route to a clear-cut unanimous call. The solid display, over an opponent seven years his junior, was made all the more impressive by the fact that it was also the 50th pro MMA bout in Guida’s 14-year-long career.

Still, it came after back-to-back losses, on top of an overall inconsistent UFC run. Throughout the ups and downs, no one would fault the 35-year-old Guida if thoughts of getting off the rollercoaster were starting to cross his mind.

But, as it turns out, they’re not.

“As long as I’m having fun and I feel like I’m improving, there’s always going to be those bumps in the road,” Guida told reporters after the FS2-televised lightweight scrap at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. “I never look at it as ‘It’s a young man’s game,’ because I’m still young. I’m in my mid-30’s. The scientists do studies, they say the male is in their peak at in the mid-30’s still.

“I feel like I’m at a very strong class, very competitive. But I feel as strong as I ever have. And I’m improving with the coaching staff at Team Alpha Male and we’re getting better every day out there.”

The scrap also meant Guida’s return to the lightweight division, after a 3-4 featherweight run. Guida celebrated the fact that he basically woke up within the 155-pound limit in the morning of Saturday’s weigh-ins. But, more than simply feeling good, it’s also about results.

And, after getting his first win since a 2015 UFC Fight Night 63 decision over Robbie Peralta, they seem to speak for themselves.

“I think the 145 thing was maybe a pride thing for me,” Guida said. “Just to say ‘I know I can make it, I know I can stay there and be competitive.’ I beat some good guys, I lost to some good guys. For me, it was kind of a wrestlers’ thing. ‘I can make the weight, I’m stubborn, I wrestled at 149 in college, I can make 145 and be tough there.’ But being tough isn’t always the right recipe. Winning is the right recipe.”

Guida clearly feels good and motivated for the time being. And he has active MMA icons like Fedor Emelianenko – who, at 40, just saw a five-fight winning streak snapped with a Bellator NYC loss to Matt Mitrione – as examples of cage longevity.

But, at the same time, he doesn’t necessarily see himself going as far as some of his idols.

“I don’t want to be doing this when I’m 40,” Guida said. “I love Fedor for being the man that he is, and I feel like the dude sits in the locker room, plays cards in his jeans with his feet up, eats a 12-pack of donuts and they say, ‘Alright Fedor, you’re on.’ He just jumps up, goes out and fights, and that’s just awesome. He’s a master.

“(But) that’s not for everybody. I don’t want to be fighting when I’m 40. I want to be coaching and helping coach wrestling and things like that. And watching all this stables of fighters we have improve.”

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

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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