Category Archives: UFC Fight Night 116

Luke Rockhold will remain in Florida for UFC Fight Night 116 prep, but AKA 'will always be my home'

Former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold insists California’s American Kickboxing Academy will always be his training home, even though he’s staying in Florida for his UFC Fight Night 116 prep.

Rockhold (15-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) takes on former WSOF dual-division champ David Branch (21-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) in the main event of UFC Fight Night 116 on Sept. 16 at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Rockhold today took to social media to explain that injuries to his normal training partners back at AKA necessitated his decision, but that he will always consider the California camp that helped build his career to be his true home.

Instagram Photo

Rockhold has recently posted multiple pictures of him training at Florida’s Combat Club under the tutelage of Henri Hooft, who he says will be in his corner on fight night along with “all the usual suspects.”

Rockhold is currently ranked No. 4 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, while Branch checks in at No. 6. Oddsmaker have pegged Rockhold as a -350 favorite, suggesting a nearly 78 percent chance of winning the contest.

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

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For more on UFC Fight Night 116, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Tony Martin vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier added to UFC Fight Night 116 in Steel City

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A lightweight bout is the latest addition to UFC Fight Night 116 in Steel City.

Officials today announced a fight between Tony Martin (12-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) and fellow submission specialist Olivier Aubin-Mercier (9-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC).

The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been determined.

Martin, a 27-year-old who turned pro in 2012, had a rough go early in his UFC career and lost three of his first four fights. However, he’s now riding a three-fight winning streak with a submission victory over Felipe Olivieri and decision wins over Alex White and Johnny Case. Eight of his 12 career wins have come via submission.

Aubin-Mercier, a 28-year-old Canadian fighter who fights for the first time in 2017, looks for his third straight victory. Following a decision loss to Diego Ferreira in early 2016, he’s rebounded with submission victories over Thibault Gouti and Drew Dober. Eight of nine career wins have come via submission since “The Ultimate Fighter Nations” runner-up turned pro in 2011.

With the addition, UFC Fight Night 116 now includes:

  • Luke Rockhold vs. David Branch
  • Thiago Alves vs. Mike Perry
  • Hector Lombard vs. Anthony Smith
  • Anthony Hamilton vs. Daniel Spitz
  • Uriah Hall vs. Krzysztof Jotko
  • Sergio Moraes vs. Kamaru Usman
  • Justin Ledet vs. Dmitriy Sosnovskiy
  • Gilbert Burns vs. Jason Saggo
  • Gregor Gillespie vs. Jason Gonzalez
  • Tony Martin vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier

For more on UFC Fight Night 116, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Gregor Gillespie vs. Jason Gonzalez added to UFC Fight Night 116 in Pittsburgh

A lightweight contest is the newest addition to the UFC’s return to Pennsylvania, with Gregor Gillespie (9-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) facing Jason Gonzalez (11-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC).

UFC officials recently confirmed the matchup following an initial report from the Pittsburgh’s Post-Gazette.com.

Featuring a middleweight main event between former UFC champ Luke Rockhold and former dual-division UFC title holder David Branch, UFC Fight Night 116 takes place Sept. 16 at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. The night’s main card airs on FS1, though the full bout order has yet to be released.

Fighting professionally since 2014, Gillespie is undefeated through the first nine fights of his career, including seven wins by stoppage. Included in that run are two wins under the UFC banner, including a 21-second stoppage of Andrew Holbrook at April’s UFC 210 event, as well a debut victory in UFC Fight Night 95 decision result over Glaico Franca in September 2016.

Meanwhile, Gonzalez saw a six-fight winning streak snapped in his UFC debut, suffering a debut loss to Drew Dober at this past September’s UFC 203 event. However, Gonzalez rebounded with a first-round submission win over J.C. Cottrell at January’s UFC on FOX 23 event.

With the addition to the card, UFC Fight Night 116 now includes:

  • Luke Rockhold vs. David Branch
  • Thiago Alves vs. Mike Perry
  • Hector Lombard vs. Anthony Smith
  • Anthony Hamilton vs. Daniel Spitz
  • Uriah Hall vs. Krzysztof Jotko
  • Sergio Moraes vs. Kamaru Usman
  • Justin Ledet vs. Dmitriy Sosnovskiy
  • Gilbert Burns vs. Jason Saggo
  • Gregor Gillespie vs. Jason Gonzalez

For more on UFC Fight Night 116, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Michael Bisping: Luke Rockhold a 'joke' for suggesting UFC strip title, should focus on 'Billy No-name'

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5364322486001
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

The disdain between UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping and ex-champ Luke Rockhold is still strong more than a year after they last shared the octagon.

Rockhold (15-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC), who lost the 185-pound title to Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) by stunning first-round knockout in 2016’s “Upset of the Year” at UFC 199, has not competed since dropping the strap. He’s scheduled to make his return against David Branch (21-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 116 on Sept. 16, and with a win is hoping to get back into the championship mix.

While Rockhold has been held on the sidelines he’s watched “The Count” closely. Bisping has fought just once since their encounter, defeating Dan Henderson for his first title defense at UFC 204 in October. Now Bisping is lined up for a November clash with Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC), something which Rockhold views as unfair to the entire division.

He explained why Bisping should be stripped in a recent interview with ESPN:

“Bisping has fought nobody in the top 10 for the last year-and-a-half and still isn’t going to fight anybody in the top 10. Where does that put him? I think they should pull the title from guys like that who don’t fight anybody at the top. They pulled the title from (Germaine de Randamie) because she wouldn’t fight the No. 1 contender. Why is this any (expletive) different?”

Bisping, who recently announced UFC 207 in Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York City as the “official” date for his bout with St-Pierre, caught wind of Rockhold’s push to have him stripped during the most recent edition of his “Believe You Me” podcast.

“Here’s a guy that’s out there campaigning for me to be stripped. Campaigning for the guy that knocked him out cold to be stripped, rather than saying, ‘Listen, let me fight him, let me get a rematch, let me beat him.’ He’s asking the UFC to strip me. First of all, they did an interim title fight, as we all know. Now Robert Whittaker is injured. I feel like I make this point all the time, but I accepted a fight against Yoel (Romer) or Whittaker, who are both the No. 1 and the No. 2 contenders. Whoever won that fight is supposed to fight me, Whittaker won and he’s injured, so shut the (expletive) up.”

Bisping elaborated further in response to Rockhold. The pair has split two fights so far, with Rockhold winning by second-round submission at UFC Fight Night 55 in November 2014 and Bisping taking the rematch two years later at UFC 199.

Whether a belt is on the line or not, a third fight seems like a natural fit for the future. However, before Rockhold opts to offer such a bold opinion such as having Bisping stripped, the champion said he should handle his business against Branch at UFC Fight Night 116, which takes place at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.

“I’m going to fight Georges St-Pierre, it’s going to be great, everyone is going to love it. It’s going to be an awesome fight, and then I’m going to fight Robbert Whittaker, who is the No. 1 contender. It’s not going to be you, Luke Rockhold, that got knocked the (expletive) out cold in three minutes. Your head was bouncing around like a (expletive) pinball machine. You’re fighting David Branch. I don’t know who David Branch is. By all accounts he’s a very tough guy, coming off another organization. … Shut the (expletive) up, go fight Billy No-name and win. Get yourself back in the title talk, buddy. Don’t talk (expletive) from the sidelines. … You are a joke. Luke Rockhold, you are a (expletive) joke, you are a vagina. You got a problem, come and see me.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 116, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

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

Watch UFC Fight Night 116 headliner David Branch drop 8 F-bombs on Luke Rockhold in 28 seconds

Social media is fun, right?

Not long after former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold made a Skype appearance on “The MMA Hour” with host Ariel Helwani in which he questioned the sense of David Branch getting in the cage with him in the UFC Fight Night 116 main event, Branch responded on Twitter.

And in just 28 seconds, the former two-division WSOF champ unleashed a profanity-laden masterpiece from what appeared to be a barber’s chair, wearing an apron, beanie and sunglasses. The result was eight F-bombs – in varying forms.

“Yo, Lucas, man – the (expletive) is you talkin’, man? Huh? I heard your little punk-ass (expletive) interview on Ariel Helwani. Hmm? Mother(expletive), what the (expletive) is you talkin’ ’bout, man? I ain’t lost a fight in five mother(expletive) years. You can’t box, and you ain’t got no (expletive) chin. You gettin’ in a mother(expletive) cage with me? You stupid? Man, you cold frontin, man. I’m gonna beat you like you stole somethin’. Watch what I do to this mother(expletive).”

Rockhold (15-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and Branch (21-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) headline UFC Fight Night 116, which takes place Sept. 16 at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Rockhold will be fighting for the first time since losing the middleweight title to Michael Bisping at UFC 199 in one of the biggest upsets of 2016. Branch returned to the UFC in May after going 12-1 outside the promotion since his first stint, including middleweight and light heavyweight titles for WSOF. He took a split decision from Krzysztof Jotko at UFC 211.

But now it seems things are going to ramp up for him quite significantly from the Jotko level – both in the area of pre-fight talk, and the level of competition across from him in the cage.

Check out Branch’s response to Rockhold above.

For more on UFC Fight Night 116, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

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

Mike Perry says he's fighting Thiago Alves at UFC Fight Night 116 in September

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Coming off the destruction of one MMA veteran, Mike Perry will have a chance to take out another.

Perry (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) tweeted today that he’s been booked to face former welterweight title contender Thiago Alves (22-11 MMA, 14-8 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 116, which takes place Sept. 16 at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.

In his previous bout, Perry scored a huge knockout of Jake Ellenberger with a devastating elbow at UFC Fight Night 108 to earn a “Performance of the Night” bonus in April. The victory was a resounding answer to the first loss of his career, which came last December at UFC on FOX 22.

Alves, meanwhile, will also enter riding some momentum after winning a unanimous decision over Patrick Cote at UFC 210 in April. Since his 2009 title fight loss to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 100, the 33-year-old Alves has managed just a 5-5 record.

The latest UFC Fight Night 116 card now includes:

  • David Branch vs. Luke Rockhold
  • Sergio Moraes vs. Kamaru Usman
  • Uriah Hall vs. Krzysztof Jotko
  • Hector Lombard vs. Anthony Smith
  • Thiago Alves vs. Mike Perry
  • Justin Ledet vs. Dmitriy Sosnovskiy
  • Gilbert Burns vs. Jason Saggo
  • Anthony Hamilton vs. Daniel Spitz

For more on UFC Fight Night 116, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Middleweight madness: Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero latest to beef on Twitter

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Something must be in the water in the UFC’s middleweight division, because the top contenders are relentlessly attacking each other over social media, with former champ Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero being the latest to mix it up on Twitter.

Following a series of heated exchanges between champ Michael Bisping and former champ Chris Weidman following Weidman’s win over Kelvin Gastelum in Saturday’s UFC on FOX 25 main event, the tension has apparently trickled down to Rockhold (15-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC).

Rockhold was recently announced for a headlining bout with David Branch at UFC Fight Night 116, which takes place Sept. 16 in Pittsburgh. It appears “The Solider of God” was initially offered the spot, but ultimately it didn’t come together, and Romero shined the blame in Rockhold’s direction.

Rockhold, a UFC and Strikeforce middleweight titleholder and No. 4-ranked fighter in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, wasn’t having it.

The war of (written) words escalated from there. No. 3-ranked Romero, who is coming off an interim title-fight loss to Robert Whittaker at UFC 213 earlier this month, went hard after Rockhold, who was ready to fire back with venom of his own.

There’s little doubt a matchup between Rockhold and Romero would be of the highest quality at 185 pounds, and the apparent tension between the sides only makes things more interesting. It couldn’t get done for UFC Fight Night 116, though, so they will have to wait to settle their differences.

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Ex-champ Luke Rockhold returns vs. David Branch in September's UFC Fight Night 116 headliner

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Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold will see his 15-month layoff come to an end in September when he meets former WSOF champion David Branch in the UFC Fight Night 116 main event.

UFC officials today announced the middleweight bout between Rockhold (15-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and Branch (21-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC), along with several other fights on the card.

UFC Fight Night 116 takes place Sept. 16 at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Penn. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.

Rockhold, No. 4 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, hasn’t competed since he lost the 185-pound title to Michael Bisping in a stunning upset at UFC 199 in July 2016. He was scheduled to fight Ronaldo Souza at UFC Fight Night 101 in November but was forced to withdraw due to injury.

No. 7 Branch, meanwhile, was successful in his return to the UFC in May when he scored a split-decision win over Krzysztof Jotko at UFC 211. He’s 13-1 since his initial UFC release in 2011, including a successful run under the WSOF banner where he claimed titles in two weight classes.

The latest UFC Fight Night 116 card now includes:

  • David Branch vs. Luke Rockhold
  • Sergio Moraes vs. Kamaru Usman
  • Uriah Hall vs. Krzysztof Jotko
  • Hector Lombard vs. Anthony Smith
  • Justin Ledet vs. Dmitriy Sosnovskiy
  • Gilbert Burns vs. Jason Saggo
  • Anthony Hamilton vs. Daniel Spitz

For more on UFC Fight Night 116, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie