Jarred Brooks got nods from Jose Aldo, Anthony Kiedis, now wants to replace Henry Cejudo

UFC flyweight Jarred Brooks is not all bent out of shape after his first professional loss, even if the people around him are.

There was talk in his camp of an appeal of a split-call loss to Deiveson Figueiredo (13-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 119, which took place Oct. 28 at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Brooks (13-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) isn’t interested in going that route.

“Everyone’s like, ‘Oh, this undefeated thing,’ and it’s not a big deal,” Brooks told MMAjunkie. “I don’t really care if I take a loss. I’m still looking down the road, and I’m still looking at a UFC belt. If I take losses on the way to the UFC belt, that’s my learning process.”

Brooks appeared to control much of the fight with his wrestling and avoid Figueiredo’s power shots. But the ones that landed convinced two of three judges to give the Brazilian the fight via scores of 29-28.

It didn’t take long for Brooks to arrive at the conclusion he had to let it go. Five minutes after the fight, he was already thinking about his next step.

“I’ve lost in wrestling, and I’ve tried to dwell on my losses too much in wrestling, and it made me hate the sport,” he said. “So I’m not going to do that in this sport. I love it too much.”

The blow of Brooks’ first loss certainly was softened by the response he got when he left the cage. He was approached by UFC executive Reed Harris, who said Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis was watching the fight and thought he got the shaft. Then he saw former UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo, who said the same thing.

“Man, I was really starstruck,” Brooks said. “I was like, in awe.”

What would help the up-and-comer really get over the whole experience is a quick turnaround. Brooks is eyeing a short-notice replacement if the opportunity arises. A fight with Sergio Pettis would be top on his list, of course, if Pettis’ opponent, onetime title challenger Henry Cejudo, is unable to fight at UFC 218 after a close call in the recent fires in Northern California.

Then there’s up-and-comer Ben Nguyen, who’s won four of five in the octagon and most recently dispatched onetime title challenger Tim Elliott.

Whoever it is, Brooks is undeterred by his recent setback.

“I’m going to get that UFC belt,” he said.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

'Silly arse kid' Luke Rockhold and 'not worth my time' Derek Brunson chirp on Twitter

Dann StuppSo much for Derek Brunson’s attempt to book a fight with a former UFC middleweight champion.

Brunson (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC), who scored a quick win over Lyoto Machida (22-8 MMA, 14-8 UFC) this past weekend in UFC Fight Night 119’s headliner, had his sights set on Luke Rockhold (16-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) next. And he tried to goad the former titleholder – “Lucas,” as he called him – into a fight (via Twitter):

But Rockhold, who’s No. 3 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings following a stoppage win over David Branch in September, quickly dismissed No. 10-ranked Brunson (via Twitter):

Rockhold is likely referring to interim titleholder Robert Whittaker, ranked No. 2, and contender Yoel Romero, who’s No. 4. They beat Brunson in 2016 and 2014, respectively.

And then the back-and-forth continued (via Twitter):

Brunson’s callout of Rockhold actually came after another one – one that was also directed at an ex-champ.

However, Brunson then learned Chris Weidman (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC), who recently halted a three-fight skid with a submission win over Kelvin Gastelum, likely won’t be back in action anytime soon (via Twitter):

Do you want to see Brunson vs. Rockhold? Vote in the poll below.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

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After KO loss, ex-UFC-champ Lyoto Machida says 'giving up will never be an option'

Lyoto Machida’s long-awaited octagon return may not have ended as planned, but it would appear “The Dragon” isn’t done just yet.

Machida (22-8 MMA, 14-8 UFC) suffered the quickest loss of his career this past Saturday, at UFC Fight Night 119, at the hands of fellow headliner Derek Brunson (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC). The middleweight bout marked Machida’s return to competition after a layoff of 28 months – 18 due to a suspension issued by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Four days after the event, the 39-year-old ex-champ took to social media to thanks his fans, saying that “yes, ‘The Dragon is back and giving up will never be an option.”

“My biggest loss would be giving up the dream that once was my blessing,” Machida said. “An even bigger loss would be inspiring you not to go ahead when all you need to do is to keep your head up and go on.”

Here’s the full message (via Instagram):

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“I would like to thank all the support I’ve received from my fans! I’m home, with my family, recovering from a result that didn’t come, but with a sense of achievement, since anyone could have given up the idea of returning to the battlefield after almost 2 years away from the sports.

“My biggest loss would be giving up the dream that once was my blessing. An even bigger loss would be inspiring you not to go ahead when all you need to do is to keep your head up and go on.

“Thus, I thank you all for the messages full of affection and strength. Saying that the Dragon is back and then giving up will never be an option!

“The day I decided I wouldn’t stop fighting, I wanted to show you that, regardless of all the hardship of life, you are either a figher or a quitter. What defines a man in his essence is not losing or winning, but his journey for what he believes. Once more, thank you for being by my side. I will always count on your support, and know that I will be supporting you back.”

Machida, who was issued a 60-day mandatory medical suspension following the loss, is now on a three-fight skid. Before Saturday, he’d suffered a knockout loss to Yoel Romero and a submission setback to former middleweight titleholder Luke Rockhold. Machida’s last win was in 2014 – a first-round knockout of C.B. Dollaway.

Brunson, who’s the No. 10 fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, is now two fights removed from a controversial loss to former champion Anderson Silva. Prior to that, he was on a five-fight winning streak. Brunson’s last six wins have been first-round finishes.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

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Source: MMA Junkie

Why Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos was probably UFC Fight Night 119's biggest winner

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos left Ibirapuera Gymnasium on Saturday with a few reasons to celebrate: He got a win, a “Fight of the Night” bonus and the news that he’s going to be a father.

The interesting bit, though: dos Santos (18-5 MMA, 4-1 UFC) didn’t get the news from the mother of his child; instead, he got it from his team. In fact, by the time he stood in front of reporters to discuss his unanimous-decision win over welterweight Max Griffin (13-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 119 in Brazil, he hadn’t even had time to talk to her yet.

How long had they known, you wonder?

“I would like to know that too,” dos Santos said with a laugh after the FS2-televised preliminary-card bout. “But from what I heard, it’s been a week. And my coach, Felipe Silva, also found out last weekend he’s going to be a dad. So it’s double the happiness.”

That’s some solid secret-keeping right there. In any case, it didn’t seem like the 170-pounder was at all mad at the circumstances in which he got the news. Instead, he mostly focused on the joy that came with it.

“It increased my heart rate even more,” dos Santos said. “It was already at 200, and went to 400. Being a father was a dream of mine and, thank God, today got the news from my coaches.

“There wasn’t a post-fight interview; they wanted to do that surprise then. I really didn’t know. And I’m very happy. Very happy.” (via Instagram)

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The mom – Tatiane, whom he’s been with for seven years – is the “love of his life,” dos Santos said. And, as it turns out, the developments of the night may very well end up leading to yet another life-changing occasion for both of them.

At the time, dos Santos didn’t know that his slugfest with Griffin would end up earning him his second straight $50,000 fight-night bonus. But asked what he would do should he get it, dos Santos replied with a smile.

“I think we’re going to have to get married now,” dos Santos said. “There’s no escaping it anymore. So this bonus would certainly help a lot with the wedding.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

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Source: MMA Junkie

True to form, Francisco Trinaldo hardly satisfied with UFC-Sao Paulo win over Jim Miller

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SAO PAULO – It seems Francisco Trinaldo is keeping up with his tradition of not being quite pleased with his UFC displays, no matter the outcome.

After a tough first round at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 119, Trinaldo (22-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) managed to outlast fellow veteran Jim Miller (28-11 MMA, 17-10 UFC) to earn a unanimous decision from the judges. The main-card lightweight meeting put a big name under Trinaldo’s belt but, most importantly, landed him back in the winning column after a loss to interim title contender Kevin Lee (16-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC).

Trinaldo is certainly happy to be back on track, which isn’t to suggest he’s 100 percent satisfied with what he showed against Miller.

“I trained to knock him down or submit him,” Trinaldo told reporters after the FS1-televised bout, which took place at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “I swear to you. I trained every day. I didn’t miss a single training session. I did four training sessions a day. I didn’t miss a single one.

“When I thought my body was tired, I looked at my kid and thought, ‘No (expletive) way I’m going to stay here. I need this win.’”

It may not have been a finish, but it was a positive outcome, much like the seven straight wins “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” alum managed to line up before Lee spoiled his party in March. And it’s one that Trinaldo believes should be rewarded in the rankings.

“The next step is to meet a guy who’s ranked,” Trinaldo said. “A top-7, top-5, top-8. Because I want to show what I can do.”

Trinaldo has always been known for his unwavering work ethic as any of his coaches and training partners will confirm. But he found even more motivation while preparing for his 16th octagon appearance since 2012. Apart from the added fuel of a loss, he became a father six months ago.

“The arrival of my kid (Francisco) just pushed me harder,” Trinaldo said, “to train harder and show I’m going to be a great fighter and a great citizen.” (via Instagram)

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As usual, Trinaldo wants to resume his path to becoming a great fighter sooner rather than later. While it would appear he has a preference for fighting on Brazilian soil, given that’s where 13 of his UFC outings have taken place, Trinaldo says he doesn’t want to wait until Belem’s Feb. 3 card to return.

Pressed for possible names, “Massaranduba” gave two options. Before taking a loss on what was a record-breaking 28th octagon appearance on Saturday, Miller was coming off two consecutive setbacks. Trinaldo thinks either of those men could be good fights for him.

The problem is that the two, ex-155-pound champion Anthony Pettis and contender Dustin Poirier, are set to fight each other Nov. 11 at UFC Fight Night 120. So he might have to settle for someone else.

Another option? Well, it seems like he’s not counting on it to happen now, but Trinaldo would like a chance to get the UFC Fight Night 106 submission loss to Lee back at some point.

“I lost to a guy who I know I’m superior to,” Trinaldo said. “We’ll meet further down the road, and I’ll get that one back.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC-Sao Paulo winner Thiago 'Marreta' Santos feels he's on the rise, wants Derek Brunson next

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SAO PAULO – After what would have been his first UFC main event fell through, Thiago Santos says he was given two options.

He could wait for yet another headlining spot, or he could take a fight a week after his original appointment.

The choice was simple: He wanted to fight. So “Marreta” Santos, who’s currently the No. 15 fighter in the official UFC rankings, ended up paired with Jack Hermansson at UFC Fight Night 119. Coming off two TKO wins in a row, Hermansson offered a high-risk scenario. As dangerous as he was, beating Hermansson wouldn’t do much for Santos in the rankings.

Still, Santos said yes as he’s been known to do. Why?

“It’s a risk,” Santos told reporters after the FS1-televised main card bout at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “But I’m already 32. I don’t think I have to make a career plan. That’s for a 20, 22-year old who’s just joining the UFC. I’m already 32. I don’t have time to say I’m going to wait six, eight months.

“I have to fight and win. The time is now. I feel good. I was well trained, injury-free. So I have to fight.”

The decision paid off. Santos (16-5 MMA, 8-4 UFC) ended up scoring a last-second first-round TKO over Hermansson (16-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC), who’d never been knocked out before. Not only has Santos added a third finish to his streak – with seven UFC knockouts, he is now is tied for second most in middleweight history, behind ex-champ and all-time-great Anderson Silva.

Santos has come a long way since his short-notice 2013 UFC debut against fellow “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2” alum Cezar Mutante. He’s kept a high pace of competition, having fought three times a year for the past three years. In that time, he’s only lost in a last-minute meeting with Gegard Mousasi and was upset by Eric Spicely.

While Santos still sees a lot of room for improvement, he also feels he’s on the rise. And the fact that it may have been quiet is no problem for the middleweight.

“A guy who has seven knockouts in the biggest promotion in the world should have been noticed by now,” Santos said. “If they haven’t already, whatever. Even better, (my opponents) can be reckless, think I’m not going to touch them, like (Hermansson) did. But when I touch them, they’ll fall.”

While “Marreta” has been clear about his desire to make the most out of octagon opportunities, he’s ready for a small break. Which means, for now, no more fighting in 2017. Early next year, though, sounds good.

As for whom that could be against?

The soft-spoken Santos isn’t one for aggressive callouts. But he did name Derek Brunson as a good option. And that was even before Brunson knocked out Lyoto Machida to, like Santos did that night, add a seventh knockout win to his own UFC record.

“Whether he wins or loses against Lyoto, I’ll take the fight with him,” Santos said. “All he needs to do is take it, too.”

Whether the matchup will materialize or not, we can anticipate Santos’ gameplan to be basically the same as always.

“Everyone knows my strategy: to strike and make my opponent feel pain,” Santos said. “That’s it.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2554 with Randy Couture, Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal, Eric Nicksick

Stream or download Monday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Randy Couture, Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal and Eric Nicksick.

Couture, along with Nicksick, co-hosted the entire show as the hosts recapped UFC Fight Night 119, previewed UFC 217 and Bellator 186, and touched on some of the latest MMA news. Covington, back from Brazil, talked about his frightening experience where he needed a security detail from the moment he left the octagon after defeating Demian Maia at UFC Fight Night 119. Masvidal is traveling to New York City, where he’ll face Stephen Thompson at UFC 217. Nicksick talked about the projects Xtreme Couture has done with military veterans and victims from the mass shooting that took place in Las Vegas earlier this month.

You can listen below or stream the entire episode on AudioBoom.com.

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

UFC Fight Night 119 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media

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

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

Following Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 119 event in Sao Paulo, several of the winning and losing fighters, along with their coaches, training partners or family members, took to social media to react to the event or share a message with supporters.

Check out some of those reactions.

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The defeated

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The victorious

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For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 119, 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

Before split call was announced, Deiveson Figueiredo thought he'd lost to Jarred Brooks

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SAO PAULO – When the flyweight bout between Deiveson Figueiredo and Jarred Brooks ended on Saturday, both fighters raised their arms in celebration.

But at least one of them wasn’t that convinced the UFC Fight Night 119 contest would go his way.

After dropping his first career loss in a split decision to Figueiredo (13-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC), Brooks (13-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) said that, while he did factor in his opponent’s home advantage, he’d “definitely” thought he’d earned a 30-27 win – thought with which one of the octagon-side judges, as well as the majority of MMAjunkie readers, agreed.

Figueiredo, on his end, wasn’t exactly expecting to hear his name.

“It was a tough fight,” Figueiredo said after the preliminary card bout, which streamed live on UFC Fight Pass from Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “I thought, by the end, that I’d lost. But I celebrated anyway.

“Yes, I was (nervous I wouldn’t get the nod). But I think one day I’ll have to lose. If I’d lost (on Saturday), it’d be with honor because I fought to the end and didn’t give up. Thankfully, I got the win. Fortunately, he said I was going to come out crying but he was the one who left crying.”

Which is not to say that Figueiredo lacks self-awareness when it comes to his display on Saturday. After a rough weight cut that had him crying as he made his way to the scale – and Brooks subsequently mocking him for it at the ceremonial weigh-ins – he does consider the possibility that took a toll.

But, mostly, Figueiredo believes there was simply not enough preparation to stop Brooks’ takedowns.

“I don’t know if it was the weight cut that left my legs weaker, or if it was more about training,” Figueiredo said. “But I believe it was the training. (I have to) improve this takedown defense. I lacked explosion – getting back up quickly if he takes me down.

“He took me down too easily. I’m going to work to work on that, so I can come back even stronger.”

Controversial as it was, only one fighter left with an unblemished record from the UFC Fight Night 119 encounter – an outcome that Figueiredo ultimately attributes to his will power, and some powerful shots he started landing in the second frame.

“From the second to the third, he started gassing, and I got better,” Figueiredo said. “I think that’s what made me win the fight.”

Figueiredo admits to some frustration as Brooks kept escaping the same guillotine choke that the Brazilian had used to finish three of his previous opponents. But he’s not willing to give up on the move just yet.

“I’ll have to find that adjustment,” Figueiredo said. “I’ll switch arms. I’ll use my right one, since the left one isn’t working.”

In order to make the improvements that he has in mind, Figueiredo is eyeing a training stint in the U.S. While he’s still waiting on talks with his coaches and negotiations for financial support, he’s already got three different gyms in mind – though he’d only name one, Jacksonwink-MMA, where longtime friend and MMA mentor Iuri Alcantara trains.

When it comes to adding to his 2-0 octagon record, Figueiredo says he would be open to fighting again before the end of the year. But he would also love to be part of the UFC’s next Brazilian outing, which is set for Jan. 3 in his home state of Para.

As for whom he’d like to share the octagon with in either of those dates? Well, let’s just say potential opponents don’t really faze Figueiredo.

“The only thing I’m afraid of is crying again in my weight cut,” Figueiredo joked.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Fellow ATT co-founder Dan Lambert clarifies Ricardo Liborio's departure dates back two years

American Top Team co-founder Dan Lambert was shocked when he learned that Ricardo Liborio today announced his departure from the team – shocked because it’s hardly a recent development, Lambert said.

“(Liborio) left two years ago,” Lambert said. “He moved to Orlando, three hours north of here, for family issues. I made a deal with him, I said, ‘OK, I’ll keep you on the payroll. Just come down a couple days a week and train guys.’ He never came down. He got too busy up there, so I kept him on the payroll for over a year to help him out, and then earlier this year we ended it because he just hadn’t been down. But that was months and months and months ago.”

Liborio, 50, helped co-found the Florida-based American Top Team in 2001. While not always the most visible of the team’s coaches, American Top Team’s fighters have always pointed out the Carlson Gracie black belt’s value as an instructor.

However, in recent years he began to step away from the team in order to care for his daughter, Bella, who lost her sight due to a condition known as craniosynostosis. However, the team never made a formal announcement regarding Liborio’s departure.

Today, Liborio – a Brazilain native – took to social media to clarify that he was no longer part of the team while also condemning American Top Team fighter’s Colby Covington for his recent insults directed toward Brazil and its residents. While he stated that he could “not discuss at this time the reasons for my departure from ATT,” linking the announcement with his condemnation of Covington’s antics led some to believe the departure was recent, and perhaps even related, which Lambert said was certainly not the case.

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In the meantime, Lambert said it’s business as usual for the powerhouse gym, which sees fighters train under instructors such as Marcus “Conan” Silveira and Mike Brown.

As for Covington, Lambert said he understands “Chaos” certainly rubbed people the wrong way but believes some reaction may be slightly overblown.

“About his fight, I thought (Covington) did very well – as well as we could have expected,” Lambert said. “He stuck to his gameplan and fought smart and beat a guy who’s, in my mind, a Hall of Famer. As far as what he said afterwards, I think I’m kind of in the middle. There’s people on the one extreme end who want him killed or fired or dragged through he streets of Rio de Janeiro and declared a racist, and then you’ve got people on the other end who think it’s hilarious and think it’s true. I’m kind of in the middle. I think it’s just a young kid trying to get his name out there and stirring the pot and playing on people’s emotions to get his name in the news.

“They’re words. Do I agree with his words? I’m never going to come out and say I agree with his words. Come on. But at the end of the day, they’e just words from some kid who’s trying to get his name out there and trying to draw some attention to himself. It is what it is. I don’t like football players kneeling on Sundays when the national anthem plays, especially on 9/11 or Veterans Day, but you know what? I’m not going to call for them to be fired or killed or anything of the like. It’s their right to say what they want to say.”

And while Liborio is no longer a part of American Top Team, Lambert said he wasn’t upset at the co-founder’s reactions to the fast-rising welterweight contender.

“I wasn’t put off by him condemning what Colby said,” Lambert said. “That’s a normal reaction for somebody to have, especially for somebody from the country. Everybody is entitled to their opinion on that.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/xoLQjapq.json”,”ph”:2}
);

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Source: MMA Junkie