On Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez, and 2 opposite approaches to the close of a career

We’ve got a real study in contrasts lined up for UFC Fight Night 120 on Nov. 11 in Norfolk, Va. That’s when Matt Brown, who says his next fight will be his last, will take on Diego Sanchez, who seems almost pathologically incapable of even considering retirement while he’s still capable of forming a fist.

That’s not just a clash between two 30-something fighters; this is a battle of competing late-career ideologies.

For starters, look at Brown. He’s lost three in a row, and five of his last six, but what’s really fueling his decision to hang it up, he says, is that he doesn’t want to hang around in the middle of the pack just for the sake of a paycheck.

“I didn’t get into this to be a journeyman, or to be in second place; I came into this to be a champion,” Brown said on “The MMA Hour” this week.

While he came close to earning a title shot thanks to a seven-fight winning streak spanning over two years, Brown said, “I don’t feel like I have that hunger inside my heart that’s going to get me back to that point, and that’s not to say I won’t ever come back one day. … But I’m not going to come back unless I plan on making a run for the title.”

Brown has other concerns, too. He’s spoken frankly about the unsettling side effects from what he believed to be his first concussion. He’d start sentences and be unable to finish them, he said. He’d stand up and then fall right over. Troubling symptoms, even if he eventually recovered.

So now he’s gone public with his plan to retire after the Sanchez fight, and he did so in part to make sure he followed through with it, he said. Especially for winning fighters, it’s easy to get caught up in the momentum, to squeeze in one more and then one more and then one more. This way, he’s got some accountability to consider.

But then, in the other corner, there’s Sanchez, one of the only fighters from the original cast of “The Ultimate Fighter” who’s still active – and still straining against the calls for him to retire.

The last time he heard those calls was after his first-round knockout loss to Al Iaquinta in April. It was the second time in less than a year that Sanchez had been stopped by strikes, which used to be a thing that simply didn’t happen to him. Still, he took to his Instagram after that fight to announce that he had decided to “continue to roar like a lion,” dismissing fan and media concerns that the same punches he once shrugged off were now putting him to sleep.

“(Losing) is a part of this sport, I choose to believe in my god given abilities and had work earned talent!” Sanchez wrote. “I choose to believe in my dream! I am confident, I am experienced, i am still very healthy, young for my physical age and more driven and hungry for success than ever.”

For anyone who’d followed Sanchez’s career, this was no great surprise. The man is, and has always been, a human pitbull. Even if his teeth start falling out and people stop fearing his bite, it’s not like he can suddenly learn how to be a house cat.

That’s what makes even this contrast between the two so tricky. Both Brown and Sanchez are still being the people that it’s in them to be, it’s just that one has changed along with his circumstances and one hasn’t.

Brown can admit that he’s almost hopelessly far from a title shot, and in possession of a human brain that was never intended to absorb repeated blunt force trauma.

Sanchez, on the other hand, has never stopped believing, which is a blessing and a curse. He will rage against the dying of the light. If need be, he might even rage on in total darkness.

For more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2530 with Joe Lauzon, the other Jon Jones, Eric Nicksick

Stream or download Friday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Joe Lauzon, Jon Jones and Eric Nicksick.

Lauzon fights CLay Guida at UFC Fight Night 120 in November in Virginia – and he’s still hungry for bonuses. Jones – the one who is not the embattled former UFC champion – talked about constantly being mistaken on social media for the fighter. Xtreme Couture’s Nicksick co-hosted the show in the studio.

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

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

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Jon Jones (not that one), Joe Lauzon, Eric Nicksick, Jason Buchamer

Filed under: News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Jon Jones (not that one), Joe Lauzon, Eric Nicksick and Jason Buchamer.

Jones the game developer (not to be confused with Jon Jones the UFC fighter) has become an MMA semi-celebrity of sorts due to his humorous @jonjones Twitter account. Lauzon fights Clay Guida at UFC Fight Night 120. Nicksick, our in-studio guest host, is Xtreme Couture’s general manager and head coach. Buchamer, MMAjunkie Radio’s former intern, recaps the latest “The Ultimate Fighter 26” happenings.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC welterweight Matt Brown says he'll retire after fighting Diego Sanchez

When Matt Brown debuted on “The Ultimate Fighter 7,” he wasn’t an early favorite to win. His 7-6 record was downright dreary.

It didn’t take long, though, for Brown’s fellow cast mates to figure out that, what he lacked on paper, he more than made up for in toughness. Not many were eager to tussle with him in the gym.

Nine years after he emerged, a fan favorite despite his reality show loss, Brown (20-16 MMA, 13-10 UFC) is ready to hang up his gloves, announcing today that his upcoming fight against Diego Sanchez (27-10 MMA, 16-10 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 120 will be his last.

Instagram Photo

“11/11 will be my retirement fight. Thanks for enjoying the ride with me this will be an amazing show me and Diego will put on a show for all of you.”

Brown, 36, hopes to go out with a bang after a three-fight skid capped by a vicious knockout loss to Donald Cerrone at UFC 206. The loss was particularly concerning given his admission he’d suffered “hundreds” of concussions over the course of his career, one of which left him isolated for 10 days without lights or loud noises.

If history is any indication, Brown could be in for one last battle as he takes on Sanchez, the longest-lasting veteran of “The Ultimate Fighter” as a member of the show’s inaugural cast. Known as a brawler, Sanchez has been in dozens of slugfests, often bleeding his way to victory.

No one will doubt the toughness of these fighters when they step in the cage Nov. 11 at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. UFC Fight Night 120 airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.

For more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Report: Sage Northcutt to make 2017 debut at UFC Fight Night 120 vs. Michel Quinones

Will Sage Northcutt finally fight in 2017 at November’s UFC Fight Night 120? That’s the plan as of right now.

ESPN.com reported today that Northcutt (8-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) has been booked to face Michel Quinones (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC)in a lightweight bout on Nov. 11 at UFC Fight Night 120. The event takes place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., and airs on FS1.

It’s been a long road back to the octagon for Northcutt, who’s dropped two of his past three bouts. Most recently he was submitted by Mickey Gall at UFC on FOX 22 in December.

Originally, Northcutt hoped to return at UFC 211 in his native Texas, but that plan fell through when he underwent surgery to have his tonsils removed. Northcutt was booked to fight in July at UFC 214, though injuries during training camp to both Northcutt and opponent John Makdessi forced the cancellation of the bout.

Still considered a highly touted prospect despite his recent struggles, Northcutt hopes to finally fight for the first time this year – and at 155 pounds. His two losses have come at welterweight.

In Quinones, Northcutt faces an opponent coming off a TKO loss to Jared Gordon in his UFC debut in June at UFC Fight Night 112. Prior to that, Quinones was on a five-fight winning streak.

Additionally, bantamweight contender Raphael Assuncao has been booked to fight Matthew Lopez on the card.

Assuncao (25-5 MMA, 9-2 UFC), No. 4 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, has won nine of his last 10 bouts and seeks his third consecutive victory. Lopez (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) carries his own two-fight winning streak into the contest.

The latest UFC Fight Night 120 card includes:

  • Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez
  • Nina Ansaroff vs. Angela Hill
  • Cezar Ferreira vs. Nate Marquardt
  • Karl Roberson vs. Darren Stewart
  • Jake Collier vs. Marcel Fortuna
  • Junior Albini vs. Andrei Arlovski
  • Court McGee vs. Sean Strickland
  • Clay Guida vs. Joe Lauzon
  • Viviane Pereira vs. Tatiana Suarez
  • John Dodson vs. Marlon Moraes
  • Sage Northcutt vs. Michel Quinones
  • Raphael Assuncao vs. Matthew Lopez

For more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier official as UFC Fight Night 120 headliner

UFC Fight Night 120 has a main event you won’t want to miss.

The UFC announced late Wednesday that former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will take on Dustin Poirier in the headliner of the FS1-televised event Nov. 11 at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va.

Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) had called for a matchup with Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC) and will get his wish. The bout was first confirmed last month by Pettis’ longtime head coach and mentor on social media.

Pettis, No. 11 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, has had an up-and-down run over the past few years. After dropping the 155-pound belt in March 2015, “Showtime” suffered four losses in five fights.

Part of Pettis’ skid included a failed stint in the featherweight division. He won one 145-pound fight before an interim title bout with Max Holloway at UFC 206 in December. It didn’t go Pettis’ way, and it prompted a return to the lightweight division, where he recently earned a unanimous-decision win over Jim Miller at UFC 213 in July.

No. 14-ranked Poirier, meanwhile, made his most recent octagon appearance at UFC 211 in March, where he had a firefight with former 155-pound champ Eddie Alvarez. The fight ended in a controversial no-contest after Alvarez landed a series of illegal knees.

UFC Fight Night 120 marks Poirier’s second UFC headliner in Virginia; he suffered a fourth-round submission loss to Chan Sung Jung in the UFC on FUEL TV 3 main event in May 2012, which took place in Fairfax.

The latest UFC Fight Night 120 card includes:

  • Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez
  • Nina Ansaroff vs. Angela Hill
  • Cezar Ferreira vs. Nate Marquardt
  • Karl Roberson vs. Darren Stewart
  • Jake Collier vs. Marcel Fortuna
  • Junior Albini vs. Andrei Arlovski
  • Court McGee vs. Sean Strickland
  • Clay Guida vs. Joe Lauzon
  • Viviane Pereira vs. Tatiana Suarez
  • John Dodson vs. Marlon Moraes

For more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Stephen Thompson, Joe Lauzon, Hector Lombard, Tony Martin

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Stephen Thompson, Joe Lauzon, Hector Lombard, and Tony Martin.

Thompson will give an update on the status of his scheduled fight with Jorge Masvidal on Nov. 4 at UFC 217. Lauzon recently signed to fight Clay Guida on Nov. 11 at UFC Fight Night 120 for his 25th fight with the promotion. Lombard faces Anthony Smith on Sept. 16 at UFC Fight Night 116. Martin faces Olivier Aubin-Mercier at UFC Fight Night 116. All four guests will call in to discuss their upcoming matchups and more.

Also, call in for a spot on the Canelo-GGG board for the chance to win a signed glove by Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, who face off in a boxing superfight on Sept. 16. All you have to do is tell the hosts who wins and what round, and if the spot is available, it’s yours. The outcome of the fight will determine the giveaway winners.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTubepages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

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

John Dodson says he's fighting Marlon Moraes at UFC Fight Night 120 in Virginia

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This fall’s UFC Fight Night 120 lineup has an intriguing bantamweight addition.

Former flyweight title challenger John Dodson (19-8 MMA, 8-3 UFC) is slated to fight former WSOF champion Marlon Moraes (18-5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at the November show.

Dodson recently announced the fight following a report from Farah Hannoun (via Twitter):

UFC Fight Night 120 takes place Nov. 11 at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the fight card and bout order haven’t been finalized.

Dodson, who’s No. 14 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, is 2-1 since moving up to bantamweight following a 2015 title loss to 125-pound champ Demetrious Johnson. In his most recent bout, the 32-year-old Jackson-Wink MMA fighter and “TUF 14” champion rebounded from a split-decision defeat to John Lineker with a unanimous-decision victory over Eddie Wineland in April.

He now meet No. 8-ranked Moraes, a longtime WSOF champ who made his long-awaited UFC debut – while sporting a 13-fight winning streak – in June. The 29-year-old Brazilian, who set a WSOF record with five consecutive title defenses, then suffered a narrow split-decision defeat to fellow contender Raphael Assuncao at UFC 212.

The latest UFC Fight Night 120 card includes:

  • Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez
  • Nina Ansaroff vs. Angela Hill
  • Cezar Ferreira vs. Nate Marquardt
  • Karl Roberson vs. Darren Stewart
  • Jake Collier vs. Marcel Fortuna
  • Junior Albini vs. Andrei Arlovski
  • Court McGee vs. Sean Strickland
  • Clay Guida vs. Joe Lauzon
  • Viviane Pereira vs. Tatiana Suarez
  • John Dodson vs. Marlon Moraes

For more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Report: 'TUF 23' winner Tatiana Suarez meets Viviane Pereira at UFC Fight Night 120 in Norfolk

At long last, the Season 23 winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” will return to the octagon this fall.

“TUF 23” winner Tatiana Suarez (4-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will take on Brazil’s Viviane Pereira (13-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) in a fight between unbeaten strawweights at UFC Fight Night 120. The booking first was reported by Brazilian news outlet Combate.com, though it has not yet been formally announced by the UFC.

UFC Fight Night 120 takes place Nov. 11 at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. The event airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Suarez submitted Amanda Bobby Cooper, who was won of her teammates under coach Claudia Gadelha, to win “TUF 23” in July 2016. She picked up a $50,000 bonus check for her first-round D’Arce choke and stayed perfect as a pro at 4-0. But the 26-year-old Californian, who is a former Team USA wrestling standout and onetime Olympic hopeful who several years ago fought and beat thyroid cancer, has been on the sideline since winning the show.

Viviane Pereira

Pereira kept her perfect record intact in June when she took a unanimous decision from Jamie Moyle at uFC 212 in her home country. Prior to that, she won her promotional debut at UFC 206 this past December with a split decision over Valerie Letourneau in Toronto. That bout was her first time fighting outside her native Brazil. The fight against Suarez will be her first time competing in the United States.

With the addition, the latest UFC Fight Night 120 card now includes:

  • Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez
  • Nina Ansaroff vs. Angela Hill
  • Cezar Ferreira vs. Nate Marquardt
  • Karl Roberson vs. Darren Stewart
  • Jake Collier vs. Marcel Fortuna
  • Junior Albini vs. Andrei Arlovski
  • Court McGee vs. Sean Strickland
  • Clay Guida vs. Joe Lauzon
  • Viviane Pereira vs. Tatiana Suarez

For more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Write the bonus check now: Joe Lauzon meets Clay Guida at UFC Fight Night 120

A lightweight showdown between a pair of veterans with 24 UFC bonuses between them … yes, 24 … has been queued up for the promotion’s return to Virginia this fall.

Joe Lauzon (27-13 MMA, 14-10 UFC), who has 15 fight-night bonuses on his resume, and Clay Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC), who has nine, will meet at UFC Fight Night 120 in November. UFC officials announced the new booking today.

UFC Fight Night 120 takes place Nov. 11 at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. The event airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Lauzon has been up and down for his past eight fights. After a TKO win over Michael Chiesa, he was stopped by Al Iaquinta with a second-round TKO at UFC 183. But he bounced back in July 2015 in Chicago with a TKO of Takanori Gomi. It was back to the loss column later that year with a decision setback to Evan Dunham, though.

But at UFC 200 this past July, he rebounded by koncking out Diego Sanchez for a bonus at UFC 200. His follow-up was a “Fight of the Night” winner, but a decision loss to fellow veteran Jim Miller.

In January at UFC Fight Night 104, he took a split decision from Marcin Held – a win he even admitted he didn’t deserve. But the MMA judging gods appeared to pay him back in April when he lost a majority decision to Stevie Ray in Nashville.

WIth the addition, the latest UFC Fight Night 120 card now includes:

  • Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez
  • Nina Ansaroff vs. Angela Hill
  • Cezar Ferreira vs. Nate Marquardt
  • Karl Roberson vs. Darren Stewart
  • Jake Collier vs. Marcel Fortuna
  • Junior Albini vs. Andrei Arlovski
  • Court McGee vs. Sean Strickland
  • Clay Guida vs. Joe Lauzon

For more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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