Category Archives: UFC

Conor McGregor: Floyd Mayweather can't train for me without resurrecting Bruce Lee

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

Conor McGregor, Floyd Mayweather and Bruce Lee. Now that’s an iconic trio.

You may have heard that Saturday, McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) will box Mayweather (49-0 boxing) in a crossover megafight pitting arguably MMA’s biggest current star against a boxing all-time great. The fight is expected to challenge for the title of the most lucrative combat sports bout of all time. It airs on pay-per-view from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

McGregor, the UFC’s lightweight champion, will be boxing for the first time as a professional. Not surprisingly, he has worked with a number of boxers to prepare for the differences between MMA the sport he’ll be trying on for size for what could earn him a nine-figure pay day.

But ahead of the megafight, McGregor said the only way his opponent could properly prepare for his style would be to resurrect a legendary martial artist from the dead.

“What other mixed martial artist is there like me?” McGregor said during an interview with his own website, TheMacLife.com. “He’d need to reincarnate Bruce Lee, and that would be the only person he could bring in that could mimic me with the way that I’m coming at him. I am not like any other mixed martial artist. I am not like any other boxer. I am in a league of my own, and I’ll prove that Aug. 26.”

Check out the video above for more from McGregor, including the benefits of spending much of his camp for Mayweather at the new UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas and the recent change to eight-ounce gloves from 10-ouncers for the fight.

And for more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA 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, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

How Humberto Bandenay lost his dad and 'No. 1 fan' before UFC debut – but never his focus

Say you’re 22. You’ve recently moved away from your family to a country where you don’t even speak the language yet. And you get the call for a short-notice UFC debut against an undefeated opponent.

There have got to be some nerves involved, right?

Well, apparently not if you’re Humberto Bandenay.

“I was very calm and content throughout the whole experience, even when I first got the call,” Bandenay told MMAjunkie. “I’m pretty young still, but I’ve felt for a while that I belong at this level, so managing my emotions wasn’t an issue. I’m very confident in my training, my skills and the people around me.”

Bandenay’s (14-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) steel nerves paid off big this month, when a thunderous knee put an end to his encounter with Martin Bravo (11-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 114. The 26-second knockout not only capped off a six-fight winning streak – all finishes – for Bandenay, but it also came with a $50,000 bonus.

His composure before such a high-stakes debut – which Bandenay, by the way, entered as a massive underdog – would look impressive enough even if no added context was provided.

But it’s particularly inspiring considering his road there.

Bandenay’s MMA career began with three free classes he got at a local gym. It wasn’t long until the then-19-year-old realized that he was not only good at fighting – he wanted it to be his career. In order for that to happen, though, he knew he’d have to make sacrifices.

“I knew that I’d have to come to America if I wanted to fight in the UFC and truly live up to my potential in the sport,” Bandenay said.

Five months ago, Bandenay was still living in Peru. But, thanks to the support of friend and fellow UFC fighter Marlon Vera, Bandenay made his way up to California. Vera, who also moved there from his home country of Ecuador in his early 20s, introduced Bandenay not only to his Team Oyama headquarters, but their mutual management.

That bit, Bandenay says, worked out great. He loves both the team and life in the new country. But it’s come with its hardships.

“It’s been difficult at times only because I miss my family,” Bandenay said. “And I know they miss me.”

Being away from your family is hard enough as it is, but Bandenay had one heavy emotional layer added to it heading into his UFC debut. He had to leave his sick father at home. At some point, he had to make a call: Either go back to Peru and visit him, or continue pushing toward his goals in the U.S.

His father encouraged him to stay. And, as Bandenay would reveal in an emotional post-fight speech, he ended up passing away shortly before he got to see his son’s stellar UFC debut.

The grief could have understandably distracted Bandenay from his biggest career opportunity yet. But, instead, he turned it into fuel.

“I was very sad not being able to see my dad,” Bandenay said. “He was my No. 1 fan. We’ve always been very close. It was my goal to make it to the UFC – and, just as important to me, it was his goal to see me make it to the UFC, too. I knew that it’s what my dad wanted, and I know he was there with me in the octagon.

“My training and experience helped me stay focused throughout the experience. I knew this was an opportunity that I had been waiting for, and nothing was going to stop me. I know my dad was with me, and I wanted nothing more than to win for him.”

His remaining family, Bandenay says, is also fully on board with his MMA career. But the Peruvian up-and-comer admits that there was some initial iffiness around his sport of choice.

“It was very strange to a lot of my family members and friends,” Bandenay said with a laughter. “A lot of people didn’t understand it because the sport is not very popular there.”

Now, however, he has no shortage of supporters. In fact, Bandenay says his win made it to TV and newspapers across the country. And the weight that comes with that is not lost on the young fighter, who feels “a great responsibility” to both carry the Peruvian flag in the octagon and help boost the popularity of MMA in Peru.

“I want the whole world to look to Peru as a country with power,” Bandenay said.

Given the circumstances, Bandenay is also quite aware that his early UFC steps might come with more attention than usual. But, rather than let it overwhelm him, he takes the added eyeballs – and expectations – that might follow as a blessing.

“I don’t feel pressure when I compete or when I think about the future,” Bandenay said. “It’s very motivating, absolutely.”

When it comes to said future, Bandenay seems to take the same measured approach that he does everything else. He’d like to get back in there as soon as possible. He trusts his management. And he knows better than getting too far ahead of himself.

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have some ideas for both his distant and near octagon futures.

“I have goals of being a champion and as going down as one of the all-time great fighters,” Bandenay said. “But, for right now, I’m just taking everything one fight at a time.

“I would like to fight Dooho Choi or Artem Lobov. Though I’m more than happy to fight any featherweight in the world.”

As for the plan for those extra $50,000 that landed in Bandenay’s bank account earlier this month?

“I wish I had a better answer, but I’m saving it,” Bandenay said. “Getting that bonus was a blessing; I’m putting it away for my family. I’m hoping there will be a lot more bonuses in the future.”

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

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Junior Dos Santos rep: Team wants 2 supplements tested for source of Hydrochlorothiazide

With Junior Dos Santos’ Aug. 10 drug test in hand, and armed with the knowledge of what he tested positive for and its levels, a representative for the fighter said the goal now is to find out just where it came from.

Dos Santos (18-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC), a former UFC heavyweight champion, was pulled from his UFC 215 fight against Francis Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) due to a potential doping violation stemming from an out-of-competition test administered by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, the UFC’s official anti-doping program administrator.

The flagged drug test was due to a positive test for Hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic typically used to prevent high blood pressure, according to WebMD.com, but also notable to USADA as a possible masking agent for other substances.

A statement sent to MMAjunkie by Dos Santos rep Ana Claudia Guedes on Saturday indicates the fighter’s level of the substance was low – and that it may have even come from contaminated water, though the team also wants to have two supplements Dos Santos recently began using tested by USADA.

“The level of hydrochlorothiazide listed on his USADA result was ‘low.’ Additionally, the specific gravity reading of Junior’s urine sample was 1.025, indicating that the sample was not diluted. We understand the concentrated urine sample to mean that the low level of hydrochlorothiazide in Junior’s system had no diuretic effect on his sample.

We are learning about some recent anti-doping cases where low levels of hydrochlorothiazide have been the result of supplement contamination, and even contaminated ground water. A 2016 study published by the National Institute of Health found that over-the-counter NSAIDs left hydrochlorothiazide traces.

Our goal now is simply to determine the unintended source of the hydrochlorothiazide. To that end, we have identified two nutritional supplements that Junior recently began using – neither of which show hydrochlorothiazide anywhere on their respective labels or ingredient lists – and are working with USADA to test both. Hopefully that gets us answers.

All drug tests that Junior has taken – both prior to and post implementation of the USADA program – have been negative, including blood and urine samples he provided on July 10 of this year. He prides himself on being a clean athlete, and looks forward to resolving this matter.

UFC 215 takes place Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and features a pair of title fights at the top of the card. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Ngannou, after initially saying he was “very, very angry” at Dos Santos’ positive test and the potential he might not get to fight on the card, on Saturday to call for a replcement opponent: Alistair Overeem.

While the UFC’s original statement on Dos Santos’ positive test said a new opponent would be sought for Ngannou on what now will be less than three weeks’ notice, nothing has been announced yet.

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

UFC's Junior Dos Santos after potential doping violation: 'Truth will prevail … I would never cheat'

After being pulled from his heavyweight showdown against Francis Ngannou at UFC 215 due to a potential doping violation, former champion Junior Dos Santos overnight said “truth will prevail.”

Dos Santos (18-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) was pulled from his fight next month against Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) after an out-of-competition test administered by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, the UFC’s official anti-doping program administrator, turned up positive for Hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic.

“JDS” posted a message on his social media accounts, including Instagram, telling his fans he wouldn’t cheat and thanking them for their support.

“I’m not here to give an explanation,” Dos Santos said in his video post. “Soon, everything will be clear to all of you and no doubt – truth will prevail. I’m here in respect for all of you guys. I just want to say that this situation is very tough for me, my team and my family. And I would never cheat. It goes against everything I stand for. I play a fair game. We will get to the bottom of this, figure out what happened, learn from it and move on. And I hope in the near future, Francis Ngannou and me can face each other and give you guys the show you were expecting. For now, thank you very much for your support. It means a lot to me, and that’s why I’m here.”

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Dos Santos’ heavyweight fight against Ngannou was expected to have a lot to say about the next potential challenger for champion Stipe Miocic. Dos Santos challenged the champ for the belt in March, but lost by first-round TKO in less than half a round. So a win over Ngannou might not have gotten him back in a title fight that quickly, especially after alternating wins and losses for what would then be his past nine fights, but it would disrupt Ngannou’s plans.

Ngannou, though, is about the hottest thing going in the UFC’s heavyweight title picture. He has nine straight wins, including his first five in the UFC. All 10 of his career wins are by stopppage. His most recent two wins against arguably his toughests tests yet in Anthony Hamilton and former champ Andrei Arlovski were first-round bonus winners, and he has three straight wins in less than two minutes of work. So a win over a former champ might have gotten him a coveted shot at the title.

The UFC’s original statement on Dos Santos’ positive test said a new opponent would be sought for Ngannou, but nothing has been announced yet. Ngannou on Saturday to call for a fight with Alistair Overeem at UFC 215.

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

MMA's week out of the cage: Aljo balls with Biebs, Kailin Curran gets married, more

Social media has become a significant part of the sporting landscape. But few, if any, professional sports match the level of interaction and personal access provided by MMA.

In an individual competition in which nearly every athlete is chasing the same goal of financial success and championship glory, it’s important for fighters to provide insight into their lives in order to connect with fans and gain followings.

Although the life of a fighter often can be mundane and repetitive, there still are moments of interest that take place outside the cage, ring or training room. Here are some of the most interesting of those occurrences from the past week.

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Sterling hits the hardwood

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Weekly eats

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Weddings, anniversaries and engagements

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The life of “The Notorious”

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Summer fun

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Shooting, hunting, fishing

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Daniel Cormier: Friendship with Jon Jones would be 'very difficult,' wants 3rd fight

Former UFC champion Daniel Cormier is still working to move past his UFC 214 title-fight loss to Jon Jones. Part of that process includes looking ahead to a third encounter with his longtime rival.

Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) has kept a low profile since his third-round knockout defeat against Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC) in July. He dropped the 205-pound belt and fell to 0-2 against “Bones” in a moment he’d anticipated for more than two years. Cormier was understandably devastated by the outcome, but as he said in his return to hosting duties on FS1’s “UFC Tonight” this week, he’s come to realize the loss doesn’t define him.

“It takes time to get over something that’s so big, especially when you’re unsuccessful in such a big event,” Cormier said. “But, you know, day by day you get better. You keep fighting. You keep learning that there are things much more important than the competition. I’m the guy that really does love what I do, and I’m a guy that takes it very hard if I am unsuccessful. And I think you saw that down at the Honda Center in Anaheim.”

After losing to Jones by unanimous decision in the pair’s first meeting at UFC 182 in January 2015, Cormier took over the role as champion when Jones was stripped of the title due to out-of-competition actions. During that time the tension between the pair grew thicker, and finally it came to a head at UFC 214.

Jones, No. 1 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light heavyweight rankings, was classy in victory. He’s done nothing but praise No. 2-ranked Cormier in the fallout of the event, claiming he would like to form a working relationship despite seeing a high probability of a third bout in the future.

Fighting Jones one more time is among Cormier’s highest athletic priorities. He said he’s happy to be cordial with Jones, but that will never outweigh his desire to find a way to defeat him inside the octagon.

“I believe he’s being genuine; I do believe he’s trying to turn over a new leaf,” Cormier said. “I think he’s trying to show that he’s a different person than he was in the past. With that being said, friendship would be very difficult for us to achieve. And I’m OK with that. … In terms of going forward, we will be professional because we have to until the cage door closes again.”

Cormier, 38, may have been knocked out by Jones at UFC 214, but before the fight-ending sequence he was enjoying some solid success. He couldn’t get the job done, though, and Cormier said that’s one of the cruel aspects of the sport.

“If fighting was a nice ex-girlfriend, she would’ve allowed (Jones) to walk out and double-knee me and knock me out in 10 seconds,” Cormier said. “But, no, she had to give me some success before it happened. It was just too easy to say, ‘Don’t let the guy in the fight at all.’”

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Before MayMac madness, watch pre-UFC Conor McGregor's first time winning 2 titles

Filed under: Cage Warriors, News, UFC, Videos

Conor McGregor made UFC history this past November, but really it was old hat to the Irishman.

Then the featherweight champion, McGregor took out lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez in the UFC 205 main event to become the first fighter in promotional history to hold two belts at the same time.

It was a familiary feeling for McGregor. Less than four years prior, he became the first fighter in Cage Warriors history to hold two titles simultaneously. While featherweight champ, he knocked out Ivan Buchinger at Cage Warriors 51 in front of his home fans in Dublin to win the vacant lightweight title.

That wound up being all McGregor needed to get the call from the UFC, where he proceeded to make quick work of making history.

In a week, McGregor will put another milestone on his resume when he continues to rewrite the rules in his favor. McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) fights unbeaten boxing legend Floyd Mayweather (49-0 boxing) in a match that is expected to eclipse records – and is could net McGregor a staggering nine-figure payday. The fight goes down at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and airs on pay-per-view.

But ahead of that fight, it’s worth checking out a younger Conor McGregor before all the big money – and before all the chest tattoos – in his fight against Buchinger. Could anyone have predicted back then just how big he would become?

Check out the video above.

And for more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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

Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor gets special hype video from The Killers

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

The days are quickly winding down to the anticipated Aug. 26 boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. That means the final push of promotional hype is gearing up.

The matchup between Mayweather (49-0 boxing) and McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC), which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and airs on pay-per-view, is such a big event that its got its own music video from The Killers.

To the theme of the Las Vegas-based band’s recently released track “The Man,” Showtime Sports today revealed the special hype video for “The Money Fight.”

Watch it above.

Group members Ronnie Vvnnucci Jr. and Brandon Flowers also weighed in on Mayweather vs. McGregor, courtesy of a press release from Showtime Sports.

Ronnie Vannucci Jr.: “McGregor and Floyd Mayweather. It’s unprecedented, right? I mean two different schools, one ring.”

Brandon Flowers: “It sounds like an exciting movie in the 80s. It sounds like some movie, good premise. It’s exciting. It is surreal.”

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA 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

UFC lightweight Gilbert Melendez details how he used free agency to his advantage

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5545146213001
Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Two-time UFC lightweight title challenger Gilbert Melendez is one of the few big-name fighters to come out of MMA’s free agency process better than he came in.

Melendez signed with Bellator and allowed the UFC to match, which gave him leverage to get a better deal. A subsequent wave of free agencies can partially be attributed to his unprecedented move.

Now, Melendez’s contract requires he be on a pay-per-view main card every time he steps into the octagon, which is why his fight with Jeremy Stephens at UFC 215 won’t be lost in the shuffle.

“There’s definitely fatter contracts, but I’ve got a good contract,” Melendez told MMAjunkie Radio. “I can’t say (I get pay-per-view points on every fight), but there is a purse and some other things that are factored in that add up … to what we’re looking for.

“We brainstormed some really good things that were important to me that cover some other payments.”

Melendez is no doubt happy for those payments with the Reebok deal in full effect. Now, his top priority is reversing an octagon slide that’s seen him lose three straight. After all, taking out Stephens at the Sept. 9 pay-per-view event is the best way to get paid in full.

Here more from Melendez in the video above.

UFC 215 takes place at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. For more on the event, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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

UFC Fight Night 115 lineup set with 11 bouts in the Netherlands, led by Struve-Volkov

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The lineup is set for the UFC’s return trip to the Netherlands next month.

The card features 11 fights, including a heavyweight headliner. UFC Fight Night 115 takes place Sept. 2 at Ahoy Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The entire event, with four main-card fights and seven prelims, streams on UFC Fight Pass.

Alexander Volkov

In the main event, Dutch big man Stefan Struve (28-8 MMA, 12-6 UFC) gets a home fight and takes on former Bellator heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov (28-6 MMA, 2-0 UFC). Struve has won three of his past four fights, including a bonus-winning 16-secodn knockout of Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in the UFC’s first trip to Rotterdam in 2016.

Germaine de Randamie

In the co-feature, inaugural women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie (8-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) moves back to bantamweight after having her 145-pound title stripped. She’ll be fighting in front of her home fans, as well, and will take on Marion Reneau (7-3-1 MMA, 3-2-1 UFC).

To fill out the main card on UFC Fight Pass, Siyar Bahadurzada (22-6-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) fights Rob Wilkinson (11-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in a middleweight bout, and Bryan Barberena (13-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) takes on Leon Edwards (13-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) at welterweight.

The prelims will feature seven fights on UFC Fight Pass. The featured bout is Darren Till (14-0-1 MMA, 2-0-1 UFC) vs. Bojan Velickovic (15-4-1 MMA, 2-1-1 UFC) at welterweight. There also are a trio of lightweight fights ahead of that: Felipe Silva (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Mairbek Taisumov (26-5 MMA, 5-1 UFC), Mads Burnell (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Michel Prazeres (22-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), and Desmond Green (20-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Rustam Khabilov (21-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC).

In addition, Francimar Barroso (19-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) meets Aleksandar Rakic (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at light heavyweight, Nick Hein (14-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) takes on newcomer Zabit Magomedsharipov (12-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at featherweight, and 205-pounders Abdul-Kerim Edilov (16-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Bojan Mihajlovic (10-5 MMA, 0-2 UFC) will meet.

The complete UFC Fight Night 115 lineup includes:

MAIN CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 3 p.m. ET)

  • Stefan Struve vs. Alexander Volkov
  • Germaine de Randamie vs. Marion Reneau
  • Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Rob Wilkinson
  • Bryan Barberena vs. Leon Edwards

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 11:30 a.m. ET)

  • Darren Till vs. Bojan Velickovic
  • Felipe Silva vs. Mairbek Taisumov
  • Mads Burnell vs. Michel Prazeres
  • Desmond Green vs. Rustam Khabilov
  • Francimar Barroso vs. Aleksandar Rakic
  • Nick Hein vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov
  • Abdul-Kerim Edilov vs. Bojan Mihajlovic

For more on UFC Fight Night 115, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie