Ronda Rousey’s Emotionally Charged New Series Launches Wednesday

Complex Networks’ new original docuseries “Why We Fight,” executive produced by Ronda Rousey, the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) first female bantamweight champion and Olympic medalist in Judo, premieres Wednesday, Oct. 18. Across the eight, 45-minute episodes, “Why We Fight” follows a talented and troubled young fighter, Zac “Kid Yamaka” Wohlman, on his pilgrimage across the globe. Struggling with his own demons, he encounters fellow warriors who have their own issues and reasons for stepping into the ring. Inspired by the short film “Kid Yamaka” directed by Matt Ogens, “Why We Fight” is produced by Dirty Robber and Religion of Sports, and is distributed on Complex’s digital channel, available via go90.

Why We Fight is a powerful, visceral and multi-layered journey that goes beyond the ring and explores the motivations that compel these athletes to compete in their sport,” said Justin Killion, general manager of premium content for Complex Networks. “We’re honored that Zac shared his personal story with us. ”  

“We expect the series will hook viewers far beyond the traditional fight audience,” said Chris Uettwiller, CEO of Dirty Robber, co-producers of the series. “Through Zac, we were able to capture an authenticity rarely seen in the fight world. Why We Fight allows the viewer to see the fears and vulnerabilities of men and women who might otherwise appear invincible.” 

Why We Fight - Ronda Rousey seriesWohlman, originally from San Fernando Valley, California, battled with a drug problem throughout his childhood and currently faces a painkiller addition that threatens to destroy his career. The docuseries follows Zac on his odyssey to heal his wounds so he can return to the ring a better fighter and better person. Viewers experience this emotional and physical roller coaster as the conflicted boxer establishes deep and meaningful bonds with these fighters he meets on his travels. It’s raw and uncensored emotion – as visceral and moving as the fights themselves.

“Fighting is the most primordial instinct we have,” added executive producer Gotham Chopra. “Zac’s willingness to take us with him into his own quest to uncover why we fight has been a raw and awesome odyssey and one I’ve been proud to be a part of.”

“We’re incredibly excited about partnering with Complex, Dirty Robber and Religion of Sports to bring Zac’s personal journey to fighting fans everywhere,” said Ivana Kirkbride, Chief Content Officer of go90. “Why We Fight epitomizes go90’s vision of providing fans with content from exceptional producers, that they can connect with on an emotional level, all while bringing them deeper inside the world of their favorite sports.”

In the first episode, Zac travels to Tijuana, Mexico to study the art of boxing. It’s in this first episode that Zac reveals he’s been addicted to opioids following an injury, and is now doing his best to rebuild his confidence and regain his skills.

(Courtesy of go90 Zone)

“Why We Fight” is executive produced by UFC Champion Ronda Rousey. Executive Producers for Dirty Robber and Religion of Sports, LLC are Gotham Chopra, Matt Ogens, Martin Desmond Roe, Chris Uettwiller and Adam Feinstein. For Complex Networks, Justin Killion and Melanie Moreau.

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Source: MMA Weekly

Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson official for UFC 218 in Detroit

Tecia Torres has wanted to fight Michelle Waterson for some time now, and that’s what she’s getting.

It was announced today that Torres (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) and Waterson (14-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC) will meet in a strawweight bout at UFC 218, which takes place Dec. 2 from Little Caesars Arena in Detroit with a pay-per-view main card that follows prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Torres, No. 7 in the current USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA strawweight rankings, made it known back in August she wanted Waterson for her next fight. The “Karate Hottie” is pleased to finally oblige that request.

“Tecia has been calling me out since her last fight,” Waterson told ESPN.com. “I’m just trying to give her what she wants. It’ll be a great fight.”

For Waterson, she will be looking to rebound from a second-round submission loss to Rose Namajunas at UFC on FOX 24 in April. As a result of that win, Namajunas is set to face champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at next month’s UFC 217.

Torres also has lost to Namajunas in April 2016 for her lone defeat in a rematch of an Invicta bout won by Torres. Since that loss, Torres has compiled back-to-back wins, including her first finish in July, when she beat Juliana Lima with a rear-naked choke.

With the addition to the card, UFC 218 now includes:

  • Champ Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar – for featherweight title
  • Francis Ngannou vs. Alistair Overeem
  • Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
  • Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta
  • Drakkar Klose vs. David Teymur
  • Cortney Casey vs. Felice Herrig
  • Yancy Medeiros vs. Alex Oliveira
  • Razak Al-Hassan vs. Sabah Homasi
  • Amanda Cooper vs. Angela Magana
  • Jeremy Kimball vs. Dominick Reyes
  • Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson Joins Stacked UFC 218 Lineup

The rich get richer in Detroit with another huge fight just added to the upcoming UFC 218 card on Dec. 2.

No. 5 ranked contender Tecia Torres will get back in action against No. 6 ranked “The Karate Hottie” Michelle Waterson in a strawweight bout on the card.

UFC officials announced the new matchup on Tuesday.

Torres is currently riding a two fight win streak as she looks to take another step closer towards title contender in the UFC’s 115-pound women’s division.

Most recently, Torres got the first finish of her professional career with a second round rear naked choke submission to put away Juliana Lima in July.

Now Torres will look to keep her streak alive as she takes on another highly touted strawweight competitor in Waterson, who will attempt to bounce back from her first loss in the UFC.

As a former Invicta FC champion, Waterson has all the credentials to make waves in the UFC and that’s exactly what she did by dispatching Paige VanZant last December in her first main event inside the Octagon.

Unfortunately, Waterson stumbled in her next fight as she fell to Rose Namajunas, who is now scheduled to fight for the title at UFC 217 in November.

Waterson will attempt to get back on track as she faces Torres as part of a stacked card in Detroit on Nov. 2.

In addition to Torres vs. Waterson, featherweight champion Max Holloway faces off with Frankie Edgar in the main event, heavyweights Alistair Overeem and Francis Ngannou square off and “Ultimate Fighter” coaches Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje meet in a highly anticipated lightweight slugfest.

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Source: MMA Weekly

Dan Hardy Teaches ‘Game of Thrones’ Star How to Pull Off a Submission

Daniel Portman may be learning how to swing a sword as he’s preparing for the final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ but now he might be able to throw in a rear naked choke as well.

Portman, who portrays loyal squire Podrick Payne on the hit HBO series, also happens to be an avid mixed martial arts fan.

He attended the recent UFC card in Scotland and now Portman spent some time with former title contender and current UFC color commentator Dan Hardy, who showed him a few moves in the gym.

Hardy left his armor at home and decided to show Portman the art of hand to hand combat with a takedown to rear naked choke submission.

So if you’re watching the final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ and you witness Podrick Payne look for the single leg followed by a transition to choke out a White Walker, you know where he learned it from.

The final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ is starting production soon with a debut date most likely in 2019 on HBO.

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Source: MMA Weekly

Paulie Malignaggi says discussions underway for Conor McGregor fight and PLEASE GOD NO

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According to former boxing champ Paulie Malignaggi, discussions are underway for a potential fight with sparring partner-turned bitter rival Conor McGregor.

“I know Al Haymon’s talking with Dana White,” Malignaggi told Fight Hype. “I know they’re speaking, so if they want the fight they’ll make it.”

Dear god, let us hope they do not want the fight. Let us do more than hope. Let us offer up blood sacrifices to avoid this fate. Let us throw a virgin into a volcano and slaughter a goat on the first fine market day. Let us seize the property of those who would advocate for such a fight, then gather their belongings in the town square and set them ablaze. Let us never relent.

On some level, sure, I get it. Malignaggi sniffs a payday. He has an image to maintain. He has a very personal grudge against McGregor that has at times drifted into restraining order territory. He has a very distinct way of pronouncing the word “balls,” (boo-awls) and a corresponding love of saying it over and over again.

It’s not surprising that he wants this fight, but the powers that be must not let him have it. The reason is very simple: While a little bit of ridiculousness can be fun, too much is just plain stupid.

McGregor’s boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, for instance? Just absurd enough to be a good time, though even then we had to exercise extreme patience and suspend more than a little disbelief in order to enjoy it.

But another boxing match, especially against Malignaggi, all while his UFC lightweight title goes undefended? That’s the point where McGregor would drift hopelessly into self-parody.

And for what? I mean, money, sure. But there’s plenty of that to be found elsewhere. The UFC is desperate for McGregor’s return. MMA fans are, too. A better-than-expected performance against Mayweather likely only increased his star power, which means he could defend his UFC title against a coat rack right now and still break MMA pay-per-view records.

A boxing match with Malignaggi, on the other hand, would be a step backwards in every meaningful sense. It would be the lazy sequel to the breakout hit, the “Speed 2: Cruise Control” of combat sports matchups. And you know something? There’s a good reason Keanu Reeves turned that sequel down, and it’s because he has some sense.

Back in the UFC there are a plethora of options for McGregor’s next fight, ranging from the logical choices like Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov to the purely profit-driven possibilities like Nate Diaz or Georges St-Pierre.

All of them would be better ideas than another stupid boxing match against a lesser draw who’s been following McGregor around like a bad credit score ever since their fallout as sparring partners.

Fighters and promoters want to make money. Fans want to have some fun. But we can do all those things without being idiots about it.

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

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UFC 218: Holloway vs. Edgar Fight Poster Unveiled

UFC 218 is slated for Dec. 2 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. The fight card recently gained its headlining bout, and now the official fight poster has been revealed.

UFC 218 is topped by featherweight champion Max Holloway putting his belt on the line for the first time since unifying his interim title with that of then-champion Jose Aldo in June. Holloway will step into the Octagon on Dec. 2 across from former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. It could be Edgar’s last best shot at a title, as he has twice failed to capture the featherweight strap.

The co-main event in Detroit features one of the more exciting heavyweight match-ups in a long time, as multi-promotion champion and current No. 1 UFC contender Alistair Overeem risks his shot at the belt by facing fast-rising knockout artist Francis Ngannou. 

Check out the UFC 218 fight card here and the recently unveiled poster below.

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Source: MMA Weekly

Corey Anderson wants Patrick Cummins to deal with staph infection, still fight at UFC 217

Corey Anderson would like Patrick Cummins to reconsider his decision.

Cummins (10-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) today announced on Instagram that he will no longer fight Anderson (9-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) at next month’s UFC 217 because of a “mutant staph infection.”

That decision, according to Anderson, is being made too soon and can be reversed if Cummins takes the proper measures.

Via Instagram:

Instagram Photo

How do YOU call it quits so far out from fight night? There’s still 3 weeks til fight night… And I’ve had staph before.. cut that shit open, drain it, take your meds, take a couple rest days to elevate the leg, and you’ll be good by Saturday. You called me out in 2014 and I’ve been waiting for our time to come every since… There’s still plenty of time til the dance. I got my best outfit, my familys tickets, and my friends are all looking forward to it. I hope to see you on the floor… #thisisbusiness #andpersonal #UFC217

UFC 217 takes place Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass. Cummins vs. Anderson was slated for the UFC Fight Pass prelims.

No official announcement regarding Cummins’ removal has been made by the UFC.

Anderson is looking to rebound from a first-round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa earlier this year at UFC Fight Night 107. Cummins, a 36-year-old who took up MMA in 2010 after he was a two-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler, is riding a two-fight winning streak.

The latest UFC 217 lineup now includes:

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Champ Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre – for middleweight title
  • Champ Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw – for bantamweight title
  • Champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Rose Namajunas – for women’s strawweight title
  • Jorge Masvidal vs. Stephen Thompson
  • Paulo Borrachinha vs. Johny Hendricks

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Joseph Duffy vs. James Vick
  • Mark Godbeer vs. Walt Harris
  • Ion Cutelaba vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk
  • Randy Brown vs. Mickey Gall

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)

  • Curtis Blaydes vs. Aleksei Oleinik
  • Corey Anderson vs. TBA
  • Ricardo Ramos vs. Aiemann Zahabi

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Will Michelle Waterson be UFC's next reality star on 'The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars'?

UFC fighters are no strangers to reality competitions, and Michelle Waterson will be the latest to step a little out of her fighting comfort zone.

Waterson (14-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC) will be part of the cast of MTV’s show “The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars,” which is set to have its season debut on Nov. 21 at 10 p.m. ET. The news first was reported by People magazine.

The show will feature 10 alums of “The Challenge” show, all of whom were past cast members on different seasons of “The Real World.” Those reality stars will go up against 10 celebrities, including Waterson, Ariane Andrew (WWE), Kim Glass (Olympic volleyball), Shawn Johnson (Olympic gymnast), Romeo Miller (rapper), Josh Murray (“The Bachelorette”), Terrell Owens (NFL), Riff Raff (rapper), Matt Rife (comedian) and Justina Valentine (rapper).

Waterson will be playing for the MVP Vets and Players charity.

She’s not the first UFC fighter to appear on “The Challenge.” Earlier this year, Phil “CM Punk” Brooks appeared on the “Champs vs. Pros” version of the show. He was eliminated on the season’s fourth episode and won $1,000 for his charity, PAWS Chicago.

A year and a half ago, Paige VanZant set the bar for current UFC fighters appearing on reality competition shows when she was runner-up on Season 22 of “Dancing with the Stars.” Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture also appeared on past seasons of that show. VanZant in 2016 also was on a celebrity edition of “Chopped” on The Food Network.

Waterson in April suffered her first loss in the UFC. The former Invicta FC atomweight champ started her UFC run 2-0 with rear-naked choke wins over Angela Magana and VanZant, the latter of which came as the headliner for UFC on FOX 22. But in the UFC on FOX 25 co-main event, she was submitted by Rose Namajunas, who earned an upcoming title shot with the win.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, 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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Georges St-Pierre Needs to Stop Talking Trash

While Michael Bisping has earned a solid C+ for his trash talk, Georges St-Pierre just needs to stop. He is failing miserably. 

Bisping has long been a talker of smack. He’s not on the level of Conor McGregor, but he’s good at it, and he’s good at getting under his opponent’s skin. That has become all too obvious as St-Pierre has struggled to keep up with Bisping’s motor mouth. 

Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre Toronto UFC 217 faceoffBisping can be funny. Bisping can be the bully. But GSP doesn’t have the gift of gab to spar with him on any level. 

A portion of that probably has to do with the French-Canadian being a half-step slower when speaking English. He is likely a little better when his words flow in French. But it has never, ever been St-Pierre’s strong suit to dis his opponent. 

He’s returned to the Octagon after a four-year absence pursuing big challenges and big money, so perhaps he feels the pressure to put on a show in the fight’s build-up. After all, McGregor’s superstardom is based as much, or even more so, on his war with words as it is his skills in the cage.

Some people just can’t pull it off though. Bisping does a fair impression of the Irishman, but that’s because Bisping has always tried to ruffle his opponent’s feathers. St-Pierre gets an F on all cards. Please Georges, just stop.

TRENDING > Dana White: Jon Jones Could Have Been UFC Heavyweight Champion

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Source: MMA Weekly

Patrick Cummins Declares He’s Pulling Out of UFC 217

Patrick Cummins is apparently pulling the plug on UFC 217.

Though promotion officials have yet to comment, Cummins on Tuesday tweeted that he would not be able to fight Corey Anderson at UFC 217 on Nov. 4 in New York as planned. 

Alongside a photo showing a grotesquely swollen right foot, Cummins said that he had a bad staph infection that would apparently force him off of the UFC 217 fight card.

“IV antibiotics aren’t killing my mutant staph infection,” he wrote. “UFC 217 isn’t happening for me. Sorry everyone.”

Cummins has yet to say what his doctor’s diagnosis for a return is, but one sideline doctor weighed in almost immediately, claiming that it was too soon for Cummins to pull out of the fight. That sideline doc was Anderson, his scheduled opponent.

“How do YOU call it quits so far out from fight night? There’s still 3 weeks til fight night… And I’ve had staph before. Cut that (expletive) open, drain it, take your meds, take a couple rest days to elevate the leg, and you’ll be good by Saturday,” Anderson wrote on Instagram.

“You called me out in 2014 and I’ve been waiting for our time to come ever since. There’s still plenty of time til the dance. I got my best outfit, my family’s tickets, and my friends are all looking forward to it. I hope to see you on the floor.”

TRENDING > Khabib Nurmagomedov Trying to Block Conor McGregor vs. Tony Ferguson

Cummins appears to have already ruled himself out of the fight, but we’ll have to wait for an official response from the UFC before any definitive determination is made.

UFC 217 is a massive event for the promotion. It is topped by three title fights. Georges St-Pierre is slated to challenge Michael Bisping for the middleweight champion in the headliner, while Cody Garbrandt puts his bantamweight belt on the line against TJ Dillashaw in the co-main event. The card also features strawweight titleholder Joanna Jedrzejczyk defending for the sixth time when she meets Rose Namajunas.

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Source: MMA Weekly