Tag Archives: Austin Meese

UFC Fight Night 112 winner Tony Martin: 'I think I can be the best fighter in the world'

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Tony Martin made no secret of his general dislike for Johnny Case ahead of their UFC Fight Night 112 scrap.

But he also believed Case (22-6 MMA, 4-2 UFC) would be the right opponent to help highlight his own evolving skill set. As his unanimous decision win following an exciting, close fight showed, Martin (12-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) was on to something. For many – including Martin himself – Sunday’s battle was his best one yet.

And after 15 minutes of exchanged blows, nods and more than a few words, it seems like the two have reached somewhat of a truce.

“When you have a problem, you just get in there and you figure it out,” Martin said after the lightweight bout at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., which streamed on UFC Fight Pass. “You hash it out, and then you just earn your respect.

“I don’t have to like the guy; he doesn’t have to like me afterward. But at the end of the day, you do respect each other as fighters. He did show up, so I’ve got to respect that.”

For Martin, who says he’s used to “talking a little crap” to lighten the mood in training, having that kind of heat with Case helped him feel more comfortable inside the cage, even though some of those words, he revealed, were him calling Case a cheater after some eye pokes.

“But I was just amped up,” Martin said. “In the beginning of the fight, he hit me with a jab and said something like, ‘Alright, let’s fight now.’ I just faked a takedown. I said ‘alright,’ I started talking once I started landing. Like, ‘Let’s go, I’m here. You act like I was just going to try to take you down the whole fight, but I’m here. Let’s scrap.’

“And I think I broke him mentally. I think that he started fading. And I think that’s when I kept getting stronger. I think he didn’t expect me to strike with him the whole fight. He just expected to defend takedowns, and that was a bad game plan.”

But talking wasn’t Martin’s main tool – yet, it was the surprisingly crisp stand-up game he’s long been perfecting with the likes of boxing coach Eddie Alvarez. On his end, Martin understands why most weren’t expecting that level of striking coming from him.

Which is why Martin, who’s happy to go up against high-level strikers at the gym, took it upon himself to show it.

“I think my striking was extremely underrated coming into this fight,” Martin said. “And I haven’t shown it in any fight, so it’s not any disrespect to anyone else. But I had something to prove. I went out there, and I proved it. Now, people better start respecting my striking.”

Martin has faced some of the top competitors in the lightweight division before. In fact, he was rudely welcomed into the octagon by two of them, dropping back-to-back losses to Rashid Magomedov and Beneil Dariush before Fabricio Camoes became his first UFC victim.

But now, riding a three-fight streak and feeling like he’s finally come into his own as a fighter, Martin would like a new crack at the top 15.

“I was just this little kid coming in here, just an athlete,” Martin said. “And my skills weren’t anywhere near where they are right now. I’m at a whole other level. And really, just anyone. I just want to get in there and prove to the world. No disrespect to them, but that’s how you climb the ladder. You’ve got to start knocking down people.

“I’m just trying to be the best I can be. And I think I can be the best fighter in the world. I’ve just got to keep improving every fight, put the work in and train hard. Good things happen to good people that do things right.”

To hear more from Martin, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Jeremy Kimball thrilled with UFC Fight Night 112 TKO after he 'couldn't sleep at all' on fight week

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Jeremy Kimball finally got his first taste of octagon victory, but it took some sleepless nights to get there.

Kimball (15-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC) walked away from this past Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 112 with a massive first-round TKO over Josh Stansbury (8-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) and a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus to show for his efforts. What turned out to be a good night for the 26-year-old “Grizzly,” however, didn’t start off that way.

“I was super nervous up until the point I started hitting pads,” Kimball told reporters after the light heavyweight bout, which streamed on UFC Fight Pass from Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. “Then I realized how much power was there tonight. Then I knew I was on, and it was going to be a fun night for me.”

This wasn’t Kimball’s first quick night in the octagon, but it was the first successful one. Back in January, on a short-notice UFC on FOX 23 encounter with Marcos Rogerio de Lima, the light heavyweight was the one on the unfortunate end of a first-round TKO.

Coming off a four-fight streak into his losing UFC debut, Kimball makes no secret of just how tough of a pill that was to swallow.

“I took it hard,” Kimball said. “All the way up to this point. I was nervous all week. I couldn’t sleep at all. I hate losing. So losing on the biggest stage really sucked. So I really wanted this one.”

In any case, there were at least some lessons learned in the setback.

“In my last fight, I didn’t pull the trigger with my punches,” Kimball said. “And my dad always tells me, ‘If you don’t pull the trigger, you can’t win.’ Stansbury caught me early, and I just decided at that point to pull the trigger. And that’s what happened.”

To hear more from Kimball, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator President Scott Coker: UFC-Reebok deal 'should be against the labor laws or something'

One of the reasons Bellator could become more attractive to prospective free-agent fighters is the UFC Athlete Outfitting Partnership with Reebok.

The UFC-Reebok deal certainly hasn’t received better than a mix of positive and negative reactions since coming about in Dec. 2014.

It certainly weighed heavily on Bellator light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader, who signed with Bellator in March after eight years in the UFC and won the title over Phil Davis at Bellator 180. In the lead-up to this past Saturday’s fight, Bader (23-5 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) raised some eyebrows when he told MMAjunkie in April he would make “three to four times” more in sponsorship money with Bellator than under the UFC-Reebok deal, which earned him just $15,000 in his 20th and final fight.

Bader’s situation might not necessarily be the norm, though. Benson Henderson, who was among the first in what’s become a notable list of fighters to jump from the UFC to Bellator, said he struggled to find sponsors because the market had largely dried up.

In any case, Bellator President Scott Coker can’t understand how the UFC-Reebok deal is even legal.

“Listen, they’re independent contractors. How they’re forced to wear a uniform, to this day, still baffles me,” Coker said during “The MMA Hour” on Monday. “It should be against the labor laws or something. Because you have to wear this sponsor thing? You have to wear this certain uniform when you fight? To me, they’re independent contractors. They should go out and get whatever sponsors they want, and if Ryan Bader or whoever went out and made a million dollars in sponsorship, good for you. We don’t touch any of that.”

Whether you’re in favor of the UFC-Reebok deal or against it, the fact remains it was agreed to without fighters involved in negotiations. And isn’t it fair to wonder if they should have say in something like this?

For more on the upcoming Bellator and UFC schedules, visit the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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

Richard Odoms Looking to Finish Jared Vanderaa in LFA 15 Title Fight

In March, heavyweight veteran Richard Odoms returned to the United States after a spending last year fighting overseas and picked up a second round TKO of William Hoffman at Legacy Fighting Alliance 6.

While the win was good for Odoms’ career, he wasn’t exactly happy with how he performed in the bout.

“There were a lot of goods, but a lot of bad things came with that as well,” Odoms told MMAWeekly.com. “There were a lot of things that I wanted to show that I didn’t show. I felt my performance was a little sluggish.

“I really don’t know what was going on or what the hiccup I was having that night. Things were not as upbeat as they usually are. That being said, I’ve got a lot to show this next fight coming up and try to make sure that I’m coming in there and doing everything that I’m supposed to be doing.”

While he wasn’t completely pleased with how he fought against Hoffman, Odoms was happy to be back in America after two bouts last year for World Series of Fighting Global in Asia.

“Japan and the Philippines are awesome and I’m not going to take anything from them, but being at home is so much better,” said Odoms. “Being at home and where you have everybody on the up and up, you don’t appreciate that stuff until you’re overseas. Being back in the States was a huge thing for me.”

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Odoms (12-3) now turns his focus towards Friday in Shawnee, Okla., when he takes on Jared Vanderaa (5-0) in a heavyweight championship main event at LFA 15.

“I feel it’s going to give me a chance to stand up with somebody,” Odoms said. “Hopefully that’s what (Vanderaa) brings to the game.

“What I’m looking to show is my stand-up and me dominating in the cage. I’ve been gone for so long, now that I’m back in the States I want to put on good shows and sending out a message that needs to be sent.”

While he hasn’t had to go a full 25 minutes in his career before, Odoms welcomes the two extra rounds the championship fight affords him.

“I love the two extra rounds,” Odoms said. “It gives me more time if need be to get the finish that I need – to get a clean finish – not just something that just happens to come by the wayside that I jump on top of. I love to grind, so going five rounds is right up my ally.”

Though he’s 42 years old, Odoms feels he can be as competitive as any other fighter in the heavyweight division, and is looking to make his case with the LFA title in hand.

“I think this is going to be an awesome time for me having that belt,” said Odoms. “Having that belt is going to get me fights and keep me busy, and that’s what I’m looking for.”

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Source: MMA Weekly

UFC Fight Night 112 salaries: B.J. Penn earns highest purse despite tough loss

B.J. Penn took a loss at UFC Fight Night 112, but he earned the most money of any fighter on the card.

Penn (16-12-2 MMA, 12-11-2 UFC) earned $150,000 for his majority-decision defeat to Dennis Siever this past Sunday. Penn knocked down Siever (23-11 MMA, 12-8 UFC) in the second round and had a chance to come away with the win then and there. It was a close fight that, had it gone the other way, would’ve resulted in another $150,000 for Penn. Siever, fighting for the first time in two years, took home $39,000 for showing and earned another $39,000 for the win.

MMAjunkie today obtained the disclosed payouts from the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission, which oversaw UFC Fight Night 112 on Sunday at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla, which aired on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, Kevin Lee took home $44,000 for showing and another $44,000 for the win over Michael Chiesa. As previously reported, the submission victory also earned Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus, bringing his total earnings to $138,000. Chiesa (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) earned $36,000 for the fight and lost out on another possible $36,000 thanks to the controversial finish.

Elsewhere on the main card, former champion Johny Hendricks earned $100,000 for showing and stood to earn another $100,000 for the win, which didn’t happen as Tom Boetsch finished him in the first round. Boetch earned $67,000 to show, $67,000 to win and also received a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus.

Felice Herrig earned $25,000 for showing and another $25,000 winning. Her opponent, Justine Kish, took home $14,000 for showing.

For his UFC debut, Dominick Reyes earned $12,000 for showing and $12,000 for his impressive victory in addition to his $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus.

The total disclosed payout for UFC Fight Night 112 was $1,225,000.

The full list of UFC Fight Night 112 salaries included:

Kevin Lee: $88,000 (includes $44,000 win bonus)
def. Michael Chiesa $36,000

Tom Boetsch: $134,000 (includes $67,000 win bonus)
def. Johny Hendricks $100,000

Felice Herrig: $50,000 (includes $25,000 win bonus)
def. Justine Kish $14,000

Dominick Reyes: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Joachim Christensen $16,000

Tim Means: $78,000 (includes $39,000 win bonus)
def. Alex Garcia $31,000

Dennis Siever: $78,000 (includes $39,000 win bonus)
def. B.J. Penn: $150,000

Clay Guida: $110,000 (includes $55,000 win bonus)
def. Erik Koch: $24,000

Marvin Vettori: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Vitor Miranda: $18,000

Carla Esparza: $66,000 (includes $33,000 win bonus)
def. Maryna Moroz: $23,000

Darrell Horcher: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Devin Powell: $10,000

Jared Gordon: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Michel Quinones: $10,000

Tony Martin: $38,000 (includes $19,000 win bonus)
def. Johnny Case: $23,000

Jeremy Kimball: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Josh Stansbury: $12,000

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings, June 27: Welcome to the top-10, Kevin Lee

It certainly won’t come as welcome news to Michael Chiesa, but Kevin Lee is now in the top-10 of the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings.

Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC), of course, scored a controversial submission win over Chiesa (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) in the main event of this past weekend’s UFC Fight Night 112 event, improving his record to 9-1 in his past 10 octagon outings – good enough to move into the top-10 in the world.

That move was just one of several resulting from a busy weekend of MMA action with UFC Fight Night 112, Bellator NYC and Bellator 180. Check out all of the changes in the newest edition of the weekly rankings.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, Bellator, MMA Rankings, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Manny Pacquiao will pass on watching Mayweather-McGregor fight that 'could be very boring'

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If negotiations had fallen apart between Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor and the UFC, Manny Pacquiao would’ve gladly stepped in, according to Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who promotes Pacquiao and made the declaration last month.

As we know, that didn’t happen, and here we are on the precipice of a fantasy fight once thought impossible taking place Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Just because Pacquiao apparently was willing to fill in if given the opportunity, that doesn’t mean he approves of Mayweather (49-0 boxing) fighting UFC lightweight champion McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC).

Pacquiao is very interested in the boxing superfight going down between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin on Sept. 16. But three weeks earlier, Pacquiao told Yahoo.com he won’t waste his time on the Mayweather-McGregor spectacle.

“The real fight and the best fight is Golovkin vs. Canelo,” Pacquiao said. “The best vs. the best. That’s the fight I will be watching.”

The reason why falls in line with the thinking of many folks, considering the bout pits a 49-0 boxer in Mayweather vs. an 0-0 boxer in McGregor.

“McGregor has no chance in this fight,” Pacquiao said. “In fact, it could be very boring. … There is no way he will be able to land a meaningful punch on Floyd. How could he? He has no professional experience in boxing.”

Pacquiao barely managed to land a few meaningful punches on Mayweather during their much-anticipated superfight in 2015, which failed to live up to the hype (but drew a record 4.6 million pay-per-view buys) and resulted in a unanimous-decision win for Mayweather.

It was boring, and Pacquiao has to know this now looking back at it. So surely you could see where he’s coming from.

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

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

At 35, Clay Guida feels as strong as ever – but 'I don't want to be doing this when I'm 40'

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Clay Guida knows he’s not going to be around forever, but he’s still got some fight left in him.

Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC) got himself back in the win column in assertive fashion at this past Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 112, dominating Erik Koch (14-5 MMA, 4-4 UFC) on the mat in route to a clear-cut unanimous call. The solid display, over an opponent seven years his junior, was made all the more impressive by the fact that it was also the 50th pro MMA bout in Guida’s 14-year-long career.

Still, it came after back-to-back losses, on top of an overall inconsistent UFC run. Throughout the ups and downs, no one would fault the 35-year-old Guida if thoughts of getting off the rollercoaster were starting to cross his mind.

But, as it turns out, they’re not.

“As long as I’m having fun and I feel like I’m improving, there’s always going to be those bumps in the road,” Guida told reporters after the FS2-televised lightweight scrap at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. “I never look at it as ‘It’s a young man’s game,’ because I’m still young. I’m in my mid-30’s. The scientists do studies, they say the male is in their peak at in the mid-30’s still.

“I feel like I’m at a very strong class, very competitive. But I feel as strong as I ever have. And I’m improving with the coaching staff at Team Alpha Male and we’re getting better every day out there.”

The scrap also meant Guida’s return to the lightweight division, after a 3-4 featherweight run. Guida celebrated the fact that he basically woke up within the 155-pound limit in the morning of Saturday’s weigh-ins. But, more than simply feeling good, it’s also about results.

And, after getting his first win since a 2015 UFC Fight Night 63 decision over Robbie Peralta, they seem to speak for themselves.

“I think the 145 thing was maybe a pride thing for me,” Guida said. “Just to say ‘I know I can make it, I know I can stay there and be competitive.’ I beat some good guys, I lost to some good guys. For me, it was kind of a wrestlers’ thing. ‘I can make the weight, I’m stubborn, I wrestled at 149 in college, I can make 145 and be tough there.’ But being tough isn’t always the right recipe. Winning is the right recipe.”

Guida clearly feels good and motivated for the time being. And he has active MMA icons like Fedor Emelianenko – who, at 40, just saw a five-fight winning streak snapped with a Bellator NYC loss to Matt Mitrione – as examples of cage longevity.

But, at the same time, he doesn’t necessarily see himself going as far as some of his idols.

“I don’t want to be doing this when I’m 40,” Guida said. “I love Fedor for being the man that he is, and I feel like the dude sits in the locker room, plays cards in his jeans with his feet up, eats a 12-pack of donuts and they say, ‘Alright Fedor, you’re on.’ He just jumps up, goes out and fights, and that’s just awesome. He’s a master.

“(But) that’s not for everybody. I don’t want to be fighting when I’m 40. I want to be coaching and helping coach wrestling and things like that. And watching all this stables of fighters we have improve.”

To hear more from Guida, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

UFC Fight Night 112 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 Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 112 event in Oklahoma City, Okla., 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 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Jon Fitch ‘Can’t Be Carless’ Against Brian Foster at Professional Fighters League Launch

For World Series of Fighting welterweight champion Jon Fitch, closing out his 2016 with a unanimous decision win over Jake Shields was about as good as it could have gotten.

Fitch believes the key to his victory was that he was able to confuse Shields with his game plan, and by the time adjustments were made, it was too late.

“It was definitely a huge win,” Fitch told MMAWeekly.com. “Jake is a legend. He’s beat a lot of top guys. It’s one of the biggest wins of my career, and getting to do it at Madison Square Garden in NYC was spectacular. It was quite a way to finish off 2016.

Jon Fitch at UFC 87“I switched my stance to southpaw to throw him off. I think it took him most of the fight to adjust, and by then I was switching back and forth. It was a good advantage to have.”

For Fitch it was both with a sense of accomplishment and relief that his often-delayed bout with Shields happened and that he’s able to move on to other challenges now.

“The fight was more than a decade in the making, I think,” said Fitch. “The first time I had heard of Jake was when a friend of mine was making trips from Indiana out to San Francisco to Ralf Gracie’s gym and had stumbled across Jake a few times. That was even before I moved to California and started training.

“We’ve been circling around each other’s careers for quite a while. We knew some day we would fight, and I’m glad I got the win that night and performed well.”

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With WSOF transitioning into Professional Fighters League, Fitch (29-7-1) looks to kick off the promotion’s rebirth in a 170-pound main event against Brian Foster (27-9) on Friday in Daytona, Fla.

“He’s very scrappy, explosive, and will sit in the pocket and throw with you,” Fitch said of Foster. “He’s got some slick submissions from the bottom; some ankle locks and stuff like that. I have to be very on point and solid with everything I’m doing. I can’t be careless.

“My conditioning and health is really good for the fight. I have to put the pressure on him and use my size advantage to grind on him and put him away early.”

With 15 years in MMA and at nearly 40 years old, Fitch isn’t as active between fights as he might have once been, but nonetheless, he returns to the gym after bouts to be ready for the next opportunity that comes his way.

“You’ve kind of just got to prepare yourself for that training camp,” said Fitch. “You can’t let yourself get too out of shape after the fight. One of the things I like to do right after the fight is hit the gym and start doing strength training. So that I’m switching up the workouts so they don’t get stale.

“I enjoy lifting weights and stuff, and light cardio, and a little bit of drilling. I’m a little too old to go in and bang like we used to. I can’t spar three days a week anymore. I don’t even want to put in five days of grappling. It’s just too much wear and tear. It’s a lot more drilling and that type of stuff.”

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Source: MMA Weekly