MMA community reacts to Thanksgiving on social media

Today is Thanksgiving in the U.S., and plenty of fighters and other figures in the MMA community took time to share the holiday with family, friends and loved ones.

Check below for the top Thanksgiving celebrations shared on social media.

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

Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Why 'big-game hunter' Frank Mir wanted Fedor Emelianenko in Bellator grand prix

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC

Even before he officially got the matchup, Frank Mir knew he wanted a fight with Fedor Emelianenko.

The way Mir, a former UFC heavyweight champion, sees it, former longtime PRIDE titleholder Emelianenko is the biggest name in the eight-man field of the Bellator MMA World Grand Prix 2018.

MMAjunkie first reported plans for the multi-event tournament, which kicks off in January, this past week. And on Wednesday, officials formally confirmed the opening-round pairings, which include Emelianenko (36-5 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) vs. Mir (18-11 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) in the same bracket as Quinton Jackson (37-12 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) vs. Chael Sonnen (29-15-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA).

Mir vs. Emelianenko is tentatively slotted for April.

“It’s like being a big-game hunter,” Mir, 38, told MMAjunkie Radio prior to the unveiling of the opening-round pairing. “I don’t want to go out there and shoot a little quail. You want to take out the biggest and the baddest.”

Mir will make his promotional debut as part of the fight with Emelianenko. The longtime UFC heavyweight was granted his release from the promotion in July while serving a suspension for a failed drug test (he’s denied taking any performance-enhancing drugs).

During his time off, Mir has kept busy with his podcast, “Phone Booth Fighting” (with Richard Hunter), and commentating duties for the Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB) promotion.

“I’ve seen so much more now, because I’ve watched so many countless hours of video of two guys fighting, actually breaking it down analytically.” said Mir, who suffered losses to Andrei Arlovski and Mark Hunt in the final of 27 career UFC fights (one shy of Michael Bisping’s current record). ” … My mind has advanced even more so.”

As for the possibility of fighting three times to claim the Bellator grand-prix crown and the vacant heavyweight belt, Mir, who hasn’t been in the cage since March 2016, said he likes having a fight schedule again.

“It’s nice to be a fighter again,” he said. “A little bit of limbo was the last year-and-a-half, not having a fight scheduled and not being able to participate. I finally get to fight again. It’s something that, when you don’t get to do what you love, it makes it even worse.”

For more on Bellator’s upcoming schedule, visit the MMA 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, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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

Jessica Rose-Clark Announces Fight Against Paige VanZant at UFC Fight Night in St. Louis

A new fight is in the works for the upcoming UFC Fight Night card in St. Louis as Jessica Rose-Clark is expected to welcome Paige VanZant to the women’s flyweight division.

Rose-Clark made the announcement via her Instagram page following an initial report from MMAFighting.

Are you excited? Cos I’m excited ? #UFCStLouis #JRCvsPVZ ? @mmafightnightlive

A post shared by ?Jessy Jess ? (@missjessyjess) on Nov 23, 2017 at 12:14am PST

Rose-Clark just made her UFC debut this past weekend with a win over Bec Rawlings after joining the promotion on short notice after competing in Invicta Fighting Championships.

As for VanZant, she was previously booked for a fight at UFC 216 against Jessica Eye but she was forced out of the matchup due to a back injury.

Eye claims the UFC tried to rebook the fight but VanZant turned it down. Now VanZant will make her debut at 125 pounds against Rose-Clark instead on Jan. 14 in St. Louis. 

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Source: MMA Weekly

Jessica-Rose Clark says she's fighting Paige VanZant at UFC Fight Night 124 in St. Louis

In the span of a few short weeks, Jessica-Rose Clark has gone from making her UFC debut on short notice to being lined up for a fight with one of the organization’s biggest stars.

Clark (8-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who debuted in the octagon with a split-decision win over Bec Rawlings at UFC Fight Night 121 this past weekend, revealed on social media that she’s lined up to fight Paige VanZant (7-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) at January’s UFC Fight Night 124 event.

Her announcement follows initial reports from ESPN.com and MMAFighting.com (via Instagram):

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UFC Fight Night 124 takes place Jan. 14 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been finalized.

Clark accepted the UFC Fight Night 121 matchup with Rawlings on short notice after Joanne Calderwood was forced to withdraw due to injury. She missed weight by two pounds for the UFC’s newly created women’s flyweight division, but the 29-year-old Australian managed to get the narrow win over Rawlings on the scorecards.

Following the fight, Clark said she already feels near title contention and hoped for a full training camp for her sophomore octagon appearance. She’ll get that, and more.

VanZant hasn’t competed since a first-round submission loss to Michelle Waterson at UFC on FOX 22 in December 2016. After some time off, “12 Gauge” announced her intention to move up to the 125-pound division from strawweight, and she was booked for a clash with Jessica Eye at UFC 216 in October. However, the 23-year-old was forced to pull from the card due to a back injury. She’s already returned to training, though, and will debut in the weight class against Clark.

The latest UFC Fight Night 124 card now includes:

  • Vitor Belfort vs. Uriah Hall
  • Jessica Eye vs. Kalindra Faria
  • Irene Aldana vs. Talita Oliveira
  • Matt Frevola vs. Marco Polo Reyes
  • James Krause vs. Alex White
  • Thiago Alves vs. Zak Cummings
  • Darren Elkins vs. Michael Johnson
  • Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Paige VanZant

For more on UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie Radio on holiday break, but now's the time to catch up on past episodes

MMAjunkie Radio is off the remainder of the week to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, but now is the perfect time to download and catch up on past episodes, including those with a number of fighters featured on upcoming MMA cards.

Recent guests have included Justin Gaethje, Ali Abdelaziz, Andrew Simon, Edson Barboza, Paul Felder, Joe Soto, Uriah Hall, Nate Landwehr, Eric Nicksick and others.

Download or subscribe to the show, and check out all the past episodes, at www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2571 with Uriah Hall, Nate Landwehr, Eric Nicksick

Stream or download Wednesday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with Uriah Hall, Nate Landwehr and Eric Nicksick.

Hall was in-studio to talk about everything from his upbringing to his upcoming fight with Vitor Belfort on Jan. 14 at UFC Fight Night 124. Landwehr called in to unpack his victory over Viktor Kolesnik that took place earlier this month at M-1: 85. Nicksick, the general manager at Xtreme Couture, co-hosted the second half of the show.

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

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

Actual question: How are you such a handsome man, Michael Bisping?

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

Dann StuppSHANGHAI – Michael Bisping appears to be a hit in China – among some Chinese women, anyway.

During an open workout and Q&A today ahead of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 122 event, headliner Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) answered a range of questions. They included queries about last-minute fight bookings, the former middleweight champion’s strategy for fellow middleweight Kelvin Gastelum (13-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC), and why he doesn’t take his upcoming opponent seriously.

But Bisping, whose bout streams Saturday on UFC Fight Pass from Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, then got a question he couldn’t wait to answer.

“(My friend) has a neighbor who is a girl, and she loves you very much because you are very handsome,” one attendee told Bisping. “How do you make yourself to be such a handsome man but also a very good fighter?”

An obviously flattered Bisping smiled, ripped off his shirt and then puffed out his chest.

“I guess I hit the lottery – what can I say?” he said with a laugh.

Check out the full exchange above.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Another day, another boxer calling out UFC champ Conor McGregor

Dann StuppIt seems a notable boxer is stumping for a fight with Conor McGregor nearly everyday – even the holidays.

The latest? Manny Pacquiao today posted a not-so-cryptic Instagram post directed at the UFC lightweight champion.

Granted, neither fighter is American, so U.S. Thanksgiving may not mean a whole lot to either one of them. Still, it didn’t stop Pacquiao (59-7-2), a 38-year-old former eight-division boxing champion and current Filipono politician, from wishing McGregor a happy holiday.

However, the post also included “#realboxingmatch #2018” and the suggestion to “Stay fit my friend” (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

Pacquiao announced a short-lived retirement in 2016 but returned in July for a decision loss to Jeff Horn.

McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC, 0-1 boxing) is coming off his boxing pro debut in August, when he suffered a 10th-round TKO defeat to Floyd Mayweather. However, McGregor, who hasn’t been booked for a return to the UFC octagon, likely made a nine-figure payday for the PPV blockbuster.

It’s led to callouts from fighters in all corners of the combat-sports world, including a recent one from Oscar De La Hoya (39-6), an Olympic gold medalist who later became one of boxing’s big stars before his 2008 retirement.

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

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

Nicco Montano Out Muscles Barb Honchak (TUF 26 Fight Highlights)

Nicco Montano pulled off one of the biggest upsets in TUF history to advance to the finals of The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion. Check out the fight highlights.

TRENDING > Kelvin Gastelum Sees Himself ‘Demolishing’ Michael Bisping

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Source: MMA Weekly

Michael Bisping: ‘I’m Fighting Myself in this Fight’

(Courtesy of UFC)

Less than three weeks removed from an unforgettable, but disappointing title fight at UFC 217, Michael Bisping is grateful for the opportunity to get back in the Octagon and back to his winning ways this Saturday, November 25 at UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs Gastelum on UFC FIGHT PASS.

TRENDING > ONE Championship Boss: ‘We’ve crushed (the UFC in Asia), completely crushed them’

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Source: MMA Weekly