Tag Archives: Austin Meese

Yoel Romero burns Michael Bisping-Union Jack photo in response to flag-ripping incident

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Although Michael Bisping and Yoel Romero won’t be fighting anytime soon, their relationship continues to grow more hostile.

Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) suffered a unanimous-decision loss to Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC 213 pay-per-view headliner at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Had Romero won the interim middleweight title fight, it would have set up a title-unification bout with champ Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) once he recovers from a knee injury.

Despite Romero and Whittaker putting on a “Fight of the Night” affair, one of the most memorable moments from the UFC 213 headliner came from outside the octagon. Bisping was seated cageside near Romero’s corner for the bout, and at one point decided to rip up a Cuban flag (via Twitter):

To the surprise of few, Bisping’s actions drew the ire of “The Soldier of God” when he was asked about it during UFC 213’s post-fight news conference (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

Bisping has harshly criticized Romero as he’s attempted to climb the middleweight ranks and get a title shot against the Brit. He’s relentlessly labeled Romero a cheater after the Cuban was handed a potential USADA violation in January 2016 before tainted supplements were proven to blame for the failed test.

Romero has rolled out some smaller potshots at Bisping but has largely taken the high road. That ended today, when Romero fired back – literally – at Bisping by burning a photo of the UFC champ with the Union Jack and posted it on social media (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

It’s clear the bad blood between Romero and Bisping isn’t going away. However, whether they will ever have an opportunity to settle the score inside the octagon remains to be seen.

For more on UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

Champ Marat Gafurov vs. Martin Nguyen headlines ONE Championship 59 on Aug. 18

The featherweight title will be on the line next month at ONE Championship 59.

Officials today announced the event’s headliner features featherweight champion Marat Gafurov (15-0) vs. challenger Martin Nguyen (8-1) in a rematch of their 2015 fight.

“ONE Championship 59: Quest for Greatness” takes place Aug. 18 at Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and it streams as an online pay-per-view in North America.

Undefeated Gafurov, a 32-year-old Russian fighter, claimed the ONE Championship title in 2015 with a submission victory over Narantungalag Jadambaa. Since then, the seven-year pro has tapped out Kazunori Yokota and Jadambaa to lengthen his title reign. He has 11 submissions in 15 career wins.

He takes on Nguyen, a 28-year-old Australian fighter who looks for his fifth straight victory. His only career loss came in 2015 at ONE Championship 31, where Gafurov tapped him out via 41-second rear-naked choke in a short-notice bout. Nguyen has posted four straight first-round stoppage victories since then.

In the co-headliner, Ev Ting (13-4), who was on a 4-0 run before a recent decision loss to lightweight champ Eduard Folayang, meets former champ Nobutatsu Suzuki (11-2-2), who came up short in a 2014 welterweight title with Ben Askren. It remains Suzuki’s most recent fight, and he now returns as a 155-pounder.

The latest ONE Championship 59 card includes:

For more on ONE Championship 59, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie

After initial reservations, Maurice Smith getting used to idea of UFC Hall of Fame membership

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LAS VEGAS – Former UFC heavyweight champion Maurice Smith initially wasn’t sure how to feel about being inducted into the promotion’s Hall of Fame.

Smith felt his biggest contribution to the UFC was just another night of work in a long career. It just so happened that on that night, all the way back at UFC 14, he took the heavyweight title from Mark Coleman.

But after reflecting on that pivotal upset – and receiving his moment in the limelight this past Thursday during the UFC’s 2017 Hall of Fame induction ceremony – a reflective Smith is coming to terms with being a part of the history books.

“I have mixed emotions about it, but I appreciate who recognizes my body of work, and I’m good,” he said.

Smith (14-14 MMA, 4-3 UFC), inducted as a member of the Hall of Fame’s Pioneer wing, still identifies first and foremost as a kickboxer, a standup specialist who fell into MMA and found a successful formula for the grapplers who dominated the early action in the octagon.

Along with Frank Shamrock and Tsuyoshi Kohsaka, Smith was one-third of “The Alliance,” one of the earliest MMA teams in the sport’s history.

But as Smith notes, he wasn’t the first one to discover the sprawl and brawl formula. He wonders why Marco Ruas isn’t in the UFC Hall of Fame after chopping down Paul Varelans with leg kicks to win a tournament at UFC 7. So he’s ambivalent about his inclusion, and the promotion’s criteria in nominating fighters.

Smith doesn’t want to make a big deal about his official recognition. He’ll just accept it with a smile.

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

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

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

Andrea Lee-Davina Maciel off LFA 16 headliner, Johnny Bedford vs. Jimmy Flick new main event

Friday’s LFA 16 card in Dallas has a new main event.

History was supposed to take place at the event with the first title defense since the promotion debuted in January. But women’s flyweight champion Andrea Lee (7-2) won’t defend against challenger Davina Maciel (6-1).

Lee posted on her Instagram account that visa issues for Maciel are the culprit keeping the Brazilian from traveling to the States for the title fight, and LFA officials confirmed as much when announcing the event’s new headliner between bantamweights Johnny Bedford (23-12-1) and Jimmy Flick (8-3).

Instagram Photo

LFA 16 takes place Friday at The Bomb Factory in Dallas. The main card airs live on AXS TV.

The 34-year-old Bedford is a UFC, “Ultimate Fighter” and Bellator veteran. Fighting out of nearby Fort Worth, Bedford went 2-3 with a no-contest in the UFC and was let loose on a three-fight skid in 2014. But since then, he has back-to-back stoppage wins.

After starting his pro career a perfect 6-0, Flick has alternated wins and losses for six fights. Included in that mix is a pair of setbacks under the Legacy FC banner before the promotion merged with RFA to form the LFA. This past December, Flick was stopped by Levi Mowles with a second-round TKO at Legacy FC 63, so he’ll be looking to get back in the win column in the headliner against Bedford.

Lee was set to enter the bout on a three-fight winning streak and make her return to LFA after one fight away. “KGB” won the inaugural title in February when she submitted Heather Bassett with an armbar at LFA 4. Lee’s most recent bout took place in Invicta FC, where she took a split decision over Liz Tracy in May at Invicta FC 23.

Maciel was going to be making her LFA debut also riding a three-fight winning streak after an armbar submission in April under the Extreme Warriors International banner. Four of Maciel’s six victories have come by way stoppage during her 12-year professional career. But now that LFA debut is on hold.

The LFA 16 card includes:

For more on LFA 16, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News
Source: MMA Junkie

After UFC 213 stoppage win, Thiago 'Marreta' Santos wants Mousasi rematch with full camp

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LAS VEGAS – When Thiago “Marreta” Santos fought Gegard Mousasi at UFC 200 a year ago, he had been painted into the proverbial corner.

Santos took a fight at UFC 200 against Mousasi when Derek Brunson dropped out about three weeks before the bout. The result was not a pretty one. Mousasi crushed Santos for a first-round knockout.

Santos’ next time out, back in his home country of Brazil, he was stunned by Eric Spicely, who submitted him with a rear-naked choke in the first round at UFC Fight Night 95. Santos was more than an 8-1 favorite in that fight, making Spicely’s win one of 2016’s biggest upsets.

But on Saturday at UFC 213, Santos (15-5 MMA, 7-4 UFC) continued to move past those rough results when he stopped Gerald Meerschaert (26-9 MMA, 2-1 UFC) with a second-round TKO at UFC 213, giving him back-to-back stoppage wins. The fight was part of the FS1-broadcast preliminary card at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas ahead of the main card on pay-per-view.

Now Santos wants another shot at Mousasi – but with a full training camp behind him.

“I feel like I could have fought better against him,” Santos said through a translator backstage after his win over Meerschaert. “I took the fight on short notice, so it feels like I deserve a better chance to train properly to face him again.

“We can have a really good fight for the fans. He’s a very good fighter. I admire him, and I like to see him fight. It’s nothing personal. I want to face better guys, and he’s one of the best.”

Mousasi indeed is one of the best. He’s currently No. 6 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings. Santos is unranked, but with some more stoppage wins like the one he had Saturday night, he may not be long for watching the top 15 from the outside looking in.

For more from Santos, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Rob Font just glad UFC 213 win was against the opponent he trained for

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LAS VEGAS – When Amanda Nunes pulled out of the UFC 213 main event the afternoon of the card on Saturday, it was a huge opportunity for Rob Font.

Font went from a bantamweight fight against Douglas Silva de Andrade on the prelims on UFC Fight Pass straight to the opening fight on the pay-per-view main card at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, leapfrogging the FS1 portion of the show entirely.

Font (14-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) made the most of his opportunity and submitted Andrade (24-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) with a second-round guillotine choke. The finish was worth an extra $50,000 as one of the “Performance of the Night” awards.

But maybe even more importantly for Font was the simple fact he went through a training camp and only had to think about one opponent.

“Every fight I’ve had since I got to the UFC, I’ve never fought my original opponent,” Font said after his win over Andrade on Saturday. “So for me to go through the whole camp and actually fight the guy I was supposed to fight, it’s been huge.”

Andrade had but one loss on his record heading into the fight with Font, and that was a decision setback in his UFC debut in February 2014. That fight came on short notice and with a quick turnaround time.

He then got booked to fight Font, of all people, three years ago, but had to pull out with an injury. At long last, the cards lined up for them to meet at UFC 213, and Font made sure Andrade was worth the wait.

“This was a huge fight for me,” Font told MMAjunkie. “He hasn’t lost in forever. The guy’s 24-1. He had a lot of experience. He’s been there, done that, so this was a big fight for me.”

Now that he has back-to-back wins, Font is starting to look higher up the bantamweight charts for his next opponent.

“I think Pedro Munhoz would be a great fight for me,” he said. “Anybody in the top 10, for sure. But I think Pedro would be a great name for me.”

Check out the video above for more from Font after his win over Andrade.

And for complete coverage of UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

After big KO win in debut at UFC 213, Trevin Giles heading back to middleweight

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LAS VEGAS – Trevin Giles’ promotional debut at UFC 213 was all about new experiences.

For starters, Giles was fighting up a weight class at light heavyweight when he took on James Bochnovic. And then there was the way Giles (10-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) put Bochnovic (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) away with a massive knockout in the second round.

Although he had three prior knockouts on his record, they were all TKOs and he said he never had seen an opponent go completely out before. Things were bad enough for Bochnovic, a training partner of UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell, that he left T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on a stretcher after he and Giles opened the card on UFC Fight Pass before the rest of the prelims on FS1 and the main card on pay-per-view.

“It felt horrible – I didn’t like to see him like that,” Giles said backstage after the fight. “He’s a very nice guy. I hope he’s fine. He didn’t look too good. I feel worried for him, so I hope he’s doing good. Actually seeing him go out like that was a new experience for me.”

Giles, from Texas, said he’ll be going back to his natural middleweight home when he has his sophomore effort in the UFC at some point down the road. At 185 pounds, the 24-year-old was 9-0 when he got the call to fight Bochnovic on short notice at UFC 213.

But at middleweight, the finisher believes he’ll be able to get some things done in his new promotional home.

“When I drop back down, I think my cardio’s going to be even better,” Giles said. “I think I’m going to have more energy, I’m going to be faster. I was a bit heavy in there – we got to fight at 205 (pounds). I felt great because I didn’t have to weight cut, but I’ll be dropping down, and I think I’m going to be matching up great with a bunch of those guys – all of them.”

A 10-0 start to his MMA career, and a huge first fight in the UFC with a knockout win isn’t too shabby of a beginning for a guy who was only training MMA to get in shape for football tryouts.

To hear that story, check out the video with Giles above.

And for complete coverage of UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Aleksei Oleinik says finish of Travis Browne at UFC 213 was big – but not his biggest

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LAS VEGAS – Aleksei Oleinik’s win over Travis Browne on Saturday was big. It was really big.

But it might not have been the biggest of his career, he said.

Oleinik (52-10-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) got into a heavyweight slugfest with Browne (18-7-1 MMA, 9-7-1 UFC) to close out the UFC 213 preliminary card on FS1 ahead of the pay-per-view main card at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Browne had the Russian hurt early, but Oleinik turned the tables.

Ultimately, he was able to get Browne to tap in the second round. Winning by submission is certainly no surprise for Oleinik – it was his 42nd tap victory in 52 wins. And even though he’s become known for finishing opponents with an Ezekiel choke, he had to settle for a more garden variety rear-naked choke, though it was slightly modified.

Perhaps more importantly, though, was essentially tricking Browne into thinking he wanted to stand and trade.

“I was thinking of doing that,” Oleinik said through a translater after his win. “If you want to fight someone and get your opponent confused, you have to tell them the opposite. I wanted to do something he wasn’t expecting. … Today, I tried the (Ezekiel choke) three, four, five times, but Travis is very high level.”

Browne was a 3-1 favorite in the fight despite having lost three straight going into the bout. Just a few short years ago, Browne was fighting Fabricio Werdum as a favorite in a No. 1 contenders fight to get a shot at the heavyweight title. And it’s been mostly downhill for Browne since a loss to Werdum.

Still, he’s one of the division’s biggest established names, so a skin like his for Oleinik might do wonders for rising in the UFC’s heavyweight division, even more than 60 fights into his career. That said, Oleinik believes his win over Mirko Filipovic in November 2013 before he came to the UFC was bigger.

“I think this is one of the biggest,” Oleinik said. “Not the biggest, but one of. I think Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ is bigger. He’s a legend. He may not be as strong as Travis, but he’s a legend.”

Oleinik believes his finish of Browne is going to send him up in the UFC’s heavyweight rankings, and at 4-1 in the promotion, he wants to contine to get big names like Browne standing across from him.

“I think I’m going to move up in the rankings, so I want to fight guys ahead of me – not down,” Oleinik said.

For more from Oleinik after his win over Browne, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

Belal Muhammad regrets not getting finish of Jordan Mein at UFC 213

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LAS VEGAS – It was an interesting fight booking for Belal Muhammad when he got matched up against Jordan Mein at UFC 213.

Although Muhammad is more than a year older than Mein, he said he actually spent time watching the Canadian fight when he was early on in the sport. Mein had six years of experience under his belt by the time Muhammad made his pro debut in 2012.

On Saturday, Muhammad (12-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) beat Mein (29-12 MMA, 3-4 UFC) by unanimous decision at UFC 213 in a preliminary-card bout on FS1 ahead of the main card on pay-per-view at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. That was a little surreal, perhaps.

“I used to watch him a lot when I was coming up in the game,” Muhammad said after the fight. “Just because he was young – he’s young, but he’s been in the game for a while. I used to always watch his fights because he’s exciting. It was that type of thing: ‘I’m across from Jordan Mein.’”

By a couple years ago, Mein had fought so often – nearly 40 times by the time he was 25 – that he retired from the sport. He came back, though, and Muhammad thinks he hasn’t looked the same as he was before.

Muhammad said he was expecting a little bit more of an offensive onslaught from Mein at some point, but that rush never came.

“I feel like he needs to get back mentally first,” Muhammad said, speculating that Mein perhaps wasn’t truly ready to be out of retirement. “… He needs to go back to the old Jordan. Maybe he’s not doing it for the right reasons now.”

Still, Muhammad may beat himself up for a while over not being able to finish the Canadian. While he’s happy to have his second straight win and third victory in four fights, he said a stoppage was in the cards – but didn’t happen.

“I trained really hard for this fight; I should’ve had the finish,” Muhammad said. “I’m going to have to go back to the drawing board and fix some things, but I’m just trying to get better every fight.”

For more from Muhammad after his win over Mein, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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