Tom Duquesnoy is now a British Association of Mixed Martial Arts two-division champion, as he knocked out Shay Walsh in the first round to capture bantamweight gold in the BAMMA 25 headliner on Saturday.
Vitor Belfort will take perhaps his final swing at title contention when he meets Ronaldo Souza in the UFC 198 co-main event on Saturday at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil.
Though he’s one of the top lightweight fighters in the world, losing just one of his 18 career bouts, and held the lightweight belt, Brooks and Bellator haven’t always seen eye-to-eye. Brooks’ contract was coming to an end in July, and he reportedly wasn’t interested in renewing with Bellator.
“Brooks’ contract was coming to an end, and we decided not to renew it,” said Coker.
Instead of tying him up and dragging things out through a matching period, which could have stretched into the winter months, Bellator instead opted to release Brooks. He is now a free agent, able to solicit offers from any promotion.
Minakov, however, remains under contract with Bellator, although he no longer holds the belt.
The Russian fighter is easily one of the top heavyweights in the world, but hasn’t set foot in Bellator’s cage since April of 2014, when he defeated UFC veteran Cheick Kongo. It’s not that he’s been inactive, he just hasn’t fought for Bellator, instead fighting three times since then for the Russian promotion Fight Nights.
Minakov is currently 17-0, but Bellator was no longer willing to allow him to hold its heavyweight title hostage.
It’s unclear how soon the vacancies will be filled, but Bellator is likely to move swiftly in crowning new lightweight and heavyweight champions.
While Randy Couture has been a presence during Bellator 154 fight week festivities, the UFC Hall of Famer has no plans to don the four-ounce gloves for Scott Coker’s promotion.
Welterweight contender Matt Brown turned his back to the Brazilian crowd at the UFC 198 weigh-in on Friday, and flipped off those in attendance. “The Immortal” takes on Demian Maia in the event’s preliminary card headliner.
Championships will be up for grabs in Bellator MMA’s lightweight and light heavyweight divisions after the California-based promotion’s latest moves.
Join Knockout Radio for the podcast of their May 11 broadcast as Randy Harris and the crew hit on all the week’s top news including rumors of a UFC sale and breaking down UFC 198, as well as talking with Jarrod Bowman.
- UFC 198: Werdum vs. Miocic Full Live Results and Fight Stats
- Dana White Denies ESPN Report: ‘The UFC is Not for Sale’
- UFC 198 Free Fight: Cris Cyborg Topples Gina Carano
Be sure to Follow @KnockoutRadio on Twitter.
Following an extensive amateur career, prospect Brandon “Kid” Webb has picked up victories in his first two pro fights, and it is because of his amateur experience that Webb feels he’s been able to get off to a successful start as a pro.
“My transition from amateur to pro wasn’t too bad,” Webb told MMAWeekly.com. “I’d trained for five-minute rounds anyway, so I was used to the longer rounds (pros have than amateurs).
“Having that many (amateur) fights helps a lot because I feel comfortable in the cage now. I don’t feel nervous at all because I’ve been out there plenty of times. I feel like that’s where I belong. I know what I can do and what I can’t do. There’s nothing I haven’t seen before, so I feel good about it.”
While he’s happy he won his first two pro fights, Webb knows that he needs to step things up and avoid continuously going to decisions in order to get more opportunities for himself.
“I know I have the skillset to do a lot better,” said Webb. “I’ve got to get out there and show that these last couple pro fights have just been warm-ups for me, and can start doing what I did as an amateur and finish people. I’m definitely looking for a finish in this next fight.”
On Saturday in East Ridge, Tenn., Webb (2-0) takes on Ronnie Lawrence (2-0) for the vacant Valor Fights 135-pound championship in the evening’s co-main event.
“He’s a tough guy, but I feel I’m better at every aspect of the fight game,” Webb said of Lawrence. “I feel I can dominate on the feet and dominate him on the ground. I have to make it my fight and not let him get off first. If I get off first, I feel I can finish him off quickly within the first couple rounds.”
While he’s just at the start of his pro career, Webb has big ambitions and hopes winning a title on May 14 for Valor will be a big step in helping him achieve his goals.
“I would love to be in the UFC like every fighter wants, but I’ll take it fight-by-fight,” said Webb. “After this fight, whatever they offer me as long as it’s a step forward, I’ll take it. I’m always looking forward to getting into the UFC and becoming a champion.”
Coming off a win over Rob Sinclair earlier in the year, Awad was feeling confident that a lightweight title shot was just around the corner, and didn’t perform as he could have against Freire, costing him a unanimous decision loss.
“I was trying to pick at those guys, and (the Sinclair) fight went that way, and while I didn’t go exactly how I wanted it to, I got the win,” Awad told MMAWeekly.com. “With Pitbull I was trying to out-point him, and I shouldn’t have done that.
“I thought they didn’t have the reach, so poke at them, or if they came in, take them down, and it worked once, but that’s not my style of fighting. I think I would have done that, I would have gotten the win in the last fight (against Freire), and I didn’t do that.”
Awad is intent on being a more aggressive fighter from here on out, so he avoids one of the pitfalls he had last year.
“I’m going to go back to my old roots and throw the way I know how to throw, and see how that turns out,” said Awad. “I feel like I have more in my arsenal with my kicks, and use my wrestling more because I’m more confident in it. The experience has helped.”
“I think I’m going to be stronger at this weight class and I’m going to hit harder,” Awad said. “I feel like I can take it to (Santos). I’ve got to avoid his big punches, and hopefully I can beat him to the punch. If that doesn’t work, I can grind him out.
“At 170 pounds, I feel I have the power I should have, but have more speed, and I think that’s going to play an advantage for me.”
Having stumbled in 2015 by looking past an opponent, Awad is keen to take things one step at a time and not look too far ahead of himself in 2016.
“Last year, I had a couple fights under my belt and I thought this was the title I was getting close to, but coming off a loss, I’m going back to my roots and just fight and have fun,” said Awad.
“Before I was stressing about it, worrying about it, thinking that if I lose a fight there goes my title run and this and that. Screw all that. I’ve just got to go out there, have fun, and enjoy it, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
In Southern California, we’re all waiting for “The Big One.” The San Andreas Fault is supposed to crack anytime, sending an 8.0 jolt throughout California.
The MMA equivalent is about to happen tonight at UFC 198 in Brazil. Yes, Cris Cyborg has finally arrived. After all these years and attempts to sign Cyborg to the UFC, it’s finally happened and the UFC and women’s MMA will never be the same.
Cyborg, not Ronda Rousey, is the female Mike Tyson. Think I am just believing the hype? Nope, I have been following Cyborg’s career since she was annihilating girls in Strikeforce, back in the old MMA on Showtime days.
Cyborg is about to get a lot of press and attention after her expected big KO victory over Leslie Smith tonight, but if you have been following her career you’d know that she is already made for primetime. And you’d know why Ronda Rousey was probably avoiding her all these years. Here’s a look at some of Cyborg’s pre-UFC highlights.5. She Has Amazing Knockout Power
And she rearranges faces.4. She Nearly Killed Jan Finney
If you ever want a reason to stop liking MMA and start watching ballet, watch this fight with Jan Finney. Cyborg thumped her like the Junkyard Dog power-slamming Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. And that Kim Winslow as referee. Wow.3. She Was Popped For Steroids
In 2011, Cyborg was caught cheating, no, not by Joey Greco, but by California State Athletic Commission. She tested positive for anabolic steroids. Amateur nutritionists could look at her back then and suspect that she may have been on something. She was ripped and huge and just off-the-chart strong. She was stripped of her Strikeforce featherweight championship. The stripping and suspension cost her lots of money and prestige. But she ended up in the UFC anyway, post-Ronda Rousey era and she’s about to knock Leslie Smith’s block off.2. Cyborg Posed Nude: Sort Of
Cyborg and her then-husband Evangelista Cyborg Santos posed together nude in ESPN’s The Body issue. So for those of you who like that kind of stuff, feel free to check it all out here.1. Cyborg ended Gina Carano’s Career
Gina Carano was a pioneer in women’s MMA. She also looked really pretty so, of course, she was being marketed as “a crossover star” who would lift women’s MMA into the mainstream. Yeah, then she fought Cyborg. Cyborg pummeled her like she was Mike Tyson taking on Marvis Frazier. At 4:59 of the first round the fight was stopped and we haven’t seen Gina Carano since (at least not in an MMA cage). Cyborg doesn’t care about the careers of the women she faces. That’s clear. And it’s about to get a lot clearer.Follow Joshua Molina on Twitter: @JECMolina. Follow @MMAHotSauce on Twitter and Facebook. Also follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
UFC 198: Werdum vs. Miocic Full Live Results and Fight Stats
UFC 198 Fight Card
Main Card (on PPV)
Fabricio Werdum (c) (20-5-1) vs. Stipe Miocic (14-2)
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (22-4) vs. Vitor Belfort (25-11)
Anderson Silva (33-7, 1 NC) vs. Uriah Hall (12-6) — ANDERSON SILVA OUT
Cris “Cyborg” Justino (15-1, 1 NC) vs. Leslie Smith (8-6-1)
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (23-10) vs. Corey Anderson (8-1)
Warlley Alves (10-0) vs. Bryan Barberena (11-3)
Prelims (on FS1)
Demian Maia (22-6) vs. Matt Brown (20-13)
Thiago “Marreta” Santos (12-3) vs. Nate Marquardt (34-15-2)
Francisco Trinaldo (19-4) vs. Yancy Medeiros (12-3, 1NC)
John Lineker (26-7) vs. Rob Font (12-1)
Prelims (on Fight Pass)
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (21-7) vs. Patrick Cummins (8-3)
Sergio Moraes (10-2) vs. Luan Chagas (14-1)
Renato Moicano (9-0-1) vs. Zubaira Tukhugov (18-3)
UFC 198 Start Times
Main Card on Pay-Per-View: 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT
Preliminary Card on FOX Sports 1: 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
Preliminary Card on UFC Fight Pass: 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT
Over the course of his first four fights as a pro, middleweight Alan Stewart has managed to four finishes, with only one bout going past the first round.
Thanks to his strong start, Stewart is pleased with his progression early in his career.
“I went from basically a grappler, a ground game guy, but in my third fight I ended up standing the whole time and knocked the guy out,” Stewart told MMAWeekly.com. “Each fight I’ve progressed and I’m looking to continue progressing.”
One of the big reasons Stewart feels he’s been able to perform so well is an extensive amateur career, highlighted by a strong work ethic he continues to this day.
“We just worked on techniques to get better, our game plan, listening to the coaches in the corner, and getting a feel of the nerves and used to it all,” said Stewart. “Overall I’m still the same person, but I’ve just got better technique from when I was an amateur to now.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied, so I’m always going to try to improve. I believe I can hang with guys in the UFC right now if I got the call, but I want to make sure that when I do get the call, I’ll be ready.”
Stewart (4-0) will seek to keep his winning streak going when he takes on Jay Gray (0-1) in a featured middleweight bout at Valor Fights 33 on Saturday in Chattanooga, Tenn.
“Jay is 0-1 as a pro, but he took his first pro fight on two weeks’ notice and lost by split-decision, so he pushed (his opponent) to the limit on short notice,” Stewart said. “He’s a strong guy and is proficient on the ground and standing, but I’m pretty confident either way it goes.
“I’m looking to get a finish. I’m not looking to go to decision. I want to win every fight I have by a finish – whether it’s a TKO or a submission – I just don’t want it to go to the judges.”
Though he initially sought to stay very active in 2016, Stewart is going to take some time off from MMA for his career outside the sport, and then kick things back up into high gear next year.
“I wanted to fight four or five times minimum this year, but with my full-time job, I’m actually going to the police academy in August, so for three months I’ll be on calls or whatever, unless I get a call from a bigger promotion ready to sign me,” said Stewart.
“I’ll probably end up fighting three times this year, but once I get through this segment of my life, it’s going to be fully concentrated back on MMA and the goal will be to be in the UFC by the end of 2017.”
One of the best fights possible in the light heavyweight division takes place this Sunday, but you may not know a lot about it because it isn’t happening in the UFC.
Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal will battle former UFC standout Phil Davis at Bellator 154 in San Jose, California. We know about a lot about Davis: He holds big wins over Alexander Gustafsson, Glover Teixeira and Lyoto Machida and his losses were by decision against top guys such as Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Ryan Bader. Davis is one of the best fighters in the division and chose to walk away from the UFC for a better contract. His opponent, however, is less known, and if we are being real about it, should be fighting in the UFC.
King Mo is the most underrated fighter in MMA. He’s a talented wrestler, has heavy hands, and is hella funny.
It’s somewhat of a mystery why Lawal isn’t in the UFC. While fighting in Strikeforce in 2011 Mo went before the Nevada State Athletic Commission to explain why he tested positive for performance enhancement drugs. A member of the commission asked him if he spoke English. Lawal, a college graduate and Division I All-American wrestler, was offended and tweeted that the person was “racist.” UFC President Dana White fired him, even though he was only under contract with Zuffa because the UFC’s owners bought Strikeforce.
King Mo has been blasting White ever since and vice versa. In other words, King Mo won’t be headlining a UFC show anytime soon. And that’s a shame. He doesn’t need the UFC, but the fans need to see King Mo and performing on the bigger stage will show the world that here’s a guy with enormous potential. Let’s look at the top five reasons King Mo is the most underrated fighter in MMA.5. He Manhandled Gegard Mousasi
Back in 2010, Mousasi was on top of his game. He didn’t even need to train, he was that good. So when he stepped inside the cage to fight King Mo in 2010 Mousasi was supposed to submit him or knock him out. Instead, King Mo walked right through him. He took him down at will and exposed Mousasi’s lack of wrestling defense. King Mo won a unanimous decision and took the Strikeforce strap and stunned everybody. King Mo has been really good for a long time.4. Incredible Knockout Power
Remember Seth Petruzelli? They guy who knocked out Kimbo Slice in 14 seconds then KO’d Elite XC? Well this happened when he stepped inside the cage with King Mo.
And then he did this to Brett McDermott:3. He is an incredible wrestler
The sad thing is that King Mo could probably win all of his matches by just wrestling his opponents. He is a Division I All-American wrestler and at one time was the No. 1 ranked college wrestler in the world. When his fights go to the ground he tends to dominate. Mo, though, a lot like Daniel Cormier, has always wanted to prove that he could get the job done by knocking guys out. Mo likes to stand with fighters, even if it is not the wisest decision (like getting knocked out by a spinning backfist). Mo is well-conditioned, smart and a great athlete. He does better against better fighters. He should be in the UFC talking trash, fighting guys like Jon Jones.2. King Mo is smart, thoughtful and does great analysis.
Lawal knows his stuff. He knows how to break down fights. What makes his analysis even more impressive is the authenticity he brings to his breakdown. Listen to him here explain why his buddy Daniel Cormier came up short against Jon Jones. There were no excuses or attacks. It’s a humble King Mo, sad and upset that his friend lost, trying to explain what went wrong, and better yet, what he could have done differently. King Mo is emotional here in his feelings, but non-emotional in his analysis. He believes Cormier will find a way to win a rematch, and he makes a lot of sense.1. He’s hella funny, knows how to promote fights and has “groupies.”
“You slow with a capital S,” King Mo says here, talking to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. King Mo fears no man. He will talk trash to Jackson, the Nevada State Athletic Commission and UFC President Dana White. King Mo has mastered the art of caring, but not caring about you. Watch him spar here with Rampage Jackson. Jackson loses it while Mo acts like he is goofing with a child. The video is awesome for a couple other reasons as well.
Here’s Mo rapping with Phil Davis, his upcoming opponent and Bellator 154. Mo decides to shoot on vegetarian fighters, wannabe fighters and how he has more male groupies than female ones. Oh and he really likes ice cream.
King Mo also doesn’t discriminate in his criticism. Here he goes to town on MMA referee Kim Winslow, who has refereed more than her share of controversial fights, after she let his knockout victory over Lorenz Larkin go long. How can you not like a guy who says the ref should be thrown into the cage with Cris Cyborg?Follow Joshua Molina on Twitter: @JECMolina. Follow @MMAHotSauce on Twitter and Facebook. Also follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
With possible title shot implications, the fight between Jacare Souza and Vitor Belfort will be an all out war. Hear UFC commentator Joe Rogan‘s take on the bout, and catch their fight this Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 198.
Heavyweight contender Stipe Miocic believes it’s his time to rise to the top of the division and he plans to take out current champion and all-time great Fabricio Werdum at UFC 198 to prove it. Hear UFC commentator Joe Rogan preview the bout.
One of the most stacked cards in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship goes down Saturday night in arguably the most important countries for MMA: Brazil.
One of the most stacked cards in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship goes down Saturday night in arguably the most important countries for MMA: Brazil.
(Video courtesy of UFC)
On Episode 5 of UFC 198 Embedded, heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum and former light heavyweight champion Shogun Rua find strength in numbers during a team training session, while their American challengers – Stipe Mioicic and Corey Anderson – work out in their Curitiba hotel. The event’s big stars take in the massive scale of the arena at Ultimate Media Day, and then former featherweight Cris Cyborg dives head-on into her weight cut to 140 pounds. There’s one more stop and set of staredowns on Friday, as the group hits the official weigh-in at Atlético Paranaense Stadium.