Former UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn has been removed from the UFC 199 fight card after being flagged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for a potential anti-doping policy violation.
Penn was scheduled to take on Cole Miller on the June 4 fight card at The Formum in Inglewood, Calif., and the UFC is currently seeking a replacement. On Monday, the UFC released a statement regarding Penn’s removal from the event.
“The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informed BJ Penn of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation. Penn disclosed the usage of a prohibited method – the use of an IV in excess of 50 ML in a six-hour period – during a March 25, 2016, out-of-competition sample collection. In accordance with the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, Penn has received a provisional suspension, and has been removed from his scheduled bout against Cole Miller on June 4 in Los Angeles.
“UFC will announce a replacement opponent for Miller shortly, and additional information will be provided by USADA and UFC at the appropriate time as the process involving Penn moves forward,” read the statement.
Penn retired from fighting after suffering a third loss to Frankie Edgar in July 2014. In January, the 37-year-old announced his intentions to return to competition. This is the second time his return has been scrapped. He was scheduled to participate on the UFC 197 fight card on April 23, but was removed from the event after criminal allegations surfaced. The UFC launched an investigation and later cleared Penn of any wrongdoing.
You can say whatever you want about the UFC turning to Michael Bisping to fight Luke Rockhold at UFC 199. Chael Sonnen certainly doesn’t care what you think. At the end of the day, he says, Bisping steps up, no matter what, so he deserves the shot.
(Courtesy of Bad Guy Inc.)
Just a couple days after releasing a photo that nearly brought the internet down, it has been reveled that UFC fighter and “Dancing With The Stars” finalist Paige VanZant will star in her first feature film, joining the cast of “Kickboxer: Retaliation.” The news was originally released by Deadline Hollywood.
The movie is the latest installment of the “Kickboxer” franchise, which began with the 1989 release of the cult classic starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.
According to Deadline Hollywood, “VanZant will play Gamon, a 26-year-old with high-level fighting and shooting skills with some strong criminal connections too. The role was specifically written for VanZant after producers saw her on the ABC dancing competition show this season. ‘Paige is the up-and-coming darling of the UFC and her star quality shines through on camera,’ producer Rob Hickman of Our House Films said in a statement. ‘She’s a tremendous asset to the film both as an onscreen talent and as a trainer fighter.'”
VanZant wraps her season of Dancing With The Stars as a finalist in Monday night’s competition on ABC in the United States.
Conor McGregor‘s return to the Octagon has yet to be set, but on Monday it was announced that he would grace the pages of this year’s ESPN The Magazine’s “Body Issue.”
McGregor is far from the first mixed martial artist to be featured in the Body Issue.
From the UFC alone, Jon Jones, Ronda Rousey, and Miesha Tate have all dropped their cloths for the magazine, which features athletes from multiple sports in artistic nude poses. Prior to fighting in the UFC, Cris “Cyborg” Justino and her then-husband Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, also an MMA fighter, were featured in the Body Issue.
The full roster of athletes to be features in the 2016 Body Issue will be released on June 20. The issue is expected to hit newsstands on July 8.
Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Michelle Waterson, and Holly Holm Make SI’s Top 50 Fittest Female Athletes
The decision to bring women into the UFC wasn’t made until November 2012, and they debuted in February 2013. In three short years, the fighting ladies have made their mark in sports. Sports Illustrated released their list of the top 50 fittest female athletes in the world and four UFC fighters were among them.
Reigning women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate was ranked in the 30th position by SI’s selection panel.
“Tate officially joined the UFC in 2013 and is the current UFC women’s bantamweight champion after defeating former titleholder Holly Holm at UFC 196 in March. The 29-year old is training for her first title defense against Amanda Nunes, at UFC 200 which, if anything like her last pre-fight camp, will feature sparring sessions, footwork drills with a ladder and more,” wrote SI about “Cupcake.”
Former Invicta FC atomweight champion and current UFC strawweight contender Michelle Waterson made the list in the 26th spot.
“Mixed martial artist Waterson trains with Team Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA in Albuquerque, N.M., and has also trained in WuShu, Muay Thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing and wrestling. Waters fits in her workouts – a mixed of MMA sparring, kickboxing and cardiovascular work – between caring or her daughter as a self-described “full-time mommy,” read “The Karate Hottie’s” SI description.
Former women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey made the list of the top 50 fittest female athletes in the 19th position.
“Even after her shocking defeat vs. Holly Holm, Rousey is still in fighting form and vows to return to reclaim her UFC women’s bantamweight champion belt. As she recovers from injuries she sustained against Holm, Rousey is training to get back in the ring by lifting weights, swimming, and working with her coach, Edmond Tarverdyan, and Glendale Fighting Club in California,” SI wrote about “Rowdy.”
Former women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm was the highest-ranking female UFC fighter on the list, breaking into the top 10 in the ninth slot.
“Known as The Preacher’s Daughter, Holm is the first person, female or male, to win titles in both boxing and mixed martial arts. The 5’8”, 135-pound southpaw, twice Ring’s Female Fighter of the Year, has devoted countless hours of training to transforming herself into a UFC champion, producing a fearsome blend of power, speed, endurance and agility,” SI wrote about Holm.
Topping the list was British track and field star, Jessica Ennis-Hill. The 30-year-old Olympic champion competes in the heptathlon.
“Athletes were assessed on six criteria, including strength: the pushing power of a lineman or the force of an ultimate fighter; speed: the top end of a sprinter or the burst of a running back; endurance: a runner’s bottomless reserve or a boxer’s ability to keep going in a bout; and agility: the balance of a downhill skier or a euro step at full speed on the break. Count down to see who is the fittest male athlete in the world right now,” stated SI.
Featherweight champion Conor McGregor cracked the last in the 39th position.
“The 27-year-old Irish MMA star may not follow a strict training schedule – ‘Nothing,’ he says, ‘is set by a clock.’ – but he packs each day with a withering array of exercises and fitness drills ranking from free weight work to core training to yoga – plus grueling hours of striking, grappling and jiu-jitsu – all designed to forge a body and a mind capable of championship-level combat,” read McGregor’s description.
UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson is arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet and made the list of 50 in the 17th spot.
“Dubbed Mighty Mouse, the 5’3”, 125-pound Kentucky native won the UFC flyweight crown in 2012 and has successfully defended eight times. He’s widely regarded as the quickest and most technically-proficient fighter in the sport, one who packs power in his small frame more reminiscent of another cartoon superhero – his personal favorite, Batman,” SI wrote about Johnson.
Former light heavyweight champion and current interim titleholder Jon Jones made the top five on the list of 50 male athletes in the world.
“The current interim UFC light heavyweight champion, Bones, as he’s known, is widely regarded as the best mixed martial arts fighter in the world. After an intense powerlifting regimen last year, the 6’4”, 28-year-old Jones has packed on enough muscle to make his nickname seem ironic — while, he insists, maintaining his speed and endurance,” read Jones’ description.
Track and field decathlete Ashton Eaton topped the list. The 2012 Olympic champion is known as “the world’s greatest athlete.”
Although most of the talk swirling around retired world-champion boxer Floyd Mayweather and his involvement in mixed martial arts has centered around rumors of a boxing match with Conor McGregor, his MMA interests don’t stop there.
Mayweather’s immediate focus is on interim UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. No, he’s not talking about fighting the former 205-pound kingpin, Mayweather is talking about doing business with him.
Just exactly what form that business might take isn’t clear. The two have chatted recently via FaceTime, but Mayweather isn’t stopping there. He’s headed to Albuquerque, N.M., for a face to face with Jones.
“I’m working with fighters, trying to sign fighters. I’m going out to Albuquerque, N.M., to meet with Jon ‘Bones’ Jones, the best MMA fighter in the world,” Mayweather recently told ESNews.
It’s unclear how Mayweather and Jones might work together, but it wouldn’t necessarily have to be anything to do with Jones’s career in the cage, as Mayweather works with fighters on several fronts.
“I’m working on a daily, traveling on a daily, working with fighters, trying to help them grow. Not just in the ring, but on the outside.”
Mayweather’s only direct comment about their recent FaceTime meeting was, “Talking business. Me and Jon talking business about the future of his career.”
A photo posted by Jon Bones Jones (@jonnybones) on May 17, 2016 at 9:17pm PDT
The Ultimate Fighter 23 contestant Abdel Medjedoub gets an emergency call from his wife telling him to leave the competition and come home now or she won’t be there when he gets done with the show. He admitted do doing a “bad, bad thing.”
Characterizing his very public feud with the UFC as a “publicized civil war,” Conor McGregor, after meeting with UFC president Dana White and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta last week, opened up in an exclusive interview with ESPN to discuss how the whole meltdown happened, which led to him being pulled from the UFC 200 fight card.
“I was in a time where I was figuring out something. I didn’t just shut out and say no to everything,” he explained.
“I just wanted to do reasonable media, and then, hey, all of a sudden, ‘Conor, it’s three months from the fight, we’ve got to drag you (on) 40-hour flights to come and do a runaround, New York, Vegas, California, 70 press conferences, 70 talk shows, adverts, all of this,’ and it’s like, I already made you $400 million last week.”
McGregor admitted that the tweet about retirement started as half-jest, but when the UFC said it was pulling him off of the UFC 200 fight card, things got much more serious. Serious enough that McGregor felt he had to dig his feet in and stand his ground. The UFC did the same, so the situation never got resolved.
“I’ll tell you what, it blew up. I was just kind of having fun at the start,” McGregor continued. “It was kind of half-hearted, and then it just went (through the roof), and then, all of a sudden, you’re off UFC 200, and I was like, ‘alright, well (expletive) you too then.’ It was fun. Seeing it all blow up like that, it was amusing for a while.”
While the UFC 200 ship has sailed, McGregor has characterized his recent meeting with White and Fertitta as good. Their meeting with Nate Diaz, who was supposed to be McGregor’s UFC 200 opponent, didn’t go as well. Whether Diaz comes back to the fold remains to be seen, but McGregor is still hungry and, Floyd Mayweather rumors aside, he fully intends to fight again.
“I feel like my gut has been emptied again. I don’t let anything outside interfere with it. I am very focused on returning, 100 percent.”
(Video courtesy of ESPN | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)
At the Unstoppable press conference, Cain Velasquez addressed injuries and staying healthy, maintaining that, when he is healthy, he is the best fighter the UFC heavyweight division has to offer.
(Video courtesy of ESPN | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)
“I hear (Floyd Mayweather) talking. The leak came out, it was him that leaked the rumor. He gets $100 million, I get $7 million. That’s a pay cut for me. I don’t take pay cuts.” — Conor McGregor, ESPN Interview
Fresh from the biggest win of his career over Brazilian icon Anderson Silva, Michael “The Count” Bisping will get his long-awaited shot at a world title on June 4th when he faces UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold in a rematch that will settle the score between these 185-pound rivals.
The United States Ju-Jitsu Organization announced that the U.S. Nationals and U.S. Open Sport Ju-Jitsu tournament will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada as part of the 5th Annual UFC International Fight Week, which takes place from Tuesday, July 5 through Sunday, July 10. The competitions will be featured as part of the UFC Fan Expo, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center from Friday, July 8 through Sunday, July 10.
There will be three (3) different forms of ju-jitsu competition during the tournaments, for youth ages 13 years old and up, weight and experience.
The foundation of Ju-Jitsu is based on one-on-one competition divided into three parts. For part one, the competitor attempts to score with various strikes, punches and kicks. Part two begins after one competitor grabs the other and they battle for a take-down to the ground. Part three involves submissions such as strangulations, holding and barring / locking of various body joints.
Winners are determined based on the athlete that accumulated the most points throughout the match; however an automatic victory may occur if the competitor received “Ippon” (clean action/full points) during each portion of the contest.
The Ne-Waza (Brazilian) competitions begin from a standing position and the athletes attempt to secure points with several throwing, take-down, immobilizing techniques, sweeps or submissions. The match can ultimately be won by a submission, but if a submission does not happen, the bout is won by the competitor that has accumulated the most points.
The Duo System is a discipline where teams of two ju-jitsu athletes compete against each other. The teams demonstrate select self-defense maneuvers against a variety of attacks, including strangulations, hit attacks, embraces, chokeholds and weapons.
TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
Thursday, July 7 – Weigh-ins
Thursday, July 7 – Referee and volunteer meetings
Friday, July 8 – U.S. Nationals (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
Saturday, July 9 – U.S. Nationals and U.S. International Open (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) Sunday, July 10 – U.S. International Open (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) (If necessary)
Roger Gracie is a ten-time BJJ world champion but the Brazilian says his most recent martial arts achievement is the crowning moment of his career. Earlier this month he claimed the inaugural ONE Championship light heavyweight title with a submission win over Michal Pasternak in Singapore.
Winning gold at the Mundials ten times is no easy feat, but we have come to expect these types of accomplishments from the Gracie family in BJJ competition. That’s why this MMA triumph means so much more to the 34-year-old.
“It was one of the happiest days of my life. Becoming the ONE light heavyweight world champion means more to me than all of my BJJ world titles. I carried a lot of pressure into this fight because I carried the Gracie name and my family on my shoulders on the global stage of MMA in the second largest MMA organization in the world.”
Gracie has only fought six times in the last five years as he moved from Strikeforce to the UFC to ONE Championship. These changes of promotion probably contributed to his lack of activity but the Brazilian says he plans to be much more busy from this point forwards.
“For sure, I hope to stay busy as a world champion. I also would like to fight for the middleweight title and try to become a two division world champion.”
Gracie’s title win was at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and he did the final stages of his fight camp at Evolve MMA. The Brazilian subsequently decided to join the team there on a full-time basis and will be spending a lot more time in Singapore.
“I plan to spend a big part of the year at Evolve in Singapore to upgrade my striking and my MMA game. I plan to come a few times in a year and stay for a few months each time. I also want to do my full fight camps in Singapore.”
Gracie showcased some surprisingly good striking to beat James McSweeney on his ONE Championship debut, but the 34-year-old is far better known for his world-class grappling ability than his stand-up skills and says he is looking forward to exchanging some tips with his new team in Singapore.
“Evolve fight team is one of the best teams in the world. I want to learn Muay Thai under the world’s best and I believe that I can share my knowledge in jiu-jitsu to the rest of my teammates. I love the family spirit at Evolve. It is a real family and everybody helps everybody with real love.”
Gracie could easily get his walking weight down to 205 pounds, which would allow him to compete in ONE Championship’s middleweight division. That title is currently held by Vitaly Bigdash, who was recently injured in training but is in to face fellow Russian Alexsei Butorin as soon as he recovers.
No fighter has ever won ONE Championship belts in two different divisions, but Gracie looks on track to potentially become the first. Whether he’s defending his current title or challenging for the middleweight strap 2016 is set to be a busy year for the Brazilian.
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In his post-fighting career Mike Tyson, has become one of the most likable characters in the public eye. This interview is more evidence of that.
Tyson was a guest on “The Diego Show” on the Awkward Puppets YouTube channel and, well, Mike was being Mike. The puppet, Diego, we assume was doing typical Diego things.
To the footage!Follow @MMAHotSauce on Twitter and Facebook. Also follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Thomas Almeida’s Flying Knee Knockout of Brad Pickett
- Cody Garbrandt KOs Marcus Brimage in UFC Debut
World Series of Fighting has signed undefeated middleweight prospect Phil Hawes (3-0) to an exclusive, multi-year promotional agreement.
A product of the famed Jackson-Winklejohn camp in Albuquerque, the 6-foot, 27-year-old Hawes will make his promotional debut against Joshua “The Prince of MMA” Key (6-11, 2 NC) on the live, five-bout NBCSN telecast of WSOF31: Ivanov vs. Copeland, at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. June 17.
“Phil is one of the most exciting, young prospects in the sport of MMA, so we are excited to welcome him to the World Series of Fighting family, and we look forward to seeing how his career develops under our promotion,” said World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo.
The matchup with Key will be Hawes’ first start since 2014, his professional debut year when he ran to three straight victories, the first two by way of TKO and the third – a first round victory over Brandon Collins on October 18 – by way of armbar submission.
A 2009 junior college national wrestling champion for Iowa Central Community College, the alma mater of UFC champion and Jackson-Winklejohn teammate Jon “Bones” Jones, Hawes has been described by Jones as having “limitless” potential.
In the lightweight (155 pounds) co-main event, superstars Jason “The Kansas City Bandit” High (19-5) and Mike “The Martian” Ricci (11-4) will square off with their division’s number one contender ranking at stake.WSOF31: Ivanov vs. Copeland Main Card
World Series of Fighting Heavyweight Championship Main Event:
Blagoy Ivanov (Champion) vs. Josh Copeland (Challenger)
Lightweight: Jason High vs. Mike Ricci
Welterweight: John Howard vs. Thiago Meller
Featherweight: Luis Palomino vs. Sheymon Moraes
Middleweight: Phil Hawes vs. Joshua Key
PRELIMINARY CARD (Live on WSOF.com)
Lightweight: Tom Marcellino vs. Devin Powell
Heavyweight: Juliano Coutinho vs. Justin Willis
Heavyweight: Tyler King vs. Lorenzo Hood
Welterweight: Robert Fonseca vs. Sean Lally
Lightweight: Bruce Boyington vs. Saul Almeida
Bantamweight: Rodrigo Almeida vs. Ben Pierre-Saint
Lightweight: Sam Watford vs. Christian Torres
Lanchana Green and Helen Harper went to war over three rounds on the fifth episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Joanna vs. Team Claudia. Check out the video highlights and hear UFC president’s Dana White‘s take on the result.
(Video courtesy of The Ultimate Fighter | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)
(Video courtesy of Bellator MMA)
Check out highlights from Bellator 155: Carvalho vs. Manhoef, which took place on Friday night at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho.
Main Card Bouts:
- Rafael Carvalho def. Melvin Manhoef via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)
- Pat Curran def. Georgi Karakhanyan via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Dan Charles vs. Augusto Sakai declared a majority draw (28-28, 28-28, 30-26)
- Alexis Dufresne def. Marloes Coenen via submission (triangle armbar) at 4:33, R1
- Chase Gormley def. Joey Beltran via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Preliminary Card Bouts:
- Jesse Brock def. Olly Bradstreet via submission (rear-naked choke) AT 3:57, R3
- Marcin Held def. Dave Jansen via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Casey Johnson def. Brendon Raftery via submission (rear-naked choke) AT 1:16, R2
- Joe Hamilton def. Tyler Freeman via submission (rear-naked choke) AT 0:22, R1
- Vincent Morales def. Hamilton Ash via knockout (punches) at 2:32, R3
Following a meeting with Conor McGregor on Wednesday night that, by all accounts, went well, UFC president Dana White and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta flew to Stockton, Calif., on Friday to meet with Nate Diaz.
The hope was to put the final touches on the rematch between McGregor and Diaz, which was originally slated for UFC 200. After pulling the fight from that card following a public falling out between McGregor and the UFC over promotional duties, White and Fertitta have been trying to put the fight back together for UFC 202 in August.
Although things seemingly went well with McGregor, TMZ reported on Friday that Dana White got up and stormed out of the lunch meeting with Diaz and his manager, Lloyd Pierson.
“Our Stockton spies — yeah, we got those — tell us Dana, Nate and a couple of suits were all friendly as they chowed down, but the talk got serious and ended abruptly when Dana was visibly angry, stood up and beelined it for his SUV,” the TMZ Sports report said.
“Unclear what torpedoed the meeting, but we’ve covered this stuff long enough to know it usually involves money. We know Conor was poised to score a $10 mil payday for a rematch. We don’t know what Nate wants.”
Diaz later posted a photo of him, White and Fertitta in front of a mural of him in Stockton, everyone looking fine. That apparently wasn’t exactly an indicator that all is well on the Western Front.
“Wasn’t a good day,” White characterized the meeting in a text to ESPN reporter Brett Okamoto that he later tweeted.
Not only is the status of the fight up in the air, but so is McGregor’s return to the Octagon, which initially seemed to be all about getting things on the right track with the Irish superstar. Now that they are having trouble coming to terms with Diaz, White and Fertitta are left to determine what direction to turn.
Do they continue to try and work things out with Diaz or do they see if McGregor will take another fight to get back in the Octagon?
Although it is probably as much noise floating through the ether, there is also a TMZ report that said retired boxer Floyd Mayweather is complicating the situation by offering McGregor $50 million for a boxing match with him on New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas. Though that is highly unlikely to become anything more than speculation, it distracts from the UFC’s matter at hand.