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Updated: 17 hours 52 min ago

UFC Champ Rafael Dos Anjos Hopes for December Return from MCL Tear

Wed, 2015-05-27 21:53

Rafael Dos Anjos is eyeing a return from a partial MCL tear, and December is the target month for the UFC lightweight champion.

Dos Anjos’ manager, Ali Abdel Aziz, informed UFC Tonight on Wednesday of the fighter’s intentions. Unfortunately, a definitive timeline for his return isn’t quite set because the fighter still hasn’t been cleared by doctors.

Dos Anjos injured his MCL in his win over Anthony Pettis at UFC 185 this past March. Following the win, he revealed he suffered the MCL injury in the weeks leading into the Pettis fight, adding to the impressiveness of the win.

Waiting for RDA will likely be Donald Cerrone, who scored a technical knockout over John Makdessi at UFC 187 last weekend. UFC President Dana White recently told ESPN “Cowboy” is getting the next shot.

“He looked unbelievable,” White told the outlet of Cerrone’s UFC 187 performance. “Cowboy Cerrone is next in line for a title shot.”

If the two face each other, it will be a rematch of a 2013 fight that saw Dos Anjos win a unanimous decision. The loss was also the last time Cerrone tasted defeat in his professional career.

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Bethe Correia Takes Cheap Shot at Ronda Rousey, Says She Hopes Rousey Doesn’t Kill Herself

Wed, 2015-05-27 16:38

Since her second fight in the UFC, Bethe Correia has been gunning for a bout against women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. After defeating two of Ronda’s training partners and friends, Jessamyn Duke and Shyna Baszler, Correia will finally get what she’s been asking for at UFC 190 on Aug. 1.

Correia has relentlessly trash talked the champion, but has recently taken things to another level. She’s attacked Rousey personally, brining up things revealed in Rousey’s book “My Fight, Your Fight.”

After coming up short of her Olympic Gold Medal dreams in the 2008 Games, Rousey turned to partying as an escape, as a coping mechanism.

Correia recently stated that she hopes Rousey doesn’t turn to drugs after she defeats her. But in a recent interview with the Brazilian outlet Combate, Correia crossed the line of what’s acceptable.

“I want to knock her out, show to everyone that she is a scam. She wants to stand up with me, let’s see. I want to humiliate her and show the word she has no MMA,” she said.

RELATED > Ronda Rousey Opens Up for In-Depth HBO Real Sports Profile

“She is focused on movies, books. I am much stronger, I come from a developing country, where people are struggling to survive, not to starve. It is very different from her life of reality. Under pressure, she is proving weak. When her mom put pressure on her, she ran away from home. When she lost, it was because of drugs. That’s not a superhero,” said the undefeated 31-year-old.

“When she feels my pressure, I want to see her reaction. She is not mentally healthy. She needs to take care of herself. She is winning, so everybody is around her cheering her up, but when she realizes she is not everything that she believes she is, I don’t know what might happen. I hope she does not kill herself later on (laughs).”

Correia appears to be referencing Rousey’s deeply emotional loss of her father, who committed suicide after struggling for years following a debilitating back injury.

The comment was classless.  It was a disgusting display of unsportsmanlike conduct that has no place in mixed martial artist, or sports in general.

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UFC 187 Medical Suspensions: Belfort, Browne and Arlovski Face Lengthy Time Off

Wed, 2015-05-27 16:35

Several fighters from Saturday’s UFC 187: Johnson vs. Cormier event in Las Vegas received what could potentially be lengthy medical suspensions.

Topping the list were new UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who needs an MRI within the next six months, and several other fighters that could be suspended for up to six months depending upon their medical follow-ups.

The Nevada Athletic Commission is requiring Cormier to have a follow-up MRI “with and without contrast in six months.” That could keep him sidelined until November.

Fighters that could be out until Nov. 20 include Vitor Belfort, Andrei Arlovski, and Travis Browne.

Although she had to pull out of her fight with Rose Namajunas due to illness, Nina Ansaroff was also suspended. She must get medical clearance or she will also be out until Nov. 20.

The Nevada Athletic Commission released the UFC 187 medical suspensions to MMAWeekly.com. UFC 187: Johnson vs. Cormier took place on Saturday, May 23, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

UFC 187 Medical Suspensions

  • Daniel Cormier: Must have a follow-up MRI with and without contrast in six months. The MRI is due by Nov. 1.
  • Anthony Johnson: Suspended until July 7 with no contact until June 23 due to left eyebrow laceration.
  • Chris Weidman: Suspended until July 7 with no contact until June 23 due to left eyebrow laceration.
  • Vitor Belfort: Must have his left shoulder cleared by doctor or no contest until Nov. 20. Faces a minimum suspension until July 7 with no contact until June 23.
  • John Makdessi: Must have broken jaw cleared by doctor or no contest until Nov. 20. Faces a minimum suspension until July 7 with no contact until June 23.
  • Andrei Arlovski: Must have an MRI of his left shoulder cleared by doctor or no contest until Nov. 20.
  • Travis Browne: Must have nasal fracture cleared by doctor or no contest until Nov. 20. Faces a minimum suspension until July 22 with no contact until July 7.
  • John Moraga: Suspended until July 7 with no contact until June 23 due to scalp laceration.
  • Rafael Natal: Suspended until June 23 with no contact until June 14 due to right eyebrow laceration.
  • Nina Ansaroff: Must be cleared by doctor before next fight or no contest until Nov. 20.
  • Colby Covington: Suspended until July 7 with no contact until June 23 due to left eyebrow laceration.
  • Mike Pyle: Suspended until June 23 with no contact until June 14.
  • Leo Kuntz: Suspended until June 23 with no contact until June 14.
  • Justin Scoggins: Suspended until June 23 with no contact until June 14 due to left eyebrow laceration.
  • Josh Sampo: Suspended until June 23 with no contact until June 14.

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Wanna Go Five Rounds with Kimbo Slice?

Wed, 2015-05-27 16:31

(Video courtesy of Bellator)

For those that don’t remember Kimbo Slice’s run with EliteXC or his stint on The Ultimate Fighter, Bellator has released this video for a five-round refresher course in all things Kimbo Slice leading up to his Bellator 138 showdown with UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock.

RELATED > Bellator 138 Fight Card

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WSOF 21: Palmer vs. Horodecki Gets Two New Main Card Bout

Wed, 2015-05-27 16:30

Two featherweight (145 pounds) rising stars – Hakeem Dawodu and Chuka “The Lion King” Willis – will put their unblemished records on the line when they face off on the live NBCSN televised portion of the high-stakes World Series of Fighting (WSOF.com) world championship doubleheader in Edmonton, Alta., Canada on Friday, June 5.

“This fight between two WSOF’s best 145 pound prospects should serve as a fantastic kick off to an incredible night of action,” said WSOF President, six-time world champion and two-time Hall of Famer Ray Sefo.  “With two titles and the career trajectories of these two unbeaten talents all on the line, WSOF’s twenty-first event is a pivotal night for at least six of our fighters.”

In addition, a swing bout between welterweight (170 pounds) rising stars Mark “Sweet Dreams” Drummond (7-2) of Edmonton and Michael Hill (7-3) of Kelowna, B.C., Canada has been added to the card, and will air via tape delay if time remains in the two-hour NBCSN telecast window, following the main event.

Jose “The Rockstar” Rodriguez (7-3) of Saskatoon, Sask., Canada will replace injured Mukai Maromo in a preliminary card bout against Stephen “Big Bad” Beaumont (7-2).  The matchup will be contested at a catchweight of 165 pounds.

The 23-year-old Dawodu (4-0) of Calgary, Alberta, Canada is a ferocious Muay Thai-based striker who has earned all of his career victories to date, including two wins under the WSOF banner, by way of (T)KO.   On Feb. 12, he put on a brilliant display, decimating Tristan Johnson with a storm of punches in the third round (1:59) of their meeting.

Willis (4-0) of Emporia, Kan. boasts an identical professional record to that of Dawodu.  The 22-year-old, whose start in the WSOF decagon cage represents his promotional debut, is coming off of a third round (:38) TKO (punches) of Travis Draper on March 6, 2015, marking Willis’ second career finish.

In the main event, reigning WSOF World Featherweight Champion Lance Palmer(9-1) will put his title on the line for the first time against Canadian challenger and battle-tested veteran Chris “The Polish Hammer” Horodecki (21-5-1) while, in the co-main event, WSOF World Heavyweight Champion Smealinho “The Prince” Rama (9-1), will risk his crown for the first time against Bulgarian standout Blagoi Ivanov (11-1).

The WSOF 21: Palmer vs. Horodecki main card airs live from the Edmonton Expo Centre on NBCSN, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, while preliminary bouts stream live on WSOF.com.

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UFC Fight Night 72: Bisping vs. Leites Media Conference Call Replay

Wed, 2015-05-27 14:49

UFC Fight Night 72 headliners Michael Bisping and Thales Leites answered questions during a media conference call on Wednesday. Hear what the fighters have to say about their upcoming bout.

UFC Fight Night 72: Bisping vs. Leites takes place at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow on July 18. It’s the first event the UFC has hosted in Scotland.

RELATED > More UFC Fight Night 72 Coverage

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John Dodson Says He’ll KO Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson When They Rematch

Wed, 2015-05-27 02:07

John Dodson(17-6)  further solidified his place as the top flyweight contender by defeating former Bellator bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky (19-6) via unanimous decision at UFC 187 on Saturday.

Dodson’s riding a three-fight winning streak and believes it’s obvious that he deserves the next title shot in the 125-pound division.

RELATED > John Dodson vs. Zack Makovsky UFC 187 Fight Highlights Video

“It’s a no-brainer for me. I always still want to beat up Demetrious Johnson. I want to knock him out,” said Dodson during the UFC 187 post-fight press conference following the May 23 pay-per-view event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Dodson and Johnson have history. Johnson holds a unanimous decision win over Dodson, but Dodson didn’t agree with the outcome when the two met in the UFC on Fox 6 main event in January 2013.

“I thought I won the first time when me and him faced each other. I believe the next time that we come around that the outcome is going to be way different. I’m going to still go out there and beat him up,” said the 30-year old Albuquerque native.

“I’m going to get a clear victory by knocking him out.”

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UFC Fight Night 67 Flashback: Carlos Condit Takes Out Martin Kampmann

Wed, 2015-05-27 02:04

Inside the Octagon, a welterweight slugfest went down between Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit and Martin Kampmann at UFC Fight Night 27. Condit battles Thiago Alves in the main event at UFC Fight Night in Goiania, Brazil on May 30.

RELATED > More UFC Fight Night 67 Videos

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Chris Weidman Nearly Pooped Himself in the Octagon at UFC 187

Tue, 2015-05-26 21:56

We’re immature. We know and accept that.

But there’s a certain amount understanding that goes back to our college days, where if there’s a time when a professional athlete references their bowel movements you have to acknowledge it. And by acknowledge we mean laugh hysterically because the athlete just admitted they almost crapped themselves in the middle of a sporting event.

Enter UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman.

ALSO WATCH: UFC 187 Fight Highlights Video: Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort

Chris evidently had to drop a deuce in the moments leading into his middleweight title defense against Vitor Belfort last Saturday at UFC 187, and things got pretty intense. He apparently thought about running to the potty to do his business as Vitor was making his walkout, but that would’ve ran the risk of delaying the co-main event.

And we’ve all been there, haven’t we? Think back to a moment when there was something really important you had to do, yet the tummy started rumbling and a turtle head started peaking its head out, looking to go for a swim. As for the middleweight champ, he held it in and the only mess he made in the Octagon was that of Vitor.

To the quotage, via “Poopy Pants Weidman” on The MMA Hour.

“I’ll be honest. It was my first time ever that I had to go to the bathroom bad. I could not believe this was going to happen. ‘I’m going to crap myself in the middle of this cage.’ I didn’t know, as soon as Vitor’s walkout music came on, I was concentrating, all I could think about was that I didn’t know if I should run into the bathroom now or hold it. I didn’t know what was going to happen. That’s really what was going through my mind the whole time walking out. I thought I would be the first person that had to run from a fight to go to the bathroom, or they’d have to hold the fight for me. But, I didn’t want to tell anybody because when you say it out loud it makes things worse. So, when we were getting ready to do the walkout, I gave Ray my flag, usually I hold it, but I gave it to him so I could focus on not crapping myself pretty much. So yeah, you were right, there was definitely something not normal.”

On the contrary, Chris, that’s very normal. In fact, it’s one of the most natural things you can do as a human being. Looks like those training-camp meals had a lot of fiber in them. Perhaps this contributed to the motivation to end the fight in the first round? Our childish side hopes to think so.

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UFC 187 Fighter Salaries: Chris Weidman and Anthony Johnson Top Payroll

Tue, 2015-05-26 18:56

The Ultimate Fighting Championship crowned a new light heavyweight champion at UFC 187 on May 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Daniel Cormier defeated Antony Johnson to capture the vacant title.

Middleweight titleholder Chris Weidman defended his belt for a third time by defeating Vitor Belfort in the opening round of the fight card’s co-main event.

The Nevada Athletic Commission released the UFC 187: Johnson vs. Cormier salaries on Tuesday. Chris Weidman and Anthony Johnson were the highest earners on the fight card, banking $500,000 each.

UFC 187: Johnson vs. Cormier Fighter Salaries

Daniel Cormier: $180,000 (includes $90,000 win bonus) def.
Anthony Johnson: $500,000

Chris Weidman: $500,000 (includes $250,000 win bonus) def. Vitor Belfort: $300,000

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone: $152,000 (includes $76,000 win bonus) def. John Makdessi: $30,000

Andrei Arlovski: $84,000 (includes $42,000 win bonus) def. Travis Browne: $60,000

Joseph Benavidez: $106,000 (includes $53,000 win bonus) def. John Moraga: $28,000

John Dodson: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus) def. Zach Makovsky: $19,000

Dong Hyun Kim: $116,000 (includes $58,000 win bonus) def. Josh Burkman: $45,000

Rafael Natal: $70,000 (includes $35,000 win bonus) def. Uriah Hall: $14,000

Rose Namajunas: $27,000 (includes $2,000, or 20% of Nina Ansaroff purse) vs. Nina Ansaroff: $8,000 (forfeited 20% of purse after failing to make weight)

Colby Covington: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus) def. Mike Pyle: $51,000

Islam Makhachev: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus) def. Leo Kuntz: $10,000

Justin Scoggins: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus) def. Josh Sampo: $13,000

The UFC 187 payouts, however, are only the publicly disclosed bout salaries and do not take into account pay-per-view percentages and other earnings.

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Donald Cerrone Earns UFC Title Shot, Finally Willing to Wait

Tue, 2015-05-26 18:21

UFC president Dana White often doesn’t like to commit to future fights immediate following an event, but seemed to indicate on Saturday night that Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone had finally punched his ticket to a UFC title shot.

Cerrone won his eighth consecutive fight by breaking John Makdessi’s jaw at UFC 187 on Saturday night, improving his record in the Octagon to 15-3 and making him a shoe-in for a shot at the belt currently wrapped around Rafael dos Anjos’ waist, as fellow contender Khabib Nurmagomedov is sidelined for the foreseeable future.

“Absolutely. Cowboy is definitely the contender,” White told UFC.com on Saturday night. “He’ll fight anybody, anywhere, anytime. He always keeps his composure. He picks his shot. He takes his time. He looked great again tonight. Cowboy is next in line.”

It would be the second time that Cerrone and dos Anjos have fought. The two squared off a couple years ago, with dos Anjos winning a unanimous decision.

The champ is currently sidelined with a knee injury, but over the weekend said that a trip to the doctor last week put him back in training in the next one to two months, depending on how quickly his knee returns to 100-percent health.

He feels that when he does return, Cerrone deserves the shot at his belt

“In my opinion, (Cerrone) deserve to wait until I come back,” said dos Anjos. “He did his job. If he wants, he can wait until I come back (in my opinion).”

Cerrone is finally at a point in his career where waiting might just be an option. He’s worked hard, taking every fight put in front of him, to get to this point; not to mention, he fought Makdessi while injured.

Although Cerrone’s coach, Greg Jackson, wanted him to pull out of the fight, Cowboy fought through a severe rib injury to get the win over Makdessi. It’s enough of an injury that Cerrone is looking forward to some time off before worrying about a title fight… a title fight that he hopes will happen in his hometown of Denver.

“I would love to wait,” said Cerrone on Saturday. “I’ll wait for Denver, Colorado. I see a lot of Sunday Fundays in my future, so I should be alright.”

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Shinya Aoki Would Drop to Featherweight for Bibiano Fernandes Superfight

Tue, 2015-05-26 17:40

During Shinya Aoki’s dominant decision win over Koji Ando at ONE: Warrior’s Quest last Friday night, the commentators continually teased the possibility of the champion dropping down to featherweight to face reigning 135-pound king Bibiano Fernandes.

Aoki did look noticeably smaller than Ando, although it didn’t stop him from dominating the challenger for 25 minutes to retain his belt and register an eighth successive win. The Japanese fighter has already tested the waters at featherweight successfully once and would not rule out a repeat of that experiment.

“If there is a chance to fight with Fernandes then I am open to it, but for now the plan is to stay at lightweight.”

The “super fight” with Fernandes is one that ONE Championship seems very open to making and Aoki acknowledges that he has a very comfortable cut at his current weight class of 155 pounds.

“This fight was an easy weight cut for me. I cut only 4 to 5 kilograms (roughly 10 pounds).”

That would put Aoki’s walking weight at around 165 pounds, which puts him on the small side for a lightweight. Many top lightweights walk around at 170 pounds or more. That hasn’t prevented Aoki from beating some of the top fighters in the division over the course of his 12-year professional career.

Aoki sprang a few tactical surprises in the fight with Ando, switching to a striking strategy in round two despite having spent the first five minutes completely controlling the Japanese challenger on the ground. He ate a few jabs for his troubles, but says he wanted to spend a round standing in order to utilize some of the techniques he had worked on in training.

“I wanted to use my Muay Thai because my coach Peneak (Sitnumnoi) at Evolve MMA had helped me a lot with my striking. I have a very good affinity with him.”

RELATED > ONE Warrior’s Quest Results: Shinya Aoki Dominates in Title Defense

Despite finding himself on the receiving end of those jabs from Ando, he still believes that he won the second round.

“I think that I ruled in that round because my kick was successful.”

It is testament to Aoki’s superiority that he was able to experiment with a variety of different strategies during the fight and still win comfortably on the scorecards. He came close with an armbar attempt at the end of the third round and was so far ahead that he spent much of the final five minutes showboating.

With less than 30 seconds to go in the third round, Aoki abandoned the aforementioned armbar and started to throw elbows instead. Ando also survived a rear-naked choke attempt and the “Tobikan Judan” believes the fierce resistance of his grounded opponent forced him to alternate between submission attempts and throwing strikes.

“His defense was strong and that is why I gave up the submission and changed to striking instead.”

As for the antics in the final five minutes, when Aoki jumped guard and tried to butt scoot towards Ando, the champion says he saw no point in taking unnecessary chances at that stage of the fight.

“I knew I would win the decision so I wanted to fight without risk in the final round.”

It was Aoki’s fifth fight for ONE Championship and all but one of them has taken place inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium. He trains at the nearby Evolve MMA gym and enjoys a tremendous rapport with the local fans.

“I love fighting in Singapore. The fans give me more power because I get so much support from them and from all the Evolve MMA students who come to watch.”

Aoki has often courted controversy during his career, but these eccentric antics seem to have won him the hearts and minds of ONE Championship fans. He admits signing a long-term deal with the promotion in 2012 was something of a gamble, but says he has absolutely no regrets.

“The contract from ONE FC was very good, the best of my career, but at the time I did not know how big it would grow. The stadium in Singapore was full on Friday and it made me very happy to see so many people in the crowd and to see that MMA is becoming popular all over Asia now, not just in Japan.”

Aoki remains a marquee star on the ONE Championship roster and he says regardless of whether his next match-up is a lightweight title defense or a ‘super fight’ with someone like Fernandes, he wants to continue to show different facets to his game.

“I want to improve as a fighter, that is why I joined Evolve MMA in Singapore and now I have more options than before because I can use my ground game or I can use my Muay Thai skills, but I believe I can still get better.”

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UFC Fight Night 67: Condit vs. Alves Event Page and Fight Card

Tue, 2015-05-26 15:05

UFC Fight Night 67
Condit vs. Alves
Date: May 30, 2015
Venue: Goiânia Arena
Location: Goiânia, Brazil

 

UFC FIGHT NIGHT 67 ARTICLES

UFC FIGHT NIGHT 67  VIDEOS

 

UFC Fight Night 67 Bouts 

Main Card (on FOX Sports 1)
Carlos Condit (29-8) vs. Thiago Alves (21-9)
Nik Lentz (27-6-2, 1 NC) vs. Charles Oliveira (19-4, 1 NC)
K.J. Noons (13-7) vs. Alex Oliveira (11-2-1, 1 NC)
Francimar Barroso (16-4) vs. Ryan Jimmo (19-4)
Francisco Trinaldo (16-4) vs. Norman Parke (20-3-1)
Wendell Oliveira (24-8) vs. Darren Till (12-0)

Preliminary Card (on FOX Sports 1)
Rony Jason (14-5) vs. Damon Jackson (9-1)
Jussier Formiga (17-3) vs. Wilson Reis (19-5)
Elizeu Zaleski (14-4) vs. Nicolas Dalby (13-0)
Lucas Martins (15-2) vs. Mirsad Bektic (9-0)

Preliminary Card (on UFC Fight Pass)
Juliana Lima (7-2) vs. Ericka Almeida (7-0)
Luiz Dutra (11-3) vs. Tom Breese (7-0)

UFC Fight Night 67 Start Times
Main Card on FOX Sports 1: 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: 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT

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World Series of Fighting Going All-In with Three Title Tilts at WSOF 22

Tue, 2015-05-26 14:33

World Series of Fighting (WSOF) is arguably assembling its greatest fight card in the promotion’s history, with a world championship tripleheader, headlined by a highly-anticipated showdown between reigning WSOF World Welterweight (170 pounds) Champion Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares and two-time world champion Jake Shields, at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on Saturday, Aug. 1, live on NBCSN.

The co-main event will see red-hot WSOF World Bantamweight (135 pounds) Champion Marlon Moraes put his coveted belt on the line against undefeated contender Sheymon Moraes, while two undefeated rising stars – Magomed “Gladiator” Bibulatov and Donavon Frelow – will face off in the first-ever WSOF world flyweight (125 pounds) championship bout.

Priced from $29.99, tickets for “WSOF 22: Palhares vs. Shields” go on sale on Friday, May 29 at 10 a.m. PT at Ticketmaster.com and WSOF.com.

“This is, in my opinion, the most incredible lineup of fights featuring marquee talent that WSOF has put together since we launched the company in 2012,” said WSOF President, six-time world champion and two-time Hall of Famer Ray Sefo. “We have a collection of highly competitive matchups with top-caliber superstars that have all made some kind of mark in the sport, and it should be a spectacular night of world-class combat.”

In other action on the live NBCSN telecast, world kickboxing champion and MMA upstart Tyrone Spong will make his long-awaited return to the cage and square off with veteran powerhouse Mike “MAK” Kyle in a light heavyweight (205 pounds) contest.

Additionally, top-flight prospect and aggressive-minded finisher Abubaker Nurgamedov will make his promotional debut against an opponent to be announced.

Rousimar Palhares vs. Jake Shields

One of the top leg lock specialists in MMA who has earned 11 of his 17 career wins using this method of submission, the 35-year-old Palhares (17-6) of Dores Do Indaia, Minas Gerais, Brazil, will enter the cage looking for his third straight victory under the WSOF banner and his fourth consecutive win overall.

In his first two WSOF starts, Palhares turned in back-to-back first round submission wins – the first over Steve Carl by way of inverted heel hook on March 29, 2014 to claim the promotion’s welterweight strap, and the second over Jon Fitch via kneebar on Dec. 13, 2014.

Like Palhares, the 36-year-old Shields (31-7-1, 1 NC) of San Francisco, Calif., is also seeking his third WSOF win in a row after defeating his last two opponents – Ryan Ford and Brian Foster – inside of one round of action by way of submission.   In his WSOF debut on Oct. 11, 2014, the Cesar Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt tapped out Ford with a rear-naked choke, and on Jan. 17, Shields submitted Foster with a neck crank.

During his stellar, 16-year professional career, Shields, who held world titles with the now defunct promotions Strikeforce and EliteXC, has faced and defeated a long list of rival icons, including all-time great Dan Henderson, and superstars Robbie Lawler, Paul Daley and Tyron Woodley.

Marlon Moraes vs. Sheymon Moraes

Since making his WSOF debut with a split-decision victory over superstar Miguel Torres on the promotion’s inaugural card on Nov. 3, 2012, Moraes (14-4-1) of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. via Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has been unstoppable and on Feb. 21, the 27-year-old secured his ninth straight win with a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Josh Hill.

The other Moraes has also been perfect since he jumpstarted his professional career with a unanimous decision win over Richard Medeiros on March 17, 2012. The 24-year-old, who has earned four of his seven career wins by way of (T)KO, made both his U.S. and promotional debut for WSOF on Dec. 13, 2014, earning a split decision over Gabriel Solorio.

Magomed Bibulatov vs. Donavon Frelow

Bibulatov (9-0) of Grozny, Chechnya, Russia and Frelow (4-0) of Las Vegas represent two of MMA’s most heralded 125-pound prospects.

Bibulatov, whose first start for WSOF also represents his debut in the U.S., notched his 9th career win on March 14, scoring a first round (1:30) KO on Eduardo Felipe in Grozny. The 26-year-old’s most noteworthy achievement to date is his victory of a one-night, eight-man tournament in Lamego, Portugal on Aug. 24, 2013, when he defeated three consecutive opponents, including two by way of first round submission, to emerge the winner of the single-elimination affair.

Frelow is a 30-year-old member of Wanderlei Silva’s fight squad and a product of Las Vegas’ highly competitive amateur fight circuit where he amassed an overall record of 5-1 between 2011 and 2013, his only defeat being on the losing end of a split decision in May 2011. In his last appearance and WSOF debut, Frelow earned a unanimous decision over Taylor McCorriston on Jan. 17.

Tyrone Spong vs. Mike Kyle

After sustaining a broken leg in kickboxing competition in April 2014, Spong (2-0) of Boca Raton, Fla. via Paramaribo, Suriname will enter the cage for the first time since Aug. 10, 2013, when he notched a unanimous decision over Angel DeAnda in WSOF action.

A three-time world kickboxing champion with over 80 career professional bouts in the sport, the 29-year-old former protégé of kickboxing legend “Mr. Perfect” Ernesto Hoost recently began pursuing a third combat sports career in professional boxing, as well, where he is a perfect 2-0 (1 KO), to date.

Kyle (21-12-1, 2 NC) of San Jose, Calif., is a battle-tested, heavy-handed finisher and member of Team AKA who has competed all over the world for numerous, major MMA promotions since he began his professional career in 2001.

The 35-year-old Kyle, who has earned 17 of his 21 professional career wins by way of (T)KO or submission, is coming off of a first round (1:56) submission (guillotine choke) victory over Baga Agaev on March 26.

Abubakar Nurmagomedov vs. TBA

The younger brother of undefeated superstar Khabib Nurmagomedov and one of the top welterweight prospects in the world, Abubakar (9-1) of Makhachkala, Russia will make his much-anticipated debut on U.S. soil after inking a multi-fight agreement with WSOF in March.

Nurmagomedov, who trains under his father, Abdulmanap at Khabib’s gym FightSpirit Team, is coming off of a first round TKO (punches) win over Vladimir Gunzu on Feb. 22.

The live NBCSN telecast of “WSOF 22: Palhares vs. Shields” begins at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on Saturday, August 1.

Doors at The AXIS at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino will open at 4 p.m. PT, and the first preliminary card bout will begin at 5 p.m. PT.

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Why Luke Rockhold Would Beat UFC Champ Chris Weidman

Tue, 2015-05-26 13:29

No. 1-ranked middleweight contender Luke Rockhold believes that he possesses the right mix of skills to dethrone 185-pound champion Chris Weidman.

Rockhold (14-2) has lost only once in the last seven years. He’s the former Strikefroce middleweight titleholder. Like Weidman, he’s also big for the division with a controlling ground game.

The 30-year-old Californian respects the champion, but believes that he holds advantages in a couple of key aspects.

“Chris is a boss. He’s a true champ. He’s well rounded everywhere. He’s got that kind of lumberjack style. He’s not too flashy, not too fancy, but he gets the job done every time. He’s so tough. Has the will to win,” said Rockhold of Weidman during the UFC 187 Post Show.

RELATED > Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort UFC 187 Fight Highlights

With Weidman’s impressive amateur wrestling resume, many believe the New Yorker would have an edge in the grappling department in a fight with Rockhold, but the former Strikeforce champ doesn’t agree with them.

“I’m a good wrestler. People haven’t seen my wrestling much. He’s not going to be able to take me down, and if he takes me down it’s going to be worse off for him on the ground. He’s a great grappler. I believe I’m a little better there,” Rockhold said.

Rockhold trains out of the American Kickboxing Academy alongside heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and newly crowned light heavyweight titleholder and former Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier.

“I train with the best wrestlers. I’m good at wrestling. I grew up wrestling. It’s going to be a non-issue. The wrestling is going to be completely negated. I’m going to take advantage there. It’s going to be a stand-up fight. Mark my words,” added the top-ranked contender.

Rockhold is certain that a fight against Weidman would turn out to be a striking battle, and he is confident that he’s the better striker between the two.

“I think this becomes more of a stand-up fight. He’s good, but I’ve just got more finesse, I’ve got more footwork and I’ve got more weapons on the feet. I really see Chris bringing the best fight out of me. I think it’s going to be a war on the feet, and I think I can get him in the later rounds,” he said.

AKA boasts two UFC champions among their stable of fighters, and Rockhold is determined to become the third.

“I train with the best team. We’ve got two titles. I’m looking to bring that third back.”

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Video: Could We See Paige VanZant in the Movies?

Tue, 2015-05-26 02:38

Strawweight sensation Paige VanZant spoke with the media during UFC 187: Johnson vs. Cormier fight week in Las Vegas. Hear what the 21-year-old had to say about her career, the 115-pound division and the possibility of starring on the silver screen.

RELATED > More Paige VanZant News and Videos

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Demetrious Johnson Not Looking for an Antihero Counterpart (Video)

Tue, 2015-05-26 02:36

A good sports rivalry can define an athlete’s career, but UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson isn’t looking for an antihero counterpart. The champ spoke with the media during UFC 187: Johnson vs. Cormier event week and explained that he has a long-term mentality rather than short-term vision.

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Anderson Silva Decries Detractors, ‘I’m Not a Cheater’

Mon, 2015-05-25 18:02

Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, despite two failed drug tests related to his UFC 183 bout with Nick Diaz in January, continues to maintain that he is not a cheater.

Silva first tested positive in a Jan. 9 out-of-competition drug test, where his results revealed anabolic steroid metabolites for Drostanolone and Androstane.

After testing clean in a Jan. 19 out-of-competition test, Silva then again tested positive for Drostanolone, in addition to Oxazepam and Temazepam, two benzodiazepine class drugs commonly used to treat anxiety-related insomnia. Although Oxazepam and Temazepam are not banned substances, Silva failed to disclose them on his medical questionnaire, which is a violation in Nevada.

Silva had never before tested positive for banned substances during his near-twenty-year career.

RELATED > More Anderson Silva News, Rumors and Videos

Silva has yet to go before the Nevada Athletic Commission to address the infractions. His attorney has filed for several continuations that have delayed the proceedings.

The former champion insists, however, that it is not because he is guilty of cheating.

“About my doping case, I’m waiting for the commission and my lawyers,” Silva wrote recently on Instagram, as translated by MMAFighting’s Guilherme Cruz. “I’m not a cheater and I never had a juiced body. Just watch my fights in Japan, when I fought at 176 pounds because there was no 185 pound division, and the guys I fought cut from 220 to 207. So for those ‘experts’, go search real facts.

“I apologize to my followers and fans that give me strength and criticize me with the intention to help me instead of bringing me down, because I don’t want you to think that I’m being rude with you. I’m just tired of listening to lies and false accusations. I don’t live in a glass case, I’m not a saint and I never said I was the best. I always did what I love with truth, without overshadowing and lying to anyone. Unfortunately, I can’t please everybody because I’m not and I don’t wanna be unanimous.”

Silva is currently expected to go before the Nevada commission for a hearing at the NAC’s regularly scheduled meeting in June, unless he is granted another continuance.

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Best UFC Promo Ever? Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor Official Trailer

Mon, 2015-05-25 17:22

The Ultimate Fighting Championship is banking that UFC 189, which features the featherweight showdown between champion Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor, will be the mega-fight that boxing’s Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao wasn’t.

RELATED > Dana White: Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor Will Be What Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Wasn’t

It certainly can’t predict the fight, but the first UFC 189 promotional trailer certainly adds to the build-up. Is it the UFC’s best promo ever?

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Anthony Johnson to Daniel Cormier: ‘Your Head Hurt My Foot’ (UFC 187 Video)

Mon, 2015-05-25 16:52

Even though he failed in his attempt to capture the UFC light heavyweight champion, Anthony Johnson maintained his sense of humor in this exchange with new champ Daniel Cormier at the UFC 187 post-fight press conference on Saturday night.

RELATED > More UFC 187 Videos

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