Jon Jones Took His ‘Ground Game To The New Level’ And ‘Feeling Like A Whole New Animal’ Jon Jones returned to Octagon last December after serving out a drug test suspension and went on to captured a vacant UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 232 after defeating formal rival Alexander Gustafsson via third-round TKO in […]
Daniel Cormier So Touched By Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Act Of Paying The Fines Of His Teammates And Brothers It’s well known that UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and current heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier are best friends and trains out of the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) alongside some of the very best fighters alive like Luke Rockhold […]
Michael ‘Venom’ Page finally steps into the Bellator cage against long-time rival Paul Daley this weekend.
It is a grudge match a long time in the making, with the British rivals firing shots at each other from a distance, and up close, in the last three years.
A post-fight brawl at Bellator 179 solidified their bitter rivalry, but it took another 21 months to bring the pair together in the cage. Page competes against Daley at Bellator 216 in Connecticut in the first round of the promotion’s highly-anticipated welterweight grand prix.
The chance to prove his mettle against his fiercest rival is a challenge MVP embraces, and the 31-year-old wants it to be a complete masterclass.
‘My style is perfectly suited to him,’ Page told Metro.co.uk. ‘It’s very difficult to predict this one because I want to torment him in all these different areas.
‘Every aspect of my game is so strong and I want to drag him into the deep end in every aspect.
‘Let him know that I am complete better fighter than him. I might hold off the finish a little bit.’
Page and Daley have been kept at arms lengths from each other during fight week, as tempers flared during the London press conference.
After the cameras stopped rolling, Daley and Page were ushered away from confronting one another. Page, 13-0, stayed in the media huddle with other fighters, while Daley was given a private setting in another room to speak to the media.
MVP vs Daley will be the first Bellator event aired live on Sky Sports. Signing a deal with the broadcaster giant is a massive step forward for Bellator and MMA in the UK.
But, there is a conscious effort to ensure there is not a repeat of the May 2017 melee, which saw Semtex lunge for a cageside Page, just moments after his defeat to Rory MacDonald.
That night was when things officially turned sour, as Page hit out at Daley for turning down a fight with him at Bellator London in favour of facing MacDonald.
The tension between the two fighters is obvious, but Daley played down the animosity between him and his opponent.
‘They would like it to be a grudge match, and maybe he wants it to be too,’ Daley explained.
‘He needs that fire maybe, he needs that anger to disguise his fear and his insecurity. I don’t need that.
‘The fire I need is just to crack the illusion. And I think it’s going to be very easy to do because I don’t think he is half of what he believes he is. February 16th will display that.’
The winner of the contest not only takes the bragging rights, but moves into the semi-finals of the welterweight tournament with the chance to claim the title in the final.
Defeat, although not fatal for either man, will force the loser to effectively sit on the sidelines of the welterweight title picture for the rest of the year. The final is pencilled in for the end of the year, but could run into early 2020.
With bragging rights and a shot at the championship on the line, Page thinks the mindgames will play a crucial part in how he beats Daley on Saturday night inside the Mohegan Sun Arena.
‘I feel even without anything like this build-up, I can get into his head on a normal day,’ Page said.
‘While I’m already living there, I’m definitely in his head and I think in the first 30 seconds of our fight, you’ll see that.’
Robert Whittaker Advises Israel Adesanya And Kelvin Gastelum To Meet Yoel Romero If They Get Bored While He Recovers From Surgery Less than 24 hours before the UFC 234 event, reigning UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker pulled out of the title fight against Kelvin Gastelum due to hernia issue. Later ‘Reaper’ underwent surgery to repair a […]
Cain Velasquez Offers A Hilarious Reply To Francis Ngannou’s Punching Power Comparison: “Weak Ass Ford Escort S*cks!” After a long break, Cain Velasquez (14-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC) finally returns to Octagon this Saturday night. He will meet one of the greatest African-born mixed martial artists Francis Ngannou in the main event of UFC On ESPN […]
UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. Velasquez
The Ultimate Fighting Championship visits Phoenix, Arizona on February 18 (AEDT) presenting UFC on ESPN 1, following the first PPV event of the year, UFC 234 held this past weekend in Melbourne, Australia. The upcoming MMA event takes place at Talking Stick Resort Arena featuring the 13-fight bill with the clash of heavyweights serving as a headliner of the show.
The former UFC Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and former title challenger Francis Ngannou battle it out in the main event. The co-main event is a lightweight encounter between James Vick and Paul Felder.
Also on the main card Cortney Casey and Cynthia Calvillo square off at women’s strawweight, and Alex Caceres takes on Kron Gracie at featherweight. In addition, Vicente Luque meets Bryan Barberena at welterweight, and Andre Fili faces off Myles Jury at featherweight.
The main features six bouts following the four-fight preliminary card. MMA action kicks off with the early preliminary card comprising three bouts.
On Wednesday the promotion presented Fight by Fight of the upcoming UFC Phoenix Fight Night. The complete lineup can be found below.
Heavyweight Francis Ngannou vs. Cain Velasquez
Lightweight James Vick vs. Paul Felder
Women’s Strawweight Cortney Casey vs. Cynthia Calvillo
Featherweight Alex Caceres vs. Kron Gracie
Welterweight Vicente Luque vs. Bryan Barberena
Featherweight Andre Fili vs. Myles Jury
Bantamweight Jimmie Rivera vs. Aljamain Sterling
Bantamweight Benito Lopez vs. Manny Bermudez
Women’s Flyweight Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Andrea Lee
Lightweight Scott Holtzman vs. Nik Lentz
Early Preliminary Card
Bantamweight Renan Barao vs. Luke Sanders
Women’s Strawweight Jessica Penne vs. Jodie Esquibel
Women’s Strawweight Aleksandra Albu vs. Emily Whitmire
The post UFC Phoenix fight card for Ngannou vs. Velasquez on ESPN appeared first on FIGHTMAG.
Like some sort of primeval beast of legend, long lost heavyweight star Cain Velasquez will emerge from the shadows to face Francis Ngannou at UFC on ESPN+2 this weekend. Then, no matter the outcome, he once more disappear into the netherworld, invisible but for the highlight reel clips.
I mean, that’s at least what it feels like.
Thanks to a never-ending slew of injuries, the dude has been on the sidelines far more often than in the Octagon since, well, since forever. Velasquez was even the champ – more than once – and he rarely fought.
So yeah, we’re getting him in the main event of the UFC’s next big ESPN bash. But you can bet it will be years before Velasquez is in the cage again. If ever.
Anyway, here’s a video of Velasquez in action. Because you probably forgot what that looks like.
The post Cain Velasquez to Fight This Weekend, Then Disappear Again Into the Netherworld appeared first on Caged Insider.
Nate Diaz Will Be Kron Gracie’s Cornerman This Saturday Night At UFC Phoenix! The Ultimate Fighter 5 winner Nate Diaz didn’t fight since UFC 202 when he was defeated by Conor McGregor via majority decision after five great rounds. “The Stockton Slugger” was set to meet Dustin Poirier at UFC 230, on November 3, 2018. But […]
McGregor took exception to Gastelum arriving at UFC Australia with a belt just hours after his fight with middleweight champion Robert Whittaker had to be scraped.
Whittaker needed emergency surgery on a hernia, forcing the UFC to reshuffle the card and axe the title fight.
Gastelum, who travelled to Whittaker’s backyard to contend the title, was furious with the cancellation and proclaimed himself the middleweight champion when he attended the fight night on Saturday.
McGregor called Gastelum a ‘slug’, claiming the challenger should never have been fighting with a staph infection.
‘Oh my God, you want to talk about a leper?’ Gastelum told ESPN when asked about McGregor’s comments.
‘A guy that’s full of disease that’s spreading disease all over Ireland? That’s Conor McGregor.
‘He’s spreading his seed all over Ireland, impregnating ladies and not claiming them. That dude’s a leper. Forget him.’
Gastelum denied there was any danger of him pulling out of the fight, despite admitting he was battling a staph infection in the build-up.
‘I was fighting this staph infection on my face, on my body, the entire week,’ he said.
‘I was on antibiotics the entire week fighting this thing. The UFC doctors were gracious and handling it well and they were real happy with how the infection on my skin was going away and how it’d be okay to fight.
‘The commission was okay with letting me fight. Everything was on track, man. It was just devastating.
‘To go through all that process, to go through all that work and not be able to fight and compete… man, it was horrible.’
The UFC are now expected to reschedule the clash with Gastelum and Whittaker, although Israel Adesanya claimed he is the next in line for a shot at the title.
Adesanya’s clash with UFC legend Anderson Silva was bumped up to main event in Melbourne, and the New Zealand native insisted after his points victory his next fight would be against the middleweight champion.
Nick Diaz “Doesn’t Want To Hurt Nobody”, Not Keen On Fighting Anderson Silva At UFC 237 Conor McGregor and Anderson Silva recently talked about their plans to fight at UFC 237 in Curitiba, Brazil. Following his UFC 234 loss to Israel Adesanya, “The Spider” said his match versus Nick Diaz in Curitiba “made sense”. McGregor […]
Speaking at the post-fight press conference following UFC 234 White was asked about his plans if lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov fulfills his promise to not fight for a year.
Khabib has said he will not fight until the end of the year-long bans his teammates, Zubaira Tukhugov and Abubakar Nurmagomedov, received for their part in the brawl at UFC 229.
The Dagastani predicted that the UFC would offer up an interim title if he does indeed sit out for 12 months, and White appears to agree with him.
‘Guys can’t sit out and wait that long if they have the title, you can’t do it. So if that’s true and he (Nurmagomedov) is going to do that, then we have to figure out something else,’ White said.
‘You start looking at whether it’s Conor McGregor-Tony Ferguson, or one of these other guys. Whoever wants to…when opportunity knocks, answer the door.
‘So we will see how this thing plays out. That’s the criteria.’
‘The Eagle’ holds the lightweight strap, and will not be surprised if someone else holds an interim version by the time he fights again.
‘I think that they will create an interim title,’ Khabib told Sportbox.
‘It could be between Poirier and Ferguson. Whoever wins will become the interim champion, and then at the end of the year we will fight for the real belt.
‘I think that could happen. At the moment I don’t know for sure.’
Ferguson is #1 in the lightweight rankings with McGregor at #2 so it would make sense for these two to contest an interim belt if it is up for grabs.
However, #3 Dustin Poirier and #4 Al Iaquinta will also like to be considered for a crack at the gold.
UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has claimed the injury that forced him out of his title defence against Kelvin Gastelum on Saturday was ‘potentially fatal.’
Whittaker pulled out of the UFC 234 main event in Melbourne at the last minute due to ‘a collapsed bowel and an internal hernia.’
The bout was scrapped as no replacement could be found at the eleventh hour, but both Whittaker and Gastelum will be hoping that it can be rescheduled as soon as possible.
However, the champion posted a video on Instagram which suggested the injury was extremely serious.
‘I had to get emergency surgery because I had a collapsed bowel and an internal hernia,’ Whittaker said in the video.
‘I tried my best I was fighting with the doctors the whole way, up until they said you’ll have to get surgery or you’ll lose part of your bowel and it will be potentially fatal.’
Whittaker also wrote on the post: ‘Hey guys ! Still kicking. I’m sorry to all my friends, fans and family for not being able to get in there Sunday.
‘Apparently if you get emergency surgeries you can’t be cleared to fight. Thanks for the overwhelming support from all my fans I am so blessed to know you guys have my back.
‘A big thanks to my team mates @fabricioitte @alexprates07@standstrongboxingcoachjustin @justinlang_ep @titusday77 and all the others from behind the scenes you guys were there from start to finish worrying and prioritizing my health above all.
‘Lastly to @danawhite and @ufc for the immediate help and support throughout the process of testing and the emergency surgeries. I am blessed I found out when I did and avoided life long consequences. I’ll be back better than ever.’
Gastelum claimed that he won the fight due to Whittaker forfeiting and was even walking around with a UFC belt at the event, however, this drew criticism from his fellow fighters.
The two could be back in the Octagon soon, though, with UFC president Dana White hoping that Whittaker will be healthy again within a month.
‘It’s one of those situations had it popped out during the fight, it could have been fatal for him,’ said White.
‘So this is really serious, we don’t know exactly what happened with the doctor. Hopefully they popped it back in and sewed it up and if that’s the case, he’ll be four weeks.
‘This was a freak, freak injury, less than one percent — our doctor here at the UFC, who’s been doing this for 30 years, has never seen it ever in his career and not in a young person. It’s usually in much older people.’
Anderson Silva Interested In Nick Diaz Rematch At UFC 237, Conor McGregor Suggests To Fight Nate On The Same Fight Card Anderson Silva met Israel Adesanya at UFC 234 on Saturday night. It was one hell of a fun fight, and “The Last Stylebender” won via unanimous decision. But despite he is 43 years old, […]
Kelvin Gastelum may have missed out on the UFC 234 main event due to Robert Whittaker’s injury, but his reaction riled up some of his fellow fighters.
Whittaker pulled out of the middleweight title fight at the last minute due to a hernia, forcing the bout to be scrapped.
It was a blow for Gastelum who missed out on his first shot at UFC gold, but he wasn’t to be denied as he came to the Rod Laver Arena with a title belt and watched the action holding the strap.
The 27-year-old even declared himself the middleweight champion via forfeit.
‘I got this nice shiny little belt now,’ Gastelum told ESPN.
‘In my world, the wrestling world where I grew up in, a guy shows up makes the weight, but for whatever reason cannot continue on in the competition, that’s a forfeit. Automatically that makes me the champion.
‘So here I am, the middleweight world champion. Rob is out due to injury, that’s a forfeit.’
Gastelum repeated the sentiment when talking to the UFC: ‘Guys, I’m now the middleweight champion. When Robert recovers, I’ll give him a shot at my title.’
However, former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor was not impressed by Gastelum’s claims on the title.
McGregor tweeted: ‘Why is that worm holding the 185lb belt? There are worms crawling on his skin! It was absolutely ludicrous to even consider allowing him to compete.
‘Let alone now walk around the arena shaking our fans hands. Someone sort this, this instant. And sterilize that belt. Immediately.’
However, Gastelum didn’t take that lightly, responding on Twitter: ‘Come take it off…. Little prick!’
With Whittaker out of the main event at UFC 234, Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva headlined the card in Melbourne with Adesanya picking up a unanimous decision victory.
The New Zealander, who is also a serious contender at middleweight was quick to threaten Gastelum after his win.
‘Kelvin, put that belt down, seriously,’ said ‘The Last Style Bender in the Octagon. ‘What you going to do when I run wild on you?’
UFC president Dana White was not so scathing but was fairly dismissive of Gastelum putting UFC gold over his shoulder.
‘That was [Henry] Cejudo’s belt he borrowed,’ said White in the post-fight press conference. ‘That was cute.’
McGregor watched Israel Adesanya defeat Anderson in the main event in Melbourne, and tweeted that, ‘it would be an honor’ to fight the Brazilian legend.
However, the Irishman is also open to other opportunities, suggesting that he could fight Nate Diaz for a third time, in Curitiba, Brazil.
‘Anderson is one crafty, crafty Martial Artist,’ McGregor tweeted.
‘You only develop these methods through years of hard fought experience.
‘Phenomenal performance. The crafty veteran. Big respect always.
‘It would be an honor!’
In the post-fight press conference, Anderson suggested that he should rematch Nick Diaz in Curitiba, and McGregor was keen to get involved with that card.
‘I think it makes sense for me and Nick Diaz to fight in Curitiba,’ said Anderson.
‘Book it. I’ll fight Nate on it,’ responded McGregor.
The former featherweight and lightweight champion has also been linked with a fight against Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, with the American even stating that it could be for an interim lightweight title.
Cowboy and Diaz remain possible contenders for McGregor, but according to UFC president Dana White, the Anderson fight looks unlikely.
When White was informed Conor had called for a scrap with ‘Spider’ he was not impressed: ‘Did he really? No, I don’t like that fight at all,’ said White.
Anderson suffered a unanimous decision defeat to Adesanya at UFC 234 with the judges turning in scorecards of 29-28 and 30-27 twice.
However, the Brazilian has been widely praised for acquitting himself extremely well at 43-years-old against a 16-0, undefeated star 14 years his junior.
The main event at UFC 234 was pulled at the last minute as middleweight champion had to pull out of his defence against Kelvin Gastelum due to a hernia.