Tag: MMA

Bellator 216: MVP vs. Daley weigh-in results

Bellator MMA

Bellator 216 is the second chapter of promotion’s doubleheader presented this weekend at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. MMA event is held on February 17 (AEDT) featuring a series of bouts with the Welterweight World Grand Prix Matchup serving as the headliner of the show.

Top of the bill features Michael Page up against Paul Daley. At the official weigh-in ceremony conducted a day before the fight show both fighters tipped the scales at 170.

The co-main event at Bellator 216 is a heavyweight clash between Mirko Cro Cop and Roy Nelson. Croatian legend weighed-in at 234.5. His American opponent declared 259.5.

The main card comprises five bouts follow the seven-fight preliminary card. The full lineup and weigh-in results can be found below.

The event follows Bellator 215: Mitrione vs. Kharitonov held on February 16 (AEDT).

Main card
Michael Page (170) vs. Paul Daley (170)
Mirko Cro Cop (234.5) vs. Roy Nelson (259.5)
Cheick Kongo (236) vs. Vitaly Minakov (240.5)
Yaroslav Amasov (169.75) vs. Erick Silva (170)
Valerie Loureda (123.5) vs. Colby Fletcher (122.25)

Preliminary card
Tyrell Fortune (246.25) vs. Ryan Pokryfky (250)
Patrick Casey (155.75) vs. Nekruz Mirkhojaev (154)
Vinicius De Jesus (171) vs. Rodolpho Barcellos (169.5)
Kemran Lachinov (166) vs. Kastriot Xhema (165)
Reginaldo Felix (185) vs. Justin Sumter (185.5)
Jesse Kosakowski (168) vs. Rodolfo Rocha (170.5)
Demetrius Plaza (169.5) vs. Andrews Rodriguez (169.5)

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Bellator 215: Mitrione vs. Kharitonov weigh-in results

Bellator 215: Mitrione vs. Kharitonov takes place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. on February 16 (AEDT). MMA event is the kick off of doubleheader held over this weekend.

Top of the bill features a heavyweight battle between Matt Mitrione and Sergei Kharitonov. At the official weigh-in ceremony conducted the day before the fight show, Mitrione tipped the scales at 258.25. Kharitonov declared 265.

The co-main event is a welterweight matchup between Logan Storley and Ion Pascu. Storley weighed-in at 169.25, while Pascu was 170.25.

Also on the card a pair of bantamweights, Eduardo Dantas and Toby Misech. Both fighters showed 135.5.

The main card features five bouts following the eight-fight preliminary card. The complete results and full lineup can be found below.

Main card
Matt Mitrione (258.25) vs. Sergei Kharitonov (265)
Logan Storley (169.25) vs. Ion Pascu (170.25)
Eduardo Dantas (135.5) vs. Toby Misech (135.5)
Mike Kimbel (136) vs. John Douma (136)
Austin Vanderford (174.25) vs. Cody Jones (174)

Preliminary card
Amber Leibrock (145) vs. Amanda Bell (145.5)
Pat McCrohan (184.75) vs. Jason Markland (185.75)
Tabatha Watkins (106) vs. Lindsay Van Zandt (105)
Pete Rogers (145) vs. Jason Rine (141)
Steve Mowry (246.5) vs. Darion Abbey (264)
Matt Probin (145.75) vs. Ali Zebian (146)
Zarrukh Adashev (125) vs. Ronie Arana (126)
Billy Goff (168) vs. Ryan Hardy (169.5)

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Michael ‘Venom’ Page vows to ‘torment’ Paul Daley in Bellator grudge match

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.

Bellator Press conference with Paul Daley, Scott Coker and Michael Venom Page-33aa

(Picture: Getty)

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.

Paul Daley at the Bellator Press Conference-5717

Daley says there is no ill feelings between him and Page (Picture: Getty)

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.

Paul Daley celebrates his win over Larkin

(Picture: Bellator)

‘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.

Michael Venom Page vs David Rickels (Picture: Bellator)

Page likes to showboat off during fights (Picture: Bellator)

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.’

MORE: Sky Sports to broadcast Bellator 216 card headlined by Michael Page vs Paul Daley

UFC Phoenix fight card for Ngannou vs. Velasquez 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.

Main Card
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

Preliminary Card
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

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ONE Championship US media tour announced to Seattle, Los Angeles & Las Vegas

Rich Franklin & Miesha Tate join ONE Championship US media tour

Asian promotion ONE Championship announced that CEO of ONE Warrior Series, Rich Franklin, and Vice President of ONE Championship, Miesha Tate, will join the upcoming ONE Championship US Media Tour to Seattle, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. The two will be accompanying ONE Championship athletes Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez, and Sage Northcutt.

Multiple-time mixed martial arts World Champion Rich Franklin is the CEO of ONE Warrior Series, a travel series talent search which runs in 30-minute episodes. The show aims to discover new martial arts talent, providing promising young athletes with the platform to unleash their martial arts greatness. Franklin, who serves as the show’s host, travels with co-host Jonathan Fong, searching for talent, experiencing local cultures and testing their boundaries.

Women’s mixed martial arts pioneer and former World Champion Miesha Tate is Vice President of ONE Championship and one of the most recognizable names in the industry. Tate retired from professional competition in 2016, and finished her mixed martial arts career with a 18-7 record. Her most notable victories came over Liz Carmouche, Sara McMann, Jessica Eye, and Holly Holm whom she defeated to capture the Women’s Bantamweight World Title.

The schedule for the ONE Championship US Media Tour can be found below:

25 February 2019
Southwest Boys & Girls Club
Seattle, Washington
Athlete: Demetrious Johnson

26 February 2019
Los Angeles Open Workout (Open to public)
Clube LA Gym
Athletes: Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez, Sage Northcutt

28 February 2019
Las Vegas Open Workout (Open to public)
Xtreme Couture MMA Gym
Athletes: Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez

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UFC star Kelvin Gastelum brands Conor McGregor a leper ‘spreading his disease all over Ireland’

Gastelum dismissed McGregor’s comments (Picture: Getty)

Kelvin Gastelum labelled Conor McGregor a leper ‘spreading disease all over Ireland’ after the Irishman took aim at his fellow UFC fighter.

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.

Whittaker had to pull out of the fight just hours before (Picture: Getty)

‘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.

Connor McGregor during the press conference at the SSE Arena, Wembley. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 14, 2017. Photo credit should read: Scott Heavey/PA Wire

McGregor was accused of fathering a love child by an Irish woman (Picture: PA)

‘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.

Gastelum says he is now the middleweight champion (Picture: Getty)

‘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.

MORE: Robert Whittaker says injury that kept him out of UFC 234 was ‘potentially fatal’

UFC 238 scheduled for June 9 in Chicago

UFC Chicago

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Chicago, IL with UFC 238 scheduled for June 9 (AEDT). MMA event takes place at United Center following the previous event held in the city a year ago.

UFC 238 was announced this past Sunday during UFC 234 held in Melbourne, Australia (via Twitter). Top of the bill featured Nigerian-born MMA sensation of New Zealand, Israel Adesanya who scored a unanimous decision against Brazilian legend Anderson Silva. Robert Whittaker was forced to withdraw from his middleweight title defense against Kelvin Gastelum due to injury.

The previous show in Chicago was headlined by Whittaker who made a successful defense of his title taking a split decision against Yoel Romero. The headline-bout of the upcoming show is yet to be announced.

The matchups and more information for UFC 238 in Chicago is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

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Aaron Chalmers suffers first MMA defeat at Bellator Newcatle

Aaron Chalmers with raised fists

Chalmers was in action for Bellator in Newcastle (Picture: Metro)

Aaron Chalmers picked up his first defeat in MMA on Saturday night when he submitted to a heel hook in the third round of his clash with Corey Browning.

The former Geordie Shore star was the co-main event for Bellator’s trip to Newcastle and was given a rapturous welcome by the partisan crowd.

Chalmers enjoyed an excellent first round and dropped Browning after landing a succession of hooks on his American rival.

A dazed Browning slumped to the mat and Chalmers began to celebrate, before seeing his opponent get back onto his feet.

It was a moment of inexperience from Chalmers and ultimately cost the Newcastle native the fight as he failed to finish off Browning.

Browning dominated Chalmers from top position in the next round and then surprised the local favourite in the opening moments of the final round.

Chalmers lunged in on Browning, and tried to force his weigh on top of his opponent, but left himself open to a heel hook.

Browning’s well-timed submission attempt forced Chalmers to tap, much to the despair of the Newcastle crowd.

Chalmers laid on the mat with his heads in his hands for several moments, before rising to his feet and congratulating Browning.

While Chalmers moved to 4-1 in his pro career, his team-mate Fabian Edwards maintained his undefeated record with an impressive decision victory over Lee Chadwick.

MORE: Bellator Newcastle: Aaron Chalmers details change in mentality after giving up booze for MMA

Michael ‘Venom’ Page expects to send Paul Daley into retirement with victory in Bellator grudge match

Michael venom Page vs David Rickels (Picture: Bellator)

MVP finally gets to settle his rivalry with Daley in the cage (Picture: Bellator)

Michael ‘Venom’ Page believes Paul Daley will have no other choice but to retire after their grudge match at Bellator 216 .

The British fighters finally collide in the first round of Bellator’s welterweight grand prix on 16 February in Connecticut.

Page and Daley came face-to-face in London on Wednesday ahead of their much-anticipated fight, but the press conference had to be cut short as tensions rose.

Instagram Photo

A face-off was axed with fears a melee could erupt, but Page was pleased he was able to rattle his opponent.

‘I already live in his head, that’s one of my apartments. Way before we even get into the cage, he will be wound so tight he’ll come out and walk straight into more frustration,’ Page told Metro.co.uk.

‘Anyone can see he is quite an emotional person. It’s been very good for him and a positive thing for him in fights, but it’s also worked against him.

Paul Daley before a mixed martial arts fight against Jon Fitch at Bellator 199 in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, May 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Daley has competed in almost 60 MMA fights (Picture: AP)

‘I’m planning on that working against him.’

While Daley is by far the more experienced fighter with 58 professional bouts, Page insists his rival has not changed down the years.

Most of Daley’s 16 losses have come via submission or when the 35-year-old has been forced into a technical war.

Michael venom Page vs David Rickels (Picture: Bellator)

(Picture: Bellator)

Page is confident he can outclass Daley, but thinks he cannot switch off against his opponent – even after the fight is finished.

‘No, he hasn’t changed at all,’ Page explained. ‘He’s a great kickboxer with power.

‘In fact, let me take that back, I don’t think he’s a great kickboxer. He’s a good kickboxer with great power.

‘There’s so many good kickboxers out there. He’s managed to transfer that over to the mixed martial arts, but without really learning enough mixed martial arts.’

He added: ‘As much as I can give it back, I don’t need to respond and do anything, whereas I don’t believe he would be able to hold himself back and stay professional during a face-off.

‘My coaches actually said to me even after I beat him, I’ve got to be careful when he comes up to shake hands because he’s done [crazy] things before.

Michael venom Page vs David Rickels (Picture: Bellator)

Page expects to maul Daley (Picture: Bellator)

‘He’s the kind of person [that] in that moment, you can see the animosity between me and him, he 100 per cent doesn’t want it to go the way it’s going to go.

‘When it does go that way, he may still want to lash out and get something back from it. I have to be on my toes the whole way.’

MVP is defending a 13-0 perfect record against Daley and predicts the fight that has taken three years to come to fruition might be Semtex’s last.

‘In my opinion I don’t believe there is anywhere for him to go after this fight,’ he said.

‘I’m kind of his only way back into fighting the [likes of] Douglas Lima and Rory MacDonald again.

‘If I destroy him in the fashion that I know I can, I genuinely believe he will hang up and leave it.’

MORE: Ryan Bader stops Fedor Emelianenko in 35 seconds to become double Bellator champion

Darren Till aims to begin rebuild of empire with ‘no bulls*** war’ against Jorge Masvidal at UFC London

Till headlines for the UFC in London this March (Picture: Getty)

Darren Till is aiming to rebuild his burgeoning empire by winning a war against Jorge Masvidal in London in March.

The Liverpudlian fights for the first time since his failed title bid against Tyron Woodley last September, and headlines in London for the first time.

It will be the fourth fight night in a row Till has been the main event and marks just how quickly the 26-year-old has risen to the top of the market in the UK.

The defeat to Woodley slightly burst the hype bubble around Till, but the Brit is ready to shake off the disappointment of that performance.

‘That loss was upsetting for me and it will probably always will be upsetting for me for the rest of my life because of the performance.

‘I’ll have to live with that. You’ve got to look past it and you’ve got to progress as a human and a fighter,’ Till told Metro.co.uk.

Masvidal is Till’s dance partner in London (Picture: Getty)

‘It’s rebuilding again. I’ve got to rebuild the empire and keep the legacy going. Keep breaking records and keep main eventing.

‘This is my fourth main event. Who doesn’t want to be doing this s***? It’s unbelievable.’

The rebuilding process will begin with an exciting match-up with Masvidal, who is ranked No.10 in the welterweight division, but is coming off a significant lay-off.

Describing Masvidal as ‘quick, clever and massively experienced’, Till thinks the Florida native will be up for a pure striking war despite it being over a year since his opponent’s last fight.

‘It’s a no bulls*** fight. He’s coming to fight and he’s not coming with no bulls***. It’s just two guys who really, really want to fight each other,’ he said.

‘I know he’s coming prepared, I know that. It’s just on the night, when he’s in front of me, will he be wanting it more than me?

Woodley managed to dominate Till (Picture: Getty)

‘It’s been difficult these last two fights [against Woodley and Stephen Thompson].

‘I feel this fight is a fight where we can both go to war and may the best man win.

‘Both go to war and fight to the death, and the best man on the night 16th of March in London will win.’

Till is the UFC’s great hope in the UK market (Picture: Getty)

As Till puts it, he’s ‘all about scraps’ and the welterweight is aiming to put on an explosive show in London.

And despite his recent loss, Till still sees himself as the standard in the UK for British fighters.

‘Come on, of course,’ Till replied when asked if he was the biggest star in the UK.

‘(Michael) Bisping retired, it’s me now. I’m the torch carrier. There’s many behind, but right now it’s me. I’m carrying the torch and I’m proud, very, very proud to be main event at London.’

The UFC announced three further fights for the London card at a press conference this week. London local Nathaniel Wood fights Jose Quinonez, Mike Grundy takes on Nad Narimani and Danny Henry faces Dan Ige.

Tickets to UFC FIGHT NIGHT LONDON go on general sale on Friday, Feb 1 at 10am GMT via AXS and Ticketmaster

MORE: Jon Jones handed one-fight licence for UFC 235 after lengthy Nevada Athletic Commission hearing

Nevada Athletic Commission warn Conor McGregor about punishment for smack talk

LAS VEGAS, CA - OCTOBER 06: Conor McGregor makes his way to the cage to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov during UFC 229 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. Friday, Oct. 6, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Digital First Media/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)

McGregor is famous for his trash talk (Picture: Getty)

The Nevada Athletic Commission say they will start taking an active role in punishing fighters for their language and conduct during the build up to a fight.

Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov were both hit with big fines and bans after a brawl erupted after UFC 229 last October.

The Irishman was given a lighter punishment as he did not spark the melee, but there was heavy criticism for how the UFC and McGregor promoted the fight.

McGregor attacked Nurmagomedov’s heritage, family and nationality during the build up to UFC 229.

NAC chairman Anthony Marnell called McGregor’s conduct ’embarrassing’ and expressed concern about the language used by the UFC star during the promotion and in the pre-fight press conferences.

‘We are going to start fining and suspending for what you say as opposed to what you do,’ Marnell said at the hearing on Tuesday which handed down the suspensions.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 20: Conor McGregor (R) and UFC president Dana White (L) speak at the UFC 229 press conference at Radio City Music Hall on September 20, 2018 in New York City. McGregor will face UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in the main event on October 6, 2018 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

McGregor laid into Nurmagomedov, his family and his team repeatedly (Picture: Getty)

McGregor is renowned for his smack talk, and has ushered in a new age of promotional style in the UFC.

The two-weight champion’s style has helped set new revenue, pay-per-view and live gate records for the UFC as McGregor has established himself as the biggest star in combat sports history.

Dana White and the UFC dismissed concerns about they promoted the grudge match between Nurmagomedov and McGregor.

(Picture; Getty)

The MMA promotion used footage of the bus attack in their promos, which was a revenge act on Nurmagomedov that landed McGregor in jail.

McGregor is free to return to fight on 6 April, while Nurmagomedov will not be cleared until 6 July.

Nurmagomedov could have his suspension reduced if he takes part in an anti-bullying campaign with the NAC, but the Russian’s manager insists his fighter never wants to fight in Las Vegas again.

McGregor is expected to be asked to build up to a rematch with Nurmagomedov, while the champion claims he will not fight again until November when the UFC go to New York.

MORE: Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov defiant in responses to bans for UFC 229 brawl

Jon Jones handed one-fight licence for UFC 235 after lengthy Nevada Athletic Commission hearing

Jones is now booked to fight in Las Vegas in March (Picture: Getty)

Nevada Athletic Commission chairman Anthony Marnell explained Jon Jones was granted a one-fight licence mainly due to the testimony of Dr. Daniel Eichner.

A lengthy hearing on Tuesday determined Jones was free to compete in Las Vegas in his next fight on the condition he underwent additional testing.

Jones returned another positive drugs test after his comeback at UFC 232, the fourth test since August where the light heavyweight has shown traces of turinabol.

The US Anti-Doping Agency and Dr. Eichner maintain the positive tests are due to a ‘pulsing’ effect and are merely left over traces of when Jones originally ingested turinabol in 2017.

Marnell revealed the testimony of Dr. Eichner and the research gathered from athletes’ testing passports convinced NAC to clear Jones to fight.

‘Make no mistake about it, those decisions in my mind are heavily weighted on Dr. (Daniel) Eichner,’ he said.

Jones made a winning comeback from a doping suspension in December (Picture: Getty)

‘He is the foremost expert on anti-doping. There is no one better or smarter. There are a lot of people who are good, and we rely on him heavily.

‘We’ve had a relationship with him for a very long time. I think that the passport system for the UFC is what saved Jon Jones today because we would not have that knowledge of this idea of pulsing four years ago when I joined this Commission.

‘There was no concept of that type of testing programme.

‘That was the whole idea for developing it and supporting it and allowing them to do it. Now we’re seeing the benefits of it.

‘I think at the end of the day that he does not have any performance enhancing ability when he steps into the octagon on March 2 if the tests continue to stay consistent with what we’ve seen at the picogram level.

‘That’s first and foremost and my number one concern.’

Jones will defend his title against Anthony Smith (Picture: Getty)

The ruling means Jones is free to defend his title against Anthony Smith in March at UFC 235, and the fighter, who has always maintained his innocence, issued a brief statement after attending the hearing in person.

‘Thank you so much to USADA, thank you to Nevada State Athletic Commission, my team, the UFC, mainly the fans and everyone for sticking by me throughout this process allowing me to say my peace, allowing me to go through this process and eventually proving my innocence,’ he said.

‘I’m super grateful to be back fighting in Nevada. I’m excited for March 2.

‘It’s going to be a magnificent event and I’m just really looking forward to all the testing, looking forward to getting back in front of the fans and just putting on great fights.’

MORE: Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov defiant in responses to bans for UFC 229 brawl

Jorge Masvidal aims to beat Darren Till and then slap Michael Bisping at UFC London

Masvidal is planning to smack two Brits at UFC London (Picture: Getty)

Jorge Masvidal is hopeful he can slap Michael Bisping after he beats Darren Till at UFC London in March.

The American welterweight is scheduled to take on Till in the main event in London, but hopes to see retired British fighter Bisping on fight night.

Bisping and Masvidal have history due to the former champion’s rivalry with Yoel Romero.

Bisping has clashed with Masvidal before (Picture: Getty)

Masvidal took exception to Bisping calling his team-mate a cheat and the pair clashed in 2017 twice during UFC 217 fight week, and at one stage needed to be separated by staff and security.

‘He’s going to get it one day when the UFC officials ain’t around,’ Masvidal told BJPenn.com Radio.

‘If I get to see Bisping after the Till fight and slap him up, what a super plus.

UFC London Fight Card

Darren Till vs Jorge Masvidal
Gunnar Nelson vs Leon Edwards
Dominick Reyes vs Volkan Oezdemir
Jack Marshman vs John Philips
Claudio Henrique da Silva vs Danny Roberts
Priscila Cachoeira vs Molly McCann
Gokhan Saki vs Saparbek Safarov
Tom Breese vs Cezar Ferreira

‘That’s like a 50K bonus if I just get to slap up that little trick bag in his own city.

‘Oh, I’d pay a good amount of my hard-earned money.

‘Everybody here in this knows we don’t earn the money the easiest way that it can be earned.

Till fights Masvidal in the main event in London (Picture: Getty)

‘Man, I would spend a lot of my own money just to be put in the cell with him showcasing it.’

Till and Masvidal is an exciting main event for British fans, with Gunnar Nelson and Leon Edwards also on the main card.

Edwards and Nelson were both vying to fight Till, but the former title challenger accepted Masvidal’s offer ahead of his European rivals.

MORE: Anthony Smith ‘doesn’t care’ about Jon Jones testing positive for turinabol again

Anthony Smith ‘doesn’t care’ about Jon Jones testing positive for turinabol again

Smith will be the next fighter to take on Jones (Picture: Getty)

Anthony Smith insisted he does not care about another positive drug test for Jon Jones as the challenger prepares to take on the light heavyweight champion at UFC 235.

Jones is straight back in action after his return at UFC 232, where he finished Alexander Gustafsson to claim the UFC title again.

That fight was overshadowed by the UFC’s announcement Jones had tested positive again for turinabol, a steroid metabolite, but would not face another doping suspension.

A Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency test taken from the day of the weigh-ins at UFC 232 came back positive for turinabol, but Jones is not in danger of another ban.

Smith, who is on a three-fight winning streak, reacted to the news on his Twitter, dismissing any concern about Jones.

‘If you’re hitting me up about this, don’t. I truly don’t care,’ he said.

The UFC and USADA says Jones )

‘Picograms, no picograms, Olympic sized swimming pools, grains of salt.

‘I couldn’t care any less. I signed on the line and did it knowing what I was signing up for and with no expectations. I’m good, y’all..

The UFC and the US Anti-Doping Agency claim the trace of amounts of turinabol is effectively left over from when Jones originally ingested the banned substance in the summer of 2017.

Jones is the light heavyweight champion (Picture: Getty)

USADA labelled the effect ‘pulsing’ brought on by weight cutting or intensive training, and Jones said he could test positive for the drug for years to come.

The 31-year-old’s post-UFC 232 tests came back negative, and it is expected Jones will be granted a licence to fight in Nevada for his upcoming title defence.

UFC president Dana White has already said he fully expects Jones to be allowed to fight, as the champion continues to insist he has never intentionally taken any performance enhancing drugs in his time as a fighter.

MORE: UFC star Fabricio Werdum saves teenage boy from drowning

UFC star Fabricio Werdum saves teenage boy from drowning

Werdum earned hero status this week (Picture: Getty)

UFC star Fabricio Werdum helped save two teenagers from drowning at a beach in California.

The 41-year-old, currently suspended from fighting due to a doping suspension, was on a beach with his family when two teenagers got into trouble offshore.

The fire department was called, but when just one lifeguard was tasked with saving two kids, Werdum stepped in to help.

‘When we saw the fireman’s car, the car stopped in front of us. I said I was going to help, and Karine (his wife) wasn’t sure, because it was dangerous,’ Werdum told Brazilian web site AgFight.com.

‘But when I looked, there were two tiny heads at sea yelling ‘help.’ They were very far, about 70 meters away.

‘When the lifeguard grabbed the board by himself, I took off my coat and ran.

The heavyweight is a former UFC champion (Picture: Getty)

‘I took the orange floater, threw it across my chest, and I arrived with him, a little further ahead even.

‘I told him to get the girl, who was screaming a lot, and I got the boy, who was already limp.

‘I was able to get him, and we swam toward the beach.

(Picture: Getty)

‘Then, at shore, an old man helped me. The waves were big. The girl sank about three times.’

Werdum is a former UFC heavyweight champion and has wins over some of the greatest heavyweights ever like Cain Velasquez and Fedor Emelianenko.

But the Brazilian admitted he had never felt anxiety like when he was in the water trying to save a young boy’s life.

‘Wow, my heart was beating a million,’ he said. ‘It’s an extreme situation.

‘The heart goes to a million. It’s worse than a fight. It’s not even close.’

MORE: TJ Dillashaw slams referee for early stoppage in UFC showdown with Henry Cejudo