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    Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Pat Healy agreed for UFC 165


    UFC 165 already has two title fights on deck, and now you can add an important lightweight showdown on the September 21st PPV in Toronto. MMA Fighting confirmed that Khabib Nurmagomedov and Pat Healy have verbally agreed to fight at this event.

    Nurmagomedov (20-0) is a 24-year-old Russian who has impressed in his 4 UFC fights, and has so far recorded a KO win over Thiago Tavares and ragdolled Abel Trujillo at UFC 160. It should be noted that Khabib missed weight for the Trujillo bout, so that win doesn't count as an official lightweight victory.

    Healy (29-16, 1 NC) had seemingly made the most of his UFC return, submitting Jim Miller at UFC 159 and earning both FOTN and SOTN honors. However, the Strikeforce veteran tested positive for marijuana, and he subsequently lost his post-fight bonuses as well as the win. Technically speaking, "Bam Bam" is 0-1, 1 NC in the UFC and is still looking for his first official win in the organization.

    Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson headline UFC 165 from the Air Canada Centre, while Renan Barao and Eddie Wineland scrap for Barao's interim bantamweight belt in the co-main event. It is likely that Nurmagomedov/Healy will be placed on the night's main card.
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    UFC on Fox 8: Road to the Octagon full video


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    The Wrestling of Demetrious Johnson and John Moraga


    If you are new to this feature, I strongly advise reading earlier entries in the Factgrinder story stream, in order to see my explanation on the significance of accomplishments at wrestling's various levels.

    When I first embarked on my Factgrinding journey, I worried about the reaction to these pieces from the wrestling community. I felt some fear that wrestlers would find it presumptuous that I had taken upon myself the role of arbiter for the achievements of wrestlers who accomplished far more than I did in my competitive career. To my relief, the response from a number of respected voices in the wrestling community has been overwhelming positive, and even laudatory. It turns out that wrestlers, particularly the really good ones, appreciate the idea of wrestling credentials placed in proper context. A friend of mine, himself a Division One All-American, asked that I do a rundown on the wrestling accomplishments of John Moraga. His concern lay in the fact that Moraga's two University Freestyle "All-American" finishes would be confused with NCAA Division One All-American finishes. I will oblige my friend and set the record straight.

    Placing in the top eight, and thus earning All-American status, at a University Freestyle National Championship means a great deal, but it does not hold anywhere near the same gravity of a NCAA Division One All-American finish, and thus University All-Americans should never be referred to as "All-Americans" without the qualifier "University Freestyle". These qualifiers serve an invaluable purpose in evaluating wrestling achievements. For instance, you might read somewhere that Cung Le was a high school All-American in wrestling, but you should be quick to note that he was an AAU All-American, which doesn't mean a great deal in this day and age.

    [UPDATE: It has been pointed out to me that Cung Le was indeed a USA Wrestling Junior Greco-Roman All American. So I was wrong about him, and I will leave this here as a monument to my wrongness. This means that, at least in terms of Greco-Roman, he was a real All-American. Wow, how about that.]

    During his competitive amateur wrestling career, John Moraga went by the name John Espinoza . I'm guessing that one surname is his father's and one his mother's; he wouldn't be the first Latin wrestler to swap the use of these names in different competition formats (wrestling heads in the audience will remember Jon Masa of Hofstra and Jon Rodriguez of the Puerto Rican national team, both of whom were the same person).

    Moraga did indeed place twice at University Freestyle Nationals, in 2006 and 2007, both at 60kg (132-ish pounds), up from his collegiate weight of 125 pounds. Both times he finished sixth in a weight class packed with elite Division One talent, placing ahead of some very accomplished wrestlers. While Moraga certainly deserves due credit for his performance in these tournaments, it appears that both years he was the beneficiary of a relatively easy draw, advanced to the semi finals, and then dropped his final three matches to finish in sixth place. The fact that he placed above wrestlers like Franklin Gomez and Mike Grey does not tell the whole story, as he never actually beat wrestlers of that caliber on the mat. Take note that the idea of properly seeding international style wrestling tournaments did not enjoy the entertainment of the sport's higher ups, until the IOC executive board issued a bit of a wake-up call by recommending that wrestling not be in the Olympics anymore.

    Moraga's collegiate results on the Division One level paint a more faithful picture of his wrestling abilities. John hails from Arizona, where he won a state championship as a high school senior. Arizona, while responsible for producing some standout wrestlers like Anthony Robles, Henry Cejudo, Cain Velasquez and the Gallick brothers, does not occupy the top tier of high school wrestling states (they'd be low on the second tier or high on the third, in some mysterious tier system which I haven't actually formulated), and Moraga did not pair his state championship with much of a national level resume, and thus probably was viewed as a longshot to make it on the Division One level. Nevertheless, he gave it a go, wrestled for Arizona State University, paid his dues, and in his final year of eligibility found himself as the starter at 125 pounds, putting together a very respectable 24-20 record against extremely high level competition. Moraga never found himself besting the top wrestlers in the nation, but he had success against some very solid opponents. In his final collegiate appearance, Moraga placed fourth in the Pac-10 conference tournament, which qualified him for the 32 man bracket at the NCAA tournament, where he, for reasons I cannot uncover, did not compete.

    Factgrinder Final Analysis

    Moraga presents a weird case. On one hand, the marquee wrestling credentials (2x University All-American) he uses to promote himself do not really accurately portray his wrestling abilities. On the other, at 125 pounds, he really made something of himself on the Division One level, proving to he had the guts to persevere, and the skills to compete successfully on college wrestling's highest level. I wouldn't classify Moraga's wrestling credentials as great, but I would place them in the "very good" category. I'd put him roughly on the same level of wrestling achievement as Stipe Miocic and Dennis Bermudez.

    Demetrious Johnson

    As impressed as I am with DJ's wrestling, and I'm extremely impressed- the guy is slicker than liquid ball bearings dipped in rendered goose fat, the UFC's Flyweight Champion has no national level amateur wrestling credentials to speak of.

    He placed third and second in Washington State's second hardest state championship (it has five) as a high school junior and senior respectively. Over the last decade, this classification in Washington has produced a respectable amount of Division One level talent, but DJ never ran into any such wrestlers in his state bracket. The wrestler who defeated DJ in the state finals never produced a winning record on the NCAA Division Two level.

    Additionally, I can find nothing to confirm Johnson's presence at any national level high school tournaments, which would be consistent with the fact that he was a three sport athlete in high school, and never specialized full time as a combat athlete until he started training in MMA.

    Factgrinder Final Analysis

    While Johnson certainly occupies rarefied air as an MMA wrestler, in terms of amateur wrestling credentials, his success only came on the in-state high school level.
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    Pettis: Henderson 'manipulating the rules' to keep belt


    The knee injury Anthony Pettis suffered was relatively minor.

    A little tweak in the gym, he said. "One of those freak things that could happen to anybody," explained his coach, Duke Roufus.

    Not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things, except that it forced him out of a planned title fight with UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo.

    And that, in turn, threw Pettis into a spiral of depression and self-doubt that was anything but minor.

    "I was just in this funk that I couldn't get out of," Pettis told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I questioned everything. I questioned my career choice, if I'm ever going to be a champion, if I'm supposed to be a champion. It was just like, every time I'm supposed to get a title shot something happens and I don't get it."

    When you think about it in those terms, maybe Pettis could be forgiven for trying to talk his way into the UFC lightweight title shot that had already been promised to T.J. Grant. That fight was a few weeks later – just long enough to give his knee ample time to heal, Pettis insisted – and it was at UFC 164 in his hometown of Milwaukee, against a fighter he'd already beaten once and who he seemed destined to clash with again.

    How could he not at least try for a rematch with Benson Henderson, he reasoned. Anything to pull him out of the dark mood he was in.

    Roufus saw it. Of course he did. He's been a trainer and friend to Pettis for years, and his own career as a kickboxer taught him what it was like to lose big opportunities that you might never get back again.

    "Sometimes the hardest thing in those situations is keeping someone positive," Roufus said. "I think why Anthony is very good at what he does is he's very emotionally connected to the sport. He loves it. He loves trying to be the best he can be. Having something like that taken away from him, it's a big loss in his personal life. He's 26, but he's still mindful that the clock is ticking."

    So when a concussion suffered during jiu-jitsu training eventually forced Grant out of the title fight with Henderson, it seemed almost too good to be true. In fact, it was Roufus who heard the news first, then faced the task of convincing Pettis that it wasn't just some cruel joke.

    "He actually didn't believe me," Roufus said. "He thought he was being punked."

    Even though the circumstances seemed a little strange the more he heard about them, Pettis said, "I didn't ask any questions. I was like, 'He's out and I'm in? Deal.'"

    There's a flip side to this bargain, however. Contrary to how it might look from Pettis' perspective these past few months, title shots in the UFC aren't just handed out one after another. If you take your shot and lose – even if it's on short-notice – you might wait years for another one. And the Henderson that Pettis will be facing on Aug. 31 at Bradley Center in Milwaukee seems significantly different from the one he beat in the WEC back in 2010.

    This one, Pettis admitted, is smarter than the one he caught with the "Showtime Kick" that night in Arizona. This one knows how to win rounds, and knows that winning rounds wins championships.

    "I'm sure he's expecting a five-round fight," Pettis said. "He's the champ, and he knows he needs to win five rounds to keep that belt. GSP does it the same way. These guys are intelligent fighters, and they know they have to win the rounds to keep their belt. I'm expecting him to do what he's been doing. He's going to come out, do just enough to win the rounds, and keep his belt. That's his game plan, and that's never my game plan. I'm always looking to finish."

    What you have to wonder is, does looking for the finish improve his chances against a fighter like Henderson? Or might it lead to him disregarding the round-to-round score and only making it easier for the champ to build a big lead as the fight wears on?

    The way the Pettis camp sees it, the longer you stay in the cage, the greater the danger. And if you plan on being there for five rounds, it only means your opponent has 25 minutes worth of chances to put you away.

    "Honestly, I think it plays right into Anthony's style," said Roufus. "I think Ben's been doing an incredible job of protecting his championship, and I think Anthony's been doing a fantastic job of attacking to win. There's two strategies out there. You can protect to win, which then you're going to win a lot of close fights or fights that are considered controversial, or you can take it out of the judges' hands by finishing fights, which Anthony has been looking to do."

    There's also the variable of their shared history to consider. Pettis has one decision win over Henderson, but he also has that highlight-reel kick that Henderson has been forced to see over and over and over again. Every time the current champ shows up to a UFC event, he's guaranteed a chance to see it on the big screen one more time.

    The psychological impact of that moment could push him to do something uncharacteristic in an attempt to replace Pettis' highlight with one of his own, Roufus said. Or it could make him doubt himself when the critical moment arrives.

    "Are you worried about getting kneed again, like Anthony kneed him?" Roufus said. "Are you worried about getting 'Showtime Kicked' in front of God and everybody? Are you worried about getting kicked upside the head? That's a big added advantage for Anthony, but he's working very hard to make sure he's not resting on the laurels of that last victory. It's very tough to beat someone twice, and Ben's been on the bad end of the highlight reel ever since that. He's got to be emotionally connected to that and he's going to come in very well-prepared. The (MMA) Lab and his coaches are very good strategists, and they're going to try and come up with the safest way to beat Anthony."

    That's something Pettis is expecting, given Henderson's recent performances, but it isn't something he ever wants to emulate, he said.

    "I'm not a fan of that style," Pettis said. "I wouldn't even try doing that. That's just manipulating the rules of the game to keep your title. If you're truly the best, I mean, look at Anderson Silva. He got knocked out in his last fight, but I think he's truly the best because he's finished some top guys, and he does it impressively. He's not trying to grind it out and stay on top of you to win the rounds. He's out there fighting fights. That's what I respect, and that's who I want to be."

    He just has to hope that he can be that fighter and still end up hoisting the UFC lightweight belt when all is said and done in Milwaukee. If there's one thing we know by now, it's that Henderson won't part gently with that hardware.
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    What’s Next for Nick Diaz, Rousey-Cyborg, and Fixing Fight


    Shane and I are back once again with another edition of Grappling with Issues. This week, we are both offering up some insight and opinion on topics including Nick Diaz’s potential return to the ring, the power of flyweights to sell a PPV, and the notion of “fight fixing” in the UFC. As always, feel free to offer up your own thoughts in the Comments section.

    If Anthony Pettis was still fighting Jose Aldo, who could have stepped in against Benson Henderson?

    Reilly: I think one of the main reasons Pettis is getting the shot is because he was promised one from when he was the champ in WEC. And if we take into account success in other orgs, there are three fighters I think are just as deserving to fight for the title.

    #1 Josh Thomson. “The Punk” fought three straight times against title-holders or title-challengers and he’s looked damn impressive in all of the efforts. Most folks still think he should have won the belt from Gilbert Melendez in which case he most likely would have entered the UFC with a title shot.

    #2 Pat Healy. If he wasn’t coming off a failed test for marijuana, I think it’s most likely that Healy would be fighting for the belt. “Bam Bam” is riding a seven-fight winning streak, had former champ Melendez run from him TWICE in Strikeforce, and put the Top 10 on notice with his finish of Jim Miller.

    #3 Khabib Nurmagomedov. Who? “The Eagle” is 20-0 in his career with four wins inside the Octagon over the likes of Gleison Tibau and Thiago Tavares. He’s a UFC Top 10er but doesn’t really have a signature win like Healy or Thomson. But, if they gave a title shot to Renan Barao, there’s not reason why Khabib hasn’t earned one too.

    Conlan: Since Shane left me with so many original options (all of his are fantastic suggestions BTW for the reasons he mentioned), I’ll go with Diego Sanchez. Though he’s not necessarily deserving on paper, the original Ultimate Fighter winner is a fan-favorite, always comes to entertain, owns a number of notable victories, and is coming off a wining performance. He was also rumored to be booked for UFC 164 to begin with, so I have faith he’d be able to get ready in time for a tilt with “Bendo” even if his next bout isn’t actually scheduled to take place until October.

    IF Nick Diaz returns to the Octagon, who should he face?

    Reilly: We know Diaz won’t fight a wrestler, so as good as the smack talk between him a Josh Koscheck would have been, it most likely wouldn’t happen. Since he only likes to face strikers, and we’ll presume he’ll be staying at 170 pounds, I’d like to see him versus the loser of Kampmann/Condit or Matt Brown. Brown may not have the name recognition of the other two but I think he would give Diaz the toughest fight.

    Conlan: I can appreciate where you’re coming from in terms of wrestlers being Diaz’s Kryptonite, but Diaz has called “Kos” out before so I think he might be down to duke it out with him. Of course, with Koscheck injured it’s unknown when he’ll be available again.

    Rumors have surfaced stating Demian Maia will be the man Diaz comes back to battle, and I can definitely dig that pairing. Diaz has never been tapped and it would be fun to watch the in-Octagon chess game play out if action hit the mat. Also, with Koscheck out of a match-up with Maia, the slick submission artist should be available whenever his name is called.

    True or False: Cris “Cyborg” will fight Ronda Rousey by the middle of 2014?

    Reilly: True. Rousey/”Cyborg” has been the biggest fight to make in WMMA for awhile now and Dana has already tried to make it happen once. With Justino’s domination over Marloes Coenen it only makes sense and I can see the UFC throwing big money at it to make it a reality. That is, unless Cat Zingano spoils it by taking out Ronda when they meet.

    Conlan: False. Sure, it’s an appealing fight, but I don’t see Rousey compromising her stance on “Cyborg” or Justino opting to drop down to 135 pounds (at least not in the next year). While Coenen was beaten soundly, she hadn’t had a significant win in the cage since beating Liz Carmouche in March 2011 so I don’t think it boosts the Brazilian’s stock as much as might be expected. Also, who is “Cyborg” going to beat now at 145 pounds to impress people? There options are few and far between.

    With challenges like Zingano, Miesha Tate, Sarah Kaufman, and Sara McMann out there, Rousey has lots of opponents to keep her busy without ever needed to worry about a larger foe with a questionable background and very few marquee victories.

    Would you buy a PPV headlined by flyweights?

    Conlan: Maybe. There aren’t any flyweight fights out there that really get my blood going because the divisional pool is so shallow, but a strong enough undercard is enough to make any PPV worth purchasing.

    Reilly: Short answer, No. And the reason is several-fold.

    First, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, there may be TOO much free MMA. I’ve got TUF, Fight Master, Bellator, UFC on FOX, UFC on FX (or FS1 or whatever), Inside the UFC, Inside MMA, and all the highlight shows you could want. Plus there’s the new paid UFC YouTube channel where they show the PPV’s later anyway. So for me to actually buy a PPV, the main event and several main card fights have to be something special; it has to be stacked with big name “stars”.

    Am I saying that flyweights aren’t special? Not at all. But the UFC doesn’t appear to be going out of their way to make any of the Stars either. It doesn’t help that there are only fifteen flyweights on the roster, that’s literally half the amount of HW’s, and the only one most people know is the champ Demetrious Johnson. His next challenger is a very talented fighter, John Moraga, but he opened the Facebook prelims in his last fight. If the UFC ever expects people to pay for flyweights and bantamweights and to a degree featherweights, they need to start putting their promotional muscle behind their fighters and make stars of these guys.

    Do you think UFC officials/fighters would ever “fix” a fight?

    Conlan: “EVER” is such a long time but in general, no, I don’t think the UFC would risk everything they’ve built over the past fifteen-plus years to produce a desired outcome. There will always be handful of tinfoil-hat wearing conspiracy theorists out there who think Anderson Silva handed Chris Weidman the belt as a means of some sort of pre-determined outcome aimed at building a new superstar or T.J. Grant happened to get injured because Anthony Pettis was available for Benson Henderson in a hometown throwdown, but the arguments against such scenarios are based in logic and evidence rather than fantasies and guesswork.

    Reilly: Again, no. Is that because I think Dana White and the UFC are morally above such dealings? Hell no. It’s because there is no upside to fixing a fight for them.

    The UFC has suffered the loss of Chuck Liddell, B.J. Penn, Brock Lesnar, etc. and have still moved forward and grown their brand. What do they gain from fixing a fight? If they don’t like the outcome of a fight, they can simply call for a rematch, or they can move a guy they like into an undeserving title-shot, or they can pull a guy out of retirement and give him a belt. There are tons of different things they can do (and have done) to ensure company growth without fixing fights. But if they did and it got out that a fight was fixed, then the whole thing – the UFC, the FOX deal, MMA>WWE all goes up in smoke. So where’s the upside in fixing a fight?

    Buy or Sell: Bellator will produce a PPV within a year?

    Conlan: Sell with an asterisk. Bellator has a hard enough time consistently getting big crowds and good ratings for their regular product, so making the move to PPV would be a risky endeavor from a financial perspective. However, if Viacom is willing to potentially take a hit, and Bellator is able to ink a few free agents, the company could give it a go.

    They already have a known commodity like Quinton Jackson under contract and have been flirting with the comeback-considering Tito Ortiz. Though friendly, a fight between “Rampage” and Ortiz would bring in casual fans based on name value and is a match-up the UFC never produced despite both men being on the roster. You also have Mo Lawal out there to fill either role, or add in general, if necessary, plus a handful of solid champions like Ben Askren and Pat Curran. Beyond that, Bellator could also put together a rematch between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler, drawing hardcore fans who remember how incredible their initial encounter was. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’d probably pay to see that sort of lineup.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it’s likely. Just that it’s possible.

    Reilly: Sell. It all comes back to building stars. And frankly, Bellator isn’t doing it. Don’t get me wrong, they’re trying. And there are some great fighters currently on Bellator’s roster, but none that make me want to shell out cash to see them fight. Especially when I know it’s going to be available the next day for free. Vladimir Matyushenko is headlining a card, isn’t that proof enough that they don’t have the big name talent for a full blown PPV? Even if they put five title fights on the card, the fact that they are Tournament titles more than World titles makes them appear to carry a lot less weight and therefore seem less important.

    I think Bjorn Rebney knows this, and he’s got a good thing going with Spike and Viacom right now. I think they’ll see how Fight Master does and in two or three seasons might consider the jump to PPV.
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    Nick should fight Josh Koscheck. I honestly think Kos would win.
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    Gegard Mousasi calls for No. 1 contender fight with Vitor


    Gegard Mousasi calls for No. 1 contender fight with Vitor Belfort at UFC 168
    By Mike Bohn  @mikebohnMMA on Jul 20 2013, 12:00a 109


    Gegard Mousasi isn't giving up on his quest to fight Vitor Belfort, as the Dutchman recently explained why a match up with "The Phenom" makes sense for UFC 168 on Dec. 28, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.


    Despite the fact Vitor Belfort has brushed off the idea of fighting Gegard Mousasi, "The Dreamcatcher" isn't going away easy and continues to campaign for a fight with the No. 2 ranked Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender.

    Mousasi first brought up the idea of fighting "The Phenom" a few months back when he officially committed to making a return to 185 pounds after spending the most recent years of his career as a light heavyweight.

    The former Strikeforce champion brought up Belfort as an ideal opponent for his return to the cage once he recovers from knee surgery; however, the Brazilian has brushed it off and admitted the potential match up doesn't exactly tickle his fancy.

    That doesn't discourage Mousasi, though, as he feels a fight between himself and Belfort on the year-end UFC 168 fight card (headlined by a middleweight championship contest of Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva) makes all the sense in the world to determine the next No. 1 contender in the weight class.

    Here's how he explained the situation to Brazilian news outlet TATAME (translation via MMA.tv):

    Quote:
    "The reality is this - Silva vs Weidman II is going to have to happen first on December 28th...Vitor has to wait for a title shot no matter what. I know the UFC wants to see this fight happen as they offered it to me for UFC Belo Horizonte in September. I could not take the fight because I just had surgery. So, it is inevitable that Vitor and I are going to have to meet first to determine who the #1 contender is. So my opinion is that we should also fight on December 28th on the same card as Anderson v. Weidman II to determine the #1 contender spot for the UFC middleweight title.

    "It is as simple as this. Vitor and I were supposed to fight in the past for both Affliction and now the UFC. Vitor knows that it is inevitable that we are going to have to meet in the Octagon."
    It's hard to deny Mousasi isn't on to something here. The chances of Belfort sitting on the sidelines and waiting for the Weidman-Silva winner are slim-to-none, so taking a fight in the interim makes a lot of sense and Mousasi is the most appealing option at this time.

    Of the top-10 UFC middleweight fighters, only three (Constantinos Philippou, Luke Rockhold, Tim Boetsch) are currently without a fight and aside from possibility Philippou, none of those match ups are particularly exciting for Belfort.

    Mousasi has to worry about getting himself healthy before he can officially move forward with plans for his next fight, but if everything goes as he hopes and he can get Belfort as an opponent, it would make for a spectacular addition to the UFC 168 card on Dec. 28, 2013.
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    I would like to see that fight, no 1 contention or not. Mousasi intrigues me. He hasn't been as feared or respected by the fans since his fight against King Mo, but I like his Fedor'esque composure and there's still something about him I just like.
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    Roy Nelson v Daniel Cormier Confirmed As UFC 166 Co Main


    A heavyweight grudge match between Roy Nelson and Daniel Cormier has been added as the co-main event of the UFC 166 fight card in Houston.

    The UFC confirmed the fight with the Houston Chronicle on Monday evening.

    Nelson vs. Cormier is expected to serve as the co-main event of the card, which is headlined by a heavyweight title fight between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos.

    Nelson and Cormier have engaged in a very public Twitter battle in recent weeks, with Cormier urging Nelson to re-sign with the UFC so they could hash out their differences in the cage.

    UFC 166 takes place October 19 at the Toyota Center.

    http://blog.chron.com/sportsupdate/2...co-main-event/
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    "Grudge match" is caking it on a bit thick, but it's an interesting fight, nonetheless.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VolcomX311 View Post
    I would like to see that fight, no 1 contention or not. Mousasi intrigues me. He hasn't been as feared or respected by the fans since his fight against King Mo, but I like his Fedor'esque composure and there's still something about him I just like.
    Agreed, I'd like to see him fight Vitor.
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    Mousasi needs a big fight. His last opponent was a joke. Vitor would be awesome. Wandy would be fun also.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessep76 View Post
    Mousasi needs a big fight. His last opponent was a joke. Vitor would be awesome. Wandy would be fun also.
    I think Mousasi has a really hard style to beat, good wrestling like King Mo is perfect to beat his style, but I think Vitor may have a very hard time putting Mousasi out. But maybe Bellfort would take him out in the first, he has been going through everyone besides Jon Jones... would love to see him fight JJ again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudgementDay View Post
    I think Mousasi has a really hard style to beat, good wrestling like King Mo is perfect to beat his style, but I think Vitor may have a very hard time putting Mousasi out. But maybe Bellfort would take him out in the first, he has been going through everyone besides Jon Jones... would love to see him fight JJ again.
    What's the bigger upset, Weidman toppling Anderson, or if Gustaffson defeats JBJ?
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    Without having the outcome settled already about Weidman vs Silva, I would have voted Weidman vs Silva.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VolcomX311 View Post
    What's the bigger upset, Weidman toppling Anderson, or if Gustaffson defeats JBJ?

    For me I'd be more shocked to see JBJ lose to Gustaffson.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VolcomX311 View Post
    Without having the outcome settled already about Weidman vs Silva, I would have voted Weidman vs Silva.
    Agreed, I feel like Weidman had a better chance of doing it but Anderson has been reigning so long.
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    Brian Stann replaces Joe Rogan for UFC 163 color commentat


    It certainly isn't taking Brian Stann long to find work in his post-fighting career.

    Stann, who earlier this month announced his retirement from fighting to concentrate on his family and his broadcasting career, will replace the UFC's regular analyst, Joe Rogan, in the booth at UFC 163.

    UFC 163 takes place Aug. 3 at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janerio, and Stann, a former UFC middleweight and ex-WEC champion, will work with regular play-by-play voice Mike Goldberg on the call. The news was announced on Tuesday night's edition of "UFC Tonight" on FUEL TV.

    Stann (12-6 MMA, 6-5 UFC) decided to call it quits earlier this year after a "Fight of the Night" loss to Wanderlei Silva in March in Japan. He confirmed the news just two days after the announcement of a broadcast deal with FOX Sports South that will have him working as part of the cable network's college football crew for the Atlantic Coast Conference.

    Stann has been a regular on the FOX family of networks since the UFC's broadcast deal with FOX began in 2012. He has been active as an analyst for both FOX and FUEL TV's pre- and post-fight UFC event coverage. Now he'll add a UFC pay-per-view to his resume.

    UFC 163 features a featherweight title fight between champion Jose Aldo and "The Korean Zombie," Chan Sung Jung.
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    Chael Sonnen reveals new UFC deal


    Just a few weeks after letting the world know his UFC deal had expired, Chael Sonnen has a new contract. And a new training base. And perhaps a return to his former weight class.

    The two-time middleweight title challenger and recent light heavyweight title challenger on Tuesday revealed via his co-hosting chair on "UFC Tonight" on FUEL TV that he has signed a new five-fight deal with the promotion.

    Sonnen (27-13-1 MMA, 6-6 UFC) returns to action next month when he headlines UFC Fight Night 26 (formerly UFC on FOX Sports 1 1) against Mauricio Rua at TD Garden in Boston.

    Earlier this month at a fan Q&A session at the UFC Fan Expo, part of UFC 162 in Las Vegas, Sonnen said his deal was up.

    "My contract with the UFC has expired," Sonnen said at Mandalay Bay Convention Center. "So I went to Dana White, and I went to him with a list of my demands because he's getting my contract together. He thought this was a gag, but I was being serious because it's not all about money with me."

    But Sonnen, known for a certain level of playfulness in his interviews that often causes eyebrows to be raised wondering about his comments' legitimacy, left the crowd wondering if he really did need to sign a new deal – or if he was just in character.

    Part of the demands he told the Fan Expo crowd was part of his conversation with White included the keys to White's "least favorite Ferrari. ... See, I'm not all about money, people. There's more to these contracts. They're very sophisticated."

    But apparently the contract situation was legit – and so, too, is Sonnen's preparation for Rua. He also revealed on Tuesday night that he has moved his training camp to California, where he'll be training at Reign MMA under head coach Mark Munoz. After his fight against "Shogun" in Boston, Sonnen said on "UFC Tonight" he plans to return to middleweight.

    Sonnen in April at UFC 159 was stopped in the first round by Jon Jones in a light heavyweight title fight that came on the heels of the two coaching opposite each other on Season 17 of "The Ultimate Fighter" on FX. It was the second straight title fight for Sonnen, who at UFC 148 in July 2012 lost his rematch to middleweight champ Anderson Silva in Las Vegas.
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    Rousey in Expendables 3


    Ronda Rousey signed with the William Morris Endeavor talent agency earlier this year, and now she has her first major movie role.

    The UFC's women's bantamweight champion has landed a role in the upcoming "Expendables 3" action flick. Screenplay writer and star Sylvester Stallone announced the news late Tuesday on his official Twitter account.

    Rousey (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is coming off yet another first-round armbar victory. She stopped Liz Carmouche in February in the main event of UFC 157, the first women's fight in UFC history. She currently is taping Season 18 of "The Ultimate Fighter," which she'll coach opposite her fiercest *****, Miesha Tate. The two then will meet in a rematch for Rousey's title at UFC 168 in December in Las Vegas.

    It is unknown when Rousey's work on "Expendables 3" will begin or how extensive a role she will have in the film, which also stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, Jackie Chan, Dolph Lundgren, Steven Seagal and former UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture – essentially a who's who of Hollywood action stars.

    The film currently is in pre-production and, according to the Internet Movie Database, has an expected release date of Aug. 15, 2014.

    Rousey will not be the first UFC fighter to venture into movies, of course. Perhaps most famously – or infamously – UFC light heavyweight Quinton Jackson got a major role as B.A. Barracus in "The A-Team." And because of his commitments to the film, "Rampage" had to delay a planned main event at UFC 107 in his home city of Memphis.

    That left UFC President Dana White perturbed, and since then he frequently has questioned whether it's wise for his fighters to pass up the money they make fighting for the money they make in the movies – which he argues doesn't compare to their regular jobs.

    Earlier this year, not long after she beat Carmouche, Rousey was rumored to be up for a spot in "The Hunger Games" sequel due out later this year starring Best Actress Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence.

    "You know how I feel about the movie stuff," White told FUEL TV's "UFC Tonight" earlier this year. "The hard part is, even like the 'Rampage' thing – when 'Rampage' did the movie, it was Rampage's dream to be a part of 'The A-Team' and everything else. I don't want to take away any opportunities away from Ronda, but at the same time, the thing that you have to keep in perspective is that her window of opportunity as a professional athlete is (small). She could make a zillion movies when this sport's over. And where she's really going to make the money is here fighting. I don't care if she's the lead role in ‘The Hunger Games 2,' she would not make anywhere near, and I mean not even in the universe, to the money she makes fighting."

    Rousey has been arguably the most marketable fighter in the UFC since her ar***** from Strikeforce. She's been on the cover of ESPN Magazine's "Body Issue," UFC 360 magazine's cover, co-hosted "TMZ," been written up in Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated, been on with Conan O'Brien and had her own behind-the-scenes special on Showtime.

    A movie role would just add to her constantly expanding resume. The first "Expendables" movie made more than $100 million at the box office when it was released in August 2010. In August 2012, "The Expendables 2" fell a little short of the original's mark, making just north of $85 million around the world.
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    Roy Nelson's new UFC contract a long-term deal


    If he fulfills it, Roy Nelson's new UFC contract should keep him with the promotion for at least three years.

    Nelson's manager, Mike Kogan, today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the heavyweight's deal calls for nine fights in the octagon. He declined to disclose financial terms of the contract, citing its confidentiality provision.

    For the first fight of the new deal, "Big Country" is scheduled to meet Daniel Cormier (12-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) in the pay-per-view co-main event of UFC 166, which takes place Oct. 19 at Toyota Center in Houston.

    Nelson (19-8 MMA, 6-4 UFC) looks to rebound from a lackluster showing in his most recent fight, which served as the last obligation of his previous contract. He faced Stipe Miocic on short notice this past month at UFC 161 and was thoroughly outstruck before losing a unanimous decision. The setback snapped a three-fight win streak of first-round knockouts.

    Many observers thought Nelson's tempestuous relationship with UFC President Dana White would open the door for his ouster from the promotion and a move into free agency, but White said he would negotiate with the fighter regardless of their past.

    Early this month, Kogan said the two sides were close to a deal.

    "We're not there yet, but we're not out of the ballpark, either," he said. "Their offer is reasonable, and there's some things that Roy wants in there, and that's why it's called a negotiation."

    Whatever his foibles outside the cage, Nelson brings excitement inside it. A five-time fight-night bonus winner, he's delivered signature knockouts of Brendan Schaub, Stefan Struve, Dave Herman and Cheick Kongo.

    Nelson's bout with Cormier promises to bring fireworks. The two have sparred on Twitter and in interviews, with Cormier recently drawing up a fake bout agreement to promote their bout.
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    Rory MacDonald sparring with Chris Weidman


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    Cormier wants immediate LHW title shot if he beats Nelson


    Daniel Cormier's last fight as a heavyweight will be against Roy Nelson at UFC 166.

    "DC" confirmed his plans to move down to light heavyweight following the bout to FUEL TV's "UFC Tonight" on Tuesday.

    And not only is Cormier planning a move to light heavyweight, he wants an immediate 205-pound title shot, if he beats Nelson.

    Cormier said that after the fight he will publicly ask the UFC in the cage to "cut the line" and fight the winner of Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson next. Cormier is now confident he can easily make the weight cut.

    UFC 166, headlined by Cormier's teammate Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos 3 for the UFC heavyweight title, takes place Oct. 19 in Houston.

    Source: http://www.mmafighting.com/2013/7/24...shot-following
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    Rockhold vs Boetsch completes Ufc 166 PPV


    Heavyweight Championship bout: Cain Velasquez (c) vs Junior dos Santos
    Heavyweight bout: Daniel Cormier vs Roy Nelson
    Welterweight bout: Hector Lombard vs Nate Marquardt
    Middleweight bout: Luke Rockhold vs Tim Boetsch
    Lightweight bout: Diego Sanchez vs Gilbert Melendez

    Prelims
    Lightweight bout: Tony Ferguson vs Mike Rio
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    Rory MacDonald: “No, I won’t be fighting Georges.”


    UFC welterweight Rory MacDonald looks like a champion in the making. At 23 years old, “Ares” has gone 14-2 with twelve finishes and noteworthy wins over Nate Diaz, Mike Pyle, and B.J. Penn. However, to win divisional gold MacDonald might have to fight mentor (and current title-holder) Georges St-Pierre.

    Or not.

    According to MacDonald, he has no plans on ever crossing paths with GSP in the Octagon even though UFC President Dana White has previously hinted at the possibility.

    “No, I won’t be fighting Georges. When the fight comes, if we ever had to meet up, we wouldn’t fight. I’m not fighting him,” said MacDonald in a conversation captured by MMAFighting, stating he’d rather bulk up than face his close friend. “We’ll see. I don’t want to think about it until the time. I’ll keep fighting. He’ll keep fighting. It’ll work its way out. I could go up (to middleweight) for sure.”

    MacDonald will have to get by Jake Ellenberger this weekend at UFC on FOX 8 before concerning himself with championships of any sort. The bout is serving as the show’s co-headliner.
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    Chael Sonnen, Iron Sheik appear to support Olympic Wrestli


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    College Basketball player hits on Miesha Tate


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    Buakaw Por.Pramuk Documentary Released


    http://vimeo.com/ondemand/buakawboxe...egacy/65419166

    “I really did not expect to become the Champion. I just wanted to represent my country, Thailand, with honour.”

    These are the words Sombat Banchamek, better known as “Buakaw”, uses to describe the day, that changed his life.

    As a young boy he started to practice Thailand’s national sport “Muay Thai”, he won his first fight, stayed with the sport, battled his way through and finally shocked the world in July 2004, by winning the finale of the “K1 Max World Tournament”. Two years later he even repeated this success.

    He started as one of many - today he is the most famous Muay Thai fighter of his country. The documentary “Buakaw – Boxer,Legend,Legacy” brings you closer than ever to Thailand’s national hero. It takes the audience on a fascinating journey: Painstaking training, opponents knocked out in the ring – mixed with the rice harvest in his rural home-village. A look back to his past victories. A look to the present. Buakaw as boxer, trainer, camp owner and family person. An outlook to the future. What happens after the last battle has been fought?

    Directed by:
    Timo Ruge, Gerrit Staron
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    Link is already dead, sorry.
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    New facebook draw is up! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Athle...5465911?ref=hl


    Quote Originally Posted by VolcomX311 View Post
    Thats sick, I would love to watch the full rounds of this.
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