Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Out of Retirement, Roger Gracie Tops List of Seven New ONE FC Signings

Ten time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion Roger Gracie is among seven new signings announced on Friday by ONE FC.

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Latest odds, online betting guide for UFC Fight Night 48 and UFC Fight Night 49

Get a detailed breakdown of the betting lines for UFC Fight Night 48: "Bisping vs. Le" and UFC Fight Night 49: "Henderson vs. dos Anjos," both of which will take place this Saturday (Aug. 23, 2014) from Macau, China, and Tulsa, Okla., respectively. Best bets, underdogs, favorites and much more!

Around the world, around the world!

It's another mixed martial arts (MMA) double-header this Saturday (Aug. 23, 2014) when Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) hits both Macau, China, and Tulsa, Okla., for the latest editions of the UFC Fight Night series.

In the Far East, former Strikeforce Middleweight champion, Cung Le, will look to earn his third straight win inside the Octagon against Michael Bisping, who last seen losing a decision to Tim Kennedy, in the main event of UFC Fight Night 48, which takes place at Cotai Arena in Macau, China. In addition, Dong Hyun Kim will attempt to pick up his third straight knockout against Tyron Woodley in the co-main event in a clash of elite Welterweight contenders.

That's just the start of a long day/night.

That's because in the Near West (for me, anyway), just hours later, Ben Henderson will take on Rafael dos Anjos in a clash of top-flight Lightweights standouts in the main event of UFC Fight Night 49, which takes place at BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In the co-main event of that show, Mike Pyle will battle Jordan Mein and Thales Leites will face Francis Carmont further down the FOX Sports 1 main card.


For the sake of simplicity, we've rolled all this weekend's noteworthy UFC gambling options into a single post. Let's take a lookL

UFC Odds For Both Under Cards:


Danny Mitchell (-265) vs. Wang Sai (+185)

Alberto Mina (-185) vs. Shinsho Anzai (+145)

Yuta Sasaki (-130) vs. Roland Delorme (-110)

Colby Covington (-290) vs. Wang Anying (+210)

Royston Wee (-265) vs. Yao Zhikui (+185)

Milana Dudieva (-175) vs. Elizabeth Phillips (+135)


Alex Garcia (-145) vs. Neil Magny (+125)

Beneil Dariush (-120) vs. Tony Martin (EVEN)

Matt Hobar (-220) vs. Aaron Phillips (+180)

Ben Saunders (-350) vs. Chris Heatherly (+290)

Wilson Reis (-305) vs. Joby Sanchez (+225)

Thoughts: As a rule of MMA betting thumb, It’s probably safest to stay away from the fights that feature debuting fighters, which doesn’t leave us with much. Nonetheless, I believe there’s value in Magny and Martin.

Garcia’s a beast, no doubt. He’s also six inches shorter than Magny and has had cardio issues in the past. Magny has shown marked improvement in his striking recently, becoming very adept at using his length. And as long as he can survive Garcia’s early onslaught, he should be able to piece him up on the feet for a decision win.

For a 50/50 fight, a bet on the under dog is a wise investment.

While Dariush is an excellent grappler, he will give up size and strength to Martin, who is a massive Lightweight with solid grappling chops of his own. Though I’m not sure how they match up on the feet, I always lean toward the superior wrestler in a battle of ground specialists.

In other words, Martin will dictate position for the win.

UFC Odds For Both Main Cards:


Michael Bisping (-310) vs. Cung Le (+255)

Tyron Woodley (-160) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (+140)

Brendan O’Reilly (-190) vs. Zhang Lipeng (+150)

Yang Jianping (-230) vs. Ning Guangyou (+170)


Benson Henderson (-320) vs. Rafael Dos Anjos (+260)

Jordan Mein (-220) vs. Mike Pyle (+180)

Francis Carmont (-150) vs. Thales Leites (+130)

Max Holloway (-405) vs. Clay Collard (+285)*

James Vick (-150) vs. Walmir Lazaro (+130)

Tom Niinimaki (-140) vs. Chas Skelly (+120)

Thoughts: As before, I think the best options are all hanging out on the Tulsa card. In fact, I like the odds on Leites and Lazaro.

I’m honestly confused as to the reason Carmont continues to be favored. One could reasonably argue that he’s lost four of his last five fights, with both the Lorenz Larkin and Tom Lawlor decisions drawing a considerable amount of disdain. Leites, on the other hand, has looked terrific since rejoining UFC and has the grappling acumen to give Carmont fits.

He’s my top underdog pick and should be able to repeat C.B. Dollaway's recent winning effort.

While Lazaro isn’t a big name, he’s an excellent striker out of Nova Uniao camp with some real finishing ability. He hasn’t lost since his third professional fight and has knocked out seven of his last eight opponents. Vick may have a bigger name, but Lazaro has almost three times as many fights and fights out of a much better camp.

Bet accordingly.

UFC Fight Night 48, UFC Fight Night 49 Best Bets:

  • Single bet -- Neil Magny: Bet $30 to make $37.50

  • Single bet -- Thales Leites: Bet $50 to make $65

  • Parlay -- Tony Martin and Thales Leites: Bet $20 to make $72

  • Single bet -- Walmir Lazaro: Bet $40 to make $52

Get a pot of coffee and some eye drops ready because we've got a full load ahead of us this weekend.

See you ALL DAY (AND NIGHT) Saturday, Maniacs!

Remember that will offer live UFC Fight Night 48 results RIGHT HERE and UFC Fight Night 49 results RIGHT HERE this weekend, which is as good a place as any to talk about all the action inside the Octagon, as well as what you've got riding on the sportsbook.

Running Profit For 2014 Based On This Column: -$225.18

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UFC returns to Austin for Nov. 22 Fight Night card

Austin is the next stop on the UFC's Texas tour.

The company, which has been to Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio over the past 10 months, will hold a card on Nov. 22 at the Frank Erwin Center on the campus of the University of Texas, it was announced on Wednesday's edition of UFC Tonight.

No bouts have yet been announced for the card, which will be a UFC Fight Night event and air on FOX Sports 1.

This mark's the UFC's second card in the Texas capitol, with the first card a Fight Night event on Sept. 15, 2010, headlined by Nate Marquardt's first-round TKO of Rousimar Palhares.

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Interview: Hong Kong's Alberto Mina on the UFC debut that almost wasn't

It's been a long winding road to his UFC debut for Brazil's Alberto Mina, and the Hong Kong resident spoke to about the struggles he faced to make the big show.

Alberto Mina's fighting career has had a rough couple of years.

It's not because he was losing either. In fact, the Hong Kong-based Brazilian is undefeated at 10-0, with every single victory coming by finish. In 2010, the double-black belt in Judo and BJJ beat TUF alum Dean Amasinger and was considered as one of the best welterweight prospects in the world. He followed up with a win in Greece, but unfortunately, he would fight sparingly since then.

With the notoriety he was getting from those wins, Mina went on to sign with Bellator, only to have contractual issues with the promotion. What was supposed to be his debut in the big leagues, ended up with the decorated grappler being shelved and losing a couple of years from an already short career span in MMA.

"It had become a big issue, then I've just been on hold, stuck on that contract," Mina told BloodyElbow earlier this year, "I used my lawyers and everything to get me a release. It cost me nearly two years."

Unable to compete in MMA, Mina continued as a coach at Hong Kong's famed Epic MMA gym, and once he sorted out and got free of Bellator, Mina returned to competition and his winning ways. He displayed a much improved stand up game and stopped Team Quest's Glenn Sparv, and that's when the UFC came calling.

Everything seemed to fall back into place, and he was to make his UFC debut last February. He had a full camp and was at the cusp for the biggest moment of his career, until Zak Cummings failed to make weight leading to the cancellation of that bout.

Mina had to wait another 6 months.

He was finally re-booked to face Sheldon Westcott in Macau, and as we fast forward to August, his opponent had to pull out due to injury, and Mina feared his long awaited debut will be pushed back yet again.

"The first view I had, I was very disappointed," Mina said about learning Westcott wasn't going to be able to compete, "I had to dig deep, recover myself and just move forward."

"I believe at that point, I really can't be negative about that fight. I just have to be positive, and it didn't matter who I will face. I thought the fight could've been delayed, but it was going to happen sooner or later."

Fortunately, the UFC had found a more than suitable replacement, signing Middleweight King of Pancrase, Shinsho Anzai. The Japanese rising star was coming off a spectacular win over long time champion Ryo Kawamura, and at the time the UFC called, he was already in shape and was doing a test cut down to welterweight.

Somehow, the UFC managed to find a qualified and ready fighter with less than two weeks notice, and the fight was back on.

"I found out a week ago, maximum. Right when I finished my camp, basically," Mina states, "A few days after my camp, I learned about the change, and I was going to face a fighter that was completely different in regards of body type and style."

Related: BE's UFC: Bisping vs. Le Media Day Photos: Staredowns, Ronda Rousey and Dana White Q&A

It's going to be another challenge having to alter a game plan when camp should already be over, but with everything that has happened, Mina was just glad his debut was still pushing through.

"At this point of my career, I cannot choose people and I cannot choose situations anymore," he exclaims, "I've been visualizing a fight against a guy who is taller than me, southpaw and everything. Then the fighter I will see now is an orthodox guy, shorter than me and with heavy hands."

"So yeah, It's pretty difficult I could say, but I prefer not to put myself and (dwell) on this issue. I just want to be there and do my best no matter against who I'm faced with," he says. "I've waited for my whole life for this, and I'm not going to choose people or choose fights, I just have to be ready for them."

Barring any more last minute mishaps, Mina will finally make his long overdue UFC debut in front of a ruckus crowd in his adopted home. Better late than never, right?

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Despite Having Suffered Three KO Losses In a Row, Gray Maynard Intends to Continuing Fighting

Despite suffering three knockout losses in a row, former UFC lightweight title contender Gray Maynard plans to continue fighting.

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UFC Headed to Texas for November Fight Card

The UFC will hold a fight card in Austin, TX on November 22, according to a Wednesday report from UFC Tonight.

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Michael Bisping and Cung Le to Undergo Enhanced Drug Testing at UFC Macao; Is it Enough?

UFC Macao headliners Michael Bisping and Cung Le will both be subjected to enhanced drug testing this weekend, but many will still be left asking, is it enough?

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UFC Fight Night 57 heads to Austin, not Istanbul, on Nov. 22


Sorry, Turkey. Your UFC debut will apparently have to wait.

After initially targeting Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, for a Nov. 22 event, the UFC instead will take the show to Austin.

The event, expected to be UFC Fight Night 57, was announced on today’s edition of “UFC Tonight” on FOX Sports 1. A source close to the event subsequently told MMAjunkie the Austin event will replace the planned Istanbul show rather than accompanying it and making it a another UFC dual-event day.

UFC Fight Night 57 takes place at the 16,000-seat Frank Erwin Center on the campus of the University of Texas. The event is expected to air on FOX Sports 1 with prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

No fights have been announced for the card, which will be the ninth UFC event in the state of Texas.

The UFC first hosted an event in Austin in 2010. The show, UFC Fight Night 22, drew nearly 8,000 attendees, who saw a headliner between Nate Marquardt and Rousimar Palhares, at the Frank Erwin Center.

Two currently unannounced UFC Fight Night events are expected to precede UFC Fight Night 57 in early November. Formal announcements are expected in the coming weeks.

For more on UFC Fight Night 57, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: MMA Rumors, News, UFC

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Thiago Alves Targets December Return Against Winner of Mike Pyle and Jordan Mein

Following an injury, Thiago Alves has been cleared to start wrestling again and he plans to return to the Octagon in December, according to a report on Wednesday afternoon.

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Manager: Gray Maynard intends to continue his fighting career

If you watched Gray Maynard get finished by Ross Pearson last weekend and decided this was something you don't want to see anymore, you weren't alone.

The second-round TKO marked the fourth time the 35-year-old Maynard has been finished by strikes in his past five fights, and the MMA Twitterverse was instantly flooded with comments from fans, media, and fellow fighters suggesting it's time the lightweight competitor calls it a career.

But with a few days to think things over, Maynard plans to solder on. On Wednesday's edition of UFC Tonight,'s Ariel Helwani reported that Maynard's manager, Dave Martin, indicates Maynard will look to continue his fighting career.

Maynard will soon have neurological tests done in South Dakota, but intends on continuing his career and hopes to speak to UFC president Dana White about his situation, Martin says.

Maynard was undefeated before he came within a hair's breadth of winning the UFC lightweight title in a pair of brutal 2011 fights with then-champ Frankie Edgar. The first bout finished in a draw and the second in a fourth-round KO loss, which kicked off Maynard's stretch of knockout losses.

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Lyoto Machida vs. Luke Rockhold Being Discussed as Potential UFC Match-Up

A middleweight match-up between division standouts Lyoto Machida and Luke Rockhold is being targeted by the UFC, according to a report on Wednesday afternoon.

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Dominick Cruz has no issue with being placed on UFC 178 FOX Sports 1 prelims

It turns out former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has something in common with longtime rival Urijah Faber: While both are UFC pay-per-view mainstays, neither fighter is afraid to be on the feature bout of the FOX Sports 1 preliminary card on a PPV event.

Cruz makes his return to action on Sept. 27, when he meets Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 178 in Las Vegas. But with one of the year's deepest cards only getting deeper with Tuesday's announcement of a Donald Cerrone vs. Eddie Alvarez co-main event, something has to give, and it has been announced that Cruz vs. Mizugaki will end up in the final spot of the FS1 broadcast.

On Wednesday's edition of UFC Tonight,'s Ariel Helwani reported that Cruz is fine with the decision, much like Faber before him with his bout against Alex Caceres at UFC 175.

"FS1 is in 90 million households," Cruz told Helwani via text. "It did 735k viewers on my teammate Ross Pearson's fight. At this point with the last two-plus years off, I'm just pumped to FINALLY be in there fighting again, period."

The bout with Mizugaki (20-7-2) will mark the first time Cruz has fought since Oct. 2011, when he defended his bantamweight title against current flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson.

Since then, injuries and training setbacks have kept Cruz out of the Octagon, and led to him being stripped of the title when he had to pull out of a unification bout with then-interim champ Renan Barao at UFC 169.

In the meantime, Cruz (19-1) has distinguished himself as a knowledgeable commentator in the FOX Sports broadcast booth. So in addition to being glad to simply fight anywhere, he sees the FS1 bout as an opportunity to give back to the team.

"My team at FOX Sports has been with me through this entire injury ,witnessing me go crazy watching each and every fight card," Cruz said. "Now I get to go show them, alongside the rest of the world, how I can fight. It's not a downfall in any way at this point in the fight world to be on prelims anymore with these kind of views that FOX gets. It's my pleasure, and I'm absolutely PUMPED to just compete again!"

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Lyoto Machida vs. Luke Rockhold discussions are under way

Lyoto Machida is looking for a solid next opponent after going five rounds with UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman.

Former Strikeforce middleweight champ Luke Rockhold has been angling for a consequential next bout for quite some time.

Sounds Machida vs. Rockhold is a match that makes itself.

Daniel Cormier, a teammate of Rockhold at San Jose's American Kickboxing Academy, reported on Wednesday's edition of UFC Tonight that discussions are under way for a bout between the two.

Machida (21-5), the former UFC light heavyweight champion, is 2-1 since dropping down to 185 pounds. At UFC 175, he put on a breathtaking performance over the final two rounds of his challenge of Weidman, throwing everything but the kitchen sink at him after losing the first three rounds. Weidman won the fight via unanimous decision.

Rockhold (12-2), meanwhile, was last seen submitting Tim Boetsch at UFC 172 in April. While Rockhold has openly campaigned for a rematch against Vitor Belfort, who defeated him via knockout in 2013, Belfort is instead slated to challenge Weidman for the title in December.

There is no date targeted yet for the fight. But Cormier suggested a pair of logical candidates: The main event on the UFC on FOX card in Phoenix on Dec. 13; or the main card on Dec. 6 in Las Vegas underneath Weidman and Belfort.

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UFC 178: Johnson vs. Cariaso bout order finalized, with Cruz vs. Mizugaki sent to prelims

A look at the now finalized bout order for the September 27th PPV in Las Vegas, which features Demetrious Johnson and Chris Cariaso in the main event.

...Imagine if UFC 178 still had Jon Jones/Daniel Cormier as the night's main event. We'd be discussing this card as one of the best the UFC has ever assembled. Unfortunately, Jones is injured and the new main event is flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson against the heavy underdog Chris Cariaso. It's a title fight featuring one of the sport's most dominant champion, but it's an obvious letdown considering the high stakes and simmering rivalry between Jones and Cormier.

Even looking past the main event switch, this is still a fantastic PPV card. The co-main event features Eddie Alvarez's UFC debut as he fights Donald Cerrone. Conor McGregor makes his way to PPV with a big showdown with Dustin Poirier. Middleweights Tim Kennedy and Yoel Romero look to further their case for a title shot, while top women's bantamweights Cat Zingano and Amanda Nunes open the main card.

Did I mention that Dominick Cruz and Jorge Masvidal are on the prelims? Cruz's first fight since 2011 headlines the Fox Sports 1 prelim broadcast, as the former bantamweight champ fights Takeya Mizugaki. Masvidal takes on James Krause, plus there's Stephen Thompson and Patrick Cote, and John Howard vs. Brian Ebersole. Even the Fight Pass portion of the broadcast showcases prospects Kevin Lee, Jon Tuck, Cody Gibson, and the veteran Manny Gamburyan.

If there was ever a show where you could argue every fight on the main card should be scheduled for 5 rounds, this is it. This is the official bout order, and may this card remain the same from this August 20th publish until September 27th.

Main Card (PPV, 10 PM ET)

Demetrious Johnson vs. Chris Cariaso

Donald Cerrone vs. Eddie Alvarez

Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier

Tim Kennedy vs. Yoel Romero

Cat Zingano vs. Amanda Nunes

Preliminary Card (FS1, 8 PM ET)

Dominick Cruz vs. Takeya Mizugaki

Jorge Masvidal vs. James Krause

Patrick Cote vs. Stephen Thompson

John Howard vs. Brian Ebersole

Preliminary Card (Fight Pass, 7 PM ET)

Jon Tuck vs. Kevin Lee

Manny Gamburyan vs. Cody Gibson

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Michael Bisping: 'Phony' Cung Le using UFC to boost his brand after losing roles in 'embarassing' kung-fu movies

Plus, "The Count" says Le is also trying to up his profile after Channing Tatum stopped re-tweeting him.

Where's the love?

Michael Bisping and Cung Le will go head-to-head this weekend (Sat. Aug. 23, 2014) in the main event of UFC Fight Night 48: "Bisping vs Le," which goes done from the Venetian CotaiArena in Macau, China.

And though you wouldn't have guessed the two men have any animosity going into the fight -- which airs exclusively on Fight Pass -- based on these pictures, whatever cordiality they had toward one another is now gone.

That's because Bisping accused Le of being nothing but a "phony" who is quick to talk behind your back after being nice to your face. He's also a declining "B-level movie star" who is using the publicity Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) gives him to land more movie parts.

That's why "The Count" took he opportunity to put the former Strikeforce middleweight champion on blast during a recent interview with Sherdog.

Check it out:

"Listen, Cung Le is basically back in the UFC to boost his brand and remind everybody of his existence. He hasn't fought in a couple of years, so I'm guessing his profile has dipped. He's probably not getting too many embarrassing kung-fu movie offers right now -- and probably worst of all for him -- Channing Tatum has stopped re-tweeting him."

He continues:

"I exchanged all the pleasantries, gave him all the small talk as you are supposed to in these situations, and I even went as far as pretending to be absolutely blown away that he's apparently friends with Channing Tatum. Basically, I went out of my way to be nice to him, and everything was very civil. We promoted the fight, shook hands and went back home to train for the fight. Then I see him on doing a Fight Club Q&A, and he's talking a load of bollocks about me. Basically, he's jumped on the same old, boring bandwagon everyone else who fights me does -- which is to say what a smack talker I am while, as always, they are the ones who talk crap first. What a phony. If he had a problem with me then he could have spared me all the boring anecdotes about Channing Tatum."

Apparently, Le is good friends with Channing Tatum. They did, after all, star together in the 2009 film, "Fighting."

Moving on.

For Bisping, he knows he can count on his cardio to carry him through an entire five-round fight, something Le is well-prepared for. But at the age of 42, Le might not be able to hang for the full 25 minutes according to the British banger.

His words:

"I'm going to put a beating on him, and he can disappear again back to B-movies. I have to close the distance on him, because he needs space to generate power in those fancy kicks of his. He's got nothing at close range; everything is at a distance for him. And, at 42, he's got no gas in the tank. He's got four minutes or so in him -- then he's absolutely knackered. This is a five-round fight, and he's 42 years old and hasn't fought in two years. He had no gas in his first UFC fight three years ago, so he's not going to be in better shape now."


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Michael Bisping: I see Cung Le 'getting stretchered off, covered in blood' after our fight

MACAU -- UFC middleweight Michael Bisping spoke to the media in Macau, China to promote his UFC Fight Night 48 main event bout opposite Cung Le. Bisping discussed MMA going global, Le as an opponent and had strong words for how he expects the contest to end.

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Video: Fighter rushes heckling fans at Cage Warriors 70

Things went from bad to worse for Noelia Molina after her technical submission loss at Cage Warriors 70.

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Video: Ronda Rousey lost $5,000 after knocking out Alexis Davis in 16 seconds

That's some pricey punching power.

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UFC Fight Night 48 media day photos

View this gallery here.

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Bellator releases Phil Baroni

Phil Baroni's run in Bellator has quickly come to an end.

According to sources close to the promotion, Bellator recently released Baroni after losing via first-round TKO to Karo Parisyan in his promotional debut last month.

Baroni initially announced the news via his Twitter account, however, he has since deleted those tweets. He did some Twitter venting though, which appears to be tied to the news:

Prior to the loss, Baroni had not fought since May 2013 when he suffered a gruesome ankle injury in a loss to Nobutatsu Suzuki at ONE FC 9. The UFC, PRIDE, Cage Rage, EliteXC, Strikeforce (among others) veteran has now lost three in a row.

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Demian Maia's status uncertain after recent hospitalization

Demian Maia was scheduled to fight Mike Pyle this weekend in Tulsa, OK, but a staph infection forced him to withdraw from the fight. That infection may have since gotten worse.

According to Maia's manager Eduardo Alonso, Maia had to be hospitalized again Tuesday in São Paulo after an MRI showed the fighter's right shoulder hasn't improved and there's a risk the infection might be on the bone as well. This after he was initially released from the hospital on Aug. 9 due to the staph infection, which forced him out of the Pyle fight.

Alonso said Tuesday's MRI showed "a big inflammation on the bone," but it's unclear at this time whether he's suffering from a bone bruise or osteomyelitis, which is a bone infection caused by bacteria or other germs.

Maia's doctors are still working to determine what the current status of the infection is, as well as what the best treatment is. He is currently undergoing intravenous antibiotic therapy again, and depending on the final diagnosis and treatment decision, could potentially be sidelined for the rest of the year, however, Maia is holding out hope that he'll fight again sooner than later. His withdrawal from the Pyle bout marked the first time in his UFC career that he pulled out of a fight. Doctors are expected to determine the severity of the lingering injury over the next few days. In the meantime, Maia will remain in the hospital.

Maia (19-6) most recently defeated Alexander Yakovlev via unanimous decision in May.

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Mark Dickman Plans to Capture RFA Featherweight Belt, Put Himself on UFC Radar

Mark Dickman believes with his current record, winning the featherweight championship at RFA 17 on Friday night would plant him on the UFC's radar.

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Six years and 15 fights later, Rafael dos Anjos finally gets a UFC headliner


After six years, 15 fights with the promotion and six victories in his past seven fights, Rafael dos Anjos is finally getting his long-awaited wish: the chance to headline a UFC event.

Ever since the 29-year-old Brazilian opened his UFC career with a pair of defeats in 2008, dos Anjos has become one of the organization’s most consistent winners. Yet, his name has never been on top of the marquee.

Now, with Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 49 headliner against former champion Benson Henderson, dos Anjos finally gets a main-event slot.

“It’s my first time in the headliner,” he told MMAjunkie Radio. “I’m very happy with this opportunity given to me by the UFC. I already had 15 fights in the UFC, since 2008, and this is my first time headlining. I’ve been working hard for years, and now thankfully I have my opportunity. I’m giving my best so that I may headline other events in the future.”

UFC Fight Night 49 takes place at BOK Center in Tulsa, and dos Anjos (21-7 MMA, 10-5 UFC) and Henderson (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) meet in the FOX Sports 1-televised headliner.

The stakes are high for dos Anjos. Starting in 2012, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and muay Thai specialist posted five consecutive wins, which included a signature victory over perennial contender Donald Cerrone. He subsequently suffered a decision loss to fellow title hopeful Khabib Nurmagomedov in April, but just six weeks later, he earned a second-round TKO win over Jason High at UFC Fight Night 42 to set up the Henderson fight.

“It was a loss, but I don’t think I dropped too far in the rankings,” said dos Anjos, who’s ranked No. 9 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, said about the Nurmagomedov defeat. “No one knows what God has in store. I may have lost that fight, but I’ll keep striving to climb to the top of my weight class.”

So why the quick turnaround after the defeat? Why not take a few weeks to regroup and go back into a full training camp? He simply wanted to continue his ascent in the lightweight division.

“After my loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov, I asked to fight again right away,” he said. “I had trained hard for Khabib, and 45 days later, I was in the octagon against Jason High. My intention against Jason was to finish the fight early so it would not go to the judges. I planned to pressure him hard so I could win by KO or submission. That victory was key for me to get higher-ranked opponents in the future.”

So where would a win over No. 2-ranked Henderson put dos Anjos? He knows current champ Anthony Pettis and upcoming title challenger Gilbert Melendez will fight in December, but after that, there are no set plans. So could Saturday’s fight net the winner the next shot?

“That’s what we want, but we don’t know what’s in the heads of (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva and (UFC President) Dana White,” dos Anjos said. “So I keep putting in the work and training hard. I would love to win this fight and get a shot at the belt. But it’s one fight at a time.

“Let’s focus on Ben Henderson first. I respect him and he’s very tough, but I’m very hungry to win. This is my chance. I’m not thinking about the belt right now. I want to beat Ben Henderson and then we can see about the belt. If Joe Silva and Dana White think I’ve earned my shot, I would love that.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 49, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Goku vs. Superman, and the top 5 weirdest questions Ronda Rousey and Dana White answered in Hong Kong

Ronda Rousey and Dana White had to answer some very "unique" questions from the Q&A in Hong Kong.

Ronda Rousey and Dana White were at a Q&A in Hong Kong to promote the upcoming UFC: Macau card. Now, if you haven't seen the previous press conferences in the region, the local media and fans can sometimes have some very, uhh, let's say "unique" line of questioning at times.

Related: BE's UFC: Macau Media Day Photos: Staredowns, Ronda Rousey and Dana White Q&A

Today was not devoid of such spirited questions as well, so without further ado, here's the 5 weirdest questions asked during Wednesday's Q&A in Hong Kong:

5. "Can you beat 16 seconds?"

Ronda: Funny thing about that, after I beat McMann in 1:06. I made a bet with my coach for a couple thousand dollars, saying that no (woman) will be able to beat that. I ended up beating it myself, and I didn't know that I counted, so I actually owe my coach like 5 grand right now.

You know what, I'll make that bet again. No one will beat that 16 seconds, including myself. If I do, or someone else does, then I owe my coach another 5 grand.

4. "I want to see GSP vs. Jon Jones"

Dana: When there is a super fight to be made, I hope to make it... GSP vs. Jones? That's a stretch there, my friend. That's not a 'super fight', that's a 'stupid fight'. What did Georges St. Pierre do to you that you want him to get him killed? He weighs 170 lbs, the other guy walks around at like 230.

Local: He's French.

Dana: No match maker job for you, my friend... Wait, did you just say he's French?? (laughs)

3. "Charmander, Squirtle, or Bulbasaur?"

Ronda: Charmander, every single time. I always start with Charmander. That was my first Pokemon ever!

Fan: Me too.

Dana: (Raised hand) Me too!

2. "Will you marry me?"

Ronda: You know what, that (Bruce Lee) shirt is so awesome, so that helps your case... but you have to put in more work than just a cool shirt.

1. "Do I have to ask a serious question? Who wins in a fight, Superman or Goku?"

Ronda: Goku would definitely win, because Superman is already capped out. You know what I mean? His powers are where it's at and he's not going to get any more. Goku can destroy an entire planet, and I don't think Superman can do that, so definitely Goku.

Dana: Wow! She made that sound like a real serious question!

Watch highlights from the hilarious Q&A below, courtesy of

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Scott Coker on signing Mayhem Miller to Bellator: 'Everyone deserves a second chance'

First thing's first, "Mayhem" has to be "okay" mentally before the Bellator president even thinks about adding him to his growing roster.

Scott Coker knows all too well what kind of drama comes with bringing a guy like Jason Miller into the mix.

In 2010, Miller was caught in the middle of a Stockton-style beatdown after he stepped into the Strikeforce cage to ask Jake Shields for a rematch during his post-fight victory speech. What ensued was an embarrassing and forgettable attack on Miller which also saw Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz, and Gilbert Melendez, among others, punch and kick Jason for what they deemed as disrespect

Watch it here.

What's worse, it all unfolded on national television, as the Strikeforce: "Nashville" event was being broadcast on CBS. But that incident can be chalked up to the "Scrap Pack" crew, not Miller, depending on perspective.

Still, it's an unfortunate black eye on the sport that's firmly etched in the mind of Coker, who at the time was the CEO of Strikeforce. And before he even considers adding "Mayhem" to his new company, Bellator MMA, Miller has to prove he's "okay."

Coker broke it down on a recent appearance on The MMA Hour (via Bloody Elbow):

"That takes me right back to the CBS events. Boy, I'm starting to shake over here. You know, I'll tell you, it's worth a conversation, because everybody deserves to have a second chance. He's a great fighter, believe me. I just hope he's okay. And if he's okay, then we can take a more serious step. But the first step would be, you know, is he okay? That's really what it comes down to."

The Strikeforce brawl wasn't the only time the former "Bully Beatdown" host has been caught in the center of controversy.

In 2012, he destroyed The MMA Hour set during an interview to promote "Here Comes The Boom," a movie in which he had a small role. In 2011, Jason was arrested for allegedly assaulting his sister during a family gathering.

And how can we forget the infamous naked vandalism incident that occurred two years ago, as Miller broke into a church and began to vandalize it, all while in his birthday suit?

And aside from showing he isn't very fond of authoritative figures, Jason didn't earn himself any African-American fans after he was on the receiving end of one of Uriah Hall's punches in a casino for insulting "Prime Time" with a racial slur.

So it's easy to see why Coker has to think twice, maybe three times, before adding the controversial fighter to his growing roster.

Because as the new regime down at Bellator have proven, they aren't going to tolerate any tomfoolery.

Not even a little bit.

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War Machine Won’t Fight Extradition; Attorney Claims He is a Good Guy Painted as a Monster

War Machine, aka Jon Koppenhaver, won't fight his extradition back to Las Vegas. In a California court on Tuesday, his attorney said he is a good guy that has been painted as a monster.

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Video: Michael Bisping scrum from UFC Fight Night 48 media day in Macau

Ni Hao! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight marauder Michael Bisping is on the ground in Macau, China, to help promote his UFC Fight Night 48 main event against local hero Cung Le, which takes place this Saturday morning (Aug. 23, 2014) on Fight Pass. Hear "The Count" practice his Chinese, slice and dice Le, rant about Twitter, and much more. For a "Bisping vs. Le" staredown pic click here.

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TUF: Brazil winner Warlley Alves returns to welterweight, eyes late 2014 UFC return

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Warlley Alves impressed on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3, and he’s coming down to his original weight class.

The X-Gym talent, who went 4-0 on the reality show before submitting Marcio Alexandre on the middleweight final, will return to 170 pounds for his next UFC bout, and he’s hoping to be back in action later this year.

"We’re negotiating. I signed with MMA Inc. and we’re working on that now," Alves told "I want to fight until the end of the year. I will be ready to fight from November. I’m getting 100 percent, lowering my weight, so I can fight again by the end of the year."

Alves (7-0) fought seven bouts in 10 months between 2013 and 2014, so he felt he needed some time off.

"I’m coming off seven straight fights," he said. "I fought two times at Jungle Fight, which I consider the toughest promotion in Brazil, and then I entered the (Ultimate Fighter) house. I had a tough fight with Wendell Oliveira and fought four more fights on the show and the final. My body was tired, so I decided to take some time off to relax and take care of the injuries."

"I won’t stop anymore until I get to my goal," he continued. "Just like everyone in the UFC, I want to be the champion. I’ll have time to relax again in five or six years, I just want to train now [laughs]."

The Brazilian prospect, who turns 24 years old in January, doesn’t want to rush anything in his MMA career. A former training partner of Anderson Silva, who currently spars with the likes of Ronaldo Souza, Paulo Thiago, Alan Patrick and Rafael Cavalcante, Alves moves step by step.

"I set a goal. I want to be at the top 5 in some time, fight with the best, but I’m young and I have a long road ahead," he said. "I want to take one step at a time, win every fight."

The UFC has yet to schedule his first welterweight bout inside the Octagon, so he focuses on helping his training partners for their upcoming fights.

"We’re helping Paulo Thiago and ‘Jacare’ on the final stage of their training camps. ‘Jacare’ will fight (Gegard) Mousasi now, and he will be the champion," he said. "He will fight the winner of (Chris) Weidman vs. (Vitor) Belfort and become the champion. I’m a big fan of this guy. I’ll do everything I can to help him. ‘Jacare’ will win now, and he will bring the UFC title for X-Gym and for Brazil."

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Jerrod Sanders drops two divisions, meets Pedro Munhoz at UFC Fight Night 54


Jerrod Sanders is dropping two weight classes for his next UFC bout.

UFC officials today announced that Sanders (14-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will move from lightweight to bantamweight to fight Pedro Munhoz (11-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 54.

UFC Fight Night 54 takes place Oct. 4 at Halifax Metro Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The main card is expected to air on FOX Sports 1 following prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though an official bout order and broadcast plans haven’t been announced.

Sanders recently made his UFC debut and suffered a TKO loss to Yosdenis Cedeno at UFC Fight Night 45. The 33-year-old was unable to continue due to a knee injury, which halted the fight before the second round. The defeat snapped a 12-fight winning streak that Sanders built in organizations such as Bellator MMA, WSOF and KOTC.

Munhoz, meanwhile, recently rebounded from a UFC-debut loss to top contender Raphael Assuncao with a first-round TKO of Matt Hobar at the TUF Brazil 3 Finale. The 27-year-old Brazilian, who was an RFA champion before signing with the UFC, now has eight stoppages in 11 career victories.

The latest UFC Fight Night 54 lineup now includes:

  • Rory MacDonald vs. Tarec Saffiedine

  • Raphael Assuncao vs. Bryan Caraway

  • Kailin Curran vs. Paige VanZant

  • Jingliang Li vs. Nordine Taleb

  • Bruno Santos vs. Elias Theodorou

  • Yosdenis Cedeno vs. Chad Laprise

  • Mitch Gagnon vs. Aljamain Sterling

  • Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Jake Lindsey

  • Paul Felder vs. Jason Saggo

  • Matt Dwyer vs. Albert Tumenov

  • Pedro Munhoz vs. Jerrod Sanders

For more on UFC Fight Night 54, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

(Pictured: Jerrod Sanders)

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Download or stream MMAjunkie Radio #1786 with Gunnar Nelson, Ilir Latifi, Niklas Backstrom

Listen to or download today’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Gunnar Nelson, Ilir Latifi and Niklas Backstrom.

All three guests fight Oct. 3 at UFC Fight Night 53 in Stockholm.

You can listen below, or directly download (right click) the episode.

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UFC Fight Night Bangor Fight Motion: Ryan Bader and Ovince St. Preux in Super Slo-Mo

The UFC's Fight Motion Cam captured the five-round battle between Ryan Bader and Ovince St. Preux, as well as all of the other action from Saturday's UFC Fight Night 47: Bader vs. St. Preux.

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Vivisection: UFC Fight Night - Bisping vs. Le predictions, analysis and betting odds

A three-man confab on the UFC's bright and early offering for Saturday morning in the Bisping vs. Le Fight Night card.

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Cung Le on Potentially Fighting Anderson Silva: “Of Course I Would Love to Fight the Legend”

Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le faces Michael Bisping in the UFC Fight Night 48 main event on Aug. 23, but is eyeing a fight with Anderson Silva next.

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Cung Le Would Love to Fight Anderson Silva: “He’s a Legend”

Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le faces Michael Bisping in the UFC Fight Night 48 main event on Aug. 23, but is eyeing a fight with Anderson Silva next.

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Dana White: Pettis-Aldo is a 'super fight,' but GSP-Jones is 'a stupid fight'

Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

HONG KONG – UFC President Dana White will listen to your ideas for potential “super fights,” but be prepared for a blunt evaluation of your matchmaking skills.

One UFC fan learned that lesson today in Hong Kong, which played host to a fan Q&A ahead of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 48 event in nearby Macau.

When asked about potential super fights – a topic that MMA enthusiasts often debate despite any real bookings of note – White gave an example of what he believes qualifies as one. He pointed to lightweight champion Anthony Pettis and featherweight titleholder Jose Aldo, who ranked No. 1 in their respective divisions in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA Power Rankings.

“You know, we’ve talked about super fights in the past, and they for one reason or another didn’t happen,” White said. “And when we talk super fights, let’s talk about what ‘super fight’ means. If you have Georges St-Pierre vs. Anderson Silva – if you have Anderson Silva vs. the Jon Jones (types), the guys who have held the titles and almost cleaned out an entire division.

“Any super fights that we’re looking at right now in my opinion would be like an Anthony Pettis vs. Jose Aldo. Even though Pettis has been injured for a while and hasn’t defended the title, he beat Ben Henderson, who is a guy who had annihilated that whole division. He beat him, and he beat him easily, and Jose Aldo and Pettis have been talking about moving back and forth to take each other’s belts. So really, that’s the only one I can think of that would be a super fight.”

A fan then suggested the possibility of a bout between ex-welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre, who’s likely out until 2015 after vacating his belt and subsequently suffering a knee injury, and reigning light-heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones.

“‘GSP’ and Jon Jones? That’s a stretch there, my friend,” he said. “There’s a bit of a weight difference between those guys. That’s not a super fight. That’s a stupid fight. OK? What did Georges St-Pierre do to you that you want to get him killed? He weighs 170 pounds. The other guy walks around at like 230.”

Check out the full exchange above.

And for more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Bisping: Saturday's main event in Macau will feature the 'demise of Cung Le’

UFC middleweight competitor Michael Bisping spoke with members of the media at the UFC Fight Night: Macau Media Day event, where he discussed a variety of topics including whether he enjoys competing on international fight cards.

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The Great MMA Debate Podcast: UFC Macao’s Cung Le on Michael Bisping and Anderson Silva

Check out the latest edition of the Great MMA Debate to hear Cung Le talk about Anderson Silva, his acting career, Ronda Rousey's transition into movies, and his upcoming fight with Michael Bisping.

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UFC Fight Night 47 'Fight Motion' video: Jussier Formiga's slick back work

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Check out the “Fight Motion” super-slow-motion highlights, including Jussier Formiga’s slick work from the back, from this past weekend’s UFC Fight Night 47 event.

The UFC and FOX Sports highlights captured all the primary fights at the event, which took place Aug. 16 at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine.

While the likes of Ross Pearson, Tim Boetsch, Shawn Jordan and Alan Jouban earned stoppage wins in the UFC’s Maine debut, Formiga pulled off one of the night’s biggest upsets by grinding past fellow flyweight contender Zach Makovsky.

Check out all the highlights above.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 47, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Full Fight Flashback Video: Rafael dos Anjos vs. Terry Etim from UFC 112

Coming off back-to-back wins, Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Rafael dos Anjos looked to add another victory to the win column by using his ground game against Terry Etim at UFC 112.

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The Cut List: UFC Fight Night Tulsa - Henderson vs. Dos Anjos

Breaking down who's earned themselves some breathing room and whose backs are against the wall at this Saturday's UFC Fight Night.

A card like this, staffed with so many UFC neophytes, means that most of these guys are probably due second or even third chances. As such, I am not really convinced that anyone fighting on Saturday falls under "Likely Cut."

If I had to pick one guy who's close, though...

Possibly Cut With a Loss

Francis Carmont (22-9, 6-2 UFC) - Carmont entered the UFC with a middling record, but proceeded to surprise everyone with six straight wins. Much of the surprise, unfortunately, has been on account of some questionable judging, which has often favored, to a nigh-inexplicable degree, Carmont's grinding, top-control game. 2014 hasn't had quite the same charm for Carmont. However, given his 0-2 mark for the year, his dubious place in the rankings, his less-than-thrilling style and the ensuing fan apathy, I'd argue that his spot in the UFC is just as much at risk, if not more so, than anyone else fighting this Saturday.

Tony Martin (8-1, 0-1 UFC), Matt Hobar (8-2, 0-1 UFC), Aaron Phillips (5-1, 0-1 UFC), Chas Skelly (11-1, 0-1 UFC - These guys have all yet to win a fight, with Hobar probably being the weakest link, as he was the only one to be finished. The fact that Phillips and Hobar have been matched up probably isn't a good sign for them, either. But who knows; despite their rocky starts, maybe one or two of these guys could go on to have lengthy UFC careers, ala Rafael dos Anjos.

Beneil Dariush (7-1, 1-1 UFC), Tom Niinimaki (21-6-1, 1-1 UFC) - These guys are in very similar positions, having beaten name opponents in their debuts, only to be finished in their next outings. Those successful debuts could carry them, but if they were finished again (against their otherwise winless opponents), their UFC careers might come under some serious scrutiny.

Wilson Reis (17-5, 1-1 UFC) - Getting blown out of the water by a debuting, late-replacement opponent in Joby Sanchez would put Reis's career at risk, but. aside from that worst-case scenario I imagine the UFC would probably want to hold on to him.

Likely Safe Regardless of Outcome

James Vick (5-0, 1-0 UFC), Valmir Lazaro (12-2-0), Chris Heatherly (8-1-1NC), Joby Sanchez (6-0), Alex Garcia (12-1, 2-0 UFC), Clay Collard (13-4-1NC) Ben Saunders (16-6-2, 4-3 UFC) - Anyone making their debut or early in a winning UFC career is safe. And hats off to Joby Sanchez, whose TKO of Antonio Banuelos, which preceded his entrance to the UFC, was covered in 'Beyond the Octagon' earlier this month. As for Saunders, the inimitable 'Killa B' is at the fresh start of a second UFC campaign.

Neil Magny (11-3, 4-2 UFC), Max Holloway (9-3, 5-3 UFC), Thales Leites (23-4, 8-3 UFC) - The non-headliners who have strong promotional records, including Magny's unexpected, three-fight win streak.

Jordan Mein (28-9-0, 2-1 UFC), Mike Pyle (26-9-1, 9-4 UFC), Rafael Dos Anjos (21-7, 10-5 UFC Benson Henderson (21-3-0, 9-1 UFC) - The headliners have all had lengthy and successful UFC careers, with the exception of Mein, who would nevertheless be safe given his crowd-pleasing brand of kicking ass. Pyle and Dos Anjos deserve special recognition for enduring rocky starts to their UFC campaigns (Dos Anjos started at 0-2, which included a highlight-reel KO at the hands of Jeremy Stephens, while Pyle was alternately submitted and TKO'd) only to later turn out strong winning streaks.

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Andrei Arlovski hospitalized by Alistair Overeem after 'dirty tricks' in training camp

"The Pitbull" was able to get medically cleared, but this can't be good for Overeem's reputation, which is currently on life support.

The hits keep on coming for Alistair Overeem.

Not long after former Blackzilian teammate Anthony Johnson accused "The Reem" of purposely hurting Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones during training, Andrei Arlovski has come out and pretty much confirmed "Rumble's" claims.

Speaking to SportsRu (via Bloody Elbow), Arlovski says that he too was a victim of Overeem's aggressive training habits, revealing that he was forced to take a trip to the hospital recently after Alistair nailed him with a hard knee to the midsection that nearly broke some ribs.

His words:

"I do not like to wash dirty linen in public, but in these words there is a weighty truth. A few days ago I was sparring with Alistair Overeem and experienced firsthand how it can end. As usual sparring goes: men represent strikes, touch each other, but do not tend to cause real damage to the partner. During one of the highlights of our sparring, Overeem hit me with the hardest knee kick in the stomach. In a real fight would turn out for me by knockout. After that, I immediately went to the hospital to make sure that my ribs were not broken. Thank God, everything turned out okay, although at first we were afraid that my fight with 'Bigfoot' would be cancelled. It was so unexpected and so unpleasant that at first I even wanted to take revenge on him, at least hit him with his elbow. But my boxing coach, Andrei Ivchuk, turned around and reassured me. 'Do not be like the people who allow themselves to such dirty tricks. No need to stoop to their level.' Now I know that Overeem injured Jon Jones simply because he injures everyone with whom trains."

This latest revelation isn't going to help the hulking heavyweight shed the stigma of not being a good training partner.

After leaving Blackzilians, Overeem was accused of being an "arrogant" person that purposely hurt sparring partners. Looking for a fresh start at Jackson-Winkeljohn Mixed Martial Arts, Overeem has found himself, once again, smack dab in the middle of more controversy among his new teammates.

Greg Jackson, head trainer for the Albuquerque, New Mexico-based camp said that he injury to Jones was a legit accident. But now that past and present teammates are divulging similar details about Alistair's bad training habits, expect more than a few eyebrows to be raised.

Maybe Jones, who was forced out of his title fight against Daniel Cormier at UFC 178 this September because of the unfortunate incident, can came forward and give his side of the story to either put the accusations to rest once and for all, or confirm Arlovski and Johnson's claims.

Where you at, Travis Browne?

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Eddie Alvarez wants title shot after beating Cerrone: ‘I'm not here just to be a measuring stick'

Within a span of a few whirlwind hours on Tuesday, Eddie Alvarez went from Bellator lightweight champion, to unconditional free agent, to co-headlining what -- injuries aside -- may still be the most anticipated UFC pay-per-view of the upcoming MMA schedule. Alvarez is now scheduled to fight Donald Cerrone at UFC 178, and after everything he's been through of late, he couldn't be happier with the quickness with which a deal came together.

"I think it was a matter of people just knowing what they want," Alvarez told "I think the UFC knows what they want, and I think I know what I want. And I think it's easy to come to an agreement when both people are in the same boat. They understand their wants and their needs, and I understand my wants and my needs, and we came to a quick agreement."

Tuesday's sudden flurry of movement brought an end to the largely tumultuous two-year standoff between Alvarez and Bellator officials, as new Bellator president Scott Coker elected to grant Alvarez's wishes rather than repeat the same litigious errors of his predecessor, Bjorn Rebney.

Alvarez was first offered a UFC deal in late 2012. In terms of UFC contracts, it was a particularly lucrative one, presenting Alvarez an immediate title shot, a starting salary comprised of a $70,000/$70,000 show/win split, a tiered $250,000 signing bonus, pay-per-view points, and guaranteed appearances on various UFC-branded media.

Alvarez's stock, which was already high at the time of the offer, has actually risen since, as he avenged his loss against Michael Chandler to reclaim the Bellator lightweight strap. And while the UFC was only bidding against itself this time around, rather than trying to piece together a deal that would make Bellator reluctant to match, Alvarez says he was pleased with the end result.

"Numbers-wise, it's a bit different," he explained. "I'm not going to go into detail, but I'm sure you guys will find out soon enough. Someone will find out. But I'm very happy with the structure of the deal. It's more than enough to give me a kick in the butt to wake up in the morning and go to bed late at night and work hard and turn my key."

Alvarez may not be getting an immediate title shot for his UFC debut, but in Cerrone, he's getting the next best thing. Within the past year, "Cowboy" has ridden a four-fight hot streak all the way into the top-five of the lightweight rankings, and Alvarez made it clear that he hopes to receive a title shot after he dispatches Cerrone in the electrifying fashion fans have come to expect.

"Cowboy has been putting on great fights for a long time," he said. "It's no mystery, the guy is an exciting fighter. He does really well, and I do the same. Look, the only fights I want to be involved with at this time in my career, at this time in my life, are big fights. Dangerous guys, big events, where fans are biting their fingernails and they're asking themselves, ‘oh my god, we have no clue what's going to go on.' Those are the sort of fights that I want to be involved in.

"I don't want to wait around. I'm here for the title. I want to make that clear right from the beginning. Don't get me wrong, the UFC is the premier company, the best company in the world. But I'm not here just to be a measuring stick. I'm here for the world title. That's why I signed and that's what I'm here for. It's nothing personal, but I'm going to get after these guys hard, man. I'm going to be a dangerous guy to fight."

For a time, when courtrooms and settlement discussions dominated his day-to-day, Alvarez wasn't sure he would ever get the chance to make things right. Now, at age 30, he finally has the opportunity he's been waiting for, and he intends to make the most of it.

"A year from now, I would love to put me at three fights, 3-0 in the UFC and the UFC lightweight champion. That's my goal," Alvarez said.

"For years, all these guys have been in front of me. It's tough because I could be undefeated (and it wouldn't matter). ... Every lightweight I've ever fought, I've won against, and still it never put me in a number-one position. It's kind of daunting, seeing people in front of me who I feel, I could beat those guys but I can't get my hands on them. It's not possible for me to get my hands on them.

"Now I'm in a situation where I can get my hands on whoever I want, and I have an opportunity to get my hands on the number-one guys in the world. And I'm going to take full advantage of that opportunity. I'm going to show people what I'm capable of. If anybody has any questions or doubts, or doesn't believe in my ability or what I'm capable of, the answers to those questions are going to be found out very soon."

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Brendan O’Reilly Eyeing Performance of the Night in UFC Debut in Macao

Brendan O'Reilly may not have gotten the call for the TUF Nations Finale after appearing on the show, but he's ready to impress in his promotional debut at UFC Macao on Saturday.

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