Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Injury Forces Change To World Series Of Fighting 12 Fight Card

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World Series of Fighting issued the following today: With Krasimir Mladenov injured, Cully Butterfield vs. Ronny Markes, Elvis Mutapcic vs. Kelvin Tiller booked for World Series of Fighting 12 Shuffled contests complete five-fight main card for Aug. 9 event at Las Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel & Casino LAS VEGAS (July 23) - With undefeated Bulgarian standout Krasimir Mladenov (10-0) forced to withdraw from next month's "World Series of Fighting 12: Palomino vs. Gonzalez" event, submission ace Kelvin Tiller (6-0) has agreed to drop down to 195 pounds and meet Elvis Mutapcic (13-3) in a catchweight affair. That switch left Brazilian veteran Ronny Markes (14-3) without an opponent for the night's co-main event, but promotional newcomer Cully Butterfield (13-3) has agreed to step in to fill the void. The two new matchups now complete the five-fight main card for "World Series of Fighting 12: Palomino vs. Gonzalez," which takes place Aug. 9 at Las Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The two-hour NBCSN broadcast kicks off at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT local time). Preliminary contests will be announced shortly and will stream live on NBCSN.com. Tickets for "World Series of Fighting 12: Palomino vs. Gonzalez" start at just $39 and are on sale now at AXS.com. The 26-year-old Ronny Markes is a member of Brazil's famed Nova Uniao fight team, home to some of the top fighters in the world. Markes returns to the 205-pound division, where he won 12 of his 13 bouts as a professional before embarking on a four-fight run at middleweight. He now meets Cully Butterfield, a Wisconsin native who fights out The Grind Fitness Factory. "The Mason" turned pro in 2009, and while he opened his career with a respectable 3-2 record, he's since gone 10-1 in his past 11 appearances. Additionally, 10 of his 13 career wins have come by way of stoppage. Kelvin Tiller is perfect through the first six fights of his career and now looks to prove himself on a national stage. Tiller has earned four of his six wins by submission, and three of those came in the opening round. He now faces Elvis Mutapcic, who was a member of World Series of Fighting's inaugural middleweight championship tournament but suffered a decision loss to tourney finalist Jesse Taylor. Still, Mutapcic is 5-1 in his past six career outings, and 11 of his 13 career wins have come by knockout or submission. Meanwhile, the durable fighter has never been finished, as all three of his losses came by way of decision. About "World Series of Fighting" (WSOF) "World Series of Fighting" (WSOF) is a world wide premier professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight promotion dedicated to delivering the best action-packed fights for fight fans by producing the best possible match-ups between elite fighters from around the world. For more information please visit WSOF.com. Follow "World Series of Fighting" on Twitter @MMAWorldSeries and "World Series of Fighting" President Ray Sefo @SugarRaySefo. About NBC Sports Network NBC Sports Network, part of the NBC Sports Group, is dedicated to serving passionate sports fans. Now in more than 80 million homes, the network is the cable television home of the Summer and Winter Olympics, National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Soccer (MLS), IZOD IndyCar Series, Tour de France and the 34th America's Cup, and beginning in 2013, the Premier League and Formula One. In addition, NBC Sports Network features college football, college basketball, college hockey, outdoor programming, horse racing surrounding the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup, Fight Night boxing, Ironman, the Dew Action Sports Tour and USA Sevens Rugby. The network is also home to original programs such as Costas Tonight, The Crossover, NFL Turning Point, Pro Football Talk and The Dan Patrick Show. NBC Sports Network is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States. About Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is Las Vegas' off-strip playground, just minutes and less than three miles from McCarran International Airport. The premier destination entertainment resort is owned by Brookfield Real Estate Finance Fund II and managed by WG-Harmon, LLC, a subsidiary of Warner Gaming, LLC. Built in 1995, the property completed a $750 million expansion in 2010. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino offers an energetic entertainment and gaming experience with the services and amenities associated with a boutique luxury resort hotel. The property is known for its innovative nightlife and music scene where acts such as The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, Incubus, Foo Fighters, Carlos Santana, Mötley Crüe and Guns N' Roses have all performed. Features of the property include an 11-story Casino Tower with 640 guest rooms, 17-story Paradise Tower with 490 rooms and suites and the all-suite HRH Tower with 359 suites, eight spa villas and seven penthouse suites; 72,000 square feet of casino space featuring Peacock High-Limit gaming and Asian gaming amenities; 80,000 square feet of flexible meeting and convention space; more than $4 million in rare music memorabilia; Body English Nightclub; Reliquary Water Sanctuary, Spa & Salon; 4.5 acres of tropical pool paradise housing world-famous pool parties REHAB Sunday and RELAX Monday; live music/entertainment venues The Joint and Vinyl; Hart & Huntington Tattoo Co.; restaurants Culinary Dropout, Nobu, The Ainsworth, 35 Steaks + Martinis, Pink Taco, Mr. Lucky's Café and 福Fú; a state-of-the-art fitness center and trendsetting retailers John Varvatos, Affliction, Love Jones, Rocks The Jewelers and Rock Paper Photo. For room availability and additional information call 800.HRD.ROCK (800.473.7625) or visit hardrockhotel.com. Follow Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news and updates. Talk about this on our official FACEBOOK page, or on our official TWITTER page. You can also talk about it in our popular FORUMS .

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from MMA News http://www.mmanews.com/injury-forces-change-world-series-fighting-12-fight-card/

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Khabib Nurmagomedov Undergoes Surgery, Says He’ll Be Back In Early 2015

khabib-nurmagomedov-hospital


Rising UFC star Khabib Nurmagomedov underwent successful surgery this week to repair his torn ACL and meniscus, an injury that forced the number four ranked UFC Lightweight contender to pull out of his scheduled bout with the number five ranked contender, Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone. Following surgery, Nurmagomedov posted the following message on his official Instagram account, which included a photo of himself in his hospital bed (pictured below): "Today I had surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus, make [do] for me back in early 2015" As of this writing, UFC has yet to announce a replacement for Cerrone. Talk about this on our official FACEBOOK page, or on our official TWITTER page. You can also talk about it in our popular FORUMS .

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from MMA News http://www.mmanews.com/khabib-nurmagomedov-undergoes-surgery-says-hell-back-early-2015/

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UFC Knockout Video: Josh Thomson Hands Nate Diaz First Knockout Loss of His Career

Josh Thomson made a statement in the Octagon against Nate Diaz with a head kick, followed by a flurry of punches and hammer fists to seal the knockout victory at UFC on FOX 7.

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from MMAWeekly.com http://www.mmaweekly.com/ufc-knockout-video-josh-thomson-vs-nate-diaz-from-ufc-on-fox-7

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Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort on agenda for 1 p.m. NSAC meeting following failed drug tests - Live updates


Live updates from the NSAC meeting which will feature Vitor Belfort's application for license and Chael Sonnen's disciplinary hearing.


We will have live updates right here at Bloody Elbow today as the Nevada State Athletic Commission meets. While there are a number of items on the official agenda, the most interesting to MMA fans will be the application for a license for Vitor Belfort and the hearing of disciplinary complaint for Chael Sonnen.


Belfort failed a drug test ahead of his planned bout with Chris Weidman that ultimately led to the abolishing of Testosterone Replacement Therapy exemptions in the state and set into motion a wild series of fight changes. Nevada can deny his license application and state that he is not able to file another application for a one year period. Other commissions do not have to go along with the NSAC decision, but it is standard practice for them to do so. That means that Belfort could be out of commission for a considerable amount of time longer.


Or, the UFC could just book him in Brazil.


Sonnen failed two pre-fight drug tests, including popping in one test for HGH and EPO. He has suggested that me might not attend the hearing, despite it being "mandatory" and has already announced his retirement. But, in the event that he ever wishes to return to action, the result of the hearing could have an impact on the when and how.


The meeting starts at 1 p.m. and will stream live on UFC Fight Pass. Belfort is number six on the action items list, Sonnen is last at number thirty-five. It's also possible that they could push Belfort to the end of the meeting.


We'll have live updates during the meeting, but will probably not bother with a lot of items you all won't care about.




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from Bloody Elbow - All Posts http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2014/7/23/5930135/chael-sonnen-and-vitor-belfort-on-agenda-for-1-p-m-nsac-meeting

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Dana White Loves Stefan Struve, but He’s Concerned About Giving Him Another Fight

UFC president Dana White is fond of Dutch heavyweight Stefan Struve, but is concerned about giving him another fight after a panic attack forced him out of hi sUFC 175 bout against Matt Mitrione.

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from MMAWeekly.com http://www.mmaweekly.com/dana-white-loves-stefan-struve-but-hes-concerned-about-giving-him-another-fight

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Video: Mike Tyson and Dana White guest star on first episode of The Jim Norton Show

Comedian and former Opie & Anthony funnyman Jim Norton has his own talk show, and stopping by on his first episode was Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White and former heavyweight boxing champion "Iron" Mike Tyson. Check out their candid conversation -- with lots of foul language -- as they discuss everything from keyboard warriors, Norton being an "asshole," the awfulness that is golf, and so much more. Enjoy!




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from MMAmania.com - All Posts http://www.mmamania.com/2014/7/23/5930061/video-mike-tyson-dana-white-guest-star-first-episode-jim-norton-show-mma

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Dillashaw On Barao Rematch: “I’m Gonna Win Ten Out Of Ten Times”

tj-dillashaw


UFC Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw recently spoke to Sexto Round MMA about winning the title in a shocking upset over the highly regarded Renan Barao in his last fight, a fight that he says he still gets nervous re-watching even though he knows the outcome. "I've watched the fight a couple times and every time I get nervous before I watch it, even though I know how it's going to go down," said Dillashaw. "And it's just amazing; I couldn't of wrote a better story myself. It was perfect." Dillashaw continued, "You know, I knew I had the game plan and the athleticism to beat Barao the way I did. Obviously I expected a really tough fight, a war. Everything went super smooth for me, so yeah, I guess I expected a little tougher fight." As far as the rematch is concerned, Dillashaw claims he would beat Barao "ten out of ten times." Dillashaw spoke about how he's going to approach this fight differently than the last. "Oh, I mean, no matter what I'm going to have to do something different. I want to become a better fighter every fight. That's not my best performance, I'm going to get even better from that fight. And, yeah, I'm gonna win ten out of ten times," said the UFC Bantamweight Champion. "That's just the fact that I'm going to continue to get better. I'm going to be better than I even was when he faces me again." You can watch the complete TJ Dillashaw interview in the above video. Dillashaw-Barao II is scheduled as the main event of UFC 177, which takes place at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California on Saturday, August 30, 2014. Talk about this on our official FACEBOOK page, or on our official TWITTER page. You can also talk about it in our popular FORUMS .

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from MMA News http://www.mmanews.com/dillashaw-barao-rematch-im-gonna-win-ten-ten-times/

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The Cut List: UFC on Fox 12


A look at the whose place in the UFC is secure and who might be making a last-ditch effort at this Saturday's UFC on Fox.


Likely Cut with a Loss


Steven Siler (23-12, 5-3 UFC) - Siler has steadily slid down the rankings since his KO of Mike Thomas Brown, landing him this Saturday across from Noad Lahat (currently 0-1 in the UFC). I like Siler quite a bit, but I don't know where he could go within the division if he can't get past someone with so slight a promotional record. He's an action fighter and comes pretty cheap, so I don't think it's a foregone conclusion, but Siler is definitely at risk.


Kyle Kingsbury (11-5-1NC, 4-4 UFC) - Heading into a UFC event on a three-fight skid is always a problem. And while losing to a surging Stephan Bonnar and two prospects in Glover Teixeira and Jimi Manuwa isn't all that shameful, Kingsbury is, like Siler, being matched up with a relative newcomer, which should tell us something.


Tim Means (20-6-1, 2-3 UFC) - Means has a fun style, and there was a bit of buzz surrounding him back when he debuted, but defeat for him on Saturday would make it four UFC losses in a row. More problematic still is how surprisingly ineffectual he looked against Neil Magny, against whom Means was, I believe, a favorite. That's a lot counting against him. As always, though, an exceptionally spirited performance, even in a losing effort, could save any of these guys.


Possibly Cut with a Loss


Mike De La Torre (12-4, 0-1 UFC) - De La Torre drew a hell of a debut opponent with Mark Bocek, from whom he managed to take one of three judges' verdicts. He's now stepping back a bit to fight someone with similar experience in UFC debutante Brian Ortega. If he looks decent, I can see the UFC holding on to him per their somewhat bloated schedule and thanks, in part, to De La Torre accepting such a rough first outing. I think it'd be some wishful thinking, though, to say that he could go out there, look terrible, and not be at risk of the axe.


Noad Lahat (7-1, 0-1 UFC), Hernani Perpetuo (17-4-1NC, 0-1 UFC) - They're in situations similar to De La Torre, but without the benefit of having taken such an ambitious first assignment.


Likely Safe Regardless of Outcome


Joanna Jedrzejczyk (6-0), Juliana de Lima Carneiro (6-1), Gilbert Burns (7-0) Andreas Stahl (9-0), Tiago Dos Santos e Silva (18-4-2, 1NC), Akbarh Arreola (22-7-1), Brian Ortega (8-0) - Provided they don't turn in catastrophic performances or show up with tattoos instigating a race war, all should get another shot.


Patrick Cummins (5-1, 1-1 UFC) - Stepping up on short notice against Cormier--and doing his damndest to sell that fight--definitely earned Cummins some Dana White Brownie Points (patent pending). That Cummins secured a stoppage victory his last time out certainly doesn't hurt, either.


Dennis Bermudez (13-3, 6-1 UFC), Daron Cruickshank (15-4, 5-2 UFC) - Two of the more pleasant surprises to come out of the increasingly mediocre TUF pool, Bermudez and Cruickshank are always fun to watch.


Clay Guida (31-14, 11-8 UFC) - Up-and-down throughout his UFC career, both in terms of results and fighting style, Guida has nevertheless made himself a mainstay of the organization. His career would have to take a real bad turn for the UFC to risk giving him up to another promotion.


Jorge Masvidal (26-8, 3-1 UFC) - A loss to Cruickshank would push Masvidal's down the rankings a ways, but not so far that it pushes him out of the UFC entirely.


Josh Thomson (20-6-1NC, 3-2 UFC), Bobby Green (22-5, 3-0 UFC) - Thomson is a lightweight who, despite his lengthy career, may yet have some potential to unleash on the division, and Green has managed a perfect mark in the UFC against very solid opposition. Both safe.


Robbie Lawler (23-10, 8-4 UFC), Matt Brown (19-11, 12-5 UFC), Anthony Johnson (17-4, 8-4 UFC), Rogerio Nogueira (21-5, 4-2 UFC) - A few years ago I was rolling my eyes that Matt Brown was still in the UFC, and I'd always felt that his renowned toughness was a bit of a tiresome put-on, but I was wrong. I can't imagine anyone could have predicted this surge in his career, aside from Brown himself, and for him to do that despite all of his purported limitations takes some kind of nasty grit and monstrous drive. Cheers to Matt Brown and his fighting heart.




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from Bloody Elbow - All Posts http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2014/7/23/5923435/the-cut-list-ufc-on-fox-12-siler-kingsbury-means

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Edson Barboza eyes Donald Cerrone rematch: ‘I can beat anyone’ in the UFC


Edson Barboza would be riding a five-fight win streak if it wasn’t for a "mistake" against Donald Cerrone.


Barboza wants another shot at fellow top 10 lightweight Cerrone inside the Octagon, and he feels he deserves one after stopping Evan Dunham in the first round at UFC Fight Night 45.


"My goal is to fight the best," Barboza told MMAFighting.com. "Every time I fight I feel more prepared. After my fight with Cerrone, I realized I’m at their same level. I can easily fight anyone (at the top 10). I want a well-ranked opponent, and I will be ready. If I do my game, I can beat anyone.


"I want to test myself against anyone ahead of me in the rankings, especially Cerrone. If they give me another fight with him, the result will be completely different."


Cerrone was set to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov, but the Russian prospect injured his knee right after signing the bout agreement, so Barboza offers himself to step in.


"He was scheduled to fight the Russian, but the fight is off. Who knows, maybe the UFC will give me another opportunity to fight him," he said. "I’m sure it would be a great fight."


Barboza fought "Cowboy" at UFC on FOX 11 in April, but tapped to a rear-naked choke in the first round.


"It happens. I made a mistake," the Brazilian said. "We’re fighting at the highest level. He had one chance and ended the fight. I know I would end the fight if I also had one opportunity. I was doing great, landed some good kicks and punches, but he caught me."


Barboza bounced back to the win column with an impressive finish over Dunham, and he wasn’t expecting to win like that.


"It’s really hard to put him away," he said. "He only suffered one knockout before and he fought tough opponents, but thanks God everything went perfect. It was great. I landed a kick and won the fight.


"I honestly expected a three-round fight. We trained together before for three weeks. I knew he was tough, that he never quits and walks forward even if he’s getting beat up. I expected a tough fight, but I knew I could knock him out if I had one chance."


The reason why Barboza expected a three-round war with Dunham is because he knew exactly what to expect from him.


"When I first travelled to New Jersey to train with Frankie, I met him at the airport and found out he was also going to train with Frankie," he said. "We lived at the same house for three weeks to help Frankie (train for UFC 150). I stayed there after, but he went back to his gym.


"The reason why I took this fight is because I knew how tough he was, so I knew it would be a great fight."




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from MMA Fighting - All Posts http://www.mmafighting.com/2014/7/23/5927833/edson-barboza-eyes-donald-cerrone-rematch-i-can-beat-anyone-in-the-ufc

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The Lost Chuck Liddell Interviews, Part 3 - Chuck's new office job

Just what exactly did Chuck Liddell do for Zuffa when he retired and took a desk job with them? Find out in this lost interview from 2011, as well as his thoughts on Overeem and who Chuck wanted to fight before retirement!




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from Bloody Elbow - All Posts http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2014/7/23/5898743/the-lost-chuck-liddell-interviews-part-3-chucks-new-office-job

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

UFC 178 “Jones vs. Gustafsson 2″ Set For MGM Grand In Las Vegas On Sept. 27

ufc-178-jones-vs-gustafsson-2


UFC issued the following on Tuesday: JONES vs. GUSTAFSSON TITLE REMATCH HEADS TO MGM GRAND GARDEN ARENA IN LAS VEGAS UFC® 178: JONES vs. GUSTAFSSON 2 SATURDAY, SEPT. 27 – LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY, AUG. 1 AT 10 A.M. PT Multi-City Press Tour Also Announced Las Vegas -- The UFC® announced today that the highly anticipated rematch between UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and No. 1 contender Alexander Gustafsson will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Saturday, Sept. 27. Jones defeated Gustafsson by unanimous decision in the 2013 Fight of the Year. Now, the two will meet again in what could be the biggest fight of 2014. GRAMMY Award-winning band Kings of Leon announced its 2014 Mechanical Bull Tour will move its Saturday, Sept. 27 performance from the MGM Grand Garden Arena to The Lot along the Las Vegas Strip when it headlines the Boulevard Brew Fest . Young The Giant, Kongos and others will join Kings of Leon for the event presented by MGM Resorts International and Oregon Brewers Festival. “The first fight between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson was the greatest light heavyweight fight in the history of the UFC,” UFC President Dana White said. “This next one is gonna be epic! I really appreciate MGM Resorts, Live Nation and Kings of Leon working together to help us bring this huge fight to Las Vegas.” With the announcement that the MGM Grand Garden Arena will serve as the official venue of UFC 178, UFC officials also announced a multi-city press tour beginning this week featuring Jones and Gustafsson. The full schedule, which includes stops in Stockholm, Sweden, New York City, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, is listed below:

  • Thursday, July 24 and Friday, July 25 – Gustafsson Media Days in Stockholm *Jones and Gustafsson to also participate on media conference call on Thursday at 1 p.m. PT. Dial-in information to follow

  • Monday, July 28 – Jones and Gustafsson Media Day in New York City -Moderated Q&A for fans and media with Jones and Gustafsson at Madison Square Garden Theater Lobby at 4 p.m. ET

  • Tuesday, July 29 – Jones and Gustafsson Media Day in Atlanta

  • Wednesday, July 30 –UFC 178 press conference in Las Vegas -MGM Grand Hotel’s Lobby at 11 a.m. PT (open to public)

  • Thursday, July 31 and Friday, Aug. 1 – Jones and Gustafsson media days in Los Angeles -Moderated Q&A for fans and media with Jones and Gustafsson on Friday at Club Nokia at LA Live at 4 p.m. PT


More information on the press tour can be obtained by emailing press@ufc.com. Tickets for UFC® 178: JONES vs. GUSTAFSSON 2 go on sale Friday, Aug. 1 at 10 a.m. PT and are priced at $1,000, $750, $500, $300, $200, and $100, not including applicable service charges. Tickets are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com UFC Fight Club® members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets Wednesday, July 30 at 10 a.m. PT via the website www.ufcfightclub.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers Thursday, July 31 starting at 10 a.m. PT. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through UFC.com. Get your VIP package today! The UFC VIP Experience packages your tickets with behind-the-scenes access to the official weigh-ins, backstage tours, meet and greet and autograph signings with top UFC stars, Q&A sessions, and photo opportunities, access to an in-arena VIP party room, a chance to hold the championship belt inside the Octagon® and more! UFC® 178: JONES vs. GUSTAFSSON 2 will be available live on Pay-Per-View at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on UFC.TV, iN DEMAND, DirecTV, DISH Network, Avail-TVN, and in Canada on BellTV, Shaw Communications, Sasktel, and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $44.99 US/$49.99 CAN for Standard Definition and $54.99 US/$59.99 CAN for High -Definition. About the Ultimate Fighting Championship® Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) is the premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization and largest pay-per-view event provider in the world. Headquartered in Las Vegas with offices in London, Toronto, Beijing, Singapore and Sao Paulo, UFC produces more than 40 live events annually that consistently sell out some of the most prestigious arenas around the globe. UFC programming is broadcast in over 145 countries to 800+ million TV households worldwide in 28 different languages. The UFC has a multi-year broadcast agreement with FOX in the U.S., which annually includes four live events broadcast on the FOX network, as well as The Ultimate Fighter® reality television show and thousands of hours of programming on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2. In 2014, UFC launched UFC FIGHT PASS™, a digital subscription service with exclusive live events, thousands of fights on-demand and original content. The UFC organization also licenses over 100 UFC GYM® locations, and owns UFC.TV® (offering live event broadcasts and video on-demand around the world), UFC FIT™ (an in-home fitness and nutrition program), UFC Magazine, and has a videogame franchise with EA SPORTS, UFC Fight Club®, UFC Fan Expo®, Octagon™ branded apparel, best-selling DVDs and Blu-rays and Topps Trading Cards. For more information, visit www.UFC.com and follow UFC at www.Facebook.com/UFC and on Twitter and Instagram: @UFC. Talk about this on our official FACEBOOK page, or on our official TWITTER page. You can also talk about it in our popular FORUMS .

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from MMA News http://www.mmanews.com/ufc-178-jones-vs-gustafsson-2-set-mgm-grand-las-vegas-sept-27/

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Destiny is in His Hands, as Jarred Mercado Steps Up to the Challenge at Friday’s RFA 16

Colorado standout Jarred Mercado, after cleaning up on the regional scene, believes destiny is in his hands at Friday's RFA 16 in Denver.

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from MMAWeekly.com http://www.mmaweekly.com/destiny-is-in-his-hands-as-jarred-mercado-steps-up-to-the-challenge-at-fridays-rfa-16

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Phil Baroni predicts return to form, early knockout of Karo Parisyan at Bellator 122

phil-baroni-3.jpgPhil Baroni‘s MMA career has been a wild ride, to say the least. This Friday, he’ll turn another chapter in his storied run as a professional fighter when he makes his debut for Bellator MMA.


“The New York Bad Ass” has experienced it all during a career that dates back to 2000. He has fought for essentially every major organization such as UFC, PRIDE, Strikeforce, EliteXC, DREAM and ONE FC. One platform he’s yet to showcase his talents on, though, is the Viacom-owned Bellator promotion.


Baroni has not competed since he suffered a nasty broken fibula in a first-round loss to Nobutatsu Suzuki this past May. The injury has kept him out of action for more than a year, his longest break since 2009.


An extended layoff for a veteran of Baroni’s stature may seem like a disservice to his career, but the 38-year-old is actually grateful because he was forced to sit down and reassess his goals.


The most prominent goal on Baroni’s (15-17 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) list is simple: win his next fight. That comes against Karo Parisyan (23-10 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) on the main card of Bellator 122 this Friday from Temecula’s Pechanga Resort and Casino. The event airs on Spike TV following prelims on MMAjunkie.


Parisyan, like Baroni, is a well-traveled veteran who is looking to revive his career under the Bellator banner. He is eager to produce winning results, and that’s exactly why Baroni believes this is the perfect fight at this point in his career.


“I’m a prototypical MMA fighter where Karo is totally unorthodox,” Baroni told MMAjunkie Radio. “I think I can hold my own with him, I don’t plan on getting thrown on my head. … I’m going to bring it, definitely.


“I respect Karo, he’s a tough dude. When he brings his A-game, he’s a tough out and he’s an exciting fighter.”


With just two victories in his past nine fights and a sub-.500 record for the first time in his career, it would be easy to look at Baroni and write him off as a mere journeyman with little left to offer.


He doesn’t look at it that way, though, and believes he is still capable of winning fights and giving the world’s best competitors all they can handle.


Whether that’s realistic or not still remains to be seen, but Baroni claims he has used the past year to train harder than ever and flourish his talents. Because of that, he’s highly confident going into what is his most high-profile bout since he was released from the UFC in early 2011.


“I plan on winning,” Baroni said. “I’m coming to win, I plan on winning. I’m going to try and knock him out, I’m looking to hit him hard and separate him from consciousness. He’s going to look to throw me on my head and maybe armbar or kimura me. We’re as opposite as you can get. The one thing we have in common is we’re both tough guys. We both come to fight.”


Baroni has always carried himself highly outside of the cage, even if he’s struggled hard to get the job done inside of it. His string of defeats is certainly unflattering, but the American has kept a positive attitude through his downfalls and says a standout performance on Friday will quickly change the perception of his place in MMA.


“I’m going to knock him out,” Baroni boldly predicted. “I’m going to go out there, I’m not going to let him take me down, I’m going to be first and hit him hard. I’m bigger, I’m stronger and I’m faster. I hit harder and I’m going to make him pay for getting in there with me. I’m going to knock him out and stop him early.


“The truth comes out in the ring. You can’t hide. I can say whatever I want right now. This is the best I’ve ever felt in my life, greatest shape of my life – we’ll find out on the 25th.”


For more on Bellator 122, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.




Filed under: Bellator, News

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USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings, July 22: McGregor, 'Gunni' make debuts

Conor McGregor famously claimed his goal is not to take part in the UFC but rather to take over. His road map is now a little more clear.


After a thrilling first-round finish of Diego Brandao in Ireland, the featherweight made his debut in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA rankings. McGregor’s SBG Ireland teammate, Gunnar Nelson, also makes his first appearance in the welterweight list.


Check out the rankings above and see where everyone stacks up in those two division, as well as the new look of the lightweight and flyweight classes following a very busy week in the sport.




Filed under: Bellator, MMA Rankings, UFC, WSOF

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WSOF 12 adds bantamweights Bryson Hansen vs. Matt Sayles

bryson-hansen-wsof-9


A bantamweight matchup has been added to next month’s WSOF 12 event, as Bryson Hansen (7-1) meets Matt Sayles (2-0).


WSOF officials recently announced the addition of the new contest, which will kick off the five-fight NBCSN-broadcast main card at WSOF 12, which takes place Aug. 9 at Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.


“Bryson Hansen looked fantastic in his World Series of Fighting debut, so we’re excited to have him back in the decagon so quickly and see if he can turn in another performance like that,” World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo stated. “On the other side of the cage is Matt Sayles, who has been absolutely destroying his competition early on in his career and already looks prepared for a step up in quality. This fight should kick off our broadcast with real fireworks.”


Hansen made his WSOF debut in March and needed just 46 second to score a TKO win over Sean Cantor. It was the Xtreme Couture fighter’s fifth knockout win among his seven career victories. He now faces Sayles, and Alliance MMA product who has made quick work of both of his professional opponents to date, with his first two career wins coming in 75 seconds or less in each outing.


Preliminary matchups are expected to be announced soon. For now, the WSOF 12 lineup includes:


MAIN CARD



  • Lewis Gonzalez vs. Luis Palomino

  • Ronny Markes vs. opponent TBA

  • Elvis Mutapcic vs. Kelvin Tiller

  • Brandon Hempleman vs. Alexis Vila

  • Bryson Hansen vs. Matt Sayles


For more on WSOF 12, stay stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.


(Pictured: Bryson Hansen)




Filed under: News, WSOF

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MGM Grand Garden Arena lands UFC 178: Jones vs. Gustafsson 2


The most anticipated fight card of the fall finally has a venue. UFC 178 is slated to take place on September 27, 2014 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV, promotion officials announced on Tuesday.


In order to complete the booking, Kings of Leon, the popular American rock band who is scheduled to headline the upcoming Boulevard Brew Fest, agreed to shift their September 27 performance from the MGM Grand Garden Arena to The Lot, which is located along the Las Vegas Strip.


UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will look to defend his title for a record eighth consecutive time when he rematches against top-ranked Swedish contender Alexander Gustafsson in UFC 178's main event.


"The first fight between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson was the greatest light heavyweight fight in the history of the UFC," UFC President Dana White said in a statement. "This next one is gonna be epic! I really appreciate MGM Resorts, Live Nation and Kings of Leon working together to help us bring this huge fight to Las Vegas."


Jones, the UFC's No. 1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter, claimed a hard-fought unanimous decision against Gustafsson in September 2013 at UFC 165, and now he'll attempt to do it again at what may already be the most stacked card of the year. Tickets for the event go on sale August 1, 2014.


An updated UFC 178 fight card can be seen below.



  • Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson

  • Dominick Cruz vs. Takeya Mizugaki

  • Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier

  • Tim Kennedy vs. Yoel Romero

  • Cat Zingano vs. Amanda Nunes

  • John Howard vs. Brian Ebersole

  • Patrick Cote vs. Stephen Thompson




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MGM Grand Garden Arena To Host UFC 178: Jones vs. Gustafsson 2

The UFC announced today that the rematch between UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and No. 1 contender Alexander Gustafsson will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

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Dominick Cruz says there's 'no question' he's as good now as he ever was


We all know the story by now. The once-UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has had arguably the worst luck of any fighter on the roster, at least in terms of physical health.


Not one, but two knee complications. Then a groin injury. All told, he'll have been away from competition for three years by the time he returns against Takeya Mizugaki at on September 27th at UFC 178.


Naturally, everyone wants to know: is Cruz finally ready to return? Is this it? Will he make it to the finish line ready to go? According to 'The Dominator', it's full steam ahead.


"It was about two, three months ago maybe, tops? I was completely cleared," Cruz said of his doctor's approval to begin full training on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. "They were just saying that everything's strong with the quad [muscle] and that I could start picking up the training. Once they cleared me to start picking up the training, then I started easing my body into it. That way I wouldn't go too hard or re-injure something else. It's been a process, but now my body's at full strength. I'm doing everything I need to and I'm very confident in myself and the durability of my body."


Cruz said he was happy to get the medical clearance, but that, in and of itself, wasn't necessary a cause for celebration. It was another fighting formality that really forced him to stop and think about this long, arduous journey he's been on to get healthy.


"I trained," Cruz said, describing what he did when his doctor gave him the green light to train like a fighter. "Honestly, there wasn't any celebration. There wasn't any of kind of, 'Oh my gosh' moment. I train because I love to train. I'm very passionate about what I do and I enjoy working out. So, to be able to work out progressively at a higher and higher pace, harder and harder, it just relieves me. It makes me feel better as a human being. It makes me feel more alive. It was just to be back to me again. I didn't really care about anything other than being allowed to go in there and fight people in the gym. Once I together a month of solid training, two months of solid training, I was like, 'Man. I'm back. I'm feeling great. I'm feeling sharp. I'm feeling fast.'


"Once I signed that bout agreement, that was probably the only weird moment for me," he noted. "That was the realization of, 'Wow, here I am again, getting ready to do this.' Writing on that piece of paper, that's when it clicked in my brain that finally I'm here. I got through all that crap. I got through all the rehab. I got through the quad injury after going through two knee injuries. It was really surreal kind of, in a weird way."



The two knee surgeries were bad enough and sidelined the Alliance MMA bantamweight for nearly two years, but when they healed, something else went wrong: a torn groin. Cruz was slated to defend his title against then-interim champion Renan Barao, but instead not only went back to rehab to heal his injury, he relinquished his UFC title.


"That was killer, man. That was really testing me at that point," Cruz said of the moment in his life. "My will was really being tested at that point. I'm a firm believer in God and that's my higher power in my belief system. I'm just sitting there going like, 'What do you want from me, man? What do you want me to do here? What am I supposed to do with this?'


"This is my job, this is how I make a living, this is what I believe God has put me on this earth to do and I can't do my job. I can't do what I feel he's given me the stage to do. It took a lot of mind control and it's been a lot of learning to just really understand what this is all about. I've gotten a lot stronger through the process, to say the least. It's been a huge learning experience and I matured a lot through it."


And despite all the challenges, did retiring or quitting the sport ever cross his mind?


"Absolutely not. I'm too young and I just have too much passion and my body's too capable of doing it. So, it's never even been a remote thought. It's just been, 'How much longer until I can punch somebody in the gym?' That's how it's been. Now I'm there," he said.


Given the physical proximity of the injuries, some have wondered whether the injuries were related. As it turns, out, they were, at least a little bit. More importantly, the healing process Cruz had to endure made him address all of the problems at once, a journey he says has been as much a learning lesson as a rehabilitation.


"It was kind of related to the knee injuries and the reason is my knee caused my lower half...I had to really make my lower half a lot stronger. And then I didn't want to work out the upper half of my body too much because then I'd look like Joe from Family Guy," Cruz joked.


"It's been really difficult with the double surgery to keep my body in line," he continued. "It's been a real challenge because literally, therapists don't know what's going on. You have to figure out your own body and you have to find these people that know what to do. MMA is relatively new and therapists and doctors don't know how to prepare a high-level athlete in mixed martial arts to go back into a fight. I had to really learn this myself after being out for so long. I've had to rebuild every single muscle to get it to all work together.


"What was happening is, when I hurt my knee the second time I had to be out even longer on my butt. So now my muscles were out of whack. They weren't working together. Each muscle was working separately on its own instead of unison like it needs to. So, my body was literally fighting against each other to protect the muscles that were weaker than the strong ones."


If he's healthy and ready to return, that's all good and well, but it doesn't mean he can simply forget about the past three years. Most notably, he's no longer the champion even though he never technically lost his title in a fight. That's something he acknowledges still doesn't sit right with him.


"It's a weird thing because, like you said, I never really lost the belt, but there's people out there that are holding it and it's just weird. I don't really know what to think. I'm just going to fight," he said defiantly. He argues in his mind he's still the champion. If he lost a fight, it's to himself in the gym by beating "the crap out of" himself. "I'm here now," he notes quickly, :and I'm ready to get it back."


As aforementioned, that road back to the title starts with Mizugaki, a bantamweight war horse who is on a five-fight win streak. Cruz argues the Mizugaki fight is the right one to take even if he's got his sights set on the ultimate prize. Besides, there's a benefit to take a fight like this before jumping into championship rigors.


"Mizugaki is up for the title next. He's on a five-fight win streak and other than fighting me, he's looking at a title shot. He's top 5 and he's up there in a contender's position. So, for me, that is a very tough fight, first of all. Second of all, I didn't take that fight because when I jumped into that Barao camp, that's when I realized it wasn't about fighting the fight that was the problem. It was about doing the workload of a five-round camp. I don't think anybody in the world understands except for a fighter that when you go from a three-round camp to a five-round camp, the amount of workload just shoots up. It skyrockets. It can't even be compared."


In terms of the competition itself, Cruz sees Mizugaki as no walkover. The three-round fight camp will get his body, but beating Mizugaki will prove Cruz is as legit as he needs to be to warrant a title shot.


"Tune-up and warm-up fights do not exist in mixed martial arts," he argued. "That's a boxing thing and it doesn't happy in this fighting scene that we're in in mixed martial arts. Going against a top 5 guy right off the beat is a big feat for me and I'm excited to do it. Mizugaki is extremely durable, extremely tough, he's got a lot of cardio and he's got a lot of momentum. He believes in himself right now.


"It's a big challenge for me. I'm up for it and I'm excited for it, but after feeling my body in that five-round camp, realized I need to take my time in this camp because that's the hard part. The fight itself is literally the easy part. That's the fun part for me. That's why I come out smiling. I'm loving life on that night of fighting."


And maybe he will prove he's better than Mizugaki and deserves a shot at the winner of the rematch between T.J. Dillashaw and Barao. But how will he look? Will his style have changed? Does he breeze past Mizugaki or squeak? In Cruz's mind, he's picking back up right where he left off.


"I believe I'm me right now," he contended. "I have no question in my mind. I believe I am who I always was. You're going to see it, September 27th. I'm going to be me. Just who you've always seen."




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Breaking: Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier booked for UFC 178 on Sept. 27 in Las Vegas


Things just got real.


Ask and you shall receive.


Dustin Poirier will finally get his chance to put hands on Conor McGregor, as the two talented featherweights have been booked to swing leather at the upcoming UFC 178 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which is set for Sept. 27, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.


UFC broke the news via Twitter earlier today (July 22, 2014).



The two have embarked in a war-of-words after McGregor defeated Diego Brandao at UFC Fight Night 46 this past weekend (Sat., July 19, 2014) in Dublin, Ireland.


Video highlights here.


Poirier, who wasn't impressed with Conor's first-round technical knockout (TKO) victory, called for a showdown against "Notorious" -- which was accepted -- soon after and vowed to silence all of the "Irish groupies" by proving that "Notorious" isn't all he's cracked up to be.


Time to put up or shut up.


UFC 178 will be headlined by a light heavyweight title fight rematch between division champion Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson and will also feature the return of Dominick Cruz as he takes on Takeya Muzugaki.


Oh, and "Bones," McGregor is taking a cut of the PPV buys.




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UFC on FOX 12 Free Fight: Robbie Lawler Knocks Out Bobby Voelker

Robbie Lawler on Saturday steps into the Octagon opposite Matt Brown at UFC on FOX 12. Before that happens, however, check out Lawler's full fight with Bobby Voelker, where he earned the 18th knockout of his career.

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Weigh-Ins For Friday’s Bellator 122 Event On Thursday In Temecula, CA.

bellator-mma-logo


Bellator MMA issued the following press release today: Bellator Hosts Live Weigh-Ins Thursday, July 24th at 5:00 p.m. PST from Pechanga Resort and Casino Newport Beach, Calif. (July 22, 2014) – The weigh-in and pre-fight press conference for Bellator MMA will take place Thursday at 5 p.m. PST from Cabaret Theater inside Pechanga Resort & Casino (45000 Pechanga Parkway. Temecula, CA 92592). Bellator MMA will take place from Pechanga Resort & Casino on Friday, July 25th with the first fight taking place at 4 p.m. PST and streaming LIVE on Spike.com. The televised portion of the night will air LIVE on Spike TV at 9 p.m. EST. All participants from Friday night’s event will be on hand, as well as Bellator President Scott Coker. The event will be emceed by Bellator cage announcer Michael C. Williams and Bellator color commentator Jimmy Smith. As always the weigh-in is open to both the public and media. MAIN CARD: Bellator Welterweight Tournament Final: Adam McDonough (11-0) vs. Andrey Koreshkov (16-1) Bellator Middleweight Tournament Final: Brandon Halsey (6-0) vs. Brett Cooper (20-9) Bellator Light Heavyweight Semifinal: Egidijus Valavicius (27-10) vs. Liam McGeary (7-0) Welterweight Feature Fight: Phil Baroni (15-17) vs. Karo Parisyan (23-10) PRELIMINARY CARD: Bellator Light Heavyweight Semifinal: Kelly Anundson (8-2) vs. Philipe Lins (9-0) Heavyweight Feature Fight: Dmitriy Sosnovskiy (8-0) vs. Manny Lara (4-4) Featherweight Feature Fight: Poppies Martinez (29-9) vs. Bubba Jenkins (6-1) Heavyweight Feature Fight: Augusto Sakai (6-0) vs. Matt Frembling (9-2) Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Linton Vassell (13-3) vs. Virgil Zwicker (12-3) Welterweight Feature Fight: Fernando Gonzalez (20-12) vs. Karl Amoussou (17-6-2) Lightweight Feature Fight: Joe Duarte (10-3) vs. Saad Awad (15-6) Lightweight Feature Fight: Stephen Martinez (10-2) vs. Sergio Rios (6-0) For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA, and check out Bellator on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BellatorMMA About Bellator MMA Bellator MMA is a leading Mixed Martial Arts organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator is available to nearly 500 million homes worldwide in over 140 countries. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on Spike TV, the MMA television leader. Bellator MMA is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations. Bellator is based in Newport Beach, California. Bellator’s majority owner is entertainment giant Viacom, home to the world's premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms. About Spike TV: Spike TV is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks. A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV's Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV's press site at http://www.spike.com/press. Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos. Talk about this on our official FACEBOOK page, or on our official TWITTER page. You can also talk about it in our popular FORUMS .

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Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier Official for UFC 178

UFC featherweight Conor McGregor will return to action at UFC 178 on September 27 to take on No. 6-ranked Dustin Poirier. UFC officials announced the match-up on Wednesday.

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Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier Confirmed For UFC 178 On 9/27

conor-mcgregor-weigh-in


UFC officials confirmed the rumored bout between rising Featherweight contender Conor McGregor and top-ranked former title contender Dustin Poirier today. The McGregor-Poirier fight is scheduled to take place at UFC 178, which emanates from a soon-to-be-announced venue in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 27, 2014. UFC 178 will be headlined by the highly anticipated rematch between UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones and number one ranked contender Alexander Gustaffson. Talk about this on our official FACEBOOK page, or on our official TWITTER page. You can also talk about it in our popular FORUMS .

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Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier set for UFC 178


Conor McGregor is getting right back to work.


The UFC has booked McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier at UFC 178 on Sept. 27 in Las Vegas. The promotion officially announced the news on Tuesday.


McGregor (15-2) defeated Diego Brandao via first-round TKO on Saturday in Dublin. The win marked the Irishman's 11th in a row. McGregor has been calling out Poirier, among many others in the featherweight division, for several months, and after his win this weekend Poirier said he isn't impressed with McGregor's body of work.


"Right off the bat I’ve been fired up about this guy," Poirier said on Monday's The MMA Hour. "I’ve been in this division since the WEC merged. I’ve paid my dues, and I’ve stayed quiet and busted my ass, day in, day out, won the fights I needed to win, and I’ve had some tough fights. I feel I need to be up there. I need to be up there where people are talking about me. [McGregor’s] name and the featherweight title should never come out of anybody’s mouth. I can’t believe the hype he’s getting."


Poirier (16-3) has won his last three fights in a row. He most recently defeated Akira Corassani via second-round TKO in April.


The promotion has yet to officially announce where UFC 178, headlined by Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson 2 for the UFC light heavyweight title, will take place in Vegas.




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Dillashaw on Barao rematch: 'I'm gonna win ten out of ten times'

Dillashaw recently gave a few moments of his time to the Brazilian press, and it sounds like he's all confidence ahead of his rematch with Renan Barao.




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Paul Daley Looking To Secure Bellator Title Fight Against Douglas Lima

paul-daley


The newest addition to the Bellator roster, Paul "Semtex" Daley recently announced his future intentions with the company during an appearance on "The MMA Hour" this past Monday at MMAFighting.com. Daley made it clear that he is going directly after Bellator Welterweight Champion Douglas Lima, but acknowledged that he expects to have to win a contender's match first. "I think I'm going to get a tough first fight, beat that person, and then I think I'll be in a position to fight Douglas Lima," Daley told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani on Monday. "That's not contracted, that's not been discussed or anything. But the way I see it, coming back to Bellator, I think a big win over one of their bigger welterweight stars and then I'll be challenging Douglas Lima for the belt." Lima, who won the title with a second-round technical knockout of Rick Hawn in April, welcomes a bout with Daley, but must first defend his title against the winner of the July 25th bout between Andrey Koreshkov and Adam McDonnough at Bellator 122. "I'm ready whenever he is," Lima said in regards to Daley's challenge. "I will fight whoever [Bellator] wants, no problem at all. It's going to be a good fight." Talk about this on our official FACEBOOK page, or on our official TWITTER page. You can also talk about it in our popular FORUMS .

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Bellator 123 full fight card and line up revealed for Sept. 5 at Mohegan Sun Casino on Spike TV


Curran vs. Pitbull headline, Kongo back in action, King Mo returns & Lashley debuts.


Newport Beach, Calif. (July 22, 2014) - Bellator will kick-off its 11th season from Connecticut's Mohegan Sun Casino on Friday, September 5th live on Spike TV. The event will be headlined by the Featherweight Title fight as reigning Bellator Champion Pat Curran defends his belt against Brazilian striker Patricio Pitbull.


The night will also showcase Cheick Kongo, King Mo, the Bellator debut of Bobby Lashley and a full preliminary card. Tickets for the event are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com, Bellator.com or by visiting the Mohegan Sun Box Office.


Kicking off the Spike.com portion of the night, will be a battle of heavy hands between Connecticut's own Josh Diekmann and Mike Wesssel. Riding a two-fight win streak, Diekmann has recorded all 14 of his victories by finish, but will put his skills to the test against Wessel, who has recorded eight KO wins, six coming in the first round.


Season 9 Middleweight Tournament winner Brennan Ward is ready to face Tamdan McCrory in front of his home state crowd. The always exciting Ward grabbed his previous four victories with strong finishes and is anxious to step back into the cage and put on an explosive fight for the Mohegan Sun fans and end his fight with McCrory as fast as possible.


Entering the fight on a six-fight win streak, "Filthy" Perry Filkins will battle fan favorite Dan Cramer in a middleweight bout. Having not fought since March of 2013, Cramer is looking to make a statement with his return to the bright lights of Bellator but will have to hold off the powerful punching of Filkins who has won six of his eight victories by knockout.


After a pulling off an exhilarating upset win over Diego Nunes at Mohegan Sun last year, Season 10 Featherweight Semifinalist Matt Bessette returns to the Bellator cage to fight Scott Cleve. Besssette has amassed a 13-5 professional record, but will face a strong opponent in Cleve who has won six of his previous seven fights, five coming by finish.


Looking to make his mark in his Bellator debut, Kin Moy will face Steve Garcia on September 5th. Both with perfect 4-0 records, Garcia is confident heading into the fight after grabbing a 39-second knockout victory in his last fight at Bellator 121.


After a three-year hiatus from the cage, Mark Griffin will put his skills to the test against Mike Mucitelli in a light-heavyweight battle, while fellow Connecticut native Andrew Calandrelli will take on Lucas Cruz.


At only 23-years of age, Brandon Fleming will face Blair Tugman in a bantamweight battle, along with Pete Rogers Jr. vs. Phillipe Martins, and Marvin Maldonado vs. Rico Disciullo rounding out the preliminary card.


The full fight card is listed below.


MAIN CARD :

Featherweight World Title Fight: Patricio Pitbull (21-2) vs. Pat Curran (20-5)

Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: King Mo Lawal (12-4) vs. Tom DeBlass (9-2)

Heavyweight Feature Fight: Josh Burns (8-7) vs. Bobby Lashley (10-2)

Heavyweight Feature Fight: Lavar Johnson (18-9) vs. Cheick Kongo (21-9-2)


PRELIMINARY CARD :

Bantamweight Feature Fight: Marvin Maldonado (1-1) vs. Rico Disciullo (2-0)

Bantamweight Feature Fight: Steve Garcia (4-0) vs. Kin Moy (4-0)

Heavyweight Feature Fight: Mike Wessel (14-7) v s. Josh Diekmann (14-5)

Middleweight Feature Fight: Tamdan McCrory (11-3) vs. Brennan Ward (9-2)

Middleweight Feature Fight: Perry Filkins (8-1) vs. Dan Cramer (10-4)

Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Mike Mucitelli (6-1) vs. Mark Griffin (3-3-1)

Featherweight Feature Fight: Phillipe Martins (0-1) vs. Pete Rogers Jr. (1-1)

Bantamweight Feature Fight: Brandon Fleming (3-2) vs. Blair Tugman (5-5)

Lightweight Feature Fight: Lucas Cruz (7-2) vs. Andrew Calandrelli (6-4)

Featherweight Feature Fight: Scott Cleve (14-4) vs. Matt Bessette (13-5)


For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA, and check out Bellator on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BellatorMMA.




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Dennis Bermudez wants to get noticed by beating famous (but past his prime) Clay Guida


Because being popular and famous seems to be what gets you into the MMA spotlight these days, as opposed to extended winning streaks.


As Conor McGregor can attest to -- much to the chagrin of Dennis Bermudez -- being popular pretty much trumps being a good fighter, as far as getting your time in the mixed martial arts (MMA) spotlight is concerned.


Of course, it doesn't hurt if you can do this to your opponents, either.


Still, being popular or talking a good game, it seems, is the way to get ahead of the competition these days. A cruel and unfortunate fact that guys like Dustin Poirier and Cole Miller (see why here and here) still have a hard time digesting.


On the flip side, defeating a popular fighter could definitely shift the focus in your favor, and that's just what the aforementioned Bermudez plans to do this weekend (Sat., July 26, 2014) at UFC on FOX 12 when he takes on fan-favorite, Clay Guida.


While Dennis admits he was looking to take on someone who is closer to their prime than Guida is, defeating "The Carpenter" will be a nice feather in his cap and will go a long way in shifting more eyeballs and cameras his way as he recently declared on The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting):



"We were shooting for someone a little more, I don't know, someone more in their prime, if you will. I think Clay Guida's best days (are behind him). I think Clay Guida in his prime, which I think already passed, would beat Clay Guida now, if that makes sense. I mean, Clay Guida, he's a good fighter. That's why I'm pretty hyped about this. I really get to test myself and see where I'm at. The biggest aspect of this fight is that, in the MMA world, Clay Guida is famous, if you will. Everybody knows Clay Guida, people who don't even know MMA. Whereas, on the other side of the spectrum, me, nobody really knows who I am. People who really follow MMA hard or really watch my fights know who I am, but not as many people as Clay Guida. So for me, beating Clay Guida is like, hey, I'm Dennis Bermudez, I'm here. Keep an eye on me now. I'm shooting for the title."



When talking about streaking fighters, Bermudez is near the top of the list, as "The Menace" has reeled off six straight wins in the highly-competitive 145-pound weight class.


Still, despite his impressive run, Bermudez hasn't managed to crack into the top 10 (rankings) while McGregor, on the other hand, recently made the leap after defeating Diego Brandao at UFC Fight Night 46 (video); a victory that marked only his third under the UFC banner.


Something that may, or may not, be attributed to Conor's outspoken personality and Bermudez's preference to keep to himself. Nevertheless, Dennis proclaims he will never be the type of person who earns the spotlight, rankings, or a title shot via his words, but rather, his wins inside the cage.


Because at the end of the day, Bermudez feels that having his destiny fulfilled by taking the "long path" to the title might be a "cooler tale" than one where a fighter gets a title shot after only a few wins.




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from MMAmania.com - All Posts http://www.mmamania.com/2014/7/22/5927013/ufc-fox-12-dennis-bermudez-says-beating-famous-clay-guida-brings-attention-mma

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Khabib Nurmagomedov Out Until January After Suffering Torn Meniscus

khabib-nurmagomedov


As previously reported, undefeated UFC Lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov suffered a leg injury that forced him out of his scheduled match in September with Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone. The severity of the injury was not exactly clear until Tuesday afternoon, when Nurmagomedov's manager, Mike Constantino, confirmed to MMA media outlets that his fighter had suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee, an injury that will require surgery and force the number four ranked Lightweight to remain inactive until January. Nurmagomedov, 22-0 (6-0 in the UFC) suffered the injury a mere 30 minutes after the match with Cerrone was signed and made official. As of right now, there is no word as to who Cerrone's new opponent will be. Talk about this on our official FACEBOOK page, or on our official TWITTER page. You can also talk about it in our popular FORUMS .

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from MMA News http://www.mmanews.com/khabib-nurmagomedov-january-suffering-torn-meniscus/

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UFC Fight Night 50 tickets on sale Wednesday, $350 gets you cageside

ronaldo-souza-ufc-fight-night-36


Tickets for the UFC’s first event in Connecticut in nine years go on sale Wednesday.


“UFC Fight Night 50: Souza vs. Mousasi” takes place Sept. 5 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Conn. The bulk of the fight card is expected to air on FOX Sports 1 with additional prelims streaming on UFC Fight Pass. The show will be headlined by a five-round middleweight matchup between Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Gegard Mouasi.


That matchup is a key contest at 185 pounds, as Souza is currently ranked No. 4 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, while Mousasi is No. 9.


Tickets, which are available at Ticketmaster.com, start at $100, plus fees, for the cheap seats and go up to $350 plus fees for a cageside/floor spot.


Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday at 10 a.m. ET. However, UFC Fight Club members can purchase tickets on Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET, and UFC.com e-newsletter subscribers can buy their seats on Thursday at 10 a.m. IST.


The night’s full bout order has yet to be released. However, the current UFC Fight Night 46 lineup includes:



  • Ronaldo Souza vs. Gegard Mousasi

  • Alistair Overeem vs. Ben Rothwell

  • Derrick Lewis vs. Matt Mitrione

  • Michael Chiesa vs. Joe Lauzon

  • Andre Fili vs. Sean Soriano

  • Nik Lentz vs. Charles Oliveira

  • Chris Beal vs. Rob Font

  • Chris Camozzi vs. Rafael Natal

  • Rodrigo Damm vs. Al Iaquinta


For the latest on UFC Fight Night 50, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.


(Pictured: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza)




Filed under: News, UFC

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from MMAjunkie http://mmajunkie.com/2014/07/ufc-fight-night-50-tickets-on-sale-wednesday-350-gets-you-cageside/

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The Lost Chuck Liddell Interviews


Months after his retirement in 2011, Chuck Liddell talks with fans about what is next for his career after hanging up the gloves and made predictions about fights - did they come true?


Back in March, 2011, I went to the UFC 128 weigh-ins in Newark, New Jersey to film them for my site. Before that got started, a special UFC Fight Club event was happening (for Fight Club members only), which was a question and answer session with Chuck Liddell. "The Iceman" had just recently retired only a few months earlier, and this was probably the first time he did an event like this since then.



Unfortunately, back when I filmed it, my old camera was starting to die, so this footage never made it online. Recently, I was able to recover it and get it to work, so I am now uploading this for you in five chunks.



In this first part, Mike Goldberg introduces the Q & A event and Chuck Liddell, who chats a bit about life after fighting (Chuck mentions already misses fighting) and the good ole' days of UFC. After that, we get into the questions from the fans, including how Chuck decides to fight specific opponents (ie. Tito Ortiz), his breakdown of Shogun VS Jon Jones (the main event of UFC 128 that would take place a day later) and how the champ Shogun was the underdog, and if Chuck will ever step back into the octagon again. We also tease a special guest... who does not show up for a few more parts.


If you are having trouble with the Ooyala player, head to this link to see the Youtube version.


Stay tuned for the other parts!




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from Bloody Elbow - All Posts http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2014/7/22/5927715/ufc-videos-lost-chuck-liddell-interviews-2011

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Tom Egan, the UFC’s first Irish fighter, happy to have inspired McGregor and others


Five years ago, Tom Egan was the first (true) Irishman to fight in the UFC. His debut coincided with the UFC’s inaugural visit to Dublin, the capital city, at UFC 93. When Egan came out for his fight with Brit John Hathaway, he was given a hero's welcome from the partisan crowd. Until then, and even after, Irish MMA presented itself in the surrogate form of Marcus "The Irish Hand Grenade" Davis, an American.



And in a sense, the UFC’s return to Dublin this past Saturday at UFC Fight Night 46 had at least a little -- and possibly everything -- to do with Egan and the pop he got that night in January 2009.



The then 20-year old Egan didn’t beat Hathaway; in fact, he didn’t make it out of the first round, losing via TKO. But as an Irishman who’d made it to The Show, he became a pioneer of sorts for some important spectators in the crowd that night. People like Conor McGregor, who has cited Egan as being the kindling he needed to become a star in MMA.



What does it feel like to work as the scaffolding for not only McGregor but Neil Seery, Cathal Pendred and Patrick Holohan, all of whom fought and won on Saturday night? A little surreal, Egan says.



He appeared on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour and talked about his influence.



"I had no idea," he told Ariel Helwani. "I never thought I’d have that impact on guys like Conor. I mean, look at Conor, where he’s gone now. It’s amazing to see that. I heard an interview a couple of weeks ago [of him] saying that seeing me at UFC 93 reiterated his dreams, and all of a sudden this dream that he had wasn’t just a dream, it was something right there in front of him, something he could go and pursue. And I had no idea that that was going on inside his head."



Egan has known McGregor for a decade, having first met him in high school. On the show, Egan described how he and McGregor would spend gym class lifting weights and talking about martial arts.





But the MMA scene in Ireland was still far from popular, until 2009 when the UFC brought Dan Henderson and Rich Franklin over for UFC 93. Marcus Davis, the American stand-in for all things Irish, fought Chris Lytle. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua fought Mark Coleman in a drowsy slugfest. And then there was Egan, who brought the house down as the only Irish fighter.



McGregor, then only 21 years old, took it all in. When asked if it’s possible that without Tom Egan there’d be no Conor McGregor, Egan said he wouldn’t go that far.



"I wouldn’t want to say something like that -- Conor’s always been somebody who’s very driven and very confident," he said. "Even at a time when I was busy fighting and Conor wasn’t as busy, he was always motivating me. He was always giving me a confidence boost, and he was always telling me that I could do whatever I wanted to do, so I don’t know if that would necessarily be something I would say.



"I’m pretty sure Conor would have done whatever he was going to do in a very big way no matter what because he’s got such a big personality. Not a lot of people would be able to contain that big personality he has. But even if I could be mentioned in the same sentence, that Conor McGregor got the inspiration to do something like this to achieve what he achieved, I’m blessed to hear that. But I think Conor would have gone in a good direction no matter what."



Egan is still fighting and training under Peter Welch. He had four fights last year alone, and said he was attempting to put together a good run so that he might end up on Saturday’s Dublin card. It wasn’t to be. But he was in attendance at the O2 Arena, which will go down as one of the liveliest atmospheres in UFC history. And he said it felt good to know he played a role in helping build that momentum in Ireland.



"I couldn’t have been happier sitting there watching these guys perform," he said. "The energy was just incredible. The Irish fans once again showed they are pound-for-pound the best fan in the world, just getting behind every single Irish fighter. It was great to see [Northern Ireland’s] Norman Parke getting all the reception that he got too. It was just fantastic.



"It’s a blessing even to think that what happened five years ago in 1993 was something that was able to spark something in these guys that wanted them to go pursue ultimate what they ended up achieving on Saturday night. It was just incredible."







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from MMA Fighting - All Posts http://www.mmafighting.com/2014/7/22/5926127/tom-egan-ufcs-first-irish-fighter-happy-ufc-fight-night-46

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“WSOF 12: Palomino vs. Gonzalez” Adds Bryson Hansen vs. Matt Sayles

wsof-12


World Series of Fighting issued the following today: "World Series of Fighting 12: Palomino vs. Gonzalez" adds Bryson Hansen vs. Matt Sayles Aug. 9 event now features five live fights on NBCSN from Las Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel & Casino LAS VEGAS (July 22) - World Series of Fighting's return to Las Vegas now features five main-card matchups, as bantamweights Bryson Hansen (7-1) and Matt "Robo" Sayles (2-0) will kick off World Series of Fighting's NBCSN-televised main card. Featuring a lightweight headliner between exciting Peruvian veteran Luis "Baboon" Palomino (22-9) and undefeated Californian "Lethal" Lewis Gonzalez (9-0), "World Series of Fighting 12: Palomino vs. Gonzalez" takes place Aug. 9 at Las Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. In addition to the headliner, the newly announced Hansen vs. Sayles contest joins previously announced matchups of Brazilian brawler Ronny Markes (14-3) vs. undefeated submission machine Kelvin "The Mama's Boy" Tiller (6-0), Bosnian-born Elvis "The King" Mutapcic (13-3) vs. undefeated Bulgarian-born standout Krasimir Mladenov (11-0) and ageless Olympian Alexis Vila (13-4) vs. Brandon "Hot Rod" Hempleman (9-2). "Bryson Hansen looked fantastic in his World Series of Fighting debut, so we're excited to have him back in the decagon so quickly and see if he can turn in another performance like that," World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo said. "On the other side of the cage is Matt Sayles, who has been absolutely destroying his competition early on in his career and already looks prepared for a step up in quality. This fight should kick off our broadcast with real fireworks." Tickets for "World Series of Fighting 12: Palomino vs. Gonzalez" start at just $39 and are on sale now at AXS.com. The evening's main card airs live on NBCSN. The broadcast begins on Saturday, Aug. 9, at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT local time). Preliminary contests will be announced shortly and will stream live on NBCSN.com. Originally from Hawaii, Bryson Hansen made his World Series of Fighting debut in March and needed just 46 seconds to score a TKO win over Sean Cantor. Hansen now trains at Las Vegas' Xtreme Couture, and five of his seven career wins have come by way of knockout, including four victories that came in the first round. Meanwhile, Matt Sayles turned pro in January and has already registered two victories, needing just 121 seconds to earn first-round stoppages of Dylan Stanfield and Chris Floyd. Those wins came after a successful amateur career that saw "Robo" stop three different opponents. A San Diego resident, Sayles is currently a member of top California academy Alliance MMA. About "World Series of Fighting" (WSOF) "World Series of Fighting" (WSOF) is a world wide premier professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight promotion dedicated to delivering the best action-packed fights for fight fans by producing the best possible match-ups between elite fighters from around the world. For more information please visit WSOF.com. Follow "World Series of Fighting" on Twitter @MMAWorldSeries and "World Series of Fighting" President Ray Sefo @SugarRaySefo. About NBC Sports Network NBC Sports Network, part of the NBC Sports Group, is dedicated to serving passionate sports fans. Now in more than 80 million homes, the network is the cable television home of the Summer and Winter Olympics, National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Soccer (MLS), IZOD IndyCar Series, Tour de France and the 34th America's Cup, and beginning in 2013, the Premier League and Formula One. In addition, NBC Sports Network features college football, college basketball, college hockey, outdoor programming, horse racing surrounding the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup, Fight Night boxing, Ironman, the Dew Action Sports Tour and USA Sevens Rugby. The network is also home to original programs such as Costas Tonight, The Crossover, NFL Turning Point, Pro Football Talk and The Dan Patrick Show. NBC Sports Network is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States. About Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is Las Vegas' off-strip playground, just minutes and less than three miles from McCarran International Airport. The premier destination entertainment resort is owned by Brookfield Real Estate Finance Fund II and managed by WG-Harmon, LLC, a subsidiary of Warner Gaming, LLC. Built in 1995, the property completed a $750 million expansion in 2010. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino offers an energetic entertainment and gaming experience with the services and amenities associated with a boutique luxury resort hotel. The property is known for its innovative nightlife and music scene where acts such as The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, Incubus, Foo Fighters, Carlos Santana, Mötley Crüe and Guns N' Roses have all performed. Features of the property include an 11-story Casino Tower with 640 guest rooms, 17-story Paradise Tower with 490 rooms and suites and the all-suite HRH Tower with 359 suites, eight spa villas and seven penthouse suites; 72,000 square feet of casino space featuring Peacock High-Limit gaming and Asian gaming amenities; 80,000 square feet of flexible meeting and convention space; more than $4 million in rare music memorabilia; Body English Nightclub; Reliquary Water Sanctuary, Spa & Salon; 4.5 acres of tropical pool paradise housing world-famous pool parties REHAB Sunday and RELAX Monday; live music/entertainment venues The Joint and Vinyl; Hart & Huntington Tattoo Co.; restaurants Culinary Dropout, Nobu, The Ainsworth, 35 Steaks + Martinis, Pink Taco, Mr. Lucky's Café and 福Fú; a state-of-the-art fitness center and trendsetting retailers John Varvatos, Affliction, Love Jones, Rocks The Jewelers and Rock Paper Photo. For room availability and additional information call 800.HRD.ROCK (800.473.7625) or visit hardrockhotel.com. Follow Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news and updates. Talk about this on our official FACEBOOK page, or on our official TWITTER page. You can also talk about it in our popular FORUMS .

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from MMA News http://www.mmanews.com/wsof-12-palomino-vs-gonzalez-adds-bryson-hansen-vs-matt-sayles/

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