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  • Dustin Poirier explains why he's returning to lightweight - MMA Fighting
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Veteran referee Herb Dean will oversee the action in the Octagon when Jon Jones defends his light heavyweight title against Daniel Cormier at UFC 182.

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Ryan LaFlare would love to fight Demian Maia in UFC return
MMA Fighting
The undefeated welterweight told MMAFighting.com recently that he is hoping to resume his UFC career in March following his second right ACL surgery. "I'm doing everything except sparring and wrestling," he said. "I see the doctor in January and

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Lyoto Machida has always been a complex puzzle to figure out inside the cage.

He’s a fighter with an elusive style who has the ability to close distance rapidly and with such force that it has brought an abrupt end to many a fighter’s night. Furthermore, with his deep arsenal of kicks, punches and knees, the proverbial kill shot can come from anywhere at any time. Those aspects add up to make The Dragon one of the most dangerous strikers to ever compete inside the Octagon, but even in a game as universally well-rounded as the one Machida brings, there are always going to be some holes.

At least there were in a certain regard.

While there is no doubting the 36-year-old Shotokan karate master possesses one of the most fluid and diverse attacks in the UFC, there have always been questions about his ability to stand tall in the face of an equally relenting attack. With Machida’s style, getting hit wasn’t part of the game plan, and fighters who have been able to touch him up have typically fared well against him, therefore making the “Machida puzzle” solvable if you can get in and stay in his face.

That said, his most recent showing against middleweight champion Chris Weidman may have significantly changed the tone and perspective of his story and added yet another wrinkle to his complex style. While Machida had a crisp first round that he took on the scorecards, the following four frames were nothing short of a dogfight. Several times both champion and challenger appeared to have the other in trouble, and neither was willing to give an inch inside the cage.

And while the end result was another successful title defense for Weidman, the Team Black House fighter emerged victorious in his own right. In those 25 minutes, Machida proved once and for all there was no quit in him and that he could buckle down into a donnybrook if need be. For a fighter who has the ability to out-quick and outmaneuver the majority of opponents, knowing he has the ability to fight in the trenches simply adds one more dangerous wrinkle to an already dynamic offensive attack.

“I definitely think I earned some new respect from the fans that night,” Machida told Bleacher Report with the assistance of a translator. “I fought with my heart, and I left it all in there. It’s great to know I have the ability to dig in and fight in close quarters because that situation may arise again in the future. It’s good to know that I’ve been there and can do it.”

The former 205-pound champion will once again put his talents to the test when he faces a resurgent CB Dollaway at UFC Fight Night 58 on Saturday night in Brazil. Whereas The Doberman was once riddled with injury and stuck in a “give one, take one” pattern in the middleweight ranks, the Power MMA representative has been on a hot streak as of late, winning four of his last five showings.

Two victories during his recent run have come in the hostile environment of a Brazilian arena in bouts where he’s played the role of underdog and pulled off a pair of impressive upsets. Yet, this will be his first test against a seasoned former titleholder in Machida, and The Dragon has no plans of being the biggest addition to Dollaway’s resume.

He’s looking forward to putting on another show for his countrymen and getting back into striking distance of another championship opportunity.

“It’s a great opportunity to be fighting here in Brazil again,” Machida said. “I get to represent my country and fight in front of my Brazilian fans. I think CB [Dollaway] is a guy who may not have any one particular skill that is necessarily special, but he’s a very dangerous guy all around. That said, I am not thinking about what he’s done before or plans to do in this fight. I’m only focused on my game and what I need to do to get the victory.

“Every fight that I have I’m one step closer to the belt, and I’ve always kind of been up there in both divisions I’ve competed at. I think a win here gets me back to being one step closer to a title shot.”


Duane Finley is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes are obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise.

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China Top Team bantamweight Xian Ji made a successful One Fighting Championship debut, as he captured a unanimous decision from the previously unbeaten Yadong Song in the One FC 24 “Dynasty of Champions” main event on Friday at the Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium in Beijing.

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Cody McKenzie officially retires from MMA competition
Bloody Elbow
Following a disappointing first round KO loss to Fight Club Berkut standout Beslan Isaev, Cody McKenzie has officially retired from MMA competition. McKenzie finishes his career with a 15-6 record in professional competition and a 3-4 run during his
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Rashad Evans will make his return to the Octagon against Glover Teixeira at the UFC Fight Night card in Brazil on Feb. 22.

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Dustin Poirier explains why he's returning to lightweight
MMA Fighting
The 25-year-old Poirier started his MMA career 8-1 as a lightweight, however, he decided to switch weight classes prior to his UFC 125 fight against Josh Grispi in 2011. Poirier defeated Grispi via unanimous decision and subsequently won three more
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C.B. Dollaway has been in this position before—a couple of times, in fact.

Competing in front of a raucous and lively Brazilian crowd against one of their own is never an easy set of circumstances for an American fighter to settle into, but The Doberman has thus far been unshakable in that particular storm. Two out of his past four showings inside the Octagon have come in the South American mecca of mixed martial arts, where he’s faced competitors with vaulted expectation and ample hype surrounding them.

When the former Arizona State University wrestling standout edged out heavy-handed powerhouse Daniel Sarafian back in January 2013, the MMA universe wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. It had been seven months since The Ultimate Fighter alum bested veteran Jason Miller, and he had spent the entirety of his absence from competition recovering from injuries. Yet, Dollaway looked solid against Sarafianarguably better than he had in yearsand emerged from the bout victorious.

While his next outing would end in a questionable split-decision loss to Tim Boetsch at UFC 166, his following assignment would once again come in hostile territory. This time he met super prospect and Vitor Belfort protege Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira in yet another bout that many in the MMA community figured he would lose.

That said, not only did Dollaway derail The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil winner, but he did so in spectacular fashion, scoring a lightning-quick knockout victory just 39 seconds into their tilt at UFC Fight Night 38 back in March. With Dollaway‘s wrestling pedigree being one of his major strengths, it was assumed he’d avoid Ferreira‘s power and take the action straight to the canvas. Instead, he chose to stand toe-to-toe with the talented Brazilian and leveled him by using his own ever-improving striking skills.

It was another big win and yet another example of Dollaway going into the belly of the beast and slaying the proverbial monster before him. Whereas the majority of American fighters had been affected or overwhelmed by the Brazilian jitters, Dollaway was thriving in the unique environment.

“Fighting down in Brazil bothers a lot of guys, but I love it,” Dollaway told Bleacher Report. “Apparently, the UFC likes bringing me down to put on exciting fights here in Brazil. I got a great finish the last time I fought down here, and I’ll keep coming down anytime they ask me. Man, it’s so motivational to be out in front of a crowd with that much passion. They are so loud and into the fights. It’s a great honor to fight in front of them.

“Things are crazy in the stadium, but outside of the fights the Brazilian fans are some of the greatest people you’ll ever meet. They will do anything to help you out and point you in the right direction when you need help. They are just passionate about MMA and want to be entertained. I love it.”

While Dollaway has found somewhat of a second home competing in Brazil, past journeys to the Southern Hemisphere have also produced some lasting connections, as a handful of Brazilian fighters have traveled stateside to train with his team at Power MMA and Fitness in Gilbert, Arizona. The most notable of the group is Dollaway‘s recent opponent Sarafian, who reached out to the Phoenix-based team and asked to move his camp up there.

The gym accepted Sarafian‘s request with open arms, and since his relocation to Power MMA, several other Brazilian fighters have followed in his footsteps. Dollaway feels their contributions to the overall team have the squad at Power MMA firing at a new level of efficiency. When those elements are tacked on to Dollaway finally being over the hump of past injuries and feeling in peak physical condition, the opportunity to take his MMA game to the next level has come front and center.

“[Sarafian] is on this card as well and actually did his entire camp up with us at Power MMA,” Dollaway said. “It was cool to have a former competitor join us and help develop the team. We also have Rony Markes up there with us now, and it’s cool to have some Brazilian guys join the team. We are starting to build a pretty solid squad, and things have never been better for us at Power. 

“It feels good to be healthy and having everything come together for me. It feels good to not be struggling anymore and feeling like myself in there. I went through some tough years fighting through injuries and just trying to keep my career with the UFC.

“I had some ups and downs, and things are finally coming together for me. Our camp is the best it has ever been. We have the right coaches and the right trainers. We have great training partners and sponsors behind us now. Everything is coming together at the right time, and I couldn’t be happier about it.”

The timing couldn’t be more perfect for Dollaway to be hitting his stride because he’s drawing in on what will be the biggest fight of his career against the most dangerous opponent he’s ever faced inside the Octagon. The 31-year-old Michigan native will square off with former light heavyweight champion turned middleweight contender Lyoto Machida in the main event of UFC Fight Night 58 in Barueri, Brazil on Saturday night.

While Dollaway has won four of his past five showings, including his current run of back-to-back victories, The Dragon is coming off his Fight of the Year-candidate performance against Chris Weidman at UFC 175 back in July. Although Machida was unable to dethrone The All-American in the bout, the grittiness and determination he displayed showed a different side than fight fans were used to seeing from the karate master.

That said, Dollaway sees the bout with Machida as the perfect situation to catapult himself into title contention. The Team Black House fighter has been a perennial contender in each of the divisions he’s competed in, so a victory over Machida would launch Dollaway up the middleweight ranks.

“Machida is definitely a hard guy to prepare for because he has such a unique style,” Dollaway said. “It’s been difficult to find training partners to emulate his style because there’s obviously not a lot of local guys who fight the way he does. We had to fly some guys in for camp who had Shotokan karate and Tae Kwon Do backgrounds. He’s such a different fighter, and no matter how much I train and prepare, I’m not going to get the full effect from him until I’m in there on Saturday night. I’m sure I’m going to have to make some adjustments when I’m in there.

“You can’t let him have space in there. You give that guy room to operate, and he’ll pick you apart all day. He’ll be able to find his shots, and he’s always dangerous. I’m not going to give him the room to work, and I’m going to be right there in his face mixing it up. He doesn’t like to get hit, but that doesn’t much bother me. I’m ready to fight. I’ve been in some grueling wars, and I’m ready to do it again.”

Hype and promotion are as much a part of the fight game as the action inside the cage. With Dollaway previously knocking off two highly touted Brazilian prospects, and the opportunity to pull off a big upset against an established former champion in Machida, the “Brazilian killer” label wouldn’t be too far behind. That particular moniker is an offshoot of Japanese MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba being labeled as “The Gracie Hunter” for his continuous streak of defeating members of MMA’s premier family.

Should Dollaway add Machida to the list of Brazilian fighters he’s defeated on their home turf, it would be hard to keep that particular label off his career profile.

“If I take care of business on Saturday I’ll go ahead and take that nickname,” Dollaway replied in regard to getting labeled The Brazilian Killer. “No disrespect of course to the guys who are training with us because I wouldn’t want to make any of them upset or offend them, but it’s all in good fun. I have a tough test on Saturday, but if I take care of business like I plan to, then I’ll have earned some right to have that label attached to my name.

“I understand that I am the heel on fight night. I am the bad guy. I’ve embraced that role, and I’ll embrace it more than ever on Saturday night. I recently did a tour to Iraq with the Armed Forces Entertainment and visited a lot of the army bases over there and did some training with the guys. I’m going to carry out the flag that was given to me by one of the special forces units and let them know I’m thinking about them.

“I’m going to have the Toby Keith song “Made in America” playing as I walk out, so I’m going full USA and going to embrace the ‘American heel’ role while I’m down here this weekend,” he added. “I plan on going out there and getting that victory, and it’s going to change my life.”


Duane Finley is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes are obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise.

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UFC Fight Night 58 weigh-in video
MMA Fighting
At the UFC Fight Night 58 weigh-ins, all 24 fighters taking part in Saturday's UFC Fight Night 58 fights will step on the scale Friday, and we'll have the live video here at MMAFighting.com. In the main event, Lyoto Machida and C.B. Dollaway will have
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The hearts and minds of most UFC fans are focused on January 3, 2015 when Jon “Bones” Jones defends his light heavyweight title against Daniel Cormier. However, before that epic event takes place, there’s a pretty noteworthy show on tap Saturday in Brazil.

Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida will take on CB “The Doberman” Dollaway in a crucial fight for position in the UFC’s top-10 middleweight rankings. The 36-year-old Machida lost his shot at the middleweight crown in his last fight against current champion Chris Weidman in July.

It was an excellent bout, but Weidman did enough to earn the judges’ decision. Machida is back, and now he will try to deliver a rude welcome to “The Doberman” in his native Brazil. 

At 31 years old, Dollaway is five years younger than Machida, but he’ll be lagging behind when it comes to experience and crowd support. All of these things could factor into the final results. Per Odds Shark, Machida is listed as a minus-600 favorite.

Per ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Dollaway understands the challenge, and he is looking to beat the odds.

In the co-main event, former bantamweight champion and No. 1 contender, Renan Barao returns to The Octagon after losing his title to T.J. Dillashaw in May. Barao had to bow out of the subsequent rematch when he became ill prior to the match while attempting to make the 135-pound weight limit.

In order to get in position to challenge Dillashaw again, Barao needs to prove he’s back in form. On Saturday, he faces Mitch Gagnon in a fight that could make the latter’s career. 

Gagnon has won four fights in a row since losing his UFC debut to Bryan Caraway in July 2012. Beating Barao would vault Gagnon into the UFC’s top 10 amongst bantamweights. 

There are 10 other fights on tap. Here’s a look at the full card, viewing information and predictions for each match. Just below the table is a closer look at the top-three bouts.


Cummins Will Overpower Carlos Junior

Carlos Junior is a good grappler and a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but once he locks horns with Cummins, he’ll realize his opponent’s strength advantage is too much to overcome.

Cummins‘ UFC debut was lackluster against Daniel Cormier back in February, but he’s laid waste to two opponents since then. Cummins stopped Roger Narvaez in June, and he set out to retire Kyle Kingsbury in July, per an interview with The Fight Corner.

After beating up Kingsbury for three rounds, he accomplished his goal

Cummins is rapidly improving and looking more impressive with every outing. With pressure, great endurance and superior wrestling, Cummins will ground and pound his way to victory.


Barao‘s Explosive Striking Will Stop Gagnon

I still believe Renan Barao is one of the two-best bantamweights in the world. It’s easy to get down on Barao after watching him get dominated by Dillashaw, and then being unable to healthily make weight for the rematch.

But if he’s back to himself on Saturday, Gagnon has no answer for Barao‘s explosive and varied striking game. While Gagnon is a strong submissions artist and grappler with 12 wins by tap out, Barao is skilled enough to keep the fight from going to the mat. Per Fight Metric, Barao‘s takedown defense rate is at 96 percent.

Even if Gagnon gets him down, Barao is excellent off his back. He’s also won 14 fights by submission himself. Before we saw how good he could be as a striker, Barao had earned a reputation as a submission expert.

Throw in the support and energy from the Brazilian crowd and this should be a triumphant return for the former champion.


Machida‘s Game is Too Complete For Dollaway

You won’t find many fighters who work harder or who get more from less physical ability than Dollaway. He’s a grinder who has worked hard to make himself into a contender at 185 pounds.

Against Machida, that won’t be enough.

The Dragon is more athletic, his striking has more layers and his ground game never gets the respect it deserves because of how good he is on his feet. Dollaway prefers to stand and strike, but that’s a fight he can’t win against Machida.

With one of the most dynamic and unpredictable striking games in the sport, Machida will catch Dollaway with something big by the second round. When he does, it’ll be curtains.

At 36 years old, Machida is getting to an age where he needs to prepare for one last push toward a title run. Knocking off Dollaway will be the first step in The Dragon’s final climb.


Follow Brian Mazique on Twitter. I dig boxing and MMA.

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ONE FC 24 Results: Dynasty of Champions
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In one of the more underwhelming main event showdowns of 2014, former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida will slug it out with wrestler C.B. Dollaway this Saturday in Barueri, Brazil.

Now while the UFC Fight Night 58 headliner doesn’t jump off the screen, its participants are more than capable of flexing their divisional muscles.

Machida‘s counter-striking ability and sneaky footwork certainly peg him as the favorite entering the last weekend before Christmas, but Dollaway‘s wrestling and in-your-face aggression can make noise, too.

It’s going to be a more competitive middleweight bout than most people would like to think, so why not sit back in front of the old TV, sip on some eggnog and watch this bad boy for free?

Here are the keys to victory for both contenders as we gear up for Fight Night:


Keys to victory for Dollaway

Pressure Early

Machida is at his best when he can sit back, wait for his opponent to attack first, hit the auto-pilot button and cruise to a one-sided, back-and-forth affair.

It’s what allows him to land with such precision and lethality.

In order to stop such a common occasion from happening, the always game Dollaway must put pressure on The Dragon early and often.

Don’t allow him to collect confidence and find his feet. Don’t allow him to trickle back and leap forward.

Meeting all of these Machida strengths halfway could give Dollaway his best bet to steal a win.


Establish his ground-and-pound

It’s no secret that Machida is the better striker.

Heck, he’s arguably a Top 10 striker of all time when you consider his ability to fire back on queue.

So in order for Dollaway to suffice for such a predominant disadvantage, he needs to take Machida down.

That’s much easier said than done, but The Doberman has some of the best wrestling in the division and a strong-enough presence to keep the Brazilian out of service on the mat.


Keys to victory for Machida

Stay off the cage

As the quicker fighter in open space, Machida will have the ability to defend any of Dollaway‘s takedowns by sprawling or slithering to the side.

But if Dollaway is able to pressure Machida and pin his back to the Octagon boundaries, then a takedown becomes increasingly imminent.

That said, Machida must allow himself enough space to move around and keep this fight in the center of the cage.

If he’s unable to stay off the chain link, then it could cost him some rounds.


Remain patient

Dollaway has had much success on the feet when his opponents rush in.

It has added to his power arsenal and consequently has turned him into a more well-rounded entity than he was just a few years ago.

And even though Machida is a heavy favorite headlining in front of a hometown crowd, he needs to remain patient and pick his shots.

Over-reaching could result in either a powerful punch or momentum-changing takedown.

Maintaining respect and caution for Dollaway‘s abilities is going to allow Machida to rely on his sharpness and split-second retaliations.


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C.B. Dollaway steps in the Octagon for the biggest fight of his career Saturday night against Lyoto Machida, and he feels he has no pressure over him. Fighting in Brazil for the third time after scoring wins over Daniel Sarafian and Cezar Ferreira, Dollaway spoke to MMAFighting.com about his match-up with Machida, facing the passionate Brazilian crowd, how he expects to beat “The Dragon” and what’s next for him.

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Sherdog.com’s Mike Sloan covers Friday night’s Showtime Boxing card, starting at approximately 9 p.m. ET.

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Keep it locked to Sherdog.com on Friday for full play-by-play and results of Titan FC 32, with preliminary action kicking off at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and the main card beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

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  • UFC On FOX 13 Results — Dos Santos Bests Miocic, Dos Anjos Tops Diaz
    The following are quick-match results of the UFC On FOX 13 event, which emanated from the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday, December 13, 2014. MAIN CARD - Junior dos Santos def. Stipe Miocic by unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46 x2) - Rafael dos Anjos def. Nate Diaz by unanimous decision (30-26 x2, 30-27) […]
  • Dana White On Nate Diaz: “There’s A Laundry List Of Problems There”
    UFC President Dana White addressed Nate Diaz's recent complaints during an interview on Friday with FOX Sports 1. Diaz, who has been complaining about money, was a no-show at the open workouts for Saturday's UFC On FOX 13 event and badly missed weight for his fight with Rafael dos Anjos. "The Nate Diaz thing is […]
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