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  • Hannity Shows Off His MMA Training, Hits Obama's Workout Routine - Mediaite
    Hannity Shows Off His MMA Training, Hits Obama's Workout RoutineMediaiteSean Hannity has been doing MMA training for a few months now to get into shape, and tonight he showed off some behind-the-scenes footage of his actual workout, alongside UFC champ Chuck Liddell. But first, Hannity couldn't resist comparing his fierce ...
  • MMA legend Renzo Gracie sentenced to community service for participation in ... - MMAmania.com
    MMA legend Renzo Gracie sentenced to community service for participation in ...MMAmania.comFormer Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight, Renzo Gracie, was sentenced to 10 to 15 days of community service for his involvement in a brawl outside a New York City nightclub (watch video here) in May 2014. This, after the mixed martial ...Renzo Gracie Featured in […]
  • VIRAL VIDEO: Cocky MMA Bully Gets Knocked Out - KRON 4
    KRON 4VIRAL VIDEO: Cocky MMA Bully Gets Knocked OutKRON 4SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — An arrogant Mixed Martial Arts fighter gets a dose of his own medicine when his opponent knocked him during their title bout. It happened after the heavily tattooed Julz “The Jackal” tried to bully Ben “10” Nguyen during a ...
  • EDITORIAL: It's time to legalize MMA in New York - Glens Falls Post-Star
    Glens Falls Post-StarEDITORIAL: It's time to legalize MMA in New YorkGlens Falls Post-StarDean Hancock sinks in a choke against Mike Mangan on Feb. 27 during their fight at Bellator in Uncasville, Connecticut. Hancock won the fight via rear naked choke submission. New York is considering the legalization of mixed martial arts (MMA) fighting ...Cuomo 'interested' […]
  • The Beaten Path: 5 Top MMA Prospects to Watch in March - Bleacher Report
    Bleacher ReportThe Beaten Path: 5 Top MMA Prospects to Watch in MarchBleacher ReportLife is a constant churn. There is a constant need to feed the machine. That's just the way it is, and it explains in large part why a lot of the world and its characteristics, good and bad, can be distilled through MMA. […]
  • Exclusive: MMA Legend Fedor Emelianenko on God, Dana White, and Vladimir ... - Breitbart News
    Breitbart NewsExclusive: MMA Legend Fedor Emelianenko on God, Dana White, and Vladimir ...Breitbart NewsEmelianenko went unbeaten for nearly a decade, an unprecedented perfection streak at least in elite-level mixed-martial arts. During his incredible 28-fight unbeaten run he triumphed over such notables as Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mark Hunt, Mirko “Cro ...Fedor Emelianenko: I can help so many […]
  • Ronda Rousey Has Right Answer For MMA Reporter Who Questions Her Ability - The Post Game (blog)
    The Kingston Whig-StandardRonda Rousey Has Right Answer For MMA Reporter Who Questions Her AbilityThe Post Game (blog)Shortly after Ronda Rousey finished off challenger Cat Zingano in just 14 seconds Saturday night, there was a growing buzz about her competing against men in UFC. It's actually a ridiculous and disrespectful idea, as Kevin Iole articulates, but […]
  • Bill to Legalize MMA in New York Goes Forward, Fertitta 'Cautiously Optimistic' - Bleacher Report
    Bleacher ReportBill to Legalize MMA in New York Goes Forward, Fertitta 'Cautiously Optimistic'Bleacher ReportLorenzo Fertitta feels good about the prospect of legalizing pro MMA in New York this year. But he's not ready to start the party just yet. It's hard to blame him. After years of false starts and frustration, the sport remains illegal […]
  • Duke Roufus Offers 1st Glimpse into CM Punk's MMA Training - Bleacher Report
    Bleacher ReportDuke Roufus Offers 1st Glimpse into CM Punk's MMA TrainingBleacher ReportHowever, it is uncertain how he will fare in pro MMA. Matt Brown, a UFC welterweight, has said Punk is in for a "big shock" because of the stiff level of opponent Punk is likely to face. Meanwhile, teammate Pettis went on record to […]
  • Video: Fighters, including Royce Gracie, react to the idea of an MMA seniors ... - MMAjunkie.com
    Video: Fighters, including Royce Gracie, react to the idea of an MMA seniors ...MMAjunkie.comThe idea of an MMA seniors' league has been bounced around the sport for years. Older fighters who have passed the peak of their physical abilities have never had a dedicated home to try to extend their careers, instead bouncing around the […]

Matt Brown: Coach 'straight up lied' about alleged beating, case dropped by
“Yeah, he straight lied,” Brown told MMAjunkie when asked of an alleged incident involving Rodrigo Botti, who accused him of striking him multiple times. “Not even wrong, just straight lied with some of the stuff that he said in public.” Brown (19-12

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MMA fighters get community service for bouncer beatdown
New York Post
Mixed-martial arts fighters Renzo Gracie and his cousin Igor, part of the famed Gracie clan, and five of their pals took no​-​jail plea deals Thursday ​in the beating of a doorman outside celebrity hot​-​spot 1Oak. Renzo and Igor Gracie, Leonardo Leite

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VIRAL VIDEO: Cocky MMA Bully Gets Knocked Out
SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — An arrogant Mixed Martial Arts fighter gets a dose of his own medicine when his opponent knocked him during their title bout. It happened after the heavily tattooed Julz “The Jackal” tried to bully Ben “10” Nguyen during a …

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Hannity Shows Off His MMA Training, Hits Obama's Workout Routine
Sean Hannity has been doing MMA training for a few months now to get into shape, and tonight he showed off some behind-the-scenes footage of his actual workout, alongside UFC champ Chuck Liddell. But first, Hannity couldn't resist comparing his fierce …

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Derek Brunson is on the come up in the ranks of the middleweight division.

Since coming over from the now-defunct Strikeforce organization in 2012, the Wilmington, North Carolina, native has been making every fight count on the sport’s biggest stage. Brunson has found victory in all but one of his five showings and steadily moved himself up the hierarchy of the UFC’s 185-pound division in the process.

Even in the lone setback he has suffered inside the Octagon, the Jackson-Winkeljohn-trained fighter gained respect by giving former Olympic silver-medalist wrestler turned middleweight contender Yoel Romero all he could handle under the bright lights.

Yet, where the Cuban powerhouse eventually turned the tides of the bout in the final round to steal the win, Brunson would bounce back with force in his next two showings as he picked up back-to-back victories inside the Octagon.

The most recent of which came at the expense of seasoned veteran Ed Herman at UFC 183 back in January, as Brunson put away “Short Fuse” just 36 seconds into the fight. Furthermore, his lightning-quick finish against The Ultimate Fighter veteran was the second time Brunson had drubbed an opponent inside of the one-minute mark under the UFC banner. 

“It was definitely gratifying,” Brunson told Bleacher Report. “I came into the fight expecting it to be a war, and when you get a victory like that you are definitely going to be thrilled.

“Fights like the Herman fight are nice, but at the same time, I would like to have liked it to play out a little bit more. I’m not going to say I would’ve liked to go out there and get more of a feel, but it would have been nice to see more of what he had to offer. The quick knockouts are nice, but going through a war now and again is a good experience to know I’ve done it.

“My fight against Yoel Romero was a war,” he added. “My fight against Chris Leben was a war, and I was fulfilled with that victory because that guy has a ton of experience fighting in the UFC. He had fought for the UFC a bunch of times and it was great to go against a veteran like that who has seen everything. He’s fought Anderson [Silva] and a bunch of good guys. Getting that experience and getting a feel for how things are out there is big.”

While post-fight performance bonuses managed to elude him on both of his quick finishes inside the Octagon, Brunson hasn’t let the lack of recognition hinder his stride. Winning fights at the highest level of competition is one thing, and while he’s been doing it in impressive fashion, Brunson believes the best is yet to come.

That said, he’s also not above the mindset that a little extra cash for a job well done would have been nice.

“That is so crazy,” Brunson laughed. “I thought for sure I was going to get one after that fight. Well, I don’t want to say for sure because I was in that situation before when I fought on the Fight for the Troops card. I went out there and got a head-kick to rear-naked choke finish and that is in 40-some seconds. I didn’t get the bonus, but I was backstage with my fingers crossed all night. That’s kind of how it was this time.”

With a collection of solid wins under his belt, Brunson is steadily drawing closer to the toughest level of competition in the middleweight division. And where the 185-pound fold was once considered to be one of the weaker collectives thanks in large part to Anderson Silva’s dominant reign as champion, the current state of the division is at the opposite end of the competitive spectrum.

In the aftermath of Chris Weidman dethroning “The Spider” at UFC 162 in July of 2013, the middleweight ranks came alive with fighters making their respective runs toward the top. While Brunson understands he still has a few steps to travel before he breaks into the elite tier of the weight class, he also believes making the right kind of progress with each and every fight.

“I definitely think I’m top 15 at this point,” Brunson said. “I look at it as fighting, and I love competition, but I have a family and this is my career. I want to take the proper steps to get where I need to get to. I’m in no rush to advance too fast.

“I’ve only been fighting for a little more than four years, and I’ve done it the right way. There are a lot of guys getting popped for steroids and other PEDS, and I can honestly say I’ve never taken a PED in my life. I’ve never even thought about it. My motto has always been hard work. I came into this sport and I got a lot of attention early. I came in as a wrestler and I caught a lot of flack because sometimes I’d go to what I knew and that was to take people down.

“It’s about going with the flow and getting better through time,” he added. “If anyone took a look at my record they’d see I have 13 wins, and eight of those have come in less than a minute and they have been either by submission or knockout. I don’t go out there to fight to a decision. I go in there to get the job done.”

Although Brunson has yet to officially crack the top 15 in the UFC’s current ranking system, there is no denying he’s a fighter who is making his way up the divisional ladder. The surging middleweight has shown marked improvement every time he’s stepped inside the Octagon and has continued to build momentum at every progressive turn. 

With the UFC’s current schedule in full swing, the next opportunity for him to compete will be approaching in short fashion, and Brunson is confident he’ll be ready for whatever comes his way.

“I’m not really a guy who thinks about what is next,” Brunson said. “I don’t make too much of it. I’ve always given my all with anything I’ve done in life. I’m not one of these fortunate kids that came from a rich family. I went to college by chance. I found out what a GPA was two months before I went to college.

“I just grind and work hard and things are more gratifying when you have that attitude. When you grind and work hard for everything you appreciate what comes out of that. You can go with the flow and know that you gave it your all so that once you get out there the rest is what happens. Anything I’ve done in life I can honestly say I’ve given my best. I’ve put a lot of time into every part of my game. In due time it’s all going to show under the bright lights. In my crazy mind I’m thinking the future is really great.”

While Brunson is still waiting to showcase the best of what he has to offer inside the Octagon, thanks to his Instagram game, the affable middleweight has already gained notoriety on social media platforms. Ever the diligent worker inside the gym, Brunson likes to show his followers and friends what life looks like through his eyes if those eyes were looking back at himself.

Brunson is the self-proclaimed “Selfie Master” and believes he dominates his teammates in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in that particular realm. Even among a collection of champions, contenders and pound-for-pound greats, Brunson feels he is the uncrowned king of the self-taken picture with no potential threats to his title in sight.

“I definitely think they need to step their games up,” Brunson laughed. “I’ve been slacking a lot lately, but I definitely think I have the best selfie game out there. When I’m at camp my coaches and Jon [Jones] give me crap because I take a lot of selfies, but then I go look at their Instagrams and Jon is taking like three or four selfies a day. How can anyone say anything to me when he’s doing it more? Jon does these like calculated selfies though.

“He’ll go and be like, ‘I’m picking my daughters up from school,’ and be smiling at the camera. Things like that. I’m definitely the ‘Selfie Master,’ and these guys are just trying to catch up.” 


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

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On this week’s episode of The MMA Beat, the panel will discuss Ronda Rousey’s 14-second win over Cat Zingano, where she goes from here, Brock Lesnar’s future, Jon Jones moving to heavyweight, the Quinton Jackson lawsuit, and much more.

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UFC fighter Ronda Rousey brings attention to women's MMA
NYU Washington Square News
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Ronda Rousey says top female fighter Cyborg is 'a known fraud'NBCSports.com
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A minute or two into last week’s Bellator 134, a guy strolled out from behind a retractable 20-foot video monitor and began noodling a version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” on electric guitar.

On stage behind him stood a lineup of the night’s fighters, some of them taking his performance very seriously, some of them absolutely not. The monitors streamed pure Americana—shots of the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, a clip of wheat stalks swaying gently in a breeze.

Just as the guitarist wailed past the line about the perilous fight, cameras cut to a statuesque blonde woman in the front row wearing a black evening gown, one hand tucked somberly over her heart. At her right elbow, a guy with a full sleeve of tattoos slurped a cocktail out of a plastic cup and gleefully nodded along to the music.

Ninety seconds later, a bunch of fireworks went off indoors.

So, yeah, if you were wondering what Bellator MMA would look like during 2015, you didn’t have to wait long to find out. Friday night’s “British Invasion” fight card was the company’s biggest event of the year so far, and it set an appropriately bombastic tone for Bellator’s new direction—one it hopes finally leads to its big break.

And, you know what? This time it feels like the promotion is actually onto something. Perhaps by giving up on trying to be a low-rent version of the UFC—and by bringing some of the pomp and circumstance back to MMA—it can position itself as a real alternative.

Maybe even a fun one.

This change has been percolating for a while now. In June 2014, the promotion ditched wickedly unpopular showrunner Bjorn Rebney and brought in universally well-liked former Strikeforce executive Scott Coker.

Coker had a proven track record of making second-tier MMA companies work in an industry dominated by the UFC. He brought instant credibility, and his mere presence gave Bellator a fresh start. Almost immediately, he tossed out its restrictive, outdated tournament format and weekly TV time slot in favor of a more traditional (and more manageable) schedule.

Yet a few questions still lingered about exactly how a Coker-led Bellator would look and feel.

Now we know.

There will be fireworks.

There will be glitz, glamour and precious little intrusion from reality.

We got a sample of this transformation late last year, when Tito Ortiz wrested a tepid split-decision victory from Stephan Bonnar in the main event of Bellator 131. Their old-timers bout didn’t nab any rave reviews, but it turned out to be a significant ratings success on SpikeTV.

We got our first look at the revamped production values and video stage set at that event too. It was clear change was in the air.

Still, we had no idea. Not really.

Bellator’s new crazy-like-a-fox vibe didn’t fully reveal itself until last week, when the company announced that Ken Shamrock vs. Kimbo Slice would headline an event in June. That was the matchmaking equivalent of telling the bartender you’ll go ahead and have that third drink after all—and suddenly we knew Bellator was playing for keeps.

Shamrock vs. Slice is a goofy, unexpected fight at least seven years past its expiration date. Shamrock is 51 years old, and prior to this booking, he announced on his website (h/t Bloody Elbow) that he would take on a man billed as the “king of the Irish travelers” in a bare-knuckle boxing match. Slice, who is 41, hasn’t fought in MMA since his ill-fated UFC run ended in 2010. He was last seen cobbling together a low-level boxing career circa 2013.

The two were originally supposed to fight in the now-defunct EliteXC organization in 2008, and even then it seemed like kind of a bad idea. Hours before showtime, Shamrock pulled out with a cut, and Slice went on to suffer a 14-second knockout at the hands of replacement fighter Seth Petruzelli.

Now, Bellator will book the do-over nobody saw coming.

It’s crazy. It’s indefensible. It’s totally perfect.

We’re all going to make fun of Shamrock-Slice, and then we’re all going to watch. If it goes off as scheduled, it promises to be an even bigger cable TV hit than Ortiz-Bonnar, perhaps fully realizing the blueprint established by that fight. Make no mistake, no matter how many jokes are cracked or criticisms are lobbed at this fight, it’s a brilliant gambit by Bellator.

After years of staid obligation to pure sport, the company’s new regime is finally letting its hair down. It’s becoming the rebellious kid brother to the stuffy old UFC that it should have been all along.

The B-list organization has never had the best fighters (and probably never will), so it didn’t make sense for Bellator to cast itself as the hard-nosed home of “the toughest tournament in sports.” The UFC is now and will likely always be the industry standard.

So, why not just let the guys at Zuffa LLC shoulder the burden of being the world’s top MMA promotion? Let the UFC hold the somber drug-testing press conferences. Let the UFC try to conquer the world with its 50 shows per year and its digital streaming service.

(Ed. Note: And hey, before we run the UFC too far up the flagpole as the goose that lays only golden eggs, let’s also remember we’re talking about a company that booked a main event, pay-per-view bout between Matt Hughes and Royce Gracie as recently as 2006. Maybe there never were any “rules” to this game.)

If nothing else, Bellator can make some mischief.

With a little a bit of Viacom money to spend and a reliable broadcast home on SpikeTV, Coker and Co. find themselves with a good opportunity to become MMA’s carefree option.

No, you don’t have to watch Bellator every week. No, you don’t have to obsessively follow its official fighter rankings and argue about its pound-for-pound list. No, you don’t have to commit your entire evening to the Internet-only prelim fights. Not if you don’t want to.

With Bellator, you just have to set aside one weekend night once or twice a month when—without paying $60 for pay-per-view—you might catch a fun fight.

The beauty of it is that Bellator really does have some fighters who are worth watching. A couple million people might tune in to see Ortiz, Shamrock or Slice, and some of them might get hooked on Will Brooks, Liam McGeary or Douglas Lima. Perhaps you’ll even come back for some of its more serious but less colorful events, like March 27’s bantamweight title bout between Joe Warren and Marcos Galvao.

Maybe by suckering people into the tent a few times a year to watch its cadre of 2005-era superstars, Bellator can even prove to Viacom it can be a ratings boon and a financial success. If the parent company ever gets the notion it should open the purse stings to help out, well, all bets will be off.

The best part is, it appears Bellator is going to play all of this with a straight face. When it announced Shamrock-Slice, Coker labeled it “unfinished business” on Twitter as though this was something we were all supposed to take very seriously. It only added to the delightful spectacle.

The bottom line is, it’s been awhile since we had an MMA promotion that didn’t sometimes feel like work to follow. It’s been awhile since we had one that didn’t continually demand more and more of its fans’ time and money. It’s been awhile since we had one that just wanted to have fun.

If Bellator can be that company, then it will have already won a major battle.

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MMA legend Renzo Gracie sentenced to community service for participation in
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight, Renzo Gracie, was sentenced to 10 to 15 days of community service for his involvement in a brawl outside a New York City nightclub (watch video here) in May 2014. This, after the mixed martial …

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One Championship has added two new fights to One FC 26 “Valor of Champions” on April 24 in Manila.

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Bellator 136 gets five new fights, including Held vs. Sarnavskiy, Beltran vs
April's Bellator 136 is starting to fill out, and the promotion today announced five new additions to the card, including a lightweight matchup of Marcin Held (20-3 MMA, 9-2 BMMA) vs. Alexander Sarnavskiy (30-2 MMA, 5-2 BMMA). That contest takes place
Marcin Held-Alexander Sarnavskiy, Joey Beltran-Brian Rogers added to Bellator MMA Fighting
Eight Fights Now Official For Bellator 136: Brooks vs. Jansen411mania.com
Marcin Held vs. Alexander Sarnavskiy among five new fights added to Bellator MMATorch

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UFC 187 kicks off what promises to be a scorching hot summer of mixed martial arts action. 

On May 23, the UFC will treat fight fans to its own version of a box-office blockbuster, as the MGM Grand Garden Arena hosts two title fights and a plethora of other high-profile bouts.

Atop the pay-per-view card sits a light heavyweight title fight between champion Jon Jones and challenger Anthony Johnson. In the co-main event of the evening, middleweight titleholder Chris Weidman makes his long-awaited title defense against No. 1 contender Vitor Belfort. 

The fun doesn’t stop there. From top to bottom, UFC 187 is stacked with thrilling contests, featuring contenders in a multitude of weight classes. Donald Cerrone is in action against the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov, while former flyweight title challengers Joseph Benavidez and John Moraga go head-to-head.

Memorial Day Weekend cannot come soon enough.


Rumble looks to break Bones

Bones and Rumble are fresh off January victories over Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson, respectively. Both fighters are on long win streaks (Jones has won 12 in a row, while Johnson has won nine) and are two of the strongest light heavyweights in the UFC.

Johnson has been unstoppable since his UFC return in April, dispatching both Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Gustafsson by TKO. His win over The Mauler at UFC on Fox 14 was particularly telling, as he became the first fighter to finish the Swede with strikes. 

Jones will attempt to make the ninth title defense of his career against his most volatile opponent yet in the wake of a failed UFC 182 pre-fight drug test. The champion has a more methodical approach to his striking than that of his counterpart Johnson. 

Jones’ chin has been tested in the past, and it will be interesting to see how it holds up against Johnson’s one-punch power. 


Weidman defends middleweight title against The Phenom

After multiple injuries and a failed drug test deprived us from witnessing a great middleweight matchup, Weidman and The Phenom are finally set to square off in the cage.

The undefeated Weidman is a well-rounded mixed martial artist who most recently defended his title against Lyoto Machida at UFC 175. Injuries have taken a toll on him since then, forcing him out of two previously scheduled meetings with Belfort.

Belfort hasn’t competed in the cage since a November 2013 knockout of Dan Henderson. The stoppage of Henderson marked the third-straight win via head kick for the 37-year-old. 

After Weidman pulled out of their UFC 184 main event, the Brazilian added fuel to the fire by asserting that Weidman should be stripped of his championship. With bad blood brewing, I’d expect these two to get after it right from the opening bell.


The Eagle flies the coop to feast on Cowboy

The Eagle makes his Octagon return following a July knee surgery against the No. 3-ranked lightweight Cerrone in a bout that will likely determine the division’s next No. 1 contender. 

The Dagestani grappler is a winner of 22 straight fights. Nurmagomedov last defeated current No. 1 contender Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision in April. 

The 26-year-old holds top ranks in several grappling disciplines and registered the most takedowns in a UFC fight with 21 against Abel Trujillo. 

Cowboy is on an equally impressive winning streak and picked up the biggest victory of his career when he bested Benson Henderson via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 59. The Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA fighter is a prolific kickboxer and an underrated Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner. 

Will Cerrone’s takedown defense stand up to the Russian’s pressure, or will The Eagle become flustered by Cowboy’s lethal kicks? We will find out May 23. 


Travis Browne vs. Andrei Arlovski 

Two hard-hitting heavyweights go to war when Hapa looks to take out The Pit Bull.

Browne tallied his sixth first-round finish when he floored Brendan Schaub at UFC 181. The 32-year-old has one of the best stand-up games in the division and has previously knocked out Josh Barnett and Alistair Overeem.

The former UFC heavyweight champion Arlovski is 2-0 in his latest Octagon stint and shut down Antonio Silva with strikes in September. He also has a knack for the knockout, boasting 16 career wins by the method.

Arlovski has fought some of MMA’s biggest names over the course of his 15-year career. Unfortunately, that has also led to seven knockout losses. Comparatively, the Hawaiian has only been on the fight scene for six years.

It’s new school versus old school when these two meet in Sin City. 


The Magician and Fun Size aim to put on a show for the Las Vegas crowd 

The Magician will enter the Octagon for the first time after going under the knife to repair a torn ACL in July. Dodson, a former flyweight title challenger, looks to reclaim his No. 1 contender spot with a win over the surging Zach Makovsky.

The 30-year-old Dodson is a dynamic striker with knockout power. He holds bone-crunching stoppages over flyweight contenders John Moraga and Jussier Formiga. 

Makovsky is an up-and-coming flyweight who most recently defeated Tim Elliott via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 60. The former NCAA Division I wrestler is a takedown machine. He averages close to five per fight, according to FightMetric

Dodson is a serious step up in competition for a fighter who previously lost a decision to Formiga in August. However, The Magician will be coming off a major surgery, which could impact his speed and offense. 

Catch him if you can, Makovsky. 

In addition to these tantalizing tussles, you can find frenetic flyweights Joseph Benavidez and Moraga facing off for position in the wide-open 125-pound rankings.

Benavidez is on a two-fight winning streak and has only lost to champ Demetrious Johnson thus far in his UFC career. Moraga is also a winner of two straight fights and has only lost to “Mighty Mouse” and Dodson. 

In the lone women’s bout, The Ultimate Fighter Season 20 runner-up Rose Namajunas squares off with Nina Ansaroff. Thug is an intense stand-up fighter who is also a submission threat. The Strina is seeking her first Octagon win after dropping a unanimous decision in her debut to one-time Invicta FC competitor Juliana Lima. 

The UFC also announced Dong Hyun Kim vs. Josh Burkman and Uriah “Primetime” Hall vs. Rafael Natal this week. 

UFC 187 is the must-see event of the year. Rarely are fans treated to two title fights, and a phenomenal overall lineup, this early.

The last PPV to feature two title fights was UFC 181 in December. That card fielded an attendance of 9,617.  

For this Memorial Day, the UFC is truly setting a precedent. Matchmaker Joe Silva and President Dana White have never loaded multiple title bouts onto one Memorial day card.

In fact, within the last five years, two PPVs were headlined by non-title bouts. The most successful Memorial Day card came in 2010, when a light heavyweight grudge match between Quinton Jackson and Rashad Evans headlined UFC 114.

UFC 114 drew an attendance of 15,000. 

Last year, UFC 173 featured a bantamweight championship fight for its main event. Former champ Renan Barao fell to T.J. Dillashaw in dramatic fashion in the final frame. 

None of the last five Memorial Day cards can compare to 2014’s installment. From 2010 to 2014, Junior dos Santos, Cain Velasquez and Barao were all universally expected to emerge victorious against their opposition. 

To be fair, each main event ended in a finish and gave fans exactly what they came to see.

When Rampage took on Suga at UFC 114, most were expecting a blistering brawl between the two powerful light heavyweights. Instead, fans witnessed an uneventful win by Evans. 

UFC 187 has a little bit of everything and showcases talent from nearly every division. Anything can happen, including injuries. Until May 23, I recommend the UFC place all fighters in hyperbaric chambers.  

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Resurrection Fighting Alliance returns on Friday with RFA 24, which features a welterweight title fight between Benjamin Smith and Indalecio Tat Romero.

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Oregon Daily Emerald
WKND Calendar: Tattoo convention, MMA fights, and music from the Legend of
Oregon Daily Emerald
Finals week is all that separates us form a much needed week of rest. But for this weekend take a short EMX bus ride to Springfield and be among the world's most talented tattoo artists. The 2015 Evergreen Tattoo Invitational and Expo will host over

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The UFC has done a strong job of giving fight fans a number of interesting bouts in 2015. Even UFC 184, which had multiple fights cancelled, was a solid showcase.

UFC 188 is set to feature Cain Velasquez’s return to the Octagon, but MMA fans should believe it only when they see it.

According to MMAjunkie, Velasquez is slated to face Fabricio Werdum in what will be a title unification bout in Mexico City on June 13.

If this fight occurs, it will be Velasquez’s first battle since UFC 166, which took place in October 2013—that’s nearly two full years since the promotion’s true heavyweight champion last fought.

Cain’s injury issues started in 2011 when he fought Junior dos Santos on what was reported as a torn meniscus. Jesse Holland of MMA Mania wrote a piece in 2012 that presented the idea that Velasquez fought Santos with a serious knee injury.

His luck would not get any better, as Velasquez was forced out of a UFC 180 fight due to another knee injury. Velasquez lamented over the recurring problem.

“I’ve been through this before, so it sucks,” he said during The MMA Hour, via MMA Fighting. “I tried everything I could do to make the fight, but I just couldn’t.”

Mixed martial arts is a dangerous sport in which injuries occur all the time. Chris Weidman and Dominick Cruz are two other examples of champions—current and former, respectively—who have had issues with recurring injuries. Fight fans should not hold their breath in hopes that Velasquez makes it to the Octagon.

With more than three months before this fight is to take place, the UFC shouldn’t be holding its breath, either. Mexico City is a major market that the organization wants to break into. In order to ensure that this fight card will still be exciting to that demographic, it has added another bout with two Hispanic fighters as the co-main event.

Damon Martin of Fox Sports reported that Eddie Alvarez and Gilbert Melendez have been tabbed as the co-main event of the evening.

These two highly regarded lightweights have long wanted to get their hands on each other. According to Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting, they were linked in superfight talks years earlier.

Melendez is a Mexican-American, while Alvarez is of Puerto Rican descent. If Velasquez falls off the card, the UFC will still be able to present a fight to capture the attention of Mexican fight fans.

UFC 188 is supposed to be Velasquez’s big return to the Octagon. By that time, he will have been out of action for nearly two years, but given his recurring injury problem, the promotion and MMA fans may want to curb their enthusiasm.

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