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  • UFC 179 Embedded, Episode 3: Chad Mendes catches pigeon - MMA Fighting
    ESPNUFC 179 Embedded, Episode 3: Chad Mendes catches pigeonMMA FightingIn the latest episode of UFC 179 Embedded, Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes do some final training sessions before their showdown. Also, Junior dos Santos and Conor McGregor predict the main event, while Mendes catches a pigeon on the beach.How to bet UFC 179: Aldo-Mendes IIESPNCrash […]
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The rematch Chad Mendes has been waiting for since 2012 is upon us. He and UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will clash again at UFC 179 on Saturday night. Mendes has one loss on his record and it came at the hands—or should I say knee—of Aldo. 

Back in Jan. 2012, a well-placed knee knocked Mendes out as he attempted to dethrone Aldo in front of his hometown crowd in Rio de Janeiro. Since the loss, Mendes has been on a rampage as he has set his sights on avenging the defeat and winning the 145-pound crown.

Mendes has won five-straight fights with stoppages in all but one. Aldo has continued to defend his title, but he hasn’t been quite as active. He’s 3-0 since the first meeting with Mendes. The rematch will also take place in Brazil where Aldo has a humongous following. If Mendes is to gain retribution, he’ll have to do it behind enemy lines.

UFC fans love finishes, but the rematch has the look of a bout that is going to go to the cards. Here are my predictions for the entire main card. Just below the table is a closer look at the main event.


Turn it Down For What?

With strikers as deadly as Aldo and Mendes, there’s always the chance for an explosive finish, but I wouldn’t bet on it in the rematch. Mendes will be cautiously aggressive against Aldo. He knows firsthand how quickly the champion can end his night.

This is likely a psychological struggle for Mendes who is naturally a finisher, but if he wants to change the outcome this time around, he has to make adjustments. Tuning down the aggression will probably be his approach—at least early in the fight.

Aldo is known for his striking prowess—partly because of the way he finished Mendes—but when you look at his recent fights, he’s been far more defensive than offensive.

He has just one stoppage win since beating Mendes, and that came when Chan Sung Jung injured his shoulder and couldn’t continue. In his last two fights combined, Aldo has thrown a total of 206 strikes. In his Fight of the Night win over Frankie Edgar in Feb. 2013, Aldo threw 253 strikes, per Fight Metric.

Aldo knows Mendes is eager to get his revenge, there’s no need for him to rush in. However, with Mendes wary of another quick counter, there should be a tactical feeling out process early on.

The later rounds are more apt to produce fireworks. The question is: Will either man have the gas to finish the other if they land a pivotal shot? Mendes has never been five rounds in his career. Aldo has gone the championship distance five times. 

That experience in deep waters will be the difference in the bout. Mendes will have some moments early. He may even hurt Aldo, but the champion’s ground game and survival instincts should save him from a finish. From the third round on, he should be the fresher fighter and based on that reserve, he’ll outstrike Mendes en route to a unanimous-decision victory.


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

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UFC 179‘s co-main event features No. 4-ranked light heavyweight contender Glover Teixeira against No. 6-ranked Phil Davis.

Teixeira returns to action for the first time since his failed bid at the title against Jon Jones, and Davis is coming off a loss to Anthony Johnson. This is a big matchup for both contenders and their chances at a shot at the championship.

On paper this is a standard striker vs. grappler matchup.

This is one of the best matchups on the UFC 179 fight card, and may be the toughest to call. Without further ado let’s have a look at the keys to victory for both elite light heavyweights in this fight.


Glover Teixeira

Takedown Defense

This can be filed under the category “Duh,” but it deserves to be mentioned. Teixeira has excellent takedown defense, but when Davis is on point, he is one of the toughest wrestlers in the division.

Teixeira needs to keep the fight standing. He has good jiu-jitsu, but Davis’ top game will likely nullify any submission attempt from the bottom. He won’t be scoring points off his back, and the judges will award Davis the fight if he can stay on top.


Utilize the Jab

One of the best ways to keep the fight standing is for Teixeira to establish his jab early. It will create the distance necessary to defend Davis’ takedown attempts.

Keeping the fight standing will be paramount for Teixeira. The jab will start it off. Once Davis is forced into a stand-up fight, then Teixeira can take over with his superior boxing. He may not be able to stop Davis, but he will certainly score enough to take the win by decision.


Dirty Boxing

Davis will go for a takedown at some point, and when he does, Teixeira must score with dirty boxing.

Positioning will be key. Davis’ wrestling acumen will likely leave Teixeira with his back against the fence, but he can still create enough space to land shots in close. Teixeira must make sure to mix in elbows with his punches in close.


Phil Davis

Basic Boxing

Davis isn’t going to win any Muay Thai fights, but he can still use basic boxing to help him along the way in this fight.

First, he has to show off some of his boxing to make his takedowns less predictable. Teixeira is good enough to stop his takedowns if he knows when they are coming. Mixing in his strikes will make his level changes more effective.

Secondly, standard boxing defense will block a lot of Teixeira’s strikes. He is a solid boxer, but he isn’t an elite-level boxer creating unforeseen angles. The old adage of “hands up, chin down” will minimize any damage he may receive.


Be Relentless

Teixeira has shown that he can fade, and that is why Davis must be relentless.

Davis’ consistent pressure will force Teixeira into being reactive, and primarily as a striker he will lose power by not being the one coming forward. Pressure takes away a lot of the offense that Teixeira brings to the table, and as he wilts from Davis’ relentlessness, the former Penn State Nittany Lion will be much more successful.



Against Johnson, Davis was visibly broken in the fight. He lost his confidence.

That cannot happen on Saturday.

Even if Teixeira stuffs early takedowns and scores with his hands, Davis must not break. He has all the tools to be a top contender in this division, but he must keep his confidence throughout the entire fight. It is not enough to talk about it pre-fight. He must carry it through each and every round.

If Teixeira breaks him like Johnson did earlier this year, all stock for Davis could be sold as a potential threat in the division.

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The first time Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes met, the former landed a knee that sent the latter into la la land. What happened next created one of the most iconic scenes in the UFC’s history. Aldo spilled out into the crowd at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

The shot of a victorious Aldo among a sea of adoring Brazilian fans is unforgettable. 

On Saturday, the two men will have their long-awaited rematch. The arena has changed, but the bout will still be in Rio de Janeiro, where Aldo is so beloved. Can Mendes overcome the huge home-field advantage and one of the sport’s best fighters?

We can’t wait to find out. 

The co-feature will see another Brazilian favorite, Glover Teixeira, battle fellow light heavyweight contender Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis. Both men are coming off losses in their last bout. Teixeira was beaten silly by Jon “Bones” Jones, and Davis was pounded by Anthony “Rumble” Johnson at UFC 172 in April.

The winner will be able to thrust himself back in line for a title shot in the near future.

Here’s a look at the viewing information, complete card and predictions for the event from the Maracanazinho Gymnasium. Just below the table is a closer look at the two featured fights.


Teixeira Will Punish Davis

Mr. Wonderful has an excellent base skill as a wrestler, but he has never developed much beyond his grappling prowess. Because of this, he’s in deep water any time he can’t take a fight to the ground. Per Fight Metric, Davis lands only 35 percent of his strikes. 

Moreover, despite his muscular build, he doesn’t have consistent KO ability. That’s evidenced by the fact that just two of his wins have come in that fashion. The power may be there, but the technique and commitment to delivering hard shots is absent from Davis’ game. 

Teixeira wins this fight simply because he’s the more complete fighter. He lands 42 percent of his strikes, and he defends 75 percent of the takedowns attempted against him, per Fight Metric. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt will thwart Davis’ attempts to take him down. Teixeira will pick him apart with hard punches en route to a decision win.


Aldo Will Win Tougher Rematch

Another spectacular KO win could happen for Aldo, but don’t bet on it. Mendes has likely been replaying the first fight over and over in his head for two years.

He’ll be cautiously aggressive against the champion—especially early in the fight. 

Speed and sophisticated striking are Aldo’s best weapons, but he’s also an underrated grappler. He prefers to stand and fight, as does Mendes. Because both fighters are dynamic, explosive and seek to fight the same style, their fights will always be entertaining.

In this one, Mendes will have his moments in top control on Aldo. He’s built to pursue success in ground-and-pound. Mendes will look to wear the champion down, as it is believed Aldo is perhaps vulnerable late in fights.

It’s a good strategy, but Aldo has excellent escapability and he’s crafty. Ricardo Lamas had similar ideas and wasn’t able to solve Aldo. The champion will do the better striking work and earn a close unanimous decision to retain the title.

Bring on Conor McGregor.


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

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UFC 179 will set the stage for three fighters whose victories would speak volumes. On October 25, Chad Mendes will attempt to wrest away the featherweight title for a second time from the reigning champion, Jose Aldo. He suffered his only loss to the champion at UFC 142, having been viciously knocked out at the end of the first round. Mendes seeks redemption but will have to weather the storm in Aldo’s home country of Brazil.

Phil Davis, on the other hand, will give great efforts to remain relevant among the light heavyweight division’s top echelon of fighters. His stock severely fell after dropping a one-sided decision to Anthony Johnson in his previous fight, and a loss to his opponent at UFC 179 would place him completely out of title contention status.

Lastly, Beneil Dariush is making strides in the lightweight division and has his sights set on finishing his Brazilian counterpart, Diego Ferreira. If the Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace in Dariush is victorious, he’ll more than likely face name lightweight opponents, such as Michael Johnson and Eddie Alvarez, in his next outing.

Begin Slideshow

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UFC 179 will see its 11-fight card become official on Friday afternoon when the fighters hit the scale.

Jose Aldo‘s featherweight title defense against Chad Mendes headlines the action from Rio de Janeiro. This will be the second time these two have faced off against one another. The last time was in 2012 when Aldo won by knockout over the American.

Glover Teixeira, the No. 4-ranked light heavyweight, takes on No. 6-ranked Phil Davis in the co-main event.

Bleacher Report will have full coverage of the weigh-in proceedings when they get underway. The first fighter is scheduled to hit the scale at 2 p.m. ET.


UFC 179 Fight Card

  • Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes
  • Glover Teixeira vs. Phil Davis
  • Fabio Maldonado vs. Hans Stringer
  • Darren Elkins vs. Lucas Martins
  • Carlos Diego Ferreira vs. Beneil Dariush
  • William Macario vs. Neil Magny
  • Yan Cabral vs. Naoyuki Kotani
  • Scott Jorgensen vs. Wilson Reis
  • Felipe Arantes vs. Andre Fili
  • Gilbert Burns vs. Christos Giagos
  • Fabricio Camoes vs. Tony Martin

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UFC 179 Embedded, Episode 3: Chad Mendes catches pigeon
MMA Fighting
In the latest episode of UFC 179 Embedded, Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes do some final training sessions before their showdown. Also, Junior dos Santos and Conor McGregor predict the main event, while Mendes catches a pigeon on the beach.

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MMA Fighting
Bellator 130 Results: Newton vs. Vassell
MMA Fighting
MMA Fighting has Bellator 130 results for the Newton vs. Vassell fight card Friday night at the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Kansas. In the main event, Emanuel Newton defends his light heavyweight title against Linton Vassell. Also, Bobby Lashley
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Bellator 130 preview, predictions for 'Newton vs Vassell' main card on Spike
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MMA Fighting
UFC 179 videos
MMA Fighting
Join MMA Fighting. You must be a member of MMA Fighting to participate. We have our own Community Guidelines at MMA Fighting. You should read them. I Agree to the Community Guidelines. …
How to bet UFC 179: Aldo-Mendes IIESPN
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During UFC 179 media day, Phil Davis discusses his upcoming fight against Glover Teixeira and more.

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Maybe you know Emanuel Newton. You know, the Bellator light heavyweight champ, he of the King Mo knockout and the spinning backfists and the amazing interviews? Right, that guy.

He’ll defend his title Friday at Bellator 130, and he’s doing it against a fairly anonymous challenger named Linton Vassell. 

Just who is Linton Vassell? A mere warm body with an unlikely name, tossed in to chum the waters for a rising star in a promotion that could do with another one or two of these stars? Maybe not. But maybe. Let’s take a closer look, why don’t we. 

First, the database basics. Linton “The Swarm” Vassell is 31 years old. He is also English, and he made his bones on the British circuit, most notably UCMMA, where he was light heavyweight champ. Vassell is 14-3 as a pro and 3-0 since joining Bellator almost exactly one year ago. And he owns a nine-fight winning streak, albeit not at the expense of the world’s greatest fighters, unless you count Zelg Galesic. 

The oddsmakers, on average, have “The Swarm” at about a 5-2 underdog to spring the upset on Newton. That doesn’t signal a massive mismatch, but it’s not exactly a dead heat, either.

How could he pull off the stunner? Probably with grappling. Vassell is a very nimble light heavyweight, and that shines through most for him on the ground. He has very sticky top control, he can take your back in a heartbeat, and he always seems to be working to get his limbs around your neck or just flatten you out and relentlessly beat on your head. I guess that’s why they call him “The Swarm.” He’s only gone the distance three times as a pro, but his conditioning appears very solid.

The problem for Vassell is that he’s not the kind of guy who can give another guy problems when the fight is standing. He flicks the jab, fires a leg kick or a clinch knee, but mainly he’s just looking to get horizontal. 

There’s the question for Vassell: Can he actually get Newton on the ground so he can begin to work this grappling?

In contrast to Vassell, Newton is looking to get vertical the moment he hits the mat so he can keep throwing all those spinning backfists and crazy combos and what not. So slightly different game plans there. Vassell also appears a little chinny, which never helps when there’s potentially spinning ish heading in your direction. 

If Vassell wanted to get the better of Newton striking, he’d probably want to bull-rush, either to throw punches or as a ruse for a takedown. I don’t see either strategy making much hay here, as that’s really not Vassell’s game. But if it does happen, if the action does hit the mat (and a Galesic head kick was what got it there in that fight), Vassell can do his work, and he can do it effectively, unleashing it on just about any way.

Bottom line is I have Newton. But Vassell’s a charismatic and interesting character in there, who may, with at least a positive showing, be invited back to the Bellator cage. And there’s always that one phase. If they find themselves there, there could be a new champion.

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On today’s episode of “The MMA Beat,” the panel will discuss Cain Velasquez’s injury, the UFC’s decision to rescind Cung Le’s suspension, UFC 179, and much more.

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The UFC’s new golden child is returning, and he’s not returning for the gold.

According to a Thursday report from Steven Marrocco of, Conor McGregor—the fast-rising featherweight who has quickly captured the attention of mixed martial arts fans and UFC brass—will return to the Octagon in January for a bout against Dennis Siver.

The fight will headline an as-yet-unannounced event from Boston that takes place January 18. It will air on Fox Sports 1 immediately after the NFC Championship Game.

I’ve repeatedly stated my belief that McGregor should face the winner of Saturday’s featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes. I’ve heard all the arguments against it: McGregor hasn’t faced a wrestler. He has just four fights in the UFC. He hasn’t faced enough top-ranked competition.

I’ve heard all those arguments, and I understand them. There is validity to them. But at the same time, I can’t help but feel like it’s probably smarter to act when there’s a buzz. With apologies to B.J. Penn—whose ill-fated, rigid trip to featherweight left many scratching their heads—there has never been a big star at 145 pounds or below. Frankie Edgar is a star of some magnitude. Urijah Faber is still a star and always will be.

But there has never been a concrete and bankable superstar in the lower weight classes. Of course, the UFC has very few of those in any weight class these days, which is why we hear about the potential return of Brock Lesnar every six months or so. And that’s why the handling of McGregor is so important: because there is a chance he will be one of the biggest stars in the UFC in a very short period of time.

And that’s why I wanted to see McGregor face the winner of Aldo-Mendes. You have to strike when the iron is hot, and McGregor is hot. Putting him in a situation where he could lose a fight and derail his run to the top doesn’t make sense.

Fortunately for McGregor, this is a sublime piece of matchmaking by the UFC. Much like Dustin Poirier, Siver‘s style is tailor-made for McGregor to shine. Siver is a dangerous striker, but he’s slower than McGregor and is far less technical. McGregor‘s boxing game is disciplined, and his footwork and head movement are on a different level than Siver.

In short, it’s a great chance for McGregor to shine. There’s always the chance Siver could land one of his devastating spinning back kicks. But McGregor‘s understanding and usage of space makes that unlikely at best.

There’s also the fact that the fight is scheduled to take place on Fox Sports 1 after the NFC Championship Game. That means McGregor will get maximum exposure. Would it be better if the fight aired on Fox itself? Of course. But I suspect we’ll see at least a few McGregor-centric commercials for the fight during the NFC Championship Game, and that should translate into a large audience for McGregor vs. Siver.

And then there’s the matchup itself. Many will complain that Siver is not a wrestler and that McGregor is being held by the hand and ushered safely through the division. And those folks have a point, because McGregor is in almost no danger of being taken down by Siver, just as he’s rarely been in danger of being taken down in his UFC career.

But here’s the thing: Eventually, McGregor will have to face a wrestler. If he keeps winning, he’ll fight for the championship. And if he wins the championship, he’ll have to defend it against the best contenders in the division, which means facing Mendes and Dennis Bermudez and others with plenty of wrestling skill. His takedown defense will eventually be tested.

The UFC has created plenty of intriguing matchups over the past few years. But what the promotion hasn’t done, for the most part, is create new stars. Our inner sports fan may not like it, but stars are the engine of mixed martial arts. We can rant about deserving contenders and undeserving title challengers until we are blue in the face.

But the point of promoting is creating fights that people want to see and fights that people will pay to see.

I’d rather see McGregor fight for the title in his next bout. I think the timing is right. But if Fox is willing to promote McGregor vs. Siver during the NFC Championship, and a large audience tunes in to watch, he’ll have the platform to cement himself as one of the UFC’s biggest stars.

All he’ll have to do at that point is deliver. If he does, he’ll make the UFC brass look like geniuses, and he’ll make them a lot of money in the process.


Follow @jeremybotter on Twitter.

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Check out UFC 179 staredowns between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes, as well as Glover Teixeira and Phil Davis, at media day Thursday.

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The hits keep coming for UFC 180. 

First, the night’s main attraction, UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, was pulled from the event after suffering a knee injury. 

Then, Joe Lauzon, one half of the hotly anticipated Lauzon vs. Diego Sanchez matchup on the main card, got bounced from the card, too, per’s Luke Thomas.  

Now, Sanchez himself will not step into the cage in Mexico City, as an LCL injury will sideline him for the time being. 

According to, UFC officials announced Thursday evening that Sanchez was off the UFC 180 fight card, citing an article from, which mentions the LCL injury as the specific cause of Sanchez’s removal. 

While Sanchez vs. Lauzon did not figure to be a No. 1 contender’s bout heading in, each fighter has a penchant for putting on wild fights, and their scrap was sure to be an absolute barnburner. Sanchez, for example, has claimed Fight of the Night honors seven times in his 21-fight UFC career. His Fight of the Night against Clay Guida in 2009 also earned Fight of the Year status. 

Now, however, this news means the top two Mexican-American attractions heading into the UFC’s inaugural trip south of the border are now scratched from the card. Brutal. 

Per the UFC’s official report, Edgar Garcia vs. Hector Urbina will slide onto the main card in the wake of Sanchez’s removal, and the card will proceed with 11 bouts. 

To fully assess the damage done to this card, check out the current lineup:

There are still some solid fights to be sure, and a main event between Mark Hunt and Fabricio Werdum for the interim heavyweight title is can’t-miss television, but with Velasquez and Lauzon officially off the card, this trek to Mexico seems a little less monumental. 

What do you think of the reshaped card? Is it still worth the pay-per-view price tag or is it officially ruined? 

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MMA Fighting
Diego Sanchez out of UFC 180 with knee injury
MMA Fighting
One day after his second-scheduled opponent withdrew from competition, Diego Sanchez has now withdrawn from UFC 180 due to a knee injury. The UFC announced the news Thursday night, but Mexican outlet Indiscutido was the first to report the news.
Source: Joe Lauzon forced out of UFC 180 fight with Diego
Reports: Joe Lauzon injured, UFC 180 fight against Diego Sanchez in Mexico
Joe Lauzon Out Against Diego Sanchez as UFC 180 Suffers Another BlowMMAWeekly
Bloody Elbow -MMA Corner -MMA News
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  • Conor McGregor Continues To Steal The Show Heading Into Saturday’s UFC 179 PPV
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  • Rousimar Palhares vs. Jon Fitch Title Match Set For WSOF 16 On 12/13 In Las Vegas
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    Although UFC President Dana White touts "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey as a lady who can kick most men's butts -- including Floyd Mayweather -- the UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion doesn't think the world should ever witness a man versus a woman fighting on television. During a recent FOX Sports interview, the undefeated face of Women's MMA […]
  • Cung Le Claims UFC Owes Him An Apology For “Unfairly Enduring Public Scrutiny”
    Although UFC rescinded Cung Le's one-year suspension for what turned out to be a botched drug test for his UFC Fight Night 48 bout with Michael Bisping, the UFC Middleweight contender isn't satisfied. In a statement released by his management team, Cung Le claims he is owed an apology from the UFC. The statement he […]
  • Ronda Rousey Comments On Cat Zingano Bout, Breaks Down Match From Statistical Point-Of-View
    Following the official announcement of Ronda Rousey vs. Cat Zingano for UFC 182 in January, the UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion took to Twitter to comment on the upcoming battle of the top two, undefeated female combatants. It's official - the fight @catzingano and I have been waiting far to long for is going down Jan […]
  • Ben Askren, Conor McGregor Exchange Insults On Twitter
    It's becoming quite the task to try and keep up with all that happens in the world of Conor McGregor lately, as the number five-ranked UFC Featherweight contender keeps giving reporters non-stop ammunition for headlines. This time, however, McGregor was merely responding to a verbal jab thrown at him by another infamous trash-talker, as One […]
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