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On the surface, there’s no reason for you to agree with the premise of this article. It’s out there—borderline crazy, even. 

In a sport like MMA, however, sometimes we gotta get a little crazy

Fallen light heavyweight king Jon “Bones” Jones emerged from Saturday’s UFC 187 main event action as the night’s biggest winner. This, despite the fact that he didn’t actually fight. This, despite the fact that his former title was on the line and he could do absolutely nothing to defend it. 

This, despite the fact that his biggest rival to date, Daniel “DC” Cormier, captured his vacant slab of gold and proudly strapped it around his waist. 

Looking at the events of UFC 187 through this lens, it’s difficult to see how Jones is anything but a huge loser on the evening. 

But let’s step into the optometrist’s office and try out lens No. 2.

Jones, despite watching from the sidelines as his division battled for the title, is still unquestionably the man to beat in the UFC’s 205-pound division.

Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, whom Jones was scheduled to face before the series of unfortunate events kicked off, fought a solid fight against Cormier, doing his best to show the world that he was the future of the light heavyweight class. 

Rumble blasted Cormier with an overhand right from Hades that had stopped lesser men in the past early in Round 1, and the fight looked to be his for the taking. 

Since coming back to the UFC in April of 2014, Johnson has looked unstoppable, and this punch on Cormier was just the latest act of destruction handed down from the mighty fist of Rumble. 

Had the fight ended right there in the first frame, Jones would have reason to worry about recapturing his throne. Many felt Johnson’s incredible power would give Jones problems before the UFC 187 main event, and now their pile of evidence stacked higher yet.

Jones bested Cormier by decision in January. Rumble needed one round to knock his head clean off. There’s no way Jones—or anyonecan handle that man’s stopping power. 

Cormier, though, is not one of Rumble’s past opponents. He’s not a Phil Davis, a Mike Kyle or an aging Antonio “Rogerio” Nogueira.

He’s a former Olympic wrestler who trains at arguably the best camp on this planet, slugging it out with the likes of UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez, UFC middleweight contender Luke Rockhold and a stable of killers on a daily basis.

Where others wilted under Johnson’s power, Cormier calmly plotted his comeback.

The American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) product sprung back to his feet immediately after eating that overhand right, and he looked to initiate the clinch. By round’s end, Cormier would secure two takedowns and control the action on the mat. His strategy was in full effect, and by Round 3, his work would be sealed.

The win was remarkable. To stand up to Johnson’s best weapons, weather the storm and emerge victorious was some kind of accomplishment. In a world where Jones does not exist, there’s no doubt many would peg Cormier as the longtime ruler of the light heavyweight division, one of the finest 205-pound combatants to ever step into the UFC Octagon. 

Unfortunately for the newly minted champ, Jones does exist. He’s still there, picking up the pieces of his shattered life and warming out the hot glue gun in an attempt to piece it all back together. 

If Jones can successfully rebound and come back the same fighter he was—or betterCormier‘s stay at the top of the mountain will be a short one. DC dominated the fight against Johnson through his grappling and his sheer will to win—two areas where Jones thoroughly outclassed him at UFC 182. There’s no reason the story would end any differently a second time around based on what we saw Saturday evening. 

Cormier‘s win made Jones look even better on all fronts. First, he showcased little evolution, meaning that Jones would probably fare just as well or better in a rematch. Secondly, he exposed Johnson for the same cardio-lacking, submission-susceptible fighter he was during his first run with Zuffa

Maybe he hits hard, but that’s nothing a little game-planning and grinding can’t take care of, and Jones is perhaps the best ever in those departments. 

Following the UFC 187 main event, the results are clear. 

Winner by rear-naked choke and new UFC light heavyweight champion of the world: Daniel Cormier.

Winner by still being the baddest mixed martial artist on Earth with no worrisome challenger in sight (and still): Jon Jones.  

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Cael Sanderson on Ed Ruth's switch to MMA: 'He's going to be a great fighter'
Bloody Elbow
With all his successes on the mat it seemed like an eventual crossover to mixed martial arts would have made sense for Sanderson but a move to MMA never materialised for him. In an interview with PennLive.com Sanderson was asked if he ever seriously …

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Luke Rockhold is feeling a bit uneasy with the UFC idling on the vacant No. 1 contender’s spot in the middleweight division.

The former Strikeforce champion seemingly convinced the world he was next in line after destroying former UFC light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida in April. No other fighter before him had ever done that to Machida, an MMA legend and future Hall of Famer.

Rockhold, who is riding a four-fight win streak, also has dominant finishes over Michael Bisping, Tim Boetsch and Costas Philippou. It’s a resume fitting of a top contender. But a man from Rockhold‘s past is also in the running for UFC gold.

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza has won eight fights in a row since losing his Strikeforce middleweight title to Rockhold in September 2011. While his quality of opposition isn’t quite up to par with Rockhold‘s, he has managed to snag big wins over Gegard Mousasi, Francis Carmont and Yushin Okami.

When speaking with UFC correspondent Megan Olivi, UFC President Dana White called Rockhold the No. 1 contender, but he said Souza would “probably” be the next man in line to challenge middleweight champion Chris Weidman. He quickly backpedaled on his comment when pressed for a decision between the two.  

During an interview with MMAJunkie.com, Rockhold still seemed convinced he would be the next man standing across the cage from Weidman:

I don’t know what the hell they’re doing, but it’s guaranteed that that’s my shot. It’s happening. They’ll be a date locked down soon. We’re fighting. I talked to Dana, and we got some things coming.

Perhaps Rockhold was able to do some last-minute convincing to jump back into the forefront of the title picture. If anything, his win over Souza in Strikeforce could be a major factor in the UFC’s final decision.


Jordy McElroy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He also is the MMA writer for FanRag Sports and co-founder of The MMA Bros.

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John Makdessi undergoes successful jaw surgery
MMA Fighting
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Chris Weidman had quite the weekend, but his fun didn’t end on fight night. The UFC middleweight champ took to social media Sunday night to post photos of a chance encounter he had with boxing great Floyd Mayweather Jr. Via Weidman‘s Twitter account:

Weidman was in Las Vegas on Saturday night to face title challenger and longtime rival Vitor Belfort in the co-main event of UFC 187. While Belfort clipped Weidman in the early goings of the bout, staggering him with punches and knees along the cage, Weidman was able to post an impressive victory by scoring a perfectly timed takedown, quickly moving to mount and pouring on heaping helpings of ground-and-pound. The win gave Weidman his third title defense and extended his career record to 13-0. 

Mayweather (48-0 in his boxing career) has also been quite busy of late—as you can obviously tell by the completely disinterested face he has in the picture. In May, Money faced Manny Pacquiao in the single biggest match in the history of boxing. While casual fans panned the fight as boring, there was no debate regarding how lucrative it wound up being for both men and the state of Nevada, as the event raked in an estimated 4.4 million buys (according to Dave Meltzer of MMAFighting.com).

Weidman isn’t the first UFC champ to pal around with Mayweather. Then-bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz spent a fair bit of time with him in 2013, picking his brain for combat sports wisdom. 

At this time, Mayweather is angling for a retirement fight in September opposite a yet-to-be-named opponent. Weidman, meanwhile, is likely to defend his middleweight strap from either Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza or Luke Rockhold later this year.

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UFC could hold soccer stadium event in Manaus in 2016
MMA Fighting
"The date chosen is the first semester of 2016, when we will welcome the biggest MMA promotion in the world. Who guaranteed me that was UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, who I had two meetings in the United States." Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, Antonio Braga …

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Anthony “Rumble” Johnson has long been considered a flash in the pan. He’s a destroyer and virtually unstoppable when he’s the hammer.

But when adversity rears its ugly head, the oft-praised destroyer willingly accepts being the nail.

Bloodied and battered, Johnson sat with his chin down to his chest after the second round of his light heavyweight title fight with Daniel Cormier on Saturday night. The highly anticipated main event tilt was set to crown a new UFC champion in the vacant spot left by Jon Jones.

After dropping Cormier with a punch early in the fight, Johnson looked breathless and stunned by the third round. “Don’t give up,” his corner desperately pleaded in between rounds. But it was too late. Johnson looked visibly broken after being out-grappled by the former Olympian.  

I have often referred to Johnson as a reincarnated beast from his previous version. Since moving to light heavyweight, he has looked like a completely different fighter, effortlessly torching every opponent in his path.

The hype behind Johnson was built anew, and fans quickly forgot about the young welterweight struggling to overcome adversity in earlier fights.

Cormier alluded to Johnson’s past UFC bouts leading up to the fight during an episode of UFC Tonight:

I want to tell you guys right now, at the end of the day, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson is who he is. … Anthony’s the guy that got submitted by Josh Koscheck. Anthony’s the guy that tapped out before Vitor Belfort had a choke in. At the core of him, he is who he is. I just have to go out and find that.

It’s hard to argue with Cormier, especially after seeing what happened on Saturday night.

Johnson’s recent run had been so dominant that fans never stopped to question the intangibles. Old habits die hard. Like he did against Belfort, Koscheck and Rich Clementi, Johnson rolled over in the face of adversity and gave up a rear-naked choke to Cormier.

Maybe it’s a mental hurdle. Perhaps it’s a physical one as well. For all the praise surrounding Johnson’s otherworldly power, you also have to accept the fact that he will never have elite conditioning. Being built like a superhero comes at a price, and Johnson paid dearly against Cormier.

Perhaps the biggest question mark was Johnson’s behavior at the post-fight press conference. He looked like the most content fighter ever to lose a championship, playfully joking along with Cormier.

No one is asking a grown man to cry, but not much was felt from Johnson after coming up short in the biggest moment of his professional career.

The class shown by Johnson is rare and appreciative. We could only hope to have more role models like him to inspire young fans all over the glove. But in the face of adversity and a championship loss, there was no emotion.

We saw Jones fight back and win a title bout after having his face carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey by Alexander Gustafsson. Cormier managed to find a way to win after getting knocked down on Saturday night. Where is that same grit from Johnson?

Does it even exist?

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Chris Weidman celebrates after defeating Vitor Belfort in their middleweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 187 on Saturday, May 23, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

After toppling another Brazilian legend, Chris Weidman shouldn’t have to take a backseat to anyone.

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Fortunes changed for six at UFC 187
MMA Fighting
His other narrative, in sports, for the past 15 years was that of being a world-class wrestler, and then a top flight MMA fighter, getting ride to the top of the elite level, but not winning the biggest ones on the biggest stage. It's not exactly true
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Anderson Silva’s all-time great career now rests on the shaky foundation of his word. Despite testing positive for four banned substances before and after his UFC 183 bout with Nick Diaz, the former middleweight champ still vehemently proclaims his innocence.

He recently fired back at his critics in a post on Instagram, which was translated by MMAFighting.com. According to Silva, he isn’t a cheater, and he has never relied on performance-enhancing drugs to fight. He encouraged naysayers to go back and watch his earlier bouts in Japan, where he often fought undersized.

“I’m not a cheater, and I never had a juiced body,” Silva said. “Just watch my fights in Japan, when I fought at 176 pounds because there was no 185-pound division, and the guys I fought cut from 220 to 207. So for those ‘experts,’ go search real facts. … I’m just tired of listening to lies and false accusations.”

Silva has been given a temporary suspension until he meets with the Nevada State Athletic Commission for a hearing. The meeting has been canceled and rescheduled several times. Silva claims he is still waiting on the commission and his lawyers for the mandatory meeting to take place.

The drugs he specifically tested positive for were anabolic steroids drostanolone and androstane, along with anti-anxiety medications oxazepam and temazepam.

Silva’s bout with Diaz was his first in over a year after being sidelined with a broken leg. The gruesome injury occurred in his rematch with Chris Weidman in December 2013 from a blocked leg kick. Many expected the MMA legend to call it quits, but he worked his way back from the injury and returned to competition.

Regardless of the NSAC’s ruling, Silva told fans during a Q&A session in Rio de Janeiro, per MMAFighting.com, he expects to continue fighting for five more years.


Jordy McElroy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He also is the MMA writer for FanRag Sports and co-founder of The MMA Bros.

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The ancient assumption that nice guys finish last is tired and worn out. Boring guys finish last. Non-intuitive guys finish last. Ryan Bader was tired of being overlooked. So he changed things up. He became more exciting and intuitive.

He became the ultimate opportunist.

Daniel Cormier sat onstage at the UFC 187 post-fight press conference in all of his glee, moments after defeating Anthony “Rumble” Johnson for the vacant light heavyweight title. It was the culmination of his life’s work. After missing out on Olympic gold and an NCAA Division I title, Cormier had finally left his mark on history by capturing a UFC championship.

The joyous atmosphere at the press conference was untainted, even in the absence of former light heavyweight champ Jon Jones. Cormier was in a joking, lighthearted mood. He specifically joked about having an “oh s–t” moment after getting rocked with a punch early in the fight. Even Johnson joined in on the gag, poking fun at the size of Cormier‘s head.

Meanwhile, Bader stood in the background, biding his time amid the warm, friendly exchanges.

Cormier would eventually get the “what’s next” question. The new champ would then have to talk about the future and potential challengers in front of him.

Bader had already set the wheels in motion for the public confrontation on Twitter. (Warning: Tweet contains NSFW language.)

When the question finally came, it was like someone turned off a light in the room.

Cormier‘s mood went from giddy to completely agitated. Before Saturday night, Jones was the only man to ever get under Cormier‘s skin.

But the former Olympian’s post-fight blow up at Bader sparked a new feud:

I would love to compete against [Jon Jones], but he’s going to be away for a while. So we’ve got to shift our focus. There’s somebody else that needs his ass kicked, too. I think he’s around here. Yeah, it’s Ryan Bader‘s ass, and I’m going to beat the s–t out of him next time.

Keep talking Bader. This guy’s so disrespectful. I’m trying to fight Anthony Johnson, and Ryan Bader is writing me stupid messages on Twitter because he wants people to think he deserves a title shot.

(Warning: Video contains NSFW language.)

Bader yelled from the back of the room at Cormier before power-walking to the podium. A shouting match ensued between the light heavyweight stars, and Bader was escorted out of the room by security. The verbal sparring match brought new hope to a moribund division clinging to life without its biggest star.

Bader‘s recent run isn’t that impressive from a contender’s perspective. His biggest victory in a four-fight win streak came against Phil Davis in a highly controversial split decision in January.

However, Bader‘s lackluster resume will likely go unnoticed due to timing. Simply put, there aren’t any active contenders more worthy than Bader at the moment. Alexander Gustafsson and Johnson are both coming off losses, Jones is tied up with legal issues and Rashad Evans hasn’t fought since Georges St-Pierre was a UFC champion.

The impeccable timing of an ultimate opportunist stole the show Saturday night, and it likely earned Bader his first crack at UFC gold.  


Jordy McElroy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He also is the MMA writer for FanRag Sports and co-founder of The MMA Bros.

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MMA News
Anderson Silva: I'm tired of listening to lies and false accusations
MMA Fighting
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The UFC continues to flesh out its 2015 Hall of Fame class with the announcement that former lightweight and welterweight champion B.J. Penn will be inducted into the “modern” wing of the Hall of Fame. The announcement was made during the UFC 187 broadcast.

After failed lightweight title runs in 2002 and 2003, Penn moved up to welterweight in order to face Matt Hughes for the 170-pound title in what seemed to be a one-off affair. A massive underdog, he shocked fans, oddsmakers and the UFC by submitting him via rear-naked choke in the first round in January 2004 at UFC 46. 

Penn would then be stripped of the title due to signing an exclusive contract with K-1, where he would compete in both Japan and Hawaii.

He rejoined the UFC in 2006 and attempted to retake the welterweight title but came up short of victory in bouts against Georges St-Pierre and Matt Hughes. From there, he would return to 155 pounds and take the vacant lightweight strap by defeating Joe Stevenson in January 2008 at UFC 80 and would defend it three times before losing it to Frankie Edgar in 2010.

The UFC recently announced a change to its Hall of Fame structure, dividing it into four separate sections for modern era fighters, pioneer fighters, contributors and individual fights.

Penn will enter the modern era wing, alongside former heavyweight champion Bas Rutten (who will join the pioneer class), Olympic gold medalist and former ringside commentator Jeff Blatnick (contributor) and April 2005’s UFC 52 welterweight title fight between Hughes and Frank Trigg (via Mookie Alexander of Bloody Elbow).

The ceremony will take place July 11 as part of the UFC’s International Fight Week Fan Expo in Las Vegas ahead of UFC 189, which features the featherweight title bout between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor

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The official 'UFC 189: Aldo vs. McGregor' promo will give you goosebumps
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UFC 187 on Saturday was a huge event in a variety of ways. Objectively looking over the card, the night just plain couldn’t have gotten much better with two title fights, title eliminators in the heavyweight and lightweight divisions and, functionally, a jump ball for the next crack at the flyweight belt. 

It’s an event that, theoretically, should sell itself on quality of competition alone.

But that wasn’t the case, of course.

UFC 187 was the culmination of several ongoing storylines that all came to a head on fight night.

Chris Weidman delivered sweet, sweet comeuppance to controversial former TRT user Vitor Belfort. Andrei Arlovski continued one of the greatest career comebacks in MMA history by beating friend and former training partner, Travis Browne.

Above all else, though, Daniel Cormier wrote a new chapter in his rivalry with Jon Jones, while kicking off a filler arc with his new mortal enemy, Ryan Bader. That, right there, is the long overdue approach the UFC has needed to take with its biggest fights.

Many words have been said about the UFC’s promotion-first approach, when the organization tries to draw customers on its own name, rather than those of its individual fighters. It’s a logical-yet-not strategy for a company that went through bitter divorces with the crossover stars—like Tito Ortiz, Ken Shamrock and Randy Couture—who laid the sport’s foundation.

Still, it also is one that has cost the UFC recently, as old favorites like B.J. Penn and Georges St-Pierre have exited the competition end of the sport and taken their fans with them.

The UFC’s faux “pure sport” approach, billing itself as the Super Bowl of MMA, gave the UFC a degree of legitimacy among hardcore fans, but it came at the expense of building a full combat sports package.

While legendary rivalries like Ortiz vs. Shamrock and Couture vs. Chuck Liddell built things up for the eventual mainstream push, the UFC was long content in letting the majority of events be 11 Fighter A vs. Fighter B affairs, devoid of the instant accessibility of a battle between former friends or a revenge story for an injured teammate.

Yes, there were the occasional departures from the norm. Rashad Evans and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson had a tense competition on The Ultimate Fighter season 10. Chael Sonnen was one of the biggest names in MMA for a solid three years, entirely based off his gift of gab. 

For a long time, those were outliers, but UFC 187 may very well go down as the point where bitter grudge matches become the standard for UFC main events.

As stated, Cormier hedged his bets at UFC 187, calling out Jones immediately after defeating Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and getting into a heated back-and-forth with Bader at the post-fight presser.

Cormier is quickly becoming one of the hottest names in MMA, and he isn’t close to being the only champion to heat things up with his prospective opponents lately, either.

Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor at UFC 189 in July is at the center of an unprecedented media push defined by barbs, line-stepping and smack talk. UFC 190’s Ronda Rousey vs. Bethe Correia in August has a built-in storyline from Correia defeating two of the “Four Horsewomen.” Even Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson are starting to get into it.

Is this just a perfect storm of grumpiness with the UFC’s current crop of champions? Perhaps.

Either way, beef is being served with essentially every pay-per-view these days…and it’s delicious.

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  • Video: Cormier, Bader Nearly Come To Blows At UFC 187 Post-Fight Presser
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  • B.J. Penn Announced As Final UFC Hall Of Fame Inductee For 2015 Class
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  • Former WWE Superstar Denies Rumors Of Being Offered Kickboxing Bout With Bill Goldberg
    Earlier this year, Bill Goldberg made headlines in the MMA world for claiming he was offered a kickboxing bout against fellow former WWE Superstar Alberto Del Rio. Well, Del Rio is claiming otherwise. Del Rio, now known as Alberto El Patron on the pro wrestling circuit, is denying that he was ever offered a bout […]
  • UFC 187 Results – D.C. Crowned New 205-Pound Champ, Weidman Retains Against Belfort
    [tps_header][/tps_header] Welcome to the UFC 187 Results live coverage center. Here we will be providing live, detailed, round-by-round results coverage of the event. Make sure to refresh this page often, as we will provide live results of the event. We will have live, quick-match UFC 187 Results coverage of both the Fight Pass preliminary fights, […]
  • UFC 187 Weigh-In Results (Video Included)
    UFC held the official weigh-ins for Saturday's UFC 187: Johnson vs. Cormier pay-per-view event in Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday, May 22, 2015. Below are the numbers from the official weigh-ins: MAIN CARD (PPV- 10 PM ET/7 PM PT): - Anthony Johnson (205) vs. Daniel Cormier (205) - Chris Weidman (185) vs. Vitor Belfort (184) […]
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