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  • MMA Stats: Evidence of long-term concerns with UFC ppv model - Bloody Elbow
    Examiner.comMMA Stats: Evidence of long-term concerns with UFC ppv modelBloody ElbowWe'll end up with more MMA, and more free MMA. The halcyon days of 8 stacked Pay-Per-Views a year are likely behind us though. Our MMA is going to be more diluted now, more spread out. For the hardcore fan, that might make the sport […]
  • Knockout Radio Podcast: Special UFC 183 Edition and MMA Roasted's Adam ... - MMAWeekly (blog)
    Knockout Radio Podcast: Special UFC 183 Edition and MMA Roasted's Adam ...MMAWeekly (blog)29 broadcast for a special UFC 183 Edition, featuring Adam Hunter, the host of MMA Roasted. Hot topics this, of course, include all the drama surrounding UFC 183 and the returns of Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz, plus the guys break down UFC […]
  • Fightweets: The Time (to review January) is Now - MMA Fighting
    Bleacher ReportFightweets: The Time (to review January) is NowMMA FightingBy the end of the afternoon, the MMA Gods had enacted their vengeance after snoozing through most of January. So it's time for a late-revised edition of Fightweets, in which we'll talk about the implications of Chris Weidman's injury and of both John ...UFC 183: Anderson […]
  • 2014 World MMA Awards winners: Lawler, Rousey, Gastelum, McGregor, UFC ... - MMAjunkie.com
    MMAjunkie.com2014 World MMA Awards winners: Lawler, Rousey, Gastelum, McGregor, UFC ...MMAjunkie.comThe 2014 World MMA Awards winners were unveiled during a Friday ceremony, and newly crowned UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler was the big winner after taking home the Charles “Mask” Lewis Fighter of the Year award. The awards, organized ...
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    KMOV.comPolice vs Firefighters: Thousands attend annual 'Guns 'N Hoses' boxing, MMA ...KMOV.com(KMOV.com) -- One of the biggest events in St. Louis brought thousands of people to the Scottrade Center Friday night. The annual "Guns 'N Hoses" was held Friday and featured boxing and mixed martial arts fights between police officers and firefighters.and more »
  • Corradi In Line To Receive Special Honor From MMA - CapeNews.net
    Corradi In Line To Receive Special Honor From MMACapeNews.netThe man that countless cadets have called “Coach” with great affection for more than four decades will be getting a new title this spring after retiring from Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Bob Corradi, who has served as the academy's head baseball ...and more »
  • 7th Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards winners announced tonight - Fighters Only
    Mill City Sports7th Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards winners announced tonightFighters OnlyThe 7th annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards, sponsored by Bodybuilding.com and RDX Sports, take place tonight at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada - just one day before Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz meet in the main event at UFC 183. Following […]
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    John Kavanagh, other Irish MMA notables carefully considering when enough's ...MMAjunkie.comAs the sport has continued to mature, the issue of fighter safety has become an intrinsic element of the MMA discourse. Of course, such discussions tend to gravitate toward a particular athlete rather than a holistic debate about the prudence of ...

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MMAjunkie.com
Why Richardson Moreira walked away from an engineering job and UCLA for
MMAjunkie.com
Despite boasting a job as an engineer, Moreira was already well into his MMA career while building a 5-1 mark in his native Brazil. With all five of those wins coming via first-round stoppage, Moreira showed real potential, but he had to make a decision.

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Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz are mere hours away from facing off in the Octagon at UFC 183, and fans are counting down the seconds until the main event.

Admittedly, this matchup would’ve been a lot more attractive a few years ago, but both fighters remain among the biggest names in UFC. The company didn’t need to do much in the way of promotion to build to this bout.

One of the minor subplots for this fight is Silva’s insistence that he won’t wear Reebok gear. UFC announced a partnership with the company in December, which means that all fighters will be mandated to don apparel exclusively from Reebok.

In an interview with Terra, Silva made no bones about his preference for Nike gear, via MMAjunkie’s Brent Brookhouse and Christian Stein.

“I’ve always worn Nike, even before I had a contract with them,” he said. “Just because our ties are severed, it doesn’t mean I’ll stop wearing it. It feels true; it’s a brand with which I identify. It’s no use to sport a brand to which I have no relationship.”

Former UFC star Tim Sylvia stood in solidarity with Silva:

Reebok went on the charm offensive to try to turn the Brazilian around:

A minor problem arose when Diaz decided to skip out on an open workout that was scheduled earlier in the week:

UFC president Dana White defused the situation with his well-timed tweet:

Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer tried to connect all of the dots, figuring it was quite a coincidence that Diaz would go missing while the NFL is investigating the New England Patriots for potentially cheating in an NFL playoff game:

Diaz also provided some comedy when trying to explain how he was unable to get into contact with White to explain his condition, per Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting:

It was a relatively innocuous story, and forgoing the public workout likely helped Diaz‘s pre-fight preparation. Who’s to argue with that kind of calculation on Diaz‘s part? If it’ll make for a better fight in the end, nobody’s going to complain.

Of course, the biggest question on everybody’s mind is whether Silva has much left in the tank. Nobody expects to see the “Spider” of old Saturday night. He’s 39 years old, coming off two losses and a major leg injury. Anybody, no matter how great they once were, can beat Father Time.

Diaz isn’t without red flags either, but he’s more than capable of ending the fight if Silva gives him an opportunity.

Sherdog’s Patrick Wyman tweeted that the only guarantee for UFC 183 is that it’ll be entertaining:

Quite a few are hitching themselves to the Silva bandwagon.

Former pro wrestling announcer Jim Ross picked Silva in what he believes will be a classic slobber-knocker:

Josh Gross is also firmly behind Silva but feels that thinking about the fight too much can be a bit disheartening:

Silva also received backing from the UFC light heavyweight champion himself, Jon Jones:

From top to bottom, the card for UFC 183 doesn’t have a massive volume of great matchups. That shortcoming should be more than compensated for by Diaz vs. Silva.

Both stars are coming in off somewhat major layoffs and with something to prove. They may not be what they once were, but they should have more than enough left to give fans a great main event.

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Knockout Radio Podcast: Special UFC 183 Edition and MMA Roasted's Adam
MMAWeekly (blog)
29 broadcast for a special UFC 183 Edition, featuring Adam Hunter, the host of MMA Roasted. Hot topics this, of course, include all the drama surrounding UFC 183 and the returns of Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz, plus the guys break down UFC on FOX 14 …

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Arguably the greatest mixed martial artist in history is set to make his return to the Octagon after a 13-month absence from the sport. At UFC 183 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Anderson “The Spider” Silva will attempt to regain the form that made him stand tall amongst the elite performers in his sport.

Providing the opposition is the talented, enigmatic and polarizing Nick Diaz. He’s a man of few words, but when he speaks, it’s usually bizarre and compelling.

If there was ever a mixed martial artist with a natural disposition suited for the world of professional wrestling, it’s Diaz. The Stockton, California native, has been out of the Octagon for a while himself. It’s been nearly two years since he lost to Georges St-Pierre in the main event of UFC 158.

Because of the layoffs with both fighters, we really don’t know what to expect from either man. That’s even more reason to watch. Here’s the viewing information and my predictions for every fight. 

You can check out my preview that focuses on the main card here. For this write-up, let’s take a closer look at the preliminary fights. 

 

Best Potential Scraps Before Main Card

Diego Brandao vs. Jimy Hettes 

As UFC Fight Pass prelims go, the Brandao-Hettes clash is impressive. Both men are veterans of the promotion and have scored some solid wins in their career.

However, each man is coming off a loss in his last bout and would like nothing more than to grab a victory to improve his status. Brandao has been stopped in each of his last two fights.

Most recently, he was demolished in the first round by top featherweight contender Conor McGregor. Prior to that, Dustin Poirier only needed a round to dispose of Brandao.

Hettes hasn’t fought in almost a year. In his last scrap, he too was stopped by Dennis Bermudez.

Against each other, the two men match up fairly well. Both have a solid grappling base, but Brandao is far more dangerous as a striker than Hettes. The latter has never finished a fight with strikes, and he’ll have a tough time getting Brandao to respect his striking.

Look for Brandao to put the pressure on Hettes, defend the takedown and earn a unanimous-decision victory with pressure and more effective striking.

 

Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall vs. John “Hands of Stone” Lineker

This bout was supposed to take place in Nov. 2014, but McCall had to withdraw due to a blood infection. Because McCall’s latest ailment follows a series of hand injuries, you have to wonder if he’ll be 100 percent in this fight.

If I was confident he’d be at his best, my prediction would have favored him. With uncertainty around McCall’s overall health, Lineker‘s power, pursuit and hunger make him the smarter choice.

Not only has Lineker escaped the injuries McCall has endured, but at 24, he’s also six years younger than Uncle Creepy. I give McCall credit for being tough enough to withstand Lineker‘s potentially devastating striking, but the decision will go to the man they call Hands of Stone.

 

Miesha “Cupcake” Tate vs. Sara McMann

The battle for the title of second-best women’s bantamweight is an intriguing one. McMann‘s wrestling prowess makes her a tough out for any opponent, but Tate’s overall skill and experience also make her formidable.

In a battle that could put the winner one or two fights away from another shot at bantamweight queen Ronda Rousey or Cat Zingano—should the latter upset the champion at UFC 184 in February—McMann‘s strength in the clinch and on the ground will be the difference.

Tate says in the interview below with Fight Corner that McMann is one-dimensional, but she acknowledges that it has been working.

When Rousey defeated McMann in Feb. 2014, she didn’t allow the latter to get to her strength. A well-placed knee to the midsection spelled the end of the bout. Tate doesn’t have the striking skills to make McMann respect her, and she’s not physically strong enough to keep from being dominated on the mat.

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Scifighting
MMA Stats: Evidence of long-term concerns with UFC ppv model
Bloody Elbow
We'll end up with more MMA, and more free MMA. The halcyon days of 8 stacked Pay-Per-Views a year are likely behind us though. Our MMA is going to be more diluted now, more spread out. For the hardcore fan, that might make the sport a little less …
UFC Raises Prices Of Pay-Per-View EventsMMA News
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The UFC 183 weigh-ins were weird to say the least. The fallout could affect what was shaping up to be the most entertaining fights on the card. Two fighters who figured to have a great chance to make a statement were grossly overweight. One more than the other.

Per UFC.com, welterweight—and we use that term only in the technical sense—Kelvin Gastelum weighed in at 180 pounds on Friday night. That’s 10 pounds overweight, while his opponent Tyron Woodley came in at a svelte 170.5. This isn’t the first time Gastelum has missed weight for a fight. It’s becoming a bit too common for him, and it will ultimately damage his reputation with fans and his peers.

Because of Gastelum’s issues, he will be fined 30 percent of his fight purse.

Flyweight contender John Lineker weighed in at 130 pounds, which is five pounds over the mark for his bout with Ian McCall. Fox Sports’ Damon Martin took both fighters to task in this tweet:

As it is, at least three fighters are going to earn Fight Night bonuses. Before “WeightGate,” I considered tabbing Lineker and McCall for Fight of the Night. However, with Lineker coming in heavy, I’m backing off.

Here are my revised predictions for Fight Night bonuses.

 

Performance of the Night Bonuses

Derek Brunson

Brunson is far from infallible, but his opponent on Saturday doesn’t have the striking prowess to take advantage of his deficiencies. Brunson is going to knock Ed Herman out, and it’s going to be pretty vicious.

Herman is a grappler who will desperately want to get this fight to the ground. However, because Brunson is a bigger, quicker and more explosive athlete, Herman will have issues closing the distance. It’s only a matter of time before Brunson catches him with something that makes you say: “ooh.”

When the evening ends, Brunson will be receiving one of the $50,000 bonuses.

 

Thales Leites

Since he returned to the UFC in 2013, Leites has looked dominant. He’s won all four of his fights, and the last two have come by way of stoppage. 

He has a tough and desperate Tim Boetsch in front of him, but the talent difference between the two men is clear. Leites has added some effective striking to go with his excellent submission skills. The result is a far more complete fighter than he was five years ago.

Boetsch is rugged, but Leites is going to pick him apart and dare him to go for a takedown. Based on dominance over a noteworthy opponent, Leites is my other pick for POTN.

 

Fight of the Night

Al Iaquinta vs. Joe Lauzon

While I considered Lineker-McCall for FOTN, the mix of styles that is Iaquinta vs. Lauzon was too intriguing to deny. When you consider Iaquinta’s raging and aggressive style and factor in Lauzon’s six previous FOTN awards, it’s hard not to tab this as the favorite to win best scrap on the card.

Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed can’t pick a winner.

Lauzon is known for his submission skills, but he has vastly improved his striking over the years. Still, he won’t be a match in the stand-up game against Iaquinta for extended periods.

It’ll be fun to watch these two warriors battle to impose their style and will on the other.

 

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

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SI.com
Fightweets: The Time (to review January) is Now
MMA Fighting
By the end of the afternoon, the MMA Gods had enacted their vengeance after snoozing through most of January. So it's time for a late-revised edition of Fightweets, in which we'll talk about the implications of Chris Weidman's injury and of both John
UFC 183 staff picks: It's a sweep – our crew says Anderson Silva is backMMAjunkie.com
UFC 183: Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz predictions from top MMA fightersBloody Elbow
UFC 183: Nick Diaz is simply an MMA fighter from Stockton, not an evil villainMMAmania.com
SI.com -MMAWeekly (blog)
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Having failed to fell Chris Weidman in his last two fights, Anderson Silva will look to get back in the win column tonight against Nick Diaz. Diaz, meanwhile, is entering the Octagon after a nearly two-year absence.

UFC 183 should feature a great main event, which will include two stars who have major chips on their respective shoulders.

Neither Silva nor Diaz was shy about expressing his feelings about a variety of different issues in a public forum. They’ve both been pretty active in the days building up to the pay-per-view.

 

Fighter Comments

One of the biggest questions raised after the sponsorship deal between Reebok and UFC surrounded how certain fighters would respond. Plenty of top stars have established relationships with other companies, so the transition to Reebok gear was bound to be a bit rough early on.

Silva spoke about his reticence to make the switch in an interview with Terra, via MMAjunkie’s Brent Brookhouse and Christian Stein:

I don’t like that idea. When you wear a brand, it needs to be true; there must be a connection. I don’t identify with Reebok at all.

I’ve always worn Nike, even before I had a contract with them. Just because our ties are severed, it doesn’t mean I’ll stop wearing it. It feels true; it’s a brand with which I identify. It’s no use to sport a brand to which I have no relationship.

Although Silva is one of UFC’s biggest stars, he’ll likely have to fall in line once all fighters are instructed to don Reebok in the summer. If any fighter does try to make a stand, though, Silva would be one of the best-positioned to do so.

Going back to the fight itself, one of the major storylines for UFC 183 is how Silva will respond after his last fight ended in such gruesome circumstances.

UFC fans won’t soon forget the image of Silva breaking his leg, and the former champion admitted that while he’s feeling good now, he was initially a little scared to get right back into the swing of things, per Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times:

“My leg’s good and I’m very excited for the fight. When I go walk to the octagon, it feels like the first time, like my first fight in the UFC.”

Silva said after returning home to Brazil from a lengthy Las Vegas hospital stay that included some physical therapy, he was frightened to test the leg in training.

“How’s your leg?” a coach asked him in Brazil.

“I don’t know,” Silva answered. “I’m scared for training.”

Silva said he saw his friends doing jumping drills and decided to give it a try.

The coach watched Silva’s jumping and pushed him: “Finish, go train, your leg [has] nothing more” to recover from.

It’s impossible to recreate a fight-like atmosphere in a training session. You wouldn’t expect Silva to hold anything back, but he might be a little hesitant early on as he gets used to the Octagon once again.

On the other side, Diaz has always been viewed as more of a heel, to use pro wrestling terminology. He’s very good at eliciting a reaction from the crowd, be it positive or negative—generally negative.

In an interview with Mark Emmons for UFC.com, Diaz spoke about his willingness to play the foil for more popular, well-received fighters.

“I’d rather not be portrayed as an evil villain, but if people want to make me out to be that, and it sells tickets, that’s fine,” he said. “But I do hope people understand that this is just what sells, and not what’s really me. I’m just a mixed-martial artist from Stockton, California. And I’m still here.”

Diaz didn’t ingratiate himself with UFC fans earlier in the week when he skipped out on an open workout:

To make amends, he offered a broad apology to both UFC and the fans on Thursday, per Fox Sports’ Elias Cepeda:

I apologize to all the fans. I didn’t really put too much thought into it. I was just focused on the fight.

I apologize to the UFC … kind of everybody not knowing what was going on with me. It really wasn’t a big deal. I’m going to do what I have to do, and then come and fight.

In the end, if missing out on a public training session put Diaz in a better position to win, few can argue with the strategy. Plus, it allowed UFC President Dana White to have some fun with the situation:

 

Prediction

Before his leg injury, Silva would’ve likely coasted to victory against Diaz. This matchup presents a style nightmare for Diaz, and his opponent is one of the greatest fighters ever to step into the Octagon.

Silva should be able to dictate the pace of the fight and remain in the middle of the cage. As long as he can remain off the fence, he’ll consistently keep Diaz at bay.

However, as Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Snowden wrote, the Brazilian star has some doubts hovering over his ability going into tonight’s fight:

The truth is, the Anderson Silva we all picture in our heads is the 2008 wrecking machine, the guy who made Chris Leben and Forrest Griffin look like clowns. That guy doesn‘t exist anymore.

Today, Anderson Silva is just a guy trying to piece his shattered career, and his shattered leg, back together. He’s 39. His kids are running around UFC Embedded videos looking like full-grown men for God’s sake.

The gulf between the two is by no means insurmountable from Diaz‘s perspective. If he can tag Silva early with a big blow, this will be a completely different fight.

In the end, Silva should earn a hard-fought victory after the full distance. He’ll be a much lesser version of himself than fans came to expect during his prime, but he’ll still be good enough to topple Diaz.

Final Prediction: Silva by unanimous decision

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MMAjunkie.com
2014 World MMA Awards winners: Lawler, Rousey, Gastelum, McGregor, UFC
MMAjunkie.com
The 2014 World MMA Awards winners were unveiled during a Friday ceremony, and newly crowned UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler was the big winner after taking home the Charles “Mask” Lewis Fighter of the Year award. The awards, organized …

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There have been more downs than ups for the UFC in the past year or so.

Really, back so far as 2012 and a television deal with FOX that has been more damaging to product quality than anyone would have anticipated at the time, things have been tough.

The world’s top MMA promotion has remained so largely by default, content to leave fans wading through a muck of unknowns and irrelevants and acting like such offerings were on par with those that made the sport great.

And there were offerings that made the sport great. Once upon a time a UFC pay-per-view was appointment viewing, a top-to-bottom piece of matchmaking expertise that would invariably have something for everybody.

It was a great time to be a fan. For a long time, it looked like it would be the last great time to be a fan.

However, all of a sudden, that no longer looks to be the case. The UFC has very much been back in 2015, and they’re making MMA fun again.

Look no further than UFC 183 for proof.

In a world where arbitrarily ranked guys simply must be paired off against one another in the absence of hype or naturally built enthusiasm (because if they don’t headline a card at 2 a.m. in Fairfax, Virginia, who will?), the UFC decided to do something fun again.

They took two guys people love, both of whom tend to be exciting in the Octagon, and they made a fight kind of out of nowhere. Sure, at 39, one is as old as our very own Jonathan Snowden and was last seen with one working leg, while the other has been retired since 2013 and can’t catch a flight to save his life, but it’s fun.

Remember fun in MMA? It used to be a far more regular occurrence.

Fun gave the world Randy Couture butchering James Toney.

Fun had Anderson Silva in his prime smashing Forrest Griffin and James Irvin because the middleweights of the world were honestly boring to him.

Fun had Brock Lesnar stroll out of pro wrestling and become a world champion.

And somehow, fun became forgotten. It became, in a way, painfully underrated.

When Silva and Nick Diaz meet up on Saturday night in Las Vegas, it will strike a blow for everyone who likes fun things in MMA. It’s a guarantee from the UFC that, regardless of the outcome and however long it takes to arrive, there will be can’t-miss television.

As legitimacy and respect from the mainstream has become the goal of the promotion, the definition of “can’t-miss television” has been adjusted accordingly. They’ve shied away from the things that catch people’s eye as fun, relying instead on a collection of guys who largely look and fight the same to garner attention.

The success of that strategy has been mixed, at best. It’s probably no coincidence that the unique personality of Conor McGregor and the unique talents of Lyoto Machida are among the top draws of the FOX era. This suggests that people want more than two guys who wrestled in college stuffing one another’s takedowns and exchanging respectable kickboxing combinations.

Going back to the traditional appeal of the sport—that it’s fun—indicates a willingness to adapt to what consumers want.

Diaz and Silva is fun, but so too was McGregor’s rout of Dennis Siver, Anthony Johnson’s rout of Alex Gustafsson, and Jon Jones’ rout of Daniel Cormier. They’re all fun in their own way, be it UFC 183’s bizarre spectacle, the promotional fun of McGregor, or the competitive importance and fun of the other two mentioned, and they provide something for everyone.

Picking from the platter offered up by the UFC in 2015 so far, every type of MMA fan has been served, and they’ve been served with different portions of what has historically made the sport so enjoyable.

So here we are, only hours away from UFC 183. Diaz and Silva will touch gloves and get down to business, and the thrill of knowing that is truly glorious. It’s a throwback to a time not that long ago, when nothing mattered on a Saturday night beyond a cage in the Nevada desert.

It’s good to have that feeling again.

MMA is fun when it’s done right, and no one has more resources to do it right than the UFC. When they’re using them correctly, as they are at UFC 183, there’s nothing better in sports.

 

Follow me on Twitter @matthewjryder!

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  • UFC 183 Live Results Coverage At MMANews.com!
    Welcome to the UFC 183 Results live coverage center. Here we will be providing live, detailed, round-by-round results coverage of the entire UFC 183 pay-per-view event. On Saturday, January 31, 2015, make sure to stop back by this page, as we will provide live results of the entire UFC 183 card. We will have live, […]
  • Gastelum, Lineker Update: Fined 30 Percent Of Purses, Fights Will Go On As Scheduled
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  • Rousey-Zingano Headlines UFC 184 As Chris Weidman Pulls Out With Injury
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  • VIDEO: UFC 183 Weigh-In Results — Gastelum Misses Weight By Nine Pounds
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  • Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: “I’d Love To Fight Brock Lesnar”
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  • Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo Title Fight Officially Announced For UFC 189
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  • Video: UFC 183 Q&A With Conor McGregor (Full Archive)
    UFC Featherweight contender "The Notorious" Conor McGregor took part in a live UFC Fight Club Q&A ahead of today's UFC 183 weigh-ins at the MGM Grand. Check out the video above to watch McGregor's complete Q&A with the fans in Las Vegas, Nevada. Talk about this on our official FACEBOOK page, or on our official […]
  • Video: UFC 183 Embedded — Episode Three
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  • Rampage Confirms Maldonado Bout For UFC 186, Says “This Dude Is In Trouble”
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  • Photo: Gina Carano Returns To Training
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