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  • Coach: Chael Sonnen 'refuses' to fight like Brendan Schaub at Metamoris 4 - MMA Fighting
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Posts Tagged ‘comeback’

Dan Hardy has a nice, comfy job of calling fights for the UFC. Most fans would love to be in his position, but Hardy has a plan to step back into the Octagon once more.

Speaking on MMA Junkie Radio (transcribed by MMA Junkie’s Steven Marrocco), Hardy shared that he received encouraging news in regard to his Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and has an idea of whom he would want to fight if he’s cleared for action once again.

Diego Sanchez, because after Ross Pearson got robbed, that was one of the worst decisions I’ve ever seen,” he said.

Ross Pearson and Diego Sanchez fought at UFC Fight Night 42, a bout that saw Sanchez pick up a split-decision victory. The scoring was so bad that one of the judges managed to give Sanchez a round in which he was knocked down by Pearson.

UFC president Dana White would subsequently call the result “insanity,” via ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto, and would move on as if Pearson had won the fight. However, based on his post-fight press conference, Sanchez is still certain he won the fight.

Hardy would go on to further explain why he’d like to fight Sanchez, giving the Jackson’s MMA fighter a sort of backhanded compliment.

I’m a huge Diego fan, but for me, he is what’s wrong with mixed martial arts right now. He is the 20th century bullheaded martial artist that walks forward and fights with their face. … I think Diego represents the old school, where you just walk forward in a boxing stance and see who falls over first.

Sanchez’s style has certainly made him must-see TV during his UFC tenure because his game plan rarely involves moving backwards. His wars with Gilbert Melendez and Martin Kampmann provided MMA fans with plenty of excitement.

Of course, that method of fighting comes with a heavy price, and it’s clear that Sanchez has begun to feel the effects of it. Listening to Sanchez speak following his battle with Melendez, you can hear the slurred speech that’s become all too common with legends of boxing’s past.

Hardy has a few obstacles to overcome before going up against competition, and with him doing so well as a commentator, the UFC isn’t in any rush to get him back into the cage. The recent Stefan Struve mishap at UFC 175 also has to weigh heavily on the company’s decision to put Hardy back in action.

Prior to trading in his gloves for a suit, Hardy had become one of the main players in the UFC’s overseas expansion plans. The UFC heavily pushed and hyped Hardy for his fight against Georges St-Pierre at UFC 111, but Hardy would fall like so many before him to the relentless assault from GSP.

A string of defeats left many wondering why Hardy was still employed with the UFC. But eventually, Hardy would figure things out and strung together back-to-back wins in 2012.

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MMAjunkie.com
Cathal Pendred calls comeback victory 'fairy tale start' to UFC career
MMA Fighting
DUBLIN — Cathal Pendred talks about surviving a dangerous first round against Mike King at UFC Fight Night 46, not expecting to be taken down, credit due to referee Mark Goddard for not stopping the fight, being counted out, and more.
Video: UFC Fight Night 46's Mike King on fighting 'TUF 19' teammate PendredMMAjunkie.com

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Bangor Daily News
Wood, Boyington slated for MMA comeback title bouts
Bangor Daily News
BANGOR, Maine — Young's MMA teammates Ray “All Business” Wood and Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington will compete in separate comeback bouts as part of New England Fights' next mixed martial arts promotion scheduled for Sept. 6 at the Androscoggin …

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To understand just how dominant Anderson Silva has been in the UFC, you really need to take a full day and watch all of his fights, back-to-back. In doing so, you will be shocked at the men he disposed of, especially if you have been following the sport avidly for more than five years.

Be it his Floyd Mayweather-esque destruction of Chris Leben, his utter dominations of the always underrated Rich Franklin, his inspirational rallies against Chael Sonnen; if you watch it all, you see the passage of years while Silva remains constant—as in, constantly so far above the rest that it almost looks unfair.

He wasn’t just good; he was fantastic in every sense of the word.

But when Chris Weidman managed to defeat him in their first fight at UFC 162, there were more than a few people (fighters, writers and fans alike) who were not surprised at all.

In Weidman, Silva was facing what looked to be his true foil: a young fighter with a great wrestling base, a high submission acumen and serious power in his hands.

And most of all, he wasn’t in the least bit afraid or intimidated by Silva—at least not in any way that hampered his performance.

Because of all this, those who were vocal in their predictions of a Weidman victory were not just looking to call an upset for its own sake. They saw something in Silva’s past fights that seemed to indicate a lack of desire, perhaps, or a slowing down of the machine that had ruled the middleweight division for so long.

He was getting distracted, it seemed to some, and moreover, he was just getting old.

Thus, Weidman went out and defeated Silva in nearly all aspects of their short yet sublime bout. Silva didn’t win a round, nor did he win the fight; he was outworked, out-grappled and finally knocked out cold.

It wasn’t supposed to go like that, but it reminded us that this is a sport that will eventually surpass all champions. It will be rejuvenated by fresh faces and young blood while the greats of today become the elder statesmen of tomorrow.

And that is where Silva is heading, if you look at the history of the sport.

Of course, his fans (the legions that they are) will dismiss this as nothing more than bitter talk from either a “hater” or a writer desperate to get reads by “insulting” a legend.

But if it were that simple, history would not paint such a damning picture of the passion plays of older men (such as Roy Jones Jr.) who linger too long on a field destined to be ruled by younger men with faster swords.

Far too many people act as if fighters like Randy Couture, Dan Henderson and Bernard Hopkins are the new norm; the truth is they are grand and unique exceptions to the norm because they did not ignore their age, they adapted to it. Just because they managed to fight well into their 40s does not mean everyone else can, be they named Anderson Silva or not.

For every fighter that fights and succeeds on a serious level past 37 years of age, there are a hundred (or more) talented and hungry fighters of the same or younger age who cannot. Their failure is not based on a lack of dedication or desire; it’s based on the system of nature that says with age comes the benefit of wisdom and the diminishing of the physical.

After losing to Weidman twice, those in Silva’s camp were appropriately optimistic about his return while still being respectful of the fact that Silva’s future, as always, was in his hands alone.

The realism stopped when they talked about a third fight with Weidman for Silva’s comeback bout. To be honest, Silva is no longer in the position to be fighting for the title without qualifying himself by winning at least two bouts against Top 10 competition.

The Silva of old really doesn’t exist anymore; the Silva we have now is honestly an unknown quantity, he’s got all the same skills as his younger self, but his physical gifts have aged, as all men must.

When added to the fact that he suffered a horrific leg injury, it seems clear that he should be required to do some honest work against fighters of serious note before being awarded another chance to fight the champion.

And to be honest, Silva probably wouldn’t have a problem with that. Right now his main nemesis seems to be his leg injury, not Weidman. Fighting two opponents who are ranked in the Top 10 would doubtless be fine with him.

But what are the odds of his success, and what would a successful comeback look like for such a man?

Obviously, the idea of Silva reclaiming the title would be the ultimate coup over the specters of older age and injury. If Weidman still has the belt in such a scenario, then Silva’s chances of victory are slim. Weidman has a style tailor-made to defeat Silva, he is not afraid of Silva at all, and once again, he’s the younger man.

When considering Silva facing anyone for the title, one of the first things that comes to mind is that Silva will no longer be enjoying the once-thought unassailable psychological advantage he used to.

During the height of his power, Silva seemed so untouchable that his opponents acted as if he were a mirage. They second-guessed every movement they made and treated every flinch and gesture of Silva as if it had fight-ending capacity.

In his bouts against Vitor Belfort, Stephan Bonnar, Patrick Cote, Forrest Griffin and others, it seemed as if they were beaten before the fight had already begun. It’s hard enough to defeat a fighter as skilled as Silva without conceding to him a kind of mythic invulnerability.

Now, fighters know Silva is quite touchable and as beatable as the next man.

The idea of future fighters deferring to him and his former air of utter superiority runs contrary to the history of the combative sports. That history has shown, time and again, that once a great fighter is revealed as being “human,” his opposition become much bolder than before; each of them looking to claim dominion over an aspect of his legacy by proving themselves superior to his established and once-feared name.

It’s a common theme among all great fighters; it’s just new to MMA because Silva has honestly been one of the very first who looked like something more than great. In professional boxing (the older sibling to MMA if there ever was one), fighters like Silva have come and gone many times, but without the tenure Silva has enjoyed; normally the story is that the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long, but Silva has burned three times as bright for twice as long.

Thus, it’s no wonder that his fans think he is beyond such things as age and diminishing passion; it’s what they’ve come to know as fact for many years. How many times have we seen Silva, the older man in the cage, looking terribly bored against an honestly exceptional opponent, suddenly blow all our minds in a split second, leaving the opposition out cold on the floor?

Up until UFC 162, a Silva title bout had seemed like a one-man show; the other opponent regulated to the undignified and hapless role of footnote to his greatness.

Now things have changed, and everyone knows it. Weidman is the mountain that Silva has thrown himself against, twice, and each time been sent away more broken than the last.

And all the while, Silva is growing older.

Obviously, we as fans of the man can make the distinction between failure of planning and the shackles of age; yet that is of no importance. What is important is that Silva can make that distinction, and to be honest, we don’t know that he can.

In fact, in Weidman, Silva is faced with an opponent that rebuffed his greatest advantages with the kind of ease that we used to assume Silva would aim at his opponents.

Recently, in an interview with SporTV (h/t Fernando Arbex of Bloody Elbow), Silva spoke like a confused man, saying on one had that he wanted to finish all eight fights remaining on his contract, and on the other saying he might not be in the mood to do so.

While longtime fans of the man may be happy to relegate his decision as victories in the bank, the fact is that fighters, even those as great as Silva, have never been well served when their passions were wandering the middle of the road.

“I have eight fights to do yet in my contract,” Silva said. “I want to do all of these fights but I don’t know that I will be in the mood to do this.”

Honestly, this kind of uncertainty is not shocking when one considers just how much Silva has already accomplished. He’s been there, done that, time and again.

Obviously the title belt doesn’t look as shiny to him as it would countless others. How man of them does he own after so many years?

It is an honest question, weighed in equal opposition to the fact his future opponents, hungry and talented, own none and want much.

After seeing Weidman (a fighter with a record of a mere 10-0 at the time) do the unthinkable, the idea that the middleweight division reveres Silva as unbeatable is just not honest.

That all ended when Weidman caught him clowning and knocked him flat on his back.

Even if Weidman loses the title to someone else, Silva will still be facing a champion who wants to keep his title far more than Silva wants to win it.

And then there is the area of his skills and talent. Silva has always been a naturally gifted fighter who could do things most cannot and even after his leg injury, on his worst day he’s still a good deal better than most.

But much of his success was based on his near total control of his environment. Now, he no longer has possession of the field like he once did; fighters have seen him taken down and controlled, and they have seen him knocked out while standing up.

They will be bringing the fight to Silva in ways they have seen succeed, and they will be going hard rather than assuming the role of spectators to their own professional demise.

When he started in the UFC, he wasn’t given anything; he took it with a verve and authority rarely seen. His opponents were not deferring to him because he had not established himself as the greatest fighter of all time; they made him work for it, and in that honest labor we saw Silva shine so very bright.

So, can he do it all again, at the age of 40?

Yes, it’s possible, but it will be much harder the second time around. Given his recent admittances, his heart may not be fully invested in the effort; against younger, hungrier fighters, half measures will on get him half way.

And where the championship is concerned, that leaves him with a long way to go in the twilight of his career.

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MMAjunkie.com
Jake Ellenberger calls Robbie Lawler's comeback story 'overblown'
MMA Fighting
LAS VEGAS — Robbie Lawler's career resurgence was one of the most celebrated stories in mixed martial arts in 2013. The former can't-miss-prospect-who-did returned to the UFC after a near-decade absence last year and rolled to three consecutive …
13 years later, UFC 173's Robbie Lawler still fighting for love of MMA, not moneyMMAmania.com
With help of sports psychiatrist, UFC 173's Jake Ellenberger embracing fearMMAjunkie.com
How Robbie Lawler is finally taking hold of his MMA careerLas Vegas Blog (blog)
LowKickMMA -Sports Media 101 -MMATorch
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Jake Ellenberger calls Robbier Lawler's comeback story 'overblown'
MMA Fighting
LAS VEGAS — Robbier Lawler's career resurgence was one of the most celebrated stories in mixed martial arts in 2013. The former can't-miss-prospect-who-did returned to the UFC after a near-decade absence last year and rolled to three consecutive …

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It’s been a minute since MMA fans have had the pleasure of Michael Bisping’s company.

The UFC’s original bad guy has been out of action for nearly a year recovering from a career-threatening eye injury. During his convalescence, he kept an uncharacteristically low profile, making sporadic media appearances wearing a pirate’s eye patch while spending the rest of his downtime taunting orphans and pulling the wings off butterflies.

OK, that last part was just a guess, but as one of the sport’s longest-standing (and perhaps most unfairly maligned) villains, would you really be surprised?

When Bisping returns on Wednesday at The Ultimate Fighter: Nations live finale, it will be to answer yet another challenge from his peers—this one from American hero Tim Kennedy—in a fight that seems like it could’ve been dreamed up in a professional wrestling writers’ room circa 1983.

Or, for that matter, in a Boston tavern circa 1783.

It’s an important comeback bout for the 35-year-old British star, as he seeks to string together two consecutive victories for the first time since 2011. After beginning his UFC career on a 12-3 tear, he’s been inconsistent of late, going just 2-2 during his four most recent appearances (though both losses came against TRT-enhanced fighters Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen).

More to the point, Bisping will be out to prove that he’s still worthy of being the man we love to loathe; one of the most hated-on and frequently called-out fighters on the UFC’s middleweight roster.

As usual, his timing is impeccable.

The 185-pound class experienced a sudden sea change during Bisping’s injury timeout, as Chris Weidman gave new life to contenders of all stripes when he unseated longtime champion Anderson Silva. With erstwhile No. 1 challenger Belfort facing an uncertain future, the race to be an upcoming dance partner for Weidman is wide open.

In other words, the time for Bisping to self-actualize is now. After spending years floating around the outskirts of the title picture without ever receiving a shot at the gold, the sudden absence of Silva could benefit him greatly.

He remains one of the UFC’s most polarizing attractions, after all. He’s the sort of guy who might actually sell a fight with the mild-mannered Weidman if you put them on opposite sides of a press conference dais. Bisping is arrogant, he struts—he’s an Englishman nicknamed “The Count,” for Pete’s sake—and when the percussion intro to Blur’s “Song 2” hits the PA, fans go crazy for him, one way or another.

He’s spent nearly his entire UFC career getting called out by guys like Kennedy. His high-profile status and reputation as an overhyped decision artist have made him a popular mark for upstart middleweights looking to improve their positions in life. Oddly, the fact that most of those challengers ended up receiving a 15-minute crash course in how good Bisping really is appears to have only encouraged additional suitors.

In order for him to take the next step and—gasp—actually become the contender he’s always wanted to be, he has precious little time to waste. If he means to shake our perception of him as a guy who fell short against top competition, his upcoming run of fights likely represents his last chance.

Obviously, all of that starts with beating Kennedy on Wednesday night. If he can do that, he’ll serve notice to fans and the new crop of contenders that—like it or not—the swaggering Brit is still among the toughest draws in the middleweight division.

Better that than just the guy we used to hate.

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Scott Smith, the original comeback kid, still battling demons
MMA Fighting
"Five weeks to the day before the Cung Le fight, I was in Chicago doing some Strikeforce commentating, and that was when Fedor Emelianenko was fighting. I was on Inside MMA doing the weigh-ins, and I was told live on television that I was fighting Cung

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Bloody Elbow
Carano talks about potential comeback to MMA as well as her upcoming movie
Bloody Elbow
While rumors that she could be fighting Ronda Rousey as soon as this summer were quickly (and deservedly) quashed, there's still every chance that fight fans could see a return to MMA and a trip to the UFC in the future of the former face of women's MMA.
Finally, Gina Carano comments on a possible return to mixed martial arts (MMA)MMAmania.com
Gina Carano says she's open to a return to MMA "if circumstances were right"MMATorch

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After two rounds on Sunday at UFC Fight Night 38, we were all struggling to write eulogies for Dan Henderson’s legendary MMA career.

Then, a minute into the third, Hendo penned one for Mauricio “Shogun” Rua using just one punch.

It was a right hook, and Henderson landed it flush on Rua’s nose as the 32-year-old crowd favorite dropped his hands to defend a takedown. Rua somersaulted backward, and Hendo charged in to land another right, followed by a series of hammerfists that prompted referee Herb Dean to stop the action.

Just like that, Hendo changed the balance of the discussion. Suddenly, it was the 43-year-old who was back in the mix of the light heavyweight division and Rua whose storied tenure in the sport seemed on its last legs.

Six-and-a-half minutes earlier, it appeared as though Dean would have to step in to save Henderson. With 41 seconds on the clock in the opening stanza, Henderson stunned Shogun with a left hook, but in his hurry to press the action against the fence, he was floored by a two-punch counter.

Rua swarmed him with hard shots, but as Dean hovered a step away, Hendo managed to survive to the end of the round. Later, with just under three minutes left in the second, Shogun dropped him with an uppercut, but Henderson again weathered the storm.

And so it went until the opening stages of the third, when—after 10 minutes of looking entirely pedestrian—Hendo reminded us that he only needed one bullet and that he still possessed the cold, exacting heart of a sniper.

“I think he’d rung my bell just a tad in the first round and then again in the second,” he told UFC play-by-play man Jon Anik in the cage after the fight. “I just decided to be patient. I think I was a little bit too patient in the first two rounds. I wasn’t very offensive. That third round I think we both decided to get after it and leave things where we left the last fight.”

Their last fight this one was not, but Henderson’s come-from-behind KO at least made a thrilling ending to a bout between two aging superstars who both badly needed a win.

The loss dropped Rua to 1-3 in his last four Octagon appearances. After a 12-year career and multiple knee surgeries, he appeared on the brink of the end before defeating James Te Huna in December of 2013. Now, he suddenly finds himself back at that same fork in the road.

Henderson came in 0-3 since his classic against Rua at UFC 139, though the UFC broadcast team took pains to tell us each of those losses came at the hands of a former light heavyweight champion.

Now, he’s back. Back in the win column, if nothing else.

It might not be entirely accurate to say Hendo looked great throughout this fight, but he looked great at the end, and that’s what counts.

Even with his losing streak snapped, however, Henderson faces an uncertain future in MMA. For years he’d been supplementing his traditional training with testosterone replacement therapy—a practice banned by the Nevada Athletic Commission and the UFC in February.

Due to the proximity of this event in Natal, Brazil, and the fact Henderson had already been approved for a therapeutic use exemption for testosterone, he was allowed to remain on TRT for one last fight. Now, he’ll have to transition away from the controversial treatment.

Leading up to this fight, he said he planned to carry on with his MMA career, but said he wasn’t really going to consider his options until after facing Rua.

“I don’t need to make any decisions now,” he told Fox Sport’s Damon Martin last week. “I’m going to have to do some research and see what’s out there.”

It’s thought that TRT patients who must suddenly leave the stuff behind could face a rough road and a myriad of health issues associated with going cold turkey. Already 43 years old, it remains to be seen how Henderson will deal with weaning himself off synthetic testosterone.

As of now, we’re left to believe he’ll fight again.

In the wake of this victory, it’ll likely be against someone else in the 205-pound top 10.

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  • Kevin Casey Apologizes To UFC, NSAC For Failing Recent Drug Test
    Following his drug test failure with the Nevada State Athletic Commission recently, UFC fighter Kevin Casey took to Twitter to address the situation and apologize for his "irresponsible action." Casey tweeted the following on Thursday afternoon: I apologize to @UFC & the NSAC for my irresponsible action. I made a bad decision trying to cut weig
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  • Lyoto Machida Wants To Fight Luke Rockhold In October
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  • Glover Teixeira vs. Phil Davis In The Works For UFC 179
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  • Eddie Alvarez Negotiating For UFC Debut Against Donald Cerrone On 9/27
    Although Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez is currently under a contract with Bellator, sources insist that the highly-regarded fighter is negotiating for his debut with the UFC. Multiple media outlets are reporting that a bout is in the works between Alvarez and Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone for what is becoming quite the loaded lineup for UFC
  • Tito Ortiz Says He’s Returning To TNA Wrestling Soon
    Bellator MMA fighter Tito Ortiz says he'll be returning to TNA Impact Wrestling soon, either in August or September. During an interview with CagesideSeats.com at Wednesday's Bellator media day in New York City, Ortiz said: "I'm actually returning August or September. I'll be coming back to TNA and doing some stuff. It's in the
  • Casey, Drysdale Fail Drug Tests For Recent Fights, UFC Releases Statement
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  • Matt Hughes vs. Renzo Gracie Announced For ADCC 2015
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  • World Series Of Fighting 12: Palomino vs. Gonzalez Adds Four Undercard Bouts
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