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  • Dustin Poirier explains why he's returning to lightweight - MMA Fighting
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Posts Tagged ‘ever’

Lyoto Machida has always been a complex puzzle to figure out inside the cage.

He’s a fighter with an elusive style who has the ability to close distance rapidly and with such force that it has brought an abrupt end to many a fighter’s night. Furthermore, with his deep arsenal of kicks, punches and knees, the proverbial kill shot can come from anywhere at any time. Those aspects add up to make The Dragon one of the most dangerous strikers to ever compete inside the Octagon, but even in a game as universally well-rounded as the one Machida brings, there are always going to be some holes.

At least there were in a certain regard.

While there is no doubting the 36-year-old Shotokan karate master possesses one of the most fluid and diverse attacks in the UFC, there have always been questions about his ability to stand tall in the face of an equally relenting attack. With Machida’s style, getting hit wasn’t part of the game plan, and fighters who have been able to touch him up have typically fared well against him, therefore making the “Machida puzzle” solvable if you can get in and stay in his face.

That said, his most recent showing against middleweight champion Chris Weidman may have significantly changed the tone and perspective of his story and added yet another wrinkle to his complex style. While Machida had a crisp first round that he took on the scorecards, the following four frames were nothing short of a dogfight. Several times both champion and challenger appeared to have the other in trouble, and neither was willing to give an inch inside the cage.

And while the end result was another successful title defense for Weidman, the Team Black House fighter emerged victorious in his own right. In those 25 minutes, Machida proved once and for all there was no quit in him and that he could buckle down into a donnybrook if need be. For a fighter who has the ability to out-quick and outmaneuver the majority of opponents, knowing he has the ability to fight in the trenches simply adds one more dangerous wrinkle to an already dynamic offensive attack.

“I definitely think I earned some new respect from the fans that night,” Machida told Bleacher Report with the assistance of a translator. “I fought with my heart, and I left it all in there. It’s great to know I have the ability to dig in and fight in close quarters because that situation may arise again in the future. It’s good to know that I’ve been there and can do it.”

The former 205-pound champion will once again put his talents to the test when he faces a resurgent CB Dollaway at UFC Fight Night 58 on Saturday night in Brazil. Whereas The Doberman was once riddled with injury and stuck in a “give one, take one” pattern in the middleweight ranks, the Power MMA representative has been on a hot streak as of late, winning four of his last five showings.

Two victories during his recent run have come in the hostile environment of a Brazilian arena in bouts where he’s played the role of underdog and pulled off a pair of impressive upsets. Yet, this will be his first test against a seasoned former titleholder in Machida, and The Dragon has no plans of being the biggest addition to Dollaway’s resume.

He’s looking forward to putting on another show for his countrymen and getting back into striking distance of another championship opportunity.

“It’s a great opportunity to be fighting here in Brazil again,” Machida said. “I get to represent my country and fight in front of my Brazilian fans. I think CB [Dollaway] is a guy who may not have any one particular skill that is necessarily special, but he’s a very dangerous guy all around. That said, I am not thinking about what he’s done before or plans to do in this fight. I’m only focused on my game and what I need to do to get the victory.

“Every fight that I have I’m one step closer to the belt, and I’ve always kind of been up there in both divisions I’ve competed at. I think a win here gets me back to being one step closer to a title shot.”

 

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

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Phil Brooks has zero professional UFC fights. He has zero amateur fights. He’s spent his adult life as CM Punk in the world of professional wrestling, which is certainly athletic but not competitive in a traditional sense.

And still, he said that signing with the Ultimate Fighting Championship was the easiest decision he’s ever made.

“It was actually a really easy decision to make,” Brooks said at the UFC 181 post-fight press conference. “Time will tell how wise of a decision it was. I’m excited. I finally feel there’s something I can put 100 percent of myself into and I will get 100 percent back.”

Brooks said the deal, which has been in the works since early November, is something he has been thinking about for a long time. He is a devout practitioner of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and trains under Rener Gracie. But he is 36 years old and has no UFC fighting experience. To hear him tell it, he’s doing this because he wants to challenge himself, and because he wants to send a message.

“I’m not going to try to give you some inspirational message. There are a lot of kids out there that look up to me, or at least I think there are,” Brooks said. “I always tell them: do not let anyone tell you that you cannot do something. Choose a path and work towards it to the best of your abilities.”

Brooks is not the first former WWE superstar to make the leap to the UFC’s Octagon. Brock Lesnar, one of the best big men ever in the world of scripted wrestling, made the leap and captured the heavyweight championship. But Brooks said he’s no Lesnar, even though he welcomes the comparisons as favorable ones.

“If someone is going to compare me to Brock Lesnar, I’ll take that. I think I’m a little cuter, though,” he said.

Brooks said he is currently 200 pounds and is targeting a debut in the middleweight division. But he won’t rule out a move to 170 pounds, he said, especially since he’s losing weight due to his new training schedule. And he has not picked a training camp, but said that he would not be cherry-picking training partners.

“I am considering them all,” Brooks said when asked about training camps. “I need to go somewhere that’s best for me. Being the WWE guy, I’ve been in gyms across the country where I walk in and guys are like, ‘hey, let’s break the fake wrestler’s arm.’ And I just wanted to roll or to sweat. So I have to make sure I’m comfortable with everybody.

Reaction to the signing was mostly negative, with many assigning freak-show connotations to the deal. Brooks said he’s staying off Twitter and staying away from the negativity for the time being, but that he knows the backlash will be severe. But, he noted that the UFC is a business, and that while he considered fighting outside of the Octagon to get his feet wet, the real big business will be his first fight.

“If I went somewhere else and lost the first fight, it would lose some luster,” Brooks said. “But I was willing to do that, and I still am.”

All quotes were obtained firsthand 

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MMAjunkie.com
Still considering retirement, Bobby Green not sure he can ever please both
MMAjunkie.com
Bobby Green (23-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) didn't really enjoy his Thanksgiving. Sure, the time with family was great, but Green is still steaming after a unanimous-decision loss to Edson Barboza (15-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) and isn't certain whether or not he wants to …

and more »

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MMAjunkie.com
Bobby Green not sure he can ever please both fans and judges
MMAjunkie.com
Bobby Green (23-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) didn't really enjoy his Thanksgiving. Sure, the time with family was great, but Green is still steaming after a unanimous-decision loss to Edson Barboza (15-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) and isn't certain whether or not he wants to …
UFC lightweight Bobby Green believes he was 'robbed' of a win vs. Edson BarbozaBloody Elbow

all 2 news articles »

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Matt Wiman talks about his win over Isaac Vallie-Flagg on Saturday after an almost two-year hiatus from the UFC.

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Luke Rockhold: 'Not a chance' Jon Jones ever beats Cain Velasquez
MMA Fighting
1 pound-for-pound fighter in the sport has always believed he'd be competitive in MMA's hardest-hitting division. But now, with the UFC's 205-pound weight class, at most, two or three fights away from being cleared out, Jones has begun plotting out a

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Jake Ellenberger talks about his UFC 180 fight against Kelvin Gastelum, flying under the radar heading into this fight, why he’s more confident now than ever, and more.

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Looks like UFC President Dana White isn’t particularly excited that women’s MMA pioneer Gina Carano has opted to make more movies instead of stepping inside the Octagon. 

White went off on “Conviction” for her latest decision to film two new major motion pictures before the end of this year, per David Meltzer of MMA Fightingtelling Damon Martin of Fox Sports:

We’ve dealt with (Brock) Lesnar, Tito (Ortiz), Chuck (Liddell) was f—–g king of the world, Ronda Rousey, we’ve pretty much done deals with everyone on Earth and she is the hardest f—–g athlete we have ever dealt with.

The problem is she allows herself to be handled by these Hollywood f—–g idiots. It’s absolutely crazy. … Any time you deal with anyone in f—–g Hollywood it’s a joke. It’s literally a joke, it’s comical. You feel like you’re in a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit. 

White said that negotiations with Carano had turned him off to the point where he told UFC CEO/co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta to deal with her manager—and according to White, it wasn’t long before Fertitta said he couldn’t take it anymore. 

Carano, 32, hasn’t competed in over five years, but White and UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey were both OK with Carano vying for championship gold in her return fight, per Dave Doyle of MMA Fighting.

Just over a month ago, White stated that the company was “close” to a deal with “Crush,” per John Morgan of MMA Junkie, though obviously, a contract never materialized. 

After suffering the only knockout of her career back in August 2009, a lopsided loss against Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino under the Strikeforce banner, Carano took a long hiatus from the sport to focus on a budding acting career. 

In the past three years or so, Carano has starred in the action flicks Haywire, Fast & Furious 6 and In the Blood. 

While the general public will likely never know the finer points of the contract negotiations between Carano and the UFC, did she make a mistake by passing up on a UFC deal in favor of filming more movies?

 

John Heinis is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com.

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UFC heavyweight Roy Nelson doesn’t think former Pride champion Fedor Emelianenko or current UFC titleholder Cain Velasquez qualifies as the best heavyweight fighter everbut it’s nothing personal, because he doesn’t think anyone else does either.

Speaking with FOX Sports, “Big Country” explained why the term “greatest of all time” shouldn’t apply to heavyweight mixed martial artists:

I don’t think there’s actually a greatest heavyweight. I think with every heavyweight there’s a style that makes for a different fight with different fighters. Styles always make fights and everybody always has a number.

Sometimes you have a bad day, sometimes you don’t. …. 

The best example would be (Junior) Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez. The first time they fought, Cain got flattened. There’s another two times where Cain made up for it, learned from his mistakes, had a bad day.

Although the legendary “Last Emperor” compiled an incredible 28-fight unbeaten streak between April 2001 and November 2009, Emelianenko‘s true talents are subject to debate after going 1-3 under the Strikeforce banner and never competing under the UFC banner. 

Additionally, Cain Velasquez, 13-1 overall, is 4-0 since suffering a knockout loss at the hands of JDS at UFC on FOX 1 in November 2011. Two of those victories came in rematches against Dos Santos, both of which he won handily. 

Nelson, who boasts a respectable 20-9 record overall, has won four of his last six fights, with all of his victories coming by way of knockout. 

However, despite an above-average level of success inside the Octagon, the portly power puncher hasn’t had anything to offer upper-tier heavyweights such as Dos Santos, Fabricio Werdum, Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier

While he lacks a signature win, a decisive victory over Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 52 in Japan on Saturday certainly couldn’t hurt his standing in the UFC’s 265-pound division. 

The heavyweight tilt at the infamous Saitama Super Arena headlines Saturday’s event and on paper promises to be a classic slugfest between two of the division’s hardest hitterswho also possess a couple of the most powerful chins in the weight class. 

Does Nelson make a valid point regarding the heavyweight landscape in the fight world, or does his argument make little to no sense?

 

John Heinis is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com.

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Over the years, 304 MMA fighters have circulated through The Ultimate Fighter.* A few handfuls at a time, 19 seasons’ worth of would-be professionals lived together, trained, bro-hugged, cried, played pool, pulled pranks, cut weight, hung out by the pool, missed their kids, bared their souls, performed unspeakable acts on each other’s snacks and blended approximately seven cubic miles of smoothie.

In search of that six-figure UFC contract, these men and women left their homes and families for weeks at a time, foregoing contact with the outside world and surrendering their lives to the daily boom-and-bust cycle of world-class vocational instruction and a desert mansion full of medium-grade bourbon.

Of all those 304 who were skilled and lucky enough to make it to the house, 28 hoisted the glass winner’s plaque at the season finale. But even that doesn’t guarantee—or disqualify—real success on the sport’s biggest stage.

Here are the 10 (and a few honorable mentions) who went through the show (all contestants, not just winners, were considered) and had the most success. Rankings based on overall success, record and level of competition. 

*Domestic version only

Begin Slideshow

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  • Spotlight On Mitch Gagnon Ahead Of UFC Fight Night 58: Brazil
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  • VIDEO: CM Punk’s Awkward, Intense Appearance On “Off The Record” (Full Interview)
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    CM Punk has been doing the media rounds this week and spoke with ESPN's MMA Live to discuss his transition from the world of pro wrestling to mixed martial arts. There were a number of topics covered, including the similarities of his journey to Brock Lesnar's, which fight camp he will train with (he hasn't decided […]
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    UFC has added the ten-minute "extended preview" for the upcoming UFC 182 pay-per-view event, which features the long-awaited UFC Light Heavyweight Championship bout between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. The official description for the preview, which you can watch in full above, reads as follows: "On January 3rd the wait is over, as Daniel Cormier […]
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    CM Punk appeared on ESPN SportsCenter on Wednesday morning to talk more about his upcoming Octagon debut. Punk was asked why he is transitioning from WWE to UFC, to which he replied, "Why not?" He conceded that he's not ready to fight yet, but is working on getting there. "It's not going to be easy, […]
  • UFC Issues Statement Regarding Class-Action Antitrust Lawsuit Filed Against Them
    UFC has responded to the class-action antitrust lawsuit filed against them by current and former fighters Cung Le, Nate Quarry and Jon Fitch, in the form of an official statement. UFC issued the following brief statement regarding the suit. "The UFC is aware of the action filed today but has not been served, nor has […]
  • Cung Le, Jon Fitch & Nate Quarry File Class-Action Antitrust Lawsuit Against UFC
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  • Reebok Announces Sponsorship Deal With Ronda Rousey, Jon Jones
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  • Ken Shamrock Talks CM Punk Signing With UFC, His Desire To Train Him
    UFC Hall Of Famer Ken Shamrock was interviewed by the folks at Submission Radio and spoke in-depth about CM Punk transitioning from WWE to UFC. Below are highlights from the interview, which you can listen to via the YouTube player embedded above. On CM Punk's decision to sign with the UFC: "I think it's great, […]
  • Possible Sign Brock Lesnar Is Leaving WWE For Another MMA Run
    It looks like current WWE Superstar and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar is headed back to the world of MMA. According to various sources, WWE's merchandise department has been informed not to produce any new Lesnar merchandise. They were told that any merchandise items that were earmarked for Lesnar should be changed to focus […]
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