Posts Tagged ‘ever’’

UFC President Dana White uses hyperbole to the point where few of his statements can be taken seriously. He might be right about this one, though.

White claims a potential rematch between current UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm and former titleholder Ronda Rousey would a fight of unmatched significance for the organization. And if “The Preacher’s Daughter” gets past Miesha Tate at UFC 196 on March 5, it’s a bout that will happen, White said.

“If Holly Holm were to win (at UFC 196), the Holly-Ronda rematch is the biggest fight ever in UFC history, if that rematch happens,” White said in an interview on ESPN’s “Jalen & Jacoby Today” podcast.

A rematch between Holm (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Rousey (12-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) has been discussed since they first met at UFC 193 in November. Holm pulled off a shocking upset at that event when she battered “Rowdy” for more than a round before finishing the job with a brutal head-kick knockout in the second round.

The UFC had originally planned to turn around for an immediate rematch, but Rousey’s need to take time off from the sport to recover and film movies did not line up with Holm’s desire to make a quick turnaround and defend her 135-pound title.

After some uncertainty, the decision was made to book Holm against Tate (17-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) at UFC 196. The title bout co-headlines the pay-per-view main card following prelims on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Although Tate has twice been defeated by Rousey in title fights, it doesn’t necessarily mean she can’t take the belt from Holm. White agreed and said Tate has a good chance of winning, particularly because she tends to stick to a game plan and fight to her strengths.

“Stylistically this is a very, very tough fight because you know how styles make fights,” White said. “Ronda went in with Holly Holm and tried to box with a boxer, whereas Ronda’s game should have been going in there and using her judo. Well, Miesha Tate will go for low singles, double legs. She will try to wrestle Holly Holm. She’s durable, she’s got a great chin and stylistically this is a very tough matchup.”

If Holm is able to get past Tate at UFC 196, the obvious next step is to rematch with Rousey, who many anticipate will be prepared for an octagon return in late-2016.

UFC 100 still holds the reported pay-per-view record for the company at 1.6 million. The first bout between Holm and Rousey at UFC 193 reportedly topped 1 million buys, and a properly promoted rematch could do even more.

There was a time when people believed the UFC women’s bantamweight division couldn’t survive without Rousey at the helm. White said Holm proved that notion as false, and he believes the UFC, fans and media have all embraced the changing of the guard and new champion.

“Holly doesn’t get overlooked at all,” White said. “She beat the unbeatable. She went in and pushed the impossible. Believe me, she is receiving all the accolades and the financial rewards that go along with a huge accomplishment like that.”

 

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Josh Barnett is back in an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon at UFC on FOX 18 this Saturday night (Jan. 30, 2016) inside Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., where he will face “Big” Ben Rothwell in a pivotal Heavyweight match up.

“Warmaster” recently returned to mixed martial arts (MMA) action after a 21-month hiatus in Sept. 2015 when he traded fists and elbows with super tough veteran Roy Nelson in his old stomping ground of Saitama, Japan. Barnett, 38, prevailed via unanimous decision and is now eager to continue to prove that he is among the best in the world at 265 pounds.

But, he’s also got a hell of a lot on his plate at the moment between upcoming movie projects and commentating duties for professional wrestling powerhouse, New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW).  However, Barnett still found some time to chat with MMAmania.com about his acting career, future in UFC, Ronda Rousey, Brock Lesnar and more!

When did your last film wrap?

Barnett: “Never Back Down 3” wrapped filming last July in Thailand before the Roy fight. I hope for it to be released sometime early this year. When I’m doing my movies, I don’t have a fight anywhere near. When I’m on set, I’m doing my thing. I’m not worried about training at all. The reality of it is, I just go on the treadmill and lifted weights. I knew that it was just all a matter of staying relatively fit, so that when camp started up for the fight against Roy, I’d be great and ready to go.

Seeing as how you’re as a credible person as there is to answer a question like this, do you feel that the constant grind of competing in the Octagon and filming movies wore on Ronda Rousey ahead of her title loss to Holly Holm?

JB: No idea. I couldn’t really say one way or another. As a fighter, at least for myself, I always make sure no matter what I’m doing — no matter how busy — that it’s sustainable and useful for me. If I can’t be sure to do the best job I can do, in whatever I’m doing, then I don’t want to divide my time up to do it in a mediocre way.

Ever get the chance to pick Steven Seagal’s brain on the set of “Mercenary: Absolution?”

JB: We got on set and did our thing and tried to make the best movie we could. Maybe if I do some more films with him perhaps the topic of martial arts will come up. When you’re on set 14 hours, you tend to focus on the task at hand.

Have you given any thought to where your post-fight life lies?

JB: I’ve heard that it’s always good to bite off more than you can chew, and I’m a Heavyweight so I can chew quite a bit. I’m not really looking to streamline anything too much yet. I still have plenty of fights left in me. Even now, given the right timing, I can go out and do plenty of work in the professional wrestling ring. I’ve been doing commentary with Mauro Ranallo for New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV, although Mauro just got picked up by the WWE. The acting stuff is great and a lot of fun. I hope to have one or two more projects come to fruition this year. Coaching has been great.

How do you think Mauro will do as the new Smackdown announcer?

JB: I think he’ll kill it. I think he’ll do amazing. I think it’s a step in the right direction in the world of professional wrestling and the commentary. He believes in the old school ways of commentary and treating professional wrestling as a legitimate contest. That’s necessary to get the emotional investment that I believe is important for why professional wrestling works at its highest level.

Staying on the topic of wrestling, what do you think the future holds for A.J. Styles, Bullet Club and Shinsuke Nakamura in WWE?

JB: My first reaction was, ‘So they took Mauro, too? What are they trying to put me out of a job?’ I’d like to think that it was because of some of the work Mauro and I have been doing and the popularity of New Japan Pro Wrestling, forcing WWE to go out there and take a look at things — what is a really potent talent pool. They’re great at their job.

Luke Gallows had been in WWE before, but him and Anderson make a pretty fantastic tag team. Styles and Nakamura continue to be some of the top talent in the whole world. If you just let them do their thing, they’ll have success here as well. It’s always difficult to know how that will turn out. Until they hit the ring, doing whatever gimmick they’ve decided to do, you’ll never know. That’s what happens with wrestlers that get picked up by WWE. There’s no guarantee you’ll see the wrestler you’re used to watching there.

What is your view on Brock Lensar and where he ranks in the history of the UFC Heavyweight division?

JB: I think Brock Lesnar’s full potential as a fighter was never really realized. His tenure was far too short and I don’t always feel like the way he approached being a fighter — not just being a fighter, but how to prepare and how to build your foundation — that he took the best path for that. Strictly speaking, I don’t have any personal grudges with Brock.

As an MMA fighter, he’s something that’s created. He’s not something that is reality. He’s not one of the greatest Heavyweights in UFC [history], as far as skill fighting-wise, or accomplishments. As far as interest and intrigue and potential, that spark that’s undefined and gets your intention … he might be the No. 1 guy of all-time in that. His title run was the easiest road to a title. It was the most cherry-picked set up there ever has been. He made great money for everybody, so in that case it was a huge success. He’s built such a good foundation for himself in terms of business.

Switching gears to the current state of UFC, how do you feel about Rousey and Jose Aldo? Do they deserve rematches?

JB: No. There’s far too many rematches as it is. It’s not because Jose is a bad fighter, or because he’s not a champion-level dude, because he is. He’s shown it. That’s not really the way UFC works, at least I didn’t think so anyhow. In boxing, they do that quite often, but those guys are fighting maybe once a year. In MMA, they keep a more active schedule and figure out rankings based on performances. Aldo goes out there and wins a couple of fights, give him another title shot. I’m not saying he has to work himself back up all the way, but one or two quality fights would be sufficient I think.

Ronda doesn’t deserve a rematch, either, and as a matter of fact, if you wanted to build a better story, the reaching the peak and then the fall and the drive to reclaim the top spot is a much more interesting story globally. If I really thought there was long-term thing to be exploited, I would say her fighting one or two matches and fighting her way back to the title would be impressive. It’s also highly lucrative to have Holm and Rousey fight again. This is prize fighting, not a sport. It makes sense in the business end of things. If I was Holly, I wouldn’t want to pass up a rematch with Ronda.

We can leave your past in the past, but I wanted to discuss USADA with you. What are your thoughts on its policies and what it does for UFC?

JB: I don’t think anybody likes having to check in with mom when they’re a grown adult … having to give them their whereabouts every day and all the time. I actually I believe I’m the first fully random tested athlete in MMA when I worked alongside with WADA to do testing before my fight with Travis Browne. They knew what locations I’d be in for the most part, but I didn’t have to fill out any quarterly filings or any of that very strict — I never had any issue giving samples to the inspector at WADA. It wasn’t a big deal to me to show that this sport can be clean. I think what they’re trying to is a noble idea and in some time here it will show to be effective and useful, or ineffective. I don’t know. It’s not the hardest thing for anyone to deal with.

Lastly, when did the fight camp for Ben begin and what have you done to prepare for him stylistically?

JB: Probably the end of November. I’ve trained my ass off. Ben likes to eat a steady diet of punches and kicks to the face himself like Roy and then try to slug you back. You don’t want to be on the other end of their shots at revenge. I’ve never seen a whole lot of ground work out of Ben, but when you’ve been in the game this long you can’t treat someone lightly. Just because someone doesn’t use that skill-set, it doesn’t mean they don’t possess it. He’s a big ol’ viking bastard and I’ll have to go out as one myself and swing my long axe and see if I can’t cleave his skull.

 

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I’ll tell you a quick story. We were at a fighter summit. It was the first ever UFC fighter summit. They hold them every year now. They bring all the guys out. They have all sorts of courses on everything under the roof. But one of the things that Dana White got up and talked about is he said, ‘guys, if you’re ever fouled in a fight I do not expect you to continue.’ And the reason I remember it was two-fold. One, because that would ruin a show. I was shocked that a promoter was saying this. If there’s ever one guy who really needs a show to go on… and Dana told us all, ‘No, we don’t expect you to continue.’ And Dana gave us a statistic. Now this is old. This is from the 2009 or the 2010 fighter summit, so I don’t know if this statistic is still true. But Dana told us in the history of the UFC only one person has ever been fouled and come back to win. So he was making a point that if you’re fouled and the other guy cheats, whether it’s an accident or on purpose… and you don’t want to continue, don’t. ‘Don’t listen to the crowd and don’t think I’m going to be mad. If you’re fouled, you’re fouled, you don’t have to continue.’

That was retired UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen speaking on Aaron Tru’s The Brutally Honest Show about Matt Mitrione’s recent loss to Travis Browne at UFC Fight Night 81 in Boston. Mitrione lashed out after the loss to say the choice shouldn’t have been his to stop the fight after being fouled twice by Browne, and that the referee or cageside doctor should have “saved him” from his own decisions. The decision to continue was costly for Mitrione, not only in losing his win purse but also suffering a broken orbital socket that will require surgery to repair. Had “Meathead” used his noggin and decided not to continue it would appear, based on Sonnen’s testimony, that he wouldn’t have hurt his career anyway. Still, I think Mitrione’s point stands that fighters shouldn’t be put in that position at all and if a fighter is fouled it should end the fight. It would certainly be interesting to get some updated data on that claim that fouled fighters almost never win fights. I can think of at least one famous example where Georges St-Pierre was fouled with an eyepoke by Jake Shields in the third round of a fight in which he was in complete control, before going on to lose the fourth and fifth rounds. That was unheard of in St-Pierre’s reign of terror. Thoughts?

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Bloody Elbow
Cris Cyborg rules out ever going to 135, open to catchweight with Holly Holm
MMA Fighting
COSTA MESA, Calif. — The conversation about Cris Cyborg ever going down to 135 pounds can officially be put to rest. Cyborg told MMA Fighting on Thursday that she no longer has any plans to drop to women's bantamweight. The Brazilian knockout artist …
The MMA Vivisection – Invicta FC 15: Cyborg vs. Ibragimova picks, odds, & analysisBloody Elbow
Cris Cyborg Backs Ronda Rousey: She's Been Good For Women's MMALowKick MMA
Cyborg Justino Closes Door on Making 135 Pounds, Keeps Door Open for SuperfightBleacher Report
MMAjunkie.com –My MMA News.com (registration)
all 42 news articles »

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robbie-lawler-periscope

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS-41XwGGjg

In a Periscope broadcast to promote his fight against Carlos Condit on January 2nd, Robbie Lawler commented on the possibility of Georges St-Pierre returning to the octagon. Lawler said if he ever gets a chance to fight GSP, he would knock out the former UFC welterweight champ.

“Yeah, I’d knock GSP out if he comes back,” Lawler said on his first live Periscope stream.

GSP is currently at a training camp to prepare for a potential UFC return.

UFC 195: Lawler vs. Condit goes down on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, with live results on MMANews.com starting at 10 PM ET. You can check out the full card for the show here.

Related: Pat Miletich: “Robbie Lawler Would Absolutely Wreck Georges St-Pierre”

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Bleacher Report
With McGregor, Rousey, UFC Experiences Best Year Ever in 2015
Bleacher Report
It closed with the sight of Conor McGregor, the UFC's chosen future megastar, standing in the middle of the Octagon, a real (not interim) UFC title strapped around his waist. In the final Ultimate Fighting Championship event of 2015, with all of its
Lorenzo Fertitta says UFC's 2015 set record with around $600 million in revenueMMAjunkie.com
UFC Tops $600 Million in 2015 for Record-Setting RevenueYahoo Sports
Lorenzo Fertitta: Our top athletes are making multi-millions of dollarsFOXSports.com
Sportsrageous –moviepilot.com –LowKick MMA
all 20 news articles »

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It closed not with a whimper, but with a bang.

It closed with the sight of Conor McGregor, the UFC’s chosen future megastar, standing in the middle of the Octagon, a real (not interim) UFC title strapped around his waist. In the final Ultimate Fighting Championship event of 2015, with all of its chips on the table, Zuffa‘s biggest gamble since purchasing the Ultimate Fighting Championship back in 2001 finally paid off, and it did so in the biggest way imaginable.

But let’s rewind things a bit, back to January, back when McGregor wasn’t the UFC’s biggest star, back when Ronda Rousey was still undefeated. The landscape looked a whole lot different back then, and it’s hard to imagine that we’d eventually end up where we did.

Promoting is a difficult thing, but then so is being a fan. Most of the time, you half expect things to go south, just because you’ve been conditioned to believe things won’t work out the way you want them to.

A big fight gets announced. They start rolling out those fancy videos and graphics and tweets, and we start getting that feeling in the pit of our stomach, the feeling of great anticipation mixed with just a little bit of dread. And then that thing we’re dreading actually happens, and someone gets injured and the fight is called off. We’re unhappy, but we knew it was going to happen anyway, so the blow is softened a bit.

And there was a bit of that this year.

2015 wasn’t perfect, not by any stretch of the imagination. We lost Aldo vs. McGregor at UFC 189, and down the drain went all those advertising dollars and money spent spiriting the two men around the planet for a tour to promote it. And we lost a bit of ourselves there, too, because we’d been there before. We’d seen big fights go down in flames and then, for a lot of different reasons, never happen.

But UFC 189 was perhaps the first sign that the sun was shining on Zuffa, that the dark clouds of the past few years were floating away. The promotion decided to bet on McGregor. Instead of pulling him from the card and waiting for Jose Aldo to heal up, it put Chad Mendes in the Octagon.

Mendes, the American wrestler, the test McGregor had never faced, the one who would stop the hype train.

Instead, McGregor planted Mendes on the canvas.

The dice rolled Zuffa‘s way with everything on the line, and then it happened again in December when McGregor sent Aldo sprawling to the canvas in just 13 seconds.

That’s the way things went for the UFC in 2015, mostly. You have to say “mostly” because there is Rousey, of course, and you can’t have a conversation of this sort without mentioning Rousey.

Rousey, the biggest mainstream star this sport has ever seen, was on magazine covers and talk shows and TMZ and everywhere, really, until Holly Holm reminded us that multiple decades of striking experience will nearly always beat someone who just learned how to punch and kick a few years ago.

Rousey‘s star was dimmed a little bit on that night—but not extinguished. Her old story was about dominance, about beating everyone and retiring undefeated. Her new story includes a loss, but it is no less interesting and, in fact, might even make her a bigger star in 2016. Because as much as we like seeing arrogant people humbled, we enjoy watching them trying to rise from the ashes even more.

Those two stories, the stories of McGregor and Rousey, helped drive the UFC to great heights in 2015. Company CEO Lorenzo Fertitta told CNN Money via MSN.com (h/t MMAMania.com), the UFC generated roughly $600 million in revenue, a record high for the company.

For years, industry insiders have predicted the coming death of pay-per-view. But the UFC’s business in 2015 indicates otherwise; through the first 12 pay-per-view events of the year (not including UFC 194, which is expected to be a massive number), the promotion averaged 537,500 buys, according to Dave Meltzer’s estimates.

That’s a big uptick from recent years.

Year Total Estimated Buys (No UFC 194) Average Buyrate
2013 5,050,000 420,833
2014 3,200,000 266,667
2015 6,450,000 537,500

This success is almost entirely due to McGregor and Rousey, of course. If you take their PPV events out of the equation, the UFC averaged 425,000 buys for the year. That’s a higher number than 2014, of course, but 2014 was a terrible year for the promotion by almost any metric. And it’s higher than 2013, but not by much.

The point of 2015 is that stars can still be created. Even if McGregor and Rousey are the UFC’s only current dependable, bankable stars, it still has two of them. For now, at least, the UFC knows it can put on fights headlined by both of them and count on depositing a lot more money in the bank than it’s used to.

But the two biggest news stories of 2015, at least when it comes to the long-term health of the company, had nothing to do with the fighters.

The announcement of a random drug screening program, run by the outside agency USADA, will have far-reaching effects that should change the future of the sport, and it is the most important (and best) thing that happened in fighting this year. Mixed martial arts is a sport long tainted by the spectre of performance-enhancing drugs, and for the first time, the world’s leading promotion decided to step up and do something about it.

The UFC’s willingness to turn control of the program over to USADA is not a small thing, and it must be applauded. It put USADA in charge even when it might mean that its biggest and brightest stars can potentially fail drug tests and be put on the shelf for two or more years. That was not an easy decision, but it was an important one.

And the clothing deal with Reebok has had its share of hilarious gaffes. To say things have not gone smoothly would be an understatement.

But despite the hilarity of things like “Giblert” Melendez, I do believe it was an important step toward making the UFC look more like a real sporting league and less like something you watch on late-night cable. An even more important next step is making sure the fighters who are forced to wear Reebok in the Octagon are fairly compensated.

All told, this may have been the most important year in the history of the UFC. The effects of the random drug-testing program and the Reebok deal will likely be felt for years to come. The continued rise of McGregor and Rousey—or perhaps even Holm, Luke Rockhold, Daniel Cormier and others—will help fuel those long-term plans.

And in the meantime, 2016—with UFC 200 glimmering like a beacon on the horizon—appears to be another big year for the world’s largest fight promotion.

Read more MMA news on BleacherReport.com

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MMA Fighting
Emanuel Yarbrough, largest UFC fighter ever, passes away at 51
MMA Fighting
At 6-foot-7, he was billed at 616 pounds for a fight against 195-pound Keith Hackney on the third UFC event, held on Sept. 9, 1994, at the Grady Cole Center, in Charlotte, N.C. Exactly what he really weighed was subject to conjecture, because in those
UFC 3 Competitor Emmanuel Yarborough Dies at 51Sherdog.com
UFC 3 competitor Emanuel Yarbrough dies at 51FOXSports.com

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Fortune
Ronda Rousey's Rematch Could Be UFC's Biggest Fight Ever
Fortune
The bout isn't completely official yet, but the quick turnaround between November's fight and the rematch announcement that everyone demanded is a sign that White is putting the UFC's business interests first—even, potentially, before the preferences
UFC Says Holly Holm's Next Fight Will Be Ronda Rousey RematchNew York Times
Dana White overrules Holly Holm's manager, demands Ronda Rousey rematch at UFC MMAmania.com
UFC orders Holly Holm to wait for July rematch with Ronda RouseyThe Guardian
New York Post –People Magazine –Sports Illustrated
all 237 news articles »

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ufc-fight-night-namajunas-vanzant-2

https://youtu.be/FL33me6jGO4

As UFC begins their journey into what has to be considered one of the most fan-friendly weekends in the history of the promotion, they have started the “Embedded” rollout for their back-to-back-to-back sold out events in Las Vegas, Nevada next Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, UFC premiered their special hour-long “UFC 194 Embedded” show on FOX, which gave an in-depth look at the biggest of the three events this weekend. UFC 194 features two title fights, as in the co-main event of the lone pay-per-view event of the weekend, Chris Weidman will defend his UFC Middleweight Title against highly regarded contender Luke Rockhold, while linear UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo and interim UFC Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor will finally meet inside the Octagon to determine the undisputed 145-pound champion of the UFC. The pay-per-view will take place inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Prior to UFC 194, UFC will present the second of their three events this coming weekend, as the top two Featherweights not named Aldo or McGregor, Chad Mendes and Frankie Edgar, will meet to determine the next challenger for the man who emerges as the lone 145-pound champion of the UFC. The Mendes-Edgar fight headlines The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale event, which emanates from The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, December 11th.

Finally, featured above is episode one of UFC Fight Night 80 Embedded, which gives an all-access, behind-the-scenes look at Rose Namajunas and Paige VanZant as they head into their fight at the first of the three events this weekend — UFC Fight Night 80. The Namajunas-VanZant bout will serve as the main event of the card, which will air live on UFC Fight Pass on Friday, December 10th from The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. Episodes two and three of UFN 80 Embedded can be seen below.

Visit MMANews.com throughout the next few days leading into what will no-doubt go down as a historic weekend for the sport, as we will have results of UFC Fight Night 80 and The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale immediately after the fights are finished on Thursday and Friday, and detailed, live round-by-round coverage of the entire UFC 194 pay-per-view on Saturday evening.

Enjoy the (many, many) fights!

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