Tag Archives: UFC

Watch: Five Round MMA – Episode 12, Season 5

We have recaps of UFC Fight Night in London and King of the Cage
Supernova. Who has the most to gain when Anderson Silva and Kelvin
Gastelum square off? We debate Vitor Belfort’s “Legends Legaue” idea and if it can actually work and what are the chances that a fight with CM Punk will happen.

UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Browne Results

With the long holiday weekend the UFC held a rare Sunday night event. UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Browne took place from the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and aired live on Fox Sports 1. A heavyweight grudge match between Derrick Lewis and Travis Browne served as the main event. Former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks made his middleweight debut against former Bellator champion Hector Lombard served as the night’s co-main event. Below are the full results from Sunday night’s event.

Main Card Results:

  • Derrick Lewis def. Travis Browne via KO in Round 2 at 3:12
  • Johny Hendricks def. Hector Lombard via unanimous decision
  • Gavin Tucker def. Sam Sicilia via unanimous decision
  • Elias Theodorou def. Cezar Ferreira via unanimous decision
  • Sara McMann def. Gina Mazany via submission in Round 1 at 1:14
  • Paul Felder def. Alessandro Ricci via TKO in Round 1 at 4:41

Preliminary Card Results:

  • Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Nordine Taleb via unanimous decision
  • Randa Markos def. Carla Esparza via split decision
  • Aiemann Zahabi def. Reginaldo Vieira via unanimous decision
  • Thiago “Marreta” Santos def. Jack Marshman via TKO in Round 2 at 2:21
  • Gerald Meerschaert def. Ryan Janes via submission in Round 1 at 1:34

USADA Clears Cris “Cyborg” Justino

The United States Anti-Doping Agency has cleared Invicta FC featherweight champion and part-time UFC fighter Cris “Cyborg” Justino of a violation steaming from a positive drug test she submitted back in December of 2016.

The USADA released the following statement on their official website about Cyborg’s clearance:

“USADA announced today that UFC athlete Cristiane Justino, of Curitiba, Brazil, has been granted a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) and will therefore not face an anti-doping policy violation after testing positive for a prohibited substance in December of 2016. With this announcement, USADA is providing a public notice of the case’s resolution following the announcement of the potential anti-doping violation by the UFC on December 22, 2016.”

During the out of competition drug test Cyborg tested positive for the banned substance “Spironolactone” which according to the USADA falls under the “Diuretics and Masking Agents” category.

Cyborg was quick to address the violation and stated that the was prescribed the drug by a doctor in order to prevent ovarian cysts after a very dramatic weight cut for her UFC Fight Night bout against Lina Lansberg. The bout was contested at 140-pounds because at the time there was not an official featherweight division in the organization.

Cyborg’s immediate corporation with the USADA and proper paperwork seemed to help her case to reverse the suspension.

“Upon notice of her positive test, Justino immediately identified a medication prescribed by her physician for the treatment of a common endocrine disorder as the source of the prohibited substance detected in her sample. She also participated in multiple interviews with USADA’s investigative team and consented to USADA interviewing her physician as well.”

Cyborg is now free to compete but there are still some provisions she must meet according to the USADA, “her provisional suspension has been lifted with immediate effect and her positive test will not result in an anti-doping policy violation. However, as a condition of the TUE approval, Justino will be required to continue to carefully document her medical care and must apply for a TUE renewal in advance of TUE expiry should she wish to maintain compliance with the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.”

Since Cyborg’s last bout the UFC has created a women’s featherweight division. She can now compete in the organization at the weight class she has always fought at and hopefully her issues with dramatic weight cutting will be a thing of the past. Unfortunately she may have a hard time finding an opponent. The likely scenario would be a bout with current UFC featherweight champion Germaine De Randamie but De Randamie has expressed an interest in a rematch with Holly Holm and that she also needs hand surgery.

 

 

 

 

Done Deal: GSP Officially Re-Signs with the UFC

Former welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre has officially signed a deal to return to the UFC. The L.A. Times were the first to report the deal being finalized. Reports had surfaced early this week that GSP and the UFC had agreed to terms on a new deal but pen had not touched the paper just yet. All that has changed and now the longest welterweight champion in company history is set to return.

St. Pierre (25-2) last fought in 2013 when he defeated Johny Hendricks to retain his championship. After the victory GSP vacated his title and stated that he needed to step away from the sport for a while.

GSP has been known of his even keel temperament had been very vocal against the UFC prior to his departure about the lack of consistent drug testing of all its fighters. Since GSP’s hiatus the UFC tasked the USADA to help crack down on performance enhancing drug use and we all know the success they have had finding all of the violators.

Rumors of a GSP return have been making their way around the MMA community in recent months but for a short while it seemed as though his return would not be inside the UFC’s octagon. It was reported that negotiations between the UFC and GSP had reached an impasse and the former champion declared himself a free agent. While specifics were never released the UFC’s deal with Reebok seemed to be a big hurdle as GSP has been associated with Under Armour for many years. A UFC return looked even bleaker when GSP aligned himself the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association (MMAAA), a union that was seeking better insurance, payouts, and more from the UFC. GSP had also been seen in photo ops with Bellator president Scott Coker in recent months.

While a return to the welterweight division seems only natural, UFC president Dana White gave many options as to who GSP could face upon his return, “It could be the winner between Tyron Woodley and Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, or it could be Michael Bisping.”

GSP has flirted with the middleweight division in the past, especially when talks of a super fight between he and Anderson Silva were at a high back when both men ruled their respective divisions. Probably the most interesting thing that White stated was GSP’s desire to actually go down a weight class, “Georges has also talked about fighting at 155 pounds. He says he can make the weight.”A run at lightweight could only mean a super fight between GSP and the “Notorious” Conor McGregor. That might be interesting enough for McGregor to end his chase of boxing champion Floyd Mayweather.

No date has been announced for GSP’s return but as stated by White there are many things that need to happen before the organization can decide which route will earn the most money for all parties involved.

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Heartbreak: Recapping the Eventful Day Between Mayweather and McGregor

Rumors of a Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather fight reached a high point on Tuesday but at the end of the day did we move any closer to the fight actually taking place?

Combat sports fans had their collective hearts broken on Valentine’s Day as rumors of the Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather boxing match swelled up like a balloon only to have it pop by the end of the day. It all started with a report by “The Irish Sun” that stated the two finally reached a “multi-million dollar deal” but was not formally signed because of a “third party hold-up”. Media outlets everywhere picked up the story and social media was a buzz as news started to spread.

It turns out the news was too good to be true. Floyd Mayweather took it upon himself to shoot down all rumors about him fighting not only Conor McGregor but anyone in general.

Mayweather did not specifically mention McGregor by name and stated that he is “happily retired”.  This could be seen as Mayweather taking a shot a McGregor by not mentioning him by name in his announcement. He did throw in that little nugget of hope to fight fans by writing that “if any changes come about, I will be the first to let the world know!” Maybe Mayweather did not take kindly to the fact that someone in McGregor’s camp may have spilled the beans a little earlier than “The Money Team” may have liked.

Not to be outdone, McGregor took to his Instagram account to offer a counter of sorts to Mayweather’s post about denying any fight deal taking place. McGregor’s post sees the Irishman sitting on a white throne with the caption, “I am in Las Vegas. Floyd has retired on my arrival.”

I am in Las Vegas. Floyd has retired on my arrival.

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

The image itself is very striking with McGregor sitting on a throne as if he is declaring himself the king of combat sports. The caption also suggests that Mayweather is scared of McGregor as it is implying that his mere presence in Las Vegas has kept the undefeated boxing star in retirement.

It did not take long for McGregor’s post to circulate and get Mayweather’s attention. Mayweather in turn had a more direct response than his previous post.

Mayweather not only called out McGregor but the UFC as well. UFC president Dana White has been vocal that the boxing match between McGregor and Mayweather cannot happen without the company’s blessing or involvement. McGregor has stated in the past that he can put this fight together without the UFC’s involvement but has acknowledged that it will be easier if they were somehow involved.

That is where we stand as of this moment and after all the reports and posts on social media it seems like we have not moved any closer to the super-fight taking place.

Where Do We Go From Here? A Look at the Rocky Start to the UFC’s Newest Division.

The UFC’s women’s featherweight division is not off to a great start and it may take a while for it to gain any real traction.

It was a mediocre main event to a mediocre fight card. UFC 208 under delivered in many ways on Saturday night and unfortunately for the company it is only the tip of the iceberg as it tries to figure out where to go from here with its newest division.

It may not have been the way the UFC dreamed up the crowning of the first ever women’s featherweight champion but neither was the match up that took place.  In a perfect world the UFC would have loved to have Cris “Cyborg” Justino in the main event against Holly Holm. However the UFC and Cyborg could not come to an agreement on a date for the fight. Reports stated that Cyborg was unhappy with the short notice and needed proper time to cut weight to reach 145-pounds. Reports also stated that the UFC countered with a second date, presumably UFC 208, but she again rejected the date citing lack of time for a proper weight cut. Fed up the UFC went ahead and booked Germaine De Randamie in her place and what they received was a controversial ending to what was essentially their plan B.

It should be noted that Cyborg was flagged for a potential violation by the USADA shortly after all this went down and is currently in middle of an investigation.

De Randamie went on to defeat Holly Holm via a unanimous decision but the win was met with controversy as De Randamie struck Holm after the bell not once but on two separate occasions. Holm expressed her dissatisfaction with De Randamie at the post fight press conference, “She hit hard shots after the bell; those are the hardest shots I felt the whole entire fight.” Strikes after the bell have occurred in the sport many times but they are often thought of as accidental. Crowd noise and fighters being so focused and in the moment are often attributed to the accidental strikes after the bell. Holm does not buy any of that when it came to De Randamie’s shots, “It wasn’t like the last punch of a combination after the bell rang. It was intentional and it was after the bell. What can you do?”

Many felt what should have been done was a point deduction or at the very least a warning for De Randamie but the referee Todd Anderson did no such thing, “A lot of times, the first one they give a warning, that’s kind of normal. I wouldn’t expect them to take a point after the first one, even though it was intentional. The second time, at that point you think they’d do something,” Holm said.

With the point deduction the fight could have been close enough to where Holm may have received the decision win or the fight could have been declared a draw. Instead the UFC has an inaugural champion with a negative cloud over her head.

The women’s featherweight division got off on the wrong foot by not having Cyborg, who is widely considered the best female featherweight on the planet, not involved in the fight. The UFC cannot be entirely blamed for not working out an agreement with Cyborg. She seemed unwilling to work with the UFC on a date and was flagged by the USADA for a potential violation. It seems she did just as much as the UFC to not be in this bout. The case can also be made as to why the UFC was in such a rush to create this division and crown a champion after years of stating that they had no intention or interest of creating a featherweight division.

This is almost a worst case scenario for the UFC. The division now has a champion who as unknown prior to the event and she is now labeled as a dirty fighter who barely escaped with the win. To make matters worse many fans believe that Holm and De Randamie do not have a real chance of beating Cybrog in a fight. To add fuel to that fire when De Randamie was asked about a potential fight with Cyborg she stated that she is in need of hand surgery. One can draw their own conclusion to that answer. Despite saying she needs hand surgery; De Randamie has offered a rematch to Holm citing the strikes after the bell and the backlash she has gotten for it. She posted the offer on her Facebook page which was then shared by her management on Instagram.

Let's make it crystal clear then. @ironladymma

A post shared by Brian Butler-Au (@suckerpunchent) on

Another name added to the mix is current Invicta FC interim featherweight champion Megan Anderson. Anderson was called out on Twitter by Cyborg shortly after De Randamie stated she needed hand surgery.

Anderson was quick to shoot down a fight with Cyborg stating in an ESPN article that, “I want to fight Cris, but right now in my career, I’m not going to get the type of money she’s getting.” That part is true as a fight between the two inside the octagon would be very one-sided in terms of payout but Anderson also mentioned that the paychecks may not be the only thing that is one sided, “I’m not running from her, but yes, I know that I need to work on my skills if I’m going to fight the best pound-for-pound female in the world.”

Nobody can fault Anderson for wanting extra time to prepare for Cyborg. This is a woman who has not lost an MMA bout since 2005 and is on an 11-fight streak in where she has won by either KO or TKO. Cyborg is not even officially in the division and already she is having a hard time finding an opponent.

Cyborg is reportedly near to being cleared for her USADA violation and may compete sooner rather than later. The only set back is that she may not have anyone to fight. If Randamie goes ahead with her hand surgery then Cyborg will have to wait it out or take a fight in the meantime. As of right now the only other 145-pound fighter on the UFC’s roster is Holm. Holm is now 0-3 since defeating Ronda Rousey and stepping inside the octagon with Cyborg may not be the best option at the moment but she did state that she would do whatever the UFC asks, “I’m sitting in a spot where my last three fights I’m 0-3, so I’m going to take whatever they give me.”

The UFC’s newest division is definitely not off to a hot start but hopefully they can bring an influx of fighters in from outside organizations and highlight their personalities so that the fans can have more than just Cyborg to watch. All we can do know is wait to see what the next move will be. How long will De Randamie be out if she gets her hand repaired? Will Holm get a rematch? How soon can Cyborg get over her USADA hurdle and fight? Only time will tell and we have to be patient. If only the UFC would have been a little more patient in announcing this division then they could have avoided a lot of this drama.