Combate Americas partners with Telemundo for Copa Combate’s eight-man bantamweight tournament

Combate Americas will be getting some airtime on national television.

The promotion has partnered with Telemundo, the second largest Spanish television network in America, to televise a portion of their eight-man bantamweight tournament, Copa Combate. The tournament is set to take place on Nov. 11 at 11:30 p.m. ET in Cancun, Mexico.

Copa Combate marks the first time Telemundo will broadcast a live MMA event. The entire event will stream online on TelemundoDeportes.com and the Telemundo Now app. Only the semifinals, finals, and the card’s co-main event — a women’s strawweight bout between Melissa Martinez and Gloria Bravo — will air live on Telemundo.

The quarterfinal and semifinal fights will be contested over three, three-minute rounds, while the final will be a regular fight featuring three five-minute rounds. The winner of the tournament will take home $100,000. The matchups will be booked in a lottery-ball draw that will take place on Nov. 2.

The one-night tournament includes notable Latin American talent such as John Castaneda, who holds a win over ex-UFC fighter Chris Beal and last competed at Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series 4, where he picked up a decision win over Cheyden Leialoha; Ricky Palacios, who is on a six-fight win streak that includes decision wins over former UFC fighters Chris Avila and Roman Salazar; and Marcelo Rojo, a popular Argentine fighter who owns a professional MMA record of 12-4.

Additionally, Copa Combate will host two bantamweight bouts that will serve as alternate matchups, with the winners placed on standby in case a tournament fighter suffers an injury and is unable to continue. The two alternate fights will be announced next week, and they will be part of the online broadcast.

Below are the eight bantamweights participating in the Copa Combate tournament:

  • John “Sexy Mexy” Castaneda (14-2)
  • Ricky “El Gallero” Palacios (9-1)
  • Marcelo “Pitbull” Rojo (12-4)
  • Carlos “Lobo” Rivera (10-2)
  • Mikey “El Terrible” Erosa (12-5)
  • Marc “Lufo” Gomez (20-10)
  • Andres “Doble A” Ayala (11-4)
  • Kevin “El Frio” Moreyra (4-1)

Source: mmafighting

Derrick Lewis ‘in a depression stage’ after UFC 216 removal: ‘I was crying like a big-ass baby’

Derrick Lewis is still lamenting about his last-minute removal from UFC 216. Derrick Lewis was supposed to get the biggest break of his career at UFC 216 when he was slated to fight former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum. Instead, he was met with major disappointment when he was pulled from the fight last-minute due to a back injury.
Now nine days following the event, Lewis admits that he is still reeling from the displeasure that his fight cancellation has brought him.
“For sure, it was real depressing,” Lewis said on Monday’s MMA Hour episode (via MMA Fighting). “I took a big hit in my mental standpoint, it is way worse than a loss. It’s something that I never experienced and I hope it’s something that I never will experience ever again. I’m really in a depression stage right now.”
“I was crying like a big-ass baby. My coach knew how much this fight means to me and I didn’t want to pull out for nothing. My coaches, they all convinced me that it’s probably the best thing to do to pull out because they knew I was going through the same problems with Mark Hunt and I didn’t pull out in that fight and it cost me.”
Nothing has been set in stone as far his next move goes, but for Lewis, the sole priority as of the moment is to get himself healthy and not let such an incident happen again.
“Right now, anything is a possibility. We’re just waiting on MRIs right now before we can start my treatment because they want to see what’s the issue first,” Lewis said. “The doctor I talked to Thursday he said that he’s willing to release me anytime, it’s up to me, but I really want to take the precautions to see what’s really wrong with my back. I don’t want to happen again.”
“Even if it does happen again, I don’t want to go through the same feelings I went through pulling out of the fight and all that, going through that emotional mess. I’m still going to fight no matter what.”
Source: bloody

Khabib wants Ferguson at UFC 219: ‘I want to take everything back’

Khabib Nurmagomedov has a date in mind for his next fight. It will be almost one year since Khabib Nurmagomedov last saw action in the UFC. And through all his uncertainties due to health issues, he is now determined to make up for lost time.
The undefeated 155-pounder appeared on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour to announce that is back on track with his training, and is targeting UFC 219 for his return date.
“We have almost 12 weeks, 11 weeks before UFC 219,” Nurmagomedov said (transcript via MMA Fighting). “And now is the beginning a very interesting moment in my life. I hope UFC gives me a championship fight. End of the year, I want to take everything back. Attention, belts; I want to take everything. End of the year, I want to fix everything. And we’ll see what happens.”
“But first of all, I think UFC has to make the fight, Conor versus Nate Diaz 3, and after, me and Tony.”
As many of his fellow fighters aim for “the money fight” against Conor McGregor, Khabib would rather settle his score with interim champion Tony Ferguson, a fight that he feels bears more weight.
He also made it clear that his intent to fight “El Cucuy” is not about monetary gains, but because it was simply the better option to make.
“Because, my opinion, I think Tony Ferguson is the real champion. That’s why,” Nurmagomedov said. “I don’t think, if I fight versus Tony Ferguson, this is an interim belt. Officially, yes. But people want to see me versus Tony Ferguson. I think this is a much better fight, for everything. If I beat Tony Ferguson and take the interim championship belt — Conor’s the official champion, but he’s not the people’s champion.”
“My opinion, I have to fight with Tony. All of my fans, everybody wants this fight. For me, everything isn’t about money. For me, it’s what my father wants, my team, my management team, my friends. This is more important for me.”
A headliner fight for UFC 219 has yet to be finalized, but it has been scheduled to take place on December 30th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Source: bloody

UFC on FOX 26: Lawler vs. dos Anjos fight card

Check out the current fight card for UFC on FOX 26, which takes place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on December 16th. The penultimate UFC event of 2017 is a FOX card at the Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Short of adding a title fight on here, this figures to be a terrific card on paper. We aren’t getting a championship main event, but we are getting a #1 contender bout between welterweights Robbie Lawler and Rafael dos Anjos. The co-main event features former featherweight champion Jose Aldo in a rematch against Ricardo Lamas, who came up short in his bid to take the belt away from Aldo back in 2014. Unlike their first meeting, this one is just three rounds, and the first three-round Aldo fight since his famous flying knee KO of Cub Swanson in 2009.
Oh what’s that? You want more great fights? Mike Perry against Santiago Ponzinibbio is a surefire Fight of the Night contender, as is Tim Elliott versus Justin Scoggins. Misha Cirkunov will look to get back on track against fellow light heavyweight contender Glover Teixeira. Jordan Mein vs. Erick Silva could also be fantastic, although that matchup doesn’t hold nearly the significance it would’ve back in 2013.
Here’s what’s on tap for December 16th: (Note: The bout order is not set, apart from Lawler-dos Anjos and Aldo-Lamas)
Robbie Lawler vs. Rafael dos AnjosJose Aldo vs. Ricardo LamasMike Perry vs. Santiago PonzinibbioMisha Cirkunov vs. Glover TeixeiraJared Cannonier vs. Antonio Rogerio NogueiraErick Silva vs. Jordan MeinTim Elliott vs. Justin ScogginsGalore Bofando vs. Chad LapriseJohn Makdessi vs. Abel TrujilloOluwale Bamgbose vs. Alessio Di ChiricoSultan Aliev vs. Nordine TalebJulian Marquez vs. Vitor Miranda
Source: bloody

Kubrat Pulev injured, Anthony Joshua vs. Carlos Takam now set for October 28th

WBA and IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will take on late-replacement Carlos Takam at the Principality Stadium in Wales. It’s a good news/bad news situation (again) for boxing’s heavyweight division.
The bad news is that Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs) has suffered a shoulder injury, putting him out of his scheduled October 28th clash against reigning WBA and IBF champion Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs). The good news is the card will not be cancelled, and Joshua will instead face a different opponent. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed that Carlos Takam (35-3-1, 27 KOs) has agreed to step in on short-notice to take on the British superstar.

“I received a call from Kalle Sauerland late afternoon today to inform me that Pulev had injured his shoulder and maybe ruled out of the fight – this was later confirmed by his doctor,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “IBF rules state that the mandatory will go to the next fighter in line which is Carlos Takam.
“When the Pulev fight was announced I made a deal with Takam’s team to begin camp and be on standby for this fight. When I called them this evening they were overjoyed and good to go. It’s a difficult position for AJ having prepared meticulously for the style and height of Pulev, he now faces a completely different style and challenge in Takam – this hasn’t happened in his career before but he is ready for all comers on October 28.”

Takam is a 36-year-old Frenchman by way of Cameroon who has never fought for a major world title before. His most notable win came against Tony Thompson in 2014, and he also fought to a majority draw against Mike Perez a few months prior to that. Takam’s last two defeats were by competitive decision against current WBO champion Joseph Parker and by 10th round KO to Alexander Povetkin. Through eight rounds, Takam was level on all three scorecards with Povetkin. He’s definitely not a world-beater but he’s about as good a realistic replacement you can get on less than two weeks’ notice.
This will be Joshua’s first appearance in the ring since April, when he dramatically stopped Wladimir Klitschko (64-5, 53 KOs) in front of 90,000 fans at London’s Wembley Stadium. That fight broke the all-time record for pay-per-view buys in the UK, only to be surpassed by Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor. More than 70,000 fans are expected to pack Cardiff’s Principality Stadium to see Joshua in action once more, as he looks to become heavyweight’s next global attraction.
Anthony Joshua vs. Carlos Takam airs live on Sky Sports Box Office in the United Kingdom, while American viewers can watch the broadcast on Showtime at 5:15 PM ET/2:15 PM PT.
Source: bloody

Ian McCall to fight in Rizin bantamweight grand prix on Dec. 29

A week after being released by the UFC, Ian McCall’s next fight will be in “The Land of the Rising Sun.”

On Monday, Japanese promotion Rizin announced that the perennial flyweight contender will be moving up to 135 pounds to compete in their bantamweight grand prix that continues on Dec. 29 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. MMAjunkie first reported the news.

McCall, 33, joins the quarter-finals of the tournament as a wildcard entrant. The grand prix has already kicked off with bouts taking place in July and October.

Taking on “Uncle Creepy” will be Portugal’s Manel Kape, a 23-year-old with a 7-1 record that includes six wins by knockout or submission. He defeated Erson Yamamoto by first-round knockout to advance in the tournament.

McCall and Kape officially faced off on Monday:

Also expected to take place in the next round of the grand prix are bouts between France’s Kevin Petshi (13-3) and Shintaro Ishiwatari (23-6-4), and Germany’s Khalid Taha (11-0) and Takafumi Otsuka (23-13-2). One-time UFC flyweight title contender Kyoji Horiguchi (20-2) is still waiting to see who he will face in the second round.

The semifinals and finals of the tournament take place just two days later on Dec. 31, also at the Saitama Super Arena.

Following his release from the UFC, McCall said on The MMA Hour that he hoped to sign with Rizin.

“I’m gonna take this, go to a different market and see if it works,” McCall said.

McCall (13-5-1) has not fought since Jan. 31, 2015. He has seen several bookings fall through due to maladies afflicting both him and his opponents, including his most recent setback that saw him withdraw from a bout with Jarred Brooks at UFC 208 on the day of the fight due to a gastrointestinal illness.

Source: mmafighting

John Gotti III, grandson of notorious mob boss, is making his pro MMA debut

John Gotti III, grandson of the “Teflon Don” is making his pro MMA debut at CES 46 on October 27. Lincoln, Rhode Island will play host to an interesting pro MMA debut on October 27 when CES launches their 46th card. John Gotti III (0-0) will face Johnny Adams (0-1) in a welterweight bout at the Twin River Casino, an event that will air live on AXS TV.
Gotti is the grandson of notorious New York mafia crime boss John Gotti, who headed up the powerful Gambino crime family during the 1980s. The eldest Gotti, aka “The Teflon Don,” received a life sentence for a litany of crimes (including five murders) in 1992 and was transferred to United States Penitentiary, Marion. He remained there until throat cancer prompted officials to move him to United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri, where he died on June 10, 2002.
In a July interview with Bleacher Report, Gotti III spoke about the interest his name brings to the table, an unavoidable fact he fully recognizes.
“There’s no getting around it. Throughout my career, the name is always going to be attached to me. My father and my grandfather, they’re a part of me. But this is a different avenue that I’m taking. Nobody in my family ever pursued sports to this degree or became a professional athlete. They never went down that road, so this is a whole different road I’m going down. It’s not like my name is Frank like my brother. I share the name ‘John Gotti.’ I want to put it in a positive spotlight and show people that I’m a hard-working kid and I’m dedicated to this game.”
Gotti’s interest in MMA was piqued when his father returned home from a stint in prison. His dad was a longtime fan of the sport and the two attended one of the trilogy fights between Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell. He was instantly hooked, noting that he “fell in love with it right away.”

It wouldn’t be until 2013 that he’d take up training for his amateur debut, a grueling fight that he would win and one that taught him a valuable lesson.
“I learned something about myself in there. It made me see if this was for me or if it was not for me. It got really rough in there, and it gives you a gut-check, but I never had any doubts.”
His father has been careful in guiding his career after a brief period of resistance to the idea. He now trains at Long Island MMA with UFC staple Ryan LaFlare who believes Gotti can “100% succeed at the Bellator or UFC level.”
The date of his upcoming debut, October 27, is also significant in that it would have been his grandfather’s 77th birthday. Gotti’s fight will be the event opener. The full bout sheet is below:
MAIN CARD (AXS TV)

John Howard vs. Roger Carroll

Dinis Paiva vs. Branden Seyler

Josh LaBerge vs. Jon Lemke

Shedrick Goodridge vs. Justin Sumter

Rico DiSciullo vs. Justin King
Gary Balletto Jr. vs. Sharif Jones

PRELIMINARY CARD (untelevised)

Pat McCrohan vs. Buck Pineau
Marquis Brewster vs. Raymond Yanez
Johnny Adams vs. John Gotti III

Source: bloody

Khabib Nurmagomedov calls for McGregor vs. Diaz 3, wants Tony Ferguson fight at UFC 219

Khabib Nurmagomedov is determined to make sure 2017 isn’t a lost year.

Finally healthy and back to training, the undefeated Dagestani lightweight appeared Monday on The MMA Hour and revealed that there is an “80 percent” chance he makes his long-awaited return on Dec. 30 at UFC 219 in Las Vegas, Nev. And despite the UFC lightweight title picture currently being muddled by two belts, Nurmagomedov has his sights set squarely on Tony Ferguson — the UFC’s new interim lightweight champion — rather than the UFC’s reigning 155-pound king, Conor McGregor.

“We have almost 12 weeks, 11 weeks before UFC 219,” Nurmagomedov said on The MMA Hour. “And now is the beginning a very interesting moment in my life. I hope UFC gives me a championship fight. End of the year, I want to take everything back. Attention, belts; I want to take everything. End of the year, I want to fix everything. And we’ll see what happens. But first of all, I think UFC has to make the fight, Conor versus Nate Diaz 3, and after, me and Tony.

“Because, my opinion, I think Tony Ferguson is the real champion. That’s why. I don’t think, if I fight versus Tony Ferguson, this is an interim belt. Officially, yes. But people want to see me versus Tony Ferguson. I think this is a much better fight, for everything. If I beat Tony Ferguson and take the interim championship belt — Conor’s the official champion, but he’s not the people’s champion.”

Nurmagomedov, 29, spoke straight to the heart of the debate currently raging at 155 pounds and the decision UFC officials — or really, McGregor — will be forced to make about the Irishman’s first UFC title defense. As it stands, the UFC can either book what Nurmagomedov called the “money fight” trilogy match between McGregor and Nate Diaz, or it can book a title unification bout between McGregor and Ferguson.

And to put it simply, Nurmagomedov hopes the UFC elects to book the former, so he can then challenge Ferguson in the “real fight” for the 155-pound strap.

“My opinion, I have to fight with Tony,” Nurmagomedov said. “All of my fans, everybody wants this fight.

“For me, everything isn’t about money. For me, it’s what my father wants, my team, my management team, my friends. This is more important for me.”

For Nurmagomedov, the decision to chase Ferguson over McGregor is a personal one.

Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have been slated to fight three separate times since 2015, however each time the matchup has inevitably fallen apart. The most egregious of those instances happened this past March at UFC 209, when the contest was cancelled the day before the event after Nurmagomedov was transported to the hospital due to complications cutting weight. Nurmagomedov hasn’t competed since, and actually underwent additional back surgery not long after UFC 209, which has contributed to his inactivity in 2017.

But now Nurmagomedov is confident that his issues are fixed. He said he feels 100 percent healthy for the first time since his dominant 2014 win over Rafael dos Anjos. He also understands if fans are hesitant to believe him, considering all the many stops and starts to his MMA career that he’s battled over the past few years.

“I don’t feel [people have abandoned me]. This is what I feel. I understand a lot of fans. They treated me like, ‘Hey, you have to fight,’ but I agree with this,” Nurmagomedov said. “It’s why I tried to come back. It’s why I’m going to hospital, having surgeries. People think I love surgery? I don’t think somebody loves surgery.

“Trying to come back, training every day — every day, training full-time — this is not easy. I agree with fans, I have to fight. I have to make weight. I have to stay professional. I agree with this. But when I fight, I all the time smash my opponents. All the time, when I fight. Now I have one goal, and by the end of the year, one dream fight: This is fight versus Tony Ferguson. This is what I want.”

When he is healthy enough to compete, there is no doubting that Nurmagomedov is one of the most talented lightweight fighters in the world. “The Eagle” has won all eight of his UFC contests and looked like an absolute demon in his most recent appearance, a lopsided outing against Michael Johnson that ended in a third-round submission for Nurmagomedov in Nov. 2016 at UFC 205.

And although Ferguson has publicly moved on from Nurmagomedov since claiming the interim title, turning his sights instead to McGregor, Nurmagomedov said he felt confident that Ferguson’s opinion matters little when it comes to the selection of McGregor’s next opponent.

“I don’t think he makes the decision,” Nurmagomedov said of Ferguson. “What happens if UFC tells him, ‘Hey, Conor is going to fight with Diaz. You have to fight with Khabib.’ What happens? He has to take this fight.

“And I want to send a message: Enjoy this belt. He deserves this, 10 (fight) win streak. My opinion, he’s the real champ, and he has to fight with me. We have to fight, and we have to do this fight for all the fans. Now I am ready, now I am healthy. Last time, I made the problem. This is my fault, last time. I know this. But before, he pulled out too. You have to remember this. Now he’s the real champ. Enjoy this. See you at the end of the year.”

Source: mmafighting

Derrick Lewis was crying like a ‘big-ass baby’ after pulling out of UFC 216 with back injury

One of the UFC’s most successful heavyweights over the past two years, Derrick Lewis was just hoping for a chance to get back in the win column.

Those hopes were dashed when back issues rendered him barely able to move just hours before he was supposed to step into the Octagon against Fabricio Werdum at UFC 216. The decision was made to pull Lewis from the card, and while Werdum would be granted a replacement opponent in Walt Harris (who Werdum submitted in 65 seconds), Lewis was left to wallow in his hotel room wondering what could have been.

Lewis last fought in June, where he was defeated by Mark Hunt via fourth-round TKO in what was Lewis’s first loss in seven fights. That setback paled in comparison to not being able to fight at all.

“For sure, it was real depressing,” Lewis said Monday on The MMA Hour. “I took a big hit in my mental standpoint, it is way worse than a loss. It’s something that I never experienced and I hope it’s something that I never will experience ever again. I’m really in a depression stage right now.”

“I ain’t gonna lie to you, I was really crying,” Lewis continued. “I haven’t cried in years. I was really crying for the first time, my coaches, my wife, everybody was trying to butter me up, but I wasn’t trying to hear that, I was really crying.”

According to Lewis, being pulled from the fight meant that he received no compensation from the UFC. That was one of several reasons why he was emotionally devastated by having to withdraw.

“It was a bunch of things,” Lewis said. “All of that and knowing that all the work I put in through my training camp and stuff like that, and just to pull out hours away from the fight and knowing that I’m only doing this for the money also. Missing out on $300K and not getting anything from it, that hits you real hard too.”

Because Lewis has been fighting through back problems since 2011, he didn’t expect there to be any issues when it came to fighting Werdum. On this occasion, his condition worsened to the point that it took him hours just to muster up the strength to go the washroom.

Seeing that Lewis could hardly even move his legs, his team made the call for him to step away from his UFC 216 spot and move on to fight another day.

“I was crying like a big-ass baby,” Lewis said. “My coach knew how much this fight means to me and I didn’t want to pull out for nothing. My coaches, they all convinced me that it’s probably the best thing to do to pull out because they knew I was going through the same problems with Mark Hunt and I didn’t pull out in that fight and it cost me.”

Despite his dim mood, Lewis didn’t sound worried about this flare up being a sign of any greater concerns. The 32-year-old heavyweight teased a retirement following his loss to Hunt, but eventually decided to continue his MMA career. He’s waiting on the results of further tests before planning for another fight.

“Right now, anything is a possibility,” Lewis said. “We’re just waiting on MRIs right now before we can start my treatment because they want to see what’s the issue first. The doctor I talked to Thursday he said that he’s willing to release me anytime, it’s up to me, but I really want to take the precautions to see what’s really wrong with my back. I don’t want to happen again.

“Even if it does happen again, I don’t want to go through the same feelings I went through pulling out of the fight and all that, going through that emotional mess. I’m still going to fight no matter what.”

Source: mmafighting