Brent Primus releases statement about withdrawal from Michael Chandler rematch

Brent Primus is out of his Bellator 197 fight against Michael Chandler.

Brent Primus’ rematch with Michael Chandler won’t happen at Bellator 197, but in the words of the reigning Bellator lightweight champion, “it’s going to happen sooner than later.”

Primus posted a statement to social media Thursday apologizing for withdrawing from his scheduled April 13 bout against Chandler, which was slated to headline Bellator 197 at the Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo. MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani reported Wednesday that a knee injury forced Primus out of the contest.

“This sport is full of ups and downs,” Primus wrote on Instagram. “This past week has been a real low. I’ve trained and fought through injuries multiple times but this time was different. I tried moving around and shadow boxing after taking a week off and it just wasn’t possible. I would really like to apologize to Bellator MMA, all my coaches that put so much work in with me, all my sponsors, all my family and friends that bought airfare and tickets. There’s not a man in this world that I would rather fight than Mike Chandler.”

Primus, 32, has not fought since capturing the belt with an upset over Chandler via first-round TKO due to injury in June 2017 at Bellator 180.

With Primus off Bellator 197, Chandler is instead expected to face Brandon Girtz in the show’s new makeshift main event.

Primus’ complete statement can be read below.

Source: mmafighting

Ellenberger returns, will fight Barberena at UFC Utica

Jake Ellenberger will take his first UFC fight in over a year at the UFC’s event in upstate New York. It seemed like veteran welterweight Jake Ellenberger may have been stepping away from the UFC for a little while, but that is not the case after all. He has been added to the UFC Utica card in June, where he will fight Bryan Barberena.
The UFC recently confirmed the matchup.
Ellenberger (31-13, 10-9 UFC) will be competing in his 20th UFC bout. He hasn’t been that effective lately, losing four out of his last five and seven of nine overall. His last bout was a second-round knockout loss to Mike Perry in Nashville last April.
Barberena (13-5, 4-3 UFC) has been out of the cage since a September decision loss to Leon Edwards. Barberena holds a win over Ellenberger’s brother Joe, in his UFC debut back in 2014.
UFC Utica, or UFC Fight Night 31 if you prefer, goes down June 1st in the Adirondack Bank Center. It will be headlined by a big bantamweight bout between Marlon Moraes and Jimmie Rivera.
Source: bloody

Augusto Mendes will appeal USADA suspension: ‘I’m innocent’

Augusto Mendes could face a long suspension.

Augusto Mendes was pulled from a UFC Atlantic City clash with Mareb Dvalishvili on April 21 after testing positive for a banned substance in an out-of-competition USADA test, but says he’s innocent.

“Tanquinho”, a multiple-time jiu-jitsu champion with a 6-2 MMA record, including a 1-2 run inside the Octagon, released a statement on Wednesday revealing that he will appeal, ask for the B sample to be tested, and also test the supplements he has used.

Mendes did not disclose which substance he tested positive for.

Check Mendes’ statement below.

On Tuesday afternoon, on March 20, I was surprised by a notification from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informing me of a potential violation of their antidoping program in a test done on March 7. In more than 20 years in martial arts, I guarantee I’ve never used any prohibited substance to have an advantage over my opponents and enhance my performance. I’m innocent in this case and offer my help to the entity in any way possible to make sure this case is solved quickly and legally.

I haven’t changed anything in my supplementation routine in the last few months, respecting the antidoping policy that had me tested seven times last year and being approved in all tests. That’s why, and for my professional and personal stance, respecting the work done by USADA for the legitimacy of the MMA fighters, I inform that I will appeal every way I can to prove my innocence in this case, starting with asking for the B sample to be tested and testing, on my own, all the supplements I’ve used over the past few months.

I live the glories and feel the sour taste of the defeats that this sport gives. In 2016, because of a severe left knee injury, I was sidelined from sportive activities for a year, so I know the issues that a doping suspension can affect my career and I would never make the mistake to myself. Because of that, I was pulled from a fight with Mareb Dvalishvili, scheduled for UFC Fight Night 128 on April 21.

I want to thank the fans that wrote messages of support and trust in my social media, believing in a positive end to this case. To them, the UFC and Mareb Dvalishvili, I apologize for being out of the card, and I hope they can find a new opponent and they can put on a great fight.

See you all in the Octagon soon,

Thank you.

Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes

Source: mmafighting

Sean O’Malley set to have surgery this week, hoping to return in fall

Sean O’Malley is going under the knife.

O’Malley is set to have surgery on his right foot Friday, MMA Fighting has learned. The undefeated prospect suffered the injury in the early stages of his first round fight against Andre Soukhamthath earlier this month at UFC 222. He eventually won the fight via unanimous decision but was unable to exit the cage on his own.

As he recently told, the UFC recently asked if O’Malley would be interested in fighting on the TUF Finale July 6, but that was before he found out he’d need surgery. No specific opponent was discussed, sources say.

Now, according to his team, the popular bantamweight is hoping to return to action in the fall.

The 23-year-old O’Malley, nicknamed “Suga,” is 2-0 inside the Octagon.

Source: mmafighting

Ryan Scope vs. Martyn Harris booked for Bellator 200 

Former BAMMA lightweight champion Ryan Scope will make his promotional debut on the preliminary card of Bellator 200 on May 25 in London against Martyn Harris.

Bellator confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Wednesday.

Bellator signed Scope (11-1) after his title winning performance against UFC veteran, Mikael Lebout, at BAMMA 33.

In his last fight before claiming the BAMMA strap, he suffered his only defeat when Welsh veteran, Lewis Long, submitted him in the first round of their M4TC welterweight title bout. Ahead of his Bellator signing, Scope was considered one of the best prospects in UK MMA.

Harris (4-4) registered two consecutive defeats for the first time when he met a resurgent Steve O’Keefe earlier this month at BAMMA 34. O’Keefe took the fight to the ground and submitted him in just over a minute.

Harris faced another highly touted UK prospect, Alex Lohore, earlier in his career. He retired in between the first and second rounds after finding himself on the end of a brutal combination of kicks, knee and punches in the dying embers of the opening round.

Source: mmafighting

Kali Robbins hoping to stop Pearl Gonzalez to earn UFC call-up

Undefeated strawweight Kali Robbins spoke to Bloody Elbow about her forthcoming Invicta showdown with former UFCer Pearl Gonzalez. ‘Pop Tart’ Kali Robbins impressed last time out, at Invicta FC 25, when she subbed Sharon Jacobson after just 42 seconds. This weekend, at Invicta FC 28, the Eric ‘Red’ Schafer protege is looking to stay undefeated and capture her 6th pro win. Looking to stop her is former UFC strawweight Pearl Gonzalez (6-3).
The win over Jacobson was Robbins’ Invicta debut; her previous appearances came in the KOTC and RFA organizations. The sub-minute match was a frenzied affair with Jacobson attacking Robbins from the outset with a flurry of blows. Robbins appeared stunned and was then head-and-arm thrown to the ground. On the canvas Robbins clinically set-up and executed an armbar to elicit a fight-ending tap from her opponent.

Can it be comeback of the year if the fight lasted less than a minute? WOW! Kali Robbins! #InvictaFC25— UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) September 1, 2017

Even though she was on the back-foot during the opening seconds of the contest, Robbins said her head was clear, when speaking to Bloody Elbow.
“It looked pretty awesome, I’ve got to give her props for that,” said Robbins. “I’ve never really had an opponent come at me like that. It just sort of froze me and I remember thinking, why don’t these hurt? And then I was like, oh crap, I need to do something before they actually connect!”
Just as Jacobson’s punches failed to leave a mark, so too did the throw. “It was such a good throw, that when I hit the mat, I felt totally fine,” remarked Robbins. “No wind was knocked out of me. And right away she put her hands on my shoulders, was inside my guard, so I just did what we do all the time in jiu jitsu 101, which is go for an armbar.”
As soon as referee Josh Rosenthal separated Robbins from Jacobson, the Milwaukee-based fighter began sobbing with emotion. Her passionate display continued right up until her hand was raised minutes later.
Robbins said part of the reason for her reaction was the joy at securing a stoppage, but the entire reason was much more to do with her journey up until that point. She explained that in a “rough year and a half” leading up to the fight she switched management because of their inability to book a fight for her.
That being said, Robbins has no ill will towards her past management and said she thought they were working hard in her interest. But the frustration at not getting booked made her feel like change was necessary.
“I was just like, why can’t I get a fight? Am I going to have to retire before I get to fight again? It was just hard to stay motivated and then I just put a ton of pressure on myself,” she said.
Robbins also wasn’t happy with her weight cut leading into the fight. She came in a few pounds over the 115 lb limit. “I was emotional because it was a super rough weight cut, plus the year and a half off, fighting for Invicta for the first time, and that she was the toughest opponent I had yet. And I couldn’t believe it was over in less than a minute.”
The impressive victory earned Robbins a second Invicta fight, half a year later, against one of Invicta’s most recognizable names. Pearl Gonzalez was cut from the UFC after losses to Cynthia Calvillo and Poliana Botelho last year.
It’s a fight Robbins is excited for and one she thought was inevitable.
“I’m so happy that I was even given the opportunity [to fight Gonzalez], because she’s a good name and she’s tough.” said Robbins. “I kind of thought we were going to cross paths before she got into the UFC because I believe she’s from Chicago, and I’m from Milwaukee, so I figured we’d meet on the local scene.”
Because of their proximity, Robbins said she “always kept [Gonzalez] on the radar.” When it was announced that Gonzalez had signed to Invicta, Robbins was confident that it was “just a matter of time” until they were matched up.
Now she has a shot at Gonzalez, Robbins is confident at being able to maximize upon it. “I think my style is going to be tough for her,” she said. “I’m definitely a pressure fighter. I’m in your face. And I believe in the ground game. I believe I’m better than the majority of girls on the ground. That’s where I feel strongest, but I’ve definitely been striking and wrestling for years and years and years. I feel like I’m good everywhere and I’m finally ready to show that.”
And Robbins believes a win over Gonzalez will put her closer than ever to her ultimate goal of signing with the UFC.
“It would be silly to say that’s not what I want, or that we’re just taking one fight at a time, we are always looking to get into the UFC,” said Robbins. “It’s a big goal of mine and every level up, every fight, that’s where I want to be.”
I want to show them I can hang in the UFC and I definitely can. It’s just a matter of time, I don’t know why they’re being so silly in taking their time, but they’ll get to know me soon enough!
Robbins thinks her chances of getting into the UFC will be especially good if she not only beats Gonzalez, but manages to finish her, too.
“Nobody finished her in the UFC, so that’s what I’m looking to do. I want to go in there and get the W, that’s the biggest thing, but I want to finish her. I don’t care how. Knock her out, TKO, submission, anything. I want to show them I can hang in the UFC and I definitely can. It’s just a matter of time, I don’t know why they’re being so silly in taking their time, but they’ll get to know me soon enough!”
You can watch Kali Robbins take on her biggest test yet on March 24th. Her fight with Pearl Gonzalez at Invicta FC 28 airs exclusively live on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 8pm ET.

Source: bloody

Video: K-1 show features walkoff KO, wicked flying knee

Koya Uraba walks off after knocking out Wei Rui

There might not be any UFC of Bellator shows this week, but that doesn’t mean there is any shortage of violence in the combat sports sphere.

At K-1’s K’FESTA show in Tokyo, Japan, on Wednesday, former lightweight champion Koya Urabe smoked Wei Rui with a straight left that actually left Rui spread eagle on the canvas and Urabe walking off with his hands raised:

In other action, standout Krush featherweight Masaaki Noiri broke out a flawlessly-timed flying knee to knock down 2010 K-1 tournament winner Tetsuya Yamato:

Source: mmafighting

Lee responds to Khabib, accuses him of b-tching out of fights

Kevin Lee didn’t take kindly to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s recent derogatory comments about his lack of will in the Octagon. It looks like there’s a rivalry brewing between top lightweight contenders Khabib Nurmagomedov and Kevin Lee.
Things kicked off when Lee, 25, criticized Khabib’s dominant win over Edson Barboza at UFC 219, stating that the undefeated Dagestani ‘looked terrible’ in the co-main event at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.
“I wasn’t too impressed with Khabib,” Lee told MMA Fighting at a UFC 222 media scrum earlier this month. “I’m gonna do ten times the work on Edson [at UFC Atlantic City] Khabib looked terrible in that fight. He was just barreling straight forward like a tank.”
That’s when Nurmagomedov, the top-ranked UFC lightweight contender, called ‘The Motown Phenom’ a fake tough-guy and said he has a ‘very small heart’.
It didn’t take long for Lee to catch wind of Khabib’s latest comments and post a reply on social media.
Lee, who lost in an interim title bout to Tony Ferguson at UFC 216, took aim at Nurmagomedov’s missed weight cuts and accused ‘The Eagle’ of bitching out of fights.

I actually showed up and made weight through an infection @TeamKhabib. You sign contracts and still find a way to bitch out. FOH— Kevin MTP Lee (@MoTownPhenom) March 19, 2018

Nurmagomedov was originally booked to fight Ferguson at UFC 209 but was forced to withdraw at the last minute after suffering a devastating weight cut on the eve of the event. The 29-year-old was hospitalized during his weight cut but returned to top form against Barboza last year.
Nurmagomedov has been rescheduled to challenge Ferguson for the ‘undisputed’ lightweight title at UFC 223. The PPV extravaganza takes place next month, April 7 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Lee, who is ranked in the top-eight, expects to fight Conor McGregor by the end of the year in hopes of securing a championship rematch with Ferguson.

Source: bloody

Tai Tuivasa signs new four-fight contract with UFC

The UFC has come to terms with one of its up-and-coming heavyweight prospects.

Undefeated Tai Tuivasa recently signed a new four-fight contract with the promotion, MMA Fighting has learned.

The first fight under Tuivasa’s new deal will be against Andrei Arlovski at UFC 225 on June 9 in Chicago.

The 25-year-old Tuivasa (7-0), who hails from Sydney, Australia, improved to 2-0 in the UFC last month when he defeated Cyril Asker via TKO. All seven of his professional victories have come via either KO or TKO in the first round.

Source: mmafighting

Usman, Till, Masvidal trade heated shots in sprawling Twitter feud

Kamaru Usman went after Darren Till and Jorge Masvidal on Twitter.

Who’s ducking who?

The drama in the welterweight division boiled over in a major way this week between the three fighters ranked from No. 6 to No. 8 on the UFC’s media-generated rankings — Jorge Masvidal, Darren Till, and Kamaru Usman — culminating in a sprawling Twitter feud that featured everything from trash talk to accusations of ducking fights over the course of a two-day span.

Everything began Tuesday morning when Usman’s manager, Ali Abdel-Aziz, posted a tweet effectively claiming that Masvidal, Neil Magny, Colby Covington, and Till had turned down a fight with Usman, the 30-year-old Nigerian-American contender who sports an undefeated 7-0 Octagon record but has struggled to land a fight against a top-10 opponent.

Those bold accusations then caught the eye of Till.

The up-and-coming Scouser is set to headline the UFC’s first-ever show in his hometown of Liverpool on May 27, but still doesn’t have an opponent for the event.

And over the course of nearly two hours of fast and furious tweets, Usman and Till had plenty to say to one another about the situation.

But the argument wasn’t just exclusive to Usman and Till.

Masvidal caught wind of Abdel-Aziz’s original claims early Wednesday morning and immediately went after him and Usman with the help of his own manager, Abe Kawa, eventually settling on the idea that he’ll fight either Till or Usman in July.

That, of course, led to one final exchange between Usman and Kawa.

Let no one say that things are ever dull in the UFC’s fast-changing welterweight landscape.

Source: mmafighting