Eddie Alvarez: I made up ‘Most Violent’ title because ‘there’s not a lot of value’ in UFC belt

Eddie Alvarez does not think too highly of UFC titles these days, which was why he decided to make up one for himself. After his third round knockout win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 218, Eddie Alvarez declared himself as the “Most Violent Man” in the UFC today. It is a title that the former UFC lightweight champion is completely content with as of the moment.
With Conor McGregor’s fighting future in limbo and Tony Ferguson injured, the 155-pound division’s title picture is currently at a standstill. And for this reason, Alvarez says his self-proclaimed title actually holds more meaning.
“Right now, shit just isn’t defined with the title. And to be honest, there’s not a lot of value in it,” Alvarez said on Monday’s MMA Hour episode (via MMA Fighting). “What value is in it? There’s an interim guy who beat the No. 7 guy to become the champion. That’s not a champion. You can’t bring the No. 7 ranked guy in and then put him against the No 1 contender and he beats him and says now you’re the champion.”
“That’s silly in any organization, any sport, anything. So the champion isn’t defending. So now the value of the belt loses its value. So for me I’m like, let’s make another belt, whoever is the Most Violent. We can make up whatever belts we want.”
Alvarez admits that he is still riding on the high of his win over Gaethje, and wants his succeeding fights to have the same energy.
“I want the best fights, I want them to be violent, and I want the fans to be jumping and screaming the same way they were on Dec. 2 in Detroit,” Alvarez said. “That felt good to me, so I want to continue to feel good about the fights that I’m in.”
Alvarez has yet to determine his next fight and opponent, but fellow top contender Dustin Poirier is calling for a rematch to settle their previous No Contest decision at UFC 211 last May.
Source: bloody

Ratings: Lomachenko-Rigondeaux nearly doubles UFC Fresno in total viewers

The ratings and viewing figures are in for last weekend’s major boxing and MMA shows. Saturday was a busy night for combat sports, as both ESPN and HBO had live boxing events, while the UFC had a Fight Night card on Fox Sports 1, and Spike televised a tape-delayed Bellator 190. Unsurprisingly, the “winner” on the night by a considerable margin was the ESPN-televised Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux showdown. Coming in second was UFC Fresno, followed by HBO Boxing, and then a distant fourth is Bellator MMA.
We’ll start with Lomachenko-Rigondeaux, billed as a truly historic contest between two of the most decorated amateurs of all-time. Lomachenko’s win over Rigondeaux, who quit on his stool after six rounds, averaged 1.73 million viewers on ESPN, which is a number bettered only by Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn in terms of most-watched boxing cards on cable television since 2012. These figures do not include ESPN Deportes or ESPN’s streaming services.
For perspective, Lomachenko’s previous high-mark for viewership was an 832,000 average for his win over Jason Sosa on HBO this past April. Since then, Lomachenko’s last two fights have aired on ESPN as part of Top Rank’s multi-year deal with the network, and fans can expect to see the Ukrainian on ESPN regularly down the line. The event definitely benefited from the Heisman Trophy presentation as its lead-in, but it’s still impressive nevertheless.
HBO’s Boxing After Dark tripleheader overlapped a bit with ESPN’s four-fight broadcast, but Lomachenko-Rigondeaux ended well before HBO’s main event of Orlando Salido vs. Mickey Roman. That fight averaged 576,000 viewers and peaked at 618,000, as Roman sent Salido, the only man to defeat Lomachenko in the pros, into retirement with a ninth-round TKO win. This wasn’t a star-studded card and obviously had a much smaller audience last week’s Miguel Cotto vs. Sadam Ali fight, which peaked at over a million viewers.
On the MMA front, UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Ortega pulled in a respectable 870,000 viewers for the main card, headlined by Brian Ortega’s guillotine choke of Cub Swanson. It’s a decent improvement from the November 18th UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Tybura card, which averaged 815,000. Considering this wasn’t a deep event in terms of names and ranked fighters, it’s good stuff for the UFC on FS1. The audience peaked at just over one million viewers for Albert Morales vs. Benito Lopez, which was the opening main card bout.
Bellator 190: Carvalho vs. Sakara came in at below 400,000, with an average audience of 394,000 while going up against both the UFC’s prelims and boxing on ESPN. Even worse is that the UFC Fresno post-fight show had a slightly higher rating (0.13 to 0.12) in the 18-49 demographic than Bellator’s event, which is their second-to-last one of 2017. This weekend’s Bellator 191 card is also tape-delayed from England, before their 2018 schedule begins with a “tentpole” show headlined by Douglas Lima and Rory MacDonald on January 20th, coincidentally the same night as UFC 220.
An interesting note re Loma-Rigo vs. UFC Fresno main card head-to-head ratings, the coveted 18-49 male demographic overwhelmingly went towards boxing for the night (0.91 to 0.47 in Nielsen ratings), so they actually improved in that area from the Heisman Trophy lead-in, which had a 1.10 rating from the 50+ demo. The overall 18-49 ratings for cable television — this does not include ABC, CBS, FOX, and other “over-the-air” networks, but rather channels which require a cable subscription — saw the Top Rank card finish 4th among all cable broadcasts on Saturday, with the UFC main card 12th, and Bellator MMA way down in 74th.

Source: bloody

UFC does best Fight Night ratings since September with Ortega vs. Swanson

With the Saturday night competition easing somewhat without college football, both MMA and boxing put on four different shows on Saturday night with mixed results.

The big winner was ESPN boxing, a show headlined by Vasiliy Lomachenko’s seventh round win over Guillermo Rigondeaux from the Theater in Madison Square Garden. The show did 1,730,000 viewers, coming off a strong lead-in of the announcement of the Heisman Trophy winner. It was the second-best number for boxing this year on basic cable.

The UFC, with its debut in Fresno, Calif., on a show headlined by Brian Ortega’s second-round submission win over Cub Swanson, averaged 870,000 viewers for the three-plus hour show. It was UFC’s best Fight Night number since September, when a Luke Rockhold win over David Branch did 872,000 viewers.

The show’s ratings also indicated what has been a major change in the audience over the years, as the over-50 audience did a 0.36 rating, while the 18-49 audience did a 0.32. The UFC was built on the 18-34 audience (which did a 0.28), making it a great target market for advertisers. At that time the audience was heavily male, with a relatively lower number of viewers under 18, or over 40. Now the audience is more in line with the rest of television, but a heavy male sports fan skew.

The show also averaged 11,409 viewers via streaming on Fox Sports Go and FOX Now.

Also notable because of the main event going on so late, after the Lomachenko fight was over, was the peak of 1,037,000 viewers came early, during the wild Albert Morales vs. Benito Lopez fight.

The four-fight prelims show, which was headlined by former bantamweight title contenders Alexis Davis and Liz Carmouche, both debuting as flyweights, did 707,000 viewers on television and anther 8,036 streaming. Davis vs Carmouche drew the highest number with 826,000 viewers.

The pre-fight show did 191,000 viewers and the post-fight show did 315,000 viewers.

Bellator, on the other hand, with a taped show from Florence, Italy, featuring Rafael Carvalho defending the middleweight title beating local favorite and former UFC fighter Alessio Sakara in 44 seconds, did only 394,000 viewers. That was the lowest audience for a prime time Bellator show since debuting on Spike TV.

HBO also ran Boxing After Dark against the UFC main card, with the audience ranging from 486,000 viewers to 576,000, the latter number for a main event of Orlando Salido vs. Miguel Roman.

Source: mmafighting

Nicco Montano still eyeing Eubanks fight: ‘Right now the best is not Shevchenko’ at flyweight

Newly crowned flyweight champion Nicco Montano is taking a look at the field of title challengers. And to her mind, Sijara Eubanks is more deserving than anyone else. The UFC has something of a challenge on their hands with their newly minted flyweight division. Having devoted months of marketing buildup and reality show drama to the crowning of the promotion’s first 125 lb champion, the difficulty remains to make all that count for something more than 13 weeks of ratings.
The show already encountered a bit of a speed bump, when co-finalist Sijara Eubanks was pulled from her title bout with Nicco Montano to end the tournament – and replaced by semi-finalist Roxanne Modafferi. But, Modafferi put up a valiant effort in defeat, leaving relative MMA neophyte Montano as the first queen of her weight class. The next trick will be finding her a first title defense.
There are no shortage of fighters willing to throw their name into the hat. Valentina Shevchenko is moving down from bantamweight, Paige VanZant is moving up from strawweight; Lauren Murphy picked up a big win at the TUF 26 Finale, and made her call for the belt. However, Montano has other ideas in mind. Ones that would continue to capitalize off any lasting shine from the Ultimate Fighter, and keep her fighting similarly experienced competition (transcript via MMA Fighting).

“I laugh it off,” Montano said on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour, when asked about talk that she may be scared to fight Valentina Shevchenko or Paige VanZant. “Some people don’t have the best attitude or sportsmanship, especially when it comes to fighting. But I feel like – like I’m not scared, I’m absolutely not scared. But, I definitely think that they should be able to show what they can do at ‘25 before getting a chance to fight for a title.
“‘Sarge’ (Sijara Eubanks), even though she didn’t make weight, we can’t forget she made the weight three times in a six-week period (during the Ultimate Fighter 26 tournament). So she can make the weight. It was just a hard process right after the show, everyone went home, went back to their regular diet so their body wasn’t used to it after that six-week period and then it was kind of hard to bounce back given the amount of time that we had.
“I’m definitely not scared, because it’s the name of the game. You want to fight the best, so that you can prove to everybody else that you are the best. But, right now the best is not Shevchenko at ‘25. She hasn’t fought at that weight. It’s not Paige VanZant, she hasn’t fought at that weight either. So I think it’s pretty silly and I’m a person who wants fair fights and so I just don’t think they are deserving of it right now.”

That may be a tough sell to fans, who have already seen Shevchenko in competitive bouts with the current bantamweight champion. However, it may also be the best option for the UFC, if they want TUF 26 to lay some actual groundwork for the division.
Montano beating Shevchenko would do wonders to establish her credibility as a legit top talent in MMA right this moment, but a crushing loss could leave the whole season feeling like little more than an afterthought going forward. Eubanks vs. Montano could provide an extra bit of closure from the show, and give both women a little more chance to find their footing in the UFC.
In the meantime, Montano still needs to recover from injuries sustained in her bout against Modafferi. And until that happens, any talk of first title defenses is just talk, and nothing more.
Source: bloody

Valentina Shevchenko vs. Priscila Cachoeira confirmed for UFC Belem

Valentina Shevchenko is heading into enemy territory for her flyweight debut.

On Tuesday, the UFC announced that the one-time bantamweight title challenger will drop down to the newly formed 125-pound division on Feb. 3 when she faces undefeated Brazilian fighter Priscila Cachoeira (8-0) at UFC Belem. This will be Cachoeira’s first appearance in the Octagon.

Brazilian reporter Luciano Andrade was first to report the matchup last week.

Shevchenko (14-3) is coming off a narrow split decision loss to bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. It was the second time Nunes outpointed Shevchenko, who was victorious in her three other UFC bantamweight bouts against Holly Holm, Julianna Pena, and Sarah Kaufman.

“Bullet” has made it clear that she intends to challenge for the UFC flyweight title soon.

Cachoeira was supposed to make her UFC debut at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale on Dec. 1 against veteran Lauren Murphy, but visa issues forced her to withdraw. Competing in her home country, the Rio de Janeiro native nicknamed “Pedrita” will now look to continue a run of success that includes finishes in four of her last five fights.

Source: mmafighting

UFC on FOX 26’s Jred Cannonier talks Cormier-Oezdemir: ‘I have DC in any fight, until he faces me’

Ranked light heavyweight Jared Cannonier spoke to Bloody Elbow about his recent opponents being flagged by USADA, his UFC on FOX 26 bout with Jan Błachowicz, and his predictions for DC vs. Oezdemir. The UFC’s #14 ranked light heavyweight Jared Cannonier is looking to follow up his TUF 25 Finale knockout of Nick Roehrick with another stellar performance against the #15 ranked Jan Błachowicz, at UFC on FOX 26 this Saturday night. Cannonier – who sports a 2-1 record inside of the 205 lb division – recently quit his full time job in Alaska to start training full time at The MMA Lab in Phoenix, Arizona. And he isn’t exactly excited about returning to the cold this weekend for UFC Winnipeg.
Before getting it cracking up north, Cannonier caught up with Bloody Elbow to discuss his previous opponents popping hot, his plan for Jan, and his prediction for Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 220.
Saturday’s UFC Winnipeg main card will air live on FOX at 8:00 P.M. ET with the prelims starting at 5:00 P.M. ET on the same channel. The exclusive Fight Pass prelims will begin at 4:00 P.M. ET.
Bombing on short notice opponent Nick Roehrick to pick up the 3rd round TKO at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, back in July of this year:
“I felt good in there, man… He did take a lot of shots in there. I actually broke my hand in the 2nd round, on that 2nd overhand right, but I found a way to get the finish and it worked out. I wish I would have got the bonus though, that would have been nice.”
Are you surprised that Roehrick was able to absorb so much punishment?
“Well, after the fact I found out that he had tested positive after the fight. A couple weeks after the fight, he got tested out of competition. In my thinking, he was using it to prepare for his fight that he had coming up, because he had a fight originally scheduled 2 or 3 days after our fight. So, he was preparing for something.”
Do you have any idea what Roehrick was flagged for?
“All I know is it’s something that it was something people use when they’re cycling off, coming off of a cycle. I don’t know exactly what it was, but again, that’s just hearsay. If it is true, that sucks. It sucks I broke my hand against his head; I injured my elbow as well. It is what it is, the name of the game I suppose.”
Do you think the doping is what allowed Roehrick to sustain so much damage?
“I mean… Yes. Especially, with the shots I was dishing out, but who knows.”
So, you were originally scheduled to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC on FOX 26, but he was flagged by USADA for testing positive. What’s up with your opponent’s getting popped?
“It is what it is, you know. Who knows? They say that it could be tainted supplements, but we’ve heard that excuse from other different fighters as well. With that in mind, I stopped taking the supplements that I was taking. I was taking fish oil, multivitamins, probiotics and stuff like that. I can’t even take that no more for fear of me looking like the guy with egg on my face.”
You recently lived in Alaska, but now reside in Arizona; are you excited to return to the cold at UFC on FOX 26 in Winnipeg, Canada?
“Oh I’m not excited about it [laughs]. I might have been in Alaska for the last 10 years, don’t make me Alaskan. I’m from Texas. I like the heat, I like the sun. I’m a sun person.”
Are you happy with your replacement opponent Jan Błachowicz?
“I’m very happy with the matchup. Jan is a tough dude. Some of those decisions were against the top guys in the division; Alexander Gustafsson, Jimi Manuwa. He’s fought a bunch of top guys, so he’s tough, and all of those losses have been decisions. It’s not like he’s been getting wrecked in there; and the dude’s a black belt now. I know what his weapon is, I know what his advantage is. Or at least what he thinks his advantage is.”
Do you think Błachowicz will end up shooting in on you?
“Well, that would be the best thing, the smartest decision to make for him. Once the hands start going, you know, there’s 2 ways down. You shoot or you can fall. That’s what I’m preparing for. I’m preparing for a guy to shoot, because I feel like I’m going to have the striking advantage in most of the matchups.”
“I don’t choose how my opponent falls, I leave that up to my opponent.”
How about a prediction for Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 220 on January 20, 2018?
“That’s DC, man. I’m going to take DC on that one. Honestly, I have DC in any fight, until he faces me [laughs].”
Would you still pick DC over Jon Jones if they fought for a 3rd time?
“Yeah, yeah. Well, I don’t know, hang on [laughs].”
Watch Jared Cannonier get down with Jan Błachowicz at UFC on FOX 26 from Winnipeg, Canada on December 16, 2017. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for all of your UFC event coverage including interviews, play-by-play, highlights, and more!

Source: bloody

Augusto Mendes making more money in jiu-jitsu, but focus is on UFC career

Augusto Mendes made a statement in his return to competition.

A little over than two months after being forced out of a UFC Sao Paulo fight with Boston Salmon due to an injury, “Tanquinho” competed at the ACB JJ no-gi 60kg grand prix in Russia last Saturday, and won the belt after three great performances.

Mendes made quick work of Milton Bastos in the quarterfinal, tapping his opponent with a kimura in less than 20 seconds. He took on multiple-time world champion Joao Miyao in the semifinal, winning via points after three rounds. In the final, “Tanquinho” submitted Samir Chantre with a guillotine in the fifth round.

“It was fun,” Mendes told MMA Fighting after returning to the United States. “This is a very dynamic tournament, it’s interesting, and the promotion is growing a lot.”

“Tanquinho” loves competing in jiu-jitsu and submission events, and winning ACB tournaments also means extra money in his pocket.

“More than twice, to be honest,” Mendes said when asked how much money he’s made at ACB JJ 9 compared to his most recent UFC fight with Aljamain Sterling. “And I even won two bonuses, fastest submission and best fight (vs. Miyao). I made more than twice in jiu-jitsu.”

Back to the winning column in the jiu-jitsu world, Mendes hopes to return to the Octagon at UFC 222, scheduled for March 3 in Las Vegas.

“I really want to be on this card because it’s my birthday and it’s in Las Vegas, so it’s close to where I live and my family and friends can go there and hang out with me,” Mendes said. “I think it will be a special night for me. I really want to be on this card.”

And even though he’s making more money winning jiu-jitsu tournaments in Russia, the Brazilian grappler says his main goal now is competing in mixed martial arts.

“I just want to fight soon,” he said. “This is my priority. Even though I’m making a good money in jiu-jitsu, MMA is my priority. I don’t choose opponents, whoever they throw at me I will embrace and try to do my best in there.”

There’s a chance that “Tanquinho” will get back on the ACB mat before March 3, though, as he plans on entering the jiu-jitsu 65kg grand prix in January — or competing in a super fight.

“ACB is growing a lot here,” Mendes said. “I just won the tournament and they liked my performances. When I won the belt I challenged Paulo (Miyao), who won the grand prix at 65 kilos, so that might happen.”

Watch Mendes’ ACB 9 wins below.

Source: mmafighting

Report: Tim Hague’s family retains law firm to sue city of Edmonton over boxing death

The former UFC heavyweight died after injuries sustained in a boxing match on June 16th in the city of Edmonton. On June 18th former UFC heavyweight Tim Hague passed away from injuries he sustained in a boxing match two nights prior. The incident happened in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Combat sports in that city is regulated by the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission (ECSC).
Immediately after his death, questions about the ECSC’s licensing of Hague to compete on the night he was fatally injured were raised. Those questions were often coupled with earlier complaints about the ECSC and Pat Reid – who was Director during Hague’s death.
Veteran MMA investigative journalist Mike Russell was one of (if not the) first individuals to begin discussing whether or not the ECSC and Reid had been negligent in permitting Hague to fight. Recently, CTV News Edmonton (on of Canada’s largest local news stations) also began openly questioning the practices of the ECSC.
CTV News Edmonton released a three part video investigation into the ECSC. In that series the news outlet questioned whether Hague should have been medically suspended when he fought in June (based on the fighter suffering three previous knockouts within a nine month spell). The series also questioned Reid’s fitness to run the ECSC and summarized complaints former ECSC members had made against him.
Their investigation also revealed that the City of Edmonton was having Hague’s death looked into by a third party to evaluate what happened within the ECSC’s licensing process. The release of that report has been delayed for months, but it is thought it may be released in the coming days.
Even though that report has not been released, the City of Edmonton last week decided to implement a one year moratorium on combat sports events in the city. This lead to the cancellation of a Unified MMA show and a number of boxing events (per Global News).
Despite the moratorium, a KO Boxing promotions event was allowed to take place at Edmonton’s Shaw Conference Centre on December 8th. In the main event Adam Braidwood defeated Misael Sanchez via TKO. It was the same arena, promotion, and opponent as were involved in Hauge’s death.
Hague’s family have previously stated that they were waiting for the release of the report before deciding whether they would pursue any legal action in connection with Hague’s death.
Due to the ongoing delays, that no longer appears to be the case. On December 9th Mike Russell revealed that Hague’s family had secured the services of Assiff Law, an Alberta-based personal injury firm, to represent them against the City of Edmonton.

Just confirmed Edmonton-based personal injury firm @AssiffLaw Office sent the @CityofEdmonton a letter Friday afternoon informing council/city administration that the firm has been retained by Tim Hague’s family to represent their late husband, brother, son, and father’s estate.— Mike Russell (@MIKERUSSELLMMA) December 9, 2017

Legal expert Erik Magraken, owner of CombatSportsLaw.com, analyzed the ‘legal issues at play’ in a potential lawsuit lodged against the City of Edmonton by Hague’s family.
According to Magraken, the province of Alberta does allow wrongful death lawsuits in the case of someone being killed by the actions of another. The legislation describes lump sums for bereavement totaling $82,000 CAD for spouses and parents and $49,000 CAD for children, if negligence is proven.
Magraken further states that family members can also seek damages related to the costs of funeral services and loss of income the deceased would have earned. Most importantly, family members are also able to seek punitive damages; if it can be proven that – in the case of Hague – the City of Edmonton’s actions, “were so egregious that a civil fine is warranted.”
However, it appears there would be some stiff challenges ahead of the Hague family, if they did move forward with a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Edmonton. In support of this, Magraken points out a clause in the Alberta Municipal Government Act, which reads:
A commission and its members, officers, employees and any volunteers and officials performing duties under the direction of any of them are not liable for anything said or done or omitted to be done in good faith in the performance or intended performance of their functions, duties or powers under this Act or any other enactment.
According to Magraken, this means that a plantiff would need to, “prove something akin to gross negligence” in order to be successful with their suit.
Magraken also believes that the release and waiver Hague would have signed before competing in Edmonton might hinder the family’s ability to receive damages. The ECSC form includes language that seems to indicate that the signatory, and their dependents, waive the right to sue the ECSC.

Edmonston Combative Sports Commission (via CombatSportsLaw.com)

All that being said, there may be a route for the Hague family to have this waiver thrown out:
The language appears to prevent a lawsuit however Hague can advance an argument that no legal consideration truly exists for this waiver. In short the City suggests that by regulating a fight they are providing a fighter something of value. The flaw in this reasoning is the commission is being already paid to do their job. If a court accepts this reasoning the waiver may be thrown out as a contract without actual consideration is not binding. – Erik MaGraken, CombatSportsLaw.com
At this time of writing, it is not believed that the Hague family have served the City of Edmonton with a lawsuit in connection to the death of Tim Hague. Bloody Elbow will continue to track this story and will report if legal action is taken.

Source: bloody

Colby Covington blocked by multiple UFC fighters, promises to rip Tyron Woodley’s ‘arms off’

Colby Covington on Tyron Woodley:  “I’m gonna rip both his arms off and mount them on my wall next to the belt”. Top-three UFC welterweight contender Colby Covington isn’t exactly the most popular fighter on the roster.
After insulting the entire country of Brazil at UFC Sao Paulo and getting into a physical altercation with former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum outside a hotel in Australia, Covington has found himself blocked by at least three UFC fighters.
The UFC heel posted a screenshot on Twitter to show that he has been blocked by Werdum, Rafael dos Anjos, and Tyron Woodley.
According to Covington, ‘the chaos sensation is sweeping the world’.

You can block it on twitter but the chaos sensation is sweeping the world!!! It can’t be stopped!!! pic.twitter.com/ks0T2c3AWn— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) December 8, 2017

Covington then promised to rip Woodley’s arms off and mount them on his wall, next to his future UFC welterweight title.

Tyrone @TWooodley will have a real Injury after we fight. I’m gonna rip both his arms off and mount them on my wall next to the belt. Just out of reach, because mark my words! He’s never touching @ufc gold again. @danawhite @seanshelby https://t.co/eia8GBxdEa— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) December 9, 2017

The 29-year-old is on a five-fight win streak and recently beat two-time title challenger Demian Maia via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 119. That’s when Covington, a former NCAA Division I wrestler, called Brazil a ‘dump’ in front of Maia’s home crowd at Ginásio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo.
Covington catapulted to No. 3 in the official UFC welterweight rankings and is desperately campaigning for a title shot against Woodley.

Source: bloody