Luke Rockhold: If GSP beats Bisping, ‘I guarantee you’ he won’t fight ‘one of the top contenders’

Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold weighs in on Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre. UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping will be defending his title against former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, much to the disappointment of 185 lbs contenders such as Yoel Romero, plus former champions Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold.
For what it’s worth from Romero’s perspective, Dana White said that the UFC will “obviously take care of Yoel.” Meanwhile, Ronaldo Souza will be fighting Robert Whittaker in April, Weidman will face Gegard Mousasi one week prior to Jacare-Whittaker, and Rockhold is without a fight, having pulled out of a UFC main event vs. Jacare in November due to an injury.
In an interview with Submission Radio, Rockhold addressed the UFC’s decision to book Bisping-GSP, and unsurprisingly, he’s not a fan of the matchmaking.
“Unfortunate that they took the route they took,” Rockhold said. “I understand the business and I understand what they’re doing but I don’t think they’re really thinking ahead in making this fight. I think there’s a lot of better options other than tying up the division and making this thing happen. I don’t think Bisping’s a draw. He hasn’t proven to be a draw, so what’s the point of putting GSP in there with him, a man that’s never obviously fought at middleweight and has been out for three years? I think him (GSP) and Nick Diaz, I think him Anderson Silva, I think there’s a lot of other fights that make the money they need and then sells that without doing what they had to do.”
As for how the fight affects him and the middleweight division, his views are as you would expect given where he sits atop the rankings, one fight removed from the shock loss to Bisping.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” Rockhold said. “I don’t know what to say right now. I’m not here to dance around, I’m not here to fight chumps and just do my thing. I’m coming right back for the title. And seeing this play out the way it has, it’s quite frustrating, I’m not gonna lie. So I’m taking my time.”
There’s no official date set for Bisping vs. St-Pierre, although it will happen in the second-half of the year. Rockhold believes that should GSP get the win over Bisping, he won’t be facing the likes of Romero, Jacare, or himself.
“He’s not gonna fight one of the top contenders, I guarantee you that,” Rockhold said. “He won’t fight one, he won’t fight two and he won’t fight three, guarantee it.”
The 32-year-old Rockhold is angling to make his return in July, which would be a 13-month gap between fights for him. You can listen to his full interview with Submission Radio at the top of the page.
Source: bloody

Michael Bisping: ‘No way’ Conor McGregor ever fights Khabib after UFC 209 fiasco

Bisping says Khabib Nurmagomedov blew his chances of a title fight with McGregor after pulling out of UFC 209. There’s no news yet on Khabib Nurmagomedov’s condition after being hospitalized due to a bad weight cut at UFC 209, but middleweight champion Michael Bisping thinks the undefeated Dagestani ruined his chances of ever fighting Conor McGregor for the lightweight title.
Nurmagomedov, who has faced weight cutting problems in the past and was 3.5 pounds over the lightweight limit against Abel Trujillo at UFC 160, was removed from his highly anticipated interim title fight against Tony Ferguson at UFC 209.
It was a devastating blow to ‘The Eagle’s’ reputation, and his future as a lightweight contender is now in question.
Even if Nurmagomedov does get rescheduled to fight the No. 2 ranked ‘El Cucuy’, Bisping believes McGregor will never accept a fight with him because he’s a ‘pull-out merchant’.
“One million per cent, it KILLS his chances of ever fighting Conor and it puts the UFC in a very difficult position,” Bisping said on his new podcast Believe You Me on Monday (h/t Patrick McCarry of SportsJoe). “If they make that rematch between Khabib and Tony, and Khabib wins, there is no way Conor is going to accept that because he is going to say, ‘I’m not going to take that risk of having an entire fight camp for him not to make it to the Octagon so I’m not going to do it’.”
Meanwhile Ferguson, who is on a nine-fight win streak, warned McGregor that ‘he’s next’ in a recent Instragram post but the Irishman is busy pursuing a boxing superfight against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
McGregor faced criticism for not defending his featherweight title last year — McGregor has since been stripped of the belt and Jose Aldo has been reinstated as champion — and ‘The Notorious’ has come under similar fire for ignoring the top lightweight contenders in favor of a showdown against Mayweather.
With McGregor’s absence from the sport and Nurmagomedov’s weight cutting problems, the 155-pound division is in disarray. The SBG Ireland product hasn’t offered his take on UFC 209, presumably because he’s focused on making a boxing debut against the sport’s pound-for-pound great in Mayweather.
Bloody Elbow will keep you updated on any new developments.

Source: bloody

The MMA Vivisection – UFC Fortaleza: Belfort vs. Gastelum picks, odds, & analysis

Zane Simon and Connor Ruebusch give you all the ins, outs, ups, and downs of this weekend’s UFC card. We’ll have picks and odds for everything from Vitor Belfort vs. Kelvin Gastelum down to Garreth McLellan vs. Paulo Borrachinha. UFC 209 may have been a bit of a last minute disaster (although most of the card was actually still really fun), but for those who feel like they got less than they bargained for, hopefully this week’s event will fill the void. The card features veteran legends Vitor Belfort taking on Kelvin Gastelum and Shogun Rua taking on Gian Villante, to go along with a bunch of top 15 matchups. Edson Barboza fights Beneil Dariush, Jussier Formiga fights Ray Borg, and Bethe Correia fights Marion Reneau. It should be a fun night of action fights top to bottom.
As always, if you enjoyed the show, give us a “Like” over on YouTube. And while you’re there, subscribe to MMANATIONDOTCOM for all the latest BE shows, interviews, and analysis (make sure you hit the notifications button too, or you won’t get told when live shows happen).
If you’re just here for the audio, you can find our podcasts on iTunes and SoundCloud.
Here’s the UFC Fortaleza lineup as it stands now:
FS1 Main Card:Vitor Belfort vs. Kelvin GastelumMauricio Rua vs. Gian VillanteEdson Barboza vs. Beneil DariushJussier Formiga vs. Ray BorgBethe Correia vs. Marion ReneauAlex Oliveira vs. Tim Means
FS1 Prelims:Francisco Trinaldo vs. Kevin LeeSergio Moraes vs. Davi RamosRani Yahya vs. Joe SotoMichel Prazeres vs. Josh Burkman
Fight Pass Prelims:Rony Jason vs. Jeremy KennedyGarreth McLellan vs. Paulo Henrique Costa
Source: bloody

Rashad Evans not planning to retire after loss to Kelly: ‘I know I’m better than this’

Evans says his loss to Dan Kelly at UFC 209 has only fueled him to train harder than ever before. Rashad Evans suffered one of the biggest setbacks of his career when he dropped a split decision to the unranked Dan Kelly at UFC 209 this past weekend.
Evans, a former UFC light heavyweight champion and top-ranked talent, went back-and-forth with Kelly for three rounds but couldn’t find his rhythm.
The loss — Evan’s third straight — has prompted many pundits to question his future in the sport, with many questions looming over ‘Suga’s’ legitimacy as a top contender in MMA’s premiere promotion.
Evans, though, says he has no plans to retire and is more hungry than ever to snap his losing streak.
“I’ve got to get this off me. I’ve got to get this loss off me. I know I’m better than this,” Evans told “The Luke Thomas Show” this week, per Damon Martin of FOX Sports. “I know I’m a better competitor than this and I want to go out there and I want to fight as much as I can. That’s just the truth of the matter.”

The 37-year-old admits it will be a sad day when he has to hang up the gloves and can no longer compete, but says that day has yet to come.
“I’m 37 years old. I don’t know how long my body’s going to be able to hold out to do what I love to do so I want to compete as much as I can before I can’t compete anymore. When I can’t compete anymore, I can’t compete anymore but at the end of the day right now, I still feel like I can compete and that’s what I want to do.”
Prior to his 185-pound debut against Kelly, Evans was expected to take on Tim Kennedy but was forced to withdraw from the bout on two separate occasions due to an irregularity in his pre-fight medicals.
The former champ says he was in great physical shape in the lead-up to UFC 209, which makes the loss to Kelly sting that little bit more.
“I had a great training camp. I felt physically great. I felt like I was going to go out there and do some great things, but when it was time to go it just didn’t happen like that for me,” Evans said. “That’s something that’s bothersome to me. That’s something that I really feel I need to go and take a look at.
“But at the same time you don’t want to sit and over think every single thing cause you can’t figure it all out. The best thing to do is to just get back out there and to fight again. To try and find that competitive rhythm. Find that flow.”
The UFC will be assessing Evan’s options for the future, with a bout against Nate Marquardt or Tim Boetsch possibly in the works.

Source: bloody

Frankie Edgar vs. Yair Rodriguez official for UFC 211

UFC 211 gets even better, as former lightweight champion and longtime featherweight contender Frankie Edgar is set to face rising Mexican star Yair Rodriguez. Mexican featherweight Yair Rodriguez is about to get a major jump in competition on May 13th. UFC officials announced on Thursday that Rodriguez will take on Frankie Edgar at UFC 211 in Dallas, Texas.
Rodriguez (10-1) is coming off a January drubbing of B.J. Penn in the UFC Phoenix main event. The 24-year-old became the first man to ever knock Penn down, rocking him with a front kick before finishing him with punches early in the second round. The TUF Latin America season 1 winner is a perfect 6-0 in the UFC, and his other notable wins include a five-round split decision over Alex Caceres, as well as a flying head kick KO of Andre Fili.
Edgar (21-5-1) fought twice in 2016, losing a five-round unanimous decision to Jose Aldo at UFC 200 before getting a unanimous decision win over Jeremy Stephens at UFC 205. Frankie’s only career losses at 145 lbs are both against Aldo, and Gray Maynard is the only man who’s ever defeated him in a three-round bout. Edgar has been on the mend following groin surgery, but is now ready to rock and roll once more. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto also reported that Edgar signed a new contract extension with the UFC.
UFC 211 features a heavyweight title fight main event between reigning champion Stipe Miocic and former champ Junior dos Santos. The co-main event is for the women’s strawweight belt, as Joanna Jedrzejczyk defends her title against Brazil’s Jessica Andrade. Also featured on the card are welterweights Jorge Masvidal and Demian Maia, as well as lightweights Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez. This card is really good.
Source: bloody

Frankie Edgar vs. Yair Rodriguez added to UFC 211

It’ll be a legend versus a future star in Texas.

Frankie Edgar, the former UFC lightweight champion, will return to the Octagon against top prospect Yair Rodriguez in a featherweight fight at UFC 211 on May 13 in Dallas, the UFC announced Thursday via its UFC Español Twitter account.

Edgar (21-5-1) is coming off a unanimous decision, come-from-behind win over Jeremy Stephens at UFC 205 in November. The New Jersey native has won six of his last seven fights overall, with the only loss coming in an interim title fight against Jose Aldo. Edgar, 35, is likely a future Hall of Famer and one of the more beloved UFC fighters in history.

Rodriguez (10-1) has won all six of his UFC fights and most recently defeated returning legend B.J. Penn by second-round TKO in January. The Mexico native is known for his flashy, athletic style. Rodriguez, 24, won the first season of The Ultimate Fighter Latin America.

UFC 211 is headlined by a heavyweight title fight between champion Stipe Miocic and former champ Junior dos Santos. In the co-main event, Joanna Jedrzejczyk defends her women’s strawweight title against Jessica Andrade.

Source: mmafighting

California proposes increase in fine for fighters who miss weight

The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) is continuing its efforts to combat extreme weight cutting.

Next week, the commission will vote on a measure that would increase fines for fighters who miss weight, per CSAC meeting documents.

The measure would open up a fighter’s win bonus for a 20-percent fine, in addition to the existing 20-percent fine on a fighter’s show money. Previously, only an athlete’s show purse could be fined under CSAC and most other commissions.

The allocation of that fine money would be distributed the same as it is now — half to the opponent and half to the commission.

The CSAC commissioners will vote on this measure at the commission meeting Tuesday in Los Angeles.

The proposition is in response to a significant increase in fighters missing weight since the advent of early weigh-ins last year. CSAC was the biggest influencer behind increasing the time between weigh-ins and the fights, based off discussion at a weight-cutting summit in December 2015.

Making weigh-ins earlier — the morning of the day before the fight, rather than the afternoon — was meant to increase the time for fighters to rehydrate after their weight cuts before competing. It has also allowed fighters to spend less time dehydrated, since the early weigh-ins take place in the fighter hotel, rather than another venue.

An odd, unexpected side effect, though, has been an exponential increase in fighters missing weight. Before the UFC began doing early weigh-ins last June, only one fighter missed weight in 2016. From that date until the end of the year, more than a dozen fighters failed to hit their mark.

In some cases, fighters missed weight by a great deal. Charles Oliveira was nine pounds over weight for a fight against Ricardo Lamas in November. Alex Oliveira missed weight by 5 1/2 pounds for a fight against Will Brooks in October and ended up defeating Brooks by third-round knockout.

Under the proposed CSAC rule, Oliveira would have been fined 20 percent of his show money and 20 percent of his win bonus. Half of that money would go to Brooks.

UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky told MMA Fighting in a recent interview that some of the increase in fighters missing weight is owed to an increase in monitoring by the UFC.

“What you’re seeing there is more attention being paid by the UFC to those fighters and in most of those situations it is me, the medical team or a doctor aware the fighter has come into fight week heavier and have a very close eye on that fighter,” Novitzky said. “So we are often in rooms the morning of, we’ll see a fighter that maybe gets into a struggling area and then call it off right there.”

Still, severe dehydration to cut weight persists in MMA, despite criticism from doctors and regulators. The UFC has had five fighters miss weight in six events already in 2017, and three fights cancelled at the last minute, if you include Ian McCall’s illness before UFC 208 last month.

Khabib Nurmagomedov, one of the best fighters in the world, was supposed to compete for the interim UFC lightweight title against Tony Ferguson last week at UFC 209 in Las Vegas, but had to be rushed to the hospital during his weight cut. Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdel-Aziz told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour that his client and good friend had liver pain.

“I wanted to bring some care to him,” Abdel-Aziz said. “I thought about calling 911, but I thought, listen, we can pick him up. When we picked him up, the whole group, he couldn’t even walk. We put him in my car and drove straight to the hospital.”

Source: mmafighting

Weidman: Look at the caliber of opponents I fought as champ compared to Michael Bisping

Former UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman is less than impressed with Michael Bisping’s title run. Although Michael Bisping is ranked as the No. 1 middleweight in the world, Chris Weidman doesn’t think ‘The Count’ has done enough to earn that status.
Bisping, a UFC veteran of ten years, captured the 185-pound title when he knocked out heavy favorite Luke Rockhold at UFC 199. Since then, however, the Brit has been bombarded with criticism for not defending his belt against the divisional elite.
Bisping’s first title defense was expected to be against Yoel Romero or ‘Jacare’ Souza, two of the most feared contenders in the middleweight division, but the 38-year-old defended his strap against the No. 14 ranked Dan Henderson in his former home of Manchester, England at UFC 204.
That fight was accepted based on the narrative — Bisping was seeking revenge after being brutally KO’d seven years ago by Henderson at UFC 100 — but the champion will now face former welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre in a bizarre middleweight title fight in the Summer.
St-Pierre, who has never fought at 185 lbs., has been absent from the sport for over three years and many think the UFC is making a mockery of the division by booking the Canadian against Bisping.
Weidman, a former middleweight champion, shares this frustration and believes he faced much tougher opponents than Bisping did when he took the throne in 2013.
“Listen, Bisping’s got the golden horseshoe up his ass as champion,” Weidman told Damon Martin of FOX Sports on Tuesday. “This guy, I gave him the opportunity to fight for the belt and he made the most of it. He pulled the punch out and knocked out [Luke] Rockhold and became champion and since then he’s fought the No. 14 ranked guy and then a guy that’s on a three-year long layoff.
“This one he’s going to make some good money on, so God bless him and his family but man, look at the guys I was fighting when I was champion.”
‘All-American’ beat pound-for-pound great and then-champion Anderson Silva in back-to-fights, and then proved himself against the likes of Lyoto Machida and Vitor Belfort.
“I went through the top of the top,” Weidman said. “I went against Anderson Silva twice, who at that point was debatably still in the prime of his career, had never lost [in the UFC]. The fight before me he beat the crap out of Stephan Bonnar. He didn’t look like he was slowing down at all. I beat him twice.
“Then I get Lyoto Machida, who was on a big winning streak and was the light heavyweight champ and everybody thought was going to be the middleweight champ. He looked unbeatable at middleweight. Then Vitor Belfort, who was on a four-fight winning streak, all knockouts. Then I had Rockhold. Then, this is some set up he’s got going on as the belt holder.”
Weidman lost the title to Rockhold at UFC 194, succumbing to heavy ground-and-pound in the fourth round after fighting toe-to-toe with the Californian for the first fifteen minutes.
The Serra-Longo product then suffered a major setback against ‘Soldier of God’, losing via a brutal flying knee KO in the third round. Weidman will look to rebound against the No. 4 ranked Gegard Mousasi, who he will face in the co-main event of UFC 210 on April 8 at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.
Bisping, the first British champion in UFC history, is expected to defend his title against GSP in July, although no official date or venue has been confirmed.

Source: bloody