Joe Rogan: Bisping vs. St-Pierre ‘hijacks the whole situation’ at middleweight

Joe Rogan has major issues with the recently announced Michael Bisping-Georges St-Pierre middleweight title fight. Many people have questioned the making of the UFC middleweight title fight between Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre. The prevailing sentiment is that number one contender Yoel Romero should be getting the shot at the belt, instead of St-Pierre, who is coming off a three-year absence and has never fought at middleweight before.
One of those who has issues with the newly-made matchup is veteran analyst Joe Rogan. In his recent appearance on ESPN’s 5ive Rounds podcast, Rogan says there should be a “clear hierarchy” within any weight class in the UFC.
“I really want to see Yoel Romero get a shot at the title,” Rogan said (transcription via MMA Fighting). “I know he’s waiting, he’s waiting right now for what I think is an interesting fight between Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre. I think that’s an interesting fight. I don’t like it in terms of the hierarchy of the division. I think that, as far as the division goes, it’s not good at all. It sort of hijacks the whole situation.”
“I don’t like it. I’m not concerned because there’s great fighters and you get them together and you make great fights,” he continued. “I’m not concerned at that. But from a purist point of view, and someone who feels like – look, if you’re going to have a champion and you’re gonna have these divisions where one man rules over the division, there should be a very clear hierarchy.
“If you have a champion and you have all these people waiting in line to get a shot at that champion, the person who is perceived to be the best in that division is the one who should be fighting the champion next. The champion should always be fighting the number one available challenger. Right now, that is Yoel Romero.”
In recent years, the making of interim titles left and right has been the progression in the UFC. Rogan also feels the concept of championships has been somewhat devalued by this new trend.
“As a person who deeply respects the position of champion – if you’re gonna do this whole interim title thing and you’re gonna have guys come back after being out of the sport for three years and get a shot right at the title, why have f**king championships at all?
“Why have a champion at all? Just set up great fights,” Rogan said. “And if you’re just setting up great fights, well that’s a great fight. Bisping versus GSP is a great fight. If you’re going to have a title, this is the champion of the world, then the champion should be defending his title against the number one challenger and that right now is Yoel Romero.”
UFC is targeting the Bisping-St-Pierre fight to take place at UFC 213 on July 8th in Las Vegas.
Source: bloody

UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Gastelum media day staredowns video

Watch the main card staredowns for UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Gastelum in Fortaleza, Brazil. MMA Fighting was on hand for the UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Gastelum media day session in Fortaleza, Brazil. The event concluded with staredowns for all of the main card fighters, starting with welterweights Tim Means and Alex Oliveira, and finishing with middleweight headliners Vitor Belfort and Kelvin Gastelum.
Video of the UFC Fortaleza prelims can be viewed at the top of the page. In the meantime, here’s the current fight card lineup for Saturday, March 11th. We will have full weigh-in results for you on Friday, along with the ceremonial weigh-ins live stream.
Main Card (10 PM ET, FS1)
Vitor Belfort vs. Kelvin GastelumMauricio Rua vs. Gian VillanteEdson Barboza vs. Beneil DariushRay Borg vs. Jussier FormigaBethe Correia vs. Marion ReneauTim Means vs. Alex Oliveira
Preliminary Card (8 PM ET, FS1)
Kevin Lee vs. Francisco TrinaldoSergio Moraes vs. Davi RamosJoe Soto vs. Rani YahyaJosh Burkman vs. Michel Prazeres
Preliminary Card (7 PM ET, Fight Pass)
Rony Jason vs. Jeremy KennedyPaulo Henrique Costa vs. Garreth McLellan
Source: bloody

Submission Radio #117: Luke Rockhold, Bas Rutten, Javier Mendez, Dan Kelly, Damon Martin

This week, Submission Radio chats with Luke Rockhold, Bas Rutten, Javier Mendez and Dan Kelly. Also, Damon Martin (FOX Sports) joins the roundtable to discuss MMA’s hot topics. Submission Radio returns this week with another packed episode, featuring interviews with Luke Rockhold, Bas Rutten, AKA head coach Javier Mendez and the big winner from UFC 209, Dan Kelly. Also, Damon Martin (FOX Sports) returns and joins the roundtable discuss to talk Michael Bisping vs. GSP, Tyron Woodley’s PR troubles, Demian Maia’s elusive title shot and more!
As always, the video above features clickable annotations and timestamps, and below is a rundown of what to expect on the episode. We hope you enjoy the show!
Luke Rockhold returns to the program (at 1:26:37 the mark) to discuss:

The state of the middleweight division
Michael Bisping vs. GSP
Who he thinks will win and if he thinks GSP would ever stay at middleweight
His disappointment in the UFC’s decision to hold up the middleweight division
Who he wants next upon his return

Michael Bisping’s comments towards him
Preferring a rematch with Bisping over a title shot
Losing faith in ever fighting Anderson Silva

His knee injury and what his return timeline looks like
His recent trip to Australia and more!

“El Guapo“ Bas Rutten returns to Submission Radio (at the 56:18 mark) to discuss the hot topics in MMA, including:

Michael Bisping vs. GSP and if Bas is a fan of the match-up
Who he’s picking to win and GSP’s long layoff and if it’ll be a factor in the fight
The controversial fight between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson and who Bas thought won
Tyron Woodley voicing his frustration and what’s next for the welterweight champ
Why Alistair Overeem has been looking so good lately
What to do with Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson

Conor McGregor’s next opponent
The new Logan movie
How he overcame his past drug addiction and more!

AKA head coach Javier Mendez stops by (at the 26:53 mark) to discuss:

Khabib Nurmagomedov being forced out of UFC 209
If the fight should be re-booked and if Khabib could be ready in time for UFC 210

How Javier saw Khabib beating Tony Ferguson
Who the tougher fight is between Tony Ferguson and Conor McGregor
Khabib’s father wanting Khabib to retire soon
What makes his relationship with Khabib so special
Khabib’s grappling compared to Cain Velasquez and Daniel Cormier
The new approach to his fighters sparring and argument he’s had with fighters when he tells them they can’t spar
Cain’s injuries and if they’ve changed him as a fighter
When Cain will fight again and who Javier wants to see him face

Daniel Cormier’s upcoming fight against Anthony Johnson and how Javier sees it finishing, and more!

Dan Kelly returns to Submission Radio (at the 4:49 mark) to discuss:

His big win over Rashad Evans at UFC 209
The reaction from his wife and kids and how he celebrated
Getting more recognition and respect from fighters afterwards
What went through his mind as he entered the octagon
His gameplan and what it was like during the fight
Rashad ripping his shorts and what exactly happened

Joe Rogan hilariously asking about his knee brace
Rashad being classy in defeat
How this win washes away some of the regret Dan has about his Judo career and if he ever thought MMA would have that effect on him
Who he wants next and when he’ll fight again.

Damon Martin (Fox Sports) joins the roundtable discussion (at the 1:44:58 mark) to break down the big topics in MMA, including:

Michael Bisping vs. GSP and if the fight makes sense
Who wins and how much of a factor GSP’s layoff and Bisping’s size will be
If Anderson Silva vs. GSP still has value and if we want to see it happen

Tyron Woodley’s promotion issues and fans not getting behind him
Tyron’s next options in terms of opponents

Demian Maia’s elusive title shot and if he’s being mistreated by the UFC

Robert Whittaker vs. Jacare Souza
A big review of the new X-Men movie, Logan!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter at @SubmissionAUS and interact with us, as we love chatting with you guys. You can also catch every episode of Submission Radio on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Soundcloud.
Subscribe to Submission Radio on Youtube
Source: bloody

Diggin’ Deep on UFC Fortaleza: Belfort vs. Gastelum – FS1 prelims preview

Get the bare essentials for the UFC Fortaleza prelims, featuring a high stakes lightweight contest between Francisco Trinaldo and Kevin Lee. Would you believe me if I told you that Trinaldo now owns the third longest winning streak in the lightweight division behind only Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov? It should have been second by now, but the MMA gods have decided we are not to see those two square off. Anyway, the point is that should be an indication of the depth of this card if someone who has had as much success as Trinaldo is merely on the prelims.
I will admit that Trinaldo’s level of competition hasn’t been the best, but seven wins in a row within the UFC is impressive regardless of who it comes against. Now he gets a different type of challenge than what he has faced thus far: a young wrestler who is on the up-and-up in Kevin Lee. Trinaldo needs this win more than Lee as he is already 38-years old whereas Lee is merely 24. A win would give Trinaldo eight consecutive wins and perhaps his first crack at a ranked opponent. High stakes for one of the more underrated underdog stories currently ongoing.
The FS1 prelims begin at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT on Saturday.
Francisco Trinaldo (21-4) vs. Kevin Lee (14-2), Lightweight
Even though Lee isn’t a major name, I still love this contest. Lee has looked markedly improved in each of his last three contests, all victories, with the last two featuring finishes of Jake Matthews and Magomed Mustafaev. A superior athlete with oodles of confidence, that confidence has gotten him into trouble in the past. He didn’t give Leonardo Santos any respect and the elder Brazilian responded by putting the youngster down. Lee hasn’t gotten ahead of himself in his last three contests, though his confidence has reappeared in abundance to the point it could be called cockiness.
Trinaldo is similar to Santos in some ways in that he is an elder Brazilian statesman with a grappling background who made his way to the UFC via TUF Brazil. Oh… he is likely to capitalize on an opening if Lee doesn’t show him the proper respect. A massive 155er, Trinaldo used to rely on his size to overwhelm his opponents, getting them to the ground and smothering them. As his level of competition increased, his size was no longer enough as his wrestling technique has never been elite. As a result, Trinaldo has become more of a striker and a pretty damned good one to boot. What is scary is that he is still improving in that field. His footwork has become a major strength, as has his willingness to mix up his punches to the body and head.
Lee has begun playing to his strength’s more regularly, focusing on his wrestling. It isn’t that he doesn’t have any ability on the feet as his natural power and hand speed shine through. It’s the lack of defense that has gotten him into trouble time and again. Fortunately for the Michigan native, he’s one of the most gifted wrestlers in the division, chaining together attempt after attempt to usually get the fight where he wants it. Lee has also become a sound back-take artist too, making him a real submission threat if he is able to take the back.
Aside from Barboza and Dariush, this is my favorite contest on the card. Trinaldo has the boxing to give Lee problems and the savvy to catch the occasionally overconfident up-and-comer much like Santos did. Then again, Lee has apparently learned from his past sins and Trinaldo hasn’t shown the best takedown defense. Compounding the issue is that Lee is the best wrestler Trinaldo has faced since his last loss to Michael Chiesa. Trinaldo has improved, but not enough that I think he can stop Lee’s takedowns. Lee via decision
Sergio Moraes (11-2-1) vs, Davi Ramos (6-1), Welterweight
Well this is a hell of a change for Moraes. Originally scheduled to fight striker Max Griffin, Moraes now meets a fellow grappling specialist in Ramos for the lone contest pitting Brazilians against one another.
Moraes is going to have a serious size advantage here as Ramos traditionally fights at lightweight. Considering neither is much of a wrestler or utilizes bullying tactics, does that really matter? Hard to say. Even though Moraes is four-inches taller, their reach is about the same. Not that either is exactly a technical striker. Both prefer throwing hard overhands looking for the finish with little regard for defense. Don’t be surprised to see spinning techniques come into play either, particularly from Ramos.
The most interesting battle will come on the ground where both have incredible credentials. Ramos won the 2011 Grapplers Quest in 2011 – which included an armbar submission of heavyweight Jeff Monson – and the 2015 ADCC. Moraes is a two-time BJJ world champion. However, it has been over three-and-a-half years since Moraes picked up a submission victory as opponents have become wary of Moraes top game and made an earnest effort to mitigate his guard passes and submission attempts to great success. Ramos is unlikely to be conservative given his own pedigree as he is traditionally an aggressive submission artist himself with one of the most dangerous guards upon his entry.
The question will be who can get the takedowns. Both can be reckless with their takedown entries, though I doubt they will pay the price for that in this contest as neither is an accomplished wrestler or disciplined striker. This is where Moraes’ strength advantage will come into play if it does. Ramos doesn’t give up on his attempts easy and is willing to pull guard if he’s unable to finish the takedown. Will he be willing to do so against Moraes?
This could end up being a delight for grappling fans or it could end up being an absolute bore. Ramos is a different breed than what Moraes has fought recently, giving me hope that we could get an exciting contest out of Moraes, something we haven’t seen in a while. My instinct says to go with Moraes given the short nature of Ramos’ call-up, but that didn’t do Moraes much good in his contest against Luan Chagas. Still, I think Ramos’ comfort off of his back will give the judges the false impression of control for Moraes even if Ramos is at the advantage. Moraes via decision
Rani Yahya (23-8, 1 NC) vs. Joe Soto (17-5), Bantamweight
Despite five contests without a single loss since returning to bantamweight, Yahya’s grappling-heavy style prevents him from getting a contest with a ranked opponent at bantamweight. I suppose it could be said that Soto is a former title challenger if he’s looking to find some sort of solace in his inability to move up the ladder….
Yahya’s fighting style is admittedly appreciated only by those who have a deep love of BJJ and even then there will be many purists who don’t find his stylings to be very pleasurable. His wrestling isn’t very technical as he relies more on his doggedness and determination to get his opponent to the ground. Once he gets the fight to the ground, that’s where the former Abu Dhabi champion really shines. Sticking to his opponent like glue, searching for chokes whether it be from the top or from his opponent’s back.
Yahya’s weaknesses have been well-documented. A poor striker whose leg kicks are his most reliable weapon on his feet, Yahya’s lack of athleticism tends to show itself on his feet. Even more troubling is his tendency to gas as he expends ungodly amounts of energy trying to wrest his opponents to the ground.
Soto will have a major striking advantage on the feet as he puts together good technical boxing combinations. His biggest weakness has been his defense as he has been outstruck by every opponent besides Michinori Tanaka. Then again, it isn’t like Yahya is a legit striking threat. Soto has also proven to be a sound grappler as he has picked up his last two victories via submission, including the rarely successful heal hook. However, much like Yahya isn’t likely to hurt Soto on the feet, Soto isn’t likely to submit Yahya.
I got a feeling that this contest isn’t on the must-watch list as many fans are leery of Yahya. Nonetheless, this should be a competitive contest. Soto’s wrestling and grappling should be enough to keep himself from being submitted and it would be shocking to see him lose the striking battle. However, I don’t like his inability to stay on his feet against anyone with a modicum of wrestling ability. Yahya takes a grappling heavy decision. Yahya via decision
Michel Prazeres (21-2) vs. Joshua Burkman (28-14, 1 NC), Lightweight
I understand what the UFC matchmakers were doing in one way or another when they put together all of the contests on this card… except for this one. Prazeres has won three in a row and five of his last six while Burkman has lost two in a row with only a single victory in six chances since coming back to the UFC. Can anyone explain this one to me?
Perhaps the UFC is sending Prazeres a message. Despite his success, the stout Brazilian has struggled to entertain audiences with his grinding style. He’s been unable to finish any of his five UFC victories and made minimal attempt to do so with only a single submission attempt according to Fight Metric over the course of his seven UFC contests, a ridiculously low number for someone who spends as much time on the ground as Prazeres. Nonetheless, his top control approach has been effective at smothering his opposition and keeping him employed.
Burkman has turned out to be incredibly difficult to take down with only the much larger Hector Lombard and Dong Hyun Kim taking him down for this UFC run when Burkman was still plying his trade at welterweight. That is enough to give him consideration to pull off the upset as Prazeres’ as the Brazilian will be in trouble if he can’t get the fight to the ground. Prazeres has improved his standup throughout his UFC run, timing his hooks very well off of the counter. The problem is he doesn’t utilize much movement to improve his own angles whether on offense or defense.
Burkman’s striking is a bit of a mystery. Often times looking uninterested in the contest, perhaps it is a ploy by the cagey vet to lure his opponent in as Burkman prefers to counter. If it works, Burkman has the power to seriously hurt them in addition to a wide variety of attacks. However, he has also failed to make adjustments in recent contests, such as allowing Zak Ottow to land leg kick after leg kick without any real answer.
Stylistically, this is a very favorable contest for Burkman as he is the more diverse striker in addition to possessing great takedown defense. Burkman may also be able to hit Prazeres with the occasional takedown of his own as the Brazilian hasn’t responded well when the tables have been turned on him. Despite that, I still believe that Burkman has looked less impressive with every subsequent fight. With as much tread as he has on his tires, I think we are seeing the decline of the longtime vet. Prazeres grinds out yet another decision. Prazeres via decision
Source: bloody

Mackenzie Dern unable to make contracted weight, LFA fight changed to catchweight

Mackenzie Dern’s weight issues have cropped up again.

For the second straight fight, Dern was unable to make the contracted strawweight weight class. On Thursday, Dern could not get down to the 116-pound division maximum for her Legacy Fighting Alliance 6 fight against Katherine Roy, so the bout was changed to a 120-pound catchweight prior to her stepping on the scale, LFA president Ed Soares told MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani.

Dern (2-0), one of the most vaunted prospects in MMA, is arguably the top female Brazilian jiu-jitsu player in the world.

The bout will still go on for the LFA 6 main card Friday night in San Antonio. After agreeing on the catchweight, Dern also agreed to forego 20 percent of her purse, which will be given to Roy, Soares said. The Texas Combative Sports program, which regulars the event, did not issue a fine, because the new contract for 120 pounds was written prior to Dern hitting the scale.

Roy’s coach and manager Pete Spratt said Dern actually missed weight at 121.8 pounds the first time Dern attempted to make 120. She came back about an hour later and hit the mark, Soares said.

“They didn’t tell us she was going to miss weight until this morning,” Soares said.

Dern, 23, missed weight for her last fight, against Montana Stewart at Legacy FC 61, coming in at 118.8 pounds, 2.8 pounds over the maximum. Dern won that bout via first-round submission with an omoplata/rear-naked choke combination, giving her consideration for Submission of the Year. It was just her second pro MMA fight.

Roy (1-0), who made her pro debut last year, seemed unhappy with the ordeal Thursday.

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Making a catch weight later on your second attempt is missing weight. Don’t deny it. Fight was supposed to be 115 not…

Posted by Katherine Roy on Thursday, March 9, 2017

Source: mmafighting

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