Alexander Gustafsson stills wants rematch with ‘real champion’ Jon Jones

Alexander Gustafsson underlined that he wants the next pop at the winner of Daniel Cormier versus Volkan Oezdemir on the latest episode of The MMA Hour, but he still has a bone to pick with controversial former champion and Jon Jones.

The perennial light heavyweight contender claimed he was surprised at all when he heard that Jones failed a drug test in the wake of his victory over Cormier at UFC 219, which was later overturned to a no contest.

The Swede also revealed that he felt sorry for his former opponent.

“I wasn’t shocked,” Gustafsson told Ariel Helwani.

“I wasn’t surprised and I feel sorry for him. What can I say? I just feel sorry for him…that he’s got new things coming up all the time. I’m not surprised at all and I just feel sorry for him. It’s bad for everything. It’s bad for the sport.

“Look what he did to DC – he’s a beast. Nobody has done what he’s done and he’s just getting caught over and over again.”

Gustafsson said it was Jones’ inability to my correct decisions that made him pity him.

“There must be something wrong with him, right?” he replied when asked specifically why he felt sorry for Jones.

“You know, you just don’t do that. How should I explain it? I just think he’s taking all the wrong decisions all the time and for that I am feeling sorry for him, basically.”

The All Stars fighter came closer to beating Jones than any of his other opponents when he came up on the wrong side of a decision after their epic battle at UFC 165. He has been campaigning for a rematch ever since the first fight, so it was no surprise to hear that he still would like to see Jones back in the Octagon despite his consecutive failed drug tests.

“I want him back. I want another fight with him. I want to fight him at some point in my future career. I just want to fight him one more time and maybe for that reason I want to see him come back,” he said.

“But, at the same time, he’s been getting caught a lot of times. If he doesn’t come back, he doesn’t come back. I just feel like it’s sad for the sport and for the whole thing.”

Gustafsson stated that he would be confident that Jones would be clean if he did make a return:

“It’s a fight, right? If he comes back he has to be clean. There is no other way, so if he comes back at some point he’s going to be clean for sure.”

While he underlined his great respect for current light heavyweight titleholder Cormier, Gustafsson highlighted that he still sees Jones as “the real champion”.

“He has the belt. I want to fight DC for sure. I want that belt, but for me the real champion is Jon Jones of course because he has been destroying everybody in the division. Everything he’s done has not been done before,” stated Gustafsson.

“So, for me, he’s the real champion but I accept DC as a champion too. He’s a good guy and a good fighter and the only person he has lost to is Jon Jones. He’s the real deal and I think he’s champion material.”

Source: mmafighting

Alexander Gustafsson says Jon Jones is the real UFC light heavyweight champion

Former title challenger Alexander Gustafsson respects Daniel Cormier, but thinks Jon Jones is the real champion at 205. Alexander Gustafsson holds a unique place in the 205-pound division as the only fighter to have competed against both Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. He took each man to the limit, nearly defeating them both but suffering decision losses that were controversial at the time.
Jones, of course, has beaten Cormier twice but went afoul of USADA after the second fight and the title was given back to Cormier. So which one does Gustafsson think is better? And who does he want to fight? He answered that on a recent edition of the MMA Hour (transcribed by MMA Mania):
“He has the belt, and I want to fight Cormier again for sure. I want the belt. But the real champion is Jon Jones, of course, because he has been destroying everybody in the division. Everything that he’s done, nobody has done it before. So to me he is the real champion, but I do accept DC (as) a champion too. He is a good guy, good fighter and the only guy he lost to is Jon Jones. He is the real deal and champion material.”
He also wasn’t shocked by Jones’ latest issues, considering how many times he has gotten himself in trouble in the past:
“I wasn’t shocked, I wasn’t surprised. I feel sorry for him. What can I say? I just feel sorry for him. New things come up all the time and I am not surprised at all. I just feel sorry for him. It’s bad for him, it’s bad for the sport.
“Look, what he did to DC. He’s a beast and nobody has done what he’s done. He’s just getting caught over and over again. It must be something wrong there. You just don’t do that if you…he’s just making wrong decision all the time and I feel sorry for him, basically.”
He did state that he wanted Jones to come back so he could fight him again as well, but he isn’t sure Jones wants to come back.
Gustafsson (18-4, 10-4 UFC) is coming off a fifth-round knockout win over Glover Teixeira and is currently ranked as the number one contender in the division. Cormier will defend his title against Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 220 in January.
Source: bloody

Frankie Edgar is targeting UFC title fight vs. Max Holloway ‘in March or April’

Frankie Edgar confirms he is still the next in line for a title shot against Max Holloway. Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar was supposed to be Max Holloway’s opponent at UFC 218 in Detroit two weeks ago. But because of a broken orbital bone sustained during training, “The Answer” was forced off the card and was subsequently replaced by Jose Aldo.
On Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Edgar confirmed that he is still lined up for a title shot against Holloway, per a conversation with UFC president Dana White during the UFC’s Fight Night event in Fresno on Saturday.
“He said we’re just figuring out – this is after this weekend’s fight – we’re just waiting to see what’s next,” Edgar said (via MMA Fighting). “I think March or April sounds good, so one of those dates I imagine we’ll set it up.”
Holloway was successful in his maiden title defense via another third-round stoppage win over Aldo. This feat made the 36-year-old Edgar recognize and respect the current 145-pound champion but is also using it as motivation for him to remain a legitimate threat to the title.
“I think he’s all that he’s cracked up to be and the fact that he’s so young and keeps getting better every fight is scary almost,” Edgar said of Holloway. “But that also motivates me. I still feel like I’m at the top of my game.”
“Max is the future, but I’m still here, I’m the present and I want to get this title shot and get what’s mine and become a two-weight champion. That’s been my goal since I came down to ‘45.”
Edgar’s interview begins at the 18:50 mark of the video below.

Source: bloody

Robert Whittaker happy to ‘have closure’ with GSP, UFC middleweight title

Robert Whittaker made his first official appearance as the UFC’s middleweight champion at the UFC 221 press conference in Perth on Tuesday morning where he claimed he was happy to become the undisputed champion following Georges St-Pierre’s vacation of the title.

According to the New Zealander, as an “objective-driven fighter”, he is happy to have a fight scheduled after some uncertainty following GSP’s capture of the title at UFC 217.

“With the UFC anything can happen really,” said Whittaker.

“There was no clear cut matchup for me at any point in the last six months so I’m just happy to have closure. I’m just happy to know that Georges has stepped down, I’ve taken the title and I’m ready to defend it come February against Luke.

“Yeah, it’s just good to know what we’re doing. I’m a very objective-driven bloke, so to have a goal in mind and to have something to do is very important to me.”

Forecasting their Feb. 11 clash, former champion Rockhold revealed that he has been impressed with Whittaker since he moved up to the middleweight ranks and highlighted range as the most important factor in their matchup.

“Rob’s come up to 185 and I watched him when I fought out here,” said Rockhold.

“I think it was his first venture to 185 and he fought on my undercard in Sydney. He came in explosive and powerful, he carried the weight well and that’s what he does – he’s got sharp hands, he’s got power and he covers the gap well.

“It’s up to me to keep pushing him outside that gap. He’s going to come in, I’m going to use my range and pick him off from the outside and he’s gonna close that distance.

“The problem is, if he closes it too much he’s back into my world again. I think he’s got a small room.”

“That sounds like fun,” remarked Whittaker in reply.

“It’s like he said. We’re not playing games out there. It’s do or die out there and that’s what makes it so thrilling for everyone to watch.

“That’s why people come, that’s why the stadium is going to be sold out and the pay-per-views are going to be through the roof. They’re going to be watching that game of inches and the strategies involved.

“I don’t think Luke needs the inspiration to take the belt. Like he said, he’s been the champ before. He knows the taste and he’s done it before.”

“I really do look forward to getting in there with the best Luke Rockhold and testing myself – testing my skills and testing my caliber. I think that’s the goal of every fighter, to keep chasing their limits and pushing those boundaries.”

Source: mmafighting

Glover Teixeira thinks a win over Misha Cirkunov could earn a title shot in the ‘crazy’ LHW division

Former light heavyweight title contender Glover Teixiera talked about his UFC Winnipeg match-up with Misha Cirkunov. This Saturday’s UFC on FOX 26: Lawler vs. Dos Anjos brings a strong schedule of fights to Winnipeg, MB. Sprinkled among the match-ups of reliable action-fighters is an intriguing light heavyweight clash that pits the old guard versus new blood.
Glover Teixeira vs. Misha Cirkunov has the potential to generate one of the next title challengers for the UFC’s 205lb crown. At least that’s what the 3rd-ranked Teixeira thinks.
“The division is crazy right now,” Teixeira told Bloody Elbow. “I’ve been trying to stay away from the internet, although my wife says I have to post my stuff on the Instagram, because the division is so crazy right now. You never know what will happen.”
If I win this fight, of course I have a tough opponent in front of me, but a win in this fight and if Cormier has nobody to fight, that’s me, right there. The next one in line.
“Last thing I heard [Alexander] Gustafsson had an injury and shoulder surgery. [Volkan] Oezdemir has some issues with the law. So if he can’t fight [Daniel] Cormier. I’m next in line, right? If I win this fight, of course I have a tough opponent in front of me, but a win in this fight and if Cormier has nobody to fight, that’s me, right there. The next one in line.”
Teixeira’s last bout was an extremely entertaining headliner versus Alexander Gustafsson in Sweden this May. In that clash, Teixeira weathered a lot of punishment before eventually being KO’d in the fifth round. Before that he bested Jared Cannonier, over three rounds, at UFC 208 in February.
Teixeira’s opponent, Misha Cirkunov, was on an eight fight win streak — that included wins over Nikita Krylov and Ion Cutelaba — until he ran into Volkan Oezdemir at that same Sweden card. Versus Oezdemir, Cirkunov was knocked out for the first time in his career.
Teixeira said he had watched some of the 7th ranked Latvian-Canadian’s fights, but still didn’t know too much about him.
“I know he’s a tough guy,” offered Teixeira. “Good striker, very good on the ground, he seems well rounded. I’ve got to be careful. He’s a powerful guy, strong obviously, but I think it’s going to be a good fight for me.”
The Brazilian former protege of Chuck Liddell had his first pro fight in 2002. In the last 15 years he has touched gloves with well known fighters such as Rashad Evans, Quinton Jackson, Ryan Bader, and Jon Jones (in a title fight at 2014’s UFC 172).
Based on his experience in the cage, Teixeira said that Cirkunov offers “nothing new” as an opponent.
“Unless he comes up with some crazy stuff on December 16th. He’s a young fighter and he’s a good fighter, but I’m going to be prepared and ready to go.”
Teixeira, now 38-years old, obviously holds the experience edge over the 30-year-old Cirkunov. However, Texeira doesn’t think that’s his only advantage in this match-up.
“I think I’m a better all around fighter,” he said. “I’m better than him striking-wise and wrestling. On the ground, guy’s got some submissions, but I’ve been training Brazilian jiu-jitsu a long time. I’m a Brazil and Abu Dhabi champion, you know? I’m not afraid of going to the ground with him. I’m well prepared to fight this guy and I think I’m better than him in all aspects, to tell you the truth.”
Before being rocked by ‘No Time’ Oezdemir, Cirkunov was heralded as probably the next big thing in the light heavyweight division. Teixeira knows what that feels like. Having come into the UFC on a fifteen fight win streak, over names such as Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Marvin Eastman, and Ricco Rodriguez, Teixeira was believed to be one of few men who could hold his own against the dominant Jon Jones.
Teixeira remembers having hype around him at that time. It was similar to what Cirkunov had earlier this year and may still have, to some degree, given the lack of depth at 205lbs. However, Teixeira said hype doesn’t mean much at all and he suggested ignoring any of it around Cirkunov, or anyone else.
“I don’t much believe in the hype of anything or anybody, not even myself,” said the former title challenger. “I don’t believe those reports like, ‘Oh this guy is going to be the new guy.’ How many times we’ve heard this? How many times have I even thought this myself? Even in the gym, we have people come in who we think, ‘Oh my God, this kid is going to be special. Oh s—t, this kid’s been training for three months and he’s already unbelievable. I can’t imagine him training for fives years.’ And all of a sudden the kid just disappears.”
“The hype is too much,” continued Teixeira. “You just have to go in there and prove it. That’s my style. That’s the way I think. You’ve got to prove it every fight.”
In Winnipeg, Teixeira hopes to prove he’s still a top contender in the division. You can see how successful he is on December 16th. Teixiera vs. Cirkunov happens on the main card. It starts at 8PM ET and is available live on FOX.

Source: bloody

Robert Whittaker, Luke Rockhold face off ahead of UFC 221 title fight

Just days after being promoted the undisputed UFC middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker has already faced off with his next opponent.

Whittaker will headline UFC 221 in Perth on Feb. 10 against 185-pound contender Luke Rockhold, and faced off with his opponent Tuesday. The pay-per-view event is set to take place at the Perth Arena in Western Australia.

Whittaker (19-4) won the interim belt with a decision victory over Yoel Romero in July, and was crowned undisputed champion after Georges St-Pierre vacated the belt he won against Michael Bisping.

Rockhold (16-3), a former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight titleholder, bounced back from his upset knockout defeat to Bisping with a stoppage win over Dave Branch in September.

Source: mmafighting

Fight Science: Predicting knockouts

Despite the prevailing belief that a knockout is the sole result of a powerful punch, there are many variables that increase the likelihood of a KO.  Co-authored by Dr. Paulie “Gloves” Gavoni and Dr. Alex Edmonds
If you were fortunate enough to witness UFC 218, you were no likely in awe (and possibly shocked) at the shot heard around the MMA world as Francis Ngannou delivered what might possibly be the most devastating lead uppercut ever witnessed in MMA. The outcome: Alistair Overeem’s body lay sprawled on the mat and the only thing missing was the white chalk outline. To the combat sports fan, the knockout (KO) is as beautiful as it is violent. Akin to the “Hail Mary” in football, the walk-off homerun in baseball, or perhaps the buzzer-beater in basketball, delivering a KO is often the ultimate outcome for combat athletes. In fact, combat sports fans are frequently whipped into a frenzied state following a KO as some primal instinct is awakened by the sight of a fighter being put down for the “mat nap.” This has never been more evident than the crowd reaction to Ngannou’s vicious KO of Overeem.
Ultimately, the KO is the result of a head injury that disrupts neurological function, aka a concussion. A detailed description of a concussion can be found in the medical research, which provides a precise explanation of the biological causes of the KO. But beyond the obvious concussion, what factors increase the likelihood of knockout? Some simply believe it is the result of a powerful punch. While this can certainly be one major variable, it is not THE ONLY variable.
Not intended to delve into neurologic or biologic factors involved in concussions, this article will explore predictors of the KO, or rather patterns that tend to increase the likelihood a KO will occur.
Accuracy
Combat sports sometimes provides perplexing visuals when it comes to a KO. In one moment a fighter lands what appears to be a devastating punch yet the opponent continues fighting apparently impervious to the punishment. In the next moment the same fighter lands what appears to be a glancing blow that results in the opponent dropping like sack of potatoes on the canvas. How can this be? Sometimes it simply the accuracy of the strike.
Areas that have historically increased the likelihood of a KO include the tip of the chin, the temple, and the area just behind the ear. And we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the precisely delivered liver shot. While the liver shot does not separate the fighter from his senses, it is recognized as one of the most painful fight-ending strikes across combat sports.
A good illustration of the effects of accuracy can be found in the Anderson Silva vs Forrest Griffin match. Fans were shocked when Griffin, a hardened and proven warrior, was dropped by a retreating Silva who threw what appeared to be a light, but precisely delivered strike to the chin of Griffin. Accuracy was certainly a variable of this KO. In fact, when Conor McGregor KO’d Jose Aldo, he mentioned in the press conference after that it was just accuracy and not power that won the day.
Timing
In baseball, timing is the difference between hitting the ball and striking out. It requires fast reflexes and predictive ability. Timing might be considered the ninja of strikes. It involves delivering a strike at an unexpected moment. Fighters who do not see or do not expect a strike to come are more likely to be KO’d. In the illustration above, timing was likely a variable in the Griffin KO. Silva, who appeared to be retreating was actually using countering technique as he employed hand positioning and footwork to bait Griffin forward into his perfectly timed trap.
Conditioning
This is a no-brainer. Fighters who compete with inadequate conditioning can never achieve peak performance. Nothing is worse for a fighter than being “out of gas” as an opponent swarms with strikes. Sometimes it is not actually a lack of conditioning but simply a war of attrition as fighters grind each other down. In these cases, the fighter with even slightly superior conditioning can achieve the knockout when the skill-sets are relatively even.
Volume
Even fighters who are not accurate, do not have good timing, and are not powerful punchers can still achieve the KO through a volume of punches. Volume is inextricably linked to conditioning as throwing or absorbing numerous strikes requires adequate preparation.
Speed
In boxing, there is an old saying, “Power thrills, but speed kills.” In the physics world, power can be calculated based on force and speed. But even without great force, speed, especially when combined with other variables like timing and accuracy, is often a major factor in the KO.
Age
In Reed Kuhn’s book Fightnomics: The Hidden Numbers in Mixed Martial Arts and Why There’s No Such Thing as a Fair Fight, age was seen to be a large predictor of a KO. Specifically, combatants over 36 are more than twice as likely to be knocked out as compared with a 23 year old fighter. And this number continues to accelerate as the fighter ages.
History
History is specifically related to the volume and magnitude of strikes landed during a fighter’s career. Being hit in the head is not an isolated event. It has a cumulative effect. At some point, even fighters like Brad Pickett known to have granite jaws are betrayed by their chin as the result of many wars. Michael Bisping is the latest warrior whose brain may have succumbed to a history punishment.
Camp
Unfortunately, some fight camps can do more harm than good to fighters as they receive unnecessary punishment through poor preparation strategies. Fighters who have been hurt or KO’d during training camp are more likely to be hurt or KO’d during the fight as the brain has not sufficiently recovered. In the Silva/Griffin fight, one might speculate Griffin may have been hurt during his camp given his body’s uncharacteristic response to Silva’s strike.
Incidentally, we’ve provided recommendations for improving fight camps in Fight Science: Introducing SMART Camps and Fight Science: Engineering Smart Camps.
Genetic Predisposition
Some fighters just seem to be more likely to take punishment. Justin Gaethje is a prime example of this as he often appears to throw caution to the wind as he is willing to take punishment to give it. Even his ability to take punishment has its limits as evidenced by his knockout at the hands (or rather knee) of Eddie Alvarez this weekend. Like Pickett, Daniel Cormier and Roy Nelson seem to be genetically predisposed with granite jaws… though it’s unclear exactly what makes a “granite jaw.”
Defensive Skills
Floyd Mayweather is a defensive master, perhaps the best ever to enter to the ring. Fighters with solid defense receive less punishment during the fight and during camp. The results, less wear and tear on the brain. However, fighters who have poor defensive skills are for more likely to take punishment and be KO’d.
Psychological/Emotional State
You’ve probably heard the stories of the drunk involved in the car accident who walks away unscathed where others are seriously injured or even killed. Beyond sheer luck, one variable here is the relaxed nature of the body. Fighters who are relaxed are able to sustain more damage. Being relaxed is a hallmark of the greatest athletes and is the result of thousands of hours of deliberate practice and mastery experience. In combat sports, remaining relaxed is intimately related to a fighter’s defensive prowess as fighters feel safer. Fighters who feel confident in their ability to elude strikes are able to better manage their state of arousal and are better able to observe and react more efficiently during a fight. Managing states of tension when needed and releasing it when appropriate takes years to develop and should be practiced specifically in training camp. We have referred to the term in the past of “controlled exertion.” The fighter who is able to exert him or herself in a controlled fashion without exerting unneeded energy will be the more efficient fighter. We believe a fighter who best exemplifies this is Nate Diaz. His ability to remain relaxed is likely one variable that has kept him from being KO’d.
Conclusion
Despite the prevailing belief that a knockout is the sole result of a powerful punch, there are many variables that increase the likelihood of a KO. And when multiple variables are combined with power, we’d suggest the chances of being KO’d increase exponentially. What other variables do you believe factor into the knockout that we’ve left off the list? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
Bios
An expert in leadership and human performance, Dr. Paul “Paulie Gloves” Gavoni is a highly successful professional striking coach in mixed martial arts. As an athletic leader and former golden gloves heavyweight champion of Florida, Coach Paulie successfully applies the science of human behavior to coach multiple fighters to championship titles at varying levels worldwide. With many successful fighters on his resume, Coach Paulie tailors his approach to fit the needs of specific fighters based on a fighter’s behavioral, physiological, and psychological characteristics. Coach Paulie is a featured coach in the book, Beast: Blood, Struggle, and Dreams at the Heart of Mixed Martial Arts and the featured Bloody Elbow article Ring to Cage: How four former boxers help mold MMA’s finest. He can be reached at pauliegloves@gmail.com.
Alex Edmonds, PhD, BCB, is currently an associate professor of research at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida. He graduated from Florida State University and received his doctoral degree in Educational Psychology with a minor in Statistics and Measurement. Over the years, Dr. Edmonds has applied his knowledge of research design, measurement and assessment in both field and laboratory examinations. He has published extensively in a variety of areas such as research design, psychophysiology and sport psychology. Prior to graduate school, he was a strength and conditioning coach working with professional athletes in football, track, and boxing. He then combined his passion for the sports with the field of psychology making it the emphasis of his graduate work. While in graduate school, he conducted his field work with the track and field team at Florida State and started using biofeedback for research and practice during this time. He has utilized biofeedback extensively with various types of athletes for performance enhancement, as well as stress-regulation techniques. Dr. Edmonds is certified through the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance in general biofeedback.
Source: bloody

Daniel Cormier needs to get ‘stench’ off him at UFC 220 after Jon Jones fiasco: ‘It’s almost like I got pissed on by a skunk’

It almost happened again to Daniel Cormier.

After being scheduled to defend his light heavyweight title against Volkan Oezdemir on Jan. 20 at UFC 220, Cormier’s plans nearly hit a snag through no fault of Cormier’s own when Oezdemir was arrested last month for allegedly knocking out an individual in a Florida bar room brawl. The situation was all too familiar for “DC,” a champion who’s rivalry with Jon Jones was infamously derailed multiple times due to Jones’ many indiscretions.

Fortunately for Cormier, this time around, things worked out. The UFC permitted Oezdemir to compete on Jan. 20 despite his pending legal trouble. But even if things didn’t work out and the UFC pulled Oezdemir from the fight, Cormier wasn’t going to let himself get too upset after having been burned countless times before.

“I just kinda was like, just move onto the next guy,” Cormier said Monday on The MMA Hour. “If it’s going to be somebody else, it’s going to be somebody else. I really don’t have any energy anymore for all these guys’ extracurriculars anymore. If you’re going to go to jail, go to jail — who gives a damn? If you’re going to get yourself in trouble, you get yourself in trouble. I didn’t do it. Whatever. I’ll just go onto the next guy. I’m not going to deal with that anymore.

“I feel like I have lost years of my life dealing with the sh*t with Jones, in terms of the arguments, the fighting, the worry, whether we’re going to fight, when we’re going to fight. I’ve lost a lot of time and energy just wasted on things that were out of my control. So if Volkan Oezdemir goes to jail, if Alexander Gustafsson does something and gets himself put in trouble, I’ll just move onto the next one. That’s what it’s going to constantly be for me. At this point, they’re all faceless until fight night, whenever we’re standing across the Octagon from each other. It’s just a name, and whoever that name happens to be is who I’m going to fight.”

Regardless of what happens, UFC 220 will be a big moment for Cormier, as it will be his first fight as champion again since the fiasco that was UFC 214.

Cormier suffered a brutal third-round knockout at the hands of Jones at UFC 214, however the win was quickly overturned into a no contest after it was revealed that Jones tested positive for the anabolic steroid Turinabol in a pre-fight drug screening. As a result, Jones was subsequently stripped of the UFC light heavyweight title and Cormier was reinstated as champion, marking the second time since 2015 that Cormier captured the belt after Jones was stripped.

Once the dust settled, “DC” admitted that he didn’t “feel completely secure” in being called the division’s champion, given the nature of the knockout he suffered in his rematch against Jones. Cormier acknowledged that feeling would likely persist until he was able to fight his next fight and climb back into the win column — and his sentiments haven’t changed in the months since.

“My mentality hasn’t changed in that sense,” Cormier said.

“On July 29th, I was there. I was in the Octagon on July 29th in Anaheim, and it was going all so good until it wasn’t anymore, and I lost the fight. So that has not changed. So I need to go out and fight against Volkan Oezdemir and beat this guy to feel like myself again. I feel like there is a stench on me. It’s almost like I got pissed on by a skunk, and I just stink everywhere I go. So until I can get a really, really good bath … to get the stink off of me by beating Volkan Oezdemir, I’ll feel as I do right now. That’s just me. I’m a competitor, man. I know I lost that fight. I can’t erase that memory. I still have nightmares.”

Asked to elaborate on his “nightmares” comment, Cormier compared his experiences with Jones to other setbacks he’s dealt with over his sporting career — all of which stay with the two-time Olympian despite his many successes.

“Listen, I still dream about losing to Cael Sanderson in the NCAA finals,” Cormier said. “I still dream about losing the Olympic semifinals. I still dream about losing to Jon Jones twice. For people like me, the loses don’t really go away. They don’t fade with time. They just stay with you, and they are what motivates you. That’s kinda crazy, but that’s just who I am, and I think that’s what makes me who I am, and that’s what makes me able to do the things that I’ve done over the course of my life, is that — losses don’t leave. They just kinda stay with me. I’ve been like that my entire life.”

Source: mmafighting

Morning Report: Mark Hunt calls out ‘little chicken rat’ Fabricio Werdum for title eliminator at UFC Perth

Mark Hunt is wasting no time getting right back into the thick of things.

Hunt was supposed to headline UFC Sydney against Marcin Tybura just last month but was removed from the card as precautionary measure after stating in an interview with “Players Voice” that he was losing his memory and slurring his words at times. But just last week, Hunt was cleared to resume his fighting career following a full medical analysis and now with that firmly behind him, “The Super Samoan,” wants to work his way to a title shot and he’s hoping to extract a little revenge on his way there.

Speaking recently to Sporting News, Hunt said that since he missed out on fighting in Sydney, he would like to be on the UFC’s upcoming card in Perth, Australia, and that hopefully it would be against his former opponent and the man who replaced him at UFC Sydney, Fabricio Werdum.

“Hopefully I get a fight in Perth – we’re waiting for Werdum to say yes, but he’s such a little chicken rat,” Hunt said. “I’d like to be on the undercard for that world title fight for Rob Whittaker. That would be awesome being a part of history right there in Perth.”

Hunt and Werdum previously fought at UFC 180 for the interim heavyweight title, with Werdum knocking Hunt out in the second round. Hunt was hoping to rematch Werdum at UFC Sydney but Werdum wasn’t interested, prompting Hunt to take the fight with Tybura instead. Then, when Hunt was forced off the card, Werdum stepped in on short notice, something that doesn’t sit well with Hunt who believes it is proof that Werdum knows their first fight was a fluke.

“I don’t know why Werdum doesn’t want to party,” said Hunt. “We asked to do Japan, we asked to do Sydney and he said no. Then the next minute gets the fight against Tybura. He said ‘no’ to me, but ‘yes’ to Tybura, the little rat.

“He knows he’ll get knocked out. That’s the only reason I can think why (he won’t fight again),” Hunt said. “He got me in Mexico, but I sure as hell doubt it’ll go the same way the next time we fight. Three and a half weeks’ notice and 21 kilograms later … I was schooling that punk-ass too. He got lucky with that knee.”

But it’s not just vengeance that Hunt wants, it’s a shot at the title. Coming off KO of the Year contender over Alistair Overeem, Francis Ngannou is set to challenge Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight title early next year, but after that the heavyweight title picture is wide open. A matchup between the third-ranked Werdum and the fifth-ranked Hunt could well determine the next guy in line for the winner of Miocic-Ngannou, and that’s what Hunt is hoping for.

“I don’t want to sit around forever. I need a top guy, I need to get back to work,” Hunt said. “This is my last shot at getting the strap. Hopefully, they’ll give me someone in the top 10 – someone above me – and all I can see is that Werdum is the only one available. I don’t know what’s happening with Cain [Velasquez] – he hasn’t fought in forever. Alistair [Overeem] is still looking for his soul somewhere after getting upper-cutted out of the universe, and Ngannou’s got the title shot.

“If I can get over Werdum, I should be next in line to fight the champ. I could be champ by next year. Now it’s just about getting Werdum to say yes.”

But if Werdum still won’t say yes, Hunt is already working on a backup plan. Posting on his Facebook account yesterday, Hunt suggested that he is now preparing to fight someone other than “the spineless coward mutt Werbum,” and all indications are it’s eleventh-ranked Aleksei Oleinik.

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U have called me out and now I’m going to give it to u right in that big mouth of yours I’m going to wrap this gift up…

Posted by Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt on Monday, December 11, 2017

“U have called me out and now I’m going to give it to u right in that big mouth of yours I’m going to wrap this gift up nice and tight for u boiii so u never compete again at this level the only good thing I can say about u is u are not a spineless coward mutt like werbum there isn’t anything worst for me than someone who is scared to fight like werbum #standupinthegameormovethefuckasidebitch#FUKMEDED #someonesgettingrolled [sic]”

Talk of a potential Oleinik-Hunt fight happened earlier this year when Oleinik called out Hunt via Instagram. Hunt responded saying that he was trying to fight Werdum and the fight never got off the ground for Oleinik. Now it appears that bout is back on the menu for Hunt, assuming Werdum remains uninterested.


MUST-READ STORIES

HW. Daniel Cormier says Cain Velasquez is training and ready to make a “sustained run.”

Title shot. Frankie Edgar wants to fight Max Holloway in April or March.

Title defense. Nicco Montano wants to defend her title against Sijara Eubanks.

Retire. John Danaher says Georges St-Pierre not fighting again is a “definite possibility.”

Loaded gun. Michael McDonald blasts the UFC’s bonus system for fighters.


VIDEO STEW

Just a sensational video series from Bloody Elbow and Luke Thomas.

Road to the Octagon for UFC Winnipeg.

TTTHS.

Schaub with the correct take.

So cold to Aljo.


LISTEN UP

The MMA Hour. DC, Ortega, Gustafsson, Alvarez, and many more guests this week.

The Co-Main Event. Discussing T-City’s choke and GSP’s vacation.

Severe MMA. Discussing UFC Fresno, GSP, Bellator, and previewing UFC Winnipeg.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Sly teased some things and then edited the post to this much less leading one.

Mississippi Mean indeed.

Poirier is unhappy with Edward.

Aljo taking his loss like a champ.

Matchmaking.

Max lobbying.

No.

Emil still wants the Problem.

Heresy.

DC showing Cain back at it.

Six months of sprawl training and Kawhi is the heavyweight champ.

oh hell nah the @nba betta watch out (via @footlocker Instagram story) #KawhiLeonard #TheKlaw #KL2

A post shared by K L ② (@kawhinot) on Dec 11, 2017 at 8:13pm PST


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

N/A.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2007: At WEC 31, Urijah Faber submitted Jeff Curran with a guillotine choke to retain his WEC featherweight title. Also that evening, Chael Sonnen “did not tap out” against Paulo Filho who retained his middleweight title when the fight was stopped after Sonnen yelled while caught in an armbar.

2009: B.J. Penn became the first man to stop Diego Sanchez, cutting Sanchez open with a head kick and retaining his UFC lightweight title at UFC 107.

2014: Carla Esparza became the inaugural UFC strawweight champion when she submitted Rose Namajunas at The Ultimate Fighter 20 finale.

2015: Thirteen seconds. Conor McGregor won the UFC featherweight title, knocking out Jose Aldo at UFC 194. Also that evening, Luke Rockhold became the UFC middleweight champion by stopping Chris Weidman with strikes.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Frankie Edgar is still the frontrunner for the next shot at Holloway’s belt according to y’all but Ortega got a pretty decent amount of love from y’all.

Also, read this thing from Iain Kidd about a USADA loophole that could be undermining the entire thing it’s supposed to be for.

That’s all for today folks. Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.

Source: mmafighting

Danaher: St-Pierre’s return will depend on medical condition, but retirement a ‘definite possibility’

Renowned Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu mentor John Danaher gives an update on Georges St-Pierre’s immediate future plans. With the recent revelation of having ulcerative colitis, Georges St-Pierre’s fighting future suddenly became uncertain. The illness has also led him to vacate the UFC middleweight title he won over Michael Bisping at UFC 217 in New York City early last month.
On Monday’s episode of the MMA Hour, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach John Danaher also confirmed that St-Pierre is currently at a crossroads in his career, and may be looking at hanging it up for good.
“That is a definite possibility,” Danaher said about St-Pierre’s possible retirement (via MMA Fighting). “I don’t want to say yes or no because it’s not my decision, really. These are deeply personal decisions that Georges has to make. Moreover, they have to be made not as spur of the moment decisions.”
“These are life-changing decisions, so they will have to be made on the basis of Georges’ reaction to the medications that he’s taking for ulcerative colitis.”
Danaher adds that at this point in his career, St-Pierre’s is merely fighting driven by motivation, something which was lacking during the Johny Hendricks fight in 2013.
“I know one fight camp where Georges wasn’t mentally committed to it was the fight camp with Hendricks, where there were doubts about whether he wanted to be fighting anymore,” Danaher said. “That was probably the fight camp where he had the least motivation to get in there, as he normally would.”
“Here (for the Bisping fight) there was tremendous motivation,” he continued. “Georges was extremely enthusiastic about the fight and expressed a deep desire to come back. But, there was a physical problem, which was making it difficult.”
“It’s not for the faint of heart, and if you’re not 100 percent committed to the project and it’s not something you positively enjoy doing at least in some way, you don’t have to love every aspect of it but there has to be some kind of deep feeling of enjoyment fulfillment – then I don’t believe you should get involved.”
Danaher’s interview begins at the 3:30:59 mark of the video below.

Source: bloody