John Moraga says if he had final say, he would fight ‘the easiest opponents’

UFC flyweight John Moraga wants to fight very often moving forward to beef up his bank account. He says he’s made “bad business decisions” in the past by fighting high-level competition — including champ Demetrious Johnson — for small amounts of money. John Moraga has had an up and down UFC career, but his recent knockout win over Magomed Bibulatov at UFC 216 put things into perspective.
The upset was a very important victory, because before it, the flyweight was 1-3 in his last four fights dating back to 2015. Moraga admitted that for a while, stepping into the cage and putting his health on the line wasn’t paying off.
“I’ve been at this for a while, and it just hasn’t seemed like it’s been paying off,” Moraga told MMAjunkie Radio (transcript via MMAjunkie.com). “It has been, but at the same time, it really hasn’t. It hasn’t been what I’ve needed it to be, so it was just a big win for my career.”
Moraga is a veteran, having fought the best of the best at 125 pounds, including longtime king Demetrious Johnson, as well as top contenders Joseph Benavidez and John Dodson. But he never made life-changing money in those big fights; for example, against Johnson, whom Moraga fought for the flyweight title in 2013, he made a disclosed purse of only $17,000. So moving forward, “Chicano” just wants to take as many fights and rack up as many wins as possible, which would lead to financial success.
Moraga added he recently signed a new deal with the UFC, but because of his three-fight skid that ended just a few months ago, he didn’t have much leverage to negotiate and subsequently “kind of took what they gave me.”
“Right now, I’ll just be content getting some more wins and stacking my money a little bit,” he said.
Mixed martial arts is a sport full of pride. Some fighters want the toughest tests to prove that they’re elite and deserve to be in the Octagon. But of course, many are just in it for the money. Moraga might not directly fall under that group, but his ultimate goal is to financially secure his future.
He admitted that if he had final say, he would fight lesser competition to further extend his current winning streak. That would help him quickly get back into title contention and give him bigger fights in which he might make a larger paycheck.
“If I could choose, yeah, I want the easiest opponents,” Moraga said. “I want to get more money and fight the easier opponents, get some highlights, raise my spots a little bit, and then fight the top guys for more money and make it worth it, because I fought them all for pennies, basically. I just made bad business decisions.”
Source: bloody

Dhiego Lima on Jesse Taylor’s USADA failure: ‘It was a relief for me’

Dhiego Lima says things in his fight with Jesse Taylor make a lot more sense now that Taylor has been flagged by USADA. Back in July, it seemed that Jesse Taylor had finally made his mark in the UFC. Years after an ugly incident cost him a TUF Finale spot, he showed up on the aptly-named Redemption season and managed to defeat teammate Dhiego Lima to win it all.
The, a month and a half later, he ran afoul of USADA. Taylor tested positive for clomiphene, earning himself a one-year suspension.
Since the night of the Finale, Lima had been confused about a few things in the fight – namely, why was Taylor so much stronger in the Octagon than he was in training on the show? The positive drug test gave him his answer – and brought a few different emotions to the surface.
He explained his thoughts on the situation to MMA Junkie:
“For our fight, he knew our anti-doping would only be a normal pee test. So he must have done a cycle for that. And then, one month later, he flunked with a post-cycle drug. Of course he was taking stuff to fight me.”
Finding out about the positive test actually brought about a surprising reaction from Lima:
“It was a relief for me, to be honest.”

“That was on my mind – ‘Why was that guy so much stronger than me?’” Lima said. “I trained so hard, and the guy tossed me around like I was nothing? How? It’s not possible. I knew how strong he was in the house. So for me, it would be the same at the fight.
“I did what I had to do to win, but come fight time, he was like three times stronger than me. I got depressed, you know. I thought about the fight so much, and I couldn’t understand. I knew it. I told everyone after the fight that he was too strong, that there was no way that was possible. And there you go.”
Lima missed out on a $250,000 payday for winning the show, and the opportunities that would have come along with it. But because it was an out-of-competition test more than a month after the fight, he can’t do anything about it. Which must be extremely frustrating.
Source: bloody

UFC bantamweight demands apology from Cormier and Rogan for ‘biased’ commentary

Bantamweight fighter Cody Stamann wants an apology from Daniel Cormier and Joe Rogan for supposed “biased” commentary at UFC 216. UFC bantamweight fighter Cody Stamann was up against a tough challenge when he fought Jackson-Winkeljohn representative Tom Duquesnoy at UFC 216. In turn, a lot was expected from the two-weight BAMMA champion, who was coming off a second round TKO win against Patrick Williams in his UFC debut last April.
But it was Stamann who emerged victorious via split decision in the card’s final preliminary bout. After getting to watch his fight again and hearing the commentary work from Daniel Cormier and Joe Rogan, he is now calling for an apology from both men for supposedly being “biased.”
“As soon as it came out, I watched it. I had my phone hooked up to my Bluetooth, I was with a few people and I was listening to the commentary, and now by the end of the first round I was frustrated enough to want to throw my phone through a wall after what they were saying,” Stamann told MMA Fighting. “They were talking about Duquesnoy, where he trains, and I’m taking him down, hitting him with combinations and they’re not saying anything about that.”
“I felt like Daniel Cormier and Joe Rogan owe me a little bit of an apology.”
There is a lot of hype behind Duquesnoy, who is being perceived as the next challenger for the 135-pound title. This makes the victory a lot more satisfying for Stamann, who feels he was able to “open people’s eyes” about what he can bring to the table.
“He’s got a humongous following, he’s got the whole country of France following him basically,” Stamann said. “He had every single thing that the UFC would want in a guy coming into the UFC. All the hype, everybody thought he was the man, so when I had the opportunity to fight him I was all over that. I knew that was my opportunity to steal that shine.”
Stamann made his UFC debut at UFC 213 in July, stepping in with only eight days’ notice. He won his fight against Terrion Ware via unanimous decision.
Source: bloody

Plight of Amanda Nunes as a draw sends a major message about UFC fans in 2017

There is a theory about drawing power that sometimes applies and clearly other times doesn’t.

In 2008, when Oscar de la Hoya, who had been the boxing’s biggest drawing card for several years, lost to Manny Pacquiao, and it was clear his career was coming to an end, it was brought up at the press conference that this was bad for boxing.

Bob Arum blew it off, saying that the de la Hoya fans would now become Pacquiao fans, and that’s how it works.

It’s really not that simple, although Arum wasn’t wrong in that instance. Pacquiao’s drawing power exploded from the win over de la Hoya, with him regularly tripling the kind of numbers he did previously. The last decade of boxing on pay-per-view in the U.S. was carried by Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., who both become much bigger drawing cards after they had beaten de la Hoya, the previous king.

The flip side to this equation is Amanda Nunes, the UFC’s women’s bantamweight champion, a division since its 2013 inception, had turned into one of the company’s biggest money divisions.

Nunes won the title from Miesha Tate at UFC 200. The fight was billed as the main event, and the show did more than 1 million buys. Now, granted, this was one of those shows where the main event wasn’t truly the biggest drawing fight on the show. The real draws were the return of Brock Lesnar and a Daniel Cormier vs. Anderson Silva fight. But it was still a lot of eyeballs paying to see what turned out to be a killer performance by Nunes.

Nunes next beat Ronda Rousey on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas in just 48 seconds, a rare Friday night show, that still did 1.1 million buys. Granted, Rousey was the draw in that fight, but one would be hard pressed to have two more impressive wins over the two stars who put the division on the map, both in main events on monster pay-per-view shows.

If Arum’s logic was correct, those wins should have made Nunes a huge star.

Unfortunately, the public didn’t react the same way for Nunes as they did for the conquerors of de la Hoya.

Nunes’ first title defense on Sept. 9, in Edmonton, Alberta, against Valentina Shevchenko, looks to have done an estimated 100,000 buys, which would be among the lowest for any UFC pay-per-view since the company got on television in 2005.

Even with the push in promotion that this would be the highest-class women’s title match in history, for a championship that had been in the spotlight since its start, and a fight that going in where it was thought that either women could win, the public interest was low.

Athletically, Nunes couldn’t have done more. The reality that the casual fan won’t support fighters like Nunes and Demetrious Johnson has to be frustrating for fans of UFC as a major sport, since as a business, if you don’t cater to the fans, the audience interest decreases greatly. And it’s clear that the goals of sport, to determine who is the best in competition, is not what interests the masses.

The plight of Nunes as champion continues the trend that UFC on pay-per-view is a business of the have’s and the have-nots. It’s not about championships. It’s not about the perception of close fights where the outcome is in jeopardy. It’s not even about fights that look exciting on paper, as Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee’s fight at UFC 216 looked on paper like as guaranteed an exciting main event as you could have, and early indications are that it wasn’t a big hit either. It’s not about excitement, as UFC shows over the past 18 months have had far more hits than misses when it comes to action, and quality fights up-and-down the show.

It’s more and more about certain names, and in 2017, the only proven names are Conor McGregor and Jon Jones, and the latter is on a provisional suspension. Ultimately, it’s the names of the few big stars, who make the difference between the company’s best pay-per-view year in history in 2016, and this year, where only one fight, Jones vs. Daniel Cormier, has hit big.

This also makes UFC 217, on Nov. 4 in Madison Square Garden, so important on many levels. Georges St-Pierre, who challenges Michael Bisping for the middleweight title, was one of the biggest draws in company history. He wasn’t in the McGregor or Rousey category, but was a level just below them. He was the UFC’s top pay-per-view draw when he left the sport in 2013, and could be counted to deliver 600,000 to 1 million buys every time out.

It’s uncharted waters what St-Pierre fighting will mean in 2017. He nearly single-handedly carried Canada into being an MMA monster on pay-per-view for years. But there has been a huge turnover of audience since then. The new audience that Rousey and McGregor brought in has no emotional connection to St-Pierre. Whether he can bring his old audience back is the question.

On paper, there is a story. The returning star challenges for a championship in a division higher than the one he formerly competed in against a big-mouth opponent who will talk up the fight.

If St-Pierre loses, he’s said he will retire. If he wins, he could be one of the desperately needed have’s, and perhaps bring the UFC interest level in Canada back near previous levels.

Source: mmafighting

Morning Report: Tyron Woodley: Potential Georges St-Pierre-Conor McGregor bout is ‘a disrespect’ to me

In an age where title reigns are becoming more defined by the money fights a champion pursues than the traditional meritocracy associated with the UFC, Tyron Woodley is something of a throwback: since winning the welterweight strap at UFC 201 last July, Woodley has defended the belt three times, each time against the top-ranked contender. Which isn’t to say that Woodley hasn’t tried to chase down money fights. Just hours after winning the title Woodley began calling out Georges St-Pierre, Conor McGregor, and Nick Diaz but those fights have so far eluded Woodley, particularly the most appealing one of them, St-Pierre.

The long time welterweight champion is making his return to the octagon after an almost four year layoff but instead of attempting to reclaim his title, St-Pierre is moving up a weight class to try and become the fourth two-division champion in UFC history. Woodley has been vocal that St-Pierre is moving to middleweight for fear of him embarrassing the GOAT and on the most recent edition of his The Morning Wood Show podcast, the champ doubled down on his assertions, saying that St-Pierre’s skills are outmoded in the new welterweight order and that he has passed the Canadian already as far as his abilities.

“Some guys have medium speed, medium power, good wrestling, good attacks. I’ve been blessed to have maximum speed, maximum explosion, maximum power, and then [Din Thomas] and Duke [Roufus] have helped me add the other stuff, economy of motion, knowing when to explode, when not to explode, how to fight five rounds. . .

“They don’t want them problems, man. He had a chance to fight me and he said no. . .

“Georges has been away for three years, almost four. By the time he gets in there, it’s gonna be just a few days shy of four years so the sport has caught up. Whatever advantage he had, whatever degree of separation he created by being such a great martial artist, people have played catchup. I think I’ve surpassed him. He was a person I looked up to but skill for skill, mindset, explosion, power, wrestling ability, timing, strategy, all those things, I feel like I’ve surpassed Georges and that’s why I want to go out there to fight him and prove it.”

It doesn’t seem like Woodley will get that chance though. Rumors have been running rampant that St-Pierre and his team have UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor on their radar as the next possible opponent for “GSP” after the middleweight title fight. St-Pierre has denied the rumors for his part though he did not rule it out entirely, depending on fan interest which, to be frank, would be substantial. But if St-Pierre wins, a McGregor call out becomes odd as the most obvious weight for that fight to happen at would be 170 pounds since McGregor has fought there twice before, but welterweight is a division currently lorded over by Woodley. The welterweight champion says doing that fight in his division while he is reigning would be disrespectful to his title.

“No, that’s a disrespect to me. . .

“[St-Pierre] probably [will call out McGregor], but he’s gonna have to be honest with the fans and say, ‘I’m here for money.” And that’s okay. There’s no shame in that. . . Just know I’m gonna call him out on that. Win, lose, or draw, I’m gonna want to fight the winner of that fight, Bisping or Georges. Then I’m going to want to come back and see all this fresh new talent in the welterweight division and I’m gonna want to show them a lesson too.”

That doesn’t seem likely for Woodley either though as UFC President Dana White has said that the winner of the upcoming Robbie Lawler vs. Rafael dos Anjos clash will get the next crack at Woodley’s title. So yet again Woodley appears to be sitting on the outside staring in as Georges St-Pierre lines up big money fight after big money fight.

“He’s smart. He’s a PPV king. He already did what he needed to do in the welterweight division. Win or lose, it’s not gonna do anything to tarnish his career against Bisping and also he wants to make money.”


MUST-READ STORIES

Results. Rizin FF held an enormous event over the weekend and here are the results.

Hardy. Ex-NFL player Greg Hardy books his amateur MMA debut for next month.

Gus. Alexander Gustafsson expects a rematch after Cormier beats Oezdemir.

NBK. Carlos Condit explains his return: “I’ll want to fight until I’m dead.”

Out. Jim Wallhead is out of his fight with Warlley Alves this weekend.


VIDEO STEW

UFC 216 Rewind. These are some of the best things we do here.

Woodley’s new TMZ segment.

Joanna’s champ camp.

Paulie going in.

LFA highlights.


LISTEN UP

Severe MMA. UFC Poland, Bellator 187, James Gallagher, Mark Hunt, are discussed.

MMA Depressed-Us. Re-watching UFC 209 and the worst fights from that event.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

‘Page and Nick arguing over a girl.

Conor and Tony’s Twitter shenanigans.

If he can bring that into the cage Fili defiitely gonna be in trouble.

Warlley still making his way to Gdansk despite no opponent currently.

Paulie needs to talk to Nick. In MMA contexts, it’s not “woof.”

Lotta highlight action.

Congratulations.

@peopleenespanol ran an article on my latest news. Check the magazine out for more details 🙂 ❤️ #HeartFull #BB #BabyPeña ❤️

A post shared by Julianna Nicole Peña (@venezuelanvixen) on Oct 14, 2017 at 1:47pm PDT

He back.

Tyga vs. Phil Brooks.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Walt Harris (10-6) vs. Mark Godbeer (12-3); UFC 217, Nov. 4.

Jose Aldo (26-3) vs. Ricardo Lamas (18-5); UFC Winnipeg, Dec. 16.

Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1); UFC Winnipeg, Dec. 16.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

1998: Frank Shamrock defended his UFC light heavyweight title for the third time, causing John Lober to submit to strikes at UFC Brazil. In the co-main event, Pat Miletich became the inaugural welterweight title when he won a split decision over Mikey Burnett. On the undercard, Wanderlei Silva made his UFC debut, getting blown out by Vitor Belfort in 44 seconds.

2010: Carlos Condit knocked out Dan Hardy in a simultaneous exchange of hooks at UFC 120.


FINAL THOUGHTS

And so begins the long march to the end of the year, fight fans. There are 10 UFC events over the next 9 weeks and 7 Bellator events on top of that. 2017 is ending with a ridiculous amount of fisticuffs coming your way so strap in and enjoy the ride.

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

Eddie Alvarez responds to Lauren Murphy: She’s a ‘head case’ with a ‘sh-tty attitude’

There is a brewing rift between Eddie Alvarez and Lauren Murphy, stemming from their fighter-coach relationship at TUF 26. Former Invicta bantamweight champion Lauren Murphy had the opportunity to be coached by former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez at the 26th season of The Ultimate Fighter. But her experience was something she is not willing to cherish, to say the least.
The 34-year-old Murphy was eliminated from the TUF 26 as early as the tournament’s first round, losing via unanimous decision to Nicco Montano. In a recent interview, she spoke how she was jealous of the women who were trained by Alvarez’s opposing coach, Justin Gaethje.
“I was definitely really resentful about it and I was really very envious of the girls on Team Gaethje, because they were allowed to have rest days whenever they wanted, they were having a lot of fun on their team. It seemed that their coaches really treated them with a lot of respect and I felt like I was getting the shitty end of that deal, having Eddie as a coach.”
Alvarez went on to air his side of the story on Sirius XM’s MMA Tonight, where he essentially spoke about how Murphy was more of a problem for him deal with.
“I understand you’re there for yourself, but you didn’t even fight anybody on the other team yet,” Alvarez said (via MMA Fighting). “You didn’t even get past your first fight against Team Gaethje and you conspired two or three times already against the girls on our team that you’re gonna be in the gym with every day.”
“So I’m like, man this girl is a little bit of a head case and she’s kind of looking at everyone as her enemy. It just didn’t make for a good attitude in the room or a good person to even have around. She was conspiring from the very beginning.”
Alvarez adds that Murphy’s seven-year MMA experience was a non-factor, and that she should have just taken in all the mentoring from all the other coaches in the team.
“I’m not tooting my own horn, but if you have 10 fights you’re still a baby. You’re still kind of a baby — girl, guy, whoever you are,” Alvarez said. “When you get a chance to be coached by Mark Henry, Marlon Moraes, and some of these guys who have just been through it, you should be nothing but appreciative. You should bow your head when they enter the room. You shouldn’t have a know-it-all attitude.”
“That was my issue with that girl. I didn’t care — it was better if she didn’t come to practice. She had a shitty attitude.”
Alvarez is set to take on Gaethje at UFC 218 on December 2nd in Detroit.
Source: bloody

The MMA Hour with Khabib Nurmagomedov, Kevin Lee, Derrick Lewis, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Henry Cejudo, Julianna Peña, Marc Goddard, Gegard Mousasi in studio

The MMA Hour is back in your life. Below is a rundown of Monday’s show:

1:00 p.m. ET — UFC strawweight contender Karolina Kowalkiewicz will preview her UFC Gdasnk fight against Jodie Esquibel.

1:25 p.m. — MMA referee Marc Goddard will discuss the weigh-cutting epidemic in MMA and other issues.

1:45 p.m. — Henry Cejudo will talk about escaping the wildfires in California last week and his UFC 218 fight against Sergio Pettis.

2:05 p.m. — Derrick Lewis will give us an update on his injured back and discuss when he might return.

2:25 p.m. — Kevin Lee will reflect on his loss to Tony Ferguson at UFC 216 and discuss what’s next.

2:45 p.m. — Gegard Mousasi will join us in studio to preview his Bellator debut on Friday night.

3:45…

Source: mmafighting

Tyron Woodley: Ronda Rousey would only come back to fight Gina Carano

The UFC welterweight champion thinks Gina Carano is the only name that would get Ronda Rousey back in the Octagon. UFC welterweight Tyron Woodley could never be accused of being short on opinions, and now he has a new outlet for them. On his new TMZ Sports show called “The Hollywood Beatdown”, Woodley discussed a variety of things in the news this week, but also give MMA some coverage. One of his MMA topics? Ronda Rousey.
Rousey’s possible move to pro wrestling has been bandied about by many, with Rousey herself more than hinting at it. But what it might get her back into the cage? Woodley believes there’s only one option Rousey would consider.
“Gina Carano, maybe. I think that’s the only other person with a big enough name to make her come back and fight. It’s not a fighter that, like Amanda Nunes that has been wrecking everybody, or like some of these up-and-coming fighters. She is such a big household name, she has to fight somebody that is going to match her stature.”
But overall, he thinks Rousey moving onto something new is probably the best idea for her.
“She can’t do both, she should not do both. I never want to retire somebody, but I think she’s done enough in the sport of mixed martial arts, and if she wanted to walk away, this might not be a bad time to pull up to a different avenue to open a new chapter in your life.”
“We’re gonna watch her in the WWE.”

Source: bloody

KSW co-founder on upcoming Ireland show: ‘The response so far has exceeded our expectations’

As KSW prepares for its inaugural visit to Ireland, its CEO and co-founder Maciej Kawulski sets out his vision to conquer the region. Fresh on the heels of its historic show in Warsaw, Poland, a show that saw in excess of 57,000 people descend on the PGE stadium, KSW will pitch up in Dublin, Ireland this coming Sunday for it’s 40th event, headlined by Mariusz Pudzianowski and James McSweeney.
It’s a risky move as the UFC will be enthralling audiences in nearby Gdansk, Poland on Saturday. Given that this is the case, KSW are still managing to pack in a substantial crowd. KSW 40 is now officially the fastest selling MMA event outside of the UFC in Ireland. It’s fight week and already 80% of the tickets have been sold. When you consider last minute ticket purchases and those which will be obtained on the night KSW 40 is on track to be a sell out come Sunday evening.
Given that this is KSW’s first foray into Ireland, you can imagine that the promotion will be pleased at its achievement from a standing start, especially considering the competition already established in the region. Both BAMMA (with its new ally Bellator MMA) and Cage Warriors FC have never opened the upper tier of the 3Arena, a feat which is reflected in KSW’s CEO and co-founder Maciej Kawulski’s upbeat words.
“KSW continues to break records,” Kawulski said. “It’s our very first show in Ireland, a new market for us, and the response so far has exceeded our expectations. We knew we would have the support of the Polish living in Ireland, but the Irish MMA fans have bought tickets in their droves.”
This initial success builds on the packed attendance that enabled their Wembley Arena show to be the hottest ticket in town. It also bodes well for 2018, when the promotion will look to consolidate its existing position as Europe’s leading mixed martial arts promotion.
“Great UK based promotions have staged events in the 3Arena,” said Kawulski. “We have outsold them on our first trip into this region. If you break international records you’re a good businessman, if you break local records you are a conqueror. We like to be both.”
KSW 40 goes down on Sunday, October 22nd, and WHOA TV will be on deck bringing you the fight week build-up and the behind the scenes stories that emerge via Bloody Elbow.
Source: bloody

Bisping, GSP drop puck at Canadiens game Saturday

MONTREAL – There was some added tension on the Bell Centre ice leading up to puck drop on Saturday night, and it wasn’t between the Canadiens and the Maple Leafs.In conjunction with the promotional tour leading up to UFC 217 on November 4 at Madison Square Garden, Georges St-Pierre and Michael Bisping, along with UFC president Dana White, made a stop in Montreal to attend the contest between the NHL’s two greatest rivals.
To read the full story click here Read the Full Article Here
Source: ufc