For the Bellator 179 media conference call, welterweights Paul Daley and Rory MacDonald address the media ahead of their Bellator 179 main event bout, which is set to take place on May 19 at the SSE Arena in London, England.
Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva is on fire.
Removed from Rio de Janeiro’s UFC 212 on June 3 after his opponent Kelvin Gastelum tested positive for marijuana and the promotion couldn’t book another match-up, “The Spider” fired more shots at UFC president Dana White on Tuesday.
In a two-minute rant during a live Instagram stream, Silva said he’s happy. In fact, the Brazilian legend says he’s even happier than he would have been if he was still scheduled to compete in his native country.
The reason? Silva says he feels good because he’s helping a fellow fighter fulfill his dream of fighting for UFC middleweight gold.
“Now the almighty one, who everybody knows who it is, has to calm down and put Yoel Romero to fight,” Silva said of UFC president Dana White. “Now he has to put Yoel Romero to fight, and there is no excuse. He has no excuse to give. He has to put Yoel Romero to fight, because Yoel Romero is the No. 1 in the ranking, and (Michael) Bisping said he’s ready to fight. So, there’s no more talk. He has to put Yoel Romero to fight. Period.”
Silva initially threatened to retire if the UFC didn’t give him a fight with Romero for the interim title in Rio de Janeiro. Now, in his eyes, he has forced the promotion to book Romero vs. Bisping for the middleweight gold, and leave Georges St-Pierre out of the equation.
“In a way, I helped a fellow fighter, and I think that’s what we should do,” Silva said. “It’s not about cursing at Dana White or fighting the (UFC brass). It’s not. It’s using what they are doing to us back against them. Dana, the almighty, shot himself in the foot.
“I’ll be honest with you,” Silva continued. “I don’t have any personal problem with him, but the problem is when it affects the fighters, when it affects the fighters that leave home for three months to train, who train hard, who train injured, and who make it all happen … we are the ones who make the show happen, not him. No. He sits there and only books fights and stays there, brother. The truth is that this is a big joke that is happening, and it has to stop.
“This is what I love doing. That’s what I love the most in my life, but I can’t accept this bullsh*t with athletes in our division and athletes in the entire sport. People have to understand that the UFC is not a sport, the UFC is a company. The UFC is not a sport. MMA is a sport. The UFC is just a brand that produces MMA fights.
“One for all, all for one.”
Check out episode two of Embedded for UFC 211. UFC 211 is almost here, and as usual, Embedded is here as well. The show that gives you an inside look at the marquee contestants on PPVs has issued the second episode for this weekend’s big show in Dallas, and it continues to be a brief introduction to the four title contestants that make up the top of the card.
The episode begins with Stipe Miocic playing with his new pellet gun and slingshot, marking out like a little kid. Junior dos Santos does some boxing training, which is done in private as Conan Silveira puts up a curtain so no one can watch what’s going on.
Things shift to Brazil, as Jessica Andrade and her wife host a farewell BBQ for some people since they’ll be gone for a month. She also attends a BJJ tournament that her teammates are taking part in.
Finally, UFC women’s strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk shows off her house in Florida a bit before they show some training footage. She then has a nice dinner with some family and teammates, and thanks Dana White for picking up the tab.
UFC 211 goes down May 13th at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX.
Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar De La Hoya believes if Floyd Mayweather wants to fight again, he should nix the Conor McGregor bout and face Gennady Golovkin or Canelo Alvarez. Oscar De La Hoya has been making media appearances to kick off promotion of the newly announced middleweight title mega-fight between Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) and Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs). The retired boxing great and founder of Golden Boy Promotions — De La Hoya is Canelo’s long-time promoter — went on ESPN’s First Take to talk about the matchup he personally dubbed “the biggest fight ever.” (Note: It’s not remotely the biggest fight ever, but it’s indeed a big fight!)
“It’s only been about a year and a half since people were talking about this fight,” De La Hoya told First Take co-host Stephen A. Smith. “I didn’t wait six or seven years to make this fight happen. There was a lot of pressure from the fans, they were speaking their voice, but I had a plan and now that Canelo got a feel of [the middleweight division by fighting] at 164 lbs … look, September was always the target date and it’s finally here and I can’t wait, it’s gonna be a huge event.”
Unlike Canelo’s previous forays above junior middleweight (154 lbs), there will be no catchweight stipulation here. Both men will compete at the maximum middleweight limit of 160 lbs, and there’s no rehydration clause for either fighter. De La Hoya later said that he’s working on finalizing the venue.
Towards the end of the interview, Max Kellerman brought up host Molly Qerim’s statement that some people consider Floyd Mayweather to be the greatest boxer ever, and noted that De La Hoya fought Mayweather to a split decision loss in their lucrative 2007 matchup. That segued into Oscar suggesting that Mayweather bypass the Conor McGregor bout and instead either rematch Canelo or face GGG, depending on the outcome of that showdown.
“I was actually very surprised that I did so well against Floyd later on in my career,” De La Hoya said. “But anyway, look, even Floyd…after this fight with Canelo and Golovkin, forget about ‘The Notorious’ one. Forget about a fighter who has zero experience, who has zero fights, who has zero amateur experience, forget about that! Mayweather’s better than that. Mayweather, look, if you want to fight and have a rematch against Canelo or a fight against Golovkin, go after them. After Canelo and Golovkin fight, go after the winner.”
Mayweather has never fought at middleweight before and started his hall-of-fame career out at 130 lbs. He’s never weighed more than 151 lbs even in his few trips past the welterweight limit, including his victory against Alvarez in 2013. Golovkin has been a middleweight forever. This is a long-winded way to say “Hahahahahahaha nope.”
Golovkin vs. Canelo airs live on HBO pay-per-view on Saturday, September 16th. You can watch De La Hoya’s complete interview at the top of the page.
Let’s try this again: The UFC will implement a women’s flyweight division later this year.
After announcing last Wednesday that Season 26 of The Ultimate Fighter would feature 125-pound female fighters and crown an inaugural UFC women’s flyweight champion, UFC officials said hours later the press release was sent in error and the announcement of the women’s flyweight division was “premature.”
Now, almost a week later, the UFC has decided to go forward and crown a women’s flyweight champion with TUF 26. The news was first reported by ESPN W on Tuesday, and confirmed by MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani.
TUF 26 will begin filming in July and premiere on Fox Sports 1 sometime later this year. Women age 21-34 who have at least three professional fights and winning records are eligible to try out. Current female UFC fighters are also allowed to try out for the season.
The addition of the UFC women’s flyweight marks the second weight class implemented for women in the promotion this year, and the fourth female division in the company. The UFC’s current female divisions are strawweight (115 pounds), bantamweight (135 pounds), and featherweight (145 pounds), the latter of which was added this year.
UFC bantamweight contenders Jimmie Rivera and Thomas Almeida are scheduled to meet on July 22nd in New York. Bantamweight contenders Jimmie Rivera and Thomas Almeida will slug it out at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, New York, as Newsday reported the pair will meet in July at UFC on FOX 25.
Riding an impressive 19-fight win streak, with four of those wins happening inside the Octagon, Jimmie Rivera (20-1) already defeated two seasoned veterans in Urijah Faber and Iuri Alcantara in his last two outings. His sole loss came in 2008, when he dropped a split decision to Jason McLean.
Thomas Almeida (22-1) scored highlight reel KO wins over the likes of Brad Pickett and Anthony Birchak in his first UFC win streak, where he went 4-0 before being knocked out by the current champion, Cody Garbrandt. He bounced back from the loss with a TKO win over Albert Morales in November 2016.
No main event has been announced for UFC on FOX 25 as of yet, although Gian Villante vs. Patrick Cummins and Chris Wade vs. Frankie Perez are two bouts that are set for this event.
A pair of big upcoming matchups in the Bellator welterweight division have been turned into something of a mini-tournament.
Paul Daley will meet Rory MacDonald in the main event of Bellator 179 in London on May 19, which will be followed by the 170-lb. title fight at New York’s Madison Square Garden between champion Douglas Lima and Lorenz Larkin at Bellator NYC on June 24.
Tuesday, Bellator CEO Scott Coker made official that the winner of the MacDonald-Daley bout will meet the winner of the title fight on a date to be determined.
“This fight clearly will be for the number-one contender spot, and will fight the winner of Douglas Lima vs. Lorenz Larkin in New York on June 24,” Coker said on a media conference call.
Daley (39-14-2) clearly relishes the prospects of potential redemption against Lima. The London native is 6-1 with five knockouts in his past seven fights, but his one loss in that stretch was a decision against Lima at Bellator 158.
So even though pieces need to fall into place, Daley’s not afraid to say he hopes this scenario ends with a rematch.
“I hold Lima above Rory,” Daley said. “I don’t think there’s a bigger, more athletic, scarier welterweight out there at the moment. Me and my team, we believe that we can defeat Douglas Lima over five rounds. Not looking past Rory, but yeah, we want the shot at Lima. I feel if I’m more composed, I feel if I don’t rush out in the first 30 seconds like last time, I think over five rounds I defeat Lima.”
MacDonald (18-4), who makes his much-anticipated Bellator debut against Daley, isn’t allowing himself to look down the road just yet.
“I’m not too worried about being champ,” MacDonald said. “I’m just there to take out whoever’s in front of me. Obviously, it would be nice to fight for title, but I’m not really putting a lot of pressure on that, I just want to go out there and wreck people the way I know I can.”
Coker, meanwhile, touted the entirety of his welterweight class, which is the deepest division seen outside the UFC in several years.
“If you look at our division, the 170-pound weight class, I think it clearly is one of our strongest divisions and I think it’s probably the strongest division out of all the welterweights in any league currently out there,” Coker said. “You look at the fight between Douglas Lima and Lorenz Larkin in New York, we have other prospects, Michael Venom Page, Derek Anderson, we have Paul, we have Rory.”
Former UFC lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez is gearing up for his first fight since getting knocked out by Conor McGregor back at UFC 205 in November and talking about the struggles of returning from such a huge letdown. Not all losses are created equal, you can ask Jose Aldo about that one. And, as it turns out, you can ask Eddie Alvarez too. After all, it’s not as though the ‘Underground King’ has never lost before. His career has been dotted with the, admittedly infrequent, short end of the stick.
It’s not even the first time Alvarez has lost a title belt. He lost his BodogFIGHT welterweight championship to Nick Thompson back in 2007, a bid for the WAMMA lightweight championship to Shinya Aoki back in 2008, and the Bellator lightweight title to Michael Chandler in 2011.
Even his UFC career started out on the wrong foot: a unanimous decision loss to Donald Cerrone at UFC 178. But, a couple of contentious split decisions and a huge TKO later, and Alvarez had the most prestigious title of his career around his waist, a UFC championship. His title reign lasted all of four months.
Conor McGregor separated Alvarez from his belt and his senses at UFC 205. It was a thoroughly one-sided beating, on the biggest stage of Alvarez’s career, with the most he had to lose. And coming back, as he revealed in a recent interview for the Luke Thomas Show, hasn’t been easy (transcript via MMA Fighting).
“Climbing back from the Nov. 5th fight was difficult. I’d be lying if I told you, ‘Oh I just bounced right back off the mat.’ I needed some serious dusting off. I needed to forgive myself. I’m my own worst critic so I was very disappointed and pissed off at myself about Madison Square Garden. . .
“I sat around longer than what I would’ve like to. I would’ve like to just bounce back and just get over it already but it was difficult. It was difficult for me. I put a lot into this so it was difficult but we’re over it and I’m having a great time with training and enjoying myself.”…“I think there’s a freedom in having your worst nightmare come true. As a fighter, your worst nightmare is to get knocked out in front of millions of people. That’s like the dream of waking up naked in your classroom. So getting that out of the way, there’s a freedom in it for me. I never thought it would happen. I never pictured it or visualized it ever happening to me and it happened. I realize after it happened, nothing changed. Nothing changed. My family’s still here, my friends are still here. I’m still the same person. Everybody just wants me to fight again and do well again. Nothing really changed. So there’s a freedom in it and if you haven’t experienced it then you won’t be able to feel the freedom that I have right now.”
Hopefully for Eddie, that newfound sense of freedom will help carry him to victory over Dustin Poirier at UFC 211, this Saturday, May 13th. Alvarez vs. Poirier is currently set to headline the FX prelim card before the event switches to PPV. The PPV portion will be headlined by a pair of title fights as Stipe Miocic puts his heavyweight title on the line against Junior dos Santos, and Joanna Jedrzejczyk puts her strawweight belt on the line against Jessica Andrade.
Texan lightweight James Vick caught up with Bloody Elbow to discuss his UFC 211 plans for Polo Reyes, dropping $20k in Australia, and an eventual move to welterweight. Fresh off of a 3rd round submission of Abel Trujillo at UFC Houston back in February of this year, James “The Texecutioner” Vick is set to put on a show for the Dallas-Fort Worth section of Texas, as this Saturday night’s UFC 211 will be a home game for the 10-1 lightweight. His opposition comes in the form of the TUF Latin America: Season 2 contestant, Marco Polo Reyes, who has gone 3-0 in the UFC since the show.
Before locking horns in the Lone Star State, Vick caught up with Bloody Elbow to discuss how he will pull from his amateur boxing background for UFC 211, how the Australian tax rate put a damper on his wallet, and talks about an eventual move to 170.
The secret to success:
“I have laser-like focus, first off. I don’t have a million other interests. I go hunting and fishing a little bit. Every now and then I play basketball or something. Literally, I live, sleep, and breathe fighting. I don’t watch television. All I watch is fighting. I don’t have a bunch of extracurricular activities.”
The secret to success- Part 2:
“I believe I’m mentally stronger than some of these guys. I feel like I break a lot of these guys, no matter how many years of training they have. For example, my last fight, I feel like I broke Abel Trujillo. Realistically, I shouldn’t be beating that guy. I took him down; I shouldn’t be taking down a 3-time NAIA All American wrestler, when I never wrestled a day in high school, or anything, my whole life. He was a 3-time college All American; that’s embarrassing, the fact that I could take him down, but it just shows you how I’m much more mentally strong, compared to these guys I’m fighting.”
Cutting the ‘BS’ to find an affinity for front chokes:
“Well, I have a whole choke series, a bunch of chokes; my Guillotine, D’arce, Anaconda. I set them up from many different places. I have a system, me and my coaches, Master Lloyd Irvin, my Jiu-Jitsu coach back home Master Sina Hadad. I just do tons of reps from different angles, and have different set-ups. I’ve learned how to use my body. I don’t really drill or practice a bunch of moves; it’s really pointless for me. I don’t do all that. I have a lot of catching up to do compared to guys who have trained for years. I basically cut the bullsh-t, and go straight to stuff that works for my body type, and it’s worked out great for me.”
Earning a Performance of the Night bonus by choking out Jake Matthews at UFC Australia:
“That was probably the greatest highlight of my whole career, and the greatest night of my life when I won that fight. I got the bonus, and then I stayed an extra week and went and saw The Great Barrier Reef. I got to just go see the world for the first time like that. It was amazing, until they hit me with that Australian tax, and then that wasn’t too cool.”
Uncle Sam is known to get his, but how steep was the Australian tax?
“33.5%. Yeah, I didn’t get any of it back, didn’t get none of it back. Yeah, it was horrible.”
Not interested in fighting outside of the United States of America:
“If I have to go elsewhere, I will. It’s not a problem. I definitely don’t want to fight in any other countries. I really don’t, after the way Australia taxes were. They took literally $20,000 of my money, and I never got any of it back. I could have literally taken the greatest vacation in the world to Australia, and did whatever I wanted to with 20-extra thousand dollars. So, I have no interest in fighting overseas anymore. It’s not worth it.”
Experiencing first loss at UFC 199 to Top-10 lightweight Beneil Dariush:
“I just felt like I got caught. He timed a counter punch, right off of a head kick, and just landed with a perfectly timed shot. I felt like that wasn’t the issue when I got there, it was the ground and pound. I got hit on the ground several times, and I was never able to recover. It was more of what he did right, than what I did wrong. Obviously, we’ve all got holes we need to fix… After that fight, a lot of people asked if I should change this or change that. I didn’t really change anything. I believe in the system I have, I just believe that I got caught.”
UFC Houston saw Abel Trujillo spend almost half of the 2nd round in a D’arce; following an emphatic flying knee, you finished with a D’arce in the third.
Did you make an adjustment, or was it the knee that aided the ending?
“The knee helped, that’s for sure, because he was rocked pretty bad. Honestly, it’s weird because my arms are so long. Usually, a lot of muscular guys are easier to choke out because they have bigger necks and stuff like that, but Abel Trujillo was a weird, funny build kind of. He has a muscular upper body but his neck wasn’t really that thick.”
“I felt like I shot the choke too deep, like it was too deep and it was more of a crank than a blood choke. If someone gets cranked in class, in Jiu-Jitsu practice, they’re going to tap, but in competition or a fight, they’re not going to tap necessarily. They’re going to fight it more, and I felt like that’s what happened.
“The second round, I didn’t shoot it quite as deep, and I pulled it back a little better. I was real confident after I landed the knee, obviously, but I heard him making weird noises and stuff, and knew he was about to tap.”
Fighting at home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area:
“I’m so excited. I have so many people coming. I haven’t fought in the DFW area, the Dallas-Fort Worth area since before I was in the UFC. So, I’m super excited right now. I can’t wait.”
Dallas Cowboys fan?
“Yeah, I don’t really watch a lot of football, but if I had to pick a team, I gotta go with the home team, for sure.”
Marco Polo Reyes at UFC 211:
“My Jiu-Jitsu skills are obviously top level, but it’s because all these guys try to take me down. I don’t go in there shooting doubles on them. Now, if something presents itself, then I may take it, but my gameplan has never been to go in there and blast doubles and put him down. I think I can beat Polo Reyes anywhere, though. I can out-strike him. I can stand, and we can only box. He’s primarily a boxer. I can only box with him and I think I win that battle.”
Fighting 15 Polo Reyes’:
“I came up amateur boxing in Texas; I fought 15 Polo Reyes.’ All I fought was flatfooted, Mexican boxers.
So, I’ve dealt with this style many times before, and I always won. I always beat them all. I guess if the opportunity to take him down and submit him presents itself, or if he shoots in for a takedown. I don’t think he’s dumb enough to try to take me down. I think he knows that he’ll submitted real quick, should he do that. But, you never know. I guess if you hurt someone, maybe they start changing their gameplan up, or whatever. We’ll see what presents itself, but my goal is to get a finish within the first 2 rounds, without taking any damage to the body.”
Do you have anyone in mind that you would like to face next?
“Yeah, I’m saving that for fight night, so tune in May 13th!”
Being 6’3 and fighting at 155 pounds, a move to 170 is inevitable:
“It’s very hard to make the weight. I’m not going to lie. It’s always been very hard, but I do make it, and I work with the best nutritionist. I work with George Lockhart, and he’s the man, he’s the best, and he’ll be out there. It’s never easy, but being a fighter isn’t easy. My goal is to be a world champion, and that’s not an easy task. It’s hard, and eventually I’ll move up to 170, but right now I know I can make the weight. It’s tough, but I always make it, and I always perform on fight night.”
James Vick is set to take on Marco Polo Reyes on the preliminary card of UFC 211, in Dallas, Texas on May 13, 2017. The event is expected to be headlined by a heavyweight title fight between Stipe Miocic and Junior dos Santos. The co-main event will witness Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Jessica Andrade for the women’s strawweight title. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for all of your UFC event coverage including interviews, play-by-play, highlights, and more!
One of the top Brazilian prospects have signed a multi-fight deal with Invicta FC.
Virna Jandiroba, unbeaten in 11 professional bouts, announced on her Facebook page that she has inked a deal with the promotion on Tuesday. Sources close to the situation told MMA Fighting that Jandiroba has signed a six-fight deal.
Jandiroba’s promotional debut is still yet to be determined.
“Hey guys, I got great news,” Jandoriba wrote. “We’ve just signed with the biggest women’s MMA event in the world, Invicta FC, which takes place in the US.
“I’m very happy with this accomplishment, our path has never been easy and all that we have conquered is our own merits. We have so many reasons to be proud! Let’s conquer the world! I wanna say thanks to all of them whom were truly by my side, wishing the best for me! Let’s go together.”
“Carcara” (11-0) won all four of her fights in 2016, including a first-round submission victory over former UFC and Bellator fighter Lisa Ellis, and beat another UFC veteran in Ericka Almeida via decision at Fight 2 Night 2 in Brazil last month.