Dana White shoots down latest Mayweather-McGregor rumors: It’s ‘nowhere near being done’

UFC president Dana White has once again shot down reports that Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor is a done deal. The latest chapter of “Will Conor McGregor fight Floyd Mayweather?” involves a recent report from FloCombat, who confirmed with sources that the “T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas has put the June 10 date on hold” for a possible superfight between the UFC lightweight champion and one of the greatest boxers of all-time.
When you combine that story with Mayweather “officially” ending his retirement, along with his statement that he wants to fight McGregor in June, it looks as if there’s something brewing here! Where do I buy my tickets and which hotel do I reserve?
Don’t worry, because UFC president Dana White told TMZ that the fight is “nowhere near being done.” As far as that June 10th holding date, White added that “there is no target date whatsoever.”
So it’s business as usual. You have indications that the fight may actually be happening, while Dana White says the fight is not happening and that they’re not close to putting it all together for this matchup to be staged.

Source: bloody

Christy Mack’s mother testifies at War Machine trial: ‘I wish I had shot you’

The sixth day of the War Machine trial saw Christy Mack’s mother testify at court.  On Monday, March 13, Christy Mack’s mother appear in court to testify in the so-called War Machine trial.
A visibly emotional Erin Mackinday held back tears as she took the stand and described the abusive relationship her daughter was involved in with Jon Koppenhaver, who legally changed his name to War Machine. Mackinday, who lived with her daughter for a period of time in Las Vegas, witnessed one of the fights between the couple over Mack’s pet snake. On this occasion, Koppenhaver allegedly grabbed Mack by the neck, lifted her off the ground, and dragged her up the stairs before throwing her onto the bed. Mackinday recalled trying to calm her daughter down afterwards.
“I took her into the bathroom, held onto her and said ‘shut up! He will kill you. Shut up!’”
According to Mackinday, who noted that the Koppenhaver seated in court had lost “50,60 pounds” and was not as “broad in the arms or shoulders,” she was certain that he would have eventually kill her daughter. His reaction to the pet snake incident in May 2013 had cemented her belief.
“He stood in the closet with his laundry bag taking his clothes stuffing it in there saying I’m going to kill! I’m going to kill you!”, said Mackinday (h/t news3lv).
Mackinday later described rushing to see her daughter at the hospital following the August 2014 assault. She learned about the incident after Koppenhaver texted her to “check in” on Christy. When she called him to understand in more detail, he told reportedly stated “We had a fight. I had to beat her up.”
The vicious attack left Mack with 10 broken bones, including a broken nose, missing and broken teeth, a fractured rib, and a fractured eye socket. She also had a lacerated liver and severe bruising. Las Vegas detective Daniel Tomaino testified that he “couldn’t understand what she was saying but it was because she didn’t have teeth.” Mackinday admits she was unable to recognize her daughter at the hospital.
“I held her hand and she said ‘Please don’t cry,’ so I squatted down under the bed so I wouldn’t upset her and I held her hand and I cried,” said Mackinday. “Then I stood up and said ‘It’s done.’”
Asked if she regrets not contacting the police prior to the harrowing August 2014 assault, Mackinday looked at Koppenhaver and said, “No, I wish I had shot you.”
Koppenhaver is on trial for 34 felony charges, including attempted murder, kidnapping and various counts of sexual assault. The fighter pleaded not guilty to all 34 counts.
The War Machine trial will resume on Tuesday afternoon.
Source: bloody

Joanna Jedrzejczyk eyeing Ronda Rousey’s title defense record as UFC 211 approaches

When it comes to win/loss records alone, there’s an argument to made that Joanna Jedrzejczyk is already the most successful woman to ever compete in the UFC. The reigning strawweight champion carries a flawless 7-0 Octagon record into her May 13 title defense against Jessica Andrade at UFC 211 — a number that already exceeds the résumé of Ronda Rousey, whose 6-2 UFC run widely popularized the women’s side of the sport, but faded away before it could reach an Anderson Silva or Demetrious Johnson level of sustained excellence.

But Rousey is still the standard-bearer for female UFC champions in many regards, and her record of six consecutive UFC title defenses still looms large as the number to beat on the female side of the game. So with the fifth defense of her strawweight strap just around the corner, Jedrzejczyk knows it’s only a matter of time until she makes history by surpassing Rousey, provided she continues her winning ways.

“I want that record,” Jedrzejczyk said Monday on The MMA Hour. “I want this female record, which is six title defenses straight. And then I will look up to the guys’ (record).”

The overall UFC title defense record is presently held by Silva, who defended his middleweight belt 10 consecutive times over a 2,457-day reign. However, that record could conceivably be extended by Johnson, the UFC’s current flyweight champion, who will tie Silva at 10 defenses with a victory over Wilson Reis at UFC on FOX 24.

Either way, Jedrzejczyk knows she has a long way to go until reaching those dazzling heights. So in the interim, the popular 29-year-old is simply focusing on the fight in front of her, and not overextending herself with personal and professional obligations like Rousey did in the final months of her UFC title reign.

“Every fighting career is different,” Jedrzejczyk said. “We all are different. Our lives are different. But the thing is, of course I learned some (from Rousey’s situation), but I’m trying to be smart for myself. There was a time when I could fly to Poland for 10 days, do like seven days of media, I slept like six hours a day, but (coach) Katel (Kubis) was with me and we had amazing times during the training between obligations. But the thing is, it was time for it. Now it’s time to just get ready for the fight. Eight-and-a-half weeks, I will [focus only on] getting ready for UFC 211, and the thing is, no one is going to get my attention.

“There is no option that you’re going to put a million dollars in front of me and I will go with you because of the money. No, I will choose to put on great workout and just get better until the fight. I am focused on my camp, I am focused on myself. I am selfish. I’m here in Florida by myself. I left my fiancée and my family there (in Poland), but they understand. They support me and I’m calm because I know they’re waiting for me, but I have good people here and I can be focused just on the camp. So, people, don’t get crazy when people offer you money for sponsorships. First, we are fighters, and we must sure that we’re going to be ready for the fight.”

The philosophy is likely a good one to embrace heading into UFC 211, considering that Jedrzejczyk has a formidable challenge waiting for her in Andrade, a hard-hitting 25-year-old who has run roughshod over the UFC strawweight division since moving down from 135 pounds. Andrade is a perfect 3-0 at her new weight, with a trio of dominant performances over Jessica Penne, Joanne Calderwood, and Angela Hill surging her into the top-five of the UFC’s media-generated rankings.

Andrade has also not been shy about lobbing a few shots at Jedrzejczyk through the media, consistently criticizing the Polish champion for having a weak chin and vowing to knock her out. But Jedrzejczyk isn’t buying what Andrade is selling.

“Have you seen me responding on that?” Jedrzejczyk said. “People are f*cking getting fights on Twitter. It’s crazy. I spoke to (UFC matchmaker) Sean (Shelby) about it and he’s like, ‘I cannot help [it]. I’m trying to be quiet, I let people talk.’ But the thing is, okay, the face-offs are pretty tough with me, the weigh-ins, the fights, but I let people talk. I talk with my body in the Octagon the day of the fight. This is what I want to do. I don’t want to talk to them. You’re right or you’re not.”

Jedrzejczyk said the trash talk from Andrade is more surprising than usual simply because of the friendly relationship the two women shared prior to UFC 211, as well as the fact that Andrade is represented by Jedrzejczyk’s former manager, Tiago Okamura.

“I don’t know what Jessica is talking about,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I don’t know if Tiago is doing this, because Tiago was like a brother to me, and we’re still in good relations. I believe they can get more crazy because of the promotion and she has nothing to lose, but the thing is, I’m still good with them so I don’t know why they go crazy. … I know that Jessica’s English is not so good, so I know that there is someone behind her back helping her with that. It might be Tiago, so I feel sorry for that. We are in good relations, so you’re honest or you’re fake.

“People are all like, ‘oh, Joanna is so quiet, she doesn’t respond.’ Because I don’t want to talk,” Jedrzejczyk added. “Like I said, [Andrade and I] have good relations. Every fight, any time we meet, it was good. We had good training together, good meal, good talk, we could hang out together. This is what I said: when the things get bigger, people get crazy. I thought that she was not going to act like this, but I see she is already getting into it more and more. But I feel sorry. I just want to be patient, be humble, keep on training, and let my fists talk to her on May 13 at UFC 211 in Dallas.”

Source: mmafighting

Eduardo Dantas will now face Leandro Higo in new Bellator 177 main event

Bellator has a new main event for its upcoming trip to Budapest, Hungary, on April 14.

Bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas, who was initially scheduled to defend his title against Darrion Caldwell, will now take on fellow Brazilian Leandro Higo after Caldwell suffered an undisclosed injury. Bellator officials confirmed the news to MMA Fighting.

Rising featherweight John Teixeira is also set to return to action at the Budapest Sports Arena, as he faces Daniel Weichel in the main card.

Dantas (19-4) re-captured the 135-pound belt in June 2016, defeating former teammate Marcos Galvao for the second time. “Dudu” went on to defend the gold six months later, avenging his only Bellator loss with a decision over Joe Warren.

Higo (17-2), one of the best bantamweight prospects out of Brazil, makes his promotional debut after winning eight straight, including winning and defending the RFA and LFA belts.

Teixeira (21-1-2), Dantas’ teammate at Nova Uniao, is unbeaten in almost five years. At 4-0 under the Bellator banner, “Macapa” faces the biggest challenge of his career in Weichel (38-9), a former Bellator tournament winner and title contender who brings a a three-fight winning streak to the cage.

Source: mmafighting

Anderson Silva is looking for rematches with Nick Diaz and Michael Bisping

There are lots of fighters interesting in tangling with legend Anderson Silva, but it appears that he’s focused on two particular rematches. There’s little doubt that Anderson Silva has had the best middleweight run ever seen in the UFC, and that he’s one of the best fighters of all time. And despite being almost 42 years old, he doesn’t seem ready to fade into retirement just yet. A win over Derek Brunson at UFC 208, his first official victory in over four years, has put him in the sights of other top middleweights like Kelvin Gastelum and Yoel Romero.
But Silva is more interested in a couple of rematches – against Nick Diaz and current UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping.
The Spider took to Instagram to make his point:

Somos três grandes profissionais, o que faz mais sentido neste momento, não é a luta dele com qualquer outro, mas sim comigo, independente de cinturão. Independente do show, nós nos respeitamos, uma nova luta entre nós, seria um grande combate de cavalheiros. . Até porque com o Nick, foi um No Contest, temos história pra contar, te espero no Brasil. . E aguardo você Mr. Bisping, depois da sua luta com GSP. . Exterminar de uma vez por todas esta dúvida dos fãs sobre quem realmente venceu. . We are three great professionals, what makes the most sense at the moment, is not his fight with any other, but with me, regardless of belt. Regardless of the show, we respect each other, a new fight between us, would be a great fight of gentlemen. . Because with Nick, it was a No Contest, we have a story to tell, I’ll wait for you in Brazil. . And I’m waiting for you, Mr. Bisping, after your fight with GSP. . Exterminate once and for all this doubt of the fans about who really won. A post shared by Anderson Silva (@spiderandersonsilva) on Mar 13, 2017 at 1:13am PDT

Here’s what he said:
“We are three great professionals, what makes the most sense at the moment, is not his fight with any other, but with me, regardless of belt. Regardless of the show, we respect each other, a new fight between us, would be a great fight of gentlemen..
Because with Nick, it was a No Contest, we have a story to tell, I’ll wait for you in Brazil..
And I’m waiting for you, Mr. Bisping, after your fight with GSP..
Exterminate once and for all this doubt of the fans about who really won.”
Silva (34-8, 1 NC, 17-4, 1 NC UFC) fought Diaz in the UFC 183 headliner back in January 2015, but the fight was flipped to a No Contest after Silva failed a drug test. He met Bisping in his return fight from suspension in February 2016, and dropped a controversial decision. Bisping is set to fight the returning Georges St-Pierre for the 185-pound title later this year.
Source: bloody

Conor McGregor teammate Dillon Danis signs with Bellator

Conor McGregor’s training partner Dillon Danis will be making his professional MMA debut under the Bellator banner. After months of making some noise for himself, Dillon Danis will finally make his transition into MMA. The 23-year-old Marcelo Garcia black belt signed a deal with Bellator on Monday.
Danis did drop a hint about a “big fight announcement” via Twitter on Sunday. Now that he has inked his Bellator deal, the decorated grappler says he aims to follow the footsteps of his training partner, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor.
“I want to fight the best, just like Conor does. We’re different people, though we’re very like-minded,” Danis told Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole, who first reported the news. “We set high goals and we aren’t afraid to try to achieve. I feel he’s the best ever, in my opinion, and so if people want to compare us, well, how could it be bad if you’re a basketball player to be compared to Michael Jordan? That’s essentially what people would be saying if they compare us.”
“I obviously respect what he has accomplished and will accomplish in the future. He’s incredible and the aura of confidence he has is amazing. He’s a champion for a reason. But I want to go down my own path and do it my way.”
For Bellator CEO Scott Coker, signing Danis was his way of using his old Strikeforce philosophy: “Buying the best free agents and building from the top down and signing these young guys who excel in one discipline of the martial arts, whether it is wrestling or jiu-jitsu, taekwondo or traditional karate, and then building from the bottom up.”
“A guy like Dillon, with such high-level jiu-jitsu, whenever a fight goes to the ground, he’s going to be a serious threat,” Coker said. “He’s going to have to master the stand-up game and everything else, but what I’ve found over the years is that when you take a guy like this, who has competed all over the world in big events, they’re calm and relaxed and they’ll develop if you push them along and nurture them the right way.”
Danis was able to draw attention for himself from MMA fans by making controversial statements such as calling out the entire UFC roster. Recently, he claimed that UFC 209 would have been sold out if he was part of the card.
Source: bloody

Demetrious Johnson believes people are misunderstanding Tyron Woodley

Tyron Woodley has been extremely vocal of late about racism in mixed martial arts, his perceived lack of promotion from the UFC and the potential correlation between the two.

Demetrious Johnson, Woodley’s close friend, isn’t sure about racism in the sport, but he believes Woodley’s personal experience cannot be discounted, the UFC flyweight champion told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.

“Everybody just misunderstands Tyron when he talks about that,” Johnson said. “But I understand where he’s coming from.”

Johnson said others have told him that he’s not as popular or as big of a draw as he should be, because he’s black. “Mighty Mouse” isn’t sure if he buys that — “That’s a crazy statement,” he said — but that doesn’t mean he necessarily disagrees with Woodley’s assessment. Everyone has their own experiences, Johnson said.

“I don’t want to say it’s an issue,” Johnson said of racism in MMA. “Because obviously I’ve been promoted very well as the flyweight champion. But can I say that people might feel there is? Yeah, probably people feel it. But I don’t think [UFC president] Dana White has ever been like, ‘I’m not gonna look at that [expletive], he’s black. Get somebody else in front of me.’ I don’t think Dana White is doing that. But I’m saying if people feel that way, it’s possible that some people feel that way. That’s just how it is.”

And Johnson cannot say he has never felt that way. It has cropped up, he said.

“If I were to say that’s never came into my mind, I’d be lying to the world,” Johnson said.

Woodley, the UFC welterweight champion, raised eyebrows in an interview with ESPN in January, saying he felt he was the worst treated champion in UFC history. A back and forth with White in the media ensued.

“Let’s put the cards on the table, real is real,” Woodley said on ESPN. “If I was a different complexion I think people and fans would treat me a different way. Demetrious Johnson, African-American male, completely a Tasmanian devil. Why don’t he have the big endorsements? Why isn’t he making the most money?”

Johnson, arguably the pound-for-pound fighter in the world, is far from the biggest financial draw in the UFC. His next fight will be the headliner at UFC on FOX 24 against Wilson Reis on April 15 in Kansas City. Not on pay per view. There are many things that could be owed to, Johnson said. Not just race.

“Mighty Mouse” said prize fighting is all about the drama. He joked that the viral-video “Cash Me Ousside” girl from Dr. Phil, Danielle Bregoli, would be a top earner in MMA.

“I guarantee you if you get her some gloves and put her in the Octagon, she would be the highest selling pay-per-view fighter in the world,” Johnson said. “She’d probably do way more numbers than Ronda. Just because she brings drama and negativity to wherever she goes.”

Johnson, though, said he gets why Woodley would wonder about these things, why someone like Conor McGregor gets an incredible amount of promotion and Woodley can’t has a difficult time getting the UFC to promote him talking to under-privileged children or giving back to his community.

“As an athlete,” Johnson said, “you have to sit back and think like, ‘Why won’t they push my work? I’m an analyst, I’m a husband, I’m a father, I don’t do drugs. I never disrespected anybody on a big level. So why won’t they promote me, but they’ll promote this guy? … Do you think it’s because I’m black or is it because he’s white?’

“That’s where he’s coming from. I totally understand it, because as an athlete and as an African-American, you have to sit back and think about that.”

Johnson, 30, said Woodley and he are good friends and talk often, bouncing ideas off each other. Johnson was at UFC 209 earlier this month to watch Woodley defend his title against Stephen Thompson in Las Vegas.

Even before they were close, Johnson said he looked up to Woodley when he was competing in Strikeforce. Johnson said he named his son Tyren after Woodley.

“He’s a huge inspiration to me in my career, just the way he carries himself,” Johnson said. “He just says whatever he wants and I respect that. And you have to respect his opinion and how he feels about things.”

Sometimes, Woodley’s desire to be vocal gives Johnson pause, but “Mighty Mouse” also said he at times envies his friend and his willingness to speak out.

“I always ask him, ‘You sure you want to do that?’” Johnson said with a laugh. “He goes, ‘Yeah, I’m gonna do it. This is how I feel, that’s what I’m gonna say.’”

Source: mmafighting

Romero wants interim title fight with Silva: He’s the only big star in contention that I haven’t fought

After Michael Bisping opted to fight Georges St-Pierre next, Yoel Romero is now eyeing for an interim title fight with Anderson Silva. The general consensus of MMA fans is that Yoel Romero should be fighting Michael Bisping for the world middleweight title, instead of Georges St-Pierre. But from his end, Romero is now looking at other options.
During Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, the “Soldier of God” bared his intent to face former long-time 185-pound champion Anderson Silva next, possibly for the interim title.
“I don’t think it would be a bad idea, and I think would be something good for the fans and myself to ask for an interim title fight with Anderson Silva,” Romero said via his translator (transcription via MMA Fighting). “I think it would take away and clear any cobwebs that may still be around and allow me to start a legacy.”
With the uncertainty of Luke Rockhold’s return and Gegard Mousasi being booked to fight Chris Weidman at the upcoming UFC 210 card, Romero sees Silva as the only choice for him to fight next.
“If you look the top-five rankings, everyone is busy and the only ones that are not booked are Anderson and I. He already beat everyone, and if you look at the list he’s the only big star that’s in title contention and that I haven’t fought.”
Silva last fought at UFC 208 in February, where he broke his five-year winless drought via a controversial victory over Derek Brunson. Romero, meanwhile, handed Chris Weidman his second straight loss via a nasty flying knee knockout at UFC 205 last November.
Source: bloody

Morning Report: Frankie Edgar explains why he’s fighting Yair Rodriguez instead of Ricardo Lamas at UFC 211

Recently, former UFC lightweight champion and current No. 2 featherweight in the world, Frankie Edgar, has exchanged social media messages with the third-ranked Ricardo Lamas about a fight with each other. It was a matchup that had some support among the fans, in part because it would have created a natural challenger for the winner of the Jose Aldo vs. Max Holloway title unification bout taking place at UFC 212 in June. However, that fight is not to be. Last week, the UFC announced that Edgar would be taking on rising prospect and ninth-ranked featherweight Yair Rodriguez at UFC 211.

Edgar, who recently signed a new six-fight deal with the UFC, went on The Anik and Florian Podcast on Monday where he explained how the bout with Rodriguez came to be instead of the de facto title eliminator against Lamas.

“I don’t know. I wanted to fight May 13th. I know [Ricardo] Lamas reached out to me on Twitter a couple of times. I was cool with that fight but the UFC looked like they wanted to go in a different direction. They suggested Yair, and I’m pretty easy so I said, ‘Let’s do it. May 13th sounds pretty good to me.’”

Rodriguez is coming off demolishing UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn in January and has built a good amount of hype with his flashy, athletic style. He is viewed as one of the best young prospects in the game and many believe he has the potential to be a true star. And while Lamas is an established veteran and former title challenger, Edgar says that the hype behind Rodriguez makes this fight potentially even bigger.

“I don’t know [if it’s a bigger fight]. If it’s any indicator in the buzz I’m getting, I’m definitely getting a lot of buzz. This fight seems like a pretty big fight. People are interested in seeing Yair and testing him against someone like myself. So yeah, the buzz has been great with the media and my social network so maybe it is the bigger fight. To me it doesn’t matter. I’ve still got to show up on May 13th and get the job done.”

The bigger fight also comes with a downside; Edgar is risking a lot by taking a fight with Rodriguez. A win for Rodriguez builds his name even more but a win for Edgar doesn’t necessarily get him back to a title shot. Moreover, young prospects lose all the time but a loss for Edgar, still at the top of the division, may spell the end of his title aspirations. Edgar believes that the UFC is probably hoping for that, agreeing that this fight feels a bit like the UFC is setting him up to lose.

“A little bit. I’d be stupid not to see the picture they’re painting here a little bit. Yair’s kind of in a win-win situation I think. He beats me, that’s great for him, it’s good for the UFC to push a prospect. But if he loses, he wasn’t supposed to win, kind of situation. For me, a lot’s on the line.”

Edgar fights Rodriguez at UFC 211 on May 13th in Dallas, Texas.


MUST-READ STORIES

Rematches. Anderson Silva wants rematches with Nick Diaz and Michael Bisping.

Interim. Yoel Romero wants an interim title fight against Anderson Silva.

Needle mover. Tony Ferguson wants to fight Nate Diaz next.

Hope. Mauricio Rua says he still has title aspirations but knows he’s not next in line.

Bellator. Bellator signed Conor McGregor’s teammate, BJJ ace Dillon Danis.


MEDIA STEW

Monday Morning Analyst.

UFC 210 preview.

Always great to have Skip Bayless talk MMA.

TTTHS.

ACB puts all their fights online. Here’s Robert Whiteford smoking Nam Phan but there are tons of other fights to check out there.

Cody calling TJ a generic version of Cruz.


LISTEN UP

Brit Pack.

Jack Slack.

TFATK.


TWEETS

Lookin’ for a fight.

Timeline.

Aren’t you not a flyweight?

Legends division.

Cain update.

Cash her inside the octagon, only on FightPass.

Cody.

Thanks coach @sixgungibson for the Championship gift!!

A post shared by Cody Garbrandt (@cody_nolove) on Mar 13, 2017 at 12:15pm PDT

Heel Bisping.

Yoel knows.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Misha Cirkunov (13-2) vs. Volkan Oezdemir (13-1); UFC Fight Night: Stockholm, May 28.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2014: Pat Curran became the Bellator featherweight champion by submitting Daniel Straus at Bellator 112.

2015: Rafael dos Anjos became the UFC lightweight champion, winning a unanimous decision over Anthony Pettis at UFC 185. In the co-main event that evening, Joanna Jedrzejczyk stopped Carla Esparza to become the UFC strawweight championship.


FINAL THOUGHTS

That’s all folks. See y’all tomorrow.


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy them.

Source: mmafighting

Inside The Ultimate Fighter: On injuries and discipline, there are no rules

What happens when a fighter has an issue outside the TUF reality? Depends on Dana White, the UFC president and non-attendee at Noah Inhofer’s wedding. MMA is governed by the Unified Rules. The Ultimate Fighter is governed by Dana White.
The UFC president is consistent in some ways. He’s sympathetic to those who’ve been injured. He’s not sympathetic to people who quit in any sense he can define.
Trouble at home? Depends. Abdel Medjedoub got a trip home, an accommodation usually reserved for those who’ve had a death in the family, to talk to his fuming wife. Noah Inhofer couldn’t even get a phone call and chose to leave TUF and the UFC’s good graces forever.

Maybe not forever. UFC Fight Pass recently had a friendly “Where Are They Now?” chat with Inhofer, who has indeed lived happily ever after with the woman for whom he ditched reality TV and the UFC. His appearance on a UFC production might be the most surprising reconciliation of a shunned TUF contestant since Gabe Ruediger, who committed the mortal sin of missing weight, got the call to face Joe Lauzon and Paul Taylor.
So when it comes to discipline on The Ultimate Fighter, the UFC borrows from its long-discarded slogan: “There ARE no rules!”
But we have what lawyers would call precedent.
When it comes to weight cutting, White made his feelings known right away. He showed little sympathy for Bobby Southworth’s struggle in TUF 1. When Kenny Stevens failed to make weight for the first fight of TUF 2, angrily throwing things at the sauna door and shedding roughly three-quarters of the weight that he needed, White questioned the cast’s heart.
A few seasons later, White was even less sympathetic. Christian Fulgium stumbled as he tried to shed a few more pounds. “It’s Season 9!” White yelled. “If you don’t know what goes on by now …”
White made Fulgium admit that he quit, then kicked him out.
Ruediger already had a fight in the UFC — a knockout loss to TUF 2’s Melvin Guillard — before joining the TUF cast. But he didn’t impress teammates with his training or his weight-cutting efforts. He wound up asking coach B.J. Penn if he could take a colonic, a procedure to clean out his system. That led to a memorable scene at a place called “Healing Waters,” where an attractive technician gleefully told Ruediger she was “looking for a mudslide.” The team found the whole thing just another way to get attention. (It worked, right?)
When called to fight Corey Hill, Ruediger’s attempt to get to 156 went poorly. Teammates wavered between helping him and laughing at him. After his departure in an ambulance, the fighters made more jokes, recalling all the time he spent eating cake and snacking. Brian Geraghty had the best suggestion: a stint on Celebrity Fit Club.
White kicked him out. “I don’t know what you want to do with your life, but bro, you (bleep) blew it.”
Then in 2010, Lauzon was scheduled to fight Terry Etim in his hometown of Boston. Etim withdrew with an injury. The replacement: Gabe Ruediger.
“I was pretty shocked,” castmate Rob Emerson said. “But I know they kind of brought him so Joe Lauzon would look good. It was a perfect fight for Joe Lauzon.”
Ruediger made the most of his return to the UFC limelight, turning up a weigh-ins with a cake for Lauzon that read “Sorry for your loss.” Lauzon laughed last, quickly dispatching Ruediger with an armbar to the delight of the hometown crowd. But Ruediger got one more shot, losing to Paul Taylor, before leaving the UFC again.
Injuries will earn Dana White’s sympathy … if you can convince the coaches they’re real. Everyone from Matt Hughes to Tito Ortiz has fancied himself a doctor during the run of the show.
In TUF 2, Hughes also didn’t realize the extent of Tom Murphy’s MCL tear until well after the fact. In the early seasons, eliminated fighters left the house and gym, so Hughes didn’t see Murphy from his loss to Rashad Evans until the season wrapped up.
“I had surgery, so I was in a cast,” Murphy said. “When we had dinner the last night, Matt saw me on crutches and a cast and says, ‘Oh geez, you really were hurt.’ I said, ‘Yeah, Matt, I was hurt.’”
TUF 11 coach Tito Ortiz also turned out to be wrong about fighter Clayton McKinney’s shoulder, but in Ortiz’s defense, the doctors misdiagnosed the fighter. And out of a long explanation of what doctors thought was ailing McKinney, the only word Ortiz heard was “bruise.”
But White and the coaches are at least generally aware that punching, kicking, wrestling and even working out can cause injuries. (Or, in the case of TUF 4, staph infections can strike multiple cast members.) At the outset, the show had some internal debate about workout safety, as Randy Couture recounts in his book, Becoming the Natural:

Earlier, Dana and I had argued about the fighters wearing headgear. Dana wanted them all to wear it during the sparring.
“Headgear is for pussies,” I told Dana. “The guys can’t grapple and do MMA with big-ass headgear on.”
In the sparring tryouts, I yelled at Forrest to watch his intensity and told Liddell he needed to keep an eye on him. Sure enough, within five minutes, Forrest and Stephan collided and Stephan was rushed off the set to get stitches in his forehead. I was pissed that it happened when it could have been avoided. To make it worse, Dana said, “I told you so.”

Bonnar was able to continue. Nate Quarry, on the other hand, never got to fight on the show after suffering a freak ankle injury in training. Couture kept him around as an assistant coach, and Quarry had a long run in the UFC. Over the years, White has given plenty of second chances to injured fighters such as Kerry Schall, Chris Camozzi, Myles Jury and Roman Mitichyan, who may have ranted his way into a couple of Octagon appearances when he refused to accept his diagnosis of a broken elbow.
But with so much at stake through a brutal schedule of training and fighting, fighters are tempted to disclose as little as possible. Nam Phan found himself trying to hide several ailments:
“I’ve never fought four times in one month. That was tough. I hurt my hand. I tried to do therapy and tried to disguise it. I would take a bunch of tissue paper and roll it into a ball, and I kept squeezing it like I was bored. What I was really doing was exercising my hand. My shins, my gosh — my shins were freaking busted up. I had to ice them up every day.”
Phan stayed ready to fight. And that’s the surest way to stay in Dana White’s good graces. But even those who turn down an opportunity to get back in the competition — like TUF 3’s Kristian Rothaermel — may still get a shot down the road.
Even breaking the rules of the show doesn’t guarantee a lifetime ban from the UFC.
TUF 4’s Jeremy Jackson cleverly convinced a lifeguard at the local Y, where the cast took a field trip, to meet him by the house that evening. He managed to hop over the backyard wall and get out, but the camera caught him. White kicked him off the show but let him fight in the finale. (Jackson is currently serving 25 years to life after pleading guilty — against his attorney’s advice — to rape charges.)
White’s disciplinary ax swung harder in TUF 5. Marlon Sims, a good if not credible storyteller, got into what Cole Miller called “the most technical street fight I’ve ever seen” with Noah Thomas, a scrap that included some ground-and-pound on gravel and a slam on concrete. White told the cast how much he was striving to change the image of the UFC, and that he simply couldn’t have idiots fighting in the house. Sims was out. Thomas was out. And Allen Berube, who seemed a little too enthusiastic about the fight, was also out, leaving the rest of the house wondering how to finish up the dinner he was preparing. Still, Berube got a slot on the finale. Instead of fighting a castmate, though, he fought veteran Leonard Garcia, who won by rear naked choke in the first round. Berube fought a couple more times but turned his focus to his restaurant business.
Jesse Taylor was booted from the TUF 7 final after a drunken incident after the show wrapped in Vegas, but he got one shot against C.B. Dollaway in the UFC and is back on the cast of TUF 25. Junie Browning spent most of TUF 8 on escalating levels of probation, but he got a Fight of the Night bonus in the finale.
To keep alive any hope of reaching the UFC, the one thing TUF contestants must never, ever to do is quit.
Eli Joslin, who couldn’t handle the cameras in TUF 2, barely continued his MMA career. Inhofer kept fighting after leaving TUF 3 to be with his girlfriend (now his wife), but he wasn’t holding his breath for a UFC call. Neither were Joe Scarola and Keon Caldwell.
Scarola was a close friend and student of TUF 6 coach Matt Serra, but Serra fretted about his mental state before his unimpressive performance against Mac Danzig. Then Scarola didn’t show up for practice. And called Serra, pleading to call his girlfriend. Serra warned him that he’ll lose his job teaching at Serra’s schools if he left.
On the show, the Scarola saga lasted three episodes. The real timeline: Scarola lost to Danzig on June 11. UFC 72 took place June 16. Then Dana White returned and went straight to the house to try to convince Scarola to stay, but to no avail. Serra cut ties with the man who had been best man at his wedding. Scarola started teaching elsewhere.
After that, the show went several seasons without seeing fighters walk away. The streak ended in the unlucky 13th season.
Keon Caldwell was the last draft pick, and he struggled right away to keep up with coach Junior dos Santos’ training sessions. He said he needed to throw up, which the English-impaired dos Santos didn’t understand until Caldwell made a universal motion for “You don’t want to be standing in front of me right now unless you like cleaning vomit off your clothes.”
Caldwell also missed his 6-year-old daughter. Dana White and dos Santos convinced him to stick it out a little longer, but the drama didn’t drag out much longer. Caldwell went home, leaving early enough in the season for the producers to bring in alternate Justin Edwards to make the most of the opportunity.
Missing family is tough for everyone. Fighters may get phone calls or video if a child is born during the show (TUF 4’s Jorge Rivera, TUF 11’s Kyacey Uscola), but they’re not going to see their young ones otherwise. Even a hard-fighting and hard-partying guy like Jesse Taylor fretted over missing his 3-year-old son.
Matt Mitrione had it even worse: “My baby son was two months old when I left. Brutal.”
So the fighters get no news during their isolation aside from birth or death.
And a letter from Noah Inhofer’s girlfriend.
Inhofer always looked like an odd fit. With his glasses, he looked like soccer goalkeeper Kasey Keller. He was teased by housemates who hid and then stabbed — yes, stabbed — a basketball Tito Ortiz had given him for an offbeat training exercise.
But Inhofer had the same reasons as anyone else for trying out for the show:
“Because I wanted to fight dudes, pretty much. I was fighting them anyway in shows all over the place. I thought it was exciting. I’m pretty much an adrenaline junkie, so whether I’m on a dirt bike or whether I’m getting locked in a cage with somebody, it feels the same to me.”
Opposing coach Ken Shamrock thought Inhofer would be no match for Jesse Forbes, Shamrock’s top draft pick, in the season’s second fight. Forbes himself was confident to the point of overconfidence. But after Forbes got an early takedown, Inhofer worked for guard and calmly locked in an armbar.
Inhofer insists the result was no surprise to himself or others in the house. “I didn’t view it as a surprise, and I didn’t think anybody else did. Maybe Mr. Shamrock.”
The win changed the balance of the season, as Tito Ortiz got the hammer (the right to pick the next fight) and used it to bludgeon Shamrock the rest of the way.
Inhofer wasn’t there to see it.
Thanks to a mysterious letter that appeared in the house, Inhofer learned that his girlfriend had apparently seen some damaging (and false) information online. He said someone was trying to sabotage his relationship, and he wanted to call his girlfriend, thinking he could set things straight.
White said he’d let Inhofer do whatever he needed if someone was sick. But not for a confused girlfriend. “Screw your head on,” White said, or fly home today. Inhofer chose the latter.
“I hope they get married, live together and have 19 kids,” White said upon Inhofer’s departure.
Close. They got married, and the Fight Pass “Where Are They Now?” feature showed the happy couple living in Hawaii.

Inhofer has no regrets, but when I chatted with him a few years ago (well before the Fight Pass feature), he raised a few questions.
The big question: How and why did Inhofer get the letter?
He thinks the producers knew exactly what they were going to get.
“It’s TV,” Inhofer said. “First and foremost, what people gotta realize — it’s there for entertainment. Fighting is a part of that, but also the TV show and all the drama that goes with that. I knew that, everybody knew that signing up for it. If they didn’t, they were naive.”
Here’s how Inhofer describes it:

They say, OK, you’ll have no contact with the outside, no phone calls, no mail, no nothing. That’s a rule they set in place to protect themselves, not protect us. So *I* get handed a letter, which was against their policy.
So they got that letter from my girlfriend at the time, who is now my beautiful wife. There were some family issues going on. I asked for a phone call.
They got the letter, and they read it and knew I would freaking get crazy over it. So in my opinion, they got exactly what they wanted. All I wanted was a phone call. I just wanted to call her. I wanted to talk to her, wanted to let her know that I was thinking about her. She would never have asked me to leave the show. That’s not even … all that shit on the Internet and whatever. She thought that I would get that letter after the show got over.

Without a phone call, Inhofer had no doubts about his decision to leave.

I grew up in a small town, I grew up in a great family, and we take care of each other. …
They probably didn’t think I had enough balls to freaking jet. My family’s No. 1 — they supported me through everything. They supported me getting on the show, they supported me with my decision. …
I sacrificed something that I dreamed of doing to take care of my family and take care of my girlfriend. That’s an honor. People don’t usually get a chance to do that.

White hasn’t expressed much sympathy for Inhofer. But Inhofer also lost a lot of respect for White that day.
“Dana wasn’t going to allow me a freaking phone call. Sitting there telling me, ‘Oh, you’re going to have so many more girlfriends, you’re going to be rich, you’re going to be famous, you’re going to get so much pussy.’ That talk to me is just disrespectful and stupid. If I freaking wanted to be a millionaire, I would’ve gone to school to freaking do something other than freaking trying to fight. After I had that conversation with him, I was like ‘Why do I even want to work for these people?’”
Going out and getting another girlfriend wasn’t an option Inhofer cared to hear. He and his girlfriend hadn’t been dating for that long, but he knew the night he met her that he wanted to marry her. And he did.
He says he sent White an invitation but heard nothing back.
Inhofer doesn’t regret doing the show: “Oh yeah, it was awesome. I enjoyed the whole experience, even with leaving. Life drags you, pushes you, pulls you in all these directions to learn what you’re supposed to learn. I take all that in. I try to learn from everything. I loved every bit of it. …
“There was no reason I should’ve made it on the show. I was training in my damn basement. I never had a coach, nothing until I got to The Ultimate Fighter. So going from hitting a heavy bag in my basement to training with Tito Ortiz, that was a transition that I made. Life’s a trip, man. Might as well have some fun.”
A quick note on quotes: When quotes are taken from TUF broadcasts, books or other sources, they are attributed as such. Unattributed quotes are taken from first-hand interviews for the book Inside The Ultimate Fighter, which was never published. See the intro to this series to see what happened to that book.
Next week: About those fights …

Source: bloody