Sage Northcutt vs. John Makdessi scratched from UFC 214 due to injury

A planned lightweight bout between Sage Northcutt and John Makdessi has been scratched from the card of UFC 214. The UFC announced the news Friday, citing injuries suffered by both fighters ahead of the July 29 event.

Northcutt (8-2) was hoping to rebound from a second-round submission loss he suffered at the hands of Mickey Gall in Dec. 2016. The 21-year-old prospect has dropped two of his last three contests after kicking off his UFC career with back-to-back stoppage wins.

Makdessi (14-6), likewise, was looking to right his ship after losing four of his last six fights. In his most recent outing, the 32-year-old Canadian suffered a grisly knockout loss against Lando Vannata, falling victim to a spinning wheel kick less than two minutes into the opening round at UFC 206.

With Northcutt vs. Makdessi cancelled, UFC 214 will proceed as a 12-fight card.

UFC 214 takes place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. An updated UFC 214 fight card can be seen below.

Main Card
Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones
Tyron Woodley vs. Demian Maia
Cris Cyborg vs. Tonya Evinger
Robbie Lawler vs. Donald Cerrone
Jimi Manuwa vs. Volkan Oezdemir

Preliminary Card
Ricardo Lamas vs. Jason Knight
Aljamain Sterling vs. Renan Barao
Brian Ortega vs. Renato Moicano
Andre Fili vs. TBD
Eric Shelton vs. Jarred Brooks
Kailin Curran vs. Alexandra Albu
Josh Burkman vs. Drew Dober
Dimitri Smoliakov vs. Adam Wieczorek

Source: mmafighting

Conor McGregor rebounds on tour’s final day: ‘I am boxing’

What a difference about 20 hours can make.

Thursday marked the low point of the Mayweather vs. McGregor World Tour for UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. The UFC lightweight champion made a series of racially tinged comments at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in a widely criticized appearance.

On Friday, though, McGregor was back in his element and back on his game. The tour promoting his Aug. 26 boxing match with undefeated boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr. concluded in London.

The sold-out crowd at Wembley Arena included an estimated 5,000 who traveled to England to witness the event, and McGregor, on his 29th birthday, took control of the arena.

“I’m dancing around my boxing ring,” McGregor said while walking around the makeshift ring which served as a stage. “This is my boxing ring. I am boxing.”

McGregor worked the ring during his turn with the microphone, picking apart Mayweather’s entourage one by one. The Irishman ridiculed Mayweather for wearing what appeared to be lifts in his sneakers the previous day. He again referred to Showtime Sports vice-president Stephen Espinonza, a target of his wrath all week, as a “weasel.” He pointed to Mayweather’s bodyguards outside the ring and called them “juicehead monkeys.” McGregor did express admiration for Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe, but then cracked on his chosen attire.

McGregor also recalled the last time he fought in London, which was on a Cage Warriors card in Feb. 2012. He knocked out Steve O’Keefe in the opening round of their bout.

“Four years ago, I fought in London at a place called the HMV Forum, in front of about five hundred people. Four years ago,” he said. “Now here I am six weeks out, about to quadruple my net worth with half a fight. I’m in shock every single day I wake up. Half a fight, I get to quarduple my net worth for half a f*cking fight. Sign me up.”

McGregor turned his attention to fight night before relinquishing the stage to Mayweather, promising to knock Mayweather out in Las Vegas.

“Let’s get it straight: The bulls*it is now over,” McGregor said. “Six weeks, I’m going to sleep this fellow. And when I sleep him, I’m going to bounce his head off the canvas as well.”

Source: mmafighting

Floyd Mayweather hurls homophobic slur at Conor McGregor at London press conference

The Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor world tour didn’t get any better at its final stop.

Following controversial racial remarks made by Conor McGregor at Thursday’s press conference in Brooklyn, N.Y., things more contentious Friday afternoon at the fourth leg of the Mayweather vs. McGregor world tour, which took place at the SSE Arena in London. But this time, the controversy came from Mayweather, not McGregor.

During his speech at the press conference, the undefeated former boxing world champion hurled a homophobic slur at the Irishman.

“Yeah, we’re going to talk about this p*ssy,” Mayweather said. “You punk, you f****t, you ho.”

The press conference in London marked the end of the Mayweather vs. McGregor world tour. A boxing match between the two combat sports superstars is set to take place Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.

Source: mmafighting

Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather get the ‘Bad Lip Reading’ treatment

What happens when two fighters talk a lot of smack face to face with their mics cut? They set themselves up for some epic Bad Lip Reading. After the Brooklyn press conference it almost seems pointless to parody what Mayweather and McGregor are doing on stage, but then again…
The folks that brought you countless videos of NFL players shouting nonsense at one another, along with a smattering of political debates, Star Wars re-dubs, and pop culture takedowns have turned their sights on the combat sports world. Mayweather vs. McGregor has got the Bad Lip Reading treatment.
Using footage from the MayMac World Tour stop in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the BLR crew has taken some prime footage of McGregor and Mayweather jawing at one another to turn into 2 minutes of hilarious video.
In the mean time, Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor are headed off to London, England for the final stage of the tour, before they get back to training for their boxing spectacle. The actual Mayweather vs. McGregor event itself takes place on August 26th in Las Vegas, Nevada. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and updates along the way.

Source: bloody

Pros react to Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor world tour press conference in London

The Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor world tour came to a merciful end Friday in London, its four-day, three-country spectacle culminating in a press conference right in the heart of McGregor land. Now, the theatrics are over and the lead-up begins in earnest until Aug. 26, when Mayweather and McGregor engage in a 12-round boxing match that could very well end up being the highest-selling fight of all-time.

Check out how the pros reacted to the fourth and final day of the Mayweather-McGregor world tour below.

Source: mmafighting

HBO’s Real Sports to feature Bloody Elbow’s Karim Zidan in Kadyrov doc

The long running sports documentary series is taking inspiration from Bloody Elbow to tackle Ramzan Kadyrov’s combat sports propaganda. This coming Tuesday, July 18th, HBO will feature one of Bloody Elbow’s own. Associate Editor Karim Zidan and his work are the backdrop for an in-depth look at Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov and his use of combat sports as national propaganda.
Taking their inspiration from Zidan’s work, this episode of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel will examine Kadyrov’s heavy investment in combat sports and how that plays a role in his leadership of Chechnya. Topics include his unsettling relationship to UFC talents like Fabricio Werdum and Magomed Bibulatov, allegations of torture, ethnic conflicts in the Caucasus, and reports of purges of gay men living in the country.
The piece promises to reveal the kind of stories that Zidan has been bringing to Bloody Elbow to a much wider audience. So, be sure to tune in on July 18th, and in the meantime revisit some of Karim’s articles.

Source: bloody

Glory 43 New York preview, results, and discussion

Glory 43 is live in New York today. Here’s what you can expect, along with live fight night results. Tonight, Friday July 14 is the latest from Glory kickboxing, as Glory returns to New York for Glory 43.
Glory 43 New York starts at 7:30 p.m ET with the Superfight Series on Fight Pass, and is followed by the Glory 43 main card at 10:00 p.m. ET on ESPN3 (a one hour tape delayed showing will air on ESPN2 starting at 11:00 p.m.).
Headlining Glory 43 is a Heavyweight fight that sees Benjamin Adegbuyi take on Guto Inocente. In recent years, Adegbuyi has established himself as the clear #2 Heavyweight in the world, with his only losses since 2012 coming against Heavyweight king Rico Verhoeven. Inocente is a UFC and Strikeforce veteran who made a full time transition to kickboxing in 2015 and has great success, going 6-1 in that time and defeating veteran Hesdy Gerges. He comes in off a loss to Jamal Ben Saddik.
The tournament here is in the Featherweight division, and hopefully will lead to a Giga Chikadze vs. Kevin VanNostrand final. Those two met at Glory 27 Chicago last year in an excellent fight, with Chikadze taking the win – a rematch would be a coin toss.
On the Superfight Series, the main event will crown an Interim Light Heavyweight champion while champ Artem Vakhitov is out injured. Battling for the belt will be former champion Saulo Cavalari and Pavel Zhuravlev. Zhuravlev is a decorated veteran with wins over Adegbuyi, Gokhan Saki, and, in 2012, Saulo Cavalari. He comes in off a Glory 35 win, while Cavalari has not fought since his loss to Vakhitov in February.
Get the full fight card for Glory 43 New York below, then join us right here tonight for live fight night coverage
MAIN CARD10:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3
Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Guto InocenteFeatherweight Tournament FinalsJosh Jauncey vs. Elvis GashiSemifinal: Kevin VanNostrand vs. Mo AbdurahmanSemifinal: Giga Chikadze vs. Aleksei Ulianov
SUPERFIGHT SERIES7:30 p.m. ET, Fight Pass
Interim Light Heavyweight Title: Saulo Cavalari vs. Pavel ZhuravlevArthur Sorsor vs. Bailey SugdenAriel Sepulveda vs. Joe TaylorAnissa Meksen vs. Jady MenezesItay Gershon vs. Rafal Dudek Terrence Hill vs. Chenchen Li
Source: bloody

Diggin’ Deep on UFC Glasgow: Nelson vs. Ponzinibbio – Main card preview

Discover the inner workings of the main card of UFC Glasgow, including a highly anticipated battle between strikers Paul Felder and Scotland’s own Stevie Ray. The first half of UFC Glasgow highlights prospects looking to make a name for themselves. Jack Marshman, Khalil Rountree, and Justin Willis have yet to establish themselves as proven UFC talents, but are also early enough in their careers that we don’t know just how far they can go. Though the narratives of their careers will be far from written after the event, we’ll have a much better idea of where they’ll be going. Then there is Stevie Ray and Paul Felder, the last contest before the main and co-main event. I could care less what the stakes are between these two, I’m just excited to see the strikers throw down.
The main card begins on FS1 at 3:00 PM ET/12:00 PM PT on Sunday.
Stevie Ray (21-6) vs. Paul Felder (13-3), Lightweight
One of the more anticipated contests on the card, Ray and Felder are both hard-nosed strikers who don’t go down easily. Felder in particular has garnered a lot of attention from fans thanks to his preference for flashy strikes, spinning techniques being a favorite of his. He endured a rough stretch where he dropped three of five in part to his reliance on the glitzy techniques, but got back to basics in his last contest with Alessandro Ricci and put together the most complete performance of his UFC career. Felder could still stand to brush up his footwork or threaten with the occasional takedown, but he shouldn’t be so far into his career that he is no longer improving.
Ray displayed all sorts of heart in his last contest, coming back from being brutalized by Joe Lauzon in the opening round only to storm back and earn a hard-fought decision. Discipline was once an issue for the Scotsman. Not anymore. Ray has stuck to his strategy in his last couple of contests despite being given reason to stray. He also survived a barrage of submission attempts from Lauzon, demonstrating great strides in his submission defense, a major weakness early in his career. Now the rugged counterpuncher needs to fix his takedown defense as Lauzon got Ray to the ground even when Lauzon had depleted his gas tank.
It isn’t hard to see why this fight is a favorite for FOTN. Given the only time either of these two have been stopped from strikes was a doctor stoppage thanks to a cut, I fully expect this one to go the distance. Felder has more power while Ray has a far more established grappling record. What’s pushing me in Felder’s direction is his superior takedown defense and experience against a higher level of competition. Neither uses their wrestling as anything more than an attempt to mix things up, but that could be all the difference in the world against similarly skilled fighters. Felder via decision
Jack Marshman (21-6) vs. Ryan Janes (9-2), Middleweight
Two fights into his UFC career and Marshman is already gaining a bit of a cult following. A brawler by nature, no one loves to trudge into the pocket and throw leather more than the Welshman. He puts together slick boxing combinations, mixing them up to the head and body effectively with occasional KO power. Marshman’s chin isn’t iron, but it usually takes quite a bit to put him down. Marshman’s takedown defense has been porous thus far in the UFC, but he knows how to grapple a bit and is capable of snagging a choke in the midst of a scramble.
Speaking of scrambles, initiating one might be Janes’ best path to victory. Having picked up most of his wins by way of submission, Janes is more than competent on the ground. Janes’ jab is outstanding too, assisted by his 76″ reach. However, he tends to leave his chin out to be tagged regularly, something Marshman will no doubt try to exploit. Fortunately for Janes, he’s extremely durable. Another weakness of Janes is his takedown defense, though that may not be an issue as Marshman has yet to even go for a takedown attempt in his UFC run.
I’m always down to see a Marshman fight. He doesn’t know how to be in a boring contest and Janes will be happy to oblige. Janes has never been KO’d, but he has also fought a low-level of competition on the regional scene. Considering how easy Janes is to hit, I see Marshman finding the Canadian’s chin sooner or later. Expect Janes to land his fair share of damage up to that point. Marshman via TKO, RD2
Khalil Rountree (5-2) vs. Paul Craig (9-1), Light Heavyweight
As the sport of MMA continues to evolve, we get less of the striker vs. grappler contests that used to be a staple of the sport. In the modern version of MMA, this is about as close as we’re going to get to the formerly beloved format.
Rountree received quite a bit of public exposure thanks to his tenure on TUF 23, losing to Andrew Sanchez in the final due to his lack of wrestling and grappling. There are signs Rountree has improved in those areas as he stuffed a couple of Daniel Jolly takedowns in his last contest, though no one will really consider Jolly to be a quality victory. Rountree’s standup is exceptionally dangerous, winging kicks at unbelievable velocity to all levels. His punching power is often overlooked due to his kicking prowess, but they’re just as dangerous if not quite as flashy.
A long and lanky 205er at 6’3″ with a 76″ reach, Craig understands how to use his jab offensively. The problem is that he doesn’t know how to effectively keep his opponent from getting inside his range. Most often he is perfectly fine with that, opting to clinch up or drag the fight to the ground in whatever way he can. Craig isn’t a good wrestler, relying on his dangerous guard most of the time to find the submission. Though quite savvy, he’s been willing to give up position to get the sub, a tactic that doesn’t work nearly as well in the UFC as it does on the regional level.
The avenue to victory is very clear for both contestants. Rountree’s standup is exceptional, but this isn’t kickboxing. This is MMA and he still has a long way to go to keep the fight where he wants. Craig’s tactics are sure to get him into trouble if he works his way up the UFC ladder, though I think they’ll work against an unpolished grappler like Rountree…provided Craig can get the fight to the ground. I think he finds a way to do that. Craig via submission, RD1
James Mulheron (11-1) vs. Justin Willis (4-1), Heavyweight
Mulheron steps in for an injured Mark Godbeer to face raw ATT product Willis. Though Mulheron has established himself as one of the top big men in the UK, few have been clamoring to see how he performs on the big stage. While part of that is due to his workmanlike style that is all substance and no style, it’s largely due to his lack of physical tools. Sporting a short frame with a spare tire in his midsection, Mulheron isn’t much of an athlete. He doesn’t have a lot of power in his fists either, relying on a steady stream of strikes to overwhelm the opposition. His jab is his primary weapon, throwing it to all levels and mixing in a high volume of leg kicks too.
Willis is a bit of a mystery. There isn’t a lot of footage on the inexperienced big man, but what is available indicates that he has far more speed and quickness than his monstrous size would indicate. Needing to cut weight to make the 266-pound heavyweight limit, Willis has seemingly taken to the multiple wrestling sessions with Cain Velasquez and Daniel Cormier, preferring to get the fight to the ground as soon as possible. Though he telegraphs his shots, he’s so strong it usually doesn’t matter. Well…it hasn’t on the regional scene at least. Willis’ standup is still very much a question too, though he showed a lot of power in his KO of Juliano Coutinho in WSOF.
I haven’t seen a lot of footage of Willis simply because there isn’t much out there. What I have seen of Mulheron doesn’t impress me. Sure, Mulheron is a smart fighter, which makes him a perfect test to see where the untested prospect is at in his development. But more than what I’ve seen out of Willis, it’s what I haven’t seen out of Mulheron that has me favoring Willis. Willis via KO, RD2
Source: bloody

Following 13-second KO win in debut, jiu-jitsu star Rafael Lovato fully believes he can win Bellator title

One of the few non-Brazilians to win a jiu-jitsu world championship as a black belt, Rafael Lovato shocked the MMA world in his Bellator debut when he knocked out his opponent out in a mere 13 seconds. Back to the cage four months later, he aims to impress once again.

The decorated grappler will meet Mike Rhodes in the preliminary portion of Friday’s Bellator 181 in Thackerville, and sees the UFC veteran as his toughest opponent so far in MMA as he enters his sixth MMA bout.

“He has a lot of experience, comes from a really great camp,” Lovato told MMA Fighting. “He’s very well-rounded, great stand-up, he’s won fights by knockout and submission, so I have a lot of respect for him.

“He’s on a roll right now, four wins since his loss in the UFC, so he’s obviously focused and trying to come back 100 percent and make his mark. He’s in a big show now with Bellator. I believe I have a lot of experience on my own way. This is going to be a very skillful fight and hopefully the fight of the night.”

Although Lovato starched his last opponent with a high kick in seconds, he doesn’t expect his opponents to see him with different eyes.

“Regardless of who (my opponents) are, I believe that I’m gone have the advantage on the ground, unless some of the current best jiu-jitsu guys happen to go into MMA,” he said. “I just don’t think there’s anybody that’s gonna have my experience on the ground.

“I wanna have a great clean performance. I want to keep the fight where I’m best at all time. (If) I have the opportunity to put him on the floor, I plan on capitalizing all my years in jiu-jitsu and hopefully get the finish. But I’m ready for whatever the fight can bring.”

Lovato knows that his pure grappling skills will always superior than his opponents, and loves the challenge of balancing his training to compete in a different sport after devoting decades of his life to one martial art only.

“There’s so many areas you have to continue to get better at with jiu-jitsu, wrestling, muay thai, and you have strength and conditioning, you have your sparring days, there’s a lot to manage and balance,” Lovato said. “I put a lot of focus on the muay thai because it’s the newest piece of the puzzle for me, but I don’t shy away from continually training my jiu-jitsu and bring in new positions and new ways to attack and blend my MMA game with my jiu-jitsu game.

“There’s definitely some areas of the game right now on the ground that I feel I’ve improved over this camp, so my jiu-jitsu is still getting better. I still put the gi on and train in the gi. I wanna keep my jiu-jitsu better, but at the same time, I hope my biggest growth is in the areas I’m not world class at.”

“Now it’s not just a submission threat, but it’s also the ground and pound threat,” he continued. “I can add a whole other treats to my jiu-jitsu game. There’s this other level that helps you advance fast because when you’re getting hit you make mistakes and open space for submissions or for a better positioning.”

Lovato showed his evolution in the stand-up area in his last fight, and wouldn’t change the recipe ahead of his second Bellator bout.

Before flying to Oklahoma for Bellator 181, Lovato spent some time at the Evolucao Thai gym in Brazil, with coaches Andre Dida and Mauricio Veio and MMA fighters Wanderlei Silva, Francisco Trinaldo and Rafael Carvalho, to work on his muay thai skills.

“I put myself right in the fire,” he said. “For every fight, I go to Curitiba, Brazil. I’ve been there six times now, and always do big portion of my training there, training with some of the best stand-up fighters in MMA. Pretty much everybody there has what I don’t, the opposite of me. I’m a ground specialist and they are muay thai specialists.

“As you know, they are specialized in ‘porrada’ (‘beating’, in Portuguese), a whole other style [laughs]. Very, very intense, coming from the Chute Boxe lineage, but it’s such a science. And their approach to the technique and how they see the game just falls right in how I see jiu-jitsu. I feel I’m learning and evolving very fast.”

With a 5-0 MMA record that includes winning and defending the Legacy FC middleweight championship in 2016, the 34-year-old black belt knows he has no time to waste in the sport.

He started it as a challenge, and now just wants to collect belts.

“Just like anything else that I’ve ever done, I’m here to challenge myself against the best, and I want to show that I am the best,” Lovato said. “Originally, it started of me fighting MMA to experience and just know what it’s like and know that I did it. Since then, I’ve loved it more and more. It’s not that I love fighting somebody, beating someone up, but the learning and experience of putting everything together and seeing who I am as a martial artist.

“It’s so gratifying, and I have no intention to stop anytime soon. Once I got that Legacy title, it’s like ‘now let’s go to the next level.’ Now, that I’m in Bellator I have the same goal. I want to become the champion. I full believe that I have all the potential to do so.”

Source: mmafighting

With Mousasi gone, Thiago Santos now wants Boetsch or Brunson next

Thiago Santos has set his sights on two fellow middleweights following his win at UFC 213. Fresh off a second-round TKO win over Gerald Meerschaert, Brazilian striker Thiago Santos felt like a rematch with Gegard Mousasi would be nice next logical step for him. However, now that Mousasi has closed a deal with Bellator, Santos was forced to change his mind. As he told Portal do Vale Tudo, he would like to take on veterans Tim Boetsch or Derek Brunson.
“Even though Mousasi went to Bellator, I already knew I wasn’t going to fight him next. I understand his decision, he did what he though was best for him financially. Now we’ll just have to wait for the UFC to decide my future. There’s plenty of guys that could give me a good fight, like Tim Boetsch, Derek Brunson and many others. Actually, I’ll fight whoever they put in front of me. I don’t pick my opponents.”
Thiago Santos defeated Gerald Meerschaert at UFC 213, but before that he scored a highlight reel spinning heel kick KO when he faced Jack Marshman in February. His last loss was a submission via guillotine choke to Eric Spicely, in September 2016.
Source: bloody