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UFC on FOX 26 results: Glover Teixeira pounds out Misha Cirkunov in first

In a key 205-pound contest, Glover Teixeira (27-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) kept his name in the title mix with a first-round stoppage of Misha Cirkunov (13-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC).

The light heavyweight bout opened up the main card of today’s UFC on FOX 26 event at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It aired on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Both men were patient to start, respectful of each other’s power. Cirkunov found some early success with kicks to the body, but Teixeira seemed content to stay on the outside and look for his opportunity to counter. As Cirkunov turned up the pressure on the feet, Teixeira countered with a takedown, and it paid immediate dividends.

Teixeira initially looked for a rear-naked choke, but Cirkunov was able to defend well on the first effort. Teixeira decided not to waste effort burning out his arms and alertly slipped over to mount. Cirkunov turned again, exposing his back, but Teixeira simply flattened him out and punched away until referee Dan Miragliotta had seen enough at the 2:45 mark of the opening round.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on FOX 26 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Mike Bohn and Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Winnipeg.)


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

German MMA fighter's flying-punch KO on grounded opponent is absolutely insane

Timing, power and somewhat of a disregard for the laws of gravity.

That’s what it apparently took for German MMA fighter Soufian Haj Haddou to score a highlight reel knockout of Marcel Jedidi at GMC 13 in Düsseldorf, Germany on Saturday night.

As highlighted in a tweet from @ibdbMMA, the end came with Jedidi on his back, looking like he might be in need of a rest as Haddou stood over him.

Perfect KO !!! Souifan Haj Haddou brutally knocks out Marcel Jedidi at #GMC13 !! #GerMMAny pic.twitter.com/g8PnY9IpQB

— ibdbMMA (@ibdbmma) December 16, 2017

That’s when Haddou launched himself in the air, rotating around Jedidi’s legs while at the same time diving down with his right hand to score the knockout as he landed. Haddou added an extra hammerfist after that, but by then the matter was already decided.

The real question is, what do you call a move like that? In terms of the physics involved, it’s similar to a Superman punch.

But the way Haddou pulled it off adds a layer of difficulty, since it’s not just a matter of going up but also around, changing your position in mid-air and still being precise enough to land the punch on target.

In other words, it’s really hard. And impressive.

But it also makes for a great highlight that almost can’t help but get a fighter noticed.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.


Filed under: Blue Corner, News, UFC

Julian Marquez challenges Tyron Woodley to 'beard-off,' casually asks for UFC title shot after debut

Julian Marquez choked out Darren Stewart, challenged UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley to a best beard competition, then threw his hat in the ring for the UFC middleweight title – all in the span of just a few minutes.

In other words, it was a busy, though productive Saturday night at UFC on FOX 26 for “The Cuban Missile Crisis,” who announced his presence with authority in his UFC debut.

The fight itself was memorable enough. After slugging it out in a wild brawl with Stewart (7-3 MMA, 0-3 UFC) in the first round, Marquez (7-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) caught him in a guillotine choke midway through the second, forcing Stewart to tap just before he went to sleep.

Julian Marquez makes Darren Stewart taps via guillotine after a crazy brawl! #UFCWinnipeg https://t.co/etvKUOy1Ug

— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) December 17, 2017

Once he got his chance on the mic, though, that’s when Marquez really went out of his way to make an impression. Focusing his attention on Woodley (and mistakenly calling him “Tyrone”), Marquez admitted to being impressed with the champ’s beard when they spoke before the fight.

“You came into my locker room, and I’m challenging you to the best beard,” Marquez said. “I need to know right now. Start a poll. Who has the better beard, me or Tyrone (sic)? Because that thing was beautiful. I’m very impressed, and I challenge you to a beard-off.”

Once the conversation got a little more serious, Marquez announced his desire to fight at upcoming events in either St. Louis or London.

As for who he’d fight in either of those places, Marquez casually put himself into the title hunt after all of one fight in the UFC, and somehow he did so while sounding like he was calling next on a video game console.

“I’ll take the winner of (Robert) Whittaker and (Luke) Rockhold,” Marquez said. “I don’t care. I’m going for gold in this. I don’t care how bad I get hurt. I don’t care what happens to me, but I’m still going for the gold at the end of the day.”

Now that’s a callout – sort of.

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Eventssection of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Julian Marquez after defeating Darren Stewart during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Julian Marquez fights Darren Stewart during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Julian Marquez fights Darren Stewart during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Julian Marquez fights Darren Stewart during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Julian Marquez fights Darren Stewart during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Julian Marquez fights Darren Stewart during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Julian Marquez fights Darren Stewart during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Julian Marquez fights Darren Stewart during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Julian Marquez after defeating Darren Stewart during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Julian Marquez after defeating Darren Stewart during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Julian Marquez after defeating Darren Stewart during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Julian Marquez after defeating Darren Stewart during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Julian Marquez defeats Darren Stewart during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Julian Marquez after defeating Darren Stewart during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Julian Marquez after defeating Darren Stewart during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/ubyDx7wwbkfFu7yFVCBv5K/291460", customAnalytics: true, title: "Marquez def. Stewart", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, News, UFC

UFC on FOX 26 results: Jan Blachowicz jabs his way past Jared Cannonier

In a battle of UFC-ranked light heavyweights Jan Blachowicz (21-7 MMA, 4-4 UFC) was simply the sharper man, riding a crisp jab to a unanimous decision over Jared Cannonier (10-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC).

The light heavyweight bout closed out the preliminary card of today’s UFC on FOX 26 event at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It aired on FS1 following an additional prelim on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on FOX.

Both men were sharp to start, with Cannonier looking to move in and out of range, but Blachowicz quick and accurate with sharp counters. Blachowicz’s jab was crisp in the early going, and Cannonier struggled to work past it. Cannonier moved well, but it was Blachowicz who was able to find his range first, building combinations behind the jab.

Blachowicz stuck with the jab in the second, also adding in more low kicks, as well. Cannonier landed several solid low kicks in response, even as he struggled to land much of anything with his hands. Blachowicz did get a nice takedown in the middle stages of the round, but Cannonier was back to his feet in quick fashion. A Blachowicz combination dropped Cannonier, but he again was able to quickly work back to his feet, where he actually poked his opponent’s left eye to force a brief timeout. On the restart, Blachowicz again flashed crisp striking before scoring a late takedown and ending the round on top.

Cannonier needed a big third round and his aggression reflected that reality. Cannonier finally started to find a home for his punches, and he appeared to have plenty of energy in the tank. Still, Blachowicz kept himself safe on the feet and eventually pushed inside and brought the fight to the floor, where he would remain in a dominant position until the final bell, earning a decision win, 29-28 on all three cards.

“Things went very well for me tonight,” Blachowicz said after the win. “I was able to land a lot more strikes and did a lot more damage. That’s because I tried to push him into fighting my style. There are things that I would’ve liked to do better. I should’ve thrown more right hands, and I probably would’ve finished the fight, but he’s a very dangerous fighter with a lot of power so you have to be careful. Fighting someone like him, everything can change in one punch.

“I am going to go home and spend the holidays with my family, then I want to fight on the London card. I heard that Michael Bisping wants to retire in London, so maybe he will want to do it at light heavyweight against me.”

Blachowicz now boasts a two-fight winning streak, while Cannonier falls to 1-2 in his past three fights.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on FOX 26 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Mike Bohn and Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Winnipeg.)


Filed under: News, UFC

UFC on FOX 26 results: Julian Marquez impresses in UFC debut, choking out Darren Stewart

After a thrilling win in his Dana White’s Contender Series audition, Julian Marquez (7-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) impressed again in his UFC debut, downing Darren Stewart (7-3 MMA, 0-3 UFC) in memorable fashion.

The middleweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC on FOX 26 event at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It aired on FS1 following an additional prelim on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on FOX.

The action started quickly, with Marquez looking to press inside, but Stewart countered well and briefly held top position. Marquez worked quickly back to his feet, only to be brought again to the floor as Stewart elected to focus on the grappling game in the early going. Marquez repeatedly showed an excellent ability to return to his feet, but Stewart kept the pressure high with his continual takedown attempts, eventually working to his opponent’s back and hunting for the rear-naked choke. However, Marquez patiently worked free from the hold and landed a few big shots on the feet before using a standing kimura attempt to take the action to the canvas and trying to attack the left arm, though the round would end before he could finish.

Marquez was again aggressive in the second, briefly holding a standing guillotine before driving in a few brutal knees that Stewart somehow survived. The two would briefly just brawl toe-to-toe before Marquez turned again to the clinch. The quick pace certainly took its toll on both men, but Marquez pushed through, again grabbing the guillotine and squeezing until Stewart went to sleep at the 2:42 mark of the second.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on FOX 26 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Mike Bohn and Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Winnipeg.)


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

UFC on FOX 26 results: Chad Laprise survives early knockdown, TKOs Galore Bofando in first

Chad Laprise (13-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) was in trouble early but gutted his way through an early knockdown to earn his own first-round finish of Galore Bofando (5-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC).

The welterweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC on FOX 26 event at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It aired on FS1 following an additional prelim on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on FOX.

Bofando opened the fight in his patented fashion, bouncing, spinning, switching stances and dropping his hands before landing a beautiful combination that sent his opponent crashing to the floor. A durable Laprise somehow recovered from the big blows and battled back to his feet before scoring a takedown of his own and getting to side control. From there, Laprise moved methodically into mount and began punching away. Bofando flailed underneath but couldn’t regain position and absorbed blow after blow until the contest was halted in the finale minute of the opening round.

“It feels amazing to be here in Canada and get a great win like that,” Laprise said after the win. “He caught me early, but I knew how to neutralize him on the ground and eventually came back and got the finish.

“My gameplan was to stay away from him as much as I could, and that’s why: He’s a powerful fighter. Now I’m going to go home and celebrate the holidays with my family, but my goal is to be back in the octagon by late winter or spring. Names don’t matter to me. I’ll fight whoever Sean Shelby tells me is next. That is three straight knockouts, though, and I’ll be looking to make it four.”

Up-to-the-minute UFC on FOX 26 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Mike Bohn and Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Winnipeg.)


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Nordine Taleb's head-kick knockout made Danny Roberts try to fight referee at UFC on FOX 26

WINNIPEG – Nordine Taleb’s UFC on FOX 26 knockout win disoriented Danny Roberts so badly that he tried to fight the referee after the stoppage.

Taleb (14-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) needed just 59 seconds to put Roberts (14-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) away in the FS1-televised preliminary fight at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, adding another memorable knockout to his record.

Roberts was out from the finish, but he popped back up and attempted to wrestle past referee Jerin Valel for a good while. Afterward, “Hot Chocolate” got emotional, shedding tears in the arms of his corner.

KICK GAME PROPER!

Nordine Taleb KO's Danny Roberts with the savage head kick plus straight right hand for the win! #UFCWinnipeg https://t.co/94zcJklbP9

— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) December 16, 2017

After the fight, Taleb called for a “Performance of the Night” bonus, arguing that he was shafted for his brutal knockout of Erick Silva at UFC 196 in March 2016.

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.


Filed under: Blue Corner, News, UFC

John Makdessi didn't get respect he wanted from Abel Trujillo and kind of flipped out about it

John Makdessi got the decision victory over Abel Trujillo at UFC on FOX 26, but what he didn’t get was enough post-fight respect for his liking.

Some of that might’ve had to do with Trujillo’s pre-fight remarks. In the days before the bout, Trujillo (15-8 MMA, 6-4 UFC) predicted a quick, easy win over Makdessi (15-6 MMA, 8-6 UFC), who Trujillo described as having a “little fragile face.”

But after three fairly competitive, if somewhat slow-paced rounds, Makdessi seemed to have gotten the better of the action. As he moved in to embrace Trujillo immediately after the final horn, Trujillo seemed more interested in doing the traditional post-fight, hands-up cage walk, a sort of final plea to the judges and fans.

This was something Makdessi did not appreciate.

Three rounds of fighting and THEN you get fired up? Because the guy didn’t show enough respect for your liking?! pic.twitter.com/4gHU5HyJFg

— Ben Fowlkes (@benfowlkesMMA) December 16, 2017

Though Trujillo seemed perfectly willing to shake his hand when Makdessi insisted upon it, Makdessi still had to be pulled away as he shouted at Trujillo to show “some respect.”

“This is martial arts!” Makdessi could be heard yelling on the broadcast.

One cogent analysis of the heated moment came from UFC commentator and current light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.

“You just had 15 minutes to do all that,” said Cormier.

Once again, the champ has a point.

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Eventssection of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; John Makdessi defeats Abel Trujillo during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; John Makdessi fights Abel Trujillo during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; John Makdessi fights Abel Trujillo during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; John Makdessi fights Abel Trujillo during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; John Makdessi fights Abel Trujillo during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; John Makdessi fights Abel Trujillo during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; John Makdessi fights Abel Trujillo during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; John Makdessi fights Abel Trujillo during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; John Makdessi fights Abel Trujillo during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; John Makdessi fights Abel Trujillo during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; John Makdessi fights Abel Trujillo during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; John Makdessi fights Abel Trujillo during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; John Makdessi fights Abel Trujillo during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; John Makdessi defeats Abel Trujillo during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; John Makdessi defeats Abel Trujillo during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/qrnABinwEdRX2SqKydGo5e/291399", customAnalytics: true, title: "Makdessi def. Trujillo", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, News, UFC

UFC on FOX 26 results: Nordine Taleb high kick sets up 59-second finish of Danny Roberts

Nordine Taleb (14-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) picked up the quickest win of his professional MMA career, needing just 59 seconds to stop Danny Roberts (14-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC).

The welterweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC on FOX 26 event at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It aired on FS1 following an additional prelim on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on FOX.

Both men were throwing heavy shots to open, wth Roberts just missn on a high kick in the early seconds. But it was Taleb who would land with his own kick to the face shortly after, leaving him stunned against the cage. Taleb immediately capitalized, launching a big right hand that sent Roberts crashing to the floor. Referee Jerin Valel immediately rushed in to halt the contest, much to Roberts’ dismay, though the call seemed just.

Taleb now boasts a two-fight winning streak, while Roberts falls to 1-2 in his past three appearances.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on FOX 26 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Mike Bohn and Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Winnipeg.)


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

UFC on FOX 26 results: John Makdessi picks apart Abel Trujillo, cruises to decision win

While Abel Trujillo (15-8 MMA, 6-4 UFC) promised a first-round finish, it was John Makdessi (15-6 MMA, 8-6 UFC) who controlled the action from the start, cruising to a decision win.

The lightweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC on FOX 26 event at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It aired on FS1 following an additional prelim on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on FOX.

Trujillo worked to the center to start, changing levels and looking for openings while staying just out of his opponent’s range. Makdessi kept a wide stance at range, looking to strike, though his first real engagement was a rake of Trujillo’s left eye that caused a stop in the action. Makdessi apologized on the restart, and the two men went back to work.

Trujillo continued to dart in and out of range throughout the frame, though Makdessi also found opportunities to counter as he timed his opponent’s charges. A short right hand sent a lunging Trujillo briefly to the floor, though he was quickly back to his feet. He might have preferred to stay down, as Makdessi landed to the groin in the final minute, forcing another stop in the action.

Makdessi seemed to turn up the heat a little in the second, pushing forward and looking to strike. Trujillo countered by shooting inside for a takedown, briefly getting his opponent to a seated position, but never really controlling the action on the floor. Makdessi continued to rack up points on the feet, chopping the legs and digging at the body rather than headhunting. Trujillo tried to answer back, but Makdessi was in control.

Makdessi continued to control the pace and the range in the third. Trujillo had the occasional counter land, but he wasn’t able to truly grab the momentum. Instead, Makdessi just patiently worked his plan from the outside and cruised to a decision win. Trujillo showed some frustration at the end of the bout, leading to a little post-fight tension, but the result was already sealed, 30-27 on all three cards for Makdessi.

Makdessi returns to the win column following a year on the sidelines, while Trujillo has now dropped back-to-back fights for just the second time in his career.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on FOX 26 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Mike Bohn and Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Winnipeg.)


Filed under: News, UFC

UFC on FOX 26 bout a snoozer until Alessio Di Chirico crushed Oluwale Bamgbose with knee

WINNIPEG – Alessio Di Chirico scored one of the most memorable face-plant knockouts in recent memory tonight at UFC on FOX 26, ending a fight with Oluwale Bamgbose that was otherwise dreadful.

The middleweight bout between Di Chirico (11-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) and Bamgbose (6-4 MMA, 1-4 UFC), which opened the FS1-televised preliminary portion of the card at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, had minimal action for more than seven minutes, eliciting boos from the crowd.

Then everything changed.

Bamgbose’s corner encouraged him to pick up the pace, and just then he was greeted by a violent knee to the face that put him out cold. Check out how everything unfolded below (via Twitter):

“You gotta work!”

“Showtime!”

And then he went to sleep.

Yikes. pic.twitter.com/HnFlZvbISY

— Ben Fowlkes (@benfowlkesMMA) December 16, 2017

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.


Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, News, UFC

UFC on FOX 26 results: Alessio Di Chirico starts slow but sleeps Oluwale Bamgbose

Alessio Di Chirico (11-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) didn’t exactly wow from the start, but his finish of Oluwale Bamgbose (6-4 MMA, 1-4 UFC) proved impressive.

The middleweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC on FOX 26 event at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It aired on FS1 following an additional prelim on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on FOX.

Generally incredibly aggressive, Bamgbose was patient on the outside to open. Meanwhile, Di Chirico declined to chase the action, standing firm in the center and forcing Bamgbose to engage there. While technically savvy on both fighters’ parts, the lack of early action drew some ire from the crowd. Bamgbose did have on eye-popping spinning attack, but it failed to land, and even referee Herb Dean issued a warning to pick up the pace.

The action remained light in the second, with Di Chirico refusing to leave the center of the cage and XX content to shift laterally on the outside, looking to leap forward with single strikes. With the crowd raining down boos, Di Chirico finally moved forward to engage, punching his way into a clinch and then landing a big knee that left his opponent face down on the canvas at the 2:14 mark of the second round.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on FOX 26 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Mike Bohn and Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Winnipeg.)


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

UFC on FOX 26 results: Jordan Mein dominates Erick Silva for first win since 2014

In a battle of welterweights in desperate need of a victory, it was Jordan Mein (30-12 MMA, 4-4 UFC) who earned a dominating win over Erick Silva (19-9 MMA, 7-8 UFC).

The 170-pound bout opened up the preliminary card of today’s UFC on FOX 26 event at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of additional prelims on FS1 and a main card on FOX.

Mein was aggressive to start, pushing forward and opening with strong kicks to the leg, leading Silva to shoot inside and try to take the fight to the floor. Instead, it was Mein who countered with a gorgeous hip toss, though Silva did scramble quickly to his feet, where both fighters threw heavy punches in the pocket.

As the round wore on, Mein really started to find the range, sneaking big left and right hands through his opponent’s defense. The Canadian also did a fine job thwarting his opponent’s takedown attempts, and Silva appeared to slow.

Mein continued to push forward in the second, forcing Silva to fight on the back foot. The fight did eventually hit the floor, but it was Mein who was on top and did big damage with crushing elbows from the dominant spot. Silva did work his legs high on a few occasions, but he never truly threatened with a genuine submission attempt.

Silva tried to rally in the third, but Mein’s punching combinations proved the most effective striking between the two. Still, Mein elected to take the fight again to the canvas, which he did with relative ease. From there, Mein fended off a few sweep attempts and continued to strike from the top. Silva did have one earnest effort at a triangle choke, but Mein calmly worked his way free and maintained a dominant position until the final bell, walking away with a clearcut decision win, 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27.

The win snapped a three-fight losing streak for Mein, while Silva, once considered a top talent, falls to 1-4 in his past five fights.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on FOX 26 results include:

  • Jordan Mein def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Mike Bohn and Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Winnipeg.)


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Danny Castillo counting on past experience with Lamas to help Josh Emmett at UFC on FOX 26

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Filed under: Featured, News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

On a fight card that from an odds perspective is one of the most evenly matched across the board in all of 2017, Josh Emmett is the second biggest underdog at UFC on FOX 26.

But the numbers don’t matter much to Danny Castillo, one of the coaches at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, Calif., and a key cornerman for Emmett (12-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) tonight against Ricardo Lamas (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) in the co-main event.

UFC on FOX 26 takes place at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The main card airs on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

“The preparation for Lamas – we didn’t really have too much time,” Castillo recently told MMAjunkie Radio. “But once we heard about the fight, I thought it was the perfect fight for Josh being that I fought Ricardo Lamas way back in the day in the WEC, and also Chad (Mendes) fought him in the UFC. We have a little bit of history with Lamas, and I think it’s the perfect matchup for Josh Emmett.”

Emmett stepped in on short notice to take on Lamas, a former featherweight title challenger. Lamas was supposed to fight Jose Aldo in a rematch from their title fight. But when Frankie Edgar dropped out of a headlining bout with current champ Max Holloway at UFC 218 earlier this month, Aldo was tapped to step in. Then Emmett was tapped to take on Lamas.

Lamas is about a 3-1 favorite in the fight and has won back-to-back bouts – a submission of Charles Oliveira and a knockout of Jason Knight. Emmett returned to featherweight in October and beat Felipe Arantes to get back on track after the first loss of his pro career, a split-decision setback to Desmond Green in April. But Emmett missed weight for the fight with Lamas and will give up 20 percent of his purse.

Still, Castillo believes his fighter is going to give Lamas some problems.

“He’s really fast and explosive,” Castillo said. “You’ve never really gotten to see his wrestling so much because he has so much power in his hands. He’s a very dynmaic striker and can switch orthodox to southpaw. He’s got great footwork, as well, and those are what’s going to give Ricardo Lamas a lot of trouble. I’m not taking Ricardo Lamas lightly. I’ve fought him, and he’s been in the game for so long – over a decade. But this is definitely a fight we can win, and I’m excited for it.”

Castillo fought Lamas in August 2009 at WEC 42. He stopped him with a second-round TKO and handed Lamas the first loss of his career. Castillo turned 38 earlier this year and has now gone two years without fighting, choosing instead to focus on coaching for Team Alpha Male.

He’s not ruling out coming back at some point, but with four straight losses and five in his final six bouts, the move to coaching hasn’t necessarily been a bad one, either. (That said, of Castillo’s five losses in his final two years of competition, three were by split decision and one was by majority decision. A spinning backfist KO loss to Paul Felder was the one decisive setback on his resume in that stretch.)

“I’m just enjoying what I’m doing, so I don’t see fighting this year or the next year,” Castillo said. “I’m 38 now. I’m OK with what I do in the sport. I didn’t reach some of the goals I set for myself before I started my career, but sometimes it’s not in the books for certain athletes.

“For me, it’s some of the experiences I did have that helped me become a better coach. All along, I think maybe it was just written in the books to make me a better coach and not a world champion in the UFC.”

For more on UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Josh Emmett (blue gloves) reacts to his win over Felipe Arantes during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Josh Emmett (blue gloves) arrives for his fight against Felipe Arantes during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Felipe Arantes (red gloves) prepares to fight Josh Emmett (blue gloves, not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Felipe Arantes (red gloves) fights Josh Emmett (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Felipe Arantes (red gloves) fights Josh Emmett (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Josh Emmett (blue gloves) is treated after his fight against Felipe Arantes during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Felipe Arantes (red gloves) fights Josh Emmett (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Felipe Arantes (red gloves) fights Josh Emmett (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Felipe Arantes (red gloves) fights Josh Emmett (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Felipe Arantes (red gloves) fights Josh Emmett (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Felipe Arantes (red gloves) fights Josh Emmett (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Felipe Arantes (red gloves) fights Josh Emmett (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Felipe Arantes (red gloves) fights Josh Emmett (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Felipe Arantes (red gloves) fights Josh Emmett (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Oct 21, 2017; Gdansk, Poland; Josh Emmett (blue gloves) reacts to his win over Felipe Arantes during UFC Fight Night at Ergo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/YPE6hFwzhSMFYRJjBgCuqR/291299", customAnalytics: true, title: "Josh Emmett def. Felipe Arantes", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
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Rafael dos Anjos before UFC on FOX 26: Robbie Lawler going downhill while I go uphill

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Former UFC lightweight champion and current welterweight contender Rafael dos Anjos is back to fighting five-round fights.

On Saturday at UFC on FOX 26, dos Anjos (27-9 MMA, 16-7 UFC) will take on fellow ex-champ Robbie Lawler (28-11 MMA, 13-5 UFC) in a bout that could determine the next UFC title challenger at 170 pounds. Only this time, dos Anjos won’t have to starve himself to get to the fight. With 15 extra pounds to carry, the Brazilian actually ate during training camp.

“Cardio was never an issue with me,” dos Anjos, who moved to the welterweight division earlier this year, told MMAjunkie Radio this week. “I was doing five or six rounds with three fresh guys.

“It’s a good thing I don’t have to starve myself. I was able to eat well and keep myself strong. I had way fewer injuries. My recovery was way faster. So I just feel like it was a very smart move on my part going to 170 pounds.”

RelatedUFC on FOX 26 ceremonial weigh-ins highlight: Dos Anjos hyped, Lawler relaxed, face-off intense

UFC on FOX 26 takes place Saturday at Bell MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The event’s main card, including the Lawler vs. dos Anjos headliner, airs live on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

It hasn’t taken dos Anjos long to get into title contention after a pair of welterweight wins against Tarec Saffiedine and Neil Magny. The fight with Lawler, though, is undoubtedly the most dangerous in his push for a new championship. Lawler brings a concussive power that renders the well conditioned unconscious in the blink of an eye.

Like his previous fight with Magny, dos Anjos will be at a height and reach disadvantage, forced to get inside on his powerful opponent to land shots or get a takedown.

But for all his physical disadvantages, dos Anjos sees the matchup as a meeting of two men on different trajectories.

RelatedUFC on FOX 26 main-event breakdown: Can Rafael dos Anjos survive Robbie Lawler's initial storm?

“I believe Robbie is one of the toughest guys,” he said. “He had a great career, but I just feel like I’m in my moment now. I’m going uphill, and I feel Robbie is going downhill. He’s a dangerous guy; he has a lot of knockout power.

“I feel that’s one of my biggest challenges, and I can’t wait to go there and perform at my best and show people what I’m capable of.”

The winner of the bout is promised a meeting with current welterweight champ Tyron Woodley, whose wrestling skills are a tough ask for both fighters. Dos Anjos, though, is ready to add another belt to his collection.

For more on UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Bellator 191 post-event facts: Michael McDonald's up-and-down pattern continues

Bellator’s final event of the year went down Friday with Bellator 191, which took place at Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England, and aired via tape-delay on Spike.

Former UFC title challenger Michael McDonald (18-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) made a successful promotional debut in the main event, outpointing Peter Ligier (8-2-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) to a unanimous decision for his first win in more than 17 months.

For more on the numbers to come out of the last event of Bellator’s 2017 calendar, check below for 20 post-event facts from Bellator 191.

* * * *

General

Debuting fighters went 3-1 at the event.

Betting favorites went 2-2 on the main card.

Betting favorites improved to 17-4 (with one even odds) in Bellator main events this year.

Total fight time for the four-bout main card was 46:53.

Main card

McDonald earned just his second victory in the past four years.

McDonald has alternated wins and losses over his past seven fights.

McDonald earned his first decision victory since May 28, 2011 – a span of 2,393 days (more than six years) and eight fights.

Ligier had his five-fight unbeaten streak snapped for his first defeat since December 2014.

Valerie Letourneau (9-6 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) was successful in her Bellator debut.

Letourneau improved to 1-0 since she returned to the women’s flyweight division. She’s 2-1 overall at the weight in her career.

Kate Jackson (9-3-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) suffered her first decision loss since May 7, 2011 – a span of 2,414 days (nearly seven years) and 10 fights.

Philip De Fries (14-6 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) improved to 5-3 since he was released from the UFC in April 2013.

De Fries earned consecutive victories for the first time since 2011.

De Fries has earned 12 of his 14 career victories by stoppage.

James Thompson (20-17 MMA, 1-2 BMMA) suffered his third consecutive loss. He hasn’t earned a victory since June 2014.

Thompson has suffered 16 of his 17 career losses by stoppage.

Thompson suffered his first submission loss since Oct. 25, 2009 – a span of 2,973 days (more than eight years) and 13 fights.

Jeremy Petley (12-8-1 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) earned consecutive victories for the first time since 2013.

Petley has earned both of his Bellator victories by decision.

Lewis Monarch (9-3 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) has suffered all three of his career losses by decision.

For complete coverage of Bellator 191, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

Apr 21, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Michael McDonald celebrate winning a bantamweight bout against Miguel Angel Torres during UFC 145 at Philips Arena. McDonald won the bout by knockout in the first round. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports Apr 21, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Miguel Angel Torres (right) fights Michael McDonald in a bantamweight bout during UFC 145 at Philips Arena. McDonald won the bout by knockout in the first round. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports Apr 21, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Miguel Angel Torres (left) fights Michael McDonald in a bantamweight bout during UFC 145 at Philips Arena. McDonald won the bout by knockout in the first round. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports Apr 21, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Miguel Angel Torres (right) fights Michael McDonald in a bantamweight bout during UFC 145 at Philips Arena. McDonald won the bout by knockout in the first round. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports Apr 21, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Miguel Angel Torres (left) fights Michael McDonald in a bantamweight bout during UFC 145 at Philips Arena. McDonald won the bout by knockout in the first round. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports Apr 21, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Miguel Angel Torres (bottom) is knocked out Michael McDonald in a bantamweight bout during UFC 145 at Philips Arena. McDonald won the bout by knockout in the first round. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports Apr 21, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Miguel Angel Torres lays on the ground unconscious as Michael McDonald celebrates a knock out in a bantamweight bout during UFC 145 at Philips Arena. McDonald won the bout by knockout in the first round. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports Apr 21, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Miguel Angel Torres fights Michael McDonald in a bantamweight bout during UFC 145 at Philips Arena. McDonald won the bout by knockout in the first round. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Michael McDonald (left) and Brad Pickett (right) fight during a UFC bantamweight match at the TD Garden. McDonald won by a tap out. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Michael McDonald during a UFC bantamweight match at the TD Garden. McDonald won by a tap out. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Michael McDonald (bottom) and Brad Pickett (top) fight during a UFC bantamweight match at the TD Garden. McDonald won by a tap out. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Michael McDonald (right) celebrates his win over Brad Pickett (left) in a UFC bantamweight match at the TD Garden. McDonald won by a tap out. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Urijah Faber (red gloves) fights Michael McDonald (blue gloves) during the bantamweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Urijah Faber (red gloves) fights Michael McDonald (blue gloves) during the bantamweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Jan 2, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael McDonald (red gloves) competes against Masanori Kanehara (blue gloves) during UFC 195 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jan 2, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Michael McDonald (red gloves) competes against Masanori Kanehara (blue gloves) during UFC 195 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2016; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; Michael McDonald (red gloves) fights against John Lineker (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2016; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; Michael McDonald (red gloves) fights against John Lineker (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2016; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; Michael Mcdonald (red gloves) fights against John Lineker (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports Jul 13, 2016; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; Michael Mcdonald (red gloves) fights against John Lineker (left) during UFC Fight Night at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/ud8SzZXWKXMRkjVJua4HtZ/291144", customAnalytics: true, title: "Michael McDonald", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, News

Does Conor McGregor have any reason to fight again?

(This story originally published over at usatoday.com.)

We know a lot about what Conor McGregor hasn’t been doing recently, and what he won’t be doing in the near future.

According to UFC President Dana White, McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) won’t be boxing after his August defeat to Floyd Mayweather, not against Manny Pacquiao nor anyone else.

McGregor is not cheating on the mother of his young child with British pop star Rita Ora, who Tweeted about their “date night” last week, at least not according to several social media posts that saw him cozying up to fiancee Dee Devlin with a cart of luxury shopping bags in tow.

McGregor is not fighting on the end-of-year UFC 219 card in Las Vegas that he was originally slated for after discussions were halted due to McGregor’s aggressive conduct while watching a friend take part in a Bellator event in Ireland last month.

RelatedFloyd Mayweather claims he could rematch Conor McGregor in UFC for $1 billion

And, given that the British and Irish tabloids are salivating as the 29-year-old seemingly bounces from one bout of partying to the next, he’s presumably not particularly close to being in fighting shape any time soon.

So where to next for McGregor?

Sitting with an estimated $100 million in the bank after the Mayweather money grab, there is no need for McGregor to rush back to the octagon to defend his UFC lightweight title, or even any requirement for him to ever fight again, at least for financial purposes.

White admitted as much last month.

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“We’re still in that ‘Conor might never fight again’ (phase),” White told reporters. “Try to get up and get punched in the face for a living when you’ve got $100 million in the bank.”

Although Mayweather-McGregor did less pay-per-view sales than projected and failed to beat the 4.6 million buys record set by Mayweather-Pacquiao, the 4.3 million subscriptions still earned both fighters a fortune. With his fiscal future secure, McGregor has options aplenty, and most of them don’t involve a swift return to the octagon, where he last fought in a November 2016 victory over Eddie Alvarez at Madison Square Garden.

McGregor is in demand on the fashion scene and can generate cash by his presence alone, much like Mayweather, who reportedly made $2 million for taking an all-expenses paid vacation to China.

RelatedMcGregor vs. Pacquiao is a terrible idea. Wouldn't it be nice if that alone were enough to stop it?

On Friday, WWE commentator Jim Ross said he would be shocked if the sports entertainment company was not already in discussions with McGregor. There are intriguing possibilities for McGregor if and when he comes back to the UFC. But as things stand, it is leaning a bit more closely toward the “if” at the moment.

Tony Ferguson is the interim lightweight champion coming off a 10-fight winning run. Featherweight titleholder Max Holloway would surely move up in weight for a crack at a huge payday with McGregor. Khabib Nurmagomedov would be a blockbuster showdown if McGregor matched up with him for the UFC’s first foray into Russia.

Then there is the prospect of a Nate Diaz trilogy fight or, further down the road, a bout with Georges St Pierre, who returned from a long layoff in November but has since been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, resulting in his vacating of the middleweight belt.

McGregor’s comeback will depend on his own appetite for staying relevant in the sport that made his name. Yet he will know as well as anyone that big reputations don’t take long to shatter.

RelatedConor McGregor showed up late to court for speeding, and the judge was pissed off

Just ask Ronda Rousey, who went from A-list to presumed retirement in just over a year thanks to a pair of brutal back-to-back knockouts.

Or Jose Aldo, against whom McGregor built his legend with a 13-second KO, and who followed a decade-long undefeated streak with three defeats in four fights and a swift downward spiral.

McGregor isn’t spiraling. He’s flushed with all that cash and in a position every other UFC fighter envies. Yet there is no doubt that the celebrity life is no longer a front for him. It is just how he does things.

Maybe blowing off some steam will renew his zeal and lead to him coming back stronger than ever. But in truth it seems like each party, private jet ride, shopping spree, and passing day takes him further away from the hungry fighter he was – and the UFC wishes he would be again.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Conor McGregor gives a clue: 'A true fight is what I want to do next – MMA next'

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

By now, you know you’re not going to see Conor McGregor return before year’s end. Duh.

But you’re still probably wondering just what comes next for him, given there are a few options on the table – and given McGregor has kept things probably intentionally ambiguous.

But Friday night, he gave perhaps his most definitive clue yet for his next venture: You can expect him back in the UFC’s octagon – not in a boxing ring.

McGregor told TMZ after a night on the town in New York that next up, he wants a “real fight.”

“I think a true fight is what I want to do next,” McGregor said. “A real fight … MMA next.”

So no boxing. And no move over to the WWE, like may be happening with Ronda Rousey. “Fook WWE,” he said.

McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC, 0-1 boxing) hasn’t been in action since an August TKO loss to Floyd Mayweather (50-0 boxing) in a boxing match in Las Vegas. That fight did 4.3 million pay-per-view buys, making it the second biggest fight in history.

Since then, there has been speculation of a rematch between the two. There has been talk of a boxing match between McGregor and Manny Pacquiao. And, of course, everyone in the MMA world seems to be wondering when McGregor will put his lightweight title on the line – a title he won in November 2016, but has yet to defend.

But if this “true fight” is what he indeed wants next, the MMA world may be waiting for interim lightweight champ Tony Ferguson to heal from recent elbow surgery for a title unification fight.

In other words: Who knows.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_yR0fRzGF_RbnemIYZ_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/yR0fRzGF.json","ph":2} ); Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during their boxing match at the at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. reacts before his bout against Conor McGregor at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts with the audience before his bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr. at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor before fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) and Conor McGregor (white trunks) box in the first round of their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during their boxing match at the at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. fights against Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor fights against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor holds onto Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit against Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor lands a hit on Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a hit on Conor McGregor during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in with a hit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. during the sixth round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) celebrates after knocking out Conor McGregor (white trunks) during their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via 10th round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) celebrates after knocking out Conor McGregor (white trunks) during their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via 10th round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) celebrates after knocking out Conor McGregor (white trunks) during their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via 10th round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. reacts following his TKO victory against Conor McGregor in the tenth round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Referee Robert Byrd stops the fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor in the tenth round at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Boxing referee Robert Byrd holds Conor McGregor after stopping the right in the tenth round against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the tenth round during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (black trunks) reacts after knocking out Conor McGregor (not pictured) in their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via tenth round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (left) and Floyd Mayweather Jr. (right) shake hands after their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mayweather won via tenth round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts following his loss in the tenth round by TKO to Floyd Mayweather Jr. at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (left) embraces Conor McGregor following their boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. 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Tim Hague's in-ring death occurred following Edmonton commission missteps

An independent report has concluded the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission made several missteps in the buildup to a boxing match that led to UFC veteran Tim Hague’s death in June.

The report, ordered by the city of Edmonton in the wake of Hague’s death, recommended several changes to the way the ECSC regulates events, calling for more stringent rules on medical suspensions and the creation of a provincial athletic commission.

“It does appear that certain ECSC Policies were not followed for the June event,” stated the report, which was written by business consultancy firm MNP, LLP.

On two occasions prior to Hague’s fatal bout, commission doctors gave the fighter a shorter medical suspension than was required by the rules. It also failed to account for an unsanctioned MMA bout held in July 2016, when Hague suffered a knockout loss, which should have triggered an immediate 90-day suspension.

Had that term been enforced, Hague wouldn’t have been licensed two months later, in September, for a nine-round boxing match in Edmonton, which he lost via unanimous decision.

RelatedAnatomy of a combat sports tragedy: Who killed Tim Hague?

Hague then returned to the ring in December for another boxing bout and suffered a TKO loss. Under ECSC rules, that should have led to a mandatory 180-day suspension for a knockout loss from blows to the head. Instead, he went on to compete in a “superboxing” – hybrid of boxing and MMA – fight in April 2017.

The report noted the ECSC deferred to the opinions of physicians, who weren’t aware of Hagues’ fighting history, to impose medical post-fight suspensions rather than follow the commission’s guidelines on suspension length.

The report also noted that the commission held different standards for MMA and boxing regarding medical suspensions, with the “superboxing” bout occupying a grey area of enforcement.

Overall, the report recommended 18 changes to the ECSC’s current policies to bring it in line with other athletic commissions in Canada and the U.S. Among them was an anonymous tip line for people with concerns about the health and safety of fighters.

Hague, who was known for his brawling style, was transported to the hospital after complaining of head pain and vomiting in the wake of his knockout loss. He died two days later. He was 34.

RelatedEmotional Adam Braidwood breaks silence on Tim Hague's death: 'I knew in the ring'

Hague’s family recently hired an attorney, Norm Assiff, to represent the family. Assiff is conducting an independent investigation into the incident. Assiff told CBC.com the report “covers up certain things or doesn’t accentuate certain facts” and took the commission to task for not following its rules.

“If it didn’t happen to Mr. Hague it almost certainly would have happened to some other fighter at some time,” he said. “It was a ticking time bomb.”

This past week, the city of Edmonton announced a moratorium on all combative sports until Dec. 31, 2018, scuttling several boxing and pro-wrestling events planned in the coming months.

In a prepared statement, the ECSC said it “welcomes the release of this report and looks forward to reviewing its findings and recommendations. From the outset the Commission has taken this issue very seriously and is committed to working together with City Council and the City Administration to take appropriate action based on the recommendations.”

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