After Setting Takedown Record, Curtis Blaydes Declares Wrestling Best Among UFC Heavyweights

There was plenty of heat between the two, but heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes opted to let his fists and wrestling prowess do all the talking in his grudge match with Justin Willis on Saturday. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

Bellator 218 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media

Since the early days when the sport was anything but a mainstream endeavor, the MMA industry has thrived and survived through various websites, forums and, perhaps most importantly, social-media platforms.

Fighters interact with fans, each other and many more through the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which helps outsiders get a deeper look into the minds of the athletes.

Following Friday’s Bellator 218 event in Thackerville, Okla. several of the winning and losing fighters, along with their coaches, training partners or family members, took to social media to react to the event or share a message with supporters.

Check out some of those reactions.

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The defeated

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We just fired our baby sitter 🤣🤣

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The victorious

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#bellator #бокс #мма #fedorteam🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺

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#bellator #бокс #мма #fedorteam🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺

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For complete coverage of Bellator 218, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMA Junkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly serious, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS.

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Li Jingliang injured, out of UFC Fort Lauderdale clash with Alex Oliveira

Chinese welterweight Li Jingliang (pictured) is out of a fight with Alex Oliveira in Miami.

Alex Oliveira needs a new opponent for UFC Fort Lauderdale.

Ten days after the UFC announced that “Cowboy” was going to meet Li Jingliang at UFC’s return to Sunrise, Fla. on April 27, the Chinese welterweight was forced out of the contest, sources told MMA Fighting. Combate first reported the news.

According to sources, Jingliang suffered a neck and back injury and hasn’t been training well for days. The company is currently looking for a new name to face Oliveira.

The Brazilian fighter is looking to rebound from a second-round submission defeat to Gunnar Nelson in December. Prior to that, “Cowboy” had back-to-back “Performance of the Night” finishes over Carlos Condit and Carlo Pedersoli.

UFC on ESPN 3 will take place at the BB&T Center and it’s set to be headlined by a rematch between middleweights Yoel Romero and Ronaldo Souza.

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Anthony Pettis Targets McGregor, Dos Anjos, Gaethje-Barboza Winner as Next Foes

He’s had one of the best professional tenures a lighter-weight fighter could ever ask for, but Anthony Pettis’ career was largely in flux as he entered a new division heading into Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 148 main event.< View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

MMA’s week out of the cage: Daniel Cormier turns 40, ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone’s swimming lessons

Social media has become a significant part of the sporting landscape. But few, if any, professional sports match the level of interaction and personal access provided by MMA.

In an individual competition in which nearly every athlete is chasing the same goal of financial success and championship glory, it’s important for fighters to provide insight into their lives in order to connect with fans and gain followings.

Although the life of a fighter often can be mundane and repetitive, there still are moments of interest that take place outside the cage, ring or training room. Here are some of the most interesting of those occurrences from the past week.

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Animals of Instagram

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Curiosity ate the cat

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Just doing cowboy shit

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I have the best fans! 🥰 #ufcnashville

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Daniel Cormier’s 40th birthday

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Happy Birthday CHAMP CHAMP!!!! @dc_mma

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Children of MMA

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Swimming with Danger @dangeranddad

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🥊 🥊 @kai_garbrandt @gymking

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Activities and adventures

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Being in nature calms the mind

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🇦🇺

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The Blue Corner is MMA Junkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly serious, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS.

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Bryce Mitchell hopes to resolve ‘Jerry Springer sh*t’ back home after UFC Nashville win

Bryce Mitchell speaks to the media at UFC Nashville about his decision win over Bobby Moffett, nearly getting choked out by Moffett, repping Arkansas, his terrible power drill accident, and much more.

View full post on MMA Fighting – All Posts

Dana White: UFC Planning Henry Cejudo vs. Marlon Moraes for Vacant Bantamweight Title

It appears that Dana White now has a plan in place for both the bantamweight and flyweight divisions. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for Anthony Pettis and UFC on ESPN+ 6’s other key winners?

(Also see: Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for Stephen Thompson?)

After every event, fans wonder whom the winners will be matched up with next.

And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC on ESPN+ 6’s most noteworthy winning fighters.

Those winners include Anthony Pettis (22-8 MMA, 9-7 UFC), who pulled off a stunning knockout of Stephen Thompson (14-4-1 MMA, 9-4-1 UFC) in Saturday’s headliner at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., as well as Curtis Blaydes (11-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), Jussier Formiga (23-5 MMA, 9-4 UFC), Maycee Barber (7-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and Randa Markos (9-6-1 MMA, 5-5-1 UFC).

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Randa Markos

Should fight: Tecia Torres
Why they should fight: The results from Markos have been inconsistent, at best, in recent years, but she may very well have turned a corner with her first-round submission of Angela Hill, which marked her first stoppage win inside the octagon.

Over the past year, Markos has teamed up with a sports phycologist and added new dynamics to her training to help her meet her potential. She came out on fire against Hill, finishing the strawweight fight with an armbar in the opening frame to secure a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus.

Markos said post-fight that she would love a quick turnaround and fight on the UFC’s card in her native Canada on May 4, and if the promotion can find a willing dance partner, there’s no reason why not. Markos has already fought many of the notable names at 115 pounds, but she has yet to encounter Torres (10-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) in an official UFC setting. Markos did beat “The Tiny Tornado” in an exhibition contest on Season 20 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” but that was a lifetime ago at this point.

Torres is currently sitting on three consecutive losses after dropping a decision to Weili Zhang at UFC 235 earlier this month, and taking a step down the rankings against Markos could give her a chance to right the ship. And for Markos, it could elevate her status.

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Curtis Blaydes plans to ‘Khabib his way’ through heavyweight division after UFC Nashville win

Curtis Blaydes talks about his win over Justin Willis at UFC Nashville, the animosity between the fighters, and calls out former champions Junior dos Santos and Stipe Miocic.

View full post on MMA Fighting – All Posts

Stephen Thompson Reacts to KO Loss at UFC Nashville: ‘I Don’t Even Remember a Dang Thing’

One moment, Stephen Thompson appeared on his way to a 20-18 lead on the scorecards against Anthony Pettis. The next, he was out cold courtesy of a spectacular Superman punch from “Showtime” that ended the UFC Nashville main event with five seconds left in round two. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

UFC Nashville video highlights: Anthony Pettis knocks out Stephen Thompson

Anthony Pettis struggled to find his range against Stephen Thompson, but “Showtime” only needed a single moment to claim a brilliant victory.

Pettis (22-8 MMA, 9-7 UFC) used a hooking Superman punch to knock out Thompson (14-4-1 MMA, 9-4-1 UFC) with five seconds left in the second frame of their UFC on ESPN+ 6 headliner at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. The entire event streamed on ESPN+.

Check out highlights of the contest, including the brilliant finish, in the video above.

For complete coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 6, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Every time Anthony Pettis seems done, there’s one more ‘Showtime’ moment

Anthony Pettis is supposed to be fading. All you had to do to reach that conclusion was to look at his results; prior to Saturday’s UFC Nashville, he had lost six of his last nine fights. All you had to do was glance at the event betting odds; despite being a former UFC champion, he was the biggest underdog on the card. All you had to do was witness the shapelessness of his career path; Saturday marked his third weight class in his last six fights.

Many of the signs were present and clear, and they weren’t good. Pettis has been reeling, searching for the right division and the ability to rediscover his groove.

One round into his main-event fight with Stephen Thompson, things were not exactly looking up for him. Five minutes into the match, Pettis was leaking blood from the nose, showed swelling around his right eye, and saw his offense contained almost exclusively to leg kicks. Adding to the dilemma, Thompson was always going to be a difficult opponent for Pettis to out-point on the judges’ scorecards. Thompson historically lands more, has better defense, and in this fight, boasted a reach advantage that was already proving difficult for Pettis to penetrate. That meant that Pettis’ best chance would be a finish.

Up until Saturday, Thompson had competed in 58 kickboxing matches and 18 MMA fights. In those 76 fights, Thompson had never been stopped; he hadn’t suffered a single loss in kickboxing, while his three MMA losses had all come via decision. He’d been in the cage with power punchers and champions like Robert Whittaker and Johny Hendricks. Hell, he’d traded strikes over 10 tense rounds with Tyron Woodley. So what was the chance that Pettis, who was fighting at welterweight for the first time, would be the man to pull it off?

It was not good. Again, he was the biggest underdog on the card! So, of course, he did it. And of course he did it as only Pettis can, in brash, thrilling, “Showtime” style, a flying Superman hook while rebounding off the cage as the final moments of the second round ticked away.

Every time it seems like Pettis’ career is fading, he seems to pull himself back toward relevance through something incredible. Whether it’s a win over a submission machine like Charles Oliveira, a valiant loss in defeat to an indomitable champ like Tony Ferguson, or a highlight reel knockout, Pettis refuses to be pushed into history.

At 32, he is no longer the young phenom he was when he captured the WEC lightweight title from Benson Henderson, or when he won the UFC lightweight title, also from Henderson. He has grown up into an elder statesman of the UFC, yet he is still equally as capable of executing some of the most sensational offense in the sport. And that, at this stage of his career, is what he has now come to be known for. He may or may not ever truly contend for another championship, but a Pettis fight comes stamped with a guarantee: action-packed or your money back.

In four fights in a row, Pettis has won a nightly bonus for his work, against such varied opposition as Ferguson, Michael Chiesa and Dustin Poirier. All of those fights were thrillers, and though Pettis came out of them 2-2, he also somehow emerges with his stock rising. Pettis is now viable at both lightweight and welterweight, and though he has some clear shortcomings that have been exposed by pressure fighters, he also boasts a magnetic quality that makes him a valuable piece for UFC matchmakers.

A single win at welterweight isn’t going to be enough to vault Pettis into the divisional title picture, but the division does seem a little more interesting with his presence. Pettis vs. Robbie Lawler or Jorge Masvidal both sounds like a good time, for instance. Pettis vs. Conor McGregor? Seems unlikely, but we’d sign up for that, too. That alone is its own kind of success. Pettis has won championships, but he’s won hearts, too. It’s not easy to do either, let alone both.

Thirty-two-years-old and once struggling, Pettis evolved his approach to competition, shifting the focus from results to performance. In doing so, he may have simultaneously extended his UFC career while putting himself at additional risk. His fights, once artistic, now veer more toward blood-soaked, yet he seems to be smiling all along the way.

And why shouldn’t he? In the UFC, there’s always an anticipation for the next great moment, and as we were reminded again on Saturday, he’s nicknamed “Showtime” for a reason.

View full post on MMA Fighting – All Posts

Darren Till Plans on ‘Refocusing’ Following Knockout Loss at UFC London

Darren Till lost his second consecutive UFC bout in devastating fashion last week, falling to Jorge Masvidal via second-round knockout at the O2 Arena in London. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of UFC Nashville with double dips of Zeppelin, Rage Against the Machine

While it takes intense training, world-class skills and maybe even a bit of luck to register a UFC win, picking the right song to accompany you to the cage is a key talent, as well.

Inside, see what the fighters went with as their backing tracks at UFC on ESPN+ 6 in Nashville, Tenn.

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Stephen Thompson gives update after UFC Nashville KO loss: ‘I don’t even remember a dang thing’

Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson

Coming off of his first-ever knockout loss, Stephen Thompson was in as good a mood as one can be.

“Wonderboy” was unavailable to speak to the media about his defeat at the hands of Anthony Pettis in Saturday’s UFC Nashville main event as he was taken to the hospital shortly after. However, the two-time welterweight title challenger later shared a live video on social media to provide an update on his status and address fan comments, all with a smile on his face:

Posted by Stephen Wonderboy Thompson on Saturday, March 23, 2019

“I’m at the hospital, I just got knocked out,” Thompson said. “I don’t even remember a dang thing. All I just remember is punching him in the face, his nose bleeding, and then I wake up in the back. … But I’m okay, everything’s good.

“Crap happens, you know? It happens, especially when you’re in this sport long enough.”

Thompson, 36, has been competing in karate, kickboxing, and MMA for over 20 years and had never been knocked out before Pettis put him down on Saturday. The fight lasted nearly two rounds with Thompson dominating the majority of the action before being tagged with an incredible Superman punch that immediately robbed him of his consciousness.

He described the maneuver as being “so ninja that I didn’t even see it coming” and took a moment to laugh at the fact that his first KO loss came at the hands of a career lightweight.

“Out of how many years of fighting, I’ve never been knocked out,” Thompson said. “80 fights, I’ve never been knocked out. Why does it have to be this time? Dang it. … I know, I was fighting a 155er and he puts me out. What the heck?”

What Thompson can recall of the fight he remembers winning and it certainly looked like he was up on the scorecards before getting caught. Even given the blank spots in his memory, he tried to piece together how Pettis was able to connect with the finishing punch.

“I was piecing him up with the jab, I was trying to break his arms with the roundhouse kick,” Thompson said. “But the side kicks, I guess I didn’t turn my hip over enough and he drilled me with a right hand. Was it a right hand? Dag gummit.

“And I was sitting there thinking in the first round like his punches were slow. Then he punches me with that, hits me with that.”

Thompson said that he the doctors were checking his head, legs, and toes, and other than some soreness in his jaw he felt fine. If anything, he was ailing more emotionally than physically as he had plenty of friends and family at Bridgestone Arena, and he’s doubtful that if he’ll be medically cleared in time to compete at the upcoming Greenville UFC event in his home state of South Carolina on June 22.

He ended the video by saying that he hoped to be out of the hospital and back at his hotel soon.

View full post on MMA Fighting – All Posts

Charlie Edwards Shuts Out Angel Moreno, Retains WBC Flyweight Crown

Some were expecting the featured bout on DAZN’s boxing outlet on Saturday to be an entertaining, if not competitive one. But inside Copper Box Arena in London, England, Charlie Edwards made sure neither came true. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

Stephen Thompson on KO loss to Anthony Pettis: ‘It was so ninja I didn’t even see it coming’


NASHVILLE – Stephen Thompson is in disbelief he got knocked out by Anthony Pettis in highlight-reel fashion at UFC on ESPN+ 6.

Thompson (14-4-1 MMA, 9-4-1 UFC) was floored by a Superman punch off the cage from Pettis (22-8 MMA, 9-7 UFC) in the second round of Saturday’s headliner, which took place at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.

“Wonderboy” was transported to a local hospital after the bout. From there, he went live on his official Facebook page and gave his reaction.

“After 80 fights I’ve never been KO’d – this time by a small guy,” Thompson said. “I can’t believe he got me with the Superman punch. Golly. Superman off the cage. It was so ninja I didn’t even see it coming.”

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Thompson’s defeat to Pettis marked the first time in MMA competition he’s been stopped inside the distance. He’s been dropped in the past, but always showed the ability to recover.

He said he doesn’t recall the finishing sequence – all he remembers is he was winning beforehand.

“I was piecing him up with the jab,” Thompson said. “I was trying to break his arms with the roundhouse kick. I guess the side kicks, I switched over too much. His punches were slow. The heck? I don’t remember anything. Next thing I knew I was in the back wondering what happened.”

In addition to the disappointment of the loss, Thompson knows the outcome hinders his future plans. He was hoping to headline the UFC’s debut in his home state of South Carolina this June, but with a medical suspension likely on the horizon, a three-month turnaround seems unlikely.

“Looks like I’m not going to be fighting in freakin’ Greenville,” Thompson said. “This sucks.”

For complete covearge of UFC on ESPN+ 6, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC Nashville bonuses: Anthony Pettis rewarded for early Knockout of the Year candidate

Anthony Pettis

UFC Nashville was all about “Showtime”.

Anthony Pettis, competing at 170 pounds in the UFC for the first time, added to his impressive collection of $50,000 post-fight bonuses with a “Superman hook” knockout of Stephen Thompson in Saturday’s main event, a finish that is sure to end up on every “Knockout of the Year” list when 2019 comes to a close.

It was the first time ever that Thompson had been put away inside the distance and Pettis can now claim finishes over “Wonderboy”, Gilbert Melendez, Benson Henderson, and Donald Cerrone, among others. This Performance of the Night award marks the eighth fight night bonus of Pettis’s 7 1/2-year UFC career.

The other Performance of the Night bonus went to Canada’s Randa Markos, who picked up her first finish in 11 trips to the Octagon. She submitted Angela Hill with a first-round armbar, earning her first bonus since winning Fight of the Night in her UFC debut against Jessica Penne at The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale.

Saturday’s Fight of the Night went to first-time bonus recipients Bryce Mitchell and Bobby Moffett. The two featherweights engaged in a back-and-forth three-round battle that Mitchell went on to win by unanimous decision.

View full post on MMA Fighting – All Posts

Anthony Pettis Superman Punch KOs Stephen Thompson in UFC Fight Night 148 Headliner

Anthony Pettis flattens Stephen Thompson in the UFC Fight Night 148 main event on Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

Anthony Pettis: Conor McGregor top of list for next fight, UFC 239 target date

NASHVILLE – Newly minted UFC welterweight contender Anthony Pettis doesn’t linger on Twitter. But a message from Conor McGregor will sure get his attention.

The former two-division champ stayed true to recent form by hopping on social media to invite a colleague to fight.

Of course, Pettis (22-8 MMA, 9-7 UFC) would love to take up a challenge from “Notorious.”

“That’s a fun fight,” he told MMA Junkie after a stunning knockout of Stephen Thompson (14-4-1 MMA, 9-4-1 UFC) in the headliner of UFC on ESPN+ 6, which took place Saturday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. “(He’s) another guy that I love his style, another guy that’s going to be a fun style to fight.

“If he wants to do it, let’s do it. I’m not afraid to fight anybody.”

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Pettis doesn’t follow McGregor (21-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) on social media, so that’s the extent of his emotional investment in the fight.

“If it’s not him, then the next guy in line,” he said.

His main priority for 2019 is three big fights. With one already in the books, he’d like the second one to take place at UFC 239. The International Fight Week card is prime placement for any fighter and guarantees eyeballs that could influence the opportunities one receives.

Then again, after such an impressive knockout, it seems as though Pettis is in the driver’s seat at welterweight – which, by the way, is where he’d like to fight McGregor.

“We’re both natural, I think, there,” Pettis said. “If it’s not for a title, why cut?”

For the record, Pettis also flirted with a trip back to the lightweight division, where the former champ would like a shot at the winner of an upcoming headliner between Justin Gaethje and Edson Barboza at next week’s UFC on ESPN 2. He also called for a rematch with Rafael dos Anjos, who took his lightweight title and now resides at welterweight.

There appear to be plenty of options Pettis would entertain. All he asks is that they be big opportunities that thrill fans – and no doubt pay handsomely.

To hear more from Pettis, check out the video above.

For complete coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 6, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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