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T.J. Dillashaw says ‘scared’ Henry Cejudo ‘shaking in his boots’ as UFC on ESPN+ 1 draws near


BROOKLYN, N.Y. – T.J. Dillashaw thinks Henry Cejudo will be in over his head at UFC on ESPN+ 1 and said the flyweight champion is becoming more and more aware of that as time winds down to fight night.

Dillashaw (16-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC), the UFC bantamweight titleholder, will drop to flyweight to challenge Cejudo (13-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) in pursuit of a second belt. The pre-fight narrative largely has focused on Dillashaw’s ability to make weight, but with things going “easier than expected,” that’s not what he’s thinking about.

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Instead, Dillashaw is focusing on his performance and how beating Cejudo will increase his profile in the sport. Only three fighters in UFC history have held multiple belts simultaneously, and Dillashaw knows that’s are the type of thing he must accomplish in order to become a seminal figure in MMA.

“It’s all of it,” Dillashaw told reporters, including MMAjunkie, Wednesday night at UFC on ESPN+ 1 open workouts. “At first I was chasing Demetrious Johnson. Everyone was saying he’s the greatest pound-for-pound fighter. That’s my spot. I really believe that’s my spot, so I was chasing it down. He wouldn’t take the fight; Henry Cejudo wanted to call me out after (UFC 227). He said he was going to come up to ’35 to fight me. We offered it to him. We asked him: ‘Come to ’35.’ He turned it down. We knew he was scared.

“Now he’s shaking in his boots that I’m able to make the weight. He wants to come up with any excuse that I’m going to miss it or I feel bad. … It’s just all of it. (I’m doing this because of) my legacy, second belt and being known as the greatest pound-for-pound fighter.”

UFC on ESPN+ 1 takes place Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Dillashaw vs. Cejudo headlines the main card, which streams on ESPN+ following televised prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.

Dillashaw is aware beating Cejudo would significantly elevate his worth, but he said he won’t be content there. For him, a victory would represent the building blocks for bigger things, and whether that’s more titles, defenses of his existing belt or anything else – he’ll be prepared for it.

“We’ll see what comes up with the biggest fights, the biggest names,” Dillashaw said. “Who is going to threaten my throne the most? Is it going to be at ’35? Is it going to be at ’25? Is it going to be me moving up to fight (UFC featherweight champion) Max (Holloway)? I’ve got a lot of options. I’ve got things. I want to leave this sport the greatest of all-time, and to do that I’ve got to fight the guys that people are going to ask, ‘Is he going to win?'”

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

For more on UFC on ESPN+ 1, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Alexander Hernandez UFC Brooklyn open workout highlights

NEW YORK — At UFC Brooklyn open workouts, Alexander Hernandez put on a show for the fans and media gathered Wednesday at Gleason’s Gym ahead of his fight Saturday with Donald Cerrone on ESPN.

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UFC on ESPN+ 1 open workouts reaction video: Any cause for concern with Cejudo or Dillashaw?

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – UFC on ESPN+ 1 open workouts took place Wednesday night and the four featured fighters on Saturday’s card participated, including UFC champs Henry Cejudo and T.J. Dillashaw.

Flyweight champion Cejudo (13-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) will welcome bantamweight champ Dillashaw (16-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) down to his weight class for a champion-vs.-champion affair that’s raised much intrigue in the lead-up to the fight.

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With both men in seemingly phenomenal shape, there still have been questions about whether one of the fighters will struggle to make weight. Cejudo has missed the limit multiple times in his career, while Dillashaw has never had to make 125 pounds for an MMA bout.

Cejudo and Dillashaw worked techniques and hit the pads in front of fans and media at open workouts, and each man had something different to showcase.

Watch the video above as MMAjunkie lead staff reporter John Morgan and senior reporter Mike Bohn react to the open workout sessions from Cejudo and Dillashaw, as well as Donald Cerrone (34-11 MMA, 21-8 UFC) and Alexander Hernandez (10-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC), who meet in the featured preliminary-card bout.

UFC on ESPN+ 1 takes place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The main card streams on ESPN+ following televised prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.

For more on UFC on ESPN+ 1, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Henry Cejudo UFC Brooklyn open workout highlights

NEW YORK — At UFC Brooklyn open workouts, UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo put on a show for the fans and media gathered Wednesday at Gleason’s Gym ahead of his fight Saturday with bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw on ESPN+.

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Darren Till Plans on Staying At 170 For ‘A Few More Fights,’ Then Wants Israel Adesanya At 185

While fans have long speculated that Darren Till will eventually outgrow the welterweight division, “The Gorilla” himself finally seems to be plotting a move to 185 pounds — but not just yet. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

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Photos: UFC on ESPN+ 1 open workouts

Check out these photos highlighting UFC on ESPN+ 1 open workouts, which took place at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Photos by Per Haljestam, MMAjunkie)

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Prospect Alexander Hernandez predicts ‘violent handoff’ from ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC Brooklyn

NEW YORK — At UFC Brooklyn open workouts, Alexander Hernandez discusses movement exercises during his open workout, his fight with Donald Cerrone, being an up-and-comer at lightweight, the bout being on big ESPN and more.

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Joanne Calderwood enters UFC on ESPN+ 1 with different mindset thanks to last win

NEW YORK – UFC veteran Joanne Calderwood remembers hitting the canvas and thinking, “(Expletive), here we go again.”

Her opponent, Kalindra Faria, left Calderwood little time to use the tools she’d trained to snap a two-fight losing streak. Grappling wasn’t in the plan.

But as the seconds ticked toward the end of a frenzied opening round, Calderwood (12-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) made an adjustment, and she found a way to turn the tables with a triangle and armbar that produced a tap.

The lesson wasn’t lost on “Jojo.”

“For me, it was a confidence boost and just shows me my mindset has changed, and it’s still changing,” Calderwood told MMAjunkie on Wednesday in advance of a fight against Ariane Lipski at UFC on ESPN+ 1.

Calderwood not only changed divisions after two losses, but she changed locations with a full-time move to Las Vegas. She works out at the UFC Performance Institute to make sure she’s fighting healthy at 125 pounds after years of gutting it out to make the strawweight limit.

More than ever, Calderwood feels like she’s living up to her potential.

“The biggest thing that holds people back from their true potential is their mindset,” Calderwood said. “I feel like in the gym, everything’s going well. I’ve had fights where I’ve had that mental block, and sometimes it’s made me make mistakes. So that’s the biggest thing I feel.”

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When Calderwood got acquainted with Lipski (11-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) on videotape, she stopped worrying about having another what-now moment in the octagon.

“I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m excited for this,’ not just because I’m fighting her, but for the fans,” Calderwood said. “I definitely feel like both of us are coming from a striking background, and both of us like to stand and bang. So it’s going to be fireworks.”

Watch the video above for our full exclusive interview with Calderwood.

For more on UFC on ESPN+ 1, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

View full post on MMAjunkie

T.J. Dillashaw says ‘I don’t really care’ about future of UFC flyweight division

NEW YORK — At UFC Brooklyn open workouts, T.J. Dillashaw discusses his weight cut, how his performance might be affected by moving down to flyweight, Cejudo turning down a fight at bantamweight, what could be next after this title shot and more.

View full post on MMA Fighting – All Posts

Darren Till vs. Jorge Masvidal, Leon Edwards vs. Gunnar Nelson Top UFC London on March 16

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How Yancy Medeiros became ‘an optimal human being’ to fight at UFC on ESPN+ 1

NEW YORK – Yancy Medeiros has no doubt the lightweight division is where he belongs, and he intends on showing as much in his matchup with Gregor Gillespie on Saturday at UFC on ESPN+ 1.

Medeiros (15-5 MMA, 6-5 UFC), who has competed as high as light heavyweight, made his UFC debut at 155 pounds. He put together inconsistent results over an eight-fight run in the weight class before making the decision to move up to welterweight, where he flourished.

A three-fight winning streak, including a “Fight of the Year” contender with Alex Oliveira at UFC 218 in December 2017, set up Medeiros for a main event clash with Donald Cerrone at UFC Fight Night 126. The Hawaiian lost to “Cowboy” by first-round TKO, which kicked off a series of events to end Medeiros’ tenure at 155 pounds.

Injury forced Medeiros out of a scheduled bout with Mike Perry at UFC 226 in July. It took some time to recover, but during that period Medeiros said he decided to become more disciplined in all aspects of life. The results of that choice were glaring once Medeiros got back to full training.

“I was just training, staying ready,” Medeiros told MMAjunkie on Wednesday. “Max (Holloway) got in camp for (Brian) Ortega (at UFC 231), and I just got in camp with him. I actually changed up a lot of things in my life for the better, just living a healthy life. Just started shedding weight. I walk around at 195, changed everything, kept training, living a healthy lifestyle with my environment, my food and everything, and started walking around at 175. Now I’m 160. Featherweight watch out, I’m coming.”

Medeiros’ previous run at lightweight was not ideal, he said. On top of missing weight once, Medeiros never could achieve consistent results in the octagon. The cutdown to the divisional limit never was easy, but Medeiros said it’s a different game this time around.

“I just got into being scientific, the science,” Medeiros said. “After I got injured I really wanted to change my life around because I hated pulling out of that fight. I hated pulling out of fights. I was injured. It put me in ‘The Twilight Zone.’ I was like, ‘What the hell?’ I just became an optimal human being.”

UFC on ESPN+ 1 takes place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The welterweight bout between Medeiros and Gillespie (12-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) streams as part of the main card on ESPN+ following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.

Medeiros said he knows what he’s getting himself into with the upcoming matchup. Gillespie is a rising contender with an undefeated record and a strong wrestling pedigree. Thus far, “The Gift” has had little problem overcoming his competition, but Medeiros’ skillset has the potential to give him some problems.

“I moved back down to 155, and I didn’t want to call anybody out, so I was calling everybody out,” Medeiros said. “He’s got the stats, he’s got the numbers of the wrestling, but he doesn’t know where I’m at, what I’ve been doing and what I’ve been training. I train with the world’s best. I’ve got Max Holloway, I’ve got Martin Day, I’ve got all these others fighters and a great team making me optimal.”

Watch the video above for our full exclusive interview with Medeiros.

For more on UFC on ESPN+ 1, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

View full post on MMAjunkie

Leon Edwards vs. Gunnar Nelson set for UFC London co-main event

Leon Edwards (pictured) will fight Gunnar Nelson in a welterweight bout at UFC London on March 16

Leon Edwards will go for lucky No. 7 when he co-headlines in his home country of England against Gunnar Nelson.

MMA Fighting’s Petesy Carroll confirmed with sources that Edwards and Nelson will fight in the co-main event of UFC London at The O2 Arena on March 16, following an initial report by ESPN.

Edwards (16-3), a native of Jamaica who grew up in Birmingham, England, is currently on a six-fight win streak having most recently beaten Donald Cerrone by unanimous decision in the main event of UFC Singapore last June. Overall, “Rocky” is 8-2 in the UFC.

Iceland’s Nelson (17-3-1) is also coming off of a win and has seen his hand raised in three of his last four bouts. Injuries have limited “Gunni” to just four fights since the end of 2015, but he was victorious in his lone booking last year, a bloody battle with Alex Oliveira at UFC 231 that Nelson won by second-round submission to improve his UFC record to 8-3.

UFC London will be headlined by a welterweight bout between Liverpool’s Darren Till and Jorge Masvidal and broadcast live exclusively on the ESPN+ streaming service.

View full post on MMA Fighting – All Posts

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