Elias Theodorou Speaks Out On UFC Release: ‘I Have No Ill Will’

Former UFC middleweight Elias Theodorou finally broke his silence on his unexpected release from the Las Vegas-based promotion. Following his unanimous decision defeat to Derek Brunson last month, it emerged that Theodorou had been released from the company. Some sections of mixed martial arts fans were happy with the news as the Canadian was not […]

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Former UFC middleweight Elias Theodorou finally broke his silence on his unexpected release from the Las Vegas-based promotion.

Following his unanimous decision defeat to Derek Brunson last month, it emerged that Theodorou had been released from the company. Some sections of mixed martial arts fans were happy with the news as the Canadian was not the most exciting fighter. However, others were shocked as despite his conservative style, Theodorou still had an 8-3 record in the UFC.

Finally speaking in-depth on his release, Theodorou revealed in a recent interview that he holds no grudges toward the UFC:

“I have no ill will toward the UFC,” Theodorou told MMA Junkie. “I don’t think being upset about it does anyone good. Especially myself. I don’t want to burn any bridges, but I also want to look at it in the positive aspects where I’m happy and healthy, and I’ve been successful in 20 of my professional times.”

The good news for “The Spartan” is that he will likely not be out of work anytime soon, as he claims a number of promotions have already reached out to him.

“There are many organizations that have already reached out that pretty much pay what the UFC pays in some capacity,” Theodorou said. “And now with the avenue of having sponsors potentially involved, there are avenues I could make the same money as a UFC fighter elsewhere.”

Theodorou Speculates On Release

So what was the actual reason Theodorou was released? The 31-year-old is not sure, but speculated it may have been a financial decision.

“The UFC does have 600 athletes,” Theodorou added. “I think they just looked at what I was making now being 8-3 in the UFC, the five or seven Canadian fighters they recently added, they probably can pay every single one of their paychecks with my paycheck.

That’s not to say Theodorou did not accept responsibility for his lackluster fight with Brunson. In fact, he’s considering reinventing his style as he doesn’t rule out a future return to the UFC.

“I’ve kind of looked at myself as a Pollack painting,” he said. “Abstract with its own beauty. But it seems if you don’t look at MMA as a sport, but rather entertainment, I’ve gotta be more Van Gogh, and cut my ear – or someone else’s ear.”

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Jared Cannonier Targeting Fight With Kelvin Gastelum

Ever since his win over Anderson Silva, UFC middleweight Jared Cannonier has struggled to book an opponent. Cannonier made it two finishes in a row since moving down to 185 pounds when he defeated Silva via TKO at UFC 237 last month in Brazil. He had previously knocked out David Branch, and his performances seem […]

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Ever since his win over Anderson Silva, UFC middleweight Jared Cannonier has struggled to book an opponent.

Cannonier made it two finishes in a row since moving down to 185 pounds when he defeated Silva via TKO at UFC 237 last month in Brazil. He had previously knocked out David Branch, and his performances seem to have made an impact as he claims he is getting turned down by a number of middleweights.

Appearing on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday, “The Killa Gorilla” revealed there were even plans for him to headline the upcoming UFC San Antonio card on July 20 — only to be turned down by four middleweights.

“From my perspective, we are all fighters, we all have a job to do,” Cannonier said. “Picking and choosing fights is one thing I’ve never done. I’ll fight whoever comes along. I understand people have to consider their career if they want to get to a title shot and all that stuff, but, you know, in this division if you want to get to a title shot, you’re gonna have to meet me eventually.

“The longer you wait, the worse it’s going to be. So you better come see me now or wait until it’s going to be damn near impossible to beat me.”

Cannonier Wants Gastelum

In the end, the UFC decided to book a welterweight headliner between Rafael dos Anjos and Leon Edwards for the San Antonio card. And to his credit, Cannonier decided not to name any of the four opponents who turned him down. However, he does have one opponent in mind where a win could usher him into a title shot:

“I heard a little birdie tell me that one Kelvin Gastelum is looking to fight at the end or the middle of September, I think in Mexico City,” Cannonier added. “So that would be a good fight. That fight would put me closer to a title shot.

[Israel] Adesanya just fought him, beat him for the interim title. So he’s next in line. But before that, Adesanya fought Anderson. I beat Anderson in a more impressive fashion.

Gastelum is coming off a back-and-forth war with Adesanya at UFC 236 in April. However, he should be raring to go by September. Cannonier is not the only one who wants him, though, as the likes of Jack Hermansson and Ronaldo Souza have also called out the former welterweight.

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Midnight Mania! UFC Grows Even More Expensive For U.K. Fans

Bringing you the weird and wild from the world of MMA each and every weeknight! Welcome to Midnight Mania!
There is no sports organization more expensive to follow than Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). To keep up with every fight the …

Bringing you the weird and wild from the world of MMA each and every weeknight!

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

There is no sports organization more expensive to follow than Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). To keep up with every fight the promotion puts on, American audiences are expected to buy UFC Fight Pass ($9.99 per month), ESPN+ (4.99 per month), some type of cable package that includes ESPN (an expensive variable depending on the plan), and purchase the pay-per-view (PPV) events for $65 a pop, which occur roughly once every five weeks.

We’re talking upward of $1,000 each year.

Around the world, different audiences have different expenses, seemingly based on the wealth of the country and the general convenience of viewing the product. In the United Kingdom, for example, fans historically have been able to keep up with a majority of UFC content by paying for BT Sports, which costs $16 to $30 euros monthly depending on the package. Cheaper than in the United States to be sure, but PPV events don’t even start until 3 A.M., so it’s a fair enough trade.

Until now.

It’s easy to miss just from the Tweet itself, but the mention of “Box Office” means U.K. fans are expected to pay extra for the privilege of staying up until 6 a.m. local time. Naturally, there has been quite a bit of backlash. Check out the replies to the linked tweet, or this Reddit thread that encourages English fans to boycott and/or stream the event illegally.

It’s an odd move from UFC at an odd time. In general, the PPV model seems to be dying out around the world, as monthly subscriptions are proving more popular and profitable. Many assumed the ESPN+ shift was a signal in that direction. To muddy the waters further, UFC is light on stars right now — Conor McGregor is on the sidelines, which means there is no chance of breaking one million PPV buys or creating a truly mega event. Plus, while UFC 239 is decent, the title fights at the top of the card are very likely to be extremely one-sided.

Are there really enough English fans willing to pony up for a PPV at 3 a.m. to cover the seemingly larger number intent on canceling their BT Sport subscriptions? Even if it does prove profitable, is pissing off a bunch of customers really the best move?

Insomnia

I could write a much larger column on the warm up, fight itself, disastrous ER visit (four hours for handful of stitches???), and other assorted aftermath, but bottom line is Mania’s other Andrew fought damn well against a tough scrapper and earned the win. Follow that man, and forgive him if he looks a bit stiff in this week’s technique highlight videos: his feet and shins are banged up from landing a few dozen kicks. Whenever a video of the fight becomes available, it’ll be here!

Jon Jones was honored at the Wall of Fame in the Resorts World Birmingham.

The best adjective for the fight business will always be cold.

Speaking of cold …

Gregor Gillespie’s cardio is incredible for a reason.

I think Joshua will return to form, and I’d love to see Fury take him on.

I believe Vick caught this beast via traditional methods, but does anyone else share the bucket list goal of noodling for catfish?

A champion’s welcome for one of the sport’s best.

Slips, Rips, and KO clips

The left hook-right high kick that opens this highlight is a thing of simple beauty.

The same transition can be accomplished without the gi if able to control under both armpits, but it’s much more difficult.

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Backtake from north south

A post shared by BJJScout (@bjj_scout) on

There’s a reason many wrestling/grappling classes around the world include cartwheels as a warm up!

Random Land

Anyone reading this survived another Monday, so congrats! But, didn’t we just talk about not volunteering to stand beneath the water bottle?

Floofy boi:

Music from the making of Midnight Mania: RIP to Bushwick Bill.

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

Renato Moicano Expects Fight of the Night vs. Korean Zombie

Renato Moicano will be headlining UFC Greenville this weekend when he takes on Chan Sung Jung, better known as The Korean Zombie in a featherweight duel. Heading into the fight, Moicano (#5) believes that a fight against the #12-ranked Zombie does litt…

Renato Moicano will be headlining UFC Greenville this weekend when he takes on Chan Sung Jung, better known as The Korean Zombie in a featherweight duel. Heading into the fight, Moicano (#5) believes that a fight against the #12-ranked Zombie does little for him in terms of repositioning himself for a title shot, but he […]

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Predictions! UFC ‘Greenville’ ‘Prelims’ Preview – Pt. 1

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is bringing a bevy of “Prelims” fights to ESPN 2 this weekend (Sat., June 22, 2019) when UFC Fight Night 154: “Korean Zombie vs. Moicano” storms Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina….

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is bringing a bevy of “Prelims” fights to ESPN 2 this weekend (Sat., June 22, 2019) when UFC Fight Night 154: “Korean Zombie vs. Moicano” storms Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina. MMAmania.com’s Patrick Stumberg kicks off the UFC Fight Night 154 “Prelims” party with the first installment of a two-part undercard preview series below.

It’s a crossroads fight at 145 pounds inside Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina this weekend (Sat., June 22, 2019) when the immortal “Korean Zombie,” Chan Sung Jung, faces top Brazilian Renato Moicano in UFC Fight Night 154’s main event (a.k.a. UFC on ESPN+ 12). In the co-feature, Bantamweight wrecking machine John Lineker steps up on short notice for a rematch with Rob Font (details), while Bryan Barberena faces Randy Brown in a guaranteed Welterweight slugfest and top women’s Flyweight Andrea Lee looks to take the next step against Montana de la Rosa.

UFC Fight Night 154 features six undercard “Prelims” bouts on ESPN 2, so let’s first check out the opening trio.

125 lbs.: Ariane Lipski vs. Molly McCann

Ariane Lipski (11-4) entered the Octagon as one of the division’s top prospects thanks to a nine-fight win streak that saw her win and defend the KSW Women’s Flyweight title. Despite winding up a significant favorite over Joanne Calderwood, “The Violence Queen” had no answers for “Dr. Kneevil’s” grappling, losing a unanimous decision in Brooklyn.

Her nine-fight streak included five (technical) knockouts and two submissions.

Molly McCann (8-2) brought a six-fight win streak of her own into UFC, only to suffer similar misfortune against grappling specialist Gillian Robertson in her debut. “Meatball” bounced back 10 months later against Priscilla Cachoeira, fighting through some grotesque eye swelling to claim a unanimous decision victory.

She stands two inches shorter than Lipski at 5’4.”

This has “Fight of the Night” written all over it. Indeed, both of these women are extremely aggressive and entertaining when they don’t have to worry about takedowns. I expect nonstop exchanges until either the final bell rings or one of them hits the deck.

As fond as I am of “Meatball,” this looks like Lipski’s fight to lose. “The Violence Queen’s” edge in power and strike variety should serve her well in the sort of slugfest McCann will offer. Expect the Brazilian to take a competitive, but clear decision after 15 wild minutes.

Prediction: Lipski via unanimous decision

185 lbs.: Deron Winn vs. Eric Spicely

Deron Winn (5-0) — a protege of Daniel Cormier who came within spitting distance of making the 2016 Olympic wrestling squad — didn’t let his 5’5” frame stop him from stopping his first four opponents in one round apiece at Light Heavyweight. This led to a step up against UFC veteran “Filthy” Tom Lawlor in Nov. 2018, and though Winn had to go to the judges, he came out victorious on the strength of his boxing and wrestling.

He is nine inches shorter than Eric Spicely (12-4), but gives up just two inches of reach.

Spicely (12-4) had an unsuccessful The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) run and fell to Sam Alvey in his Octagon debut, but emerged as an unexpected contender with submissions of Thiago Santos and Alessio Di Chirico. Three consecutive stoppage losses led to his return to the regional circuit, where he knocked out Leo Pla and fellow UFC vet Caio Magalhaes in one round apiece.

He replaces Bruno Silva, who himself replaced Markus Perez, on just five days’ notice (details).

I don’t mean this as a knock on Spicely’s abilities, but he’s the least interesting of Winn’s three scheduled opponents. “Blindado” Silva has colossal power and recently knocked out two of Russia’s best Middleweights, while Perez’s funky offense could have exploited Winn’s lack of top-level experience. Spicely, though a dangerous grappler, doesn’t present any standout stylistic issues, as he’s unlikely to get on top of Winn and is outgunned on the feet.

Winn’s issues are going to come against rangy, mobile strikers who can make him work, and Spicely just isn’t that. “Zebrinha’s” last three losses have come in the second round, so expect Winn to keep the streak going with a point-blank hook.

Prediction: Winn via second-round technical knockout

135 lbs.: Anderson dos Santos vs. Andre Ewell

Anderson dos Santos (20-7) — the last man to defeat current star prospect Ricky Simon — had won three straight when he replaced Enrique Barzola on short notice in Buenos Aires. “Berinja,” stepping up in weight, had few answers for the offense of Nad Narimani, ultimately losing a unanimous decision.

Eleven of his 16 stoppage wins have come via submission.

Andre Ewell (14-5) likewise made his Octagon debut as a late replacement, but found considerably more success, edging former Bantamweight champion Renan Barao via split decision at UFC Fight Night 137. This led to a clash with stud prospect Nathaniel Wood, who exploited Ewell’s grappling issues to choke him out late in the third.

“Mr. Highlight” stands six inches taller than dos Santos and will have a massive nine-inch reach advantage.

This is a “two true outcome” fight: either dos Santos exploits Ewell’s leaky grappling defense or Ewell uses his freakish proportions to crack dos Santos’ chin when the Brazilian inevitably leaves it out for him. It’s the sort of fight that’s going to be uncompetitive in opposite directions depending on where it takes place; one wins easily if it’s on the mat, the other wins easily if it stays on the feet.

Even with Ewell’s wrestling issues, that reach advantage and dos Santos’ iffy striking defense are too much for me to overlook. “Berinja” gets chinned before he has the chance to get his Brazilian jiu-jitsu going.

Prediction: Ewell via first-round technical knockout

Three more UFC Fight Night 154 “Prelims” undercard bouts to preview and predict tomorrow, including the latest from “Violent Bob Ross” and a clash of top-notch “Contender Series” alumni. Same time as always, Maniacs

Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 154 fight card this weekend, starting with the ESPN 2 “Prelims” that are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the main card portion that will stream on ESPN+ at 7 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Fight Night 154: “Korean Zombie vs. Moicano” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

Dillashaw: Faber ‘probably should have stayed retired’

Former UFC bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw isn’t surprised that his former training partner Urijah Faber is returning to MMA. T.J. Dillashaw isn’t surprised to see Urijah Faber back, but believes his former teammate is making the wrong m…

Former UFC bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw isn’t surprised that his former training partner Urijah Faber is returning to MMA.

T.J. Dillashaw isn’t surprised to see Urijah Faber back, but believes his former teammate is making the wrong move by exiting retirement.

Faber, who retired from MMA in 2016, recently announced that he is returning to MMA competition. “The California Kid,” a former WEC champ and current UFC Hall of Famer, retired in 2016 after a win over Brad Pickett. Faber is set to meet prospect Ricky Simon at UFC Sacramento on July 13.

Ex-UFC bantamweight champion Dillashaw, who used to train with Faber at Team Alpha Male, said that Faber should have stayed put.

“I could always tell when he retired that it wasn’t going to be the last fight,” Dillashaw said on Chael Sonnen’s podcast You’re Welcome. “On a technical level, (he) probably maybe should have stayed retired, especially with the young and hungry guys coming up. I’m hoping he’s not hurting for money, even though we’ve had our beefs and whatever — you never want to wish that bad on someone. Personally, I think he probably should have stayed retired, but we’ll see. We’ll see how he comes out.”

Dillashaw and Faber trained together in Sacramento for years before a nasty split in 2015 that saw Dillashaw move to Colorado to train full time with former Team Alpha Male head coach Duane Ludwig, who opened his own gym there. Dillashaw said Faber gave him a choice of either staying with Team Alpha Male or leaving to train with Ludwig. After choosing the latter, Dillashaw said, Faber kicked him out of the gym.

Dillashaw, who failed a USADA drug test for EPO earlier this year, has since moved his training camps to a gym in California called The Treigning Lab, where he works with UFC featherweight Cub Swanson, Bellator contender Juan Archuleta, among others.

When asked if the bad blood between him and Faber is real, Dillashaw assured Sonnen that it is. Dillashaw added that he would be more than willing to fight Faber once his suspension is up in January 2021.

“Of course,” Dillashaw said. “It is (bad enough blood to fight him). It’s real. He’s the one that created the whole (beef by) forcing me out of the gym.

“We were close friends at one time. For a quick change of me following a head coach, he made me out to look like that much of a bad guy.”