Rory MacDonald on Nate Diaz’s past salaries: ‘I was absolutely pissed’

Rory MacDonald feels that he is underpaid by the UFC, and was not happy with some of the salaries Nate Diaz had been receiving before UFC 196. Rory MacDonald doesn’t speak much to the media, and isn’t overly controversial when he does open u…

Rory MacDonald feels that he is underpaid by the UFC, and was not happy with some of the salaries Nate Diaz had been receiving before UFC 196.

Rory MacDonald doesn’t speak much to the media, and isn’t overly controversial when he does open up a bit. But in a recent MMA Hour appearance he did throw down the gauntlet a bit in regards to the UFC, stating that his June fight against Stephen Thompson was the last on his deal and he would be exploring free agency.

Another statement he made was in regards to UFC 196 winner Nate Diaz, and how he’s pleased that Nate finally got paid by the promotion for his bout with Conor McGregor (via MMA Fighting):

“That’s awesome. I’m super happy for him, man. I hope everybody gets paid like that, especially guys who’ve been around for so long. I’ve seen a couple of his fight numbers after, and I was absolutely pissed. I was like, how is a guy like this making that money, you know?

“I feel the same way about my fights too. Sometimes I look at the numbers, I’m like, what the f**k, man? How am I getting paid that. So when you hear something like that, it makes you happy for martial artists.”

Diaz made 500k for his win over McGregor. Before 196, he made 15k/15k for beating Gray Maynard, 16k in a loss to Rafael dos Anjos, and 20k/20k for beating Michael Johnson. It had been rumored that he was given a large signing bonus to balance out the low fight purses, but it still didn’t look very good, and MacDonald clearly noticed.

Rory himself made 59k for his title shot loss to Robbie Lawler at UFC 189. Salaries were not released for his prior two bouts, but a UFC 170 win earned him 50k/50k in early 2014.

Basically, Rory’s concerned about money, and believes that fighters should be getting as much as they can:

“It’s definitely becoming a main issue in our sport,” MacDonald said. “Guys really want to see themselves get paid. They understand that this isn’t forever, and there’s no pension after this or anything like that. You’ve got to make your money while you’re in it, so it’s a hot topic now.”

MacDonald meets Thompson in the headliner of the UFC’s debut in Ottawa on June 18th.

The Complete Guide to UFC Fight Night 85: Hunt vs. Mir

The UFC returns to Brisbane, Australia on Saturday night with a solid offering on Fox Sports 1. In the main event, Mark Hunt and Frank Mir meet in a good matchup of veteran Top 10 heavyweights. While it is unlikely to affect the title picture in any me…

The UFC returns to Brisbane, Australia on Saturday night with a solid offering on Fox Sports 1. In the main event, Mark Hunt and Frank Mir meet in a good matchup of veteran Top 10 heavyweights. While it is unlikely to affect the title picture in any meaningful way, it’s is a fun pairing of skilled fighters who are nearing the end of their runs in the UFC.

In the co-main event, Hector Lombard takes on Neil Magny in a well-matched welterweight bout that gives both fighters an in to potential fights with the division’s elite.

The rest of the card is more or less what you would expect from a foreign Fight Night card on FS1. Australian and New Zealand fighters are present in most of the matchups, though the UFC hasn’t done them many favors with the matchmaking.

Rising prospect Jake Matthews gets a tough test, for example, in the form of Johnny Case in an excellent lightweight bout. Local favorite Daniel Kelly is a substantial underdog against The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 winner Antonio Carlos Junior. It doesn’t feature a regional fighter, but the headlining bout on Fight Pass features Chad Laprise against Ross Pearson in what should be a fantastic action fight.

Let’s take a look at each individual matchup.

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Cain Velasquez Rumored To Return At UFC 200

With one fight — and a submission loss, at that — in the last 29 months, former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is finally set for a return to the Octagon (potentially). News came from Ariel Helwani on this evening’s (March 16, 2016) UFC Tonight that Velasquez is rumored to be facing No. 7-ranked Travis

The post Cain Velasquez Rumored To Return At UFC 200 appeared first on LowKick MMA.

With one fight — and a submission loss, at that — in the last 29 months, former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is finally set for a return to the Octagon (potentially).

News came from Ariel Helwani on this evening’s (March 16, 2016) UFC Tonight that Velasquez is rumored to be facing No. 7-ranked Travis Browne on July 9 at the promotion’s blockbuster UFC 200 card. The fight has not been made official as of this writing.

The top-ranked Velasquez was supposed to face current champion Fabricio Werdum, who submitted him after he gassed in the third round of their back-and-forth war at June 2015’s UFC 188, in the main event of February 6’s UFC 196, but a back injury forced him out the bout and into surgery. It was the latest in a long seriesĀ of devastating shoulder, knee, and now back, injuries that have undoubtedly sapped much of the prime years from a competitor who was once talked about as the greatest of all-time.

He’ll look to begin building back towards that status against Browne, who has been more well known for being Ronda Rousey’s boyfriend as of late, often appearing alongside her in paparazzi photos as she attempted to stay in seclusion after her devastating UFC 193 knockout loss to Holly Holm. He did defeat recent Bellator signee Matt Mitrione with a controversy-laden TKO at January’s UFC Fight Night 81, where he viciously poked ‘Meathead’ in the eye and battered him to an eventual win when the referee somehow failed to see the second and most egregious poke. Mitrione is appealing the loss.

Browne did make a ton of noise in 2013, winning three straight “Knockout of the Night” bonuses over Gabriel Gonzaga, Alistair Overeem, and Josh Barnett, but has since fallen on hard times, losing two out of his last four with his two wins coming over Mitrione and Brendan Schaub; two fighters who aren’t in the UFC anymore.

Velasquez has not fought a non-title fight since his UFC 146 win over Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva in May 2012, where he won his way to a rematch with then-champ Junior dos Santos. Six of his last seven bouts have been for the UFC heavyweight title, but with so many serious injuries clouding his future, it appears the UFC wants to give him more of a tune-up fight to prove he can make it to the cage.

The post Cain Velasquez Rumored To Return At UFC 200 appeared first on LowKick MMA.

Wrestling for Rio: NCAA Championships preview

Along the road to Rio comes the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in NYC. Bloody Elbow points out the wrestlers to watch in each weight. The next stop in the road to wrestling in the 2016 Olympics in Rio is the 2016 NCAA Division I Wre…

Along the road to Rio comes the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in NYC. Bloody Elbow points out the wrestlers to watch in each weight.

The next stop in the road to wrestling in the 2016 Olympics in Rio is the 2016 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.

Odds are that one or more of the elite young athletes in the field of talent athletes at New York’s legendary Madison Square Garden will represent the United States on the wrestling mats of Brazil.

Team Race:

Scholastic wrestling tournaments determine a team winner through a byzantine system of point allocation which rewards wins, the manner of wins, and advancement. I won’t go into detail as to how teams earn the points, but I will name Penn State as the strong favorite to win the most team points and claim their fifth national title in six years.

I see two tiers of team title contenders behind the PSU Nittany Lions. The first tier consists of defending champ Ohio State, Iowa, and Oklahoma State, any of which could beat Penn State in what would comprise a medium-sized upset. The second tier features Cornell, NC State, Virginia Tech, and Missouri; these teams could conceivably win the tournament if all the planets and stars and asteroids and comets aligned.

I’ve named nine teams here, and these teams will likely make of the top nine in the standings, the last team to sneak into the top ten will either be Nebraska, Illinois, or Lehigh.

Future Olympic Team Threats

Some of the wrestlers in this tournament will make noise on the Senior freestyle (or in rare cases Greco-Roman) circuit. Future Olympians and Olympic medalists will take the mats in New York this weekend. I’ll pick one or two wrestlers per weight division whom viewers should keep an eye on as future representatives of Team USA.

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I figure that Ohio State’s Nathan Tomasello has a good shot at representing the United States at at least one Olympics, though probably not the one in 2016. I wanted to mention him specifically to talk about the fact that he has a twin brother who is five inches taller and who is an Olympic hopeful in figure skating. They came out of the same womb, ladies and gents.

Nico Megaludis of Penn State will also likely come close to a few world/Olympic teams, though I think Tomasello, who seems a bit more talented, will constantly thwart him every step of the way.

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Cornell’s Nashon Garrett finally moved up from 125 pounds this year and has been magical. Though scuttlebutt pegs him as having little interest in international wrestling, I have already dubbed him my dark horse team to make the Olympic team at 57 kg, a weight that when combined with day-before weigh-ins is sized perfectly for him. The move up in weight has unleashed Garrett’s full potential almost like Manny Pacquiao’s move to lightweight.

Also at this weight, Iowa’s Cory Clark and Illinois’ Zain Richards will likely mix it up for national team spots at 57 kg.

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This weight, largely due to it’s distance between the Olympic weights of 57 kg and 65 kg, sort of sits irrelevant to the Olympic discussion, though I think Oklahoma State’s Dean Heil is a future world teamer at the non Olympic weight of 61 kg, and a beefed up version of Stanford’s Joey McKenna has the pedigree to challenge for national spots at 65 kg in the future.

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A couple years ago, Penn State’s Zane Retherford fell in devastating fashion in a Junior freestyle match to young phenom Aaron Pico. Since then, Pico’s light has faded a bit and Retherford has been on fire. Expect the Nittany Lion to dominate the field in New York, then come close to some of the USA’s best in the 2016 Olympic Trials in April.

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Isaiah Martinez and Jason Nolf both deserve mention at this weight. Nolf is one of the more talented American wrestlers I’ve ever seen, but physically he is still a puppy and he will grow quite a bit. I’m not sure what weight he will eventually call home, but I’d be shocked if one day he isn’t striking fear into the heart of international competition.

Rumors (or actual reporting I can’t go looking at the moment) have Martinez sucking to 65 kg for the 2016 Olympic Trials. Martinez is a special talent, and if he can show up at the Trials in good form and with well-managed weight then he has a shot against anyone the USA has to offer.

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The Jordan Cousins, Bo of Ohio State and Isaiah of Wisconsin, have heaps of talent, but neither will ever surpass Oklahoma State’s Alex Dieringer, who is the heir apparent at 74 kg to current American Olympic champ Jordan Burroughs.

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Penn State’s Bo Nickal is a damned animal and once he muscles up a bit will dominate American Freestyle at 86 kg for a long time. However, 2016 is too close for him, I wouldn’t expect the Nickal era to flourish for another four years.

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Cornell’s Gabe Dean is a Junior World medalist and will likely win three NCAA titles, this puts him firmly into the ranks of one of the greatest college upper weights of all time. Unfortunately, with reduction in weights and a glut of talent, Dean will face an uphill climb on his Olympic quest.

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Missouri’s J’Den Cox is a rare talent and has what it takes to provide a strong challenge to wunderkind Kyle Snyder for national teams at 97 kg in the coming years. Meanwhile Penn State’s Morgan McIntosh, whom I believe has always been a bit undersized for 197, has the right build and technical know-how to challenge for future national team slots at 86 kg.

285

Three wrestlers at this weight stand poised for big international careers. Ohio State’s Kyle Snyder is the defending world champion at 97 kg and the favorite to represent the USA in Rio (and a medal favorite). Despite Snyder’s international accomplishments, he isn’t the favorite to win 285 pounds, that honor belongs to NC State’s two time defending champion Nick Gwiazdowski. Gwiazdowski is compact, powerful and unceasingly offensive- a package of skills very reminiscent of American GOAT freestyle heavyweight Bruce Baumgartner. After long-time stalwart Tervel Dlagnev hangs his shoes up, Gwiazdowski should own the domestic heavyweight scene in freestyle for as long as he wants it.

We shouldn’t fail to mention Michigan’s Adam Coon, whom I predict is Team USA’s heavyweight of the future in Greco-Roman wrestling.

Resources

Thursday, March 17 features two sessions of wrestling, one at 12 pm (all times EST), and one at 7 pm. The second day contains the quarterfinals in the morning, and the semifinals/blood round in the evening. Day 3 holds the placement matches in the morning and the championship finals in the evening. ESPN, in one form or another, will cover every match.

You can find brackets here.

For weird stats and other interesting discussion you won’t find anywhere else, I recommend you visit the site of blogger Jaroslav Hasek, you can go there here.

Kazuyuki Fujita returns to MMA, set to compete for RIZIN FF on April 17

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas PRIDE FC.
As head cheese for RIZIN FF, Nobuyuki Sakakibara isn’t opposed to rekindling old relationships to further improve his ever-growing roster of mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters (like t…

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas PRIDE FC.

As head cheese for RIZIN FF, Nobuyuki Sakakibara isn’t opposed to rekindling old relationships to further improve his ever-growing roster of mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters (like this one).

He did just that by signing his former PRIDE employee Kazuyuki Fujita to compete for his new Japan-based promotion.

From the official press release:

RIZIN FF, the combat sports promotion led by former PRIDE FC head Nobuyuki Sakakibara, announced during a press conference today, the return of all-time fan favorite Kazuyuki “Ol’ Ironhead” Fujita (15-10), who will take on recent RIZIN FF Grand Prix tournament runner-up and dangerous knockout artist Jiri “Denisa” Prochazka (16-3-1), in a heavyweight Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) contest at the 10,000 capacity Nippon Gaishi Hall in Nagoya, Japan on Sunday, April 17.

The 45-year old legend hasn’t competed in over two years after coming up short against Satoshi Ishii in 2013, his fourth straight defeat.

Throughout his 13-year career, “Ironhead” has taken on some of the best the sport has to offer, including memorable bouts against Fedor Emelianenko, Mirko Filipovic and Wanderlei Silva.

Though he’s seen better days, the bruising heavyweight looks to make another mark in the Japanese MMA world when he dusts off his gloves to take part in some fisticuffs next month. And who knows, we may get the chance to see Fedor vs. Fujita part deux.

Cain Velasquez vs. Travis Browne targeted for UFC 200 in Las Vegas

Cain Velasquez’s return against Travis Browne is targeted for July’s UFC 200. A pivotal heavyweight clash between former UFC champion Cain Velasquez and Travis Browne is currently targeted for this summer’s UFC 200 landmark event, according …

Cain Velasquez’s return against Travis Browne is targeted for July’s UFC 200.

A pivotal heavyweight clash between former UFC champion Cain Velasquez and Travis Browne is currently targeted for this summer’s UFC 200 landmark event, according to UFC Tonight’s Ariel Helwani, who reported the news on Wednesday evening.

Velasquez (13-2) has been out of action since his shocking third-round submission loss to current titleholder Fabricio Werdum in the main event of UFC 188 last June. He was scheduled to rematch the Brazilian and attempt to regain his UFC belt earlier this year, but fell out of the matchup with an injury. The oft-injured Velasquez has fought just 6 times in the last 5 years.

Browne (18-3-1), once considered a rising star in the heavyweight division, recently got back into the winning column with a controversial TKO win over Matt Mitrione at UFC Fight Night 81 this past January. Prior to that, he was upset by top contender Andrei Arlovski by devastating fashion in a Fight of the Year contender in early 2015. “Hapa” also has a loss to Werdum on his record; he lost by decision in 2014 in a No. 1 contender’s matchup.

UFC 200 takes place live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on July 9. No other fights have been confirmed for the card.