Felice Herrig Says She’s ‘Not Young and Beautiful’ Enough for the UFC to Promote

Over the last year, veteran fighter Felice Herrig has quietly transformed from being part-fighter, part-social media personality to a legitimate contender in the UFC’s strawweight division. And at UFC Fight Night 112, she posted what could be the best …

Over the last year, veteran fighter Felice Herrig has quietly transformed from being part-fighter, part-social media personality to a legitimate contender in the UFC’s strawweight division. And at UFC Fight Night 112, she posted what could be the best win of her 12-year combat sports career in her under-the-radar bout with Justine Kish.

But why has that transformation been quiet? Why was her fight under the radar? According to Herrig, it’s because she doesn’t fit into the UFC’s narrow mold of a “promotable” female fighter. 

“I think that I had one bad performance, and because I’m a veteran in this sport you can’t look at me as this new up-and-comer that they can be like, ‘This girl is going to be the next big thing,'” she said in the UFC Fight Night 112 post-fight press conference (via MMAFighting.com‘s Danny Segura). “I already solidified myself in this sport … I’ve fought some of the best and fought completely out of my weight class in so many fights.”

Herrig‘s gripe is valid there. Man or woman, the UFC has proven itself less-than-inclined to invest in aged fighters over the years, with surging competitors often forced to toil away on undercards despite looking phenomenal for extended periods of time (38-year-old Francisco Trinaldo being a great recent example).

As she said that and her voice cracked more and more, however, it was easy to tell that there was a deeper gripe. She didn’t try and hide it, either, and continued her thoughts.

“Honestly, if you want to know the truth, sometimes I feel like I’m not young and beautiful for the UFC to want to promote me. … It’s hard to see these people who’ve not been through what I’ve been through who just got to the UFC at the right time, and they’re getting all these opportunities,” she said. “I see how hard I’ve worked to get here and it doesn’t matter because I’m not pretty enough and I’m not getting any younger, so I don’t know.”

It’s hard to argue with her, insofar as the UFC prioritizing, highlighting and promoting women’s physical appearance over actual in-cage accomplishments. There are numerous examples of the UFC, openly or subtly, focusing on the beauty of a handful of its competitors rather than any actual sport-related credentials, which the promotion has been criticized for many times over the years.

Unfortunately, it seems there is little Herrig can do to shake the UFC from this approach. That said, she plainly stated that she is far from alone in feeling this way, and, as such, her colleagues and fans could back her up and possibly place pressure on the UFC over the coming weeks.

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Mayweather vs. McGregor Betting Line Is Even More Absurd Than the Fight Itself

The Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor boxing match is absurd enough on its own.
A 49-0 multi-division boxing champion is set to face someone making their debut in the ring. That 0-0 fighter also happens to be the UFC’s sole attraction and could we…

The Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor boxing match is absurd enough on its own.

A 49-0 multi-division boxing champion is set to face someone making their debut in the ring. That 0-0 fighter also happens to be the UFC’s sole attraction and could well cash out on the promotion with this fight…and the organization seems to know that.

It’s bananas, right? Still, fans have proved to be even bigger marks than the carnies profiting from the Mayweather-McGregor circus first thought.

How? By pushing the betting line from -2250 vs. +950, to Mayweather being a -550 favorite and McGregor being a +375 underdog.

Granted, a -550 versus +375 line is still pretty clear in regards to who is more likely to win the fight. For the uninitiated, a $100 bet on McGregor would yield $375 in profit should the upset occur, while a $100 bet on Mayweather would give a return just under $20 should he win. The math speaks for itself.  

That said, what makes those numbers so absurd is that they state McGregor is more more likely to beat Mayweather than many of Money’s past opponents—opponents who were highly accomplished boxers.

Justin Hartling of OddsShark.com put together a handy table that shows the history of Mayweather’s betting odds and the numbers strongly suggest McGregor is more likely of taking Mayweather’s “0” than Marcos Maidana, Miguel Cotto and many others:

Pundits have been fairly clear about where a McGregor win would stack up in the all-time list of upsets from a pure sport perspective: decisively in first place.

ESPN’s Max Kellerman flatly stated, “Conor will not land a single punch against Floyd,” and few have strayed too far from his assessment when breaking down the fight.

The numbers here, however, suggest McGregor winning would be a surprisebut not really a shocker. Not only that, but it wouldn’t come close to other great upsets such as Buster Douglas (a 42-1 underdog) defeating Mike Tyson or Holly Holm (who was +450 at the time of the fight) knocking out Ronda Rousey.

Of course, a shift in the betting lines wasn’t unexpected. With the initial -2250 line on Mayweather, a bet of $100 would have yielded just a $4 return. It’s tough to lure people off the couch with that sort of return. 

But for the lines to shift this far in such a short amount of time? It’s truly absurd. Even more absurd than the fight itself.

       

Lines courtesy of OddsShark.com unless otherwise noted, implied odds obtained using OddsShark.com’s Odds Calculator.

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Bellator Adds Mike Goldberg, Mauro Ranallo for Bellator NYC Pay-Per-View Event

Longtime UFC announcer Mike Goldberg’s schedule is open these days. And former WWE, Pride FC and EliteXC announcer Mauro Ranallo? Well, his is packed, but he’s nothing if not a picture of work ethic.
With that in mind, and with the Bellator NYC pay-per…

Longtime UFC announcer Mike Goldberg’s schedule is open these days. And former WWE, Pride FC and EliteXC announcer Mauro Ranallo? Well, his is packed, but he’s nothing if not a picture of work ethic.

With that in mind, and with the Bellator NYC pay-per-view set to take place on June 24, Bellator MMA has added both men to the commentary desk for the event. The promotion announced the news via Twitter:

While this may seem like a standard addition of two familiar voices, there are many interesting stories converging with the signings.

Despite nearly 20 years with the promotion, the UFC unceremoniously released Goldberg following the expiration of his contract last December.

While this wasn’t necessarily surprising, many fans panned the move, as the promotion did nothing to commemorate, or even acknowledge, the commentator’s departure, which added more fuel to a building resistance against the changes made after the company was purchased by WME-IMG for over $4 billion. This will be his first broadcast gig since his final UFC show, UFC 207.

Ranallo, meanwhile, is steadily re-establishing himself as a leading voice in MMA following an ugly split from WWE earlier this year that sparked industry-wide discussion about the long history of bullying allegations surrounding wrestling personality John “Bradshaw” Layfield. He returned to the desk in April with Japanese MMA organization Rizin FF and followed that up by calling the Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko boxing match.

How Bellator will utilize both me remains a mystery. While Bellator could make use of a three-man booth that includes staple color commentator Jimmy Smith, the plan may be to have Ranallo helm the announce desk, with Goldberg doing play-by-play for the fights, according to MMA journalist Josh Gross:

Additionally, it is unclear whether this is the start of long-term relationships between the two announcers and Bellator and what sort of schedule either man will work if so.

Either way, this is the latest example of the hard push Bellator is putting into this pay-per-view. Expect more news on the show, and a definitive answer to how Bellator will utilize both men, in the coming days.

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UFC Auckland Results: Mark Hunt Possibly Retires Derrick Lewis with TKO Win

Mark Hunt didn’t add to his impressive highlight reel at UFC Fight Night 110, but he scored one of the most joyous wins of his career. Facing Derrick Lewis in his hometown of Auckland, New Zealand, the Super Samoan got back in the win column with a fou…

Mark Hunt didn’t add to his impressive highlight reel at UFC Fight Night 110, but he scored one of the most joyous wins of his career. Facing Derrick Lewis in his hometown of Auckland, New Zealand, the Super Samoan got back in the win column with a fourth-round TKO.

While many were expecting the fight to be a short one, Hunt set a deliberate pace early. Whether it was out of respect for Lewis’ pure power or a symptom of his huge height and reach disadvantages, Hunt spent much of the fight stalking Lewis along the perimeter of the cage and stopping any attempts to advance to more favorable territory. Both men found homes for their heavy hands at times, with Lewis landing his devastating uppercuts and Hunt working his counters and lunging crosses, but Hunt’s effective pressure likely put him ahead on the scorecards in each round.

Though Hunt is known for his atomic bomb of a left hand, the finish came from an accumulation of damage rather than his signature deathstroke.

Despite some success with his hands, the Super Samoan’s biggest victories came via his leg kicks. After testing a couple in the first and second rounds, he began actively working Lewis’ left thigh in the third. By the fourth, Lewis was unable to plant his left leg.

Hunt was wise to this and kept the pressure on, mixing up the attack on his enfeebled foe. Eventually, the damage was just too much, and Lewis began ducking and covering to avoid further harm. That drew the referee to stop the match at 3:51 of the fourth round.

It was a critical win for Hunt, who’s now 13-11-1. Despite being one of the most beloved fighters in the UFC, the Kiwi was coming off back-to-back losses at the hands of Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem (though the former has since been overturned to a no contest). A third loss in a row could have been devastating to his career and likely would have killed his hope of a Cinderella title run.

In the shallow heavyweight division, this victory put him right back in line for a title shot, which could be just a couple of fights away.

But while Hunt’s future is bright, Lewis’ is completely uncertain. Following the decision, Lewis took to the microphone to possibly announce his retirement:

It was a huge, and hugely sad, surprise. Despite the loss, the Black Beast was cemented into the division’s top 10, courtesy of a six-fight winning streak that started in October 2015 and didn’t end until Saturday. What’s more, at 32 years old in an aging division, he had a long, bright future ahead of him.

Granted, Lewis would be far from the first fighter to renege on a retirement announcement. If he does walk away, however, the heavyweight division will be lesser without him.

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UFC Fight Night 110: Bleacher Report Main Card Staff Predictions

After a relatively calm two months, the UFC is back in 2016 form with its events, delivering one every single weekend. While many are still chewing on June 3’s UFC 212 and how Max Holloway posted a phenomenal performance over longtime elite Jose A…

After a relatively calm two months, the UFC is back in 2016 form with its events, delivering one every single weekend. While many are still chewing on June 3’s UFC 212 and how Max Holloway posted a phenomenal performance over longtime elite Jose Aldo, fans have to gear right back up for this weekend, with UFC Fight Night 110.

Granted, this event isn’t what anyone would label as “stacked,” with a main card featuring more than a few fighters who are mysteries even to UFC diehards. Still, the main event is good enough to make many forget about those ills, featuring the beloved Mark Hunt opposite fast-rising fellow fan favorite Derrick Lewis.

The full main card is as follows:

  • Derrick Lewis vs. Mark Hunt
  • Derek Brunson vs. Dan Kelly
  • Dan Hooker vs. Ross Pearson
  • Ion Cutelaba vs. Henrique da Silva
  • Tim Elliott vs. Ben Nguyen
  • Alexander Volkanovski vs. Mizuto Hirota

As per usual, the Bleacher Report staff is here to make picks and plead cases for each of these bouts. So read on and find out who the team is picking!

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The Scary Before, During and After of a UFC Weight Cut with Claudia Gadelha

The most dangerous part of being a mixed martial artist isn’t fistfighting in a cage, believe it or not. It’s the weight cut that comes beforehand.
Fighters subject themselves to starvation diets and extreme dehydration in order to compete at the lowes…

The most dangerous part of being a mixed martial artist isn’t fistfighting in a cage, believe it or not. It’s the weight cut that comes beforehand.

Fighters subject themselves to starvation diets and extreme dehydration in order to compete at the lowest weight classes possible. This results in some eye-popping, but legitimately scary, body transformations from the day of the weigh-ins to the night of the fight. UFC 212’s Claudia Gadelha is a prime example of that, as the Brazilian strawweight showed what happens to a fighter’s body throughout the process. 

(Warning, NSFW language below)

On Thursday night, just hours before the UFC 212 weigh-ins, Gadelha posted a photo on her Snapchat account showing what her body looks like during the cut (which was reposted on Twitter by MMA social media personality Zombie Prophet). Tasked with coming in at 115 pounds on Friday morning, Gadelha‘s torso was visibly shrunken to the point where the individual muscle groups of her abdomen clearly visible.

The specifics of how much weight she cut is unknown, but in 2016 she discussed how she previously cut up to 33 pounds for fights with MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz. A strict year-round diet halved that, but even so, forcibly losing more than 10 percent of one’s body weight in anticipation of a cage fight is no easy task.

That showed at the UFC 212 weigh-ins (check out the video above). While Gadelha made weight on the first attempt, the cut was even more obvious live than in pictures, with the clearest physical marker being a cavernous line down the center of her six-pack.

Of course, while the cut was undoubtedly difficult, Gadelha showed up fresh on fight night.

Rehydrated and looking healthy, she posted the most dominant win of her UFC career, taking out former title contender Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the first round.

But even though the contest is behind her, Gadelha finds herself right back at the start of the next cut. Keeping her weight low and staying ready for a short-notice fight is an unfortunate reality for her and most UFC fighters.

Precedent suggests she’ll be able to make the cut without incident and still perform at a high level. Unfortunately, she has to hope she can also avoid the potential long-term health issues that often come from these cuts.

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