UFC 246 ‘Thrill & Agony’: Fury celebrates with McGregor’s family

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Take a deeper look at the raw emotions of Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone’s respective camps, both personal and professional, in the immediate aftermath of UFC 246. The Thrill and the Agony stays true to…

UFC 246 MMA News Conor McGregor Donald Cerrone Cowboy Thrill Agony

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Take a deeper look at the raw emotions of Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone’s respective camps, both personal and professional, in the immediate aftermath of UFC 246.

The Thrill and the Agony stays true to its name in the UFC 246 feature with Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone.

UFC has released the official teaser for their Fight Pass series post-UFC 246. The video captures the excitement from Team McGregor and the disbelief of Team Cerrone in the immediate aftermath of their main event clash.

Tyson Fury celebrated McGregor’s first-round TKO along with “The Notorious” one’s family and friends. Head coach John Kavanagh remained very calm in McGregor’s corner, but he did flash the slightest of smiles. On the flip side, Cerrone’s corner looked to be in absolute disbelief at the quick finish.

UFC President Dana White was captured saying, “Holy f—king s—t!” in response to the finish. McGregor and Cerrone traded kind words and Conor was even spotted hugging Cerrone’s grandmother.

The video ends with McGregor’s manager Audie Attar popping open a bottle of Proper Twelve.

Joe Rogan Reacts To Stephen A. Smith Bashing ‘Cowboy’: That’s A Bad Look For Everybody

Stephe A. Smith struck a nerve with the mixed martial arts (MMA) community with his comments about Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone on the UFC 246 post-fight show last week. Cerrone had just lost to Conor McGregor in 40 seconds of their pay-per-view (PPV) main event. After the fight, Smith expressed how “disgusted” he was with Cerrone’s […]

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Stephe A. Smith struck a nerve with the mixed martial arts (MMA) community with his comments about Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone on the UFC 246 post-fight show last week.

Cerrone had just lost to Conor McGregor in 40 seconds of their pay-per-view (PPV) main event. After the fight, Smith expressed how “disgusted” he was with Cerrone’s performance, before proceeding to bash the longtime UFC veteran. Alongside him during those comments was longtime UFC commentator Joe Rogan. Rogan mentioned on the broadcast that he disagreed with Smith, but didn’t go into too much detail.

That all changed during a recent episode of Rogan’s podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” alongside Josh Thomson. Rogan suggested that, had he done the broadcast like someone such as Daniel Cormier, it would’ve been better for the sport. (H/T MMA Junkie)

“(Daniel Cormier) and I would’ve had a completely different conversation and it would’ve been better for the sport,” Rogan said. “There’s no positive in downplaying the career of Donald Cerrone and what he can do as a fighter. What that showed to me is how phenomenal Conor performed. That’s what it showed to me.

“If either you or I was talking about cricket, and we were on TV doing commentary on cricket, we would look out of place. It would be (expletive) up and real cricket fans would be upset at us. That’s nothing. You are naked in the most literal sense of the word (in MMA). Physically, you are naked. Emotionally, when fighters lose, it’s (expletive) devastating.

“For Conor to smash ‘Cowboy’ like that in front of his wife, his kid, his grandma and the whole world. You’ve got to have some respect for that man, and this sport demands a different perspective. It’s not the same thing as a ball going into a hoop. It’s not the same thing as crossing a line with a football. It’s different. It’s very intense and very personal, and it’s also very (expletive) dangerous and to play it off like it’s just a game, I don’t agree with it.”

Rogan understands that Smith is a household name in sports broadcasting and why ESPN added him to the program. However, the longtime UFC commentator simply believes his comments are a bad look on the sport.

“That’s a bad look for everybody,” Rogan said. “It’s a bad look for ESPN, it’s a bad look for him, it’s a bad look for the sport. There’s other people that can do this. … We have plenty of people out there who understand the sport. There’s plenty of them. But the thing about him is he’s really popular.

“(He just got a contract extension) because his personality is so fun. He’s a fun guy to watch and people love (expletive)-talking and they love people arguing about (expletive) and one person is better at arguing. Stephen A. Smith is really good at that stuff. But it’s not the place for MMA. It’s just not the place. It’s not the same thing.”

What do you think about Rogan’s comments regarding Smith being on UFC broadcasts?

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Bellator 238: Budd vs. Cyborg staff picks and predictions

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Check out the Bloody Elbow staff’s picks and predictions for Saturday’s Bellator 238 card. The BE team has made its picks for Bellator 238, and only Ed Gallo has got Julia Budd successfully defending her wom…

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Check out the Bloody Elbow staff’s picks and predictions for Saturday’s Bellator 238 card.

The BE team has made its picks for Bellator 238, and only Ed Gallo has got Julia Budd successfully defending her women’s featherweight title vs. Cris Cyborg. As for the co-main event, yours truly is the sole person picking Adam Borics to advance in the Bellator featherweight grand prix semifinals over Darrion Caldwell.

Note: Predictions are entered throughout the week and collected the day before the event. Explanations behind each pick are not required and some writers opt not to do so for their own reasons. For example, if Phil Mackenzie entered all of his predictions on Wednesday without adding in any explanations, he has no idea if he’s going to be the only one siding with one fighter for any given fight.

Julia Budd vs. Cris Cyborg

Mookie Alexander: Budd is one of the few women’s featherweights who has a reasonable chance to win against Cyborg because she won’t be at a monstrous strength disadvantage, and you never know if/when Cyborg’s decline just happens abruptly. Ultimately though, it comes down to whether or not she can hang with Cyborg’s striking or mitigate the danger as much as possible. I don’t see Budd having what it takes to hurt Cris standing the same way Amanda Nunes did, and Cyborg can neutralize what Budd does best. Cris Cyborg by TKO, round 2.

Zane Simon: Budd has the physicality to hang with Cyborg, but it’s often seemed, throughout her career, that she lacks any real sense of urgency or killer instinct. She’s especially been gunshy in striking exchanges, tending to default to wrestling opponents to the mat, where she can let her muscle do more of the work. I don’t see her getting Cyborg down, and it’s hard to see her really hurting Cyborg standing. So this could look a lot like the Holly Holm fight, which (despite what judges may have thought) really wasn’t very close at all. Cris Cyborg by TKO, Round 3.

Staff picking Budd: Ed
Staff picking Cyborg: Dayne, Mookie, Zane

Darrion Caldwell vs. Adam Borics

Mookie Alexander: Sure why not? Caldwell is the better wrestler and he’s a proven five-round fighter, but I can’t help but think that when his wrestling doesn’t work, his offense is just so limited. Borics is a fireball who can end fights at any given moment. I’m in the mood for a slightly reckless pick, and it’s not as if Borics is helpless as a grappler either! Adam Borics by unanimous decision.

Zane Simon: I’ve totally underrated Borics thus far in his career. So I’m badly tempted to overrate him here and say he turns Caldwell into the next notch in his belt. But, I just can’t trust him to pull it off. Caldwell’s wrestling is too good. His top control is too smothering. Borics may have the few big offensive moments that make for any damaging offense this fight, but will that be enough to win? Probably not. Darrion Caldwell by decision.

Staff picking Caldwell: Ed, Dayne, Zane
Staff picking Borics: Mookie

Henry Corrales vs. Juan Archuleta

Mookie Alexander: Very tempted to pick Corrales here. He has a sneaky good left hook, knockout power, but his wrestling defense was a massive problem against Darrion Caldwell, and while Archuleta isn’t at the caliber of Caldwell, he can certainly get this fight to the ground on his terms and win a decision. Archuleta’s striking is also hardly anything to sneeze at, just ask Eduardo Dantas. Juan Archuleta by unanimous decision.

Staff picking Corrales:
Staff picking Archuleta: Ed, Dayne, Mookie, Zane

Sergio Pettis vs. Alfred Kashakyan

Mookie Alexander: A shame for Sergio that he’s the more technical of the Pettis brothers but has none of the dynamic, explosive athleticism that defined Anthony’s peak years. He should be able to win his Bellator debut, but we’ll see what the future holds in terms of the title picture now that Kyoji Horiguchi is out for a long time. Sergio Pettis by unanimous decision.

Zane Simon: I’m not at all confident in Pettis at 135 against willing strikers that can hit hard. His style of rangy, technical kickboxing really works best when he has a dramatic size advantage working for him as well, like he did at flyweight. At 135? Results have been not so great. Still, Kashakyan is otherwise just worse than Pettis everywhere. That’s not a promising point for picking him. Sergio Pettis by submission, round 2.

Staff picking Pettis: Ed, Dayne, Mookie, Zane
Staff picking Kasakhyan:

Raymond Daniels vs. Jason King

Mookie Alexander: It’s a shame that Lucas Bourdon isn’t picking this fight, because Raymond Daniels is easily one of the greatest strikers in the world. Raymond Daniels by KO, round 1.

Staff picking Daniels: Ed, Dayne, Mookie, Zane
Staff picking King:

Ava Knight vs. Emilee King

Mookie Alexander: Yeah this fight is just… there. And it’s a showcase for Knight. Ava Knight by unanimous decision.

Staff picking Knight: Ed, Dayne, Mookie, Zane
Staff picking King:

Pic! McGregor Handed $50K During Dinner With White, Fertitta

Former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor delivered the goods last weekend at UFC 246 when he steamrolled legendary veteran Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone via TKO just 40 seconds into the very first round.
Given the fact that this was McGreg…

Former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor delivered the goods last weekend at UFC 246 when he steamrolled legendary veteran Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone via TKO just 40 seconds into the very first round.

Given the fact that this was McGregor’s first fight in over 15 months and just his third career bout at 170 pounds, the results were quite shocking, even for the biggest of “Notorious” fans. That’s because Cerrone is one of the most battled-tested fighters in MMA today and possessed certain skills that McGregor did not. But with McGregor’s quick explosion out of the gate Cerrone was left with little to work with. He locked up and McGregor pounced on top for one of the easiest and most dominant wins of his career.

As a result of his main event finish, McGregor was awarded one of five Performance of the Night bonuses at UFC 246. The Irish superstar did have $3 million in guaranteed salary to fall back on — as well as his self-proclaimed $80 million payday — but it was nice to see the extra cash flowing.

McGregor, who remained in Vegas after his return win at UFC 246, ended up collecting his $50,000 bonus during a recent dinner with UFC president Dana White and former company CEO Lorenzo Fertitta. The three men were there to discuss business and likely the next move for McGregor, but that didn’t stop White from busting out cold hard cash and gifting it to the UFC’s biggest star.

Check out the photos below posted by McGregor via Instagram:

“Happy National Irish coffee day everyone! Check out @properwhiskey for our recipe of this incredible drink. What a combination,” wrote McGregor.

The Mac Life later confirmed that the cash was in fact McGregor’s UFC 246 post-fight bonus.

While $50,000 isn’t nearly enough to get McGregor’s blood boiling these days the exchange of cash remains significant. It essentially marks the return of Conor McGregor, which means bigger business for UFC and ESPN moving forward.

For complete UFC 246 results and coverage click here.

Stipe Miocic Cleared From Eye Injury, No Timetable For ‘DC’ Trilogy

Stipe Miocic seems to be all healed up from his eye injury following a fourth-round TKO win over Daniel Cormier last August to regain the UFC heavyweight title. Miocic rematched Cormier from their initial meeting in July of 2018, where Miocic was knocked out in the first round, ending his historic heavyweight title reign, which […]

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Stipe Miocic seems to be all healed up from his eye injury following a fourth-round TKO win over Daniel Cormier last August to regain the UFC heavyweight title.

Miocic rematched Cormier from their initial meeting in July of 2018, where Miocic was knocked out in the first round, ending his historic heavyweight title reign, which featured the most successful defenses in the history of the division at three. Now, a trilogy bout is expected between the two, but only until Miocic is fully healed from his recent injury.

The heavyweight champ was recently honored as the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards’ “Pro Athlete of the Year,” where he spoke to media about his status. Miocic revealed he was cleared by doctors a week ago. (H/T MMA Junkie)

“(I’m) better – a lot better,” Miocic said. “It’s healed up. I’m taking my time with it because I’m 37, so I don’t want to injure it again. I want to be able to see out of both eyes when I get older. That’s all I really care about right now. I love fighting, but my health is more important.

“… (I was cleared) about a week ago. I’ve been trying to spar a little bit. It’s been rough because I’ve not sparred in over five months. The guys that I take it out on would take it out on me. It’s not been fun. I’m thinking about that in the back of my mind.”

However, Miocic isn’t going to rush things. He will take his time and return to fighting action once his body feels the time is right.

“Not right now,” Miocic said. “I just got cleared. I’m taking my time getting back into the swing of things. We’ll figure it out and see what happens.”

What do you think about Miocic being cleared from his eye injury? When do you expect his trilogy with Cormier to take place?

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UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. dos Santos staff picks and predictions

Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Check out the Bloody Elbow staff’s picks and predictions for Saturday’s UFC Raleigh card. The BE team has made its picks for UFC Raleigh, and only Dayne Fox is going with Junior dos Santos to upset Curtis Bl…

Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Check out the Bloody Elbow staff’s picks and predictions for Saturday’s UFC Raleigh card.

The BE team has made its picks for UFC Raleigh, and only Dayne Fox is going with Junior dos Santos to upset Curtis Blaydes in Saturday’s main event. The co-main event is a clean sweep, as we all think Rafael dos Anjos will beat Michael Chiesa.

Note: Predictions are entered throughout the week and collected the day before the event. Explanations behind each pick are not required and some writers opt not to do so for their own reasons. For example, if Phil Mackenzie entered all of his predictions on Wednesday without adding in any explanations, he has no idea if he’s going to be the only one siding with one fighter for any given fight.

Curtis Blaydes vs. Junior dos Santos

Mookie Alexander: Dos Santos is the better boxer and Blaydes is still largely a wooden striker. Curtis also can pressure, he’s quite relentless with his takedowns, and he’s stupidly strong. There are red flags about JDS’ health after the bacterial infection. Hard shots are hurting him consistently and his willingness to get backed up against the fence is death against someone of Blaydes’ wrestling caliber. It’s an intriguing matchup in the sense that JDS has a clear path to victory, but I feel like Blaydes’ wrestling and terrifying ground-and-pound is good enough to see this fight potentially turn into a steady beatdown. Curtis Blaydes by TKO, round 3.

Zane Simon: This feels like one of those fights where we’re going to know exactly how the whole thing will look within the first minute. Does Blaydes successfully close JDS down and get a quick takedown and start dominating with top control? Or does he get lit up on the way in by one of heavyweight’s few men capable of stuffing a shot? If Blaydes has to spend significant time out at range against JDS, odds are, he’ll get lit up there. But if JDS can’t keep off the fence, and off his back, then odds are equally good that he’ll get busted up. In general, JDS’s bad habit of fighting off the cage has meant even when he wins, fighters who try to wrestle him tend to make him look a lot less dangerous. So, I’ll take Blaydes here. But I think this is a good test to see just how many potential bad stylistic fights there are for him at the top of the division other than Ngannou. Curtis Blaydes by decision.

Staff picking Blaydes: Ed, Phil, Mookie, Zane
Staff picking JDS: Dayne

Michael Chiesa vs. Rafael dos Anjos

Mookie Alexander: Chiesa’s gonna have to win by outgrappling RDA and that’s not going to be easy. There’s also the whole “RDA likes body kicks and Chiesa is vulnerable to body shots” angle. Chiesa isn’t easy to just bulldoze, but I think RDA is the better fighter and he’ll be able to avoid getting controlled on the mat by Chiesa and then outstrike him at range and in the clinch. Rafael dos Anjos by TKO, round 2.

Phil Mackenzie: This seems like a horror matchup for Chiesa. He’s a typically enthusiastic and willing striker, albeit one who could not knock out Diego Sanchez in the Year Of Our Lord 2019, and one who did not seem comfortable enough to try. He has the body and leg defense of a Rick Little protege and basically comes into this fight looking to leverage a similar approach to Kevin Lee (clinch up and outwork RDA), albeit having to make that work as a worse striker and an inferior offensive wrestler to the Motown Phenom. Chiesa is tough and gritty and has one of the best RNCs in the game, but RDA by unanimous decision.

Zane Simon: Off all the Sikjitsu guys, Chiesa may have the most functional striking game. But, it’s still not great. If he can’t get RDA down, then he’s going to get busted up standing. And he probably will get RDA down at least once. But getting him down and holding/controlling him on the mat are two different things. Even Covington had trouble actually keeping RDA on his back. And Covington is a much much more relentless striker. I just don’t think Chiesa is capable of exerting the pressure necessary to crack RDA, or staying safe enough out at range to just out-work him. Rafael Dos Anjos by decision.

Staff picking Chiesa:
Staff picking RDA: Ed, Phil, Dayne, Mookie, Zane

Arnold Allen vs. Nik Lentz

Mookie Alexander: Yeahhhhhh I don’t think this will work out very well for Lentz, especially not returning to 145. Allen may lack truly devastating power or overall finishing abilities, and Lentz is still very hard to finish, but he’s much more technical than Nik and if his wrestling defense holds up than Nik may end up gassing himself out trying to push the pace early. Allen should be able to outjab Lentz and have the more meaningful offense. Arnold Allen by unanimous decision.

Phil Mackenzie: I am profoundly untrusting of Lentz’ ability to make 145 at this stage of his career. Said career modestly took off when he went down to featherweight, but he last hit 145 about five years ago now and has ballooned with Florida Muscle at lightweight since. He mostly works as a willing clinch and pocket brawler who is just too dogged to go away, but Allen has been practicing against similar style archetypes for his last few fights and seems to be getting increasingly good at handling them. Southpaw vs southpaw favours his active lead hand, combined with a clear handspeed and defense advantage. He occasionally bursts out into lovely little cannonades of boxing combinations and I’d like to see more of that. Arnold Allen by unanimous decision.

Zane Simon: There’s a good chance that Lentz looks pretty decent early. He’s worked a lot on his boxing and has been packing some good power lately. But he’s also been marked by more cardio woes as he’s packed on muscle. Of course that was at lightweight, but it’s hard to think that cutting back to 145 is going to help anything. More than anything, Allen has been known as a cardio machine, who will push hard through the third round to take the win. He’s also finally really starting to show the technical striking prowess that he’s always been lauded for. Looking much more crafty lately, fighting long behind his jab. If/when Lentz gets tired, it’s hard not to see Allen just picking him apart. Arnold Allen by decision.

Staff picking Allen: Ed, Phil, Dayne, Mookie, Zane
Staff picking Lentz:

Lina Lansberg vs. Sara McMann

Mookie Alexander: I’ve just seen McMann throw away too many fights for me to confidently pick her. Lina Lansberg by unanimous decision.

Phil Mackenzie: I just don’t know with Sara McMann. She seems incredibly uncomfortable as a fighter, yet has great athleticism and a decent skillset for the sport which means she occasionally picks up surprising wins. Lansberg is flawed and not a great grappler, but I generally expect her to hang around being big and tough and putting out offense until McMann gets too upset to win. Lina Lansberg by unanimous decision.

Zane Simon: McMann has a really troubling history of just kind of willing herself into dramatic technical mistakes. But, most of those have come against fighters who are good enough grapplers to really trap her and make her pay for her errors. Lansberg has impressed lately with an improved wrestling game. But I can’t think she’s going to out-wrestle McMann. And if she’s not gonna pull off a sneaky sub? Sara McMann by decision.

Staff picking Lansberg: Dayne, Mookie, Phil
Staff picking McMann: Ed, Zane

Jordan Espinosa vs. Alex Perez

Phil Mackenzie: Alex Perez is big and mean and violent for the weight class, albeit a bit clunky in his approach and reliant on being the physical bully. Espinosa’s game was dismantled somewhat by Matt Schnell who defused his entries by slicing him up at range, and Perez should be able to broadly replicate that by sticking on top of Espinosa and trying to bulldoze him. Alex Perez by unanimous decision.

Zane Simon: I’m a little worried that Perez gets a bit gunshy against elite-level flyweight athletes who can stun him with their speed. And Espinosa is definitely that. But, Espinosa’s game just isn’t very deep or deft. He relies a ton on being able to close distance quickly and dramatically to drop single shots. Fighters who can time his entries tend to find him wide open for counters. Perez has some heavy hands, and a strong wrestling/top game. Assuming he doesn’t just get flummoxed by Espinosa’s quickness, he’ll probably be able to push him backwards, and hit reactive takedowns. Alex Perez by decision.

Staff picking Espinosa:
Staff picking Perez: Ed, Dayne, Mookie, Phil

Hannah Cifers vs. Angela Hill

Zane Simon: Hill has a bad habit of letting any willing striker she faces hang around and eventually look pretty competitive with her. Most of that just seems down to footwork and cardio, and the fact that she starts fast and always gets more flat footed as the fight wears on. So, to that end, I don’t expect Cifers to get blown out here. But, Cifers is still too one-note in her offense and not powerful enough in that note, for me to feel like she can out-gun Hill for three rounds. Angela Hill by decision.

Phil Mackenzie: Angela Hill is pretty much guaranteed to be a fun fight: she puts out a ton of strikes without the power to finish or the defence to stay safe, and so her bouts are typically a referendum on whether her opponent can just put out more horsepower in their strikes or grappling. In this case, the answer seems to be no. Angela Hill by unanimous decision.

Staff picking Cifers:
Staff picking Hill: Ed, Dayne, Mookie, Zane, Phil

Rest of the Card

Jamahal Hill vs. Darko Stosic

Staff picking Hill: Dayne, Zane, Phil
Staff picking Stosic: Ed, Mookie

Justine Kish vs. Lucie Pudilova

Staff picking Kish:
Staff picking Pudilova: Ed, Dayne, Zane, Phil, Mookie

Bevon Lewis vs. Dequan Townsend

Staff picking Lewis: Ed, Phil, Dayne, Zane, Phil, Mookie
Staff picking Townsend:

Montel Jackson vs. Felipe Colares

Staff picking Jackson: Ed, Phil, Dayne, Zane, Mookie
Staff picking Colares:

Tony Gravely vs. Brett Johns

Staff picking Gravely: Ed
Staff picking Johns: Dayne, Zane, Phil, Mookie

Herbert Burns vs. Nate Landwehr

Staff picking Burns: Zane, Phil, Mookie
Staff picking Landwehr: Ed, Dayne