Women’s Bantamweight Contender Says UFC ‘Paid Her Off’ To Go Away

When UFC women’s bantamweight Aspen Ladd missed weight at yesterday’s early weigh-ins for her match-up with Leslie Smith at tonight’s UFC Atlantic City, the bout was scratched from the event when Smith declined to accept the fight. But as we found out in the hours after the fight’s cancellation, it had a lot more consequences than […]

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When UFC women’s bantamweight Aspen Ladd missed weight at yesterday’s early weigh-ins for her match-up with Leslie Smith at tonight’s UFC Atlantic City, the bout was scratched from the event when Smith declined to accept the fight.

But as we found out in the hours after the fight’s cancellation, it had a lot more consequences than just that.

Smith admitted that she was tempted to take the fight while speaking to MMA Fighting, but that it would have been against the many values and principles she stands for as a leading voice of working towards improving fighter pay and treatment in the UFC. So while Ladd would have been forced to give her 20 percent of her purse, an amount that only added up to $2,400, Smith declined the fight after having signed an agreement with the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board (NJSACB) that she would receive her show money of $31,000 whether she fought or not since she had weighed in at 135.4 pounds.

She felt that taking the fight would have been purely out of pride, just the situation she believes has gotten MMA fighters into the oppressive position they currently face:

“I considered fighting Aspen anyway, purely out of pride. And another chance to showcase my skills in the Octagon. But if I had done that, it would have been purely pride. And I would have been fighting for free since I was already getting paid the money. Fighting for free out of pride is everything that I have been speaking out against. It’s not everything — there’s more to it. The manipulation of the fighters through pride was something that I felt pretty strongly about. So I’m not fighting her, because I don’t feel like I should fight for free.”

Things took a turn from there, however, when Smith revealed she told the UFC, with whom she’s had a highly-documented standoff with over her labor rights work, that she would take the fight on the condition they extend her contract after her last fight was up versus Ladd.

Instead, they chose to pay Smith her show and win money for the fight and not extend her contract:

“I figured I had some leverage in the situation,” Smith said. “I told the UFC that I would be willing to take the fight as long as they extended my contract. They did not want to extend my contract. Instead, they said they would pay me my win bonus in addition to my show money and that would fulfill the fight on my contract and they would not be extending it.”

With her involvement in the growing labor issue as the president of Project Spearhead seeking to prove if fighters are indeed independent contractors or actual employees looming over her head, she stated she feels like she was paid off:

“It feels like the UFC is paying me off to go away,” Smith said.

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Kevin Lee Reacts To Missing Weight For UFC Atlantic City

Earlier today the MMA world was hit with the news that top lightweight Kevin Lee had missed weight during the early weigh-ins for his main event with Edson Barboza at this weekend’s (Sat., April 21, 2018) UFC Atlantic City. The miss, where ‘The Motown Phenom’ came in one pound over the non-title fight limit of […]

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Earlier today the MMA world was hit with the news that top lightweight Kevin Lee had missed weight during the early weigh-ins for his main event with Edson Barboza at this weekend’s (Sat., April 21, 2018) UFC Atlantic City.

The miss, where ‘The Motown Phenom’ came in one pound over the non-title fight limit of 156 pounds, was significant in that he had nearly missed weight for his interim title fight with Tony Ferguson at last year’s UFC 216, coming in extremely late and weighing following a weight cut that ‘damn near killed him’ while he was dealing with a staph infection.

But he wasn’t dealing with such an ailment this time around, so the inevitable questions of if he should move up to welterweight are swirling this afternoon. Lee issued a statement on Instagram to clarify that this was actually the first time he had ever missed weight, apologizing to the UFC, Dana White, and his opponent before saying he just ran out of time:

“For the first time ever in my athletic career since high school I’ve missed weight this morning. I just ran outta time. I apologize @Ufc @danawhite@edsonbarbozajr tomorrow Imma go put on a show”

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UFC Rankings Update: Conor McGregor Finally Falls On P4P List

Conor McGregor’s outrageous antics – and his overall lack of any in-cage activity – have finally begun to affect his ranking on the official pound-for-pound list. In the newest rankings released this week, McGregor fell one spot to No. 4 as heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic overtook him at No. 3. McGregor, of course, was last […]

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Conor McGregor’s outrageous antics – and his overall lack of any in-cage activity – have finally begun to affect his ranking on the official pound-for-pound list.

In the newest rankings released this week, McGregor fell one spot to No. 4 as heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic overtook him at No. 3. McGregor, of course, was last seen throwing a metal dolly through a bus window before UFC 223, resulting in his arrest and pending court date on a felony and multiple misdemeanors. “The Notorious” was also stripped of his lightweight title after the event, marking the second title of which he’s been relieved of without a single defense.

Miocic, meanwhile, has been a picture of consistency in an otherwise inconsistent heavyweight division, defending his title three times since winning it with a first-round knockout of Fabricio Werdum at 2016’s UFC 198. The Cleveland-based firefighter will face light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in the main event of July 7’s UFC 226 after the two coach The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 27, which debuted last night.

The other significant rankings movement took place in the currently booming lightweight division, with rising contender Dustin Poirier moving up one spot to No. 4 after his exciting fourth-round TKO finish over Justin Gaethje, who dropped down to No. 7 for his second straight UFC loss.

That shakeup forced previous No. 4 Edson Barboza down to No. 5 and allowed Kevin Lee, Barboza’s upcoming opponent in the main event of this weekend’s (Sat., April 21, 2018) UFC Fight Night 128 from Atlantic City, New Jersey, to rise up to No. 6, creating a No. 5 vs. No. 6 match-up at 155 pounds for the second straight week.

You can check out the full updated rankings from the UFC’s official website here:

POUND-FOR-POUND
1 Demetrious Johnson
2 Georges St-Pierre
3 Stipe Miocic +1
4 Conor McGregor -1
5 Daniel Cormier
6 Max Holloway
7 TJ Dillashaw
8 Tyron Woodley +1
8 Khabib Nurmagomedov
10 Cris Cyborg
11 Tony Ferguson
12 Amanda Nunes
13 Robert Whittaker
14 Cody Garbrandt
15 Rose Namajunas

FLYWEIGHT
Champion: Demetrious Johnson
1 Joseph Benavidez
2 Henry Cejudo
3 Ray Borg
4 Jussier Formiga
5 Sergio Pettis
6 John Moraga +4
7 Brandon Moreno
8 Wilson Reis -2
9 Ben Nguyen -1
10 Dustin Ortiz -1
11 Matheus Nicolau +1
12 Alexandre Pantoja -1
13 Tim Elliott
14 Deiveson Figueiredo
15 Magomed Bibulatov

BANTAMWEIGHT
Champion: TJ Dillashaw
1 Cody Garbrandt
2 Dominick Cruz
3 Raphael Assuncao
4 Jimmie Rivera
5 Marlon Moraes
6 John Lineker
7 John Dodson
8 Aljamain Sterling
9 Bryan Caraway -1
10 Pedro Munhoz
10 Cody Stamann +1
12 Rob Font
13 Thomas Almeida
14 Brett Johns
15 Eddie Wineland

FEATHERWEIGHT
Champion: Max Holloway
1 Brian Ortega
2 Jose Aldo
3 Frankie Edgar
4 Cub Swanson
5 Jeremy Stephens
6 Josh Emmett
7 Ricardo Lamas
8 Chan Sung Jung
9 Renato Moicano
10 Darren Elkins
11 Yair Rodriguez
12 Mirsad Bektic
13 Dooho Choi
14 Zabit Magomedsharipov
15 Myles Jury

LIGHTWEIGHT
Champion: Khabib Nurmagomedov
1 Conor McGregor
2 Tony Ferguson
3 Eddie Alvarez
4 Dustin Poirier +1
5 Edson Barboza -1
6 Kevin Lee +1
7 Justin Gaethje -1
8 Nate Diaz
9 Michael Chiesa
10 Al Iaquinta
11 James Vick
12 Anthony Pettis
13 Alexander Hernandez
14 Paul Felder
15 Olivier Aubin-Mercier

WELTERWEIGHT
Champion: Tyron Woodley
1 Stephen Thompson
2 Rafael Dos Anjos
3 Colby Covington
4 Robbie Lawler
5 Demian Maia
6 Jorge Masvidal
7 Kamaru Usman
7 Darren Till
9 Neil Magny
10 Santiago Ponzinibbio
11 Donald Cerrone
12 Gunnar Nelson +1
13 Alex Oliveira *NR
14 Leon Edwards
15 Dong Hyun Kim

MIDDLEWEIGHT
Champion: Robert Whittaker
1 Yoel Romero
2 Jacare Souza
3 Luke Rockhold
4 Chris Weidman
5 Kelvin Gastelum
6 Michael Bisping
7 Derek Brunson
8 David Branch
9 Vitor Belfort
10 Uriah Hall
10 Brad Tavares +5
12 Thiago Santos -1
13 Lyoto Machida -1
14 Paulo Costa
15 Antonio Carlos Junior *NR

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT
Champion: Daniel Cormier
1 Alexander Gustafsson
2 Volkan Oezdemir
3 Glover Teixeira
4 Ilir Latifi
5 Jan Blachowicz
6 Jimi Manuwa
7 Mauricio Rua
8 Ovince Saint Preux
9 Misha Cirkunov
10 Corey Anderson
11 Patrick Cummins
12 Tyson Pedro
13 Gadzhimurad Antigulov
14 Gian Villante
15 Jordan Johnson

HEAVYWEIGHT
Champion: Stipe Miocic
1 Francis Ngannou
2 Alistair Overeem
3 Alexander Volkov
4 Curtis Blaydes
5 Fabricio Werdum
6 Mark Hunt
6 Derrick Lewis
8 Marcin Tybura
9 Andrei Arlovski
10 Aleksei Oleinik
11 Stefan Struve
12 Tai Tuivasa
13 Shamil Abdurakhimov
14 Junior Albini
15 Justin Ledet

WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT
Champion: Rose Namajunas
1 Joanna Jedrzejczyk
2 Jessica Andrade
3 Claudia Gadelha
4 Karolina Kowalkiewicz
5 Tecia Torres
6 Carla Esparza
7 Michelle Waterson
8 Felice Herrig
9 Alexa Grasso
10 Cortney Casey
11 Randa Markos
12 Tatiana Suarez
13 Joanne Calderwood
14 Nina Ansaroff
15 Angela Hill

WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT
Champion: Nicco Montano
1 Valentina Shevchenko
2 Sijara Eubanks
3 Lauren Murphy
4 Alexis Davis
5 Roxanne Modafferi
6 Barb Honchak
7 Liz Carmouche
8 Katlyn Chookagian
9 Jessica-Rose Clark
10 Jessica Eye
11 Ashlee Evans-Smith
12 Mara Romero Borella
13 Paige VanZant
14 Montana De La Rosa
15 Rachael Ostovich

WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT
Champion: Amanda Nunes
1 Holly Holm
2 Raquel Pennington
3 Julianna Pena
4 Ketlen Vieira
5 Germaine de Randamie
6 Cat Zingano
7 Marion Reneau
8 Sara McMann
9 Leslie Smith
10 Aspen Ladd
11 Bethe Correia
12 Irene Aldana
13 Lucie Pudilova
14 Sarah Moras
15 Lina Lansberg

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Daniel Cormier: I Won’t Come out of Retirement to Fight Jon Jones

If the trilogy between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones is going to be completed, the time is ticking for the third fight after Cormier said he wouldn’t come out of retirement to fight Jones…

If the trilogy between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones is going to be completed, the time is ticking for the third fight after Cormier said he wouldn’t come out of retirement to fight Jones…

Former UFC Champ: Conor McGregor ‘Set Fighters Back’ With Outburst

Always considered the biggest and best character in MMA, Conor McGregor continued the cross the line in his strange post-Mayweather era when he threw a dolly through the window of a bus containing Khabib Nurmagomedov at a UFC 223 media day. It’s understandably lead to a vast amount of debate of how much the UFC should […]

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Always considered the biggest and best character in MMA, Conor McGregor continued the cross the line in his strange post-Mayweather era when he threw a dolly through the window of a bus containing Khabib Nurmagomedov at a UFC 223 media day.

It’s understandably lead to a vast amount of debate of how much the UFC should punish him, as he was arraigned on both felony and misdemeanor charges and will next appear in court on June 14. Most believe he won’t be punished by his bosses at the UFC because they need him to come back for a huge fight, however, and in truth, his court case will likely be only a small punishment for his first offense in the U.S.

But in the views of some, McGregor has already done enough to sully the reputation of MMA fighters overall, and one such fighter is former UFC champion Frank Mir. Speaking up on the all-out-chaos in a recent interview with FanSided, Mir said that as MMA’s biggest name, McGregor undid years of hard work put in by he and his fellow MMA pioneers with just one act:

“Seeing Conor do that, on a personal note, it bugs me,” said Mir. “The guys like me, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Matt Hughes, we fought for years to not be considered a thug, and now you’re going to drag us back in. You are the most famous guy in our sport, the richest guy, the most notable character … People judge us [fighters] by our most notable face.”

That behavior won’t result in a positive outcome according to Mir, who said impressionable young people would be following his example and see he had gained fame and fortune by breaking the law. Because of his overall influence on others, Mir thinks it crucial that the UFC gives him a significant punishment:

“The problem is we have all these young guys and women watching him,” Mir said. “Like anything in life, you sit there and go ‘How did that guy get those shoes? Well, I’m doing this. But how did I get those shoes? Well, you have to follow this.’ We’re a pack mentality.

“So with Conor being the most famous face and you give him a slap on the wrist, how do you deter other guys going down this path?”

A good question to be certain, and it would seem McGregor is truly above the law if he is able to avoid any reprimanding from the UFC. He somehow avoided any for his arguably illegal outburst at a Bellator event in his native Dublin, Ireland, last year where he pushed referee Marc Goddard and slapped a security guard who told him to get off the cage.

But this time he’s actually in real legal trouble, and even though he can clearly afford an attorney to get his charges reduced to possibly next to nothing, there’s only so much more the UFC can do put up with before doing something.

As for Mir, he’ll face legendary Pride FC heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator 198 as part of their heavyweight grand prix.

Does the former champion have a good point, and will the UFC ever draw a line in the sand with McGregor?

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