Logan Paul Signs Contract With World Wrestling Entertainment

Logan Paul has found a home with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). 24 hours after WWE confirmed the signing of MMA fighter Valerie Loureda, the powerhouse pro wrestling promotion has continued to shake its roster up with another major signing in You…

Logan Paul has found a home with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). 24 hours after WWE confirmed the signing of MMA fighter Valerie Loureda, the powerhouse pro wrestling promotion has continued to shake its roster up with another major signing in YouTube sensation Logan Paul. Paul revealed the news himself via Instagram on Thursday. According to…

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Jake Paul Blasts The Fury Brothers, Says He’s Moving On

Jake Paul claims both of the Fury brothers are in hiding and has hinted at making other plans. Paul is slated to face off against Tyson Fury’s brother, Tommy Fury, on August 6. Both men are undefeated as professional boxers, making this one of Paul’s most legitimate challengers inside the boxing ring yet. Ahead of…

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Jake Paul claims both of the Fury brothers are in hiding and has hinted at making other plans.

Paul is slated to face off against Tyson Fury’s brother, Tommy Fury, on August 6. Both men are undefeated as professional boxers, making this one of Paul’s most legitimate challengers inside the boxing ring yet.

Ahead of the fight, Paul and Tyson Fury made a $1 million bet on whether or not Paul would win the fight. Both Paul and Fury verbally agreed to the bet on social media, all but locking the agreement up.

With that being said, Paul says that’s no longer the case in a recent Tweet. Taking to Twitter, while taking a shot at Tommy Fury, Paul says Tyson Fury’s lawyer hasn’t gotten back to him about setting up escrow for the high stakes wager.

“Tommy Fury is in hiding. Bitch made. Tyson Fury lawyer never got back to my team on setting up escrow for our $1M bet. Never believed in his brother. Instructed my team to do a Hova and move On To The Next One”

It is unclear if the final line is Paul hinting at moving on to a new opponent, if he’s bluffing as a negotiation tactic, or if there is another meaning behind that final message.

Paul is 5-0 as a professional boxer with knockout wins over ex-UFC stars Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley, the latter of which being a former UFC champion.

As for Fury, he is a bit more experienced with an 8-0 boxing record, with four of those wins coming via knockout. Paul vs. Fury goes down live on pay-per-view (PPV) from Madison Square Garden on August 6.

MMA News will keep you up to speed on all the latest updates surrounding this developing story.

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Adesanya Won’t Act “Cordial” After Cannonier Made It “Personal”

It appears that relations between UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya and Jared Cannonier have deteriorated just days out from UFC 276. In this weekend’s International Fight Week headliner, longtime 185-pound king Adesanya will look to add a fifth defense to his lengthy reign, as well as a fresh name to his unblemished résumé in the…

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It appears that relations between UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya and Jared Cannonier have deteriorated just days out from UFC 276.

In this weekend’s International Fight Week headliner, longtime 185-pound king Adesanya will look to add a fifth defense to his lengthy reign, as well as a fresh name to his unblemished résumé in the division.

Adesanya has had a mixed bag when it comes to fight build-ups in the UFC. While the period before his fights with Yoel Romero, which saw the pair break out some dance moves during a face-off, and Robert Whittaker followed a largely respectful path, the same can’t be said for a number of others.

In the Nigerian-New Zealander’s first fight with Whittaker, the pair showed some animosity, which the Australian put down to certain media narratives. Then, in Adesanya’s second and third defenses, the champ’s disdain for both Paulo Costa and Marvin Vettori was evident, with the former even receiving some ‘humping’ post-fight.

Although it initially seemed like Adesanya’s upcoming clash with Cannonier would be leading towards the Romero and Whittaker 2 side of things, it appears as if that has changed owing to some of the challenger’s words.

During a recent interview on his own YouTube channel, Adesanya discussed his past interactions with “The Killa Gorilla.” While he described their relationship back then as “cordial,” the middleweight king said that things are a far cry from that leading into their fight.

“(We’ve interacted) a little bit. I can’t remember what fight it was at. I was sitting like, a few rows in front of him,” Adesanya recalled. “We’re cordial, we’re cool. But this fight, I’m not being cordial or cool.”

Pinpointing the moment things turned personal, Adesanya noted that his feelings towards Cannonier flipped when the 38-year-old attempted to change-up by “talking sh*t” online.

“I used to follow him. We exchanged pleasantries online. He responded to a few of my stories. Things changed when he started talking sh*t. I took that personally,” Adesanya said. “I don’t know (why he switched up), man. These people always act different around me. It’s weird. I think it’s just because it’s me, they feel like they have to change what they do.

“Just do what got you to the dance. Same advice I gave to Rob (Whittaker) before the first fight, just do what got you to the dance. Why are you trying to be Mr. funny guy?” Adesanya continued. “For me, this one I’m like, ‘Bet.’ That’s all I needed, and I was like, ‘Cool.’ I’m gonna use him as an example.”

Adesanya is likely referencing an exchange he had with Cannonier on Instagram. In a story, the #2-ranked middleweight contender shared the line, “When you lose the belt it tastes like sh*t,” which was seemingly Jan Blachowicz’s description of losing the light heavyweight gold to Glover Teixeira last October.

Cannonier tagged Adesanya in the post with the question, “Have you ever tried sh*t?” In response, the champ suggested that his upcoming challenger was “acting out of character” ahead of their Octagon meeting.

Israel Adesanya, Jared Cannonier
Image Credit: FREESTYLEBENDER on YouTube

While tensions are still not exactly boiling over, the added hostility could make for an intriguing press conference and fiery affair come fight night this Saturday.

Who do you think will leave Las Vegas with the middleweight gold, Israel Adesanya or Jared Cannonier?

Continue Reading Adesanya Won’t Act “Cordial” After Cannonier Made It “Personal” at MMA News.

UFC 276 Predictions: Expert Picks By MMA News Staff

UFC 276 is closing in, and we’ve got our staff predictions ready to get you even more hyped up for the big event! In the main event, Israel Adesanya will defend the middleweight championship against Jared Cannonier. The co-main event will feature a featherweight championship trilogy between Max Holloway and Alex Volkanovski. The remainder of…

Continue Reading UFC 276 Predictions: Expert Picks By MMA News Staff at MMA News.

UFC 276 is closing in, and we’ve got our staff predictions ready to get you even more hyped up for the big event!

In the main event, Israel Adesanya will defend the middleweight championship against Jared Cannonier. The co-main event will feature a featherweight championship trilogy between Max Holloway and Alex Volkanovski.

The remainder of the main card is also filled with names known to bring along high-octane action, with “Sugar” Sean O’Malley kicking off the main card against Pedro Munhoz, Robbie Lawler facing Bryan Barberena, and a highly anticipated middleweight title eliminator between Sean Strickland and Alex Pereira.

UFC 276 will be available exclusively on ESPN+ pay-per-view on Saturday, July 2, 2022. The main card begins at 10:00 PM ET, and the ESPN preliminary card kicks off at 8:00 PM. The early preliminary card starts at 6:30 PM. The event will take place from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Staff Predictions for UFC 276: Adesanya vs. Cannonier

MMA News is the place to be for all the latest UFC 276 updates. Harvey Leonard, Andrew Starc, and Drew Beaupré have provided their picks for you below.

Here is the full main card for UFC 276: Adesanya vs. Cannonier

  • Middleweight Championship Bout: Israel Adesanya (c) vs. Jared Cannonier
  • Featherweight Championship Bout: Alexander Volkanovski (c) vs. Max Holloway
  • Middleweight: Sean Strickland vs. Alex Pereira
  • Welterweight: Robbie Lawler vs. Bryan Barberena
  • Bantamweight: Pedro Munhoz vs. Sean O’Malley

Pedro Munhoz vs. Sean O’Malley

Sean O'Malley, Pedro Munhoz
© Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

© Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Harvey Leonard: I don’t think there’s any doubting that this is O’Malley’s toughest test to date. But of all the opponents he could have been given his “toughest test” against, this is the most favorable matchup for him. O’Malley has proven his standup skills, and with a sizable reach and height advantage, I expect him to pick at Munhoz from range.

Should the Brazilian push forward in the hopes of negating the reach discrepancy, “Sugar” has the speed and footwork to circle on the back foot and counter well. Of course, Munhoz can go some way to affecting O’Malley’s movement with his leg kicks and is a step-up on the 27-year-old’s past opponents when it comes to power-punching, but I won’t bargain on that over O’Malley’s counters and setups. (Prediction: Sean O’Malley)

Andrew Starc: A classic matchup between one fighter who’s on his way up, and another seemingly on the way down. Pedro Munhoz, now thirty-five, has lost four of his last five. These, however, came against the best in the division, past and present; Aljamain Sterling, Frankie Edgar, José Aldo and Dominick Cruz.

As much as it may seem Munhoz is now in the autumn of his career, he’ll still pose the toughest test Sean O’Malley’s has faced. Riding a three-fight win streak, O’Malley has no doubt looked impressive. But two of those wins came against fighters—Kris Mountinho and Thomas Almeida—who have since been cut from the UFC. Still, I think “Suga” will get it done against Munhoz, but not without a struggle. (Prediction: Sean O’Malley)

Drew Beaupré: This matchup will be the UFC’s second attempt to get a significant name on O’Malley’s record. They tried it with Marlon Vera, but “Chito” was very much on his way up at the time. Munhoz is also an established name, but he’s on the opposite trajectory of where Vera was.

“The Young Punisher” has never been the fastest fighter, but this late in his career he seems tailor-made for “Sugar” to overwhelm on the feet. The Brazilian still has the power and submission game to surprise O’Malley if he gets sloppy, but this looks like the moment where the 27-year-old may crack the UFC’s bantamweight Top 10. (Prediction: Sean O’Malley)

Consensus: 3-0 O’Malley

Robbie Lawler vs. Bryan Barberena

Bryan Barberena, Robbie Lawler

Harvey Leonard: Barberena is rarely in boring bouts and Lawler is as game to fight as they come, so this should be a wild one. While the former champion has been on a clear decline, his level of competition has been high, barring Nick Diaz. And though “Bam Bam” is dangerous, he hasn’t got the technical abilities of the opponents Lawler has consistently faced.

With that in mind, this bout truly sits as a litmus test for how far Lawler has fallen. I expect his more polished striking to allow him to outpoint Barberena, so can “Bam Bam” knock him out? Given that the 40-year-old hasn’t been stopped with strikes in his last four losses and has suffered one KO defeat since 2004, I wouldn’t predict him to. But it could get hairy for “Ruthless” if his defense is as open as it was versus Diaz, whose punches were thankfully largely powerless. (Prediction: Robbie Lawler)

Andrew Starc: Since losing the welterweight strap in 2016, it’s fair to say Robbie Lawler has been on the downward slide. The 40-year-old has lost four of his last five, having most recently defeated a very faded Nick Diaz in September last year. 

Bryan Barberena, meanwhile, is coming off back-to-back wins against Matt Brown and Darian Weeks. He hasn’t, however, faced the caliber of fighter Lawler has in recent times. I think Lawler will get it done by unanimous decision here. (Prediction: Robbie Lawler)

Drew Beaupré: This fight feels well-matched considering where both guys are at in their careers, although I can’t help but wonder about the kind of war they might have had a few years ago. Both men are known for their ability to come on strong later in fights, but neither has looked particularly convincing of late. Barberena had a great scrap with Matt Brown but won by a very narrow split-decision, while Lawler stopped a returning Nick Diaz that pretty clearly didn’t want to be in the cage.

“Ruthless” may not be the force that he once was, but he’s not too far removed from fighting some of the UFC’s top welterweights. Barberena has struggled recently against a comparatively lower level of competition, so I’ll side with the former champion. (Prediction: Robbie Lawler)

Consensus: 3-0 Lawler

Sean Strickland vs. Alex Pereira

Strickland Pereira

Harvey Leonard: I feel like this might be an instance where Strickland’s tendency to promise to do dangerous things in the Octagon and then do the opposite might pay off. In his recent bouts, he’s jabbed his way to composed decision victories. While that approach still won’t give him the edge on the feet against Pereira, it’ll make a knockout less likely and provide more openings for him to land takedowns as the Brazilian begins to get wild.

From there, we must assume that Strickland has a sizable advantage. While Pereira avoided Silva’s attempts to drag the fight down, I’m trusting stories from Strickland’s training partners regarding his grappling. Chris Curtis, for instance, claimed that “Tarzan” has developed into one of middleweight’s best wrestlers since his defeat to Usman. A KO can never be counted out with Pereira, but stylistically, this one favors Strickland. (Prediction: Sean Strickland)

Andrew Starc: I think almost everyone wants to see Alex Pereira get the win to set up a showdown with champ Israel Adesanya—the man he beat twice as a kickboxer, once via KO. But #4-ranked middleweight Sean Strickland, who’s won six in a row and looks ready to challenge for the title himself, may just be too great a step up in competition for Pereira. 

The unranked Brazilian, who has just two UFC fights to his name, obviously has the KO power to put Strickland’s lights out. But his ground game is of course very suspect, and I think Strickland will take full advantage. I’m predicting a submission win for “Tarzan.” (Prediction: Sean Strickland) 

Drew Beaupré: I won’t lie, I’m as interested in a grudge match between Adesanya and Pereira as anybody else. The UFC is certainly keen on it, and if Pereira wins here, he’ll likely jump to the front of the line as the next middleweight title challenger. I love the fact that Pereira has been working with Glover Teixeira to round out his MMA game, but Strickland is going to be a massive step up for him in terms of MMA experience.

If Strickland uses his full skillset he should have the edge, but I do worry about if he chooses to test himself on the feet for too long. The UFC have sold me on the idea of Adesanya vs. Pereira, but I can’t sign off on the Brazilian challenging for a title until he gets a significant win. (Prediction: Sean Strickland)

Consensus: 3-0 Strickland

Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway

Alexander Volkanovski Max Holloway
Alexander Volkanovski, Max Holloway (Image Credit: Louis Grasse/PxImages & Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Harvey Leonard: This is the pick ‘em fight of all pick ‘em fights. I didn’t think a matchup with these two could get any closer on paper after their first two contests, but then they both went out and delivered two all-time great performances in their respective two fights since UFC 251.

Given their first two results and the insane form they’ve both been in, there’s very little to choose between them. Ultimately, I’ve got to go for the man I believe has developed more since 2020, and by the barest of margins, I see that as the champ. But essentially, toss a coin. (Prediction: Alexander Volkanovski)

Andrew Starc: Alexander Volkanovski’s reign atop the featherweight division continues to go from strength to strength. In April, he put on a clinic against the Korean Zombie, and in September last year, pulled off several Houdini-like escapes from Brian Ortega’s jiu-jitsu, not before beating him six ways to Sunday.

Max Holloway, however, has looked equally impressive in his last two fights, soundly defeating Calvin Kattar and Yair Rodriguez. And in his last fight with Volkanovski, Max looked like he did enough to get the win. I think he’ll do the same again this time to reclaim the featherweight title. (Prediction: Max Holloway)

Drew Beaupré: Like many, I remember feeling that Holloway had done enough to win in the second fight between these two featherweight greats. After watching again, I was much more understanding of it going Volkanovski’s way, but mainly I was impressed by how well both fighters had adapted from their first matchup. That’s certainly what makes a third fight interesting despite Volkanovski being up 2-0, and it’s anyone’s guess what they’ll each bring into the cage this time.

I expect Holloway to have made adjustments, but Volkanovski will undoubtedly have done the same. As much fun as a best-of-5 series between these two sounds if Holloway were to win, there’s too many good fighters at featherweight for the division to be held up that long. (Prediction: Alexander Volkanovski)

Consensus: 2-1 Volkanovski

Israel Adesanya vs. Jared Cannonier

Israel Adesanya Jared Cannonier

Harvey Leonard: This is the only main card fight I’d say I’m over 70% confident in my pick for. Adesanya is simply too slick on the feet and, as evidenced by his recent wins, is willing to play a patient and tactical game to keep the belt. While he’s been making a lot of noise about a finish, when push comes to shove, “The Last Stylebender’ will be more than happy for a controlled five-round affair if need be. That’s especially the case given that a power punch sneaking through his defense is likely the one route to victory for Cannonier.

It’s also hard to ignore the fact that Whittaker comfortably bested “The Killa Gorilla,” albeit after Cannonier broke his arm. There just doesn’t seem to be anything in the challenger’s game that Adesanya hasn’t seen and neutralized before. I expect counter after counter as Cannonier looks to close the distance. (Prediction: Israel Adesanya)

Andrew Starc: Jared Cannonier has certainly earned his title shot against Israel Adesanya. He’s 5-1 since dropping to middleweight in 2018, having defeated the likes of Jack Hermansson, Kelvin Gastelum and Derek Brunson. And the 38-year-old no doubt carries the KO power to knock Adesanya out. 

The problem he faces, like many others before him, is being able to close the distance and catch Adesanya. The champ’s footwork, evasive skills and blistering counterstriking are probably the best in the UFC, and I can’t see Cannonier posing a problem. Adesanya via TKO. (Prediction: Israel Adesanya)

Drew Beaupré: Jared Cannonier’s UFC career has taken him through wins, losses, and three different weight classes to earn his first title shot. It’s a great story, but not one that I expect to end in triumph on Saturday. “Tha Killa Gorilla” obviously has power, but he’s going to be in Adesanya’s world when he presumably keeps things standing.

I expect Adesanya to be patient early in order to get a read on Cannonier, but after that, things will probably go downhill quickly. The winner of Strickland vs. Pereira is the likely next title challenger, but after that it looks as if the middleweight rankings will be in need of some fresh talent to challenge “The Last Stylebender”. (Prediction: Israel Adesanya)

Consensus: 3-0 Adesanya

That’ll do it for our UFC 276 staff picks! What do you think? Do your picks look similar? Let us know in the comments section! Also, you can check out the UFC 276 undercard below.

UFC 276 Preliminary Card

  • Lightweight: Brad Riddell vs. Jalin Turner
  • Middleweight: Brad Tavares vs. Dricus Du Plessis
  • Welterweight: Ian Garry vs. Gabriel Green
  • Lightweight: Jim Miller vs. Donald Cerrone

UFC 276 Early Preliminary Card

  • Middleweight: Uriah Hall vs. Andre Muniz
  • Women’s Flyweight: Jessica Eye vs. Maycee Barber
  • Women’s Bantamweight: Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Julija Stoliarenko

Be sure to keep it right here on MMANews.com Saturday for all the results, highlights, and updates on UFC 276!

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Bellator Star Valerie Loureda Pens Multi-Year Deal With Professional Wrestling Outfit WWE

Valerie LouredaBellator MMA flyweight prospect, Valerie Loureda has confirmed that she has penned a multi-year deal to make a transition from professional mixed martial arts to professional wrestling, linking up with the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). Loureda, a native of Miami, Florida – confirmed to ESPN this Wednesday afternoon that she had put pen to paper […]

Valerie Loureda

Bellator MMA flyweight prospect, Valerie Loureda has confirmed that she has penned a multi-year deal to make a transition from professional mixed martial arts to professional wrestling, linking up with the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment).

Loureda, a native of Miami, Florida – confirmed to ESPN this Wednesday afternoon that she had put pen to paper on a multi-year deal with the WWE – making the transition to professional wrestling.

A trainee at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida – Loureda competed 5 times professionally since her career began back in February 2019 under the Scott Coker-led organizational banner, defeating Colby Fletcher, Larkyn Dasch, Tara Pegano, as well as Taylor Turner, in between her sole professional defeat against Hannah Guy. 

Appearing on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani following the announcement of her signing with the WWE, an emotional Loureda confirmed her move to professional wrestling.

“I have now become the first Cuban-American women and I am now a WWE superstar,” Valerie Loureda said. “I’m really excited, and I’ve dedicated my whole life to martial arts, and everything has come to this moment. And this is my opportunity to showcase my culture and entertain the world.”

“I’m emotional because I’ve worked really hard in my whole life,” Valerie Loureda continued. “I’ve had a very hard upbringing, and every day, I’ve always just believed in myself, and trained hard hoping to make it to the next step and just chasing a dream that I’ve had in my heart since I was a baby.” 

In a statement released to MMA Fighting, Bellator MMA president, Coker confirmed that Loureda had reached an agreement with the WWE.

“Valerie Loureda is a very young and talented athlete who can accomplish plenty in MMA for years to come, but for now we wish her the best of luck as she pursues her dream of becoming a WWE Superstar,” The statement read. “She will remain an active and under contract fighter with Bellator, and we look forward to welcoming her back into the cage in the near future/ We take great pride in allowing our athletes to test themselves in additional arenas such as boxing and pro-wrestling.”

Valerie Loureda has competed exclusively with Bellator MMA during her career

Reflecting on her run with Bellator MMA, Loureda thanked the promotion for the platform they had initially offered to her at the start of her professional career.

“Scott Coker and Mike Kogan, they believed in me when I was 19 years old,” Valerie Loureda said. “My first professional fight was without shinguards at the Mohegan Sun, opening a main card. They gave me an opportunity opening a main card. They gave me an opportunity to brand myself and build this platform and just be me. Now, I’m making this transition, and my mind has shifted, but I know what I’m going to do in the WWE. … I love fighting, but this is my time.”

Coach Reveals Oliveira Won’t Agree To Makhachev Bout In Abu Dhabi

It sounds like top UFC lightweight contender Charles Oliveira won’t fight Islam Makhachev in Abu Dhabi after all. Oliveira most recently defeated Justin Gaethje at UFC 274. Despite the win, it was bittersweet as his title was stripped due to a missed weight cut the day before the event. Oliveira is now the No. 1…

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It sounds like top UFC lightweight contender Charles Oliveira won’t fight Islam Makhachev in Abu Dhabi after all.

Oliveira most recently defeated Justin Gaethje at UFC 274. Despite the win, it was bittersweet as his title was stripped due to a missed weight cut the day before the event.

Oliveira is now the No. 1 contender and is expected to fight for the now-vacant lightweight belt later this year. Makhachev, a protégé of former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, could potentially earn the next shot against Oliveira after a 10-fight win streak.

The UFC is scheduled to return to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi for UFC 281 on October 22nd. A lightweight title matchup between Oliveira and Makhachev has been proposed, but Oliveira and his team don’t want to give Makhachev what he wants.

During a recent interview with Ag.Fight, Oliveira’s coach Diego Lima explained why fighting Makhachev in Abu Dhabi doesn’t make sense.

“Why in Makhachev’s ‘house’?” Lima said of an Oliveira/Makhachev matchup happening in Abu Dhabi. “Look at everything Charles did, look at the history of him. Why not let Charles fight wherever he wants? Why not give us the opportunity to (fight in) Brazil? ‘Ah, but it has to be a neutral place.’ Okay, let’s go to New York. If it was McGregor, we would fight in Ireland. Because McGregor also made history.

“Now, why go to Abu Dhabi in October? Much earlier than we are used to fighting, two months earlier. Some other time, which is not Charles’s time. Charles doesn’t want to (fight in Abu Dhabi). And I, as Charles’s coach, totally agree with him.”

UFC President Dana White has previously said that Makhachev will have to fight Beneil Dariush in a re-booked matchup, but it’s not uncertain when Dariush will be able to return from injury. A fight between Oliveira and Makhachev could make sense and be the fight that many MMA fans want to see.

The UFC usually hosts a New York City card near the end of the year, but a formal announcement hasn’t been made for events past UFC 281. If Makhachev wants the next fight against Oliveira, he may have to give in to Oliveira’s demands.

Continue Reading Coach Reveals Oliveira Won’t Agree To Makhachev Bout In Abu Dhabi at MMA News.