Israel Adesanya Hopes He Gets ‘Salty’ Paulo Costa Before USADA Does

It’s safe to say newly-minted interim UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has taken the mixed martial arts (MMA) world by storm since his UFC debut in February 2018. ‘The Last Stylebender’ has won an incredible six straight fights in that time, an almost unheard of number in such a short span in today’s UFC. The […]

The post Israel Adesanya Hopes He Gets ‘Salty’ Paulo Costa Before USADA Does appeared first on LowKickMMA.com.

It’s safe to say newly-minted interim UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has taken the mixed martial arts (MMA) world by storm since his UFC debut in February 2018.

‘The Last Stylebender’ has won an incredible six straight fights in that time, an almost unheard of number in such a short span in today’s UFC. The run was culminated by his thrilling decision win over Kelvin Gastelum in the co-main event of last weekend’s UFC 236 from Atlanta, Georgia.

After the win, Adesanya largely gained the praises of the collective MMA world. However, there were two high-profile names who weren’t impressed with ‘The Last Stylebender.’ One, of course, was UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who continued his social media beef with Adesanya before abruptly calling it off.

The other was middleweight contender Paulo Costa, who called out Adesanya for being a ‘fake champ.’

“Really this is the interim (fake) champ? Hahah. No doubt this weight division has already been better than this (expletive). Enjoy this while you can man, I really hope that you take the real belt one day to meet me. Note: And I’m not the Gastelum.”

Adesanya Fires Back At Costa

During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, Adesanya had a heated response for Costa’s callout. He noted that the hulking Brazilian only wished he was a so-called ‘fake champ’ like him:

“Fake champ? Does he have belt?. He wishes he was a fake champion as well” Adesanya laughed. “Didn’t he get popped for something recently? Like Açaí in the stomach or something? I just want to get him before USADA gets him and eventually, if he climbs up the ranks like he thinks he will, then eventually we’ll see each other. Gastelum is a tough guy and he got touched up by Uriah. Did you see his face after the Uriah fight? He got touched up.”

“But, hey, even Chris Weidman gave me props. He gave me props when it was due. So, a guy like [Costa] is salty. He’s salty because I’m the one getting the shine so they’re trying to steal my shine and I’m like ‘f*ck no.’”

Bring On The Haters

Overall, Adesanya knows that with great success, there will always be haters. He boldly compared his situation to that of one Jesus Christ:

“If you ain’t got haters then you ain’t doing it right,” Adesanya said. “Before me, there was Jesus. I’m not saying I’m even close, I’m just saying no matter who you are you’re going to have haters. I just welcome it now.”

As for Costa, he’s been embroiled in a strange situation with the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) that has left him unable to fight due to a stomach medication issue. He’s been out of action since facing Uriah Hall last July as a result. ‘Borrachinha’ has long been linked to a fight with Yoel Romero, but it has yet to materialize at this point.

Adesanya, meanwhile, will move on to a huge title unification fight with undisputed middleweight champ Robert Whittaker later this year.

The post Israel Adesanya Hopes He Gets ‘Salty’ Paulo Costa Before USADA Does appeared first on LowKickMMA.com.

Brendan Schaub Slams ESPN+ on PPV: ‘You Just Lost So Many Fans’

The UFC recently shifted their pay-per-view (PPV) broadcasts to streaming service ESPN+. Brendan Schaub appears to be one of the staunchest critics of it. It’s been a move that has been met with mixed reviews, to put it lightly. The fact that customers now have to go through two paywalls to get to the PPV […]

The post Brendan Schaub Slams ESPN+ on PPV: ‘You Just Lost So Many Fans’ appeared first on LowKickMMA.com.

The UFC recently shifted their pay-per-view (PPV) broadcasts to streaming service ESPN+. Brendan Schaub appears to be one of the staunchest critics of it.

It’s been a move that has been met with mixed reviews, to put it lightly. The fact that customers now have to go through two paywalls to get to the PPV broadcast is at the center of the complaints. Fans must first pay $4.99 to subscribe to ESPN+ then pay $59.99 plus tax for the PPV. But that was far from the only complaint about the change.

Several streaming issues arose when the first PPV streamed on ESPN+ with last weekend’s UFC 236 from Atlanta. Many purchasers complained of poor streams and technical difficulties, which Dana White acknowledged.

According to former UFC fighter Schaub, this is going to cost the UFC. He said on his ‘Below the Belt’ podcast (via Bloody Elbow) that he had family over, and the experience did not go smoothly to buy the PPV:

“Did anyone else have problems with ESPN+? So, I have all the family around. We got food and everything. Everyone ready? Here we go. Click. It goes, ‘This service does not work on this device.’ I’m like, ‘Ok, well, that’s not good.’ Try doing it again. Nothing. Try doing it from my phone. Nothing.

Schaub said it got so bad that he was going to take extreme measures and stream it in a different fashion:

“ESPN, UFC, I’m trying to give you $80. And then finally I went, ‘Yo, if I don’t figure this out in five minutes… I’m going to turn to the dark side and have to illegally stream this.’ I must’ve got 2,000 DMs with different links. When I clicked on that link, that thing was better quality than I had on my f—ng… Than ever!”

View this post on Instagram

Don't make us turn to the dark side.

A post shared by Below the Belt (@belowthebelt) on

The knock on the shift to ESPN+ is that casual fans will not go to the lengths required to buy the PPV. In turn, that will limit the amount of exposure great up-and-coming fighters like Israel Adesanya, Dustin Poirier, and Max Holloway will get at an event like UFC 236:

“What’s best for the fighters, what’s best for ‘Stylebender’ and Kelvin Gastelum and Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier is getting as many eyeballs on this thing as possible,” he said. “Not limiting, making people pay behind two paywalls so you’re getting this very small number of diehards that are going to tune into this thing. That’s not the best thing for the fighters.”

Schaub ended with a somber prediction for the UFC’s future if the difficulty with buying the PPV keeps up:

“You’ve just lost so many casual fans. Cause you know what my dad did when I couldn’t figure it out? He went, ‘Who cares? Oh, it’s too much. I’m out.’”

He makes a fair point as many were more than annoyed with the experience last weekend. However, the UFC has signed an exclusive deal with ESPN+ that essentially guarantees a revenue level comparable to 500,000 buys. That’s a good bottom line to start with, so they may not care how many people get mad at the streaming service. Strange business model, but the truth.

The ratings for the event did go down compared to last month’s UFC 235 PPV. The UFC 236 preliminary card got 893,000 viewers and a 0.39 rating, down significantly down from the 1.48 million viewers and 0.63 rating of UFC 235.

Do you believe the UFC will have a legitimate issue on their hands because of ESPN+?

The post Brendan Schaub Slams ESPN+ on PPV: ‘You Just Lost So Many Fans’ appeared first on LowKickMMA.com.

GSP’s Coach Destroys Jon Fitch: He Can’t Win Without Steroids

GSP’s longtime mixed martial arts (MMA) coach Firas Zahabi is well known for his calm, collected demeanor. That’s why his latest words my surprise you a bit. The TriStar front man is preparing to corner his current star pupil Rory MacDonald against fellow UFC vet Jon Fitch in the main event of April 27’s Bellator […]

The post GSP’s Coach Destroys Jon Fitch: He Can’t Win Without Steroids appeared first on LowKickMMA.com.

GSP’s longtime mixed martial arts (MMA) coach Firas Zahabi is well known for his calm, collected demeanor.

That’s why his latest words my surprise you a bit.

The TriStar front man is preparing to corner his current star pupil Rory MacDonald against fellow UFC vet Jon Fitch in the main event of April 27’s Bellator 220 from the SAP Center in San Jose, California. MacDonald has seen a career resurgence of sorts in Bellator.

He won two fights over Paul Daley and Douglas Lima to become the welterweight champion. MacDonald did fail in his attempt to become a two-division champion when he lost to middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi in his previous bout. But the 41-year-old Fitch has quietly racked up a resurgence of his own, something that may have been considered unlikely given his age. He’s won five straight to reach a title shot at ‘The Red King’s’ belt.

Zahabi Sounds Off

Zahabi isn’t buying the reason for it, however. While he rarely talks trash, Zahabi absolutely eviscerated Fitch with accusations of steroid use to DAZN (via MMA Junkie) recently.

“That’s why he had a resurgence,” Zahabi said. “He’s better now than he was before because of his steroids. He had a dip, and then he had a surge.”

A Crime?

The respected teacher called Fitch a flat-out cheater. If he’s on steroids, what he’s doing is a crime to Zahabi:

“In my opinion, let’s be honest: He’s a cheater. We’re not a group of guys playing golf here, we’re not playing soccer here. We’re hitting each other, we’re not hitting baseballs, we’re hitting each other. It’s highly immoral. It’s a crime in my opinion. Truth of the matter is, he’s not as good as people think he is. He’s really just a cheater.”

Lax Testing

That makes it seem that Zahabi is even questioning letting MacDonald fight Fitch if he feels that strongly. He admitted he was, and Bellator’s drug testing isn’t enough to stop Fitch’s PED use:

“This is a highly objectable contest, because I know, I feel that for sure if he did it in 2015, here we are in 2019, and he has a title fight, of course he’s going to do it,” Zahabi said. “But we don’t have USADA or VADA testing in Bellator. We only have the testing of the week of the fight, which is very easy to get around. So in my opinion, Fitch is not an authentic fighter.”

In closing, Zahabi slammed Fitch as simply not a good fighter. The only reason he’s doing well is because of all of the ‘juice.’ In fact, he thinks Fitch can’t win without it:

“This guy is a coward,” Zahabi said. “He’s a cheater. At the end of the day, he’s a true coward. In my opinion, he’s not a good fighter. He’s not a competent fighter. He really is just a guy on a lot of juice – he’s a good wrestler, I’ll give him that. But really he really is just a guy on a lot of juice. … The truth of the matter is, he can’t win without it. That’s the truth.”

The post GSP’s Coach Destroys Jon Fitch: He Can’t Win Without Steroids appeared first on LowKickMMA.com.

Frankie Edgar Says ‘Everybody Knows’ He Deserves UFC Title Shot

Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar is primed for a big return to the Octagon. ‘The Answer’ has been out of action since a decision win over Cub Swanson at last April’s UFC New Jersey. He was scheduled to face Chan Sung Jung in the main event of November’s UFC Denver, but a torn biceps […]

The post Frankie Edgar Says ‘Everybody Knows’ He Deserves UFC Title Shot appeared first on LowKickMMA.com.

Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar is primed for a big return to the Octagon.

‘The Answer’ has been out of action since a decision win over Cub Swanson at last April’s UFC New Jersey. He was scheduled to face Chan Sung Jung in the main event of November’s UFC Denver, but a torn biceps forced him out of the bout.

The unfortunate exit capped off a tumultuous year for the iron-willed warrior from Toms River, NJ. Earlier last year, Edgar was scheduled for a title fight against current 145-pound champion Max Holloway at UFC 222 in March 2018. When ‘Blessed’ was forced out due to a leg injury, Edgar accepted a short-notice bout with top contender Brian Ortega. He would lose the fight by knockout, the first time he had ever been finished in his career.

Edgar soon rebounded with a decision win over Swanson. It wasn’t the greatest performance of his career considering he had dominated and finished Swanson in their first fight four years prior. But he still thinks he’s deserving of the next title shot regardless.

Everybody Knows?

Now ready to return, Edgar told ESPN.com he believes his body of work is enough to return to another shot at gold. He even thinks everybody knows that:

“I think everybody knows it should go to me. Even the guys who want the shot, you [hear] them say, ‘Well, I know Frankie should get it, but…’ You know? Alexander Volkanovski is fighting Jose Aldo in a few weeks and that may have an impact, but I think everybody knows it’s me. I’ve worked my entire career for it to be me.”

Edgar also believes the UFC rewards those who step up on short notice. That seems to happen for some fighters, others not so much. He put his title shot on the line at UFC 222 and it didn’t pay off. That’s something he’s done his whole career, he said, and he’s ready to finally reap the reward:

“The fact I put it on the line the last time Max and I were supposed to meet up, that holds some weight. I know the UFC likes to reward people who are willing to just let it fly. I’ve done that my whole career. I’m ready for that reward.”

Took A Risk

Edgar then showed a bit more emotion than we’re usually used to seeing from the normally stoic ‘Answer.’ He’s not going to start talking a bunch of trash, because that isn’t him. Edgar also knows he’s only on a one-fight win streak, but it’s more about the risk he took:

“I want this f—ing fight,” Edgar said. “I’m not really the guy who’s going to go out of his way to create buzz. It’s not my style. It seems that’s the style everybody is going with. It would be kind of cheesy for me to start now.

“I know I’m only on a one-fight win streak, but people do realize that I took a risk and went for it. And I’d do it again, because that’s the kind of guy I am.”

The Next Title Fight

Overall, Edgar has undoubtedly been one of the most consistent fighters in the UFC throughout his entire decorated career. He’s taken on anyone at anytime, a testament to his fighting will. The fact he was a lightweight champion while now being considered a smaller featherweight shows that grit and determination. The only knock on Edgar might be his inconsistent record in recent title fights. He lost to Aldo for the interim belt in his last one at UFC 200.

And he’ll potentially face no easy opponent in ‘Blessed.’ Yet while Holloway has been nothing short of dominant at 145 pounds, he did lose to the bigger fighter in Dustin Poirier at UFC 236 last weekend. Edgar acknowledged Poirier’s bulk played a big part in the win. Because of that, he didn’t learn much from “The Diamond’s” gameplan considering he’s a different kind of fighter:

“I was wondering how Max would do with a guy who was bigger and you saw in the fight Dustin was bigger. Max had the height on him, but Dustin’s weight was a big part of that win. Max couldn’t push him back the way he’s pushed some other guys. I learned a little bit here and there but not much. I’m a different fighter than Dustin.”

The post Frankie Edgar Says ‘Everybody Knows’ He Deserves UFC Title Shot appeared first on LowKickMMA.com.

UFC Vet Angela Magana In Coma After Emergency Surgery

UFC women’s strawweight veteran Angela Magana is unfortunately in a coma. Magana’s coach, Gabriel Lamastus, confirmed the harrowing news to MMA Junkie this morning (Wed., April 17, 2019). Magana is currently at University Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico, due to complications from emergency surgery. Magana had posted on social media that she was “about […]

The post UFC Vet Angela Magana In Coma After Emergency Surgery appeared first on LowKickMMA.com.

UFC women’s strawweight veteran Angela Magana is unfortunately in a coma.

Magana’s coach, Gabriel Lamastus, confirmed the harrowing news to MMA Junkie this morning (Wed., April 17, 2019). Magana is currently at University Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico, due to complications from emergency surgery. Magana had posted on social media that she was “about to be put in a gown and cap for surgery” early Tuesday morning.

More than half a day later, the following post on Magana’s social media accounts appeared:

“Message from Coaching Staff there have complications (sic) and they can not wake her up. They are trying many options we will keep you up to day. Thank you for the out pouring (sic) of concern and love #TeamLaPerla #”

Early this morning, another post confirmed Magana was still unresponsive:

Back Pain Lead To Surgery

Lamastus confirmed to MMA Junkie that Magana recently had back pain while training for an upcoming fight in Combate Americas. During a training session on April 7, she was taken down and injured as a result. She went in for testing and found out she had a herniated disc due to the training injury. Magana was prescribed medication the next day. She continued to train for the bout but the pain eventually became too great to bear.

Magana was given a nerve block on Monday of this week. But she did not respond well, Lamastus said. A diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome arose and she then needed emergency surgery yesterday.

Issues With Anesthesia

Her coach is at the hospital with her. He expanded further on the life-threatening situation, noting that the anesthesia was the cause of the problem:

“She’s in a coma, and we’re waiting to hear some positive news,” said Lamastus, who was at the hospital with Magana. “The surgery went fine. The problem was anesthesia. It’s very rare that patients react bad to anesthesia, but it does happen, and I guess this is one of those rare cases. But I’m being positive. She’ll be fine, and she’ll wake up. She’s a fighter. I’m just staying positive.”

Magana’s aunt died from anesthesia. Magana herself was frightened before the surgery in this video posted on Twitter:

Magana was released from the UFC in 2017 after an 0-3 run. Many attributed her losses to her level of competition such as Michelle Waterson and Tecia Torres. She initially rose to fame on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) due to her over-the-top personality on the show. She was last seen losing to Kanako Murata in Rizin FF last year. Her upcoming Combate Americas bout with Kyra Batara was scheduled for April 26.

Lamastus said Magana was planning on representing her home of Puerto Rico in wrestling at next year’s Olympics. He closed by saying the outspoken personality fans see on social media is only part of the real person. He claimed people don’t know the real Magana because of that:

“She’s a hard worker. Angela is a very, very hard worker,” Lamastus said. “A lot of people only know the Angela from social media. They don’t really know the real Angela. That woman busts her tail to provide for her family.”

The post UFC Vet Angela Magana In Coma After Emergency Surgery appeared first on LowKickMMA.com.

Robert Whittaker Says Israel Adesanya ‘Wants All The Attention’

Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker thinks new interim champion Israel Adesanya wants all of the spotlight. And he’s getting it after his classic five-round war with Kelvin Gastelum in the co-main event of last weekend’s (April 13, 2019) UFC 236 from Atlanta. ‘The Last Stylebender’ survived a vicious fourth-round assault from Gastelum to rebound strongly in […]

The post Robert Whittaker Says Israel Adesanya ‘Wants All The Attention’ appeared first on LowKickMMA.com.

Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker thinks new interim champion Israel Adesanya wants all of the spotlight.

And he’s getting it after his classic five-round war with Kelvin Gastelum in the co-main event of last weekend’s (April 13, 2019) UFC 236 from Atlanta. ‘The Last Stylebender’ survived a vicious fourth-round assault from Gastelum to rebound strongly in the final round and win a hard-fought decision.

Afterward, Adesanya was immediately set up for a massive unification bout with ‘The Reaper.’ Whittaker is currently on the sidelines healing from the serious intestinal issues that forced him out of February’s UFC 234. We’ve seen the otherwise impressive champion far too little in recent years.

Whittaker has only two fights since April 2017, both of them wars with Cuban Boogeyman Yoel Romero. Adesanya, meanwhile, has taken the UFC by storm with six wins since February 2018.

So with Adesanya the UFC’s next big thing, Whittaker is attempting to place some of the attention back on himself. Appearing on this week’s episode of ‘Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show,’ Whittaker claimed Adesanya couldn’t stand the fact that people supposedly liked him more:

Who’s More Popular?

It’s quite debatable if that’s the case or not.

Whittaker is certainly popular in his adopted home of Australia. But he’s seen a shot to headline a pay-per-view there dissipate in each of the last two years. As champion, he just hasn’t been able to stay healthy. He’s looked unbelievable when he has fought, however. His five-round war with Romero at last year’s UFC 225 was one of the best fights all year, yet that seems like a decade ago in today’s fast-moving fight world.

Hopefully, he can return to fight Adesanya sometime soon. ‘The Last Stylebender’ wants to take some time off to heal up himself so that could help Whittaker make it to the fight. If and when it happens, he thinks it’s the biggest fight Australia and New Zealand, one that will gain huge numbers:

Big Shoes To Fill

Whittaker vs. Adesanya is a no-brainer for the next huge fight in Australia. If it will be the biggest fight of all-time Down Under is another question. November 2015’s UFC 193 gained a record-setting attendance of 56,214 fans. It still rates as the most–attended UFC event of all-time.

There, Holly Holm dethroned then-champion Ronda Rousey in one of the most shocking UFC title fights in the sport’s history. Whittaker vs. Adesanya is huge, especially because it pits two nearby fan favorites against one another.

But expecting it to reach 55,000 or more fans is a big number. As Dana White likes to say, we’ll see what happens. Let’s just hope this fight happens at all.

The post Robert Whittaker Says Israel Adesanya ‘Wants All The Attention’ appeared first on LowKickMMA.com.