Valentina Shevchenko vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk Is Back On

An awaited fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Joanna Jedrzejczyk is back on. Earlier this afternoon, news arrived that the MMA world got a new UFC 230 main event. UFC President Dana White confirmed that heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will meet top-ranked competitor Derrick Lewis on November 3 in NYC. The news confirmed a report from […]

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An awaited fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Joanna Jedrzejczyk is back on.

Earlier this afternoon, news arrived that the MMA world got a new UFC 230 main event. UFC President Dana White confirmed that heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will meet top-ranked competitor Derrick Lewis on November 3 in NYC.

The news confirmed a report from last night on the unlikely match-up. The pay-per-view (PPV) event from Madison Square Garden does feature an awaited scrap between Dustin Poirier and Nate Diaz. But the event was lacking a true high-profile main event. Fight fans were perplexed when the promotion announced Valentina Shevchenko vs. Sijara Eubanks as the previous headliner.

The women’s flyweight title fight was a fine enough match in its own right. MAy argued, however, that it was far from the caliber expected to headline a PPV from MSG. The bout also put a temporary halt to the expected Shevchenko vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk women’s flyweight title bout at December 8’s UFC 231 from Toronto from the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

That fight is back on according to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, who discussed the scheduling with White:

Flyweight Mix-Up

The women’s flyweight main event at UFC 230 received widespread criticism from the collective MMA world. UFC Octagon commentator Joe Rogan made headlines by claiming he didn’t know who Eubanks was.

Shevchenko already missed out on one opportunity to fight for the women’s flyweight title at September’s UFC 228. Former champion Nicco Montano missed weight and was stripped of the title she won on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF).

UFC 231 already features an anticipated featherweight title fight between Max Holloway and Brian Ortega. That fight was supposed has already fallen apart once. It was set for UFC 226 but was canceled when Holloway experienced bizarre medical symptoms.

Shevchenko and Jedrzejczyk have already fought in Muay Thai three times before with Shevchenko winning all three match-ups.

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Khabib’s Manager Reveals Ultra-Personal Blowup With Conor McGregor

It’s no secret that Conor McGregor is a master at getting into his opponents’ heads. That has now extended to Khabib’s manager heading into his awaited showdown with Nurmagomedov at UFC 229. McGregor finally made his first press appearance opposite Khabib at this week’s UFC 229 press conference from New York City. In an over-the-top […]

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It’s no secret that Conor McGregor is a master at getting into his opponents’ heads. That has now extended to Khabib’s manager heading into his awaited showdown with Nurmagomedov at UFC 229.

McGregor finally made his first press appearance opposite Khabib at this week’s UFC 229 press conference from New York City. In an over-the-top scene, a whiskey-drinking McGregor sounded off on a litany of topics. He blamed Khabib for his controversial New York bus attack this April. He took a few more shots at Khabib’s father Abdulmanap and even issued a few death threats at the current champ.

But the most personal of all of McGregor’s barbs was perhaps directed at Khabib’s manager Ali Abdelaziz. After the normal staredown to end the presser, McGregor laid into Abdelaziz with a seething assessment of his personal affairs.

McGregor reportedly blasted the prominent manager by calling him a ‘terrorist’ and a ‘snitch’ among other things:

“Shut your mouth, Ali Abdelaziz! Mad terrorist. Terrorist snitch. I know a lot about you as well, you mad rat! I know a lot about you as well. You keep your mouth shut, kid. Let me take my picture. How’s Noah? How’s Noah? Huh? Yeah. Shut your mouth! Never speak about me ever in your life. Watch yourself around me because you’ll be out of here quick.”

“**** you! Fool! Don’t come at the king. Don’t ever come at the king.”

The Noah in question is a son that Abdelaziz reportedly abandoned when he became an informant for the NYPD. Abdelaziz allegedly owes $50,000 in back child support to Noah and his mother.

What Prompted It?

Abdelaziz recently revealed to Anatomy of a Fighter just what he said to McGregor to spark the personal blowup. Apparently, he just asked McGregor why he showed up to the presser with the belt when he had been stripped:

“I just said why he have belt. That’s it. I said that. Why he have belt?”

McGregor is acting more aggressive than ever before heading into UFC 229, and that’s saying a lot. There’s a mixed, highly polarized view of just what that actually means in terms of the fight.

But one thing is certain. The Irish megastar is trying to make things as personal as possible with anyone involved with Khabib in order to gain any mental advantage he can. Abdelaziz’s personal history may sound a bit seedy to those looking in from the outside.

It seems McGregor did his research to find just how deep that went. Will it help or hurt him come October?

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Undefeated Brazilian Destroyer Picking A Fight With Yoel Romero

Undefeated Brazilian destroyer is picking a fight with Yoel Romero.

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Undefeated Brazilian destroyer Paulo Costa is picking a fight with Yoel Romero on social media.

The 27-year-old Costa was set to fight Romero at the upcoming UFC 230 pay-per-view (PPV) event in New York. Unfortunately the “Soldier of God” was forced out of the fight due to nagging health concerns. Romero’s timetable to return to action is unclear.

It appears Costa is getting tired of waiting for his Cuban counterpart. He took to social media to taunt Romero. “Borrachinha” going so far as to send Romero a shirtless message.

Look at Paulo Costa’s Instagram post here:

Regardless of Costa’s frustrations, he is still left without a dance partner. A match-up with Chris Weidman was explored. However, the “All American” has since been booked to fight Luke Rockhold later this year in New York.

If Costa can bide his time until early 2019, he may get his chance to fight Romero after all. Or he can just continue to take beefy shirtless selfies on social media. Either way, he wins.

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Colby Covington Wants Tyron Woodley at MSG in November

After winning the UFC’s interim welterweight championship, Colby Covington would like to face Tyron Woodley at Madison Square Garden (MSG) in November. Last night (June 9), Covington secured a unanimous decision victory over Rafael Dos Anjos in t…

After winning the UFC’s interim welterweight championship, Colby Covington would like to face Tyron Woodley at Madison Square Garden (MSG) in November. Last night (June 9), Covington secured a unanimous decision victory over Rafael Dos Anjos in the co-main event of UFC 225. The event took place at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The […]

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UFC 217 Fight Card: PPV Schedule, Odds and Predictions for Bisping vs. St-Pierre

The UFC’s best fight card of the year is here, and it’s actually intact.
In a year full of fights falling apart at the last second, it’s about time that fight fans get to see some of the best in the world finally enter the Octagon and put their titles …

The UFC’s best fight card of the year is here, and it’s actually intact.

In a year full of fights falling apart at the last second, it’s about time that fight fans get to see some of the best in the world finally enter the Octagon and put their titles on the line. Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City, UFC 217 will host three title fights, including the return of UFC legend Georges St-Pierre.

GSP will face off against current Middleweight champion, Michael Bisping, in what will be the former welterweight champion’s first fight in four years.

But even though that fight is considered the main event of the evening, it might not even be the best fight on the main card. That’s how stacked it is.

Here’s a full look at the night’s fight-card schedule, including updated odds for each fight.

 

Odds courtesy of OddsShark:

    

UFC 217

Main Card (PPV at 10 p.m. ET)

  • Michael Bisping (+105, bet $100 to win $105) vs. Georges St-Pierre (-125, bet $125 to win $100): Middleweight title fight
  • Cody Garbrandt (-200) vs. TJ Dillashaw (+160):  Bantamweight title fight
  • Joanna Jedrzejczyk (-600) vs. Rose Namajunas (+400): Women’s Strawweight title fight
  • Jorge Masvidal (+155) vs. Stephen Thompson (-190): Welterweight
  • Paulo Costa (-310) vs. Johny Hendricks (+240): Middleweight

              

Prelims (Fox Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET)

  • Joe Duffy (-160) vs. James Vick (+130): Lightweight
  • Walt Harris (-360) vs. Mark Godbeer (+270): Heavyweight
  • Corey Anderson (+125) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (-155): Light Heavyweight
  • Randy Brown (-110) vs. Mickey Gall (-120): Welterweight

             

Prelims (Fight Pass at 6:30 p.m. ET)

  • Curtis Blaydes (-360) vs. Aleksei Oleinik (+260): Heavyweight
  • Ricardo Ramos (-200) vs. Aiemann Zahabi (+160): Bantamweight

 

 

Joanna Jedrzejczk vs. Rose Namajunas

History is on the line for Joanna, as she can tie Ronda Rousey’s record of six title defenses with a victory at UFC 217, while recording her ninth straight victory.

But in this instance, history takes a back step. All we care about is finally seeing Jedrzejczyk back inside the Octagon against Thug Rose.

 

On paper, this is the champ’s fight to lose. Rose is too young, inexperienced and has never fought someone like Joanna. Having said that, Rose does offer one thing that the champ can’t prepare for: the unpredictable.

Namajunas has submitted her opponents in various ways from all sorts of angles. Getting Joanna on the mat will be a challenge, but never say never. For Jedrzejczyk, she’s easily the most skilled female striker in the game and pound-for-pound, regardless of gender, in the world.

During Thursday’s press conference, Joanna told her audience what to expect on fight night, and who are we to disagree with her?

The boogey woman is, indeed, coming, and she’s going to take out Rose with a third-round TKO finish.

            

Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw

For all the cringeworthy trash talk that’s been surrounding this fight over the past six months, this is still one hell of a fight that could easily take Fight of the Night honors.

The bad blood, the Team Alpha Male drama—this fight has it all, and the UFC has struck gold having it as the night’s co-main event. Garbrandt, as we’ve seen during his brief-yet-meteoric rise in the UFC, has the kiss of death in his hands and boxing skills that would give Conor McGregor a run for his money.

For being such a hot head outside of the Octagon, his patience with his strikes and his fluid footwork once the fight starts is surprising, and it showed how much Dominick Cruz underestimated his skills when Garbrandt won the bantamweight title with a masterclass performance last year.

We know what Garbrandt is capable of inside the Octagon, but the real question surrounding this fight is how much Dillashaw has improved since the last time we’ve seen him fight for a title.

After losing his title to Cruz, Dillashaw went on a mission to become one of the most complete fighters at 135 pounds in the world, even if it meant leaving Team Alpha Male to do so.

In his last performance against John Lineker, Dillashaw looked—for lack of a better word—incredible. If that version of Dillashaw has improved even more since then, it could be a long night for Garbrandt. But as we all know when it comes to those four-ounce gloves, it only takes one punch.

I anticipate Dillashaw showing Garbrandt different looks, even looking to shoot for a couple takedowns to take away Garbrandt’s advantage on the feet.

Dillashaw will win the first round handedly, but Garbrandt will soon figure out his timing and solve the puzzle, allowing him to unload a right-hand bomb that sends Dillashaw to the canvas in the second round. A little ground-and-pound should be enough for the referee to stop the fight and give the champ his first title defense of his career. 

     

Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre 

Yeah, this card just gets better and better as the night goes on.

GSP might not have been the most entertaining fighter when the history books are written, but no one can deny his wrestling skill set and fight IQ. As for Bisping, when have you ever been bored watching The Count inside of the Octagon? Even if he does get viciously knocked out a la Dan Henderson. 

In many ways, this is a bizarre matchup. Not only is GSP fighting at 185 pounds for the first time in his career, he’s fighting one of the best strikers the UFC has ever had in Bisping, who owns the record for most significant strikes landed, most wins inside of the Octagon and most fights.

He’s coming off a war against Henderson and a knockout victory over Luke Rockhold, and now Bisping has his eyes set on putting himself in the GOAT conversation with a win over GSP. The game plan is rather simple for Bisping, who wants to keep this fight on the feet as much as he can. 

After all, he did say his greatest fear is getting cuddled to death by GSP yesterday, and he’s not exaggerating.

GSP’s wrestling and jiu-jitsu is world-class and he would be foolish to try and exchange with Bisping on the feet, even if he does have legendary boxing coach Freddie Roach in his corner.

GSP may have made the 185-pound weight limit easily, but how comfortable is he fighting a five-round fight at that weight against a guy like Bisping, who never seems to slow down?

The former 170-pound champ bit off more than he can chew with this fight, and it will show after a strong opening couple of minutes where GSP looks like his old self until the adrenaline wears off. The extra muscle and weight he’s carrying around will work against him as his movement slows down and his breathing becomes heavy.

Bisping will use his cardio to his advantage and load on the pressure with well-executed combinations, backing GSP up against the cage. From there, Bisping will have his way with the former champ, ultimately getting the finish with a second-round TKO after GSP goes down to the mat and covers up, waiting for the referee to stop the fight.

With the loss, it’s safe to say that this will be the final time (for real this time) that fight fans will see GSP fight in the UFC.

Read more MMA news on BleacherReport.com

NYSAC Makes Changes To Weigh-In Protocol Following UFC 210 Towelgate

Following the towel incident involving UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 210, the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) has decided to make some changes to its weigh-in protocol. Weigh-ins for UFC 210 took place on April 7th, one day before the event, and some controversy ensued once Cormier hit the scale. Initially, […]

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Following the towel incident involving UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 210, the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) has decided to make some changes to its weigh-in protocol.

Weigh-ins for UFC 210 took place on April 7th, one day before the event, and some controversy ensued once Cormier hit the scale. Initially, Cormier missed the 205-pound weight limit by 1.2 pounds but returned three minutes later and made the weight perfectly.

While weighing in the second time, however, Cormier was holding on to the towel that was covering him and it looked as though he was putting some weight on it, which would’ve affected the scale’s reading. The NYSAC did not penalize Cormier as he technically didn’t break any of their rules (via MMA Fighting):

“When I got off the scale the first time, I walked away, and they didn’t cover me,” Cormier said. “So obviously, a guy thinks that he’s losing everything that he’s worked for on the scale, and we just walk back off the scale and nobody even worried about protecting me. So I was like, you know what, I’m going to hold the towel a little bit myself to make sure that I’m covered.”

Because of this, a change to the NYSAC’s regulations as it pertains to weigh-ins were made on April 13th. The change suggests that a fighter “shall not make physical contact with any person or object other than the scale.”

You can read the full addition to the rule here:

“When on the scale, the combatant shall stand still with his or her feet flat upon the scale and shall not make physical contact with any person or object other than the scale. No other person shall touch the scale when a combatant is in the act of weighing in. While on the scale, the combatant shall follow any direction issued by the Commission.”

Another addition to the rules suggests that a fighter can be disciplined by the commission if a competitor  “fails to act in good faith, engages in disruptive behavior, or violates any rule or directive of the Commission during the official weigh-in.”

“In the discretion of the Commission, a combatant may be directed to immediately retake the scale to ensure that the combatant’s weight was accurately assessed.”

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