Rafael dos Anjos Undergoes Ear Surgery Following UFC 225

Aside from suffering a loss, Rafael dos Anjos didn’t exit UFC 225 unscathed:

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Earlier this month (June 9, 2018), Rafael dos Anjos dropped a unanimous decision loss to Colby Covington in an interim welterweight title fight at UFC 225 at the United Center in Chicago.

During the fight, dos Anjos suffered what has now been revealed to be quite a serious cut on his ear, which was stitched immediately after the fight. According to MMAFighting.com, however, the issue has been a recurring one and this time around, dos Anjos even felt as if his ear could potentially fall off. With that being said, the Brazilian elected to have plastic surgery to fix the issue once and for all. 

Check out this photo he posted to his official Instagram account below:

Prior to his loss to Covington, dos Anjos, a former lightweight champion, had won three consecutive bouts since moving up to 170 pounds last year.

It’s expected that dos Anjos will be cleared to return to sparring in six weeks.

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Estimated PPV Numbers For UFC 225 Released

Were UFC 225’s PPV numbers really as bad as reported?

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If this week’s report on the pay-per-view buys for June 9’s UFC 225 from Chicago are true, the show didn’t do quite as bad as initially reported – but it still isn’t great.

After word came from the LA Times’ Lance Pugmire last week that the stacked pay-per-view had only drawn ‘less than 150,000 buys,’ the UFC’s attorney vehemently denied that was true, insisting that the number was off by a number in excess of six figures despite refusing to give a total.

According to a report from MMA Fighting’s Dave Meltzer, that estimate from attorney Hunter Campbell may be closer to being true, as industry sources with knowledge of the number clarified that UFC 225 was estimated to have garnered a total of 250,000 buys.

While the number is quite a bit higher than what was first reported, the overall buyrate is still a disappointing figure considering UFC 225 was scheduled to have two title fights until Yoel Romero missed weight for his rematch with middleweight champ Robert Whittaker. Although the fight produced a classic middleweight title affair, it failed to produce big numbers with both Romero and Whittaker having proven unable to carry a PPV event with last July’s UFC 213.

The interim welterweight title bout between Colby Covington and Rafael dos Anjos in the co-main event, despite being fueled by the bad blood of Covington’s anti-Brazil campaign, apparently didn’t help either, falling in line with the trend of interim title fights not selling well on PPV. This one had the dynamic of actual champion Tyron Woodley returning soon working against it as well.

But UFC 225 was also littered with top stars (or at least names) from top to bottom, with former women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm picking up a one-sided win over previously hyped featherweight Megan Anderson and former WWE champion CM Punk returning for his second UFC bout. The luster of him competing in MMA was clearly lost for this fight, however, as he obviously didn’t bring many overall views to the card.

Punk was the top-searched Google name in conjunction with the card, yet that apparently didn’t translate to people wanting to spend their money to watch him fight.

Based on the above estimate, UFC 225 would trail April’s UFC 223, where lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated last-minute replacement Al Iaquinta to finally win the title as well as a women’s strawweight title fight between Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and January’s UFC 220, where heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier both defended their belts with impressive performances in terms of pay-per-view buys for the year.

Overall, it’s an indictment on the concerning trend that the UFC can’t sell a pay card without a top star like Conor McGregor or Ronda Rousey, however.

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Colby Covington Reacts To Controversial Exchange With Michael Bisping

As expected, Colby Colby Covington had some choice words aimed at Michael Bisping:

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In a little over a week since June 9’s UFC 225 from Chicago, one of the most hotly-debated topics to arise was newly-crowned interim champion Colby Covington’s on-air back-and-forth with former middleweight champ Michael Bisping.

The hotly-discussed scene where Bisping was put off by Covington’s over-the-top style was one of the most dramatic moments of a card that stacked on paper but supposedly brought little heat at the box office. Indeed Bisping drew a fair amount of criticism from several in the MMA universe, namely his FOX Sports 1 co-worker Jon Anik.

And it was also hardly a surprise to hear someone snap at Covington after he’s called out the majority of anyone involved in mixed martial arts during his run to the placeholder title over the last nine months. With Covington ironically taking over as MMA’s most brazen trash talker after Bisping occupied a top spot on that list for many years before retiring, he won’t stop building his brand heading into his upcoming title unification fight with Tyron Woodley.

On a recent episode of The MMA Hour, “Chaos” effused the predictable insult he used against ‘The Count’ during their original rivalry, making fun of his eye and mentioning Dan Henderson’s historic knockout of the brash British legend:

“He’s an unprofessional little one-eyed twerp,” Covington said. “Every time the UFC brings me out, I’m always professional, I’m always on time. I make weight. There’s never any issues with Colby “Chaos” Covington. I always do the right things. What he did on Saturday night was a complete joke. That was my time and my moment and he was trying to steal my spotlight. He knew the light was so bright — and usually he can’t see out of that one eye. But my spotlight was so bright, he just couldn’t help but try and jump in.

“It’s crazy, he forgot what happened from American forefather Dan Henderson. You would think he got humbled from the last time he messed around with the red, white and blue. I’ll come across the pond and break that little, one-eyed nerd’s face.”

More of the same from Covington, whose promotion may not be working as much as you may think with his social media following not yet possessing equal statistics to the sheer number of headlines he’s emblazoned as of late.

He won’t stop doing what got him here, however. Covington claimed he wasn’t like any other fighter, and wouldn’t complain like his budding archnemesis Woodley, who claims he’s subject to racism but is actually disliked because his fights are boring:

“I’m not like any other fighter,” Covington said. “I don’t ever complain, man. I just take things the way they are. I’m not like TyQuil Woodley where he complains about the fans, like ‘Oh, they’re racist, because they don’t like me. Oh, they’re racist, they don’t want to watch me fight.’ No, you’re just boring, no one wants to watch the human form of NyQuil.”

Back to “The Count,” Covington closed this verbal battle with the British vet by suggesting he wouldn’t be moving along with the promotion when they shift to ESPN:

“You want to take shots at me from the Fox Sports desk, there’s a reason that they’re moving over to ESPN,” Covington said. … “He ain’t going over there.”

Thre’s not yet a date for Covington’s anticipated grudge match with “The Chosen One” yet, but it’s already become personal and should only get more controversial as “Chaos” trashes the champ every time he opens his mouth.

But Woodley isn’t the only target, and Covington’s list of victims is covering more and more territory with each passing day. Is it growing old for you, or do you still care enough to pay to hopefully see him lose?

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Tyron Woodley Claims Colby Covington’s Sister ‘Tried To Slide Into His DMs’

Tyron Woodley is already making it personal with Colby Covington:

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One week after Colby Covington won the interim welterweight title with a one-sided unanimous decision over Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 225, his budding rivalry with champion Tyron Woodley is becoming personal.

Covington’s sister Candace recently sent a warning message to Woodley following “Chaos’” impressive win, declaring that they were “coming” for the champ in a perceived title unification bout that will happen once “The Chosen One” finally returns from shoulder surgery after his last bout against Demian Maia in 2017.

Woodley apparently isn’t taking the threat lying down, however, posting on social media that Covington’s sister supposedly tried to ‘slide into his DMs but was rebuffed,’ something he claimed to have proof of:

Woodley vs. Covington doesn’t have an official date yet but should be one of the most trash talk-filled lead-ups of 2018 when it does become official.

The two top-ranked fighters have a lengthy history dting back to their time spent training at American Top Team (ATT), sessions which both fighters predictably offer significantly different recounts of.

‘The Chosen One’ claims he wants to end Covington’s career and get banned from the UFC, quite the over-the-top statement from a champion who talks a decent amount of trash but almost always falls short of making it personal with his opponents.

As you can see, this rivalry is quite different.

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UFC Strongly Denies UFC 225 Tanked At Box Office

The UFC denied that UFC 225 tanked at the box office – well, kind of:

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The mixed martial arts world got some at least somewhat surprising news earlier this week when a report surfaced from the LA Times that last weekend’s UFC 225 pay-per-view from Chicago tanked massively at the box office.

However, the UFC claims that the numbers, which said the stacked PPV only drew less than 150,000 buys, are simply false.

In a response to the initial report from the LA Times’ Lance Pugmire, UFC attorney Hunter Campbell said that the numbers reported were not true and gave a vague estimate of just how many buys they were off but would not state an actual number the PPV actually brought in:

“UFC attorney Hunter Campbell said listing 150,000 as the number of purchases for Saturday’s event was a “material misrepresentation” of the actual buys and short by “something in excess of six figures,” but declined to provide an actual figure.”

Kamil Krzaczynski for USA TODAY Sports

The event was understandably touted as the most stacked UFC pay-per-view of 2018 thus far with two title fights (although one was ultimately a non-title affair).

The headliner boasted a classic middleweight bout between champion Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero, who was unable to win the title after he missed weight by 0.2 pounds, and also the most heated MMA rivalry of the year when Colby Covington defeated former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos for the interim welterweight strap in the co-headliner.

The rest of the card was also littered with high-level bouts from top to bottom, and CM Punk, who supposedly brought in pay-per-view buys from casual fans and pro-wrestling fans, also lost his second (and most likely last) UFC fight to Mike Jackson on the main card.

That wasn’t apparently enough to save UFC 225 from a dismal buyrate, however, no matter how the UFC chose to spin their response to the reports of its low numbers. Even if Campbell’s insistence is one hundred percent true, UFC 225 still only brought in 250,000-300,000 buys, a terrible number considering the jam-packed lineup of world-class MMA talent.

Perhaps that’s just the new norm in today’s era of McGregor and Rousey-free UFC pay-per-views. It’s probably not what Endeavor (formerly WME-IMG) was thinking of when they bought the UFC for a then-record $4.2 billion in July 2016, and they are probably hoping they can somehow return to the million-plus buys that seemed to come easily that year.

Negotiations and assault charges aside, it’s looking like the UFC needs to pay Conor McGregor what he wants and do it fast – no matter if the poor estimates for UFC 225 prove to be false in this sense.

Or is the UFC’s heyday on pay-per-view simply coming to an end with the oversaturation of events making each one less special? Could be a combination of both.

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UFC Rankings Update: Curtis Blaydes Soars Up Heavyweight List

Curtis Blaydes soared on the UFC rankings after his devastating stoppage over Alistair Overeem:

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The UFC rankings have been officially updated after last weekend’s (Sat., June 9, 2018) UFC 225 from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, and rising heavyweight star Curtis Blaydes has arrived as the biggest beneficiary.

‘Razor’ rose two spots to No. 2 for his devastating third-round TKO victory over former K-1, Strikeforce, and DREAM champion Alistair Overeem in the featured fight on the UFC 225 preliminary card. For the loss, Overeem fell from No. 2 to No. 4.

There were some small moves on the pound-for-pound list as well, with UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic overtaking the No. 2 pound-for-pound spot from Georges St-Pierre, while middleweight champ Robert Whittaker rose two spots to No. 11, pushing Tony Ferguson and Amanda Nunes down one spot apiece to Nos. 12 and 13, respectively.

The final significant movement came at 125 pounds, where rising potential title challenger Sergio Pettis rose three spots to the No. 2 spot himself after his close decision win over former title challenger Joseph Benavidez on the Fight Pass preliminary card of UFC 225, while ‘Joe B’ fell three spots to No. 4 following the loss.

Check out the fully updated rankings courtesy of UFC.com right here:

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

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

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

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

LIGHTWEIGHT
Champion: Khabib Nurmagomedov
1 Conor McGregor
2 Tony Ferguson
3 Eddie Alvarez
4 Dustin Poirier
5 Kevin Lee
6 Edson Barboza
7 Justin Gaethje
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 Colby Covington (Interim Champion) +3
2 Darren Till
3 Rafael Dos Anjos -2
4 Stephen Thompson -1
5 Robbie Lawler
6 Kamaru Usman
7 Demian Maia
8 Neil Magny
9 Jorge Masvidal
10 Santiago Ponzinibbio
11 Donald Cerrone
12 Gunnar Nelson
13 Leon Edwards
14 Alex Oliveira
15 Dong Hyun Kim

MIDDLEWEIGHT
Champion: Robert Whittaker
1 Yoel Romero
2 Luke Rockhold
3 Chris Weidman
4 Kelvin Gastelum
5 Jacare Souza
6 Derek Brunson
7 David Branch
8 Brad Tavares
9 Lyoto Machida
10 Uriah Hall
11 Paulo Costa
12 Thiago Santos
12 Antonio Carlos Junior
14 Elias Theodorou
15 Krzysztof Jotko

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
7 Ovince Saint Preux
9 Corey Anderson
10 Misha Cirkunov
11 Dominick Reyes
12 Patrick Cummins
13 Tyson Pedro
14 Gadzhimurad Antigulov
15 Sam Alvey

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

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 Tatiana Suarez
10 Cortney Casey
11 Alexa Grasso
12 Randa Markos
13 Nina Ansaroff
14 Joanne Calderwood
15 Angela Hill

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

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

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