It has been, oh, I dunno, six or seven or twelve or fifteen years since CM Punk aka Phil Brooks first signed with the UFC, and the buzz surrounding his debut has never been lower thanks to — again, I’m just spitballing here — no less than eleventeensuccessiveinjuries that have kept him on the sidelines since the first Bush was President.
So before you hardcore Punkites (is that what you’re called?) completely flip your shit and start giving GTS’s to everyone in your office, perhaps takes this news with a grain of salt. As announced on the UFC’s Twitter last night, Punk will finally make his promotional debut against Mickey Gall at UFC 203 in September.
(Well thank God this isn’t having a noticeable effect on DW yet.)
There are a couple reasons that we haven’t been reporting on the alleged sale of the UFC, which has been makingtherounds here in the MMA blogosphere for the past week or so. For starters, most of these reports have been little more than hearsay and conjecture, and not to take some journalistic high ground here, but any article that begins with “UFC Sold to blah blah blah” and ends with “But nothing is finalized yet” is some amateur hour clickbait bullshit that even we are not prepared to publish. Of course, there’s also the fact that the UFC has been threatening legal action against anyone who *was* reporting on the story, which is a headache that we really didn’t feel like dealing with.
Today, however, it seems like this thing is actually going through, so head after the jump for all the details.
In Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson vs. Rory “I Refuse to Write His Nickname” MacDonald, we were expecting one of the more technical battles you’ll ever see in the octagon; one was a kickboxing and karate master with a wealth of experience behind him, the other an archetype of the modern MMA fighter whose only losses had come to the top 1% of his division. Suffice it to say, a sloppy haymaker-fest it would not end up being (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
Our predictions, as it turns out, were mostly spot-on. What we might not have expected, however, is that Thompson would almost completely shut down MacDonald’s attack over the the course of five rounds and reduce his face to the mashed-up pile of blood and gore that only Robbie Lawler before him was able to do.
It was quite possibly Thompson’s best performance to date, and one that cemented his name as the next title contender (after Tyron Woodley, for whatever reason). As for the “Red King” (dammit, I said it!), well, it looks like it’s back to the drawing board, by which I mean that he may very well have to hire a team of scientists and graphic artists to draw him up a new nose, because he won’t have much of a fighting future left with the one he’s got.
Head after the jump for a complete recap of Fight Night 89.
It’s been a long time coming for “Ill Will” Brooks.
Back in May, it was revealed that Brooks had been released from his Bellator contract despite holding the promotion’s lightweight title at the time. While not exactly a shock given Brooks’ very public clashes with the promotion in recent months, it was still surprising to see that Bellator would be willing to let their champion and a man on an 8-fight win streak go in favor of, I dunno, guys like this.
According to Bellator President Scott Coker, however, “It was very simple.”
“Will Brooks’ contract is ending, and we made a decision not to renew it. We’re going to give him a full release, so we’re not going to be in the Will Brooks business any longer,” said Coker to MMAjunkie.
Insightful stuff. Anyways, many of us imagined that it’d only be a matter of time until Brooks signed with the UFC, and last night, it was announced that he’d done just that.
(“You feel that breeze? That’s all you’ll need to do to make me quit. BEAST OUT.”)
I might be alone in this, but I was under the impression that Bob Sapp had retired from professional fighting and disappeared off the face of the earth the minute after he was ambushed by Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. As it turns out, Sapp actually emerged from hiding last year and picked up a victory over Akebono in a kickboxing match at Rizin 2. So technically, this means that Bob Sapp has scored more victories in the past year than Anthony Pettis and Renan Barao combined. What a world.
Anyways, it appears that Sapp will be returning to the cage for the first time since 2013 next month, where he’ll face off with Aori “The Heavyweight Supernova” Gele in an openweight MMA bout under the Road FC banner. While promoting the event at a press conference this morning, Sapp nearly came to blows with Gele and forced Hong Man Choi, of all people, to break up the action. I don’t mean to spoil it, but suffice it to say, the UFC 178 media day brawl it was not.
Yes, it’s a sad fact that the world of stylistic guard passes are, well, more style than substance when it comes right down to it, but that’s something Russian lightweight Dzhihad Yunusov was looking to change while competing at an Akhmat event this morning. Squaring off against Konstantin Veselkin and finding himself stifled by his opponent’s guard, Yunusov opted to skip the foreplay and get right to the main event — to deliver an incredibly muddled metaphor — back-flipping over Veselkin’s legs and right into side mount in one of the sickest sequences you’ll see this year.
As if that wasn’t enough, Yunusov then went on to submit Veselkin with a god dang Ezekiel choke in the closing moments of the second round. I think it’s safe to say that we should all probably be keeping an eye on this kid.
After the jump The full fight between Yunusov and Veselki.
Fact: The single greatest moment in the history of MMA was captured in the above image, on the night of July 11, 2009 at UFC 100. It came approximately three minutes and eighteen seconds into the second round of a fight between Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping, and as luck would have it, so did nearly every red-blooded American who happened to be witnessing it.
A little backstory. You see, prior to this orgasm-inducing moment, Henderson and Bisping had been engaged in a war of words while coaching opposing teams as part of the ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter. And by war of the words, I mean that Bisping spent the majority of the show talking trash, while Hendo opted to just kind of stand around silently while counting down the moments until he would lay a whoopin’ on this arrogant Brit’s ass. When the two finally met in the octagon, well, you know what happened.
Last weekend at UFC 199, both Henderson and Bisping picked up huge, incredibly violent wins over Hector Lombard and Luke Rockhold, respectively. But with the former nearing 50 and the latter suddenly finding himself the middleweight champion, rumblings have once pop up around the web of a potential rematch between the two.
Anthony Pettis vs. Edson Barboza, UFC 197
April 23 in Las Vegas, Nevada Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo, UFC 197
April 23 in Las Vegas, Nevada Gunnar Nelson vs. Albert Tumenov, Fight Night 87
May 8 in Rotterdam, Netherlands Alistair Overeem vs. Andrei Arlovski, Fight Night 87
May 8 in Rotterdam, Netherlands Cris Cyborg vs. Leslie Smith, UFC 198
May 14th in Curitiba, Brazil Fabricio Werdum vs. Stipe Miocic, UFC 198
May 14th in Curitiba, Brazil Thomas Almeida vs. Cody Garbrandt, Fight Night 88
May 29 in Las Vegas, Nevada Renan Barao vs. Jeremy Stephens, Fight Night 88
May 29 in Las Vegas, Nevada Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber III, UFC 199
June 4 in Inglewood, California Chris Weidman vs. Luke Rockhold IIUFC 199
June 4 in Inglewood, California Rory MacDonald vs. Stephen Thompson, Fight Night 89, June 18 in Ottowa, Canada Rafael dos Anjos vs. Eddie Alvarez, Fight Night 90
July 7 in Las Vegas, Nevada Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar II, UFC 200
July 9 in Las Vegas, Nevada Miesha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes, UFC 200
July 9 in Las Vegas, Nevada