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Tag: UFC 170

Four Olympic Athletes Who Should Transition Into MMA


(The bronze-medalist judoka and silver-medalist freestyle wrestler both have a shot at UFC gold this weekend. Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

By Nasir Jabbar

UFC 170‘s headline act will feature two Olympic medalists in Ronda Rousey and Sara McMann, and was supposed to feature a third Olympian in Daniel Cormier. Though other Olympic veterans like Henry Cejudo and Yoel Romero have successfully hopped onto the MMA bandwagon, the sport isn’t for everybody. It’s a tough, grueling game that apparently has “no moral values,” according to French judoka Teddy Riner.

At the risk of upsetting another French brick shithouse, Riner’s anti-MMA stance reeks of ignorance. So in honour of UFC 170, I’m going to highlight four Olympians who have a good chance of crossing over. These athletes have either expressed an interest in MMA, supported it, or have an uncanny parallel with another well-known fighter. Lets run them down…

Travis Stevens

Outside of the Olympic games there isn’t a professional avenue for judo players, but MMA provides that opportunity, giving former judokas a chance to use their skill set to compete and make a living. Travis Stevens could be the next crossover star from the world of judo — joining the ranks of Rousey, Hector Lombard, and Yoshiro Akiyama — and he’s already considering MMA as a future career.

The 27-year-old American made his first Olympic appearance at the 2008 Beijing Games (where he placed 9th), and fell short of the podium again in London in 2012, losing out in the bronze medal match. Failing to capture an Olympic medal in two attempts puts Stevens in an awkward position. Does he jump into MMA now or wait around for the next Olympic games?

Stevens is not only a top ten Judoka in his weight division he also regularly trains under Renzo Gracie at his academy in New York, and more impressively is a black-belt in jiu-jitsu under grappling guru John Danaher. A double black belt is a testament to Stevens’ incredible ground game, which provides the perfect base to enter MMA.

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Scratch That — Daniel Cormier Will Compete at UFC 170, Against 4-0 Prospect Patrick Cummins


(Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…Durkin? What does that even mean? / Photo via MMAJunkie)

When Rashad Evans pulled out of his scheduled UFC 170 match against Daniel Cormier, Cormier was devastated. “I don’t want this work to be for nothing,” he told Ariel Helwani. “I’ve killed myself in this gym. I’ve spent ten weeks away from my family…I’d fight Chael in a heartbeat. I’d fight Anthony Johnson in a heartbeat. I’d fight any of those guys. There’s somebody out there who wants to fight. Line ‘em up…I just want to fight now.”

And so, in an apparent move to keep him happy, the UFC has allowed Cormier to remain on the February 22nd “Rousey vs. McMann” lineup. No, he won’t be fighting Chael Sonnen, or Rumble Johnson, or anybody else you’ve heard of. Instead, Cormier will fight 4-0 light-heavyweight prospect Patrick Cummins, who will be making his Octagon debut.

A former two-time All American wrestler for Penn State, Cummins trains out of Mark Munoz’s Reign MMA gym in Orange County, and he’s finished all four of his pro fights in the first round. Cormier, of course, is one of the greatest MMA fighters in the world. Be sure to tune in, folks, because you might not see a bigger squash match all year. Seriously, how in the hell did the Nevada State Athletic Commission approve this friggin’ thing? KEITH, GET BACK HERE!

Desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess. Not that Cormier vs. Cummins is going to jack up the buyrate for this zombie card, but at least the entire show won’t rest on Ronda Rousey‘s shoulders now. Your thoughts?

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Rashad Evans Suffers Leg Injury, Out of UFC 170 Fight With Daniel Cormier


(Photo by Ryan Loco via @SugaRashadEvans)

Just nine days before he was set to square off with Daniel Cormier in the light-heavyweight co-main event of UFC 170: Rousey vs. McMann, Rashad Evans has dropped out of the fight due to a leg injury. The UFC confirmed the news today, adding that Cormier has been pulled off the card altogether.

Details on Evans’s injury are scarce, although UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta told Yahoo!’s Kevin Iole that Evans would need four weeks of rehab. (Iole’s report called it a knee injury, by the way.) Depending on Rashad’s recovery, the UFC may reschedule the Evans/Cormier match to take place at UFC 172: Jones vs. Teixeira (April 26th, Baltimore). We’ll update you if that becomes official.

As a result of the bout-scratch, the welterweight matchup between Rory MacDonald and Demian Maia now becomes UFC 170′s co-main event. It also means that Ronda Rousey will have to carry this rag-tag card pretty much on her own.

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HOT DAMN DIS HONDA HOUSEY PHOTO


(Now *this* is a UFC poster I think we all could get behind.)

If this is how Ronda Rousey plans to gain back the fans she lost over the course of The Ultimate Fighter 18, then consider us back on Team Housey! (*honks old-timey car horn, releases fireworks into pants*)

Set to face Olympian Sarah McMann at UFC 170, Rousey was recently snapped by Brian Bowen Smith and was courteous enough to post a couple of the photos to her Instagram account. While I’m not sure what kind of scenario would lead to the most dangerous woman on the planet being left in her undergarments and in need of a hair-drying, I appreciate Rousey’s commitment to making that scenario a reality. And maybe it’s just me, but in the history of scantily-clad Rousey photos, this ranks just above “Ronda Rousey in a Latex Bodysuit” and just below “Ronda Rousey in Nothing But Wraps” (The Body Issue tops all, obvs).

Check out the fantastic photo above, then join us after the jump for a second, classier photo I like to call “Girl in White Dress on Rusty Fold Out Bed Frame.”

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Video: Ronda Rousey and Sara McMann Keep Things Friendly During First Staredown


(Meanwhile, this guy continued to boo Ronda from the parking lot. / Props: MMAFightingonSBN)

UFC women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey and upcoming challenger Sara McMann had their first official staredown yesterday at a media event in Los Angeles, which luckily didn’t end in an awkward face-butt. (Although the pretend crane-kick that McMann flashed was kind of awkward in its own way.) It’s hard to imagine these two undefeated Olympic medalists developing an intense hatred for each other by the time they meet in the cage at UFC 170, which is a little over six weeks away. And that’s perfectly fine. We don’t need a “storyline” for every title fight, do we? Can’t this just be a simple squash match between two talented athletes who respect each other?

After the jump: Rousey gives her thoughts on her UFC 168 fight against Miesha Tate (and the resulting handshake controversy), the pressure of being the face of WMMA, her inability to pronounce “tournament,” and her love of Fedor Emalienenko. Plus, Sara McMann discusses how she got the opportunity to compete for the UFC title, preparing for Ronda, and motherhood.

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Gilbert Melendez vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov Scrapped From UFC 170, Because Dana White Said So


(He may look happy, but everyone knows that is Nurmagomedov’s *sad* afro. Photo via Getty.)

Keeping with the UFC’s recently instituted tradition of announcing a fight and immediately shuffling it to another card or cancelling it outright, it appears that the exciting matchup between top lightweight contenders Gilbert Melendez and Khabib Nurmagomedov has been scrapped from UFC 170. Dana White elaborated on the cancellation in an interview with FOX Sports yesterday:

Not happening.

OK, so maybe “elaborate” wasn’t the best word to use there.

Melendez vs,. Nurmagomedov was made official in the wake of UFC 168 last weekend, but details are still scarce as to why the fight has suddenly been cancelled. Official CP theory: The bears finally had their revenge on the Nurmagomedov family. Both “The Nurm” and Melendez are coming off big wins, over Pat Healy and Diego Sanchez at UFC 165 and 166, respectively, so the fight made perfect sense from a matchmaking standpoint. Be that as it may, the UFC is currently seeking a replacement opponent for the Russian.

Who would you like to see Nurmagomedov fight next, Nation? Michael Johnson? Edson Barboza? Little Moe with the gimpy leg? Give us a shout in the comments section.

-J. Jones

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Here Are Some Awesome Fight Bookings for UFC 170 to Take Your Mind Off Silva’s Leg


(Photo via Getty)

Even though the dust and scattered bone chips have settled, we can’t help but think about Silva departing the cage on a stretcher and screaming.

If you’re anything like us, you want something to distract you from this horrible visual. Fortunately, Joe Silva provided the MMA world with some new food for thought in the form of two excellent bookings for UFC 170, taking place in Las Vegas on February 22nd.

First, Ronda Rousey will defend her women’s bantamweight title against fellow Olympian Sara McMann. This bout will main-event the PPV. Look for the UFC to work the Olympian vs. Olympian angle here, especially since the 2014 Winter Olympics coincide with UFC 170.

Rousey just dominated Miesha Tate at UFC 168 and refused to shake her hand after armbarring her a second time, cementing her role as a heel. She’s now 8-0.

McMann hasn’t fought since an easy TKO victory over Sheila Gaff back in April. Her record stands at 7-0.

Second, 21-0 Dagestani warrior Khabib Nurmagomedov will face his greatest test at UFC 170: Former Strikeforce

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GIF-Ranking the Avalanche of UFC Fights That Were Booked Today, December 18th, By Interest Level


(“You know what, Steve, I’m not really feeling this fight. Think I’ll just sit out a few plays.” Photo via Getty.)

Fight-booking articles are a dime a dozen. Throw a couple statistics here, a fighter breakdown there, and top it all off with some information about the event and you’ve got yourself a perfectly normal, haiku-length article that you could almost pass off as journalism. And then its back to huffing duster in your grandmother’s basement, desperately and fruitlessly attempting to blind yourself from the hellscape that has become your reality. But at least you don’t have to wear a tie to work! (*laughs, cries into whiskey*)

The point is, there are some matchups you can’t help but elaborate on as a fan of the sport – Woodley vs. Condit, for instance. But there are only so many ways to inform you readers that several lower-level fights have recently been booked on (under)cards you probably won’t even watch, so when all else fails, we resort to the GIF. Let’s get to the fight bookings!

 

#6 – Brad Scott vs. Claudio Henrique da Silva – Fight Night 37 (March 8, London)

I have no idea who these people are. Ranking: 

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UFC Booking Alert: Rory MacDonald to Face Demian Maia at UFC 170


(If MacDonald’s fighting career doesn’t pan out, he can always get a job as a male model. / Photo via Getty.)

The UFC announced that welterweights Rory MacDonald and Demian Maia would face off at UFC 170 this February. They made the announcement when the MMA world was abuzz with talk about the stellar fight card taking place. You know, the one that hosted one of the most exciting main events ever? So the news didn’t really stick.

Maia is coming off a disappointing loss to Jake Shields at UFC Fight Night 29 back in October. He looked his age, 36, during the fight.

MacDonald recently had his hype train derailed by a resurgent Robbie Lawler at UFC 167, snapping a five-fight winning streak and presumably a fight with Georges St.Pierre.

MacDonald-Maia is good booking. The well-rounded MacDonald is an atrocious match-up for Maia—who has average striking and deficient takedowns. It’s clear that the UFC wants to get their 24-year-old, Canadian prospect back in “the mix” as soon as possible, and the best way to do that is give him a name opponent that he has a high chance of beating. They want to make him their next GSP sooner rather than later.

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Barnburner Alert: Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Rustam Khabilov Booked for UFC 170 in February


(When Keeping it Real Sarcastically Slow-Clapping Goes Wrong. Photo via Getty.)

After his promotional debut at UFC 91 ended in the most hellacious uppercut KO defeat of all time, it was generally assumed that Rafael Dos Anjos would retire from MMA and spend the rest of his life feeding bread crumbs to pigeons on a park bench while sipping broccoli puree through a straw. But lo, Dos Anjos would rise from the proverbial ashes two fights later, picking up a decision win over Rob Emerson at UFC 103. In the time since, he has been lawn-chairing motherfuckers left and right, compiling an astounding 8-2 record including a dominant decision win over Donald Cerrone at Fight Night 27 back in August.

While many of us expected Dos Anjos — who is currently riding a 5-fight win streak in the UFC’s most stacked division — to receive a top 10 opponent in his next bout, Fox Sports is reporting that Dos Anjos and Russian suplex machine Rustam Khabilov have verbally agreed to meet at UFC 170: Scratch That on February 22nd.

Khabilov exploded onto the scene back in December of 2012, suplexing the ever-loving shit out of Vinc Pichel at the TUF 16 Finale. “Tiger” followed the victory with a first round TKO via takedown-induced thumb injury over Yancy Medeiros (YAAAANCY!!) at UFC 159 and most recently outgunned former Strikeforce title challenger Jorge Masvidal in a FOTN affair at Fight for the Troops 3.

A sure to be barnburner if there ever was one, Taters. Who do you like?

-J. Jones

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