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Tag: welterweight

Bellator CEO Appears Ready to Let Welterweight Champ Askren Leave for the UFC


(I would totally wear that shirt. But if somebody asks me who it’s supposed to be, I’d tell them it’s Rob Tyner. / Photo via MMADiehards)

Former Olympic wrestler Ben Askren is undefeated in 12 fights since he began fighting MMA in 2009, has won his last two by TKO, and has beaten many of the best welterweights outside of the UFC. It’s little wonder why fans have been curious how the Bellator welterweight champion would do against the best in the world in the UFC and even champion Georges St. Pierre, if only because of Askren’s superb wrestling.

In the not so distant past, however, Askren has gone above and beyond to be a company man for Bellator and has insisted he had no interest in the UFC. Fine, we don’t like you anyway, you’re boring and not pretty, UFC President Dana pretty much responded.

But last week, when White was asked whether the UFC would speak with Askren, whose contract is up with Bellator, White said that his promotion would indeed talk to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Freestlye wrestler.

That was trippy enough, but it’s a testament to the fact that the UFC usually seeks out the best fighters in the world, no matter how popular or “exciting” MMA fans or White himself think they are. Bellator, however, seems to be taking a different approach.

While the organization has been snapping up aging and losing former UFC fighters left and right, their CEO now says that they are not even interested in re-signing Askren — a home grown elite fighter of their own.

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[EXCLUSIVE] Matt Brown Reflects on Becoming The UFC’s Unlikeliest Welterweight Contender


(Can Matt Brown keep rolling through the division’s elite? / Photo via Getty)

By Elias Cepeda

Since the beginning of 2012, UFC welterweight Matt Brown has won six consecutive fights, all but one by KO/TKO within the first two rounds. His most recent was a startlingly fast and violent knockout of the previously red-hot Mike Pyle in under thirty seconds this past Saturday at UFC Fight Night 26.

All of a sudden, Brown is more than a tough and exciting fighter — he’s the owner of the most impressive win streak in the division outside of Georges St. Pierre and Johny Hendricks, who meet one another with GSP’s title on the line in November.

Brown has been calling out the champion and, well, now it makes sense. CagePotato spoke with the contender Sunday while he celebrated with family far away from the lights that shone on him kindly in Boston during his latest victory.

“It’s weird, man,” Brown muses while sitting with kids playing and shouting around him. “Obviously, I’m real happy with the result but I do feel a little unfulfilled. It wasn’t the type of fight I prepared for at all. But you take what you can get, right?”

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Dumbest Idea Ever of the Day: Nate Diaz is Headed Back to the Welterweight Division, Y’all


(“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein, clearly foreshadowing the career of Nate Diaz.)

You remember how we previously discussed the wolfpack-like sense of loyalty that seems to exist between the members of Team Cesar Gracie? Or how they would rather retire than face another member of their loyal platoon in glorious mixed martial arts competition? Well, since Nate Diaz’s training partner/homeboy Gil Melendez is fighting Ben Henderson at UFC on FOX 7 this weekend and is going to win the fight with 100% certainty (and the fight after that, and the fight after that…), the former #1 contender might as well get to steppin’. That’s according to him, at least:

I’m not huntin’ (the title) right now, honestly. My boy is about to put it down and hold the belt for the next … I don’t even know how long. I’m probably gonna bail up outta this weight division as soon as this fight is done. I fought everybody at lightweight already. 

That’s right, despite compiling an 9-4 UFC record at lightweight that included a(n unsuccessful) title shot against Ben Henderson last December, Diaz is presumably headed back to the division that saw him score wins over a couple of guys who have since been fired and get absolutely manhandled by Dong Hyun Kim and Rory MacDonald. Pardon my language, but boy, you have smoked yourself retarded.

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Hector Lombard Enlists Mike Dolce to Make Welterweight Test Cut Following Upcoming Nose Surgery


(Alas, it appears that the joyous age of ice cream cake and tomato cans has come and gone.)

Since entering the UFC almost a year ago to the day and bringing with him an unprecedented amount of hype (and one hefty price tag to boot), former Bellator middleweight kingpin Hector Lombard has been through some pretty tough times. After seeing his 25-fight win streak snapped via boredom in his UFC debut, Lombard scored a rebound TKO victory over Rousimar Palhares before succumbing to the patented grapplefuckery of Yushin Okami at UFC on FUEL 8. 

And although Dana White is not ready to label Lombard a bust just yet — and rightfully so, for Okami can and has grapplefucked the best of ‘em — it’s become quite apparent that Lombard isn’t quite the eater of worlds that he was made out to be in Bellator. Then again, when you’re paired up against guys like Trevor Prangley and “Whisper” Goodman, it’s hard not to build such a reputation. In either case, it appears that Lombard has realized that at just 5’8″, perhaps the middleweight division isn’t where he belongs anymore.

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Oh, The Irony: Ben Askren Not Impressed by GSP’s Performance, Is “100 Percent Sure” He Could Beat Him


(“You see, Georges? THIS is how you dominate someone for five full rounds without ever coming close to finishing them!”) 

Likely because he has failed to stir up any interest in the cage with his fighting style, which often feels like watching The English Patient at half speed, Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren has become quite the prominent Twitter troll over the years. And honestly, his Twitter beefs and troll tactics have quickly become the most entertaining part of his mixed martial arts career.

Just last week, for instance, Askren lashed out at Michael Bisping — who is scheduled to face Askren’s friend/training partner Alan Belcher at UFC 159 – via one hilariously xenophobic and self-deprecating rant. And now, he’s got his sights set on UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, who apparently did not do enough in his title defense against Nick Diaz at UFC 158 to earn Askren’s much sought after hespect. Via Askren’s Twitter:

Have we seen GSPs dark side yet? Or is he saving it for rounds 4 & 5?? I saw more viscous things happen at the youth wrestling tourney!

After tonight I am 100% sure I could beat GSP… GSP is no longer an aggressive striker. He will not out wrestle or grapple me. He gets tired. Simple enough.

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With Alessio Sakara Rematch Cancelled, Patrick Cote Announces Move to Welterweight


(Welterweight, middleweight, we don’t care. Just don’t ever lose that twinkle in your eyes, you handsome son of a bitch.) 

Although Patrick Cote managed to secure his first UFC win since 2010 at UFC 154 last month (by way of DQ), we’re still not quite sure if his decision to cut down to welterweight falls into “last ditch effort to save career” territory or not. Regardless, Cote recently told MMAWeekly that he is planning on cutting down to 170 for his next bout now that his UFC 158 rematch with Alessio Sakara has been cancelled due to Sakara’s kidney issues. His reasoning: They build middleweights a lot bigger than they used to.

We’ve been thinking about it since about a year now. I think now it’s the time. I was a pretty decent middleweight a couple years ago, but now those guys are really, really big. They’re cutting from like 230, 225, and I’m walking around at 205 so I spoke with my coach and my nutritionist and it’s doable so we’re going to do it.

Although it seems like Cote might be exaggerating those numbers a little bit, one must first consider that Anthony Johnson walks around at upwards of 230 pounds and used to fight in the same division Cote is shrinking down to. Hell, Thiago Alves still fights at 170 and that dude regularly eats Adam Richman under the table in between training camps.

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Johny Hendricks Holding Out For Title Shot


(Ain’t no tantrum like a Big Rigg tantrum)

In the whole welterweight/middleweight title/super-fight mess of excitment and speculation going on right now, number one 170 pound contender Johny Hendricks is one of the few people giving real talk. “I’m not going to fight unless it’s for a belt,” Hendricks told MMAJunkie Radio Friday.

The former NCAA Division I wrestling national champion solidified himself as the number one contender to Georges St. Pierre’s welterweight crown with five straight wins, his last three against Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck and Martin Kampmann. Despite earning his shot, Hendricks is far from a lock to be the next one to fight St. Pierre.

Middleweight champion Anderson Silva is chasing a super fight with the Canadian and St. Pierre surrogates are lobbying for his next fight to be against his rival Nick Diaz. Diaz is currently serving a suspension for testing positive for marijuana metabolites before his last fight, a loss to Carlos Condit.

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It Looks Like Ben Henderson’s Days As a Lightweight Are Numbered


(Henderson, seen here making Shane Roller rapidly consider cutting to featherweight at WEC 40.) 

No, we are not jumping on the Nate Diaz bandwagon. Not yet, at least.

In a recent interview with MMAJunkie, current UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson resentfully admitted something that no athlete is ever quick to declare: He ain’t getting any younger. And because of this, it is getting harder and harder for a massive lightweight such as “Smooth” to make the required cut for each of his title defenses. How much weight does he cut? Henderson didn’t reveal the exact number, but several close sources claimed that the lightweight champ normally resides around the 180-pound mark often up to just a few days out from fight night. It’s a massive, draining cut for any athlete to undergo, and as we’ve seen in the past, can have devastating effects on the human body. Henderson is no different, and acknowledged that he has struggled to deal with the cut as he has gotten older:

When I was in college and wrestling, I would wrestle all day long and not get tired. I remember wrestling hard for five hours – literally five hours hard –  and be just fine. I would eat friggin’ Taco Bell, be fine, and wrestle again.

I’m growing, but as far as maturing and getting thicker, I think I’m getting older right now, and it’s getting harder for me to lose the weight … and it’s harder for me to keep the weight off.

Henderson’s UFC on FOX 5 opponent, Nate Diaz, is no stranger to the difficulty of weight cutting, having moved up to welterweight to fight on several occasions but finding much less success there. The same could be argued for Henderson, who stands at a mere 5 foot 9 and would hold a distinct size disadvantage were he to move up in weight. But according to Henderson, it is only a matter of time until the choice is no longer an option.

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And It Is All Over: Matt Hughes Now Says He Is ‘Fully Retired’


(See that there on the right? That’s Matt Hughes’s autograph. So this photo is relevant)

In a recent feature profile on him written by Iowa’s The Daily Gate, former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes says that he is “fully retired.” Hughes last fought in September of 2011, when he was knocked out by Josh Koscheck at UFC 135.

Up to this point, the farmer-fighter has resisted describing himself as retired even as Dana White suggested that he should call it a career. Currently working on his family farm and only occasionally training, Hughes says that he’s content in retirement because the UFC still “treats him well,” as they tend to do with their former champions in good standing.

“I’ve not announced my retirement, but right now it looks like I’m fully retired,” Hughes told the Gate’s Brad Cameron. “The UFC still treats me well so I can be retired. It’s just funny, when God puts you on a road, you don’t know where you are going. I have all the faith that he put me there, and I have to thank him from that.”

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Photo of the Day: Nate Marquardt’s Elbows > The Gillette Mach 3

marquardt woodley elbow knockout
(We believe the words you’re looking for are Like a Boss. Props to Fightlinker for the gif.) 

Aside from bringing Tyron Woodley’s championship aspirations (not to mention his mother’s dramatic retelling of Big Momma’s House 4: The Skriekening) to a crashing halt, it turns out that Nate Marquardt’s brilliant standing elbow also did a fair share of damage to Woodley’s upper lip. To put it simply, the wound most closely resembles what would happen if you were to mix Ambien with PCP and attempt to dry shave in a Southwest airplane bathroom. During takeoff. With a flensing knife. Also, you’re blind. OK, so maybe that wasn’t as simple a description as it could have been, but you get the point.

Check out the nasty cut after the jump.

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