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Holly Holm’s coach says fight with Bethe Correia could be ‘do or die,’ but mostly a ‘do’ situation

Holly Holm’s professional mixed martial arts career has taken a sharp left turn from its auspicious start — she began as a crossover boxing champion who went 10-0 and a shocked the MMA universe by upsetting Ronda Rousey, and is now in the midst of a lingering hangover after three straight losses.

As she heads into her fight with Bethe Correia at UFC Fight Night 111 in Singapore, Holm finds herself in a rare position. She can either regain an ounce of the original self that went on the title run by taking out Correira, or disappear from contention altogether.

Perhaps even disappear from the UFC. Drastic? Maybe.

Her longtime coach Mike Winkeljohn, who will be in Holm’s corner on June 17 in Kallang, was asked on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour if this was “do or die” for his longtime charge.

“Yeah, it could be yeah,” Winkeljohn said. “If she loses this fight, it actually could be die. I can’t really see Holly retiring on a loss, and she’s not going to lose. So it’s not [so much] do or die, it’s just a do situation honestly.”

Holm is coming off a controversial loss against Germaine de Randamie at UFC 208 in Brooklyn, a fight that was for the inaugural featherweight title. The bout was close throughout, and it carries an asterisk because on two separate occasions de Randamie struck Holm after the horn to signal the end of the round. Holm appealed the loss with the New York State Athletic Commission, to no avail.

That defeat — coupled with the UFC 196 bout in which she ceded the bantamweight title to Miesha Tate and a subsequent unanimous decision against Valentina Shevchenko — has put the 35-year old Holm into a precarious spot heading into her fight with the Brazilian Correia.

Yet Winkeljohn exuded confidence when talking about Holm fighting with her back against the wall.

“I can’t see Holly losing,” he said. “I really don’t. She’s looking really good, great game plan. She’s got some really good people helping her out. Joey Villasenor, one of the old Pride fighters who helps out at the gym has really been in her head on a few things, as far as what can help take her to a new level. And we’re excited about it.”

Holm appeared at the post fight press conference after her loss to de Randamie and, while still processing the fight emotionally, seemed resolved to pick up the pieces and continue on. Winkeljohn said that at no point did Holm lose faith in what she was trying to accomplish, nor contemplate retirement.

“Nope, not even in the slightest,” he said. “I know Holly. She would never ever stop on a loss. That’s just Holly.”

In the pantheon of the most popular women to compete in MMA, Holm has been a bit of an exception. Rousey returned for just one more fight after her UFC 193 loss to Holm, and doesn’t look to be coming back again, while Gina Carano — who helped bring recognition to the ranks — never returned after losing to Cris “Cyborg” Justino in Strikeforce.

Holm, on the other hand, has showed a sense of resolve after each loss, a trait that Winkeljohn says is hers alone.

“That’s exactly it, that’s Holly — that’s why she has gone so far that she’s gone so far as she has in the world of boxing, and beat Ronda Rousey,” he said. “We’ve just had a bad string here. Some bad decisions, a little bit of bad luck, I think a little bit of bad judging, and it’s time for Holly to be back. She’s the real deal. Not only is she the person she is that’s so marketable, but she’s a fighter at heart.”

Part of the reason “Wink” says he believes Holm’s confidence remains so sturdily intact is the nature of her losses. That and some mental fortification in training, which he has helped with.

“You know what, she was on point with Miesha, but just got caught off guard, Miesha just did a great job there,” he said. “It was a game of inches there at the end of the fight. The next fight [against Shevchenko] was one I should never have let Holly take, and I’ve said that before. I won’t say why, but it took a while to get her out of that, and a lot of that has to do with mindset and the confidence.

“And she’s back. I think people are going to see the old Holly Holm, the new and improved version, with even more tools in this fight.”

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Showtime announces broadcast team for Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor

The broadcast team for the historical clash between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor is set.

Scheduled to go down on Aug. 26 in Las Vegas, the boxing fight between the pound-for-pound great and the UFC star will be called by Showtime’s regular team, the network told Sporting News.

The pay-per-view broadcast will feature host Brian Custer, color analysts Al Bernstein and Paul Maglianaggi, ringside reporter Jim Gray and unofficial scorer Steve Farhood. There will also be some “guest commentators” during the broadcast as well which could mean some appearances by UFC analysts.

The team will also include Mauro Ranallo, a familiar voice from both boxing and MMA fights, who signed with Bellator MMA earlier this week.

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Morning Report: Andre Ward thinks Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor is good for boxing

Earlier this week, it was announced that all-time boxing great Floyd Mayweather Jr. would be coming out of retirement to box UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. The bout had been in the news for over a year but many believed the fight was purely a promotional stunt, and when it was announced for Aug. 26th in Las Vegas, Nevada, many people in boxing were against it. For instance, trainer and analyst Teddy Atlas said the bout wouldn’t be competitive and boxing promoter Kathy Duva said “it’s not boxing, it’s a pop cultural event.”

But not everyone in boxing is against the fight. Olympic gold medalist and current WBA, IBF, and WBO light heavyweight champion Andre Ward spoke with Fight Hub TV about the Mayweather-McGregor announcement and why he thinks the fight is good for boxing.

“I think it’s good for boxing. I like it. I’m gonna watch it. I don’t really have an opinion about it in terms of a negative sense. It’s cool. It’s all good.

“I think if you don’t want to watch it, you don’t have to tune in. You don’t have to follow the build up. You can turn the channel or not read it. I’m not here to promote their fight but I think that the attention that all us fighters are getting – you know, we’re asked about it every time we do an interview from mainstream media – I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think it can be good, just understand what you’re signing up for. Understand what it is.”

Ward is currently the top pound-for-pound boxer in the world according to The Ring magazine. This weekend he rematches Duva’s premier fighter, pound-for-pound No. 2, Sergey Kovalev. The announcement of Mayweather-McGregor just days before their fight effectively buried one of the biggest bouts of the year. It should be noted that Ward-Kovalev 2 is being put on by HBO Boxing, the direct competitor to Showtime Boxing, Mayweather’s exclusive provider.

But even though the timing of the announcement was likely intended to slight Ward, the champion is still interested in the unique circumstances of the fight and respects what Mayweather is trying to do.

“I think it’s kind of cool that he’s going for 50 in a unique, different way like this instead of just fighting an average guy. And he’s getting paid to do it so you can’t knock that.”


MUST-READ STORIES

Rep. Dana White says McGregor losing to Mayweather won’t damage him or the UFC.

Goals. Mayweather Promotions CEO thinks Mayweather-McGregor can beat Pacquiao fight in PPV sales.

Better. Rafael dos Anjos says he feels better as a welterweight.

Appeal. Erick Silva will appeal his loss to Yancy Medeiros at UFC 212.

USADA. Amanda Ribas has been flagged by USADA, out of TUF 25 finale.


VIDEO STEW

The roundup of all the MayGregor coverage from the big media places.

Some dude who trained with Conor saying he’s got no chance. Gonna see a lot of this soon.

TTTHS.


LISTEN UP

UFC Unfiltered. Dennis Bermudez and Ryan LaFlare interviews.

Fights Gone By. Jack Slack discusses Derrick Lewis vs. Mark Hunt.

Bushido Talk. Mayweather-McGregor, Joe Lauzon, and Reebok discussions.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Respect.

Now that Conor is official, guess we are gonna get Tony vs. Khabib one more time.

This dude is delusional.

If someone got a 100K you should take this man up on his offer. Conor ain’t winning a round much less rounds plural.

There it is.

Not bad.

Strong arguments.

So it begins.

Here we go!!!! @jsmithmma #bellatornation

A post shared by Mike Goldberg (@goldieontv) on

This is how you know Bisping is famous.

This guy’s Conor really is excellent. and his Floyd is not bad either.

The perfect encapsulation of both men.

He back.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

N/A.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2007: Rich Franklin won a unanimous decision over Yushin Okami at UFC 72.

2010: Renato Sobral won a unanimous decision over Robbie Lawler at Strikeforce: Los Angeles.


FINAL THOUGHTS

I cannot wait for MayGregor. Not because I care about the fight, but because it’s been less than two days and this is already exhausting. It’s all we’ll talk about for the next two months despite the fact that there are some great fights this weekend both in MMA and the Ward-Kovalev rematch. I had Kov winning the first fight by virtue of the knockdown, but I’ve got to imagine Ward does better this time having had more of an opportunity to adjust to the style.

Oh, and for the record, Mayweather knocks out Conor in under eight rounds. “Oh but Conor is so much younger!” Yeah that’s why Jean Pascal, an actual PROFESSIONAL BOXER, knocked out 46-year-old Bernard Hopkins, right? Aging veterans want to fight inexperienced, limited fighters. It’s the easiest way for craft to show through. You’re telling me the best defensive fighter of his generation can’t avoid a one-trick pony? Come on. Conor is a great mixed martial artist and that should be enough. Floyd gonna put mitts on him something fierce and it will tell us something we should all already know: the best professionals in a sport are better at that sport than people who don’t compete in it. Shocking, I know.

Anyway, that’s it for today. The UFC card this weekend is actually sneaky good but it’s on FightPass, at a weird time, and now buried under this news. Also, I highly recommend Ward-Kov 2. Two of the best (at least) six boxers on the planet fighting doesn’t happen every day. Enjoy the weekend and Conor bless.


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy it.

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UFC Fight Night 111 Q&A with Stephen Thompson, more

At the UFC Fight Night 111 Q&A, Stephen Thompson, Julianna Pena, Jorge Masvidal and Dan Hardy are slated to appear Friday morning. The video above is scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. ET.

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UFC Fight Night 111 Q&A with Stephen Thompson, more

At the UFC Fight Night 111 Q&A, Stephen Thompson, Julianna Pena, Jorge Masvidal and Dan Hardy are slated to appear Friday morning. The video above is scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. ET.

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UFC Fight Night 111 weigh-in video

At the UFC Fight Night 111 weigh-ins, all 24 fighters taking part in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 111 fights will square off Friday, and we’ll have the live video here at MMA Fighting.

In the main event, Holly Holm and Bethe Correia made the bantamweight limit of 135 pounds.

The UFC Fight Night 111 ceremonial weigh-in video is at 7 a.m. ET, and the video is above.

Check out the UFC Fight Night 111 weigh-in results below.

Main card (UFC Fight Pass at 8 a.m. ET)

Holly Holm (135) vs. Bethe Correia (136)

Andrei Arlovski (242) vs. Marcin Tybura (243)

Dong Hyun Kim (171) vs. Colby Covington (171)

Tarec Saffiedine (170) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (170)

Undercard (UFC Fight Pass at 4:30 a.m. ET)

Takanori Gomi (156) vs. Jon Tuck (156)

Cyril Asker (245) vs. Walt Harris (249)

Alex Caceres (146) vs. Rolando Dy (146)

Justin Scoggins (126) vs. Ulka Sasaki (125)

Li Jingliang (170) vs. Frank Camacho (169)

Kwan Ho Kwak (136) vs. Russell Doane (135)

Naomi Inoue (124) vs. Carls John de Tomas (131) *5 pounds over

Ji Yeon Kim (136) vs. Lucie Pudilova (134)

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Rafael dos Anjos feels less stressed as a welterweight

Rafael dos Anjos will meet bigger competition inside the Octagon from now on, but life is better.

Former UFC lighweight champion dos Anjos has decided to gain 15 pounds and compete as a welterweight, and his debut against Tarec Saffiedine at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 111 in Singapore is the first step in the right direction.

The Brazilian started his camp in the United States, training with Eduardo Pamplona, Bubba Jenkins, Jason Parillo and Felipe Furao, and flew to Singapore three weeks before the fight to get used to the time zone and weather for the fight, training at Evolve. dos Anjos’ wife and kids stayed behind in California, and he expects to bring the win back home for them this time.

Vitor Belfort said something right: there’s no glory without sacrifice,” dos Anjos told MMA Fighting. “I left them there and am sacrificing here. It’s hard to stay away from them, but, God willing, this time… Over the last 12 months, I stayed away from them for two months total, and this time I’ll get the job done. I couldn’t the last couple of times, but I believe in God that I will get it done this time.”

Six days before the official weigh-ins, dos Anjos had 15 pounds to cut. It seems a lot, but the 32-year-old athlete celebrated the fact that he would stop when he hit the 170-pound mark.

“At lightweight, I had nothing else to get rid of but still had pounds to lose, so it’s being easier now,” he said. “It’s been easier, less stressful. I’m happier, only thinking about the fight.”

After facing the who’s who of the lightweight division, defeating the likes of Donald Cerrone (twice), Anthony Pettis, Nate Diaz and Ben Henderson, “RDA” debuts in a new division against former Strikeforce titleholder Saffiedine.

And even though “Sponge” hasn’t been the same in the Octagon, racking up a 2-3 UFC record after leaving Strikeforce with six victories in seven fights, dos Anjos expects a tough challenge.

“He’s a striker, but this is a MMA fight,” dos Anjos said. “I have more weapons, I believe I have more takedowns and jiu-jitsu, but I won’t give everything I have to get him down. Of course, I’ll try to take him down, but the fight starts standing and I’ll see which opportunities he gives me. I’ll walk straight forward and put pressure the entire time. That’s how I fight.”

The jiu-jitsu black belt collected ‘Performance of the Night’ bonuses in the past for his knockouts over Cerrone and Henderson, but hasn’t submitted an opponent since May 2012, when he choked out Kamal Sharolus.

“I want to win,” dos Anjos said. “It doesn’t need to be in a flashy way, ‘oh, I have to finish him.’ No. I want to win, I want to win well. Of course, I’ll use my strategy, but I don’t fight to score points and win a decision. I’ll always fight for the submission or the knockout. It’s always good to win by submission or knockout. My last submission was five years ago, but I won’t waste an opportunity this time.”

dos Anjos knows he can quickly put his name in the mix for a title shot in the near future with a good win over Saffiedine, but won’t think about the possibility of joining the small group of fighters who won UFC belts in two different weight classes.

“He’s a ranked fighter, so I’ll be in a good position in the division with a win over him in my welterweight debut,” dos Anjos said. “Demian (Maia) is going for the belt now, there are other guys ahead of me. I’ll get there slowly, no rush. My time will come.

“When I relaxed and stopped thinking about the lightweight belt, that’s when it came. I’ll continue fighting and worrying about winning, doing my job. The belt is the consequence.”

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Rafael dos Anjos feels less stressed as a welterweight

Rafael dos Anjos will meet bigger competition inside the Octagon from now on, but life is better.

Former UFC lighweight champion dos Anjos has decided to gain 15 pounds and compete as a welterweight, and his debut against Tarec Saffiedine at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 111 in Singapore is the first step in the right direction.

The Brazilian started his camp in the United States, training with Eduardo Pamplona, Bubba Jenkins, Jason Parillo and Felipe Furao, and flew to Singapore three weeks before the fight to get used to the time zone and weather for the fight, training at Evolve. dos Anjos’ wife and kids stayed behind in California, and he expects to bring the win back home for them this time.

Vitor Belfort said something right: there’s no glory without sacrifice,” dos Anjos told MMA Fighting. “I left them there and am sacrificing here. It’s hard to stay away from them, but, God willing, this time… Over the last 12 months, I stayed away from them for two months total, and this time I’ll get the job done. I couldn’t the last couple of times, but I believe in God that I will get it done this time.”

Six days before the official weigh-ins, dos Anjos had 15 pounds to cut. It seems a lot, but the 32-year-old athlete celebrated the fact that he would stop when he hit the 170-pound mark.

“At lightweight, I had nothing else to get rid of but still had pounds to lose, so it’s being easier now,” he said. “It’s been easier, less stressful. I’m happier, only thinking about the fight.”

After facing the who’s who of the lightweight division, defeating the likes of Donald Cerrone (twice), Anthony Pettis, Nate Diaz and Ben Henderson, “RDA” debuts in a new division against former Strikeforce titleholder Saffiedine.

And even though “Sponge” hasn’t been the same in the Octagon, racking up a 2-3 UFC record after leaving Strikeforce with six victories in seven fights, dos Anjos expects a tough challenge.

“He’s a striker, but this is a MMA fight,” dos Anjos said. “I have more weapons, I believe I have more takedowns and jiu-jitsu, but I won’t give everything I have to get him down. Of course, I’ll try to take him down, but the fight starts standing and I’ll see which opportunities he gives me. I’ll walk straight forward and put pressure the entire time. That’s how I fight.”

The jiu-jitsu black belt collected ‘Performance of the Night’ bonuses in the past for his knockouts over Cerrone and Henderson, but hasn’t submitted an opponent since May 2012, when he choked out Kamal Sharolus.

“I want to win,” dos Anjos said. “It doesn’t need to be in a flashy way, ‘oh, I have to finish him.’ No. I want to win, I want to win well. Of course, I’ll use my strategy, but I don’t fight to score points and win a decision. I’ll always fight for the submission or the knockout. It’s always good to win by submission or knockout. My last submission was five years ago, but I won’t waste an opportunity this time.”

dos Anjos knows he can quickly put his name in the mix for a title shot in the near future with a good win over Saffiedine, but won’t think about the possibility of joining the small group of fighters who won UFC belts in two different weight classes.

“He’s a ranked fighter, so I’ll be in a good position in the division with a win over him in my welterweight debut,” dos Anjos said. “Demian (Maia) is going for the belt now, there are other guys ahead of me. I’ll get there slowly, no rush. My time will come.

“When I relaxed and stopped thinking about the lightweight belt, that’s when it came. I’ll continue fighting and worrying about winning, doing my job. The belt is the consequence.”

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Rafael dos Anjos feels less stressed as a welterweight

Rafael dos Anjos will meet bigger competition inside the Octagon from now on, but life is better.

Former UFC lighweight champion dos Anjos has decided to gain 15 pounds and compete as a welterweight, and his debut against Tarec Saffiedine at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 111 in Singapore is the first step in the right direction.

The Brazilian started his camp in the United States, training with Eduardo Pamplona, Bubba Jenkins, Jason Parillo and Felipe Furao, and flew to Singapore three weeks before the fight to get used to the time zone and weather for the fight, training at Evolve. dos Anjos’ wife and kids stayed behind in California, and he expects to bring the win back home for them this time.

Vitor Belfort said something right: there’s no glory without sacrifice,” dos Anjos told MMA Fighting. “I left them there and am sacrificing here. It’s hard to stay away from them, but, God willing, this time… Over the last 12 months, I stayed away from them for two months total, and this time I’ll get the job done. I couldn’t the last couple of times, but I believe in God that I will get it done this time.”

Six days before the official weigh-ins, dos Anjos had 15 pounds to cut. It seems a lot, but the 32-year-old athlete celebrated the fact that he would stop when he hit the 170-pound mark.

“At lightweight, I had nothing else to get rid of but still had pounds to lose, so it’s being easier now,” he said. “It’s been easier, less stressful. I’m happier, only thinking about the fight.”

After facing the who’s who of the lightweight division, defeating the likes of Donald Cerrone (twice), Anthony Pettis, Nate Diaz and Ben Henderson, “RDA” debuts in a new division against former Strikeforce titleholder Saffiedine.

And even though “Sponge” hasn’t been the same in the Octagon, racking up a 2-3 UFC record after leaving Strikeforce with six victories in seven fights, dos Anjos expects a tough challenge.

“He’s a striker, but this is a MMA fight,” dos Anjos said. “I have more weapons, I believe I have more takedowns and jiu-jitsu, but I won’t give everything I have to get him down. Of course, I’ll try to take him down, but the fight starts standing and I’ll see which opportunities he gives me. I’ll walk straight forward and put pressure the entire time. That’s how I fight.”

The jiu-jitsu black belt collected ‘Performance of the Night’ bonuses in the past for his knockouts over Cerrone and Henderson, but hasn’t submitted an opponent since May 2012, when he choked out Kamal Sharolus.

“I want to win,” dos Anjos said. “It doesn’t need to be in a flashy way, ‘oh, I have to finish him.’ No. I want to win, I want to win well. Of course, I’ll use my strategy, but I don’t fight to score points and win a decision. I’ll always fight for the submission or the knockout. It’s always good to win by submission or knockout. My last submission was five years ago, but I won’t waste an opportunity this time.”

dos Anjos knows he can quickly put his name in the mix for a title shot in the near future with a good win over Saffiedine, but won’t think about the possibility of joining the small group of fighters who won UFC belts in two different weight classes.

“He’s a ranked fighter, so I’ll be in a good position in the division with a win over him in my welterweight debut,” dos Anjos said. “Demian (Maia) is going for the belt now, there are other guys ahead of me. I’ll get there slowly, no rush. My time will come.

“When I relaxed and stopped thinking about the lightweight belt, that’s when it came. I’ll continue fighting and worrying about winning, doing my job. The belt is the consequence.”

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Amanda Ribas flagged by USADA for potential anti-doping violation, out of TUF 25 Finale

The UFC’s International Fight Week slate is down a fight.

Amanda Ribas, a new strawweight signee, was flagged by USADA for a potential anti-doping violation and removed from her fight with Juliana Lima at the Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale on July 7 in Las Vegas, the UFC announced Thursday. The possible violation stems from a sample collected June 7.

“Because of her potential anti-doping violation and the proximity to that event, Ribas has been removed from the card and the UFC is currently seeking a replacement,” the UFC’s statement read.

USADA will work with the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC), which also has jurisdiction over the event, on the doping case, per the release.

Ribas (6-1) competed last month, a second-round TKO victory over Jennifer Gonzalez Araneda under the Max Fight banner in her native Brazil.

It’s unclear if the UFC will seek a replacement for Lima.

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