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Rising Star Yair Rodriguez Cut From UFC Roster

Hey, remember that ultra-hot rising star fighter named Yair Rodriguez? The one who got promoted like crazy, headlined two UFC Fight Night events, won six in a row in the Octagon, and lost his last fight against Frankie Edgar?

Yeah, he’s been cut from the UFC roster.

Apparently, he was offered a fight against Zabit Magomedsharipov at UFC 227, but turned it down. So the UFC told him to hit the road.

As per the LA Times:

Mexico’s Yair Rodriguez, who balked at accepting an Aug. 4 UFC 227 fight against Russia’s Zabit Magomedsharipov, has been cut from the organization, UFC President Dana White told the Los Angeles Times Thursday night.

Rodriguez (11-2), the UFC’s No. 11-ranked featherweight, hasn’t fought since a humbling second-round technical-knockout (doctor’s stoppage) loss to former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar on May 13, 2017.

White chafed that Rodriguez previously turned down an offer to fight No. 7-ranked Ricardo Lamas before tweeting that a Times report based on information from White that he was to fight Magomedsharipov (15-1) was “#FakeNews.”

“The guy’s off a year, rejects a fight with Lamas and then doesn’t want to fight a guy below him in the rankings?” White asked Thursday night. “He can go somewhere else. We have no use for him.

“He calls that fight fake news. This is real news.”

There are, of course, two sides to every negotiation. And while we have yet to hear what Rodriguez has to say, another UFC fighter tweeted some insight.

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Rising Star Yair Rodriguez Cut From UFC Roster

Hey, remember that ultra-hot rising star fighter named Yair Rodriguez? The one who got promoted like crazy, headlined two UFC Fight Night events, won six in a row in the Octagon, and lost his last fight against Frankie Edgar?

Yeah, he’s been cut from the UFC roster.

Apparently, he was offered a fight against Zabit Magomedsharipov at UFC 227, but turned it down. So the UFC told him to hit the road.

As per the LA Times:

Mexico’s Yair Rodriguez, who balked at accepting an Aug. 4 UFC 227 fight against Russia’s Zabit Magomedsharipov, has been cut from the organization, UFC President Dana White told the Los Angeles Times Thursday night.

Rodriguez (11-2), the UFC’s No. 11-ranked featherweight, hasn’t fought since a humbling second-round technical-knockout (doctor’s stoppage) loss to former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar on May 13, 2017.

White chafed that Rodriguez previously turned down an offer to fight No. 7-ranked Ricardo Lamas before tweeting that a Times report based on information from White that he was to fight Magomedsharipov (15-1) was “#FakeNews.”

“The guy’s off a year, rejects a fight with Lamas and then doesn’t want to fight a guy below him in the rankings?” White asked Thursday night. “He can go somewhere else. We have no use for him.

“He calls that fight fake news. This is real news.”

There are, of course, two sides to every negotiation. And while we have yet to hear what Rodriguez has to say, another UFC fighter tweeted some insight.

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UFC Employees Robbed at Gunpoint – Yeah, Brazil Is Still Pretty Rough

The other day I made a post about how much love there is in Brazil. Yeah, scratch that.

The UFC traveling show has come to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for UFC 224, and according to ESPN reporter Brett Okamoto, a bunch of UFC employees were robbed at gunpoint.

Yikes.

Details are sparse at the moment, but this is what we have:

Just a note on crime in Brazil: It’s bad. Really bad.

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USADA to Reward Clean Fighters With T-Shirt

Remember when your parents would go on vacation and they’d return and hand you a t-shirt that invariably had a slogan that went, “My Parents Went To ____ And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt”?

Well, USADA wants to honor those fighters who’ve passed 25 drug tests with… wait for it… a lousy t-shirt.

This is one heck of a ridiculous gesture. Sure, USADA has been charged with keeping UFC fighters clean so the UFC doesn’t have to, and sometimes the carrot of positive reinforcement is better than the stick of lengthy suspension, but this is silly.

Does the NFL give out t-shirts to players who manage to go a certain number of days without committing domestic violence?

Does Major League Baseball reward its players with special hats when they go weeks without getting busted for driving while intoxicated?

USADA, you so whack sometimes.

Here’s MMAFighting:

Each month, USADA will honor the UFC fighters who have passed 25 drug tests, the UFC’s anti-doping partner announced Wednesday. Beginning in May, the fighters who have achieved that amount will get a t-shirt with the hashtag “Follow My Lead” and “25x” branded on it. The shirt will also have the slogan “Train Clean, Fight Clean.”

In addition, those fighters who have been cleared in 25 drug tests will be featured on a new Twitter account (@USADA_UFC) that launched this week. Per a release, that account will provide “stories, advisories, and messages specific to athletes competing in UFC, as well as their fans and followers.”

“Participating in a robust anti-doping program requires a year-round commitment to competing clean, both by being available for testing without notice and in being diligent in what you consume,” USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said in a statement. “The program can be inconvenient at times, but as we hear from athletes frequently, it’s a lot less inconvenient than being seriously hurt or being robbed of a win. These athletes have hit a high mark for the UFC program and are role models for clean sport competition.

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Bellator 199 vs. UFC 224: Who’s Watching What?

(This post first appeared on MMA Frenzy)

 

It’s not too often that a night features both a Bellator and UFC card, but that’s exactly what’s going down on Saturday. So, can Bellator 199 pull views from UFC 224? Or vice-versa? And who’s going to be watching what?

UFC 224 Prelims

The prelims for UFC 224 will get underway on Fight Pass at 3:15 PM/ET, and most of the folks tuning in will be of the ‘MMA is my life’ variety. One of the more interesting bouts scheduled for Fight Pass will see former middleweight title challenger Thales Leites taking on Jack Hermansson. Alberto Mina will put his undefeated record up against Ramazan Emeev, which is also an interesting scrap.

The FX prelims will begin at 8 PM/ET, and it would be surprising if the line-up grabbed a ton of casual fans. The Cezar Ferreira –
Karl Roberson bout is probably compelling to hardcore folks, and the Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos – Sean Strickland scrap should be as well. But, in comparison to the earlier days of the FOX broadcast deal, the prelims have no mainstream pop… at all.

UFC 224 Main Card

The pay-per-view will be headlined by a bout between bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes and rugged challenger Raquel Pennington. In the co-headliner, Kelvin Gastelum will throw hands with fellow middleweight contender “Jacare” Souza, and the main card will also see Vitor Belfort face fellow Brazilian legend Lyoto Machida.

In addition, the card will feature highly-touted prospect Mackenzie Dern taking on Amanda Cooper, and a potential banger of a bantamweight scrap between John Lineker and Brian Kelleher.

So, will hardcore fans be willing to shell out cash to see this PPV? Ya. You would think a decent amount of them will. But, are any of these ‘I absolutely have to see the fight live – with no spoilers’? Maybe Gastelum – Souza is? Maybe?

When you look at the card via that lens, then it’s hard to imagine that UFC 224 will move truckloads of PPVs. One would think the UFC will be over the moon if it sells over 300,000.

Bellator 199

The televised main card for Bellator 199 will begin airing at 9PM, and that also applies to West Coasters in the U.S. (via delay). Avid fans are likely invested in seeing Aaron Pico’s latest bout, and you can say the same for the Paul Daley – Jon Fitch bout.

The headliner is a fight between light-heavyweight champ Ryan Bader and former Strikeforce champ “King Mo” Lawal. The winner will move on to face Matt Mitrione in the semifinals of Bellator’s heavyweight grand prix. So, even if you haven’t jumped on the grand prix wagon yet, there’s no denying that Bader – Lawal is a compelling bout. After all, it features two of the best light-heavyweights on the planet.

But, is this a scrap that will pull a lot of casual fans? Not long removed from Bellator 198 and Fedor Emelianenko vs. Frank Mir? It would be pretty surprising if it does.

So, when you consider all the above, could Bellator 199 ding the UFC’s bottom line? It might, somewhat.

If you’re a mainstream fan, who feels like watching fights on Saturday, and you realize you can do that via Bellator 199 for free, instead of coughing up cash for UFC 224, you’ll likely pass on the latter. But, when it’s all said and done, there’s a  good chance neither of these cards will draw droves of fans.

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UFC 224 Primer: Brazil Is All About Love

Sure, whenever the UFC travels to Brazil and a non-Brazilian fights a Brazilian in the Octagon, the crowd chants, “You’re going to die!” in Portuguese. And yeah, Colby Covington can’t fight down there because, well, he’d get torn to pieces by an angry mob. But you know what? There’s a lot of love in Brazil, too.

Take, for instance, the Embedded episodes below.

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza will (in theory) be taking on Kelvin Gastelum in the co-main event of UFC 224 on Saturday night. But what happens when he runs into Gastelum’s coach in the days leading up to the fight? Love. Nothing but love.

Then there’s the main event between bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes and challenger Raquel Pennington.

Nunes and girlfriend Nina Ansaroff are actually pals with Pennington and girlfriend Tecia Torres – guess how much love they show each other when they cross paths? (Hint: there’s lots of love.)

Unlike cards that had Conor McGregor or Ronda Rousey at the helm, and the trash-talk and hate was copious, UFC 224 in Brazil has so much respect and affection going on that it’s hard to imagine there will be fights on Saturday night.

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The Definitive Bellator 199 Preview

While the UFC is gracing us with a pay-per-view out of Brazil this weekend, the number two MMA promotion in the world will also be offering up some fistic goodness.

Bellator 199 will hit us with some of their star players, including light-heavyweight champ Ryan Bader versus Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal in another installment of the Bellator heavyweight grand prix (wait, aren’t they light-heavyweights?). There’s also one of the most decision-ing-est fighters ever in Jon Fitch, taking on the always explosive and always unhappy Paul Daley. Add to that mix former UFC heavyweight Cheick Kongo and wrestling stud Aaron Pico, and you’ve got yourself a party on Saturday.

So… what do you need to know about Bader and King Mo’s clash? Here’s a Countdown vid for it.

Need a refresher on Brit striker Daley? Here you go!

What’s the big deal with Pico? The good folks at Bellator have got you covered with that one…

The post The Definitive Bellator 199 Preview appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

The Definitive Bellator 199 Preview

While the UFC is gracing us with a pay-per-view out of Brazil this weekend, the number two MMA promotion in the world will also be offering up some fistic goodness.

Bellator 199 will hit us with some of their star players, including light-heavyweight champ Ryan Bader versus Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal in another installment of the Bellator heavyweight grand prix (wait, aren’t they light-heavyweights?). There’s also one of the most decision-ing-est fighters ever in Jon Fitch, taking on the always explosive and always unhappy Paul Daley. Add to that mix former UFC heavyweight Cheick Kongo and wrestling stud Aaron Pico, and you’ve got yourself a party on Saturday.

So… what do you need to know about Bader and King Mo’s clash? Here’s a Countdown vid for it.

Need a refresher on Brit striker Daley? Here you go!

What’s the big deal with Pico? The good folks at Bellator have got you covered with that one…

The post The Definitive Bellator 199 Preview appeared first on Caged Insider.

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Behold the Greatness That is Amanda Nunes Crushing Ronda Rousey

UFC female bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes is headlining UFC 224 this weekend. And though she’ll be facing Raquel Pennington, and the bout takes place in her home-country of Brazil, the only storyline that matters – will ever matter – is that Nunes once beat the crap out of Ronda Rousey.

Seriously, Nunes could retire tomorrow, and still those highlight reels will show her crushing Rousey like an annoying bug.

Let’s set the scene, shall we?

When Nunes faced Rousey at UFC 207, the former was the champ and the latter the challenger, because Holly Holm had head-kicked the belt away from Rousey, then Miesha Tate choked Holm, and Nunes pounded out Tate. But despite her challenger status, Rousey was far and away the star of the show. She was, after all, the reason there were females fighting in the Octagon.

Unfortunately, the pressures of fame bore down heavily on the judo Olympian, and with every eye and lens upon her, Rousey was all frowns.

She was also all bluster and no training – as evidenced by the complete destruction Nunes inflicted upon her via her fists. Rousey was TKO’d in a whole 48 seconds.

So here’s the fight. Watch and enjoy.

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All of Ronda Rousey’s Friends Are Joining Her in Pro Wrestling

Back in the olden days, when Ronda Rousey was on top of the MMA world, she and her buddies – Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir – were bandied about as the “Four Horsewomen of MMA” in a kind of homage to pro wrestling. Or something.

Anyway, Baszler, Duke and Shafir all crashed and burned in the cage, and eventually Rousey did the same.

But then Rousey found her calling in the world of pro wrestling, and guess what? It’s reunion time!

As per MMAFighting:

The Four Horsewomen of MMA are all now in pro wrestling.

Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir have joined their good friends Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler in WWE, the pro wrestling promotion announced Monday. The WWE announced that Duke and Shafir had begun training at its Performance Center in Orlando, Fla. The two had trained there before and Duke seemed likely to sign as of last month, but now both are officially on board.

Shafir and Duke each have gotten some television time with WWE. Both of them and Rousey were in in the front row for the Mae Young Classic tapings last summer to cheer on Baszler, who went to the finals of the tournament. They were shown on episodes often and even did a backstage segment being confronted by WWE’s version of the Four Horsewomen, led by Charlotte Flair.

The signings could very well lead to a match down the road between Rousey, Baszler, Duke and Shafir against Flair, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Bayley, which WWE teased last year. Shafir is also the fiancée of WWE wrestler Roderick Strong.

Personally, I don’t care one bit about pro wrestling, but if Baszler, Duke and Shafir have found their niche and they’re happy, rock on.

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