Wherefore Art Thou, Paige VanZant?

Do you feel that cool breeze? Yeah, that’s the whole world cooling on the notion of Paige VanZant‘s stardom.

For a while there, she was the hottest of hot prospects. Sure, she took some lumps in the cage – against Rose Namajunas and Michelle Waterson in particular – and we learned she wasn’t quite ready to be the champ of any division. But she was dancing up a storm on “Dancing With the Stars”, and she was a walking Reebok advertisement.

But Reebok has since dropped her, and her time in the cage has been sparse. Wherefore art thou, Paige VanZant?

She’s actually fighting on the next UFC card, taking on Rachel Ostovich at UFC on ESPN+1. But given Ostovich’s recent domestic violence issues, it’s pretty much guaranteed that all eyes are going to be on Ostovich and not our girl Paige.

I don’t really have any more of an observation to make other than the world seems to have gotten chill about her. We’ll see if that changes after next weekend.

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After Cejudo At 125, Dillashaw Wants Holloway At 145

After years of refusing to even consider allowing it, the UFC has gone champion vs. champion crazy. Conor McGregor was first to achieve champ champ status, followed by Daniel Cormier in July and now Amanda Nunes in December. Their 2019 kicks off with yet another scrap between two belt holders: bantamweight champ TJ Dillashaw will fight newly crowned flyweight champ Henry Cejudo on January 19th.

But why stop at double champ? Dillashaw and his coach Duane “Bang” Ludwig are already thinking TRIPLE CHAMP.

TJ let his interest in fighting featherweight champ Max Holloway be known in an Instagram livestream.

“Everyone wants me to go to featherweight and fight Max,” Dillashaw said. “I would love to. But look, one step at a time. Let’s run through Cejudo first then Max can be next. [I can] be the first one to ever go for three belts.”

MMA Junkie reached out to “Bang” Ludwig for his thoughts on the possibility.

”I think that would be more of a challenge to go up in weight than it has been to go down in weight,” Ludwig told MMA Junkie. “TJ is not a big bantamweight anyway. Going up in weight, that’s when we’ll see more change. I assume he would become possibly a little slower, but have more power. But we’ll see what ends up happening if that’s the journey for us. Right now we’re focused on the task at hand.”

That task involves getting the 135 pound Dillashaw down to 125 pounds, a process that has some fans worried as we watch TJ waste away. Meanwhile, his opponent Cejudo only seems to be packing on more muscle, making us wonder whether “Bang” recognizes just how much of a challenge this flyweight challenge will be. Whatever happens, Dillashaw is one game mofo. Garbrandt twice, Cejudo, then Holloway? That’s be a run for the ages.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov Just Delivered Some Hot Fire to Conor McGregor

As he’s wont to do, Conor McGregor took to serving up haymakers on social media, roasting former sparring partner and boxer Pauli Malignaggi. But he lobbed some heat at previous opponent Khabib Nurmagomedov, alleging that the now-champ was a constant complainer to the ref during their fight. Here’s the Instagram post in question.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Let the record show. I like Paulie Malinaggi. Here is a confrontation between us regarding a picture he was upset about. Yes you heard that right. A picture. I told him here to his face. “Don’t be bitching.” Common knowledge I would think for a fighting man. Don’t be a bitch, bitching. The same thing I said to khabib at the end of round 3. My round. Don’t be bitching! Every single round bitching to the referee. He was even bitching in the fourth round from mount position. It baffled me. If anyone should have been saying anything to the referee, it should have been me in that 1st round. That round he held onto my legs for four minutes straight. With zero activity. But a fight is a fight who gives a fuck. Crying to the referee like a proper bitch. I was trying to dig my fingers into his Adams Apple. Many individuals in the fight business, I have learned lately, are absolute bitches. I know you’s are broke boys. But don’t be broke bitches.

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

Yeah, so you know how Khabib pounded McGregor out at UFC 232? The Dagestani pretty much did the same via Twitter.

BOOM.

The post Khabib Nurmagomedov Just Delivered Some Hot Fire to Conor McGregor appeared first on Caged Insider.

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Manager: Gustafsson Could Totally Beat Juicy, Smelly Jones

While UFC 232: Jones vs. Gustafsson 2 was a commercial success, the main event didn’t live up to the first between the two light heavyweights. And I suppose in retrospect, how could it? Jon and Alex took each other to the absolute limit at UFC 165, with “Bones” digging deep and snatching the win from Gustafsson in the dying minutes of round five. UFC 232 saw Gustafsson hobbled by a groin injury in the first and finished in the third.

It’s just how the fight game goes. Who knows what would happen if we ran things back for a third fight? That’s the way Alexander Gustafsson’s manager is looking at things too. In a written interview with MMA Junkie, Nima Safapour discussed his client’s future.

“The plan is to come back stronger than ever,” Safapour wrote. “The fight was the fight. We still believe 100 percent that Alex can beat Jones. Just depends on the day. Anyone can win depending on the circumstances of the fight. It was not our day, but we will come back and get the title in due time either from Jon or whoever else is holding the title at that time. Expect to see ‘The Mauler’ back in action soon.”

As for Jon Jones’ strange pulsing steroid metabolite problem? Gustafsson wasn’t shy leading up to UFC 232 when asked if he thought Jones was cheating. “Yes, I do,” he said.

“We hold the same position about Jones as it relates to the doping controversy,” Safapour wrote. “Whatever he is doing, it smells terrible.”

Jones took to social media following news that he had passed several drug tests on the night of UFC 232, as if that somehow erased the controversy of multiple positive tests leading up to the event.

”Absolutely no jet fuel was found on the murder scene,” Jones said, referencing an earlier tweet from Gustafsson. “Alex, just wanted to make sure you saw this. Seemed like that was the only thing you could focus on in our last fight.”

Well yeah, it was just one of the strangest drug testing fiascos in UFC history that resulted in the event getting moved to a different state last minute. We’re not surprised Gus was focused on it.

Maybe their next fight will go down without all the distracting drama. And it could happen sooner than you’d think. UFC 235 should tell us whether Jones can sell as many pay-per-views without a legit challenger like Gustafsson across the cage. If he can’t, we could see a third fight between the two before the end of 2019.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov Just Delivered Some Hot Fire to Conor McGregor

As he’s wont to do, Conor McGregor took to serving up haymakers on social media, roasting former sparring partner and boxer Pauli Malignaggi. But he lobbed some heat at previous opponent Khabib Nurmagomedov, alleging that the now-champ was a constant complainer to the ref during their fight. Here’s the Instagram post in question.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Let the record show. I like Paulie Malinaggi. Here is a confrontation between us regarding a picture he was upset about. Yes you heard that right. A picture. I told him here to his face. “Don’t be bitching.” Common knowledge I would think for a fighting man. Don’t be a bitch, bitching. The same thing I said to khabib at the end of round 3. My round. Don’t be bitching! Every single round bitching to the referee. He was even bitching in the fourth round from mount position. It baffled me. If anyone should have been saying anything to the referee, it should have been me in that 1st round. That round he held onto my legs for four minutes straight. With zero activity. But a fight is a fight who gives a fuck. Crying to the referee like a proper bitch. I was trying to dig my fingers into his Adams Apple. Many individuals in the fight business, I have learned lately, are absolute bitches. I know you’s are broke boys. But don’t be broke bitches.

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

Yeah, so you know how Khabib pounded McGregor out at UFC 232? The Dagestani pretty much did the same via Twitter.

BOOM.

The post Khabib Nurmagomedov Just Delivered Some Hot Fire to Conor McGregor appeared first on Caged Insider.

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BJ Penn Wonders What’s Next After UFC 232 Loss

BJ Penn has released a statement following his loss to Ryan Hall at UFC 232.

The former lightweight and welterweight champ was coming back after a two year break from the sport, and he actually looked pretty good right up until things went horribly wrong. Hall is another up and coming killer with nasty leg locks, and he used that proficiency to get the first submission loss from Penn in his 17 year MMA career.

Hall followed a kick with a lightning fast roll right into a heel hook that had Penn tapping just 2:46 into the first round. Take a look:

Here’s Penn breaking down what happened instead for his website, BJPenn.com.

“I was shocked at how deep Ryan [Hall] was able to sink in the leg lock right off the hop,” Penn said. “The timing was perfect. I tried to run and pull my leg out, but I wasn’t going anywhere as my knee was still stuck inside his hips. So I tried to defend my knee and turn it up towards the sky. By the time I looked back he had already switched to the heel hook and my ankle just popped.”

Fortunately, Penn’s leg is still in one piece.

“It is swollen,” he revealed. “There’s some bruising and what not. But it wasn’t my knee. It was my ankle that popped. It is what it is. Hats off to Ryan Hall, that submission was the perfect storm.”

Penn went on to say he had the best training camp ever at Nova Uniao, but this time we actually believe him. Even with just half a round to review, Penn was way more aggressive and smooth with his striking than he was in his last stink fest of a fight against Dennis Siver. Maybe that was from not cutting down to 145 pounds. Maybe it was from not hating life because he was cutting down to 145. Whatever it was, this actually looked like Classic Motivated Penn™. Unfortunately, he ran into another monster. Funny how that happens to a lot of aging stars.

As for his future?

”I’m going to let my ankle heal up and then I will contemplate what is next for my life,” he said.

Just going to put this out there: after what we saw at UFC 232, I’d be down for another BJ Penn fight. Maybe just not against another Yair or Hall?

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Khabib: Enjoy The Shame, McGregor

Things are really starting to heat back up between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov.

McGregor engaged in some pretty serious mental warfare leading up to their fight at UFC 229 in October of 2018, while Nurmagomedov had the serene look of a man who knew it was Khabib Time. Unfortunately, just beating McGregor didn’t give Khabib the satisfaction he was looking for, so he eagle-jumped off the cage into Conor’s corner and ended up suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

For how long? No one knows. Rumors have him being barred from fighting for anywhere between six months and two years. Tune in on January 29th when the commission hearing goes down. For now we’ll just have to enjoy the back and forths between McGregor and Khabib on social media in lieu of a rematch. There’s certainly been enough.

In the latest round, Khabib got together with some of the guys who jumped McGregor for a little photoshoot. Not long after, McGregor put out an Instagram rant telling Nurmagomedov “don’t be a bitch!”

Of course Khabib responded.

”You will live with this shame all your life, bi…” Nurmagomedov wrote under a picture of him tapping Conor with a neck crank.

A rematch between McGregor and Nurmagomedov seems like the obvious next move from the UFC, and Khabib’s manager seemed to agree, stating “We need somebody who can sell pay-per-views.” Welp, unless “The Eagle” is ready to move up to light heavyweight and challenge Jon Jones, there’s not a whole lotta needle movers out there to fight. Although it is worth noting that Khabib himself still sounds willing to consider fighting real contenders. Whether that translates into ink on a bout agreement remains to be seen.

For now we remain in a holding pattern, waiting to see what the fallout is from McGregor’s UFC 229 troll job. He may not have managed to make Khabib crazy during their fight, but the brawl afterwards proved he definitely got under the Dagestani’s skin.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov Just Delivered Some Hot Fire to Conor McGregor

As he’s wont to do, Conor McGregor took to serving up haymakers on social media, roasting former sparring partner and boxer Pauli Malignaggi. But he lobbed some heat at previous opponent Khabib Nurmagomedov, alleging that the now-champ was a constant complainer to the ref during their fight. Here’s the Instagram post in question.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Let the record show. I like Paulie Malinaggi. Here is a confrontation between us regarding a picture he was upset about. Yes you heard that right. A picture. I told him here to his face. “Don’t be bitching.” Common knowledge I would think for a fighting man. Don’t be a bitch, bitching. The same thing I said to khabib at the end of round 3. My round. Don’t be bitching! Every single round bitching to the referee. He was even bitching in the fourth round from mount position. It baffled me. If anyone should have been saying anything to the referee, it should have been me in that 1st round. That round he held onto my legs for four minutes straight. With zero activity. But a fight is a fight who gives a fuck. Crying to the referee like a proper bitch. I was trying to dig my fingers into his Adams Apple. Many individuals in the fight business, I have learned lately, are absolute bitches. I know you’s are broke boys. But don’t be broke bitches.

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

Yeah, so you know how Khabib pounded McGregor out at UFC 232? The Dagestani pretty much did the same via Twitter.

BOOM.

The post Khabib Nurmagomedov Just Delivered Some Hot Fire to Conor McGregor appeared first on Caged Insider.

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Midnight Mania! ‘Baby K’ Steps In to Face Teixeira on UFC’s 1st ESPN Event

Bringing you the weird and wild, from the world of MMA, each and every week night

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

The UFC’s depth of talent is never more evident when they can replace a fight without seeming to lose quality in so doing. Ion Cutelaba and John Lineker were forced out of their bouts next weekend with Glover Teixeira and Cory Sandhagen, respectively. While the UFC are still searching for an opponent for Sandhagen, they have found one for Glover: middleweight prospect Karl Roberson.

Anytime a fighter carries a nickname like ‘Baby K’, you know he’s gotta be a pretty tough dude. Roberson has been a professional MMA fighter since 2015, and he’s 7-1, with a win on the Tuesday Night Contender series and two UFC wins under his belt. He faces a big opportunity in the form of Glover Teixeira, a ranked light heavyweight on the downswing of his career. Roberson has two fights at light heavyweight, including a win over current UFC light heavyweight Ryan Spann.

Roberson’s most recent performance was a unanimous decision win over Jack Marshman at UFC 230. Teixeira, meanwhile, is looking to bounce back from a decision loss to Corey Anderson. UFC on ESPN 1 is headlined by bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw, who is dropping to flyweight to face champion Henry Cejudo.


Insomnia

A couple days ago Karl was feuding with middleweight action fighter Elias Theodorou

Al Iaquinta respects Khabib Nurmagomedov more than any other top lightweight

The UFC’s gambit paid off for them… maybe not so much the fighters not named Jon Jones

Are we really going to see McGregor box Paulie Malignaggi next? Please, no, thank you.

Raymond Daniels doing his best Anthony Pettis impersonation, possibly before Anthony Pettis did it.

Tony Ferguson deserves a title shot more than anyone has ever deserved a title shot.

Whoops

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Someone lied on the application #bangbang

A post shared by Eryk Anders (@erykanders) on

This is another kind of knee

TJ Dillashaw vs. Henry Cejudo is an interesting bout from a betting perspective

Who said powerlifters can’t hit?

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@boxhead_mel @pain_away_australia

A post shared by Alex Simon (@godlystrong) on

Joe Rogan getting a kick out of science

Whoops

The MMA Ratings Podcast


Random Land

Trippy

This Chinese meme is pure

Sleep well, Maniacs! A better tomorrow is always possible. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @Vorpality

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Jon Jones Post-Fight Drug Tests Come Back Clean, Which Means Nothing

In case you missed it, the UFC administered Jon Jones their own little drug test before UFC 232, and because homeboy still had some steroids floating around inside him, they moved the event from Nevada to California. Because, you know, some athletic commissions are more cool with steroids than others.

Jones went on to defeat Alexander Gustafsson in a rematch, win back the belt, blah, blah, blah.

Well, the results from the UFC 232 drug tests are back, and according to the California State Athletic Commission and USADA, there is no evidence of any banned substances.

This means nothing. The fact is, the drug test the UFC made Jones take before UFC 232 was at least conclusive enough to warrant moving an ENTIRE event to another state.

Now, let’s see Jones pass a drug test in Nevada. Then we’ll talk.

The post Jon Jones Post-Fight Drug Tests Come Back Clean, Which Means Nothing appeared first on Caged Insider.

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