Tag Archive for Become

Northcutt ‘Improving Every Day,’ Hopes To Become Most Well-Rounded Fighter

The sky is the limit for Sage Northcutt after the 21-year-old announced last month that he’s leaving college to pursue a full-time fighting career. Obtaining an education is obviously important, but Northcutt possesses a high level of talent that needs to be nurtured on a day-to-day basis.

Northcutt is hoping that a full-time commitment to mixed martial arts (MMA) will help him take his game to the next level. With “Super” set to compete later tonight (Sun., Feb. 18, 2018) at UFC Fight Night 126 live on FOX Sports 1 from inside Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, against talented Frenchman Thibault Gouti, fight fans will soon find out if Northcutt has taken the next step in his career.

“It’s been way more comfortable since I withdrew from school,” Northcutt told MMAjunkie earlier this week. “Now I’m not studying to be a petroleum engineer. I’m able to focus full-time on the fight. Now the confidence is going up, and I’m feeling way more better because I know I’m improving every single day instead of taking the talent I had from when I was a little kid and going off that. Now I’m able to build that talent and get better.”

Luckily for Northcutt, his maturation as a fighter has been held under a microscope by head coach Uriah Faber, who has taken the young fighter under his wing as a member of Team Alpha Male. With “California Kid” by his side, the Texas native has been able to make the necessary adjustments to make him a more versatile fighter.

“Team Alpha Male’s been amazing,” Northcutt said. “I have my coach, Urijah Faber. He’s watching me do everything pretty much all the time. I’m training or grappling or sparring live. He’s over there making adjustments. He’s really hands on, so that makes a big difference.”

Despite some struggles at 170 pounds, Northcutt has produced a 3-0 record as a UFC lightweight. He’ll be looking to add to that undefeated clip this weekend in Austin while showcasing his ability to threaten wherever the fight happens to go.

“I want to be super well-rounded,” Northcutt said. “I want to be eventually be the best wrestler out there, be the best grappler out there, along with being the best striker – be all of them at one time.”

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 126 fight card, starting with the UFC Fight Pass Prelims matches online at 6 p.m. ET, followed by the FOX Sports 1 Prelims bouts at 7 p.m. ET, before the main card start time at 9 p.m. ET, also on FOX Sports 1.

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Midnight Mania! Dana White tells fighters to become stars themselves instead of begging for money fights

Bringing you the weird and wild from the world of MMA each and every weeknight

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

It’s always a good look when the promoter just tells the fighters that promotion is up to them. That’s precisely what Dana White, the UFC president, did on Sunday after the St. Louis fight card. He was asked how relevant rankings are in the era of the money fight. White’s answer wasn’t completely coherent (via MMAJunkie.com).

“The only reason there are ‘money fights’ is because of the rankings,” White said. “A guy gets into the top 10, and then a guy breaks into the top five. When a guy breaks into the top five, that’s when everybody is interested in him. And when guys talk about money fights, it’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

“You know what’s a money fight? Any fight with Conor McGregor is a money fight. There are certain people. Ronda Rousey – any fight with Ronda Rousey is a money fight.”

White may be confusing correlation with causation here. Fighters and fans certainly use rankings as a proxy to assess their place in the division, but what drives those rankings is their wins, which also (along with charisma and a compelling story) drives fan interest, and has done so since long before official UFC rankings were implemented. Dana White then pivots the discussion to the two most recent superstars whose combination of talent, charisma, and a compelling story generated tremendous casual interest. Those are interesting examples, because McGregor’s appeal never relied on rankings. McGregor ultimately had to look outside the UFC for his money fight against Floyd Mayweather. Never taking a step backwards, jumping divisions and even sports to seek the biggest matchup possible, Conor is the poster child of looking for the money fight and being the superstar. This becomes important when reading White’s next quote:

“Build yourself into a star, and you won’t be talking about money fights,” White said. “It’s getting to a point where Conor McGregor has exploded and become so huge that this whole money fight thing came about. And even if you’re not fighting Conor McGregor, you want to be on Conor McGregor’s card. Become a star. Don’t worry about Conor McGregor or fighting on Conor McGregor’s card. Become a star yourself.”

White’s comments fall apart on several levels. Firstly because, of course, he, the promoter, is telling fighters if they just promoted themselves they would never lack. It’s both true, and a sad admission of the UFC’s inability to do their core job. UFC viewership is declining across the board and has been for years now, both in terms of pay-per-views (PPVs) and cable TV numbers. McGregor is their only superstar, and his lone boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, along with stringent employee and budget cuts that further atrophied the UFC’s promotional muscle, is the only reason White can claim the UFC had their best year ever.

The Reebok deal both enforces bland uniformity, and works as a disincentive to fighters’ self-branding efforts. That is because, without independent sponsorship money, fighters will only receive about 15% of the gross revenue of whatever self-promotion effort they put forth. With the promotion keeping 85% of the profits, anyone with any level of charisma might as well sell real estate or live off marijuana sponsorships instead.

That’s the really perverse reality under Dana White’s statements: the money is actually there. It’s just being hoarded to undergird the bottom line and, they hope, trigger payouts for the executives and owners. Without a successful lawsuit, legislative action or collective bargaining, that isn’t likely to change anytime soon, either.

It really no coincidence MMA only has a couple stars, much less superstars; fighters really have very little agency, either in terms of matchmaking, or in terms of opportunities to stand out. That’s why only champions really have the opportunity, however obnoxious, to demand money fights. Only holding a belt gives fighters any opportunity, however slim, to try to pick their opponents. Meanwhile, when the promotion does choose to get behind a blond, promising fighter such as Sage Northcutt or Paige VanZant, their efforts can work in terms of building an audience for such athletes- but those lucky few fighters may not actually pan out as championship caliber talent.

Even the ones that have every ingredient for superstardom, such as Francis Ngannou, find themselves criminally underpaid. This is very smart of the UFC and Dana White in the short and medium term, maximizing profit and minimizing cost, but it could be a core reason why their audience is declining long term. Without investment in both properly promoting and paying their fighters, the UFC will most likely continue to see its audience shrink, and the sport it dominates to languish on the sidelines of the mainstream.


Woodley is learning to use his left while his right arm is out of commission

Al Iaquinta Parody- but in all honesty, this is just another amazing fight at lightweight with Paul Felder.

Francis Ngannou will make half a million dollars for his next fight- a good sum by UFC standards, but not even on the same scale as a boxer in a similar situation.

Dustin Poirier is confident 2018 is his year

Nate Diaz has a different focus

Great photoshop work

@stipemiocicufc ‘s twitter lately #ufc220 #stipemiocic vs #ngannou

A post shared by kamura (@kamurashops) on

pre-Madonna. Jessica Eye would be proud of Colby’s spelling.

Bellator did Douglas Lima and Rory MacDonald dirty. I understand the decision, but they could have at least kept their fighters in the loop about it.

Alexander Gustaffson had a good birthday

Thank u all for all the b-day wishes ❤️ means a lot to an old man

A post shared by Alex The Mauler Gustafsson (@alexthemauler) on

Kamaru Usman clarifies his 30% comments, but Emil Meek is having none of it:

VanZant said the spinning backfist she threw in the first round was what broke her arm.

This was a tremendous head kick, but Jessica Eye absorbed it and finally snapped her losing streak

Michael Chandler and Kamaru Usman practicing the skill that won Usman his fight: wrestling

Chandler loves his wrestling throws:

Dana White: nerd! (okay, I enjoyed it too)

This is SO BAD ASS!!!!

A post shared by Dana White (@danawhite) on

Rose Namajunas tweeted this surprising video:

A post shared by Rose Namajunas (@rosenamajunas) on

Joe Rogan is an avid bow hunter

Hashtag just Florida things.

Nate Diaz, a real American ninja.

Super ninja from the Westside

A post shared by natediaz209 (@natediaz209) on

I mean Tyron Woodley does try this every time, so this doesn’t feel like a reach from Rafael Dos Anjos.

Robert Whittaker dropping out of his fight with Luke Rockhold was one of the saddest things to happen this weekend, but Yoel Romero vs. Luke Rockhold means I can’t be too upset.

Slips, Rips, and KO Clips

The answer: No. No, he does not.

Highlight reels you can enjoy

MMA veteran Pat Healy retired after this fight.

Invicta puts on a great mix of martial arts:

See this thread for more action like this:

Could be fun:

Podcasts and Video

UFC Fight Night 124 Highlights

The MMA Hour:

Monday Morning Analyst:

Random Land


Stay woke, Maniacs! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @Vorpality

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Report: Turner could become major player in new UFC TV deal

The television deal between Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and FOX is nearing its end and the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion may be in the market for another partner.

While FOX has handed UFC what many consider to be a lowball offer of $ 200 million per year, UFC desperately needs a larger payday if WME-IMG is going to close any ground on its $ 4.2 billion purchase of the MMA juggernaut last year. Luckily for UFC, a potential merger between AT&T and Time Warner could lead to a bigger piece of the pie.

According to a report by Sports Business Daily’s John Ourand, Turner could become a major player in forming a new TV deal with UFC should the proposed merger finalize:

“I know Fox is the clear front-runner to retain this package. But I have an inkling that once the AT&T deal gains approval, Turner’s David Levy will sign a big-time media rights deal that would put the UFC on all AT&T platforms. Imagine UFC fights on truTV, pay-per-view cards on DirecTV, mobile programming on AT&T Wireless, and over-the-top rights on Turner’s planned sports service. A caveat: If the AT&T deal is rejected (or if it takes too long), the UFC will cut a deal with Fox for around $ 250 million that will see Fox give up shows like “Ultimate Fighter” that UFC will shop elsewhere. Amazon showed early interest in picking up a streaming package, but it ultimately will pass on a UFC deal.”

Considering the UFC’s global reach and consistent growth, a new TV deal is most certainly worth more than $ 200 million. But the MMA promotion has already began to scare some suitors away with a ridiculous $ 450 million per year asking price. The common ground between UFC and its next television partner probably lies somewhere in the middle of those two gaudy numbers.

Of course, if UFC can get this guy to stay around and this guy to join its new venture, maybe $ 450 million isn’t that high of an asking price.

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Brian Stann Resigns From UFC Commentator Role To Become Real Estate COO, Complete His MBA

Mixed martial arts fans pined for a certain kind of color commentator for years, especially inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship. When Brian Stann retired and picked up the headset, they finally got their wish Now, they’ll be left searching again — at least temporarily — as Stann is exiting the booth.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

Brian Stann Resigns From UFC Commentator Role To Become Real Estate COO, Complete His MBA

Mixed martial arts fans pined for a certain kind of color commentator for years, especially inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship. When Brian Stann retired and picked up the headset, they finally got their wish Now, they’ll be left searching again — at least temporarily — as Stann is exiting the booth.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

Brian Stann Resigns From UFC Commentator Role To Become Real Estate COO, Complete His MBA

Mixed martial arts fans pined for a certain kind of color commentator for years, especially inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship. When Brian Stann retired and picked up the headset, they finally got their wish Now, they’ll be left searching again — at least temporarily — as Stann is exiting the booth.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

UFC Mexico preview: Sergio Pettis ready to become more than just ‘Showtime’s’ little brother

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is back on television this weekend (Sat., Aug. 5, 2017) with the UFC Fight Night 114 mixed martial arts (MMA) event on FOX Sports 1, which features a flyweight main event between Sergio Pettis and Brandon Moreno, who battle for a spot in the 125-pound title chase.

See the entire fight card and line up here.

Pettis (15-2) entered the promotion with a ton of hype, thanks to his older brother and former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. Unfortunately, not everything went according to plan and Sergio got submitted in his sophomore effort.

Since then, “The Phenom” is 5-1 and coming off three straight wins, and finally able to step out from the shadow of his veteran brother.

“I feel like I’m growing into myself, I’m maturing as an individual and as a martial artist,” Pettis told UFC Tonight. “I’m feeling comfortable out there in the Octagon. In the beginning of my career, I was very timid out there. I feel like I’m expressing myself and having a great time doing it.”

Pettis was last seen turning away former division No. 1 contender John Moraga.

Waiting for him will be the red-hot Moreno (14-3), undefeated inside the Octagon and the winner of 11 straight with eight finishes. No question the winner will move themselves one step close to a division title shot.

But will it be Pettis … or Moreno?

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 114 fight card on fight night (click here), starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, and then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.

For much more on UFC Fight Night 114 in Mexico City click here.

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UFC 214 Primer: Can Demian Maia Finally Become Champ?

It’s easy to forget that Demian Maia once fought for the middleweight belt. I mean, the fight was against Anderson Silva, who for some reason didn’t want to engage, so the whole affair sucked. But the passing years have only made the most dangerous jiu-jitsu practitioner in the cage only more dangerous – and more […]

The post UFC 214 Primer: Can Demian Maia Finally Become Champ? appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

Bellator 180/NYC Primer: What Hast Thou Become, Brendan Schaub?

I remember once upon a time there was a UFC heavyweight named Brendan Schaub, he did okay on a season of TUF and did okay in the Octagon proper. But he faded away when he began getting knocked out a little too frequently. Now, though, there’s this new Brendan Schaub, and… I don’t know this […]

The post Bellator 180/NYC Primer: What Hast Thou Become, Brendan Schaub? appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

Joanna Jedrzejczyk out to become two-division champ, defend both 115 and 125 belts

DALLAS — Joanna Jedrzejczyk is already chasing history in one way, with the reigning UFC strawweight champion hunting down the record for consecutive title defenses for a woman in the UFC. That record currently stands at six, held by Ronda Rousey, and Jedrzejczyk will hit five if she bests Jessica Andrade at UFC 211.

But with a women’s flyweight division now officially coming to the UFC via The Ultimate Fighter 26, Jedrzejczyk has a new goal in mind too. Starting next year, she wants to replicate a feat only accomplished by Conor McGregor and become the first woman to ever hold two division’s belts simultaneously.

“I remember when I was talking about this division a year ago, people were like, ‘hey, be focused on your belt.’ I’m going for my fifth title defense, and that’s the thing. Why not?” Jedrzejczyk said ahead of UFC 211. “I have bigger and bigger goals and dreams. If I will not win the second belt, nothing is going to happen because like I said, I already reached my goals and dreams, but there is something better coming.

“And the other thing is like, people were saying the same to Conor when he said that he wants to be a king in two different divisions. Same with me. I just want to challenge myself, and this is what I’m doing in my life.”

Jedrzejczyk has spoken openly about the need for a 125-pound women’s division for some time now, but the conversation always appeared to be a pipe dream until this week, when the UFC officially announced the new weight class just months after UFC president Dana White said the promotion would not be introducing a fourth women’s division in 2017.

For Jedrzejczyk, a bigger strawweight who struggled with cutting weight in the early days of her Octagon career, the news was a welcome announcement.

“I didn’t know when it was going to happen, but finally (it did), and I’m very happy for me and for other female fighters,” Jedrzejczyk said. “Because I work with Perfecting Athletes, I have very good doctors, good nutritionists, and I still stay healthy even though I must cut so many pounds during the weight cut. But the thing is, the other girls are not so lucky. The other fighters, they have to do this themselves, but we must be careful with this.

“So I think we needed this division. So many fighters from 135 will go down, so many fighters from 115 will go up. Stay healthy, guys. Don’t take the risk, because fighting, being an athlete or being a businesswoman or doing something, it’s just part of our lives. It’s just part of our stories. But the thing is, other than that, we are going to be normal people, and we must stay healthy for our families, for our future kids. I want to have my own kids, I want to raise them and just be a happy grandma.”

Jedrzejczyk acknowledged that the idea of fighting for a second title at 125 pounds would likely have to wait until next year.

Filming for TUF 26 starts in the summer, meaning an inaugural women’s flyweight champion likely won’t be crowned until late 2017. But Jedrzejczyk is confident her 115-pound reign will last long enough to make her goal of becoming a two-division champion a real possibility, and if that happens, she hopes to do something even McGregor wasn’t able to do by rotating between weight classes and establishing a lengthy reign as the undisputed queen of two divisions.

And in that case, she’s more than willing to stay active enough to support both belts.

“If I would become a champion at 125, I will jump between 115 and 125,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I want to be the real champion of two different divisions.

“I like to break the records, break the limits. I like to make history. I’ll build my legacy. That’s why I moved to the United States, because I want to fight here more often. I want to talk to media more often. So I’m working on a few things, but we will see.”

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