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Midnight Mania! Tito Defends Liddell Bout: ‘He Called Me Out’

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Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell seem to both think of their bout Saturday night in different terms than the rest of us. Whereas most people, both in the buildup and in the actual event, were awestruck by just how much age had taken its toll on Liddell, in particular, that isn’t a framework that either man seems to want to take into consideration. Liddell insisted after the bout that he just made a mistake and got caught. Ortiz, despite mocking Liddell for his ‘junk’ form on the pads beforehand, is now upset that people aren’t giving him credit for his awesome win.

How the fight even got made has been a subject after the result, with the commission defending itself- it’s just business- to Ortiz defending how the bout came together on social media. He said this was something Chuck wanted- he had been just fine, minding his own business, when Liddell called him out.

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I’ve had some time to think about this fight verse @chuckliddell How it came to be? This is something that chuck wanted I was ok doing my businesses. He called me out. Yes I agree and helped make it happen with @goldenboyboxing . I took this fight very serious that’s why I put in a 18 week camp. 3x a day 6 days a week. I sacrificed everything. I was willing to put my life on the line. One year ago I had 3 level disk replacement in my neck. Plus 7 other major surgeries since 2009. But was still willing to take a chance against someone who beat me twice before. There is not quit in me. I have made mistakes and I have learned from them. That’s life! I want to fail so I can learn to better myself. I have lived my life with ups and downs but at the end of the day I keep learning. I wish more people would. Having everyone saying why are you fighting chuck again he beat you twice? 1. He called me out 2. I always wanted redemption. 3. I’m here to prove my fans were right and the haters were wrong. 4. An opportunity to start a new organization that will take care of the fighters as they should be. I showed the world what hard work and dedication can get you. I’ve never been so nervous before a fight like this one but I knew I was ready. The mind games that chuck was playing made me work harder. So thank you chuck. I was in a lose lose situation but I was willing to gamble with my health. Chuck said he was ready I knew I was ready, may the best fighter win. In this case it was me. I need to thank all my fans,friends and family that supported me for this fight. I couldn’t have done it without you! I respect chuck for stepping up and following through with the fight. You’re a champion and hall of fame legend that brought the best out of me! Sorry to all your fans I was on a mission. Thank you @moses___murrietta @parilloboxing @herdemkalash @raphaeldavis205 @scottcarrgbcm @jaysilvamma @ufcgymhuntingtonbeach @rvca you all help build me up so I could knock him down! THANK YOU!!!!

A post shared by titoortiz1999 (@titoortiz1999) on

I’ve had some time to think about this fight verse @chuckliddell How it came to be? This is something that chuck wanted I was ok doing my businesses. He called me out. Yes I agree and helped make it happen with @goldenboyboxing . I took this fight very serious that’s why I put in a 18 week camp. 3x a day 6 days a week. I sacrificed everything. I was willing to put my life on the line. One year ago I had 3 level disk replacement in my neck. Plus 7 other major surgeries since 2009. But was still willing to take a chance against someone who beat me twice before. There is not quit in me. I have made mistakes and I have learned from them. That’s life! I want to fail so I can learn to better myself. I have lived my life with ups and downs but at the end of the day I keep learning. I wish more people would. Having everyone saying why are you fighting chuck again he beat you twice? 1. He called me out 2. I always wanted redemption. 3. I’m here to prove my fans were right and the haters were wrong. 4. An opportunity to start a new organization that will take care of the fighters as they should be. I showed the world what hard work and dedication can get you. I’ve never been so nervous before a fight like this one but I knew I was ready. The mind games that chuck was playing made me work harder. So thank you chuck. I was in a lose lose situation but I was willing to gamble with my health. Chuck said he was ready I knew I was ready, may the best fighter win. In this case it was me. I need to thank all my fans,friends and family that supported me for this fight. I couldn’t have done it without you! I respect chuck for stepping up and following through with the fight. You’re a champion and hall of fame legend that brought the best out of me! Sorry to all your fans I was on a mission. Thank you @moses___murrietta@parilloboxing @herdemkalash@raphaeldavis205 @scottcarrgbcm@jaysilvamma @ufcgymhuntingtonbeach@rvca you all help build me up so I could knock him down! THANK YOU!!!!

The language here- bordering on ‘he made me do it’, is telling, because it speaks to some level of understanding that Liddell’s performance reflected the amount of wear and tear his body has seen. Yet, Tito’s remaining frustration with not getting all the credit for beating an aged and decrepit Liddell, seems to center around that sense that he had been on the receiving end of trash talk beforehand, which is a remarkable stance to take.

He also clarified how often he was training leading up to this, which I personally appreciated.


Insomnia

Dustin Poirier is still gunning for lightweight gold in a division that seems to have stalled again.

Israel Adesanya is pretty good at this social media thing

Cain Velasquez checks out Senegalese wrestling, which doesn’t seem that different from MMA except it happens in the sand and the first knockdown or takedown wins the match.

Ben Askren said what we were all thinking

Jonny Bones, using the irrevocable science of snitching to clear his name.

When you are a martial arts master but have to train in a regular gym:

Alexander Volkanovski’s motivation? His children watch his fights

Tony Ferguson just going in on Khabib on social media is made less impactful — for me anyway — because he still capitalizes every word like he’s Jaden Smith.

Practicing boxing defense, the skill that takes the most time to perfect.

Not all throws are great, but great throws can come from anywhere


Random Land

This guy is another level of chill.

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

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Tito Ortiz Addresses Criticism Over Chuck Liddell Fight: ‘He Called Me Out’

The trilogy bout between Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell drew plenty of criticism throughout the MMA community, particularly because Liddell was eight years removed from his last professional appearance.
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Dana White: Conor McGregor Has Already Called Wanting a Rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov

The future of the lightweight division will remain murky until the Nevada Athletic Commission decides how to handle to post-fight brawl at UFC 229 involving Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor and members of both fighters’ corners.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

Tyron Woodley: Jon Jones Called Me Personally to Offer Assistance in Fight Against Colby Covington

Ultimate Fighting Championship interim welterweight champion Colby Covington has made his fair share of enemies along the way during his UFC career, including his former college roommate Jon Jones.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

UFC 211: Stipe Miocic doesn’t care about breaking records, just likes being called champion

Stipe Miocic tied the record for most consecutive title defenses in the Heavyweight division at two by knocking out Junior dos Santos in the very first round at last night’s (Sat., May 13, 2017) UFC 211 pay-per-view (PPV) event in Dallas, Texas.

Full video highlights here.

Granted, while two defenses is nothing like winning 10 in a row like Demetrious Johnson, it’s still a big feat, as no other big man in the history of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has ever gone on to defend the 265-pound strap three times. According to company president Dana White, however, that can all change soon, as Stipe is looking like the one to get there.

“He’s looking like the man,” UFC president Dana White told Fox Sports after UFC 211. “Cleveland’s killing it right now. He’s not the same fighter, obviously, that fought [Junior dos Santos] the first time,” he added.

“Super athletic, he stays in the pocket now and punches with big guys. Lightning fast, he’s a complete fighter and a really good athlete.”

Miocic, though, could care less of he breaks the record, he just wants to keep winning and all of the accolades will come as a by-product. The only thing the heavy-hitter is concerned about is being called “champion.”

“No, I really don’t care,” Miocic said about setting the record for most title defenses in the heavyweight division. “If I keep winning I’ll break history — big deal. I’m just going to keep winning. I like winning. I like being called champ especially,” he said.

Miocic has now won five straight wins via knockout, four of them in the very first round. And though he doesn’t have a clear-cut challenger lined up at the moment, he could see himself trying to win his third straight defense against another former champion who was expected to hold on to the title for a long time, too.

Assuming he’s back in training.

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Korean Zombie just called out Ricardo Lamas: Fight me — or get stuck on the prelims

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight contender Chan Sung Jung is finally back with the world’s largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, following a couple of years playing soldier, and he wants to get his career on the fast track to a 145-pound title shot.

And the best way to accomplish that goal is by knocking off contending featherweights, starting with longtime veteran Ricardo Lamas, who can either battle “Korean Zombie” in the main event of an upcoming fight card, or get stuck on the FOX Sports 1 “Prelims.”

His words:

Can’t get much clearer than that.

Jung (14-4) got back to his winning ways by smashing Dennis Bermudez at UFC Fight Night 104 just last month (more on that here). Lamas (17-5), meanwhile, was abandoned by Frankie Edgar — by way of Yair Rodriguez — after choking out Charles Oliveira at UFC Fight Night 98 last November.

This potential showdown doing anything for you?

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Yoel Romero called into Michael Bisping’s radio show to scream at him

The feud between middleweight champ Michael Bisping and #1 contender Yoel Romero jumped from social media to the radiowaves.

Yoel Romero has called Michael Bisping on his smack talk. Literally. After Michael Bisping responded to a tweet from Yoel by giving him the number to call into his XM Sirious radio show, Romero phoned up to yell incoherently at the middleweight champion.

The two fighters have been going back and forth ever since Yoel Romero forced his way to the front of the middleweight contender line with his vicious flying knee knockout of Chris Weidman. Bisping, fresh off an attempt to create a fight with Georges St. Pierre at UFC 206 in Toronto out of thin air on social media, suddenly became too injured to fight, and recently had knee surgery. That’s left a lot of time for the two to jab at each other online.

A great example of this is Yoel’s GoFundMe campaign offering to pay for Michael Bisping’s medical bills after they fight. Today’s edition of the Yoel And Michael Show started on twitter and ended on the radio.

So Yoel called in. And magic happened. I won’t spoil it for you since it would be impossible to transcript the ridiculous back and forth between Bisping and Romero, but suffice to say Michael repeatedly brought up the accusation that Yoel crapped his pants during a UFC fight, and that seemed to build Yoel into an even more passionate frothy state.

Bisping will be out of commission until May at the earliest, meaning we’ve got three or four more months of this kind of thing before the two fighters get to punch each other in the face. Who knows? If it stays this entertaining, Bisping may have turned this high risk low reward fight into the kind of feud that brings in tons of eyes … and money.

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Glover Teixeira called out Anthony Johnson to ‘give him a job’ while title picture sorts out

After his first-round knockout of Rashad Evans in Saturday night’s UFC on FOX 19 main event, Glover Teixeira threw out a possible name that he’d like to fight next.

And that was none other than Anthony Johnson.

Yet, as many things are in the UFC right now, it’s complicated. Johnson declared himself the No. 1 contender in the light heavyweight division with his January knockout of Ryan Bader, yet might find himself in a bit of limbo when he’s healthy enough to compete again. That’s because Jon Jones will be fighting Ovince St. Preux next week at UFC 197 for the interim title and the right to face current champion Daniel Cormier.

Should the Jones-OSP winner face Cormier, that leaves Johnson with a lot of calendar to idle through.

All of this went into Teixeira’s thinking when he called him out on Saturday night in Tampa.

“Rumble deserves the title shot, of course,” Teixeira said at the post-fight press conference. “He’s in line and, I don’t know, it’s up to him what he wants to do. I just mentioned a name over there because you see the soap opera that’s going on with Cormier and Jones, and Cormier now is going to fight the winner of Jones and OSP. Who knows when that fight is going to happen. Anthony Johnson’s probably going to spend the whole year doing nothing.

“So I like, give him a job, you know?”

One person who seems to be a fan of a potential Teixeira-Johnson fight is UFC president Dana White.

“When [Teixeira] called him out, I went, ‘oh, I like that fight,’” White said. “That’s a fun fight. I gotta be honest, I like that fight.”

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Brad Pickett launches U.K. based promotion called Rise of Champions

Though his return to the bantamweight division didn’t end as he might have liked, Brad Pickett still put on a great show against 24-year old Thomas Almeida at UFC 189. Against steep odds, Pickett looked to have been winning heading into the second round.

Then he got caught with a flying knee, and just like that an upset victory in the making became his third straight loss.

The 36-year-old “One Punch” Pickett, who appeared on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, that loss has stayed with him a bit.

“Yes, it was a tough pill to swallow,” he told Ariel Helwani. “In my eyes, yeah I was winning the whole fight. It was competitive early on but I dropped him a couple of times. For me, I had a game plan going in — not that I always stick to a game plan, because obviously I didn’t — but my game plan, which I was training the whole training camp [for] was wrestling, take him down, and beat him in grappling. There’s where I think he’s weakest and where I have advantages. My wrestling’s good for the weight class, and also for being from England. I’m quite a good wrestler.”

The British fighter Pickett (24-11) said he was doing well in the striking game, and felt at home standing in the pocket with the Brazilian phenom, Almeida. As he commonly does, he opted to stand and trade and make it more of a prototypical Pickett fight than playing it smart. 

“Maybe I should have made it a little bit more of a dog fight and taken him down and stuff like that,” he said. “But with me being a bit flamboyant, I tried to do a flying knee. And then obviously I completely missed and he took into his head, I want to give you one of those as well. He’s a really tough kid and again, I go back to Demetrious Johnson. I think he’s going to learn a lot from that. Obviously he won but he was in deep waters.

“He will learn a lot from that.”

Over Pickett’s nearly six-year tenure under the WEC and UFC promotions, he has stood in there with just about everybody who’s anybody in the bantamweight division. He was the last man to defeat Demetrious Johnson at WEC 48 in 2010, and he victories over Mike Easton and Damacio Page as well.

Yet since debuting successfully at flyweight in 2014 against Neil Seery, Pickett lost his subsequent bouts to Ian McCall, Chico Camus and now Almeida. Though he ended up on the wrong end of a flying knee knockout against the latter, UFC president Dana White could be seen giving Pickett kudos for leaving it all in the cage as he walked out.

And if Pickett has it his way, he’ll learn a few things from his boss in the UFC. Pickett has started his own fight promotion in England called Rise of Champions, which has an event on Oct. 27 in Romford, North London.

Asked about that, Pickett said he’s not trying to compete with the UFC, rather to prepare fighters for entrance into the UFC.

“Basically, I’m planting a lot of seeds,” he said. “I’m coming to the end of my career, and I know that. I am looking to still fight, I’m not retiring by the way, but I need to plant certain seeds. I think also with my experience, I’ve been around for a long, long time, and I’ve been to a lot of shows.

“I’m not in this to make money, I’m in this…it my eyes, when I first started fighting, there was not really a legit career path for young athletes. If you were a young athlete you’d have to do football or basketball or do something else. There wasn’t a career path. But now, after years of me being in this sport, there is a legit career path where, if you want to go earn money, you can go and be an MMA fighter, get in the UFC and do that. My show’s basically trying to cater for younger talent, amateur, only a small portion of pro on my cards, mainly amateur fights. And try to get them the experience. It’s called Rise of Champions, because in a way it’s the birth of someone’s career.”

Pickett said he wanted the fighters who compete in Rise of Champions to be battle-tested through real experience, not to cater towards promising amateurs by booking them against jobbers, just to bolster records.

“For me, I want them to grow on my show and then go on to the big shows,” he said. “And that’s my job. I would like to be like a good feeder show, for them to have a good platform with an organization where it’s run well. I think there are some shows in England, especially England and not especially in America, but it’s run very prehistoric. It’s all about women whipping their boobs out, ring girls, guys having a beer, getting drunk and hammered, and it’s not about young professionals.

“Someone who’s 6-0 shouldn’t be fighting someone who’s 0-4. No one is going to achieve anything from that, especially as an amateur. When you’re an amateur, you want to have your tough fights, you want to be battle-tested before you go pro.”

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Brad Pickett launches U.K. based promotion called Rise of Champions

Though his return to the bantamweight division didn’t end as he might have liked, Brad Pickett still put on a great show against 24-year old Thomas Almeida at UFC 189. Against steep odds, Pickett looked to have been winning heading into the second round.

Then he got caught with a flying knee, and just like that an upset victory in the making became his third straight loss.

The 36-year-old “One Punch” Pickett, who appeared on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, that loss has stayed with him a bit.

“Yes, it was a tough pill to swallow,” he told Ariel Helwani. “In my eyes, yeah I was winning the whole fight. It was competitive early on but I dropped him a couple of times. For me, I had a game plan going in — not that I always stick to a game plan, because obviously I didn’t — but my game plan, which I was training the whole training camp [for] was wrestling, take him down, and beat him in grappling. There’s where I think he’s weakest and where I have advantages. My wrestling’s good for the weight class, and also for being from England. I’m quite a good wrestler.”

The British fighter Pickett (24-11) said he was doing well in the striking game, and felt at home standing in the pocket with the Brazilian phenom, Almeida. As he commonly does, he opted to stand and trade and make it more of a prototypical Pickett fight than playing it smart. 

“Maybe I should have made it a little bit more of a dog fight and taken him down and stuff like that,” he said. “But with me being a bit flamboyant, I tried to do a flying knee. And then obviously I completely missed and he took into his head, I want to give you one of those as well. He’s a really tough kid and again, I go back to Demetrious Johnson. I think he’s going to learn a lot from that. Obviously he won but he was in deep waters.

“He will learn a lot from that.”

Over Pickett’s nearly six-year tenure under the WEC and UFC promotions, he has stood in there with just about everybody who’s anybody in the bantamweight division. He was the last man to defeat Demetrious Johnson at WEC 48 in 2010, and he victories over Mike Easton and Damacio Page as well.

Yet since debuting successfully at flyweight in 2014 against Neil Seery, Pickett lost his subsequent bouts to Ian McCall, Chico Camus and now Almeida. Though he ended up on the wrong end of a flying knee knockout against the latter, UFC president Dana White could be seen giving Pickett kudos for leaving it all in the cage as he walked out.

And if Pickett has it his way, he’ll learn a few things from his boss in the UFC. Pickett has started his own fight promotion in England called Rise of Champions, which has an event on Oct. 27 in Romford, North London.

Asked about that, Pickett said he’s not trying to compete with the UFC, rather to prepare fighters for entrance into the UFC.

“Basically, I’m planting a lot of seeds,” he said. “I’m coming to the end of my career, and I know that. I am looking to still fight, I’m not retiring by the way, but I need to plant certain seeds. I think also with my experience, I’ve been around for a long, long time, and I’ve been to a lot of shows.

“I’m not in this to make money, I’m in this…it my eyes, when I first started fighting, there was not really a legit career path for young athletes. If you were a young athlete you’d have to do football or basketball or do something else. There wasn’t a career path. But now, after years of me being in this sport, there is a legit career path where, if you want to go earn money, you can go and be an MMA fighter, get in the UFC and do that. My show’s basically trying to cater for younger talent, amateur, only a small portion of pro on my cards, mainly amateur fights. And try to get them the experience. It’s called Rise of Champions, because in a way it’s the birth of someone’s career.”

Pickett said he wanted the fighters who compete in Rise of Champions to be battle-tested through real experience, not to cater towards promising amateurs by booking them against jobbers, just to bolster records.

“For me, I want them to grow on my show and then go on to the big shows,” he said. “And that’s my job. I would like to be like a good feeder show, for them to have a good platform with an organization where it’s run well. I think there are some shows in England, especially England and not especially in America, but it’s run very prehistoric. It’s all about women whipping their boobs out, ring girls, guys having a beer, getting drunk and hammered, and it’s not about young professionals.

“Someone who’s 6-0 shouldn’t be fighting someone who’s 0-4. No one is going to achieve anything from that, especially as an amateur. When you’re an amateur, you want to have your tough fights, you want to be battle-tested before you go pro.”

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