Tag Archive for classic

UFC 225 Bonuses: Whittaker, Romero Garner ‘Fight of the Night’ Honors for Classic Battle

No title was at stake in the UFC 225 headliner, but you wouldn’t have known it from the way Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero fought at the United Center on Saturday night.
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UFC 225 Bonuses: Whittaker, Romero Garner ‘Fight of the Night’ Honors for Classic Battle

No title was at stake in the UFC 225 headliner, but you wouldn’t have known it from the way Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero fought at the United Center on Saturday night.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

UFC 225 Bonuses: Whittaker, Romero Garner ‘Fight of the Night’ Honors for Classic Battle

No title was at stake in the UFC 225 headliner, but you wouldn’t have known it from the way Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero fought at the United Center on Saturday night.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

Highlights! Poirier Stops Bloodied Gaethje In Instant Classic

Dustin Poirier had to push through an unfathomable amount of leg damage earlier tonight (Sat., April 14, 2018) at UFC on FOX 29 from inside Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, but he was able to stave off the always ferocious Justin Gaethje to capture a fourth-round TKO finish.

This was really one of the best fights you’re ever going to see, which is the norm whenever Gaethje steps foot inside of the cage. Poirier was able to land heavy head shots at will over the course of the first three rounds, but “Highlight” returned favor with punishing leg kicks that really hampered the movement of “Diamond.” Poirier hung in tough, both fighters pushed through inadvertent eye pokes, and combined to deliver a potential Fight of the Year performance.

While it may have seemed like Poirier was fading entering the fourth round he caught Gaethje with a crushing left hand. Gaethje was put on skates, danced around the cage with little response, and Poirier eventually found the TKO finish along the cage.

Check out the full fight video highlights above courtesy of UFC.

With this performance, Poirier walks away with the biggest performance of his UFC career, pushing his current divisional record to 7-1, 1 NC. “Diamond” looks better than ever and may deserve a shot at Khabib Nurmagomedov’s lightweight title after powering through an inhuman contender like Gaethje. If a title shot isn’t in the cards for Poirier, maybe a rematch with Eddie Alvarez is.

For complete UFC on FOX 29 results and coverage click here.

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UFC 206 medical suspensions: Cub Swanson, Doo Ho Choi out 60 days after classic brawl

After putting on an electrifying ‘Fight of the Year’ contender, UFC featherweights Cub Swanson and Doo Ho Choi led a list of six fighters to receive extended medical suspensions in the aftermath of UFC 206. The Ontario Athletic Commission released the event’s medical suspension list on Wednesday.

Swanson defeated Choi via unanimous decision in a memorable back-and-forth brawl on the main card of UFC 206, which took place Dec. 10 and aired live on pay-per-view. Both men will now be required to sit out for a mandatory 60-day period in order to recover from damage sustained during the bout, per commission orders.

In addition to Swanson and Choi, four other fighters received similar 60-day medical suspensions: Anthony Pettis, Matt Brown, Tim Kennedy, and John Makdessi, all of whom lost via KO/TKO.

UFC 206 took place at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Max Holloway defeated Pettis via third-round TKO to capture the interim UFC featherweight title in the night’s main event.

A complete list of UFC 206′s medical suspensions can be seen below.

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UFC 206 medical suspensions: Cub Swanson, Doo Ho Choi out 60 days after classic brawl

After putting on an electrifying ‘Fight of the Year’ contender, UFC featherweights Cub Swanson and Doo Ho Choi led a list of six fighters to receive extended medical suspensions in the aftermath of UFC 206. The Ontario Athletic Commission released the event’s medical suspension list on Wednesday.

Swanson defeated Choi via unanimous decision in a memorable back-and-forth brawl on the main card of UFC 206, which took place Dec. 10 and aired live on pay-per-view. Both men will now be required to sit out for a mandatory 60-day period in order to recover from damage sustained during the bout, per commission orders.

In addition to Swanson and Choi, four other fighters received similar 60-day medical suspensions: Anthony Pettis, Matt Brown, Tim Kennedy, and John Makdessi, all of whom lost via KO/TKO.

UFC 206 took place at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Max Holloway defeated Pettis via third-round TKO to capture the interim UFC featherweight title in the night’s main event.

A complete list of UFC 206′s medical suspensions can be seen below.

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Watch Michael Chandler outlast Benson Henderson in instant classic last night at Bellator 165

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight kingpin Benson Henderson finally got his opportunity to fight current Bellator MMA 155-pound champion Michael Chandler last night (Sat., Nov. 19, 2016) at Bellator 165 live on Spike TV from inside SAP Center in San Jose, California. It marked Henderson’s second Bellator title shot since coming over from UFC earlier this year and Chandler’s first title defense since recapturing the belt this past June.

After a first round that favored the champion’s countless power strikes against the cage, near fight-ending submission attempts and impressive suplex ability, Henderson began find his groove and tag Chandler on the feet. While “Smooth” would threaten with a late rear-naked choke attempt in the fifth round, Chandler did more than enough through the course of the fight with his chest-to-chest pressure, ground positioning, escapes and total damage landed. The champ retains his title to the tune of a split decision.

The full video highlights can be seen above courtesy of ESPN.

With this win, Chandler reaffirms his position as the best fighter under Bellator rule. Henderson is still one of the very best lightweights in the world, so it’s quite the feather in the cap of the champ. He’ll take on all suitors in 2017.

For complete Bellator 165 results and coverage click here.

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Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz dug deep to produce an instant classic

Sometimes these sequels just don’t play out. After a holy grail of a first fight, the rematch between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar was a mostly limp affair in which Bonnar was choked out and ultimately popped for an anabolic steroid. Speed 2: Cruise Control not only disgraced audiences but it brought into question the whole idea of story extension. It was hard to truly know if Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz would fizzle similarly, especially after all the talk and theatrics, or if it would shine in a way as to make a trilogy fight inevitable.

It shined.

It shined so freaking hard. What a fight. UFC 202 burst the expectations of even the most optimistic fightgoer. For all that Diaz and McGregor purported to be, they were more. They were as big as their most delusional daydreams. If the heart of man can shine through in a fight — and really, what is competitive fighting meant to be other than a communication of heart? — both shined through in ways that declaring a loser becomes unimportant. There really are no losers in a fight like that.

In the end, McGregor prevailed on the scorecards with a majority decision, and it was just. But for a fight to become a classic, it requires a sense of togetherness out on that brink — a stretching of thresholds, and a giving over to reckless persuasions. That’s the stuff that translates; the fight within the fight to simply refuse to yield. Diaz had nothing for eight minutes other than a bloody face and a red planetary welt on his thigh from being lashed again and again with kicks. McGregor was masterful, everything he’d preached he would be. Then, as if he’d been merely lying in wait, Diaz activated towards the end of the second round. He came roaring into the fight, cinematically, like a fallen man on the battlefield who stands back up after remembering a vow to his wife.

Had he done it 30 seconds earlier, Diaz would have gotten his arm raised. That’s how close the fight ended up being. But that he did it at all after such a one-sided dictation of wills was the crux of the story. By the end of the third, it was Diaz that had McGregor on the ropes, blasting him with a barrage of punches in-close on the fence. The horn may well have saved McGregor, whose wind was failing him, too. The change in narrative was thorough, not unlike the first fight.

Then, just as suddenly, the tables turned again — this time McGregor, the shell of a minute earlier replenishing itself before our eyes, found his reserves. Suddenly it was McGregor communicating that he was made of more than that, that we hadn’t yet begun to plumb his depths. He started landing again, crisp combos, leg kicks, elbows. What a vengeful son of a bitch, digging deep just to shut his critics up — what glorious spite. The blowhard? No, man, the truth-teller. Just when the breaks were going against him he reestablished some original narrative, he made the fleeting thing sit quietly in his lap. He won the fourth.

Left for dead, he won it.

The fifth round was Diaz’s. By the midway point of that final round, both guys working off of instincts and fumes, the fight felt like it was playing out on some higher level that did away with — at least temporarily — the conflict of rooting interests. For a minute there, Team Diaz and Team McGregor were just abstractions to a general fusion of big moment and big hearts and a million spellbound witnesses. A fight that can produce such singular hysteria is enough to stand in for the essence of fighting. God it was good.

So good that the trilogy is now inevitable, and the only hope is that the third installment picks up exactly where the second left off — that is, each man standing taller because of the other.

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UFC Weekend Aftermath: Pondering the price of an instant classic

There are two ways of looking at the magnificent UFC welterweight championship matchup between “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald on Saturday night.

Both were represented by visuals which went viral on social media, representing both sides of the coin in the aftermath of Lawler’s thrilling fifth-round finish of MacDonald at UFC 189.

The first was the Instagram photo of Lawler and MacDonald in the hospital together, battered, bruised and smiling. Not only do fights like Lawler-MacDonald represent the highest ideals of combat sports at its finest — elite skills, athleticism, and courage in the face of adversity — but the sense of sportsmanship and respect shine through.

That’s why hospital pictures of Lawler-MacDonald, like Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson before them, serve as validation of why we invest so much time and emotion in a sport which so often seems to pelt us with an endless stream of bad news.

Then, there’s the flip side, represented in the disturbing GIF of MacDonald which made the rounds. Taken in the split seconds after the fight’s stoppage, MacDonald, one of the toughest guys you’ll ever come across, is in a disoriented state, looking more like the victim of a street assault trying in vain to make sense of the situation than a professional athlete.

MacDonald absorbed the sort of beating, with damage that included a shattered nose and a broken foot, that makes you wonder if he’ll ever be able to return to the same level. Lawler, the victor, also looked worse for wear. You can’t help but wonder of this is MMA’s equivalent of Arturo Gatti vs. Micky Ward, thrilling battles which took years off both boxers’ careers.

Robbie Lawler’s lip, if you could’ve been in the Octagon and saw this lip, he would talk and this part of the lip would move and the other part wouldn’t,” UFC president Dana White said at the post-fight press conference. “[MacDonald's] nose was broken. They asked him, when Rory got out back, they said, ‘what year is it?’ He didn’t know what year it was. First of all, it was a war. And a complete display of chin, heart, grit, dogged determination, and the will to win from both guys. When you talk about (the best) fights ever, that’s what I’m talking about.”

The good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, they all blur together and somehow emerge as a cohesive whole in a truly transcendent fight, like Jones vs. Gustafsson, Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio Rua, Nick Diaz vs. Takanori Gomi, and on down the line, stand the test of time and serve as a reminder why we all started watching this crazy sport in the first place.

Lawler vs. MacDonald, with all its beauty and horror, belongs on MMA’s short list of greatest fights. That such an encounter took place in the greater context of one of the most eventful and most-watched evenings in the sport’s history only underscores the impact.

UFC 189 quotes

“It’s damn hard work. But every time I say, ‘you know what, f— this. Next time I’m not doing all of this.’ And then I get handed the check, and I’m like, ‘alright then, I’ll do it one more time.’” – Conor McGregor on his media obligations leading up to the fight.

“I’ve never disrespected the guy in my life. I like Jose Aldo very much, his wife, his family.” — Dana White, 24 hours after once again claiming Aldo did not have a broken rib.

“That elbow he threw to my face loosened me up. I figured that if I didn’t loosen up he was going to, so I knew it was time.”Matt Brown, describing the series in which he answered a Tim Means standing elbow with a couple of his own, leading to a submission victory.

“Thank you @Ruthless_RL, @UFC, @Firas Zahabi, this was the best time of my life, I’ll never forget this fight.” – Rory MacDonald with a Sunday Twitter posting.

Stock report

Up: Conor McGregor. Yes, I’m stating the obvious. So be it. McGregor entered the Octagon with as much pressure on his shoulders as any fighter who has stepped into the cage in the sport’s 22-year history. The hype had built to a crescendo, he carried an entire nation’s expectations on his shoulders, and after a too-long training camp and media grind, he had to face exactly the sort of opponent many thought his promoters had steered him away from, and do so on two weeks’ notice. To be certain, some of the questions about how McGregor can handle wrestlers remain. But never question his heart. Chad Mendes took McGregor into deep waters, and all McGregor needed was one opening, one chance to escape from a nightmare, and he made the most of it.

Up: Thomas Almeida. Every promising prospect must endure their trial by fire on their way up the ranks, that moment when a crafty vet dishes out everything the young’un can handle. Thomas Almeida found his dance partner Saturday in the venerable Brad “One Punch” Pickett. Pickett threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Brazilian bantamweight in the opening round, breaking his nose in the process. But Almeida answered the call in the second round with a Knockout of the Year contender of a flying knee. If the next-generation Chute Boxe standout goes on to become a legit championship contender, we’ll remember UFC 189 as a key moment in his development.

Up: Matt Brown. There were a long string of fighters who deserve plaudits in both victory and defeat at UFC 189, and it’s no accident we’re not giving out any “downs” after a night of such greatness. Since this piece would run far too long if we went into them all, let’s instead give a nod to the man who got the ball rolling. The last six bouts of UFC 189 were so great that it’s easy to forget most of the undercard snoozer-worthy. That was before Brown and Tim Means put on an exciting slugfest in the “prelim main event.” When Brown took offense to Means’ standing elbow, responded with a couple nasty elbows of his own, and then submitted Means in short order, he threw down the gauntlet, and the main-card fighters responded and created a legendary evening.

Up: Michelle Waterson. The former Invicta atomweight champion made a strong debut at Sunday night’s Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale, rallying from a jittery start and finishing Angela Magana in the third round. Waterson, who had one of the truly under-appreciated great fights of recent years in her Invicta title-winning performance against Jessica Penne, has all the tools to become a breakthrough strawweight star. And while she’s probably not yet ready for a UFC title shot, a bunch of intriguing fights, not the least of which would be a Penne rematch, await “The Karate Hottie.”

Hold: Cyborg Justino. Cyborg’s 45-second demolition of Faith Van Duin on Thursday night has become an all-too-familiar scene. The idea of Invicta importing someone you’ve never heard of for their featherweight champion to steamroll has run its course. Ronda Rousey holds all the cards and she’s only going to fight Justino at 135 pounds. So let’s go ahead and have Justino attempt to get down to 135 for her next Invicta fight. If it turns out she can’t make it, no harm, no foul. But it’s high time she at least tries.

Interesting calls

First things first: Those who were trying to claim that Herb Dean made a favorable call on the UFC’s behalf by waving off McGregor-Mendes with three seconds left in the second round, go put on a dunce cap and sit in the corner. The referee’s concern is for the safety of the fighters. The clock is irrelevant. Mendes took a ridiculous left hand, turtled, and wasn’t defending or answering. That’s a blueprint for stopping a fight. Whether it happened 10 seconds into the round, at the midpoint, with three seconds left, or with one (see the Cyborg Justino-Gina Carano fight from 2009 for a fight correctly waved off at 4:59), if the fight’s over, it’s over.

While we’re talking about referees, let’s also give a nod to John McCarthy. The veteran did a perfect job overseeing Lawler vs. MacDonald. The end of the third round was an example of when you let the fighter continue in a one-sided situation. MacDonald had Lawler hurt and poured it on, but Lawler was firing bombs and responsive right up until the final horn. The fact you barely even noticed McCarthy is a testament to his job well done.

Meanwhile, one thing that stuck out from the opening Fight Pass bout was the UFC’s new graphics package (minus the FS1 portion, which retained FOX’s regular graphic package). The look is clean and modern. Adding the names of the fighters competing to the screen, on either side of the clock, is helpful, particularly for undercard competitors without much name recognition. Getting their names out front and center should help them gain traction. All in all, the changes were a much-needed fresh coat of paint on a presentation which had gone stale.

Which isn’t to say there wasn’t one sour note. For whatever reason, the UFC took all the negative feedback it’s received over the years on the dated “Face the Pain” opening and decided to make it even more annoying, with a remixed version. At this point, one can only assume Stemm, a band which would otherwise be long forgotten, must have locked the UFC into some sort of unbreakable lifetime contract for the song’s usage on their pay-per-views.

Fight I’d like to see next: Robbie Lawler vs. Georges St-Pierre

Yeah, I’ll go there, and yeah, I know there isn’t much chance of this happening. Still … what’s next for Lawler after downing MacDonald? I’ll admit, this is the first time I’ve even seen one fighter beat another fighter twice, and yet still want to see them tangle for a third time. But realistically, MacDonald is going to be out awhile, and he took the sort of loss that would be better for him to take a tune-up fight before throwing him back at the wolves. Beyond that, you could make a case for the Johny Hendricks trilogy fight, for which there doesn’t seem much fan enthusiasm. The rest of the pack are quality fighters, from Brown to Carlos Condit to Tyron Woodley, who are all happen to be a couple wins away from truly earning a shot. So, if St-Pierre was ever to return, and if the UFC wanted to pull a blockbuster fight out of nowhere, what would be better than GSP riding into town to avenge the loss of his TriStar campmate?

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McGregor Stops Mendes, Lawler Wins a Classic at UFC 189

“I didn’t come here to take part,” Conor McGregor has famously said about his rising stardom in the UFC. “I came here to take over!” The brash Irishman made good on his talk tonight at UFC 189, earning the UFC interim featherweight championship with a second round TKO of Chad Mendes. He had to overcome […]

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