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Henry Cejudo Believes Demetrious Johnson Could Easily Defeat T.J. Dillashaw

Former flyweight title challenger Henry Cejudo has weighed in with his thoughts on the outcome of a potential superfight between the current Ultimate Fighting Championship 125-pound champion Demetrious Johnson and bantamweight ace T.J. Dillashaw.
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James Vick planning to beat Evan Dunham ‘easily’ as he climbs lightweight rankings

It’s been a tough run inside the Octagon for James Vick. It’s not that he’s lost fights. He’s not only undefeated in all of his UFC fights, but nine MMA fights professionally. Vick’s problem is different: he just can’t stay healthy enough to do much more than spin his wheels. Since joining the UFC in 2013 off of The Ultimate Fighter: Live season, he’s fought a total of five times, the last of which came a week ago at UFC 197 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Vick looked a bit rusty at first, but ultimately earned a unanimous decision victory over Glaico Franca. It was Vick’s first fight of 2016, but as he told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s The MMA Hour, hardly his last. He’s already accepted a short-notice fight against Evan Dunham at UFC 199 on June 4. While Vick asked for a bout against TUF: Live cast mate Michael Chiesa, Vick isn’t at all unhappy with the next challenge in front of him.

“I knew that I wasn’t getting Chiesa, anyway, in the next fight because he just came off such a big win the no. 8-ranked guy. I just feel blessed that I got into the top 15. I win this fight and I’m taking his spot at number 14. Evan Dunham is a solid veteran he’s been around a long time. It’s going to be a good fight,” Vick said.

“I definitely think I’m going to win. I think I’m going to win easily. I’m moving up fifteen spots in the rankings. I’m not disappointed at all. I’m thrilled to death.”

Vick has his reasons to be confident. In addition to being undefeated in MMA, his wins at these first and middle chapters of his career have come against veterans and rising prospects: Ramsey Nijem, Nick Hein and the rapidly-improving Jake Matthews. That, Vick argued, is why he’s entirely confident Dunham won’t stand a chance.

“Obviously I’m going to try to finish him,” he noted. “I’m going to go for the finish, but if it doesn’t present itself, I think I’m going to win this thing handily via decision. I think that all I gotta do is basically the same thing I did my last fight and he’s not going to be able to take me down. He’s not going to be able to hold me down. My jiu-jitsu’s good enough where I’m not really worried about any of these guys taking me down and I can get up pretty much anytime I want. You saw my last fight. The guy took me down, but was holding me. I landed more strikes from the bottom than he did from the top. There’s no way this guy is going to outstrike me, so I see myself either winning an easy unanimous decision or catching him with something and getting the finish.”

For Vick, the deciding factor is that, finally, he’s healthy. It’s not that Vick has been scheduled and pulled out of contests. Instead, he’s just infrequently available. He’s either suffering from surgeries or injuries just after surgeries that need time to heal. Now, Vick noted, he’s ready to keep the momentum from UFC 197 going.

“My goal at the start of the year was to get three fights and break into the top ten,” he claimed. “I think it’s about to happen. I’m going to win on June 4th and be no. 14 and hopefully by the end of the year, I’ll get another fight and get put in the top ten.

“I have a goal: in my mind, in the next two years I’ll be a world champion,” Vick declared. “Everything’s come together for me. It was a lot of hard times with the injuries and stuff, but the good thing is I wasn’t injured that whole time. I’ve had a lot of time in between fights, just a lot of bad timing with certain things where they kept me out of the ring longer, too. I’d have smaller injuries come up after a surgery or something. I’d pull my groin and have to wait another five or six weeks, but I progressed a lot in between the time period.

“Now I think my skill set is up to par and I can fight with anybody in the world and do good and win. It was a blessing and a curse at the same time, but I’m ready to go now and I think I can fight anybody in the world.”

It’s also been bittersweet to see his cast mates from TUF: Live move onto success inside the UFC. Names like Chiesa, Al Iaquinta, Myles Jury, Sam Sicilia and others have been active, some in high-profile bouts. Vick isn’t upset with their success, but does resent how circumstances put him behind the curve.

“It was frustrating,” he admitted. “I was really close to a lot of guys in the house, so I was happy for them. I’m definitely not a hater. But it was frustrating basically seeing all of these guys, knowing I could beat these guys and I’m over here broke, working a full-time job half of the time I’m in the UFC because I’m not healthy enough to fight and make money.

“Like we talked about in my interview after the fight, I believe it’s my destiny to be a world champion and my destiny can be delayed, but it can’t be stopped.”

As for those jobs, Vick said he’s done it all: teaching private lessons, coaching at a UFC Gym, even bouncing at strip clubs to help make ends meet.

That wasn’t as fun as it sounds. Vick, a lightweight, isn’t a typical candidate for club security, but it got the job done. Often, he said, he’d have to escort unruly patrons out of the facility and leg kick or pepper spray them into submission. By the time he earned a post-fight bonus after defeating Matthews in May of 2015, he did his best to stretch it out just so he wouldn’t have to do that sort of work anymore. “It got old,” Vick confessed.

“I didn’t make as much money on that Australia fight as people think,” he revealed. “They took $ 16,000 out of that bonus and then my purse wasn’t that great. I’ve recently got a better deal. I made about 50 Gs in that fight, but then you don’t fight for a year straight and then you gotta pay taxes, you gotta pay your coaches, you have to pay all this different stuff. Eleven and a half months of no fighting with no job. I’m very frugal with my money. I’m real cheap. I save my money, so it lasted me a whole year.

All of this took place while his sister was in serious medical distress. Doctors discovered a tumor growing behind her eyes and nose that required removal, but doing so presented a number of obstacles, both financial and medical.

“She had a tumor behind her skull that had completely eaten her sinus cavity,” Vick said. “It was going down to her eyes and they said it wasn’t going to make her blind if she didn’t get it taken out ASAP. She had insurance, but she had to pay a huge deductible because the surgery was expensive. They had to fly in a doctor all the way from, it was either Florida or maybe even a foreign country. I don’t remember.

“She had gotten it done here in Dallas and the neurologist, they didn’t want to do the surgery because they were scared where there were complications where they’d mess her brain up. It had completely eaten her sinus cavity and her skull. It was eroding through the bone.”

Vick said doctors had to essentially peel back her scalp, cut out old bone, put a titanimum plate in place, remove the tumor and sew her back up. The lightweight noted she still gets headaches, but has otherwise made a full recovery in the last 10 months.

For now, Vick doesn’t have to worry about the future as ‘what ifs?’, but as ‘what next?’ Dunham is first at UFC 199, but that’s just the beginning as far as he’s concerned. The title is the ultimate prize, but he hasn’t forgotten about his quest for redemption against Chiesa.

“I want it so bad,” he said of the fight with Chiesa. “That’s the only other fight that I would choose over him, is a title fight, for sure. I doubt after being ranked 14, when I win this fight, I doubt I’m getting a title shot.

“Stranger things have happened,” Vick noted with a smile.

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Bellator 122 results: Andrey Koreshkov easily bests Adam McDonough to win second tournament

Bellator’s return to the Spike TV airwaves may have been the technical beginning of the Scott Coker era, but it featured a show built by Bjorn Rebney before his departure. Both the main and co-main event featured two season 10 tournament finals, this time in the welterweight and middleweight divisions.

In the main event between finalists Adam McDonough and Andrey Koreshkov, it would be the Russian who would go on to dominate and claim his second Bellator tournament title.

In the first frame, Korsehkov immediately took center cage and after about a minute, McDonough dove for a single, which the Russian easily shrugged off. As Koreshkov pressed the American against the fence with forward pressure, a spinning back kick nearly lands for the Russian, but wasn’t enough to substantively hurt McDonough. Korsehkov eventually jumped in with a switch knee to the body that partly landed, but the bout continued on. McDonough tried to use the opportunity for a takedown, but simply couldn’t secure it. After another knee to the body, McDonough attempted to press Koreshkov into the fence and as they separated and literally ran from the Russian across the cage.

McDonough kicked off the second round with a leaping low single, but the Russian had none of it. McDonough tried it again with less effect as Koreshkov continued to walk him down. While it didn’t put McDonough away, Koreshkov soon scored with a spinning back kick flush to the fsace that sent the American crashing to the mat, although he was able to survive, get back to his feet and reset the action. McDonough reached for another double in the center of the cage, but Koreshkov sprawled, which forced McDonough into a defensive guard. Koreshkov then pounded on top before McDonough returned to turtle and eventually stood to his feet. Koreshkov threw a barrage of spinning kicks and punches as the round ended, but couldn’t put McDonough away.

By the third round, McDonough attempted naked left hooks and diving takedowns, none of which worked. In fact, as the round passed the halfway mark, Koreshkov stuffed another single and as McDonough turtled, the Russian drilled a bruising knee to the body. The American tried to evade to avoid further punishment, but was rolled to his back. They eventually separated and as the round expired, Koreshkov chased down a fleeing McDonough with a series of punches.

Koreshkov made the judges decision a simple one as he took a unanimous decision victory, earning 30-27 across all three judges score cards. With the victory, Koreshkov is now a two-time Bellator tournament winner.

“I am very happy that I can follow his steps and that I don’t disappoint him,” Koreshkov said via translator when speaking about his teammate and mentor, Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko.

In the co-main event and to decide the season 10 Bellator middleweight tournament, top prospect Brandon Halsey faced off with grizzled veteran Brett Cooper.

Halsey immediately took center of the cage and quickly made the bout a wrestling contest with a single leg dump into side control. Halsey also managed to isolate Cooper’s nearside arm as he roeated, which allowed him to sit for an armbar as he positioned his own body around. However, the wrestler never managed to get his outside leg over Cooper’s face, which allowed Cooper to raise his hips and turn to challenge the submission. Halsey followed him with his hip and body rotation, though, and went belly down, which almost immediately forced the tap. The end came officially at 2:09 in round 1.

In one of the night’s light heavyweight semifinals, Liam McGeary continued his striking reign of terror making short work of Egidijus Valavicius. While Valavicius managed to land a hard overhand right, it actually forced McGeary to clinch and then push Valavicius against the fence where the Brit went to work. A series of knees bloodied Valavicius, which only made the crushing uppercuts and even further subsequent knees that had Valavicius covering up for dear life all the worse. The end came officially at 2:10 of the first round. He’ll face Kelly Anundson in the finals.

Lastly, the opening bout of the broadcast featured a contest between UFC veterans Phil Baroni and Karo Parisyan. As it turns out, t was the Armenian judoka who would emerge the victor, but he never really had to use his judo to get it done. The pair exchanged strikes until Parisyan forced the clinch and backed Baroni into the fence. Baroni, however, was able to stop any throw or trip attempt, which compelled Parisyan to back out. Yet, he still applied forward pressure with his distancing, keeping Baroni pinned against the fence. A lunging uppercut grazed Baroni, but it was enough to set up the beginning of the end as it sent Baroni to his knees. Parisyan followed up on an obviously hurt Baroni, which made referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy halt the bout at just 2:06 of round one.

Bellator 122 took place at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California. The main card aired live on Spike TV.

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Congratulations Chris Weidman, but Michael Bisping could have just as easily knocked out Anderson Silva

Were you one of the many mixed martial arts (MMA) fans impressed by Chris Weidman’s knockout of Anderson Silva back at UFC 162 over Fourth of July Weekend in Las Vegas?

Pfffft. Michael Bisping could have easily done that.

So says “The Count,” who reflected on the “All American” upset earlier this year, while lamenting his inability to beat Weidman to the punch, literally, in the upset of perhaps the greatest middleweight fighter to ever step foot inside the Octagon.

From MMA Weekly (via Fight Line):

“Obviously it would always be a dream of mine to fight Anderson Silva and be the guy to take the title, of course. Yeah I was a little disappointed and I’m not taking anything away from his win, but we all know Anderson Silva was acting like an idiot and he got knocked out. It would have been nice to be the guy that did it, so congratulations to Chris, he’s the new champion and certainly a formidable force at middleweight, but yeah, it stinks a little. I could have done that. I could have easily done that.”

He may still get his chance.

Bisping is set to collide with Mark Munoz in a five-round main event at UFC Fight Night 30, scheduled for Oct. 26, 2013 at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester, England. Assuming “Pillow Fists” can deliver on his promise to make “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” piss his own pants, he may find himself paired off against Silva.

But only if “The Spider” comes up short in his UFC 168 rematch on Dec. 28 in “Sin City.”

Until then, all we can do is speculate as to what would have happened if Bisping was able to defeat Vitor Belfort in Brazil (instead of getting creamed) and faced off against Silva in Weidman’s place.

How does that story end?

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WSOF 2 weigh-in results: Anthony Johnson, Andrei Arlovski easily make weight


Former UFC fighters Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski both met their required weight at Friday’s official World Series of Fighting 2 weigh-ins, rendering their main event bout official.

Johnson, a former welterweight with notorious weight cutting problems, easily cleared the heavyweight limit this time around, tipping the scale at a burly 230.2 pounds.

Arlovski came in 15 pounds heavier, weighing 245.5.

Initially scheduled to take place at 4:00 p.m. ET, Friday’s weigh-ins were delayed for over an hour due to technical difficulties.

For the card’s featured co-main event, bantamweight giant killers Marlon Moraes and Tyson Nam both registered within their required weight.

Moraes, fresh off an upset of Miguel Torres, checked in at 135.5 pounds. While Nam, looking to capitalize off a first-round knockout of Bellator champion Eduardo Dantas, came in slightly lighter at 135.2 pounds.

Complete WSOF 2 weigh-in results can be found below.

Main Card (NBC Sports Network, 9:30 p.m. ET)
Andrei Arlovski (245.5) vs. Anthony Johnson (230.2)
Marlon Moraes (135.5) vs. Tyson Nam (135.2)
Josh Burkman (170) vs. Aaron Simpson (171)
David Branch (185.2) vs. Paulo Filho (184.5)
Gesias Cavalcante (156) vs. Justin Gaethje (155.6)

Preliminary Card (Untelevised, 7 p.m. ET)
Kris McCray (185) vs. Danillo Villefort (185.4)
Igor Gracie (170.7) vs. Richard Patishnock (170)
Cameron Dollar (144.6) vs. Waylon Lowe (146.2)
Ozzy Dugulubgov (160.1) vs. Chris Wade (160.8)
Rick Glenn (145.4) vs. Alexandre Pimentel (146)

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Michael Bisping: ‘I’m not going away that easily’


Michael Bisping has been here before. The affable Englishman has been a perennial contender for much of his seven-year stint in the UFC, clawing his way to one-fight-away status on more than one occasion. Yet each time, Bisping has fallen short.

All along he has made no secret about his desire for a shot at the UFC middleweight championship. And now, fittingly, Bisping finds himself again at the precipice of his goal. All that stands in his way is a bout against the old lion of the division, Vitor Belfort.

“The fact that I’ve built myself back up, and gotten to this position again, I think is a testament to my mental toughness,” Bisping declared on The MMA Hour ahead of this weekend’s bout. “My desire to win and continue. I’ve been in the UFC for seven years, and God forbid this doesn’t go my way on Saturday night, I’m not going away. I’m not going away that easily. I’ll go away, I’ll dust myself off, I’ll build myself back up, and I’ll be back in this position again. And I will win. But right now I’m not even thinking about that. I’m very, very confident. If Vitor beats me on Saturday night, then you’ll hear no excuses from me. Fair play to the guy. He beat the best version of me right now.”

Bisping acknowledging defeat as a possible outcome is not only telling, but also understandable given his recent lack of luck in No. 1 contender matches. However, even if he falters at UFC on FX 7, Bisping steadfastly believes the UFC belt is in his future, regardless of how many tries it takes.

“I haven’t fought for the title yet,” explained Bisping. “I think I’m destined to be world champion one day. No one works as hard as me. I’ve definitely got the skill set. I’ve got the tools. I’ve got the mental capacity to achieve that, the mental toughness that’s required. I’ve got all the ingredients. Maybe in the past I wasn’t ready. Now I feel ready.”

True to his word, Bisping cruises into the weekend having won five of his last six fights, with the only loss coming in a contentious decision to the division’s perpetual No. 2, Chael Sonnen.

Even still, Bisping remains a slight underdog to Belfort — a fact of which he is well aware.

“I’ll take anything and everything,” Bisping admitted. “I’ll take the smallest little [slight], it could be nothing, it could any little remark, but in my head, I’m going to multiply that massively, and turn a molehill into a mountain because that’s what I need to do. That’s how I fight better, and that’s how I perform. So any of my opponents, past, present, future, give me an ounce of material to go on, and I’m going to go on that and I’m going to turn it into a big thing. Because that’s what fuels me. That’s what gets me out of bed. That’s what gets me in the Octagon, and that’s what helps me perform at such a high level.”

The ability to manufacture conflict into motivation is a trait often shared by the world’s best athletes. In professional basketball, Michael Jordan was legendary for his ability to feed off of the smallest personal slight from his opponents, and Kobe Bryant has similarly followed suit. Luckily for Bisping, who remains one of the sport’s most underestimated fighters, there is no shortage of sources for such motivation.

Even recently, burgeoning middleweight contenders Tim Boetsch and Alan Belcher made a point to call out Bisping on their quest for a title, figuring he was the easiest mark of the division’s big-name fighters. Of course, when both Belcher and Boetsch were eventually stopped by men ranked lower than Bisping last December, the Brit couldn’t help but chuckle.

“I’ve got nothing against them personally,” he mused. “But I’ve always felt, particularly Alan Belcher, he’s been calling me out for years and years and years, and I’ve always felt I could take care of him pretty easily.

“I plan on fighting Anderson later in the year and taking the title off of him, and I thought Alan Belcher, Tim Boetsch, doing well, a little bit of title talk around them, they could be two nice, lil’ easy title defenses for me. So actually, seeing them get beat was quite saddening for me,” Bisping finished, tongue-in-cheek.

Jokes aside, at 33 years old, Bisping understands this is his best chance to finally seize that elusive title shot. He often calls Belfort the “hardest fight outside of Anderson in the middleweight division,” and if he can get past the Brazilian, Bisping believes he would be more than ready for Silva.

But when it comes to looking ahead? Bisping has been in this situation enough to avoid such a grievous mistake.

“Right now all I’m thinking about is Vitor Belfort. He’s a tremendous opponent. He’s fought a who’s who of MMA. The only people that have beaten him are all-time greats. His recent run in the UFC, he’s only been beaten by Jon Jones and Anderson Silva, the two pound-for-pound best in the world. So fortunately, Saturday night when I beat him, I’ll be joining good company,” Bisping concluded.

“The hard work is done. Now it’s time for the fun.”

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