Tag Archive for Jose

Anthony ‘The Shark’ Avila Taking A Bite Out Of Jose Luis Verdugo At Combate Americas ‘USA Vs Mexico’

Combate Americas “Mexico vs USA” takes place tonight (Fri., May 11), 2018 at McClellan Conference Center in Sacramento, Calif. on Univision Deportes Network starting at 11 PM ET. MMAmania.com talks to Team Alpha Male fighter Anthony “The Shark” Avila about his featured bout with Jose Luis Verdugo.

Combate Americas “USA vs. Mexico” comes to McClellan Conference Center in Sacramento, Calif. tonight (Fri., May 11, 2018). As part of the Univision Deportes Network (UDN) fight card, Team Alpha Male standout Anthony Avila (15-5) and Tijuana-based fighter Jose Luis Verdugo (8-4) collide at 155 pounds.

“The Shark” is on a two-fight win streak dating back to Tachi Palace Fights 32 in 2017, while Verdugo is on a three-fight run over the same span. Avila has been kicking around the sport for a while now, even landing a win in Strikeforce back in 2011, but by some accounts his loss to UFC vet Caol Uno in 2013 was a career setback, snapping a 10 fight tear at the time.

Avila has gone 4-3 since the Uno fight, but with his current winning streak and a chance to showcased on a major card seen on UDN all around the world, now is his time. MMAmania.com recently talked to Avila about his big opportunity and conflicted “USA vs. Mexico” feelings.

“I’m a bit torn you know because I’m Mexican. I’m Mexican, but I was raised in America, so… I’m representing America from being Mexican if that makes any sense. I’m in the middle!”

It should for MMA fans given that former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez represents both sides of his heritage as a fighter — American born but the son of a Mexican immigrant. Avila says this show has something for everyone.

“You know you have the Mexican fans, they (Mexican fighters) have a big following in the Latin community, so that’s going bring (those fans) as well the Americans are going to come to see the Americans do well against the Mexicans, so I think it’s a good draw.”

Avila is feeling confident ahead of his time in the spotlight, firm in the belief that Verdugo is a beneficial stylistic match-up.

“He’s a tough guy you know, he’s tough! Big Latin dude, most Mexicans come ready to fight, so I’m expecting a nice war but I don’t see myself losing in any aspect of the fight and I don’t think anyone else should expect that either.”

Verdugo has faced and beaten some well known competition including Estevan Payan, but training at Team Alpha Male gives Avila so much confidence that he hasn’t done any pre-fight scouting.

“I don’t know anything about him. I’ve seen his record as well, but I know he’s a good striker but that’s pretty much as much as I know about him.”

“The Shark” may sound cocksure right now but he was going into the Caol Uno fight too.

“I think if I had won that fight I would definitely be in a different place than I am now. I made some mistakes in that camp and I paid for it with the last few years, but I’m definitely looking to rebound. I’m ON the rebound as we speak.”

If there was one lesson Avila learned from the Uno fight it’s that getting full of yourself and acting like everything is easy comes back to haunt you in a big way.

“You know my head was big, I thought I was a man, I thought I was unbeatable and I wasn’t taking anything serious. I wasn’t cutting weight. I went and hiked Yosemite right before I left. I didn’t respect him. He was an older gentleman so I was like ‘Dude, I can beat this guy.’ I went out there with a shitty weight cut, showed up to Japan 22 pounds overweight and 48 hours (to go). I mean the cards were stacked against me as well. They were trying to send me out the day before the weigh ins, I paid the money to go out just one day before they wanted to send me out, and yeah dude. It was my first time fighting overseas or traveling overseas for that matter and I paid for it.”

Through his long time association with Team Alpha Male, Avila has learned from those mistakes and increased his belief in himself and what he can do in a fight.

“You know it’s fantastic. It’s an ego booster and a confidence booster when you know you’re working out with and against some of the top athletes in the sport. It does really well for you. It helps you sharpen your skills as well as (letting) you know you can compete with some of the best in the world.”

A humbled and hungry Avila has a newfound purpose in Combate Americas, going out there with respect for his opponent and the sport, ready to accept the outcome while giving it his all.

“I appreciate every athlete that actually does compete. We’re in there busting our asses. We’re taking time from our real life, our family, our friends and we’re putting it toward this sport. There’s no shame in a loss. I prefer never to lose but there’s no shame in a loss.”

Whether it’s a win or a loss this week, Anthony “The Shark” Avila will go out and give it his all.

“USA vs. Mexico” airs live on Univision Deportes Network starting at 11 pm ET/8 PT. Audio of this interview is above and coverage of “USA vs Mexico” is right here at MMAmania.com.

To check out the latest Combate Americas-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.

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King Mo Just Wants To ‘Whup Some Ass’ In San Jose

Bellator 199: “Bader vs. King Mo” takes place at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., this Saturday night (May 12, 2018), featuring a main event between Ryan Bader (24-5) against Muhammed Lawal (21-6, 1 NC) in the final fight in the opening round of the promotion’s Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament.

This bout was originally scheduled for Bellator 180 in June 2017 before the open-weight grand prix event was ever even announced. After Lawal was forced out with an injury, Bader faced — and defeated — Phil Davis instead, taking his Bellator Light Heavyweight title in the process. It’s a new year and a new fight now with a whole lot more for both men at stake. For Lawal, in particular, the benefits of a win are tremendous — he’d advance to a second round fight with Matt Mitrione and have instant credibility to get a world title shot against Bader in a rematch where the champion would already know “King Mo” had his number once before.

MMAmania.com recently spoke with “King Mo” about the unique opportunity ahead of him at SAP Center on Saturday night, which won’t feel real for Lawal until the cage door closes.

“I guess I’ll feel good once it happens, you know what I’m saying? I’m just waiting for [fight] week to hurry up and come — and pass.”

In truth, Lawal is so anxious for this fight to come he couldn’t care less whether it’s the Heavyweight Grand Prix, Light Heavyweight … or any weight. He just wants to scrap.

“To be honest with you it’s (just) a fight. Like people like to be — I don’t give a damn who I’m fighting, man. A fight’s a fight, man. It can be Bader, it can be Fedor, it can be whoever man. I’m gonna train hard, I’m gonna train smart, I’m gonna come whup that ass.”

Even though a “fight’s a fight” there’s a little extra hot sauce on this one since beating Bader could also earn Lawal a future 205-pound title shot. In Mo’s mind, though, why wait and do it again later?

“Like if I beat him at walk around weight, why should I even go down? Once I beat Bader they should go ahead and just — he should forfeit the title to me anyway.”

Lawal is adamant on the subject of weight, even going so far as to claim he never cuts weight.

“I never cut weight. Even when I fight 205, I never cut weight. (*scoffs*) Like I just show up man! Look, when I fought Cro Cop, I weighed 210. When I fought Quinton Jackson, I weighed 210. When I fought Ishii, I weighed 210, man, so like … like making weight, I don’t care. Weight don’t mean nothing, man. He can be (as) big as he wants. When the cage closes, all that is forgotten about.”

On paper, it’s a battle between two Division I All-American wrestlers — Lawal at Oklahoma State and Bader at Arizona State. “King Mo” couldn’t care less — he crumpled up that paper and threw it away.

“It’s a fight, so I’m gonna go out there and punch him in his mouth. How should I respond? If he backs up, like yo I’ll punch him in his mouth. If he comes forward, I’m gonna punch more (and) make his ass back up. And if he wants to make it a wrestling match, we can make it a wrestling match, man. Like everybody’s like … it’s a fight you, know what I’m saying? All we can do is see what happens when the cage closes.”

Some readers may be reminded of the “Rampage vs. King Mo” fight last year by Lawal’s demeanor, only this time around Lawal isn’t cracking any jokes. According to Lawal, all fights feel the same way.

“I’ve always had that feeling. Real fighters do whatever it takes to win. So it can be an ugly fight, it can be a pretty fight, it can be a fast fight, it can be a long fight. A fight’s a fight, man.”

One fight that’s not “a fight,” though, is Bellator 154 at the same venue in San Jose. To this day, Lawal is still convinced that he beat Phil Davis in that main event.

“Everybody knows I won, you know what I’m saying? Phil Davis got booed, you know what I’m saying? Everybody at ringside had me winning, media had me winning … you know what I’m saying? Like — I don’t know what the judges were looking at. Phil didn’t do nothing in the third round (and) I won the first two rounds.”

There may be a little poetic justice for “King Mo” to return to the same venue almost three years to the day if he can go out there and blast his way through Bader — or at least put on a better show than Lawal thinks Davis and Bader put on in MSG.

“The only people that lost in that fight between Phil Davis and Ryan Bader was the fans! Would you watch that fight again? Would you watch them fight for that third time? You saw the first one they fought. Okay. They showed each other too much respect. Which I UNDERSTAND, they’re both high level, but I never saw Bader be like, ‘You know what? Fuck it, I’m gonna come forward and swing.’ I never saw Phil go ‘You know what? I’m just gonna punch his ass in the mouth, fuck it.’ You know what I’m saying? They was like, ‘Okay, he hits hard, I’m gonna be cautious. I’m gonna watch out for that takedown, cautious.’”

The bottom line for Lawal is that he’s not going to be cautious in the “Shark Tank” this weekend, nor when it comes to his fight career in general.

“If I could fight every month I would, but injuries prevent that and the people that are available to fight prevent that. I’m just cool with winning this tournament, man. It doesn’t matter to me … just keep me busy.”

Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal will be plenty busy with Ryan “Darth” Bader on Saturday night.

Complete audio of our interview is embedded above, and complete coverage of “Bader vs. King Mo” resides here at MMAmania.com all week long.

To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.

MMAmania.com – All Posts

Lightweights Carrington Banks, Adam Piccolotti to Clash at Bellator 199 in San Jose

Lightweight prospects Carrington Banks and Adam Piccolotti will lock horns at Bellator 199 on May 12.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

Midnight Mania! Jose Aldo Wants Jeremy Stephens at UFC 224

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

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Jeremy Stephens might just not be getting a title shot just yet- but he could be getting a high-profile contender’s bout. According to MMAFighting.com, Jose Aldo wants to fight “Lil Heathen” in Brazil.

Aldo said that the UFC originally approached him with the idea of fighting in April, but it would be too soon for him to get back in action. With the company returning to Rio de Janeiro for UFC 224, Aldo wants a featherweight clash with Stephens.

“I asked to fight him, he asked to fight me, so it will be a great fight,” Aldo said. “I’m waiting for them to set it up.”

It’s a fresh matchup for both fighters. Aldo, despite being the greatest featherweight in UFC history, has suffered back to back losses to young champion Max “Blessed” Holloway. Jeremy Stephens, after a long career of inconsistency, has managed to parley his power and experience into three consecutive wins at featherweight, taking out Gilbert Melendez and prospects Doo Ho Choi and Josh Emmett.

This clash is fascinating given both fighter’s reliance on dissuading opponents with their power and athletic striking games. Both fighters have lost to champion Max Holloway in his current run, but if Brian Ortega were to capture the title, all bets are off.

UFC 224 is scheduled to be headlined by Amanda Nunes defending her bantamweight title against Raquel Pennington.


Insomnia

This is genuinely inspirational from Brian Kelleher

Wanderlei Silva bringing new venues to Bellator.

UFC fighter Leslie Smith is honoring International Women’s Day in it’s original spirit, with her efforts to organize labor for better working conditions.

When I say “a lot going on here” I mean the mercurial Sage Northcutt remains mysterious and inscrutable. Why the cat? What does that have to do with the caption??

There was a twitter debate today as the MMAFA account claimed that collective bargaining agreements (with unions) with no free agency don’t make a difference, but free agency does. Here is some evidence against their position.

When someone off the street gets in the ring with a professional fighter:

Ali Abdelaziz, manager to Khabib Nurmagomedov, Frankie Edgar, and many other top MMA fighters, seriously claimed to have wrestled for Egypt in the Olympics.

I had, in fact, not seen Conor McGregor in GTA V.

Georges St. Pierre with an outside leg reap in training- an Ouchi Gari.

Is Dan Hardy training for a comeback?

Artist Chris Rini does post-it stories labelled ‘MMA Squared’ on Twitter. They are simple but fun, and I enjoy them.

The Matt Hughes moment referenced:

Sean O’Malley’s foot looks really bad.

Fili and his bulldog are gonna wreck shop at 145 once they get back into training.

I missed Ilir Latifi interacting with another exotic animal, so that’s obviously something I had to rectify.

Look what we found in the backyard

A post shared by Ilir Latifi (@ilirlatifi) on


Podcasts and Video

The MMA Ratings Podcast


Good Reads


Random Land

A man after Nick Diaz’ own heart.

I had legitimately never heard of this lift before.

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

MMAmania.com – All Posts

UFC 221 Update: Teruto Ishihara vs. Jose Alberto Quinonez Booked for Perth

Teruto Ishihara will return to the bantamweight division to face Jose Alberto Quinonez at UFC 221.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

UFC 221 Update: Teruto Ishihara vs. Jose Alberto Quinonez Booked for Perth

Teruto Ishihara will return to the bantamweight division to face Jose Alberto Quinonez at UFC 221.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

UFC 221 Update: Teruto Ishihara vs. Jose Alberto Quinonez Booked for Perth

Teruto Ishihara will return to the bantamweight division to face Jose Alberto Quinonez at UFC 221.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

Jose Aldo issues statement following second loss to Max Holloway at UFC 218

The long-time Featherweight champ shares some words following his latest defeat in Detroit.

With the unexpected removal of Frankie Edgar from UFC 218 weeks before the event with a broken orbital, Jose Aldo was called up and sat poised to retake the featherweight title that had once been his for so long. Unfortunately, things didn’t go his way in the rematch against Max Holloway, and the rugged Brazilian warrior fell in the third round to Holloway’s relentless assault.

Now Aldo has released a statement via social media.

“I only have to thank my family that I love for everything, and my team Nova Uniao, the best in the world, for making me great and champion, and my friends and fans that are always with me,” Aldo wrote. “Thank you all! I will be always optimistic because believing is the first step to making it happen.”

The loss to Holloway puts Aldo in the unfortunate position of having lost to the current champion twice, basically eliminating his chance of another shot at the title so long as “Blessed” holds the belt. It’s unclear whether the 145-pound legend will continue to fight at that weight class, and also uncertain that he continues fighting in UFC at all after the last two bouts on his contract are up.

In the past Aldo has talked about a move to 155, or even a move to boxing. Now might be a good time for either of those moves, as he looked completely destroyed on the scale during the UFC 218 weigh-ins. And if fighting in the UFC is getting old for him, maybe there’ll be a spot for him in the upcoming boxing events the UFC is working on putting together?

Whatever the case, no one can deny the amazing things Aldo did over his 13 year career and eight years at the top of the Featherweight division as champion.

MMAmania.com – All Posts

Max Holloway Declines ‘Best Ever’ Label Following Second Victory Over Jose Aldo

Sports entertainment star Ric Flair coined the phrase, “To be the man, you gotta beat the man.”
Recent News on Sherdog.com

Max Holloway Declines ‘Best Ever’ Label Following Second Victory Over Jose Aldo

Sports entertainment star Ric Flair coined the phrase, “To be the man, you gotta beat the man.”
Recent News on Sherdog.com