Tag Archive for Just

Anastasia Yankova Staying Positive After First Career Defeat: ‘This Is Just the Beginning’

Anastasia Yankova tasted defeat for the first time in her young MMA career last week, as she dropped a unanimous decision to Kate Jackson at Bellator 200 in London.
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Kamaru Usman Lobbies for Title Shot: ‘I Just Dominated Maia Better Than Tyron Woodley’

Kamaru Usman has compiled one of the quietest eight-bout UFC winning streaks in recent memory, but he has big plans after earning the signature victory of his career.
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Kamaru Usman Lobbies for Title Shot: ‘I Just Dominated Maia Better Than Tyron Woodley’

Kamaru Usman has compiled one of the quietest eight-bout UFC winning streaks in recent memory, but he has big plans after earning the signature victory of his career.
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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.

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Adrenaline Is A Hell Of A Drug (Just Don’t Die Out There)

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is roughly 48 hours away from its upcoming UFC on FOX 29: “Poirier vs. Gaethje” mixed martial arts (MMA) event, which takes place this Saturday night (April 14, 2018) inside Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

As the title suggests, UFC on FOX 29 will be headlined by the lightweight showdown pitting Dustin Poirier against Justin Gaethje, in what is widely-expected to be one of the best fights of the year, stylistically speaking.

There is a reason they call Gaethje “The Highlight.”

“I know he’s gonna try to hurt me on Saturday and I’m gonna try to do the same,” the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) import said. “That’s what I signed up for. Adrenaline is a hell of a drug and my adrenaline is pumping. This is going to be the most exciting live event in the world on Saturday. If you’re there, you’re gonna remember it for the rest of your life.”

Especially if someone dies, which is why Poirier may take his foot off the gas.

“The Diamond” recognizes what Gaethje brings to the table and has to fight the temptation to get sucked into a war. Not only because it increases the chance of a flash knockout, but also because bloodbaths tend to scramble the brains and shorten careers.

“I want to be a world champion. I’m not going out there looking to see who’s willing to lose more blood, because I’ll die out there,” Poirier said. “I know I would, but I don’t want that. I want to go in there and have a smooth fight and show my skill.”

Combined, they have a staggering 33 finishes — 25 of them knockouts.

Poirier (22-5, 1 NC) is coming off a violent submission win over Anthony Pettis at UFC Fight Night 120, good enough for a “Fight of the Night” performance bonus. Not surprisingly, Gaethje (18-1) earned the same bonus — worth $ 50,000 — in his UFC 218 war against Eddie Alvarez. Could we see “Fight of the Decade” this Saturday in Glendale?

That’s up to Poirier.

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Hot Prospect Garry Tonon Just Won His MMA Debut

It’s a bit weird calling someone a “hot prospect” when they just had their first MMA fight, but if the rashguard fits…

Garry Tonon has proven himself to be a submissions beast in recent years, and is at the forefront of the latest generation of grappling talent. He also got his first taste of fighting in the MMA cage early today, courtesy of Asia’s One Championship (which is the biggest MMA promotion on that side of the world).

Often, when devout jiu-jitsu folk attempt to crossover to MMA, they take some lumps. Sometimes they lose. Sometimes they lose horribly.

Tonon, however, ate his opponent for dinner.

Bangkok, Thailand, is where the bout took place, and the opponent was Richard Corminal. Corminal was supposed to be a striker, and yet Tonon nearly knocked him out on the feet.

It ended on the ground, though, which is where I expect most of Tonon’s future fights will end.

Keep an eye on this dude.

Huge thanks to @tomdeblass for coming out to corner me in my first fight with @onechampionship. I knew when I asked him to come he would be here, just like he’s been there for me any time I needed him in my life. It was with Tom that everything started. He saw in me discipline, determination, and passion, which he cultivated into a drive to be one of the best in the world. He did this with coaching on and off the mats, and leading by example. Perhaps the greatest lessons he taught me through his actions, not his words. He led me just by being someone I wanted to be like. It brings me great comfort to have the guy who’s been in my corner all my life be literally in my corner for my first fight. Thanks for everything brother. #tbone #papafessor @onechampionship Bangkok Thailand march 24th #tononvscorminal @kimerakoffee … …. #repost @tomdeblass … Until death do us part. Loyalty and Royalty. The boy is ready to shine. (Photo by @jeffreyschu)

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The post Hot Prospect Garry Tonon Just Won His MMA Debut appeared first on Caged Insider.

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Midnight Mania! Swanson Gone From UFC Rankings, Just Shrugs

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

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Cub Swanson, recently ranked 4th at featherweight, has been removed from the UFC’s rankings.

Now a free agent, he opted to fight out his last contracted bout against Brian Ortega, and despite tearing Ortega apart standing, found himself in the death grip of a standing guillotine from Ortega, who tapped him out in the second round. The loss snapped a four-fight winning streak for Swanson.


His response to the rankings snub? An emoji shrug. Swanson, who has put together four and six-fight winning streaks under the UFC banner without receiving a title shot, has learned to be stoic.

Cub isn’t the first to be removed from UFC rankings during negotiations, a ploy the UFC has attempted before against Nate Diaz. Marc Ratner ended up getting grilled for that omission by Congressman Markwayne Mullins, the primary sponsor of the Muhammad Ali Expansion Act, which would introduce into MMA an independent belt and ranking system, one that an individual promotion like the UFC would not be able to control.

Swanson has said previously he isn’t looking for fancy cars, but with a newly minted child, he is looking for financial stability. Hopefully, no matter where he lands, he finds it.


Insomnia

Watch Steve-O get put to sleep by Chuck Liddell while they were filming their YouTube Red show in Peru:

Ronda Rousey’s new management team should set up fights against fighters managed by Meisha Tate.

Derrick Lewis is a content machine and this street fight ended with a standing rear-naked choke, which is obviously required viewing.

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And this is just funny.

A post shared by Derrick Lewis (@thebeastufc) on

This collection of Nick Diaz quotes on Twitter reminded me why people like him.

I especially like the first one.

In person, Diaz is just as funny.

Werdum faked the chair throw then stood on top of it. Volkov played along by not kicking it out from under him.

The tattoos Dana White needed in the new UFC video game to really round out his appearance.

@danawhite in the #ufcgame

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This looks like it could be fun

This is a pretty awesome action shot by Mike Jackson


Quick Hits and Good Reads


Slips, Rips, and Sumo Clips

This throw was massive

Great triangle choke

Nice combination work for the knockout

You want this guy on your bar fight team

I love MMA

Ran right into it

This makes me want to go learn some Olympic lifts

Calf slicers are always sweet

This kid tried to apply a kimura in a wrestling match he was losing

Was this old-school stoppage a fair one?


Random Land

This workout looks interesting for developing rotational power and strength

Raptor vs. canine is one of my favorite animal kingdom matchups

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

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Bellator Just Had Another ‘WTF’ Moment

Bellator 194 is going down in Uncasville, CT right now, and though the main event is all about UFC refugees Roy Nelson and Matt Mitrione going at it, there’s still all the usual undercard goodness.

And by “goodness”, I mean, “WTF did I just see?”

Because Bellator undercards – especially the prelims – are where the crazy stuff happens.

You know, stuff like spinning back-elbow knockouts, and this:

Tonight, just moments ago, a Bellator 194 prelim pitted Ross Richardson against Ronie Arana Leon. Neither person is anyone you should know about at this point in their careers.

What you should know is that Leon did his best imitation of a frog, which, um, was kind of crazy.

The dude lost via TKO in the second round, but man, give him points for doing something wacky.

The post Bellator Just Had Another ‘WTF’ Moment appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

Bellator Just Had Another ‘WTF’ Moment

Bellator 194 is going down in Uncasville, CT right now, and though the main event is all about UFC refugees Roy Nelson and Matt Mitrione going at it, there’s still all the usual undercard goodness.

And by “goodness”, I mean, “WTF did I just see?”

Because Bellator undercards – especially the prelims – are where the crazy stuff happens.

You know, stuff like spinning back-elbow knockouts, and this:

Tonight, just moments ago, a Bellator 194 prelim pitted Ross Richardson against Ronie Arana Leon. Neither person is anyone you should know about at this point in their careers.

What you should know is that Leon did his best imitation of a frog, which, um, was kind of crazy.

The dude lost via TKO in the second round, but man, give him points for doing something wacky.

The post Bellator Just Had Another ‘WTF’ Moment appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

What’s it like to get soccer kicked in the head? Just ask UFC vet and FMD star Tommy Hayden

There aren’t many promotions around these days that allow soccer kicks. But fans with fond memories of seeing Mauricio “Shogun” Rua treat Quentin Jackson’s face like a football will enjoy Full Metal Dojo (FMD).

The Thai mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion positively encourages soccer kicks and we frequently see fighters use them to good effect. But what’s it like to be on the receiving end? Former FMD lightweight champion Tommy Hayden is the perfect person to pose that question to after his recent TKO loss.

”Well, I do quite enjoy the ruleset and I didn’t mind the soccer kicks. It was the first time I have been soccer kicked so it was an interesting experience. I will tell you this, getting hit by a taxi in Bangkok hurts a lot worse! So yeah, I didn’t mind them. I heard that some people gave (referee) Olivier grief saying he stopped the fight early. I want everyone to know that I agreed with his decision.”

Hayden saw a three fight winning streak going all the way back to 2014 snapped by last November’s loss to Jason Ponet at Full Metal Dojo 15. It was a major disappointment for the American, but things could be a lot worse.

He could still be stuck in his hometown doing a soul-destroying 9-5 job while reflecting on a UFC career that didn’t quite turn out the way he planned,

”After getting dropped from the UFC my dad told me to get a real job. So I did, I worked for a company called Hill-Rom. They pride themselves on being the worlds No. 1 hospital bed manufacturer. Well I was working in QA, checking paperwork to meet FDA standards and helping engineers circumvent problems that could kill people in field. I was put on the an integration team for a new company and made to work seven days a week getting only one Sunday off per month. I ended up working under an “engineer” who was a high school drop out, only had a two year degree in business management and was not qualified to do any sort of engineering work. She couldn’t even do simple arithmetic without a calculator. On top of that the environment working there was so hostile and negative that I couldn’t get over working under such rude disgusting unqualified people. So I found a job in Thailand.”

Hayden wasn’t exactly “living the dream” back home. He had featured on Season 9 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) and subsequently strung together a four-fight winning streak which took his overall record to 8-0 and secured a UFC contract.

However, he was released after just two defeats and found himself making the unpleasant transition from MMA to medical manufacturing. it’s worth nothing that former lightweight champion and No. 1 welterweight contender Rafael dos Anjos also lost his first two UFC bouts, which goes to show how thin the margins between success and failure can be in the MMA game.

But while Hayden wasn’t given ample opportunity to realize his UFC ambitions, he has succeeded in establishing himself as Bangkok’s toughest teacher. After moving to Thailand to work at a school he says a chance encounter rekindled his interest in MMA.

”Honestly I never planned to get involved in fighting competitively in general when I moved out here. I was done. Then one day I was walking around a university campus and I saw a sign that said MMA on it. I was surprised and curious so I walked in. That day I met the man who changed my life here. I rolled with this dude that introduced himself as Jaa and from that point forward I was back in the game. I became the head coach at Hero Factory a small gym outside of Bangkok that was about two and a half years ago. From there I met the FMD crew and started fighting again. Now I own gyms and I focus on teaching Thais MMA and how to integrate their Muay Thai styles into MMA.”

Hayden featured on episode one of Rich Franklin’s “Warrior” series which was partly filmed at the Fight Lab in Bangkok. He taught an aspiring Indian fighter a harsh lesson about the sort of skills and experience required to succeed in the sport.

That said, Hayden believes there is a lot of talent in the region and hopes to see several of his training partners make the breakthrough this year.

”I currently train with a good number of talented fighters and up and comers. Shannon Wiratchai and Rika Ishige are both in ONE FC and doing well. I also have a few ONE FC prospects that I am training with. On top of that both my boxing coach and my No Gi coach are coming along quite nicely. 2018 looks like it will be promising year for us.”

Hayden has seen strawweights like Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke and Pongsiri Mitsatit enjoy success with ONE Championship and been a part of the growth of Full Metal Dojo. He says it’s an exciting time to be involved in MMA in Thailand.

”I feel like Thailand has the potential to produce some world level contenders, especially in the lower weights. I also see how hard Jon and the FMD crew works to promote MMA here and they are doing a great job! FMD is a show like no other. It’s not just a fight it is an experience! An over the top 90’s movie-esq experience that fans can’t find anywhere else on the planet. I am super thankful to get to work with them because they are so incredibly different from any other promotion I have had the pleasure of working with.”

Hayden has several goals for 2018. But his top priority is to secure a rematch with Ponet and restore his status as an FMD champion.

“My immediate personal goals are to kill the next guy I fight, so Jon will give me a rematch against Jason. I will get my sword back this year. After that I want to continue to grow my schools, get a few of my Thai fighters into world level organizations and continue to grow my MMA and BJJ brand.”

www.twitter.com/jamesgoyder

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