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UFC on FUEL 9 bonuses: Conor McGregor, Reza Madadi and Brad Pickett vs. Mike Easton earn $60,000 each


It may have been a night in Sweden where the main event was changed – and downgraded – last minute, but that doesn’t mean UFC on FUEL TV 9 in Stockholm wasn’t without its highlights. According to UFC President White, Conor McGregor earned Knockout of the Night, Reza Madadi was awarded Submission of the Night while Brad Pickett vs. Mike Easton was named Fight of the Night. White announced the winners at the event’s post-fight press conference. Each fighter will pocket $ 60,000 for their efforts.

Making his UFC debut, Ireland’s Conor McGregor knocked out Marcus Brimage in the first round. Brimage stormed McGregor early, but the Straight Blast Gym featherweight stayed calm. Under pressure, McGregor used superior combination a series of uppercuts to badly hurt the former cast member of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’. The end came officially at 1:07 of the first after an uppercut-hook combination sent Brimage crashing to the mat. McGregor followed up with a few more punches before the referee was forced to halt the action. McGregor moves to 13-2 in professional MMA while Brimage drops to 6-2.

In his third UFC bout and in front of his hometown crowd, lightweight Reza Madadi submitted ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ veteran Michael Johnson in the third round of a pitched battle that nearly saw him finished in the first frame. After a fairly even affair for most of the first round, Madadi ate a kick to the face that sent him crumbling to the mat and hanging on for dear life. Johnson wasn’t able to put him away, but clearly won the round. From there, however, Madadi turned things around, using his wrestling background to score takedowns and control top position in scrambles. By the end of the third round, Madadi appeared to be setting up three quarter nelson stack when he transitioned to the anaconda choke. Madadi moved to his hips, locked up Johnson’s legs and squeezed the tap from the Blackzillian at 1:33 of round 3.

Earning Fight of the Night were a pair of bantamweights, the American Mike Easton and Brit Brad Pickett. From beginning to end, the two evenly-matched fighters traded hard shots with inside boxing, a style of fighting rare in mixed martial arts. Yet, just as much as they exchanged, the two also put on a full display of a modern MMA fighter’s arsenal, demonstrating strong offensive and defensive wrestling, hard scrambling, gritty clinch fighting and hard-fought positional control. Ultimately, however, it was Pickett who was able to land more in volume and get the better of the wrestling challenges. The judges ultimately award him the split decision victory, taking 30-27 on two of the judges’ fight cards while Easton was given 29-28 on the third.

UFC on FUEL TV 9 was held at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. White announced the event pulled a $ 2.7 million at the gate witn 14,506 attendees.

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UFC on FUEL 9 results: Brad Pickett out-scraps Mike Easton in split-decision

These days in the UFC, two straight losses could equal a pink slip and a fast pass to free agency. With such high stakes, some fight conservatively, and others turn up the aggressiveness.

That was the setting for the UFC on FUEL 9 fight between Brad Pickett and Mike Easton, who were both coming off defeats. Given Pickett’s propensity for attacking, it seemed a sure thing that the bout would turn into a barn-burner instead of a bore, and that’s exactly what happened.

In a close UFC on FUEL 9 bout which saw Pickett push the pace, he won a split decision by scores of 29-28, 29-28, 28-29.

“Being me, I went back to my old ways,” the British bantamweight said afterward. “I wanted to make it exciting for you guys out there. My coaches are probably cursing me, but you guys made the sport what it is. Not us, you guys.”

The output of the two was exceptional, with the fight contested in every aspect of mixed martial arts. Pickett became the first man to take Easton down, the two scrapped in the clinch, traded bombs from afar, and scrambled for position on the mat. It was a fight both technical and exciting, making it among the best of 2013 thus far.

Given how it went, Easton (13-3) will likely receive a reprieve from release.

Pickett moved to 23-7 with the win.

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Brad Pickett: I Have More Punching Power Than Mike Easton

Brad Pickett will look to bounce back from his December split-decision loss to Eddie Wineland when he meets Mike Easton on April 6 at UFC on Fuel TV 9.
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The MMA Hour with Andrei Arlovski, Cesar Gracie, Firas Zahabi, Braulio Estima, Aaron Simpson, Mike Chiappetta


The MMA Hour is back in your life on Monday. Below is a rundown of who will be stopping by and when:

1:00 p.m ET — MMAFighting.com’s Mike Chiappetta will look back at UFC 158.

1:20 p.m. — Nick Diaz’s manager and trainer Cesar Gracie will discuss Diaz’s loss to Georges St-Pierre.

1:40 p.m. — BJJ star Braulio Estima will talk about his run-in with Diaz at UFC 158 and what’s next for him.

2:00 p.m. — GSP’s trainer Firas Zahabi will look back at GSP vs. Diaz and ahead to GSP vs. Johny Hendricks.

2:20 p.m. — Heavyweight Andrei Arlovski will preview his WSOF 2 fight against Anthony Johnson this Saturday night.

2:40 p.m. — Welterweight Aaron Simpson will talk about his WSOF debut against Josh Burkman this Saturday night.

3:00 p.m. — We’ll answer your #themmahour questions on anything and everything going on in the MMA world. Hit us up on Twitter using that hash tag, leave a question in the comments section below, or give us a call. The best question will win a prize. Also, “Ric’s Picks Challenge” will look back at UFC 158, and we’ll give out two tickets to WSOF 2.

Plus, we’ll be taking your calls on anything and everything. Got a question or comment? Give us a call at 1-888-418-4074.

Watch the show live below beginning at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT / 5 p.m. GMT. Subscribe to The MMA Hour on iTunes: audio feed here; video feed here. Download previous episodes here. Listen to the show via Stitcher here or via TuneIn here.

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Video: Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan preview ‘Gustafsson vs. Mousasi’ at UFC on FUEL TV 9

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UFC 158 results: Mike Ricci wins decision over Colin Fletcher in dull affair


The UFC 158: “St. Pierre vs. Diaz” event tonight (Sat., March 16, 2013) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, kicked off its main card on pay-per-view (PPV) with a lightweight battle of Ultimate Fighter finalists who came up short when it mattered most. Mike Ricci and Colin Fletcher both lost at their respective TUF Finale cards, both losing by way of decision.

Which is why it just made too much sense not to match them up. Sometimes, Joe Silva has it easy. Plus, this is a nice and easy way to weed out the one who doesn’t belong.

Through much of the first round, it didn’t look like either of them belonged. Both stayed outside each other’s range and avoided getting into a firefight in favor of bouncing in and out with punches and pushing kicks.

As color commentator Joe Rogan noted, the most effective strike of the round was a nut shot Fletcher accidentally planted Ricci with.

Things opened up early in the second, as Ricci landed a hard head kick and followed it up with a takedown into some ground-n-pound. Although he wasn’t able to sustain his offense, he did open up a cut on Fletcher that, if nothing else, showed Ricci was doing some damage.

As it turned out, that’s really all it took. The third round was just as dull as the first two and by the time all was said and done, Ricci had done just enough to take a decision from Fletcher by scores of 30-27 across the board.

But the fans were the real losers here.

For complete UFC 158 results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night’s action click here.

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‘Freak Show’ Colin Fletcher prepares for opposite Mike Ricci at UFC 158


If Colin Fletcher makes it in UFC, his “Freak show” nickname and gimmick will at least differentiate him from the pack.

But making it is largely dependent on beating Mike Ricci in a battle of recent The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) show runners-up. Fletcher and Ricci face off in a lightweight battle that opens the pay-per-view broadcast of Saturday’s UFC 158, from Ricci’s home base, at Montreal’s Bell Centre.

The 30-year-old Fletcher went to the finals in the late 2012 series, “The Smashes,” that was a U.K. vs. Australia season, shot in Sydney, geared for Australian television. He lost via decision to Norman Parke on Dec. 15 in Broad Beach, Australia, in a fight that he now says was a major mental struggle because of how much he liked his opponent.

“He was one of my closest friends in the house,” said Fletcher (8-2) on this week’s The MMA Hour. “He’s a family man and I fall into that box, caring about people. I honestly thought I’d be able to fight him a lot harder, and as soon as I got in there, I was a mess and mentally I couldn’t switch on and fight him the way I would fight someone I had no feelings for.”

He said the fight, which Parke won via decision, didn’t strain their relationship. “We were close friends in the house, close friends when we left the house and we still are close friends,” he said.

The loss puts Fletcher’s back against the wall. There was a time when a runner-up finish in The Ultimate Fighter almost guaranteed one a solid run with the promotion. But the loser here will have lost two in a row at a time when roster spots in UFC are as tenuous as they have been in years.

The “freak show” gimmick is that the Sunderland, England, based fighter wears a clown mask to the cage, and his body is covered in tattoos. The latter isn’t all that unusual among fighters, but the former could be his calling card.

“Sometimes I’m a bad clown and sometimes I’m a fun loving good clown,” said Fletcher regarding what kind of clown mask he’s gong to wear on Saturday. “Whatever I feel at the moment is whatever I am at the moment.”

During his career, seven of Fletcher’s eight wins were via choke, with four standard rear-naked chokes, two d’arce chokes and one guillotine. Ricci, who turns 27 on Monday, has never lost via submission and has only been stopped once, a TKO loss to current Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran.

Ricci (7-3) is coming off a loss to Colton Smith that took places only hours after Fletcher’s loss, his being in in the finals of season 16 of The Ultimate Fighter. He was fighting a weight class up as a welterweight. Ricci also stands out to a degree with his look. With his short hair and preppy clothes, he’s about as far away from a freak show looking guy as there is.

“Who am I to judge anybody on their appearance, you know what I mean?,” Fletcher said when talking about Ricci’s style, which was evident during the season and even more notable when hanging around with running mate Rory MacDonald on a FOX special promoting the MacDonald vs. B.J. Penn fight. “I’ve got no bad feelings against Mike Ricci. He was one of the standout fighters on his season of Ultimate Fighter. I was rooting for him. I like his style of fighting. I don’t know him personally. I didn’t know much about him until I was going to fight him and people said he’s the opposite of you in every way, but opposites attract sometimes.”

Attract may not be the correct term, but in fighting, matchmaking often leads to opposites gravitating toward each other.

This will be, by far, the biggest event Fletcher has been part of. With an expected crowd of around 20,000 at the Bell Centre, it’s a far cry from local shows in his home town that he mostly fought in before two fights with the BAMMA promotion led to his getting on the reality show as part of the British squad.

“I’m a fighter, and it makes no difference if I’m fighting in somebody’s backyard, or in front of 50,000 people,” he said. “There’s only two of us who are fighting.”

Unlike most fighters, Fletcher never really had strong aspirations of getting into the UFC. He was working as a DJ, and sometimes a door man at his family’s night club. Business wasn’t doing well, so he took on a second job of driving a bus. He eventually took an interest in fighting and decided to fight mainly because he didn’t want to have any regrets later on.

“No, not at all,” he responded when asked about if he expected to fight in UFC. “But I didn’t want to be the kind of a person sitting there ten years later, thinking I’d give up on it and saying that maybe I could have gotten to the UFC. I’d rather try my best and fail then never try at all.”

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The MMA Hour with Mark Hunt, Stephan Bonnar, Jon Fitch, Frankie Edgar, Mike Ricci, Colin Fletcher, John Danaher


The MMA Hour is back in your life on Monday with a stacked lineup. Here’s a rundown of who will be stopping by and when:

1:00 p.m. ET — Georges St. Pierre’s jiu-jitsu coach John Danaher will talk about GSP mindset heading into Saturday night’s showdown against Nick Diaz.

1:20 p.m. — Colin Fletcher, “The Freakshow,” will preview his fight against Mike Ricci at UFC 158.

1:40 p.m. — Mike Ricci will then top by to also talk about his bout against Fletcher.

2:00 p.m. — Jon Fitch will discuss his new deal with World Series of Fighting and leaving UFC.

2:20 p.m. — Frankie Edgar will discuss what’s next for him following his loss to Jose Aldo at UFC 156.

2:40 p.m. — Stephan Bonnar will talk for the first time since his suspension following his loss to Anderson Silva last year.

3:00 p.m. — Mark Hunt will discuss how he got the fight against Junior dos Santos at UFC 160.

3:20 p.m. — We’ll answer your #themmahour questions on anything and everything going on in the MMA world. Hit us up on Twitter using that hash tag, leave a question in the comments section below, or give us a call. The best question will win a prize. Also, “Ric’s Picks Challenge” will continue as we look ahead to UFC 158 this weekend, and we’ll give out two tickets to WSOF 2.

Plus, we’ll be taking your calls on anything and everything. Got a question or comment? Give us a call at 1-888-418-4074.

Watch the show live below beginning at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT / 5 p.m. GMT. Subscribe to The MMA Hour on iTunes: audio feed here; video feed here. Download previous episodes here. Listen to the show via Stitcher here or via TuneIn here.

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[VIDEO] Mike Tyson Gives Advice to Ronda Rousey

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Some things you want to leave on their own and appreciate. Mike Tyson sharing wisdom with Ronda Rousey, face-to-face, is one of those things.

No news was made in the above video, but its pretty freaking dope to hear Iron Mike impart some experience-gained wisdom to Rowdy Ronda. Also, there’s some symmetry here since Ronda might have the most snarling fight-night mug since Mike Tyson. Let’s hope no prison time or face tattoos are in Rousey’s future.

- Elias Cepeda


Video: Ronda Rousey and Mike Tyson’s sit-down interview on “Good Day L.A.”


In a rare moment, the dangerous due of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and former Heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson joined the set of “Good Day L.A.” on Friday (March 8, 2013) for an extended sit-down interview with hosts Steve Edwards and Maria Sansone.

During the six-plus minute interview, Rousey and Tyson are asked a plethora of questions regarding their thoughts on each other, having fear going into a fight, fighting with emotions, steroids in combat sports and more.

The highlight of the video, though, is Tyson giving “Rowdy” some advice on her flourishing career as one of the top mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters in the world, telling Rousey to, “Stick with your moms and a good lawyer.”

Watch the complete interview with Rousey and Tyson from “Good Day L.A.” below.

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