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One of the most feared strikers in the Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight division, Edson Barboza, has officially swapped the “Garden State” for the “Sunshine State,” announcing this week that he is relocating his family to Florida and his training to American Top Team.
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Dana White Still Believes Yoel Romero Should Move to 205, But, Should UFC Look at Third Fight With Robert Whittaker?
(This post first appeared on MMAFrenzy.)
If following last night’s headliner at UFC 225 between Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero, you believe a third fight is in order, well, it looks like that might not happen.
If you watched the contest, then you know it was one of the best middleweight bouts in recent memory. Whittaker outscored Romero in the opening two rounds, but in round three, the latter decked the champ before he recovered and returned fire. Round four was competitive, but round five was pretty much a blow out for Romero, who dropped Whittaker again and appeared to be on the verge of finishing the fight. In fact, many folks have opined that the round should have been scored a 10 – 8 for Romero (via the new scoring rules). None of the judges, however, did so. Whittaker walked away from the bout with a controversial, split decision win.
Well, as you know, even if Romero had been handed the decision, he wouldn’t have been given the belt, since he came in at 185.2 for the fight. It was a repeat from what went down in February, when Romero didn’t secure the interim title after knocking out Luke Rockhold, because he missed weight for that fight as well.
After the card, White was asked if he still believes Romero should move to 205. Prior to the card, the UFC President had said he thinks that’s what the Cuban wrestler should do. White stood by that belief at the post-fight presser.
“Probably a good idea. We’re going to have to talk to him and his team, and it’s probably a good idea for him to go to 205. “
But is this really the route the UFC should go? Should they pass on Whittaker – Romero 3? Considering how last night’s bout unfolded? Yes, Romero missed weight, and he looked horrible after making his second attempt. But, the fighter has insisted his cut was stopped prematurely by the commission. Of course, health concerns need to be monitored here, but has the UFC thoroughly vetted what happened ? To conclude the book should be closed on Romero’s run at 185?
Now, another reason one could make the case for Whittaker – Romero III is due to the state of the middleweight division. When White was asked about the status of Chris Weidman and Kelvin Gastelum, really, the only two 185’ers right now who you could tap for a title fight, he said this:
“Weidman’s still hurt; his hands still messed up. So he’s going to be out for a while longer.”
“No comment on Kelvin Gastelum. He should have been the back-up here tonight when this all went down. He couldn’t do it. He’s got some personal issues that he seriously needs to take care of.”
So, depending on what issue Gastelum is dealing with, perhaps, the former welterweight contender could be a possibility in the not too distant future. But, would that fight draw more views that Whittaker – Romero III? That’s a good question.
At the end of the day, as the news cycle moves on, and Whittaker takes times to recover from a broken hand, calls for a third bout with Romero will have likely diminished. It’s just really unfortunate that Romero missed weight again, as, in a vacuum, a third scrap between the two sounds about right.
Ed Ruth’s official 170-pound debut may have been put on hold, but the three-time NCAA national champion wrestler still has big plans for his move to the welterweight division.
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Former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao will look to regain momentum tomorrow night (Sat., Feb. 24, 2018) at UFC on FOX 28 from inside Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., when he takes on rising contender Brian Kelleher in the preliminary headliner on FOX.
Barao, 30, just hasn’t been the same since losing his 135-pound crown to T.J. Dillashaw back in 2014. Since that title loss, which ended a 33-fight unbeaten streak, the Brazilian has turned in a pedestrian 2-3 record. That includes a rematch against Dillashaw and an unsuccessful shot in the UFC’s featherweight division.
Despite his struggle to find consistency over the past couple of years, Barao is still a relevant player at 135 pounds. And if his recent move from Nova Uniao in Brazil to American Top Team (ATT) in Florida is any indication of what “Baron” is capable of moving forward, the bantamweight elites better pay close attention.
“I got the best preparation possible,” Barao said about his move to ATT in a recent interview with Combate. “I already wanted to move to the United States. I want to bring my son over here, in the future. I chose ATT so I could change my way of training, look for improvements. Since I already had some friends of mine training over there, telling me how different everything was, that’s what me decide. Everything changed. I’m doing my cardio with one coach, boxing with another, wrestling with another. I think I improved quite a lot.”
While Barao hasn’t been finished since his defeats to Dillashaw, he has dropped disappointing decisions to featherweight staple Jeremy Stephens and bantamweight contender Aljamain Sterling. Needless to say, the former UFC champion desperately needs a big win this weekend if he wishes to turn back the clock and make 2018 his comeback campaign.
Unfortunately for Kelleher, any success Barao has this weekend in Orlando will come at the expense of him. “Boom” is a finishing machine and has won two Fight Night bonuses in just three Octagon appearances to date, but it is Barao who is looking to walk away from UFC on FOX 28 with a knockout.
“He’s a tough guy, coming off a win, but I expect a nice KO,” Barao said. “I’m ready to give my best.”
UFC on FOX 28 will be headlined by a featherweight tilt pitting veteran Jeremy Stephens against rising contender Josh Emmett.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on FOX 28 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 4:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX at 6 p.m. ET, before the FOX main card start time at 8 p.m. ET.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White has some advice for Uriah Hall, who reportedly fainted and got hospitalized while cutting weight for the UFC Fight Night 124 mixed martial arts (MMA) event on FOX Sports 1.
Spend more time training and less time clubbing.
“The guys at the UFC (Performance Institute) said he’s the, what’s the word – he doesn’t take it serious,” White said after the fight (via MMA Junkie). “He doesn’t take his training serious, he doesn’t do what anybody tells him. He does his own thing. A week before the fight, he went to L.A. and was hanging out in L.A. in clubs and stuff. So, not good.”
Hall (13-8) failed to live up to the hype he generated as a finalist on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 back in spring of 2013, going just 6-6 across 12 fights while struggling to find consistency in the crowded middleweight division.
What I think (Hall) needs to think about is fight at 205,” White continued. “Fight at 205 or show up and do what you’re supposed to do. And much like Kelvin Gastelum and the Johny Hendricks and the other people out there – if you can’t make that weight, then fight at the higher weight division.”
Hall was expected to fight Vitor Belfort at UFC St. Louis over the weekend but there is no word yet on whether or not that fight will be rebooked for an upcoming event or if both fighters will be sent on their separate ways.
Just don’t “Count” on this fight.
The almighty Georges St-Pierre will finally return to the Octagon at UFC 217 on Nov. 4 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Madison Square Garden in New York City when he matches up against current UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping.
St-Pierre, 36, will be fighting for the first time in nearly four years and making his unexpected debut at 185 pounds. Considering GSP hasn’t stepped foot inside of the Octagon since defeating Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 to retain his UFC welterweight title, nobody knows for sure how the Canadian superstar is going to perform at UFC 217. That includes Tristar Gym teammate Rory MacDonald, who essentially tailored his game after St-Pierre’s when he first came into the sport so many years ago.
“It will be hard to say, because we haven’t seen him in a while,” MacDonald told MMAjunkie when asked how St-Pierre will look. “That’s the exciting part.”
While many fight fans expected GSP to make an eventual return to combat sports after taking a hiatus back in 2013, nobody would have guessed the all-time great welterweight would compete at middleweight in his first fight back. St-Pierre’s build and athletic capability could transfer well to 185 pounds, but his entire track record and proven fighting ability remain at 170 pounds.
“The 185 thing, I probably wouldn’t have advised it, but he is his own guy,” MacDonald added. “He has his own goals. He’s obviously very talented.
“He is the most dominant champion in welterweight, and one of the most dominant champions ever. It’s hard for me to say what’s right and wrong to a guy like that.”
MacDonald makes a valid point, but St-Pierre isn’t just competing against any ordinary middleweight. Bisping is not only the reigning UFC champion and a guy who has amassed more victories inside of the Octagon than St-Pierre himself, but “The Count” is one of the bigger middleweights around. He won The Ultimate Fighter as a light heavyweight and will most likely weigh over 200 pounds come fight night.
Be that as it may, GSP will have the opportunity to prove he made the right decision to challenge Bisping on his own terms and attempt to capture another UFC title in another division.
“It will be interesting to see what new skills he brings in there, or if he’s going to revert back to his natural strengths,” MacDonald said. “I’ll be watching. I hope for the best.”
UFC 217 will also feature a co-main event title fight pitting current UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt against former divisional king T.J. Dillashaw, as well as a women’s strawweight title fight between current champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and top contender Rose Namajunas.
UFC 215: Rafael dos Anjos calls out Tyron Woodley, ‘The Chosen One’ has sights set on move to middleweight
It was recently revealed that Rafael dos Anjos was asked to be a backup to take a Welterweight title fight against Tyron Woodley at UFC 214 last month in case Demian Maia didn’t accept.
Unfortunately for “RDA,” Maia did accept the title fight and went on to lose a unanimous decision to “The Chosen One” in a rather lackluster affair. But after winning his second straight bout at Welterweight by choking out Neil Magny at UFC 215 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, dos Anjos had a little message for Woodley.
“I feel I am the only guy for the title. But I am coming for the belt. Tyron I respect you a lot, you have my respect you defend the title three times in one year, but I am coming for the belt.”
Tyron, however, was not impressed with the call out, saying that though Rafael’s win was impressive, there may be others ahead of him.
“I didn’t take it personally,” Woodley said. “All I’m saying is there are a lot of guys in my division. They always put them in front of me, and everyone thinks they have the solution to beat me,” he said during the post-fight show on Fox Sports 1.
Still, “The Chosen One” says Rafael is about two more impressive victories away from a shot at his strap.
“I think I’m the most well-rounded fighter. I punch hardest in the UFC of all the fighters. And he’s a great fighter. He’s a former world champion, and I do think one or two more fights in the division, with a great performance like he had this evening, we will see him on the other side of the Octagon. At that point, we’ll be ready to role.”
Furthermore, Woodley says he is eying a move up to Middleweight next, possibly to ace the winner of the upcoming title fight between division champion Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre, which is set to go down at UFC 217 on Nov. 4, 2017 in New York.
Whether or not Dana White — who isn’t a big fan of Woodley’s — grants him his wish, is another story.
For complete UFC 215 “Nunes vs. Shevchenko” results and play-by-play, click HERE!