Tag Archive for returns

Midnight Mania! BJ Penn returns to fight Dennis Siver, Dillashaw spars with Lomachenko

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

Welcome to Midnight Mania! Tonight, we’ve got mixed martial arts (MMA) legend B.J. Penn giving it another try against Dennis Siver, T.J. Dillashaw sparring with Vasyl Lomachenko, Luke Rockhold saying he will move all the way to Heavyweight to fight Fabricio Werdum, sumo, knockouts, podcasts, and much more!


Baby Jay Penn is not done yet. The announcement came today via “UFC Tonight” that Penn would fight Siver at a UFC Fight Night in Oklahoma City, Okla., on June 25, 2017. Also on the card, former Welterweight champion Johnny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks will take on “The Barbarian,” Tim Boetsch, in a Middleweight showdown and Felice Herrig will battle Justine Kish at Strawweight.

Despite losing his last four fights in a winless streak that extends back to 2011, Penn remains a notable name. He is, after all, one of this sport’s all-time greats. His most recent loss came at the punches and kicks of the surging Yair Rodriguez. His coach was adamant then that Penn should have faced an easier comeback fight. Siver represents a level of competition that he can potentially win against, a welcome change for Penn, after facing nothing but killers for the past decade. Siver hasn’t fought since 2015, a decision loss to Tatsui Kawajiri. If he loses, perhaps Penn will finally retire (yet again).

Bobs and Weaves

T.J. Dillashaw is sparring with pound-for-pound boxing great Vasyl Lomachenko? I want more than this short clip, please. That will get him ready for Cody Garbrandt if anything will.

In case you haven’t seen Lomachenko work:

Speaking of Lomachenko:

Check out Jose Aldo hitting the bag in preparation for his Featherweight title bout with Max Holloway at UFC 212 in Brazil.

Sage Northcutt doing the most Texan pastime imaginable. Why does he still have a protein shaker in his other hand though?

Joanna Jedrzejczyk is having her own fun in the sun!

I would watch this. This is the weirdest fight proposed in a long time that I would be completely into. Luke Rockhold and Fabricio Werdum have beef going quite a ways back.

Slips, Rips and KO Clips

Bas Rutten in Pancrase was a force of nature:

Kevin Randleman was another force of nature. What an athlete.

More sumo for your viewing pleasure.

That’s one way to make an entrance!

And this is another:

These knockouts are visceral!

Quick HitsQuick

Podcasts and Video

Tommy Toehold’s Bushido Talk:

The MMA Ratings podcast

The Heavy Hands guys have a controversial take this week on Gunnar Nelson:

On Nelson…

Random Land

This is the highest adrenaline video I have seen in a very long time. It was filmed in 2011 in Brazil and it’s absolutely insane.

Stay woke, Maniacs!

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Albert Tumenov returns to action in May for first post-UFC bout

Albert Tumenov has a date and opponent for his first bout since leaving the UFC.

The Russian welterweight, who signed with Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB) after racking up a 5-3 UFC record, will return to action on May 20 against Brazilian veteran Marcelo Alfaya in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Alfaya announced the booking on his Facebook page, and revealed the date and the location to MMA Fighting on Tuesday.

Tumenov (17-4) left the UFC on a two-fight losing skid, finished by Gunnar Nelson and Leon Edwards, but had a five-fight winning streak leading up to those bouts, including victories over the likes of Lorenz Larkin and Alan Jouban.

Alfaya (18-7, 1 NC), who will celebrate the 15th anniversary of his MMA debut later this month, went 2-0 competing in Russia in 2016. The TUF 21 alum has fought the likes of Jon Fitch and Jake Ellenberger under the WSOF and Bellator banners.

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Ex-Lightweight Champ Eddie Alvarez Returns to Face Dustin Poirier at UFC 211 in Dallas

Former 155-pound king Eddie Alvarez will attempt to rebound after losing his belt to Conor McGregor last November when he locks horns with Dustin Poirier at UFC 211.
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Bellator’s Anastasia Yankova returns to action in April

Bellator prospect Anastasia Yankova is gearing up for a return.

The Russian-born Yankova is scheduled to fight Elina Kallionidou at Bellator 176 in Torino, Italy on April 8, MMA Fighting recently confirmed with Bellator officials. The fight will take place at a 130-pound catchweight.

The undefeated Yankova (4-0) is 2-0 under the Bellator banner, most recently defeating Veta Arteaga via split decision in September.

Kallionidou (5-1) suffered the first loss of her young career in December when she dropped a unanimous decision to Sinead Kavanagh in her Bellator debut.

Yankova was recently featured in the Russian-edition of Vogue Magazine after signing a deal with Nike Russia.

The event, currently headlined by Rafael Carvalho vs. Melvin Manhoef 2 for the Bellator middleweight title, will mark the promotion’s second card at the Pala Alpitour in Torino.

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Former champ Andrey Koreshkov returns against Fernando Gonzalez at Bellator 174

The return of former Bellator welterweight champion Andrei Koreshkov highlighted a pair of fight bookings announced on Friday for Bellator 174, as Koreshkov will take on Fernando Gonzalez in a 170-pound showdown, and middleweight prospect Chris Honeycutt will meet Kendall Grove on the main card of the March 3 event.

Koreshkov (19-2) returns for the first time since dropping his welterweight title with a dramatic third-round knockout loss to Douglas Lima at Bellator 164. The setback snapped a sizzling six-fight win streak for the 26-year-old Russian — a run which included impressive victories over Lima and former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson.

Koreshkov now looks to get back on track on against Gonzalez (25-14), a veteran of the Strikeforce, WEC, and Bellator cage who saw his five-fight win streak halted with a lethargic split decision loss to Michael Page in his most recent outing at Bellator 165.

Likewise, Grove (23-16, 1 NC) hopes to climb back in the win column when he faces off against Honeycutt (9-1, 1 NC) in a middleweight contest.

Grove, a former The Ultimate Fighter winner, suffered a second-round knockout loss at the hands of ex-Bellator champion Alexander Shlemenko late last year, bringing his up-and-down Bellator record to 4-3. He’ll look to break the momentum of Honeycutt, a former a two-time NCAA All-American who has won three straight decisions in the Bellator cage.

Bellator 174 takes place March 3 at the WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, Okla. The card is headlined by an inaugural Bellator MMA women’s featherweight world title fight between Marloes Coenen and Julia Budd, and will air live on Spike TV.

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Mackenzie Dern returns at Legacy Fighting Alliance 6 in March

Mackenzie Dern will be back in the cage next month.

The multi-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion will face Katherine Roy at Legacy Fighting Alliance 6 on March 10 in San Antonio, the promotion announced Wednesday on Facebook. The main event of the card will pit Rivaldo Junior against Ray Rodriguez.

Dern (2-0) won her first pro fights under the Legacy FC banner last year. Her victory over Montana Stewart with an Imanari choke (omoplata-choke combination) was a contender for Submission of the Year. Dern, 23, is one of the top prospects in MMA, male or female. The MMA Lab product is a two-time IBJJF world champion in gi and two-time champion in no gi as a black belt. Dern also owns an ADCC gold medal.

Roy (1-0) won her pro MMA debut against May Ooi last July under the WSOF Global banner in the Philippines. The 31-year-old San Antonio native is a former Golden Gloves boxing champion.

LFA 6 will be the sixth event since the Legacy-RFA merger last month. The co-main event will be the undefeated Eryk Anders against Larry Crowe. The card will take place at Cowboys Dancehall and air live on AXS TV.

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Melvin Guillard returns early from drug suspension, faces Chidi Njokuani at Bellator 171

Melvin Guillard is returning to the cage early.

The former UFC and World Series of Fighting competitor will meet Chidi Njokuani in the main event of Bellator 171 on Jan. 27 in Mulvane, Kansas, sources told MMA Fighting on Tuesday.

Guillard was suspended one year by the Kansas Athletic Commission (KAC) back in August after failing an in-competition drug test in relation to his bout with David Rickels on July 22, 2016. The commission cannot lawfully release the name of the substance Guillard tested positive for, but sources said it was cocaine, which Guillard has popped for previously in his career.

After agreeing to go to rehab and completing the program, Guillard’s suspension was reduced to six months. The Louisiana native still had to pay a $ 10,000 fine and his knockout victory over Rickels was overturned to a no contest.

KAC boxing commission Adam Roorbach confirmed that the commission unanimously voted to reinstate Guillard after he successfully completed rehabilitation. He said the parties came to an agreement, because it was a recreational drug and not a performance-enhancer.

Guillard (32-16-2, 3 NC) has struggled with weight-cutting issues, missing the lightweight mark in four of his last five bouts. The fight against Njokuani will be at a 175-pound catchweight. Guillard, 33, was once a heralded UFC prospect and is still considered an exciting, all-action fighter.

Njokuani (16-4, 1 NC) has won three straight since coming to Bellator and has not lost a bout since 2013. The brother of former WEC and UFC veteran Anthony Njokuani is coming off a 21-second knockout of Andre Fialho last month.

In the co-main event, Kansas native Rickels takes on Aaron Derrow in a lightweight bout.

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Midnight Mania! Conor McGregor worried about brain trauma, Ronda Rousey returns to Instagram

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

Welcome to Midnight Mania! Tonight, we have Conor McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, worried about brain trauma for his star pupil, Ronda Rousey’s return to Instagram with an inspirational quote, Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson’s beef and subsequent fight announcement, and the assorted oddball content you have come to expect from this entertaining column.

Kavanagh (via The Independent) confirmed that long-term brain trauma is something the reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight champion does think about.

“It’s a concern of every fighter. At that level of fighting the risk is very real. But, I think you can add on two hands the number of clean head shots Conor has taken in 10 years of pro-fighting. His style of fighting answers that, because his style is not brawling. He doesn’t step in the pocket and exchange punches. His style is in-and-out — he’s very defensive. That style was born through not wanting to lose and not wanting to take head shots, and not wanting to damage the software.”

Professor Dan Healy recently gave a lecture in Ireland to nearly 50 professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters in which he addressed the concerns of brain damage to combat athletes, but struck an optimistic chord:

“I’ve seen five brain haemorrhages in Irish MMA. The fighters were a variety of ages, both amateur and professional. It included people in their twenties and early thirties. CTE concerns me more than anything about all combat sports. This can be the first generation of fighters ever who don’t get CTE.”

McGregor has seen firsthand the toll this sport can take. Remember, McGregor was cageside for Joao Carvalho, who later died following a technical knockout loss to his SBG teammate, Charlie Ward, in Ireland. That bout affected McGregor deeply. He was critical of the referee for not stopping the fight sooner and posted the following on Facebook in support of someone he regarded as a fallen comrade, someone who chased the same dream he did.

Terrible news regarding Joao Carvalho.
To see a young man doing what he loves, competing for a chance at a better life,…

Posted by Conor McGregor on Tuesday, April 12, 2016

McGregor has always said the goal of the game is to get rich, win belts and get out. This concern, as well as his growing family, surely fuels that outlook further. McGregor has already retired once, although it was short-lived.

However, for that move to be so readily on the table for the Irish star is a signal that we may see him depart the game sooner rather than later. He is already incredibly rich — estimates of his income in 2016 center on a figure of $ 40 million. He has other avenues to make money, too. Indeed, his acting isn’t at all bad, WWE wants him, he’s made appearances in video games such as “Call of Duty,” and is even scheduled to appear as a Viking/pirate character (a Euron Greyjoy crew member from the Iron Islands) in Game of Thrones.

However, Kavanagh was also optimistic about the progress possible for MMA athletes with increasing knowledge of the dangers surrounding the sport.

“We can reach that lofty goal of this being the first generation with no incidents of CTE.”

Perhaps that is the reason every SBG fighter is now required to undergo mandatory brain testing. Taking an honest look at the risks inherent in combat sports is an essential step in minimizing them.

Bobs and Weaves

Ronda Rousey made her social media return today with an inspirational quote that perhaps indicated her mental state is better than after her last loss.

A photo posted by rondarousey (@rondarousey) on

Long-time rival Cris “Cyborg” Justino left the following comment on Rousey’s post, which, despite the vitriol in the past between the two athletes, was incredibly positive and supportive.

Both athletes have faced adversity of late, though of very different nature. Cyborg is facing a positive drug test, while Rousey was of course nuked by Amanda Nunes in her Octagon return.

In other news, Meryl Streep made a passing jab at MMA during the Golden Globe acceptance speech, which, because of the platform and the nature of her comment, drew some ire from the MMA world. She essentially said MMA is not part of “the arts” (along with football), claiming they would be the only things left if all the outsiders and foreigners were kicked out. For football, that makes some sense. Football is a decidedly American phenomenon, and would probably not change all that incredibly much were only Americans to play it. MMA, however, is notable for it’s distinctly international feel. Amanda Nunes, Conor McGregor, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Jose Aldo and Michael Bisping are not American. Max Holloway is Hawaiian, Stipe Miocic is the son of Croatian immigrants. And those are just the folks who wear UFC gold. Top contender Khabib Nurmagomedov is from poverty-stricken Dagestan. Yair Rodgriquez, who headlines next weekend’s FS1 card, is Mexican.

As far as being “the arts,” Jack Slack wrote the best response I have read so far on why MMA in particular, and combat sports in general, count as art. I just had this discussion as to what constitutes art with my girlfriend last week, which didn’t go so well, so I won’t get into it here, but it is very difficult to draw limits around what is “art” and what isn’t.

This is my favorite response meme so far:

Perhaps because MMA is still regarded as a fringe sport in some places fuels the defensive response to Streep’s uninformed comments. Dana White, however, who has actually aligned himself with president-elect Donald Trump (the person Streep was ultimately targeting), is probably the worst person to offer a rebuttal. Joe Rogan had a discussion about it on Twitter in which he suggested Streep almost certainly takes the good pills:

High Drama

Tyron Woodley, after much back-and-forth on social media, finally announced he actually will fight Stephen Thompson on his podcast, “The Morning Wood.”

However, he dragged it out till the last minute, perhaps to sell the fight, perhaps just to get under Wonderboy’s skin.

The Twitter beef came after Wonderboy tweeted a pic of his signed contract.

To which Woodley responded:

Chael Sonnen jumped in the fray in favor of the champion:

The fight is the first title fight announced for UFC 209, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on March 4, 2017.

Slips and Rips

Speaking of “Prodigal” art …

Jon Jones gets crushed in arm-wrestling:

“Bones” has been having fun lately!

A photo posted by Jon Bones Jones (@jonnybones) on

Sick wrestling throw …

I talked about Arnis over the weekend, but this is the best stick fight of all time:

Sage Northcutt with his boo?

Motivation Monday, courtesy of World Series of Fighting:

Looks like Mike Tyson is training Chris Brown for that celebrity beef boxing match. Mayweather is reportedly training Soulja Boy. Tyson released this Soulja Boy diss track:

Soulja Boy needs all the gym time he can get.

Day 3 of Big Soulja aka Yung a DRACO aka #souljaboy in the gym training for #chrisbrown … he look ready yet?
Like AkademiksTV for more

Posted by AkademiksTV on Monday, January 9, 2017

Quick Hits

  • John Anik talks about going on-air after Rousey lost a second time … in just 48 seconds.
  • Schwan Humes talked about prospect development, and how it can go wrong even for the best athletes, including Ronda Rousey.
  • Dave Meltzer reports exactly how well UFC 207 did.

Random Land

Presented without comment:

Stay woke, Maniacs!

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Bellator 162 Results: Alexander Shlemenko Returns, Takes Out Kendall Grove

Nestled in with all the freakshow fights and mismatches are some real gem matchups. That’s the Scott Coker way, and since taking over Bellator, that’s been the Bellator way, too. Last night, we got to see erstwhile Russian striking expert Alexander Shlemenko return after a chemically-induced hiatus, and he wasn’t fed any cans. No, he […]

The post Bellator 162 Results: Alexander Shlemenko Returns, Takes Out Kendall Grove appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

Alexis Davis returns, fights Sara McMann on Dec. 3 in Las Vegas

Two former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s bantamweight No. 1 contenders will collide at the upcoming Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 24 live finale, which takes place Sat., Dec. 3, 2016 inside “The Pearl” at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Alexis Davis vs. Sara McMann, per ESPN.

Davis (17-6) recently stepped away from the fight game to give birth to her son. The submission-savvy “Ally-Gator’s” last appearance inside the Octagon was an armbar win over ex-Strikeforce champion Sarah Kaufman at UFC 186 in early 2015.

A lot has changed between then and now.

McMann (9-3) rebounded from a dismal 1-3 run to capture a unanimous decision win over Jessica Eye at the UFC Fight Night 88 event in Las Vegas. The Olympic silver medalist turned 36 just last month and needs to get something going — fast — if she wants to get back into the division title hunt.

Who ya’ got?

TUF 24 Finale will be headlined by the flyweight championship showdown pitting reigning division kingpin Demetrious Johnson opposite one lucky finalist from the “Tournament of Champions” reality show (more on that here).

In the FOX Sports 1 co-main event, TUF 24 coaches and former division No. 1 contenders Joseph Benavidez and Henry Cejudo will collide to see who stays alive in the crowded 125-pound title chase.

To see who else is fighting at TUF 24 Finale click here.

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