Tag Archive for Serve

Joseph Benavidez, Henry Cejudo to Serve as Coaches on ‘The Ultimate Fighter 24’

After a brief hiccup, Season 24 of “The Ultimate Fighter” is once again on track to anoint the next No. 1 contender in the flyweight division.
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BJ Penn vs. Dennis Siver to serve as UFC 199′s featured prelim fight

BJ Penn’s comeback fight will air live on cable television.

According to UFC officials, the Penn vs. Dennis Siver featherweight bout will serve as the final prelim fight on the FS1 broadcast leading into the UFC 199 pay-per-view main card on June 4.

The five-fight main card will feature: Luke Rockhold vs. Chris Weidman for the middleweight title, Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber for the bantamweight title, Max Holloway vs. Ricardo Lamas, Dan Henderson vs. Hector Lombard and Dustin Poirier vs. Bobby Green.

The 37-year-old Penn (16-10-2) hasn’t fought since his July 2014 loss to Frankie Edgar. Penn retired after the fight, however, he announced his intentions to resume his MMA career earlier this year after joining Team JacksonWink in Albuquerque, N.M.

“I want to come back,” Penn said on a recent episode of “The MMA Hour.” “I want to make a living. Of course, I want to make a living. But this is our honor. This is our f**king honor, and I wouldn’t want anybody else but Greg Jackson behind me. Nobody is going to out-crazy me and f**king Greg Jackson.”

Siver (22-11, 1 NC), also 37, enters the card on a two-fight losing streak. He most recently lost a unanimous decision to Tatsuya Kawajiri in June 2015.

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GLORY fighters will appear on ESPN Sportscenter this week, Todd Grishman to serve as backstage reporter for GLORY 30

GLORY will be making its way to ESPN Sportscenter this week.

It’s been a little over six months since GLORY kickboxing reached an agreement with ESPN to air its fight cards on their platforms, with a multi-year deal becoming official in February.

The next slated event, GLORY 30, is set for May 13, 2016 at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif. That fight card–which is headlined by a middleweight title fight between champion Simon Marcus and Dustin Jacoby–will be the fifth to air live on ESPN3. Like the four prior fight cards, the event will also replay on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.

But what about promotion for the event? That’s been a common question since GLORY and ESPN began working together at the tail end of 2015. Fans and media have been curious to see if the worldwide leader of sports is going to get behind the world’s leading kickboxing promotion and push the sport to the masses.

Well, starting this coming week, you are going to see the first big steps towards that.

According to GLORY CEO Jon J. Franklin, GLORY 30 fighters Marcus and Jacoby will be heading to ESPN studios in Los Angeles to be a part of Sportscenter on Wednesday (May 11, 2016), as will recent signee Tiffany van Soest, who will fight on the Superfight Series portion of GLORY 30 on UFC Fight Pass.

“Sportscenter is the No.1-rated sports show in the world and for GLORY to be represented on there is a great indication of the partnership between ESPN and GLORY,” said Franklin. “It’s great for kickboxing everywhere and we are excited to have our athletes on that program. “We are excited to be able to work with a great network like ESPN to promote our programming through a variety of assets.”

In addition to having GLORY athletes on Sportscenter, Franklin revealed ESPN will also be involved on the broadcast for the first time, with Todd Grisham taking the role of backstage reporter during GLORY 30. Grisham, 40, has been with ESPN since 2011 and covers mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for ESPN, on top of also being a Sportscenter anchor.
Franklin added: “We are looking forward to having Todd Grisham as our backstage reporter for GLORY 30 and that is, again, indicative of the great partnership that we have with ESPN.”
Having GLORY on Sportscenter is a huge plus for the promotion, as it continues to try and make headway in the American television space. Introducing ESPN viewers to Jacoby and Marcus is absolutely huge for promotion and adding Grisham to the broadcast adds an additional level of professionalism to the broadcast. If this goes well it seems only inevitable that big knockouts will begin to  make their way onto Sportscenter “Top 10″ lists as the relationship between GLORY and ESPN continues to mature.
Franklin has been all systems go for GLORY 30, making an appearance on Saturday night’s (May 7, 2016) Invicta FC card on UFC Fight Pass to tease a big announcement regarding the launch of a women’s division will be taking place this coming Thursday. The division will be super bantamweight (120lbs). The same weight van Soest won her last title at while competing for Lion Fight. More fighters are expected to be announced on that day.

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John Kavanagh says UFC 196 should serve as ‘a lesson’ for future Conor McGregor opponents

Conor McGregor is batting .500 in the unluckiest way. When Rafael dos Anjos dropped out of UFC 196 due to a broken foot, the UFC lightweight champion became the fourth opponent to pull out of a McGregor fight over the Irishman’s eight Octagon appearances. And in a Wednesday column penned for Irish outlet The 42, McGregor’s head coach at SBG Ireland, John Kavanagh, couldn’t help but notice the trend.

“Six of Conor’s last 12 opponents have pulled out,” Kavanagh wrote. “Even if a certain fighter is not announced as Conor’s original opponent, every guy who’s in some way in the mix to face him in the future should be staying prepared, because there’s a 50-percent chance there’ll be an opening.

“If you want to fight Conor McGregor, get ready — even when someone else has got the gig. There’s only a handful of names who could have received the call, so they should have been ready. There’s a lesson to be learned here for any guy who genuinely wants the opportunity.”

Dos Anjos’ withdrawal led a flurry of activity on Tuesday, as the UFC scrambled to find a replacement opponent to fight McGregor on March 5. Nate Diaz was ultimately selected for the role, with the heat from his December post-fight callout of McGregor still fresh in the fight world’s mind. However the UFC also looked to the two men who most desired a shot at the featherweight champion: Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo.

The two former titleholders have been the loudest rivals calling for an opportunity to meet McGregor. Both declined the fight on less than two weeks’ notice for valid reasons, as Edgar is nursing a groin injury and Aldo only recently returned to training following his Dec. 12 knockout loss to McGregor. The irony of their decisions, though, was not lost on Kavanagh.

“I did find it somewhat interesting, however, that Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar both turned it down,” Kavanagh wrote. “I seem to recall them insisting quite recently that they were willing to fight Conor ‘any time and any place.’ Obviously they forgot to mention that 5 March in Las Vegas was an exception.

“Back in September, Conor said something significant at the UFC’s ‘Go Big’ press conference. He told every contender from 145lbs to 170lbs to stay ready because it’s not uncommon for his opponents to pull out. There’s a pattern emerging that one fighter pulls out, another fighter steps in and then it’s passed off as being a short-notice fight. It’s not.”

The removal of dos Anjos from the equation changes the stakes significantly for UFC 196. McGregor was set to attempt to become the first UFC champion to ever hold concurrent titles in two divisions. He may still try to do so — Kavangh said that McGregor vs. dos Anjos “still makes sense for the summer” — but in the interim, Diaz at least presents the chance to stage a fun fight that should provide promotional fireworks.

So while the way UFC 196 turned out may not be ideal, Kavanagh believes the UFC was able to salvage the best it could from a bad situation — even if McGregor had to move up a second weight class to do it.

“In a time when so many fighters are unwilling to compete due to a wide variety of little issues — not enough notice, minor injuries, etc. — Conor’s mindset is unique. He could have walked away from this without consequences but that never came into consideration.

“In order to widen the search for an opponent, he committed to fight as high as 170lbs and that was it. That’s two weight classes up from his last fight, which only happened a couple of months ago. It’s a mindset that hasn’t been seen before and I doubt we’ll see it again.”

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John Kavanagh says UFC 196 should serve as ‘a lesson’ for future Conor McGregor opponents

Conor McGregor is batting .500 in the unluckiest way. When Rafael dos Anjos dropped out of UFC 196 due to a broken foot, the UFC lightweight champion became the fourth opponent to pull out of a McGregor fight over the Irishman’s eight Octagon appearances. And in a Wednesday column penned for Irish outlet The 42, McGregor’s head coach at SBG Ireland, John Kavanagh, couldn’t help but notice the trend.

“Six of Conor’s last 12 opponents have pulled out,” Kavanagh wrote. “Even if a certain fighter is not announced as Conor’s original opponent, every guy who’s in some way in the mix to face him in the future should be staying prepared, because there’s a 50-percent chance there’ll be an opening.

“If you want to fight Conor McGregor, get ready — even when someone else has got the gig. There’s only a handful of names who could have received the call, so they should have been ready. There’s a lesson to be learned here for any guy who genuinely wants the opportunity.”

Dos Anjos’ withdrawal led a flurry of activity on Tuesday, as the UFC scrambled to find a replacement opponent to fight McGregor on March 5. Nate Diaz was ultimately selected for the role, with the heat from his December post-fight callout of McGregor still fresh in the fight world’s mind. However the UFC also looked to the two men who most desired a shot at the featherweight champion: Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo.

The two former titleholders have been the loudest rivals calling for an opportunity to meet McGregor. Both declined the fight on less than two weeks’ notice for valid reasons, as Edgar is nursing a groin injury and Aldo only recently returned to training following his Dec. 12 knockout loss to McGregor. The irony of their decisions, though, was not lost on Kavanagh.

“I did find it somewhat interesting, however, that Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar both turned it down,” Kavanagh wrote. “I seem to recall them insisting quite recently that they were willing to fight Conor ‘any time and any place.’ Obviously they forgot to mention that 5 March in Las Vegas was an exception.

“Back in September, Conor said something significant at the UFC’s ‘Go Big’ press conference. He told every contender from 145lbs to 170lbs to stay ready because it’s not uncommon for his opponents to pull out. There’s a pattern emerging that one fighter pulls out, another fighter steps in and then it’s passed off as being a short-notice fight. It’s not.”

The removal of dos Anjos from the equation changes the stakes significantly for UFC 196. McGregor was set to attempt to become the first UFC champion to ever hold concurrent titles in two divisions. He may still try to do so — Kavangh said that McGregor vs. dos Anjos “still makes sense for the summer” — but in the interim, Diaz at least presents the chance to stage a fun fight that should provide promotional fireworks.

So while the way UFC 196 turned out may not be ideal, Kavanagh believes the UFC was able to salvage the best it could from a bad situation — even if McGregor had to move up a second weight class to do it.

“In a time when so many fighters are unwilling to compete due to a wide variety of little issues — not enough notice, minor injuries, etc. — Conor’s mindset is unique. He could have walked away from this without consequences but that never came into consideration.

“In order to widen the search for an opponent, he committed to fight as high as 170lbs and that was it. That’s two weight classes up from his last fight, which only happened a couple of months ago. It’s a mindset that hasn’t been seen before and I doubt we’ll see it again.”

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UFC 193 Set for Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium; Hunt-‘Bigfoot’ Rematch to Serve as Co-Main

UFC 193 officially has a venue and a co-main event.
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Rick Story vs. Erick Silva to serve as UFC Saskatoon co-main event; other fights added to card

New fights have been added to the UFC’s debut in Saskatchewan.

Rick Story vs. Erick Silva will serve as the co-main event, while Patrick Cote vs. Josh Burkman, Maryna Moroz vs. Valerie Letourneau and Chris Kelades vs. Chris Beal have also been booked for the Aug. 23 card, according to The Saskaton StarPhoenix. Also announced for the card: Olivier Aubin-Mercier, Chad Laprise and Sam Stout against unannounced opponents.

The main event, which was announced last week, will be Max Holloway vs. Charles Oliveira. The card will take place at the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, and the card will air on FOX Sports 1 in the United States.

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Kelvin Gastelum, Efrain Escudero to Serve as Coaches on ‘TUF: Latin America 2’

Kelvin Gastelum and Efrain Escudero have signed on to coach the upcoming second season of “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America.”
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Renan Barao vs Mitch Gagnon fight to serve as UFC Fight Night 58 co-main event in Brazil

Well, this is awkward …

Message sentand now delivered — loud and clear.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, wasn’t kidding when he stated that former Bantamweight champion, Renan Barao, would not get another immediate title shot after the Brazilian all but euthanized the lifeless UFC 177 pay-per-view (PPV) event back on Aug. 30, 2014.

Barao, of course, passed out while trying to make weight for his championship rematch against T.J. Dillashaw little more than 24 hours before showtime (read details here), pressing unheralded — and virtually unknown — Joe Soto into an emergency replacement role.

Soto turned in a gutsy performance, but was clearly overmatched in a showdown that interested next to no one … quite literally.

White and Co. were clearly soured on the fiasco then, even though Barao expressed his “disappointment,” and now opted to enforce its hard line. Indeed, the world’s leading mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion revealed late last night that Barao would return to the Octagon against Mitch Gagnon at UFC Fight Night 58, which takes place at Jose Correa Arena in Barueri, Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Dec. 20, 2014.

And he’ll do it in a co-main event slot behind the FOX Sports 1-televised main event match that evening between Lyoto Machida vs. C.B. Dollaway.

Ouch.

Gagnon, despite a current four-fight win streak, which includes victories over Roman Salazar, Tim Gorman, Dustin Kimura and Walel Watson, barely cracked the Top 15-ranked 135-pound fighters on the promotion’s roster. Barao, meanwhile, is still viewed as the No. 1 contender … at least according to the panel of MMA media members who help shape the list.

With the explosive re-emergence of former Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz at UFC 178 — along with his storied beef with “Team Alpha Fail” — it was seemingly an easy decision to book him against Dillashaw next. Nonetheless, the Gagnon co-main event booking is curious, a decision that may or may not motivate Barao to kick serious ass.

As if he needs it.

To check out the latest UFC Fight Night 58: “Machida vs. Dollaway” fight card and rumors click here.

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Dominick Cruz-Takeya Mizugaki Bantamweight Clash to Serve as Featured Prelim at UFC 178

UFC 178 could arguably be headlined by several different fights on the pay-per-view card.
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