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Conor McGregor and Max Holloway Show Frankie Edgar Some Love

Frankie Edgar didn’t have to take his UFC 222 fight against Brian Ortega.

Edgar was supposed to face featherweight champ Max Holloway for the belt. But when Holloway dropped out with an injury, young buck Ortega offered up his services. Despite having a well-earned title shot waiting for him, Edgar took the Ortega fight.

And he got knocked out.

Since then, both Holloway and former featherweight (and current lightweight) champ Conor McGregor have chimed in to show Edgar some love. Edgar is, after all, a no-nonsense fighter who’s given everything he has in every fight – a trait that has made him a fighter’s fighter.

How’s that for respect from your peers?

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Blaydes To Bellator? Show Him The Money

UFC heavyweight up-and-comer, Curtis Blaydes, is coming off the biggest win of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career after turning away Mark Hunt in the UFC 221 pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event last weekend in Perth, Australia (watch the highlights here).

As a result, “Razor” is now one step closer to contending for the heavyweight strap.

That might be a big deal to most aspiring 265-pounders, but Blaydes isn’t trying to become a household name. He just wants to show up and bust some heads — and get paid handsomely in the process.

Call him Big Heathen.

And if he can do it by recycling cans on the Bellator roster, then he’ll gladly have that conversation with Scott Coker and Co. after his UFC deal expires, which as it stands, has just one fight remaining.

Blaydes breaks it down for MMA Junkie:

“They’ve been offering guys fat, fat contracts, and those heavyweights aren’t nearly as good as the ones in the UFC. So the enticement is there – lesser competition for more money. I don’t care if no one ever learns my name, as long as my bank account is full. Because I’m not getting hit in the face just because I like it. I know there are guys who enjoy getting hit in the face. I don’t. It pisses me off. I’m in it for the money. I don’t feel bad about that at all. I get why [Francis Ngannou] got the hype train, and I get why I’m not getting the hype train. I don’t have the eight-pack. I don’t look to stand and bang with my chin high and my hands below my waist. And I’m an American – and there are over 100-plus Americans in the UFC. I’m sure once I show the UFC I deserve it, I’ll get my due money too. I’m only 26. Most guys my age aren’t making half what I’m making, so I’m fine with that. For now.”

Blaydes wants a “decent offer” from UFC prior to his last fight.

Prior to knocking around the “Super Samoan” at UFC Perth, Blaydes (9-1, 1 NC) put together four straight wins, one of which was overturned by the Texas Athletic Commission after he flunked for weed.

Smoke Water under the bridge.

In fact, his only loss to date came against top contender Francis Ngannou at UFC Fight Night 86 back in April 2016, a technical knockout loss that occurred when the cageside doctor rules Blaydes medically unfit to continue.

It will be interesting to see how UFC matches him up (as well as how it plans to pay him) moving forward, but the heavyweight division is in dire need of young, talented contenders, so let’s keep our fingers crossed.

For much more on UFC 221 click here.

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John Dodson will receive portion of show money after UFC Belem fallout

Despite not competing this weekend at UFC Fight Night 125 in Belem, Brazil, UFC bantamweight contender John Dodson will receive a portion of his show money after opponent Pedro Munhoz failed to make weight.

The payout was originally reported by MMA Junkie and then later confirmed by MMA Fighting.

Dodson, who was pegged to fight Munhoz in the co-main event at UFC Fight Night 125, was not expected to bank any money after Munhoz came in four pounds over weight, but the promotion has changed its mind. It comes as a little bit of a surprise considering UFC rarely pays out show money when a bout doesn’t occur, especially if both fighters are offered a chance to still compete.

In this instance, Dodson could have accepted to fight Munhoz at a catchweight of 140 pounds but ultimately felt that the Brazilian probably weighed closer to that of a featherweight.

“He came in five pounds over weight,” Dodson said, according to MMAWeekly.com. “Originally, they told me he was three pounds (over), and I gave him the benefit of the doubt and said, ‘Oh, he’s 139?’ They said he’s more like 140-point-something. I’m guessing he’s in the ballpark figure around 141. He’s not bantamweight now, he’s a featherweight, first. Second, I made all the sacrifices and did my job to make weight, and he chose not to.”

Already in fight shape and eager to get back into the Octagon to shake off a recent split-decision loss to Marlon Moraes, look for “The Magician” to schedule a quick turnaround in the next month or two.

For complete UFC Fight Night 125 results and coverage click here.

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Michelle Waterson joins MTV reality show ‘The Challenge: Champs vs Stars’

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) strawweight sensation Michelle Waterson is branching out from mixed martial arts (MMA), much like the other “it” girl who used to compete at 115 pounds.

But she won’t be Dancing with the Stars.

Instead, Waterson will join the cast of the MTV reality show “The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars” premiering Tues., Nov. 21, 2017 at 10 p.m. ET, hosted by WWE wrestler and former contestant Mike “The Mix” Mizanin.

MMA Fighting has more:

This season, “The Karate Hottie” will be one of 10 celebrities trying to win a $ 150,000 for a charity of their choosing. She is joined by Olympians Kim Glass and Shawn Johnson, rappers Justina Valentine, RiFF RAFF, and Romeo Miller, former WWE performer Ariane Andrews (better known as “Cameron”), Season 10 Bachelorette winner Josh Murray, comedian Matt Rife, and former NFL star Terrell Owens.

RiFF RAFF Rife?

Waterson (14-5) is playing for her charity of choice, Merging Vets & Players (MVP), which pairs armed forces veterans with retiring professional athletes. The idea is to help both sides transition to a life after their respective endeavors.

The former Invicta champ hasn’t competed since her submission loss back in April.

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Bellator Signs Mike Goldberg and Maura Ranallo for NYC Show

Do you think Bellator is keen on putting their best foot forward for their New York City show, which will feature some of their best fighters and biggest names, and have a card that airs on pay-per-view? I do – especially since they’ve hired two of the best commentators in the business to handle duties […]

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Bellator Signs Mike Goldberg and Maura Ranallo for NYC Show

Do you think Bellator is keen on putting their best foot forward for their New York City show, which will feature some of their best fighters and biggest names, and have a card that airs on pay-per-view? I do – especially since they’ve hired two of the best commentators in the business to handle duties […]

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Bellator Signs Mike Goldberg and Maura Ranallo for NYC Show

Do you think Bellator is keen on putting their best foot forward for their New York City show, which will feature some of their best fighters and biggest names, and have a card that airs on pay-per-view? I do – especially since they’ve hired two of the best commentators in the business to handle duties […]

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Derek Anderson collects his show money, but bummed not to be fighting Michael Page on Friday

This Friday night’s Bellator 179 card in London is a good one on paper, featuring the promotional debut of Rory MacDonald against England’s own Paul Daley. Yet the card lost one of its star attractions when Michael Page was forced out of his fight with Derek Anderson with a knee injury.

Anderson was expected to be a significant test for “MVP,” who is undefeated in his professional career, including 8-0 in Bellator. And it smarted to learn that the fight was off only a little more than a week before he could try to take the goose egg from Page’s record. It also stung to lose the payday.

“Yeah man, it’s difficult,” Anderson told MMA Fighting. “That’s how I make my money, so it just worries me when these things happen. I don’t know if I am going to be able to make rent if I don’t get paid. Luckily Bellator said it’s going to take care of me for this fight, and give me my show money. I was going to show up. Regardless [of Page pulling out], I was planning on leaving on the flight tomorrow and going over there, and saying, hey I’m here.

“But I guess the cancelled my ticket already, so I’m stuck over here. But as long as they’re paying me man, I’m happy.”

For the 27-year old Anderson, signing up to fight British fighters has been a cautionary tale. He was supposed to fight Paul Daley at Bellator 163 in November, yet learned that Daley had to pull out the day before the fights at the weigh-ins. That time he had already went through the rigamarole of camp, his weight cut and the cross-country flight from his home in California to Connecticut.

After having his sights set on Daley, Anderson was rebooked into a fight with Derek Campos in January, and he came up on the short end of a decision.

With the Page news, the bad taste left in his mouth from that fight will have to linger. It didn’t help matters that Anderson saw himself as the perfect kryptonite for Page’s flamboyant striking style.

“I was going to smoke him,” Anderson said. “I really wanted that fight. I like to be the shorter guy. I’m not scared of anybody, and I was going to put it on him. He’s got this big name, everybody thinks he’s a hotshot. I was going to show him I’m the hotshot.”

Anderson said he didn’t mind playing the role of interloper in Page’s backyard of London, either.

“I just relished the opponent,” he said. “I was really excited about fighting a taller guy who wants to strike, getting in there and putting good hands on him, and looking good also. Being in London would have been cool also, but we can do it over here in America, too.”

With the fight cancelled, it’s unclear whether Bellator will look to rebook Anderson-Page for another date. As of right now, Anderson said he doesn’t know what the plans are.

“I haven’t been told anything like that yet,” he said. “I hope [they do book me against Page again], because this is the fight I was thinking about. I wasn’t thinking about anything going on after this, it kind of puts a big stick in my road here. I don’t know what’s next for me. I can still make lightweight sure. So I don’t know what I’ll be doing, maybe lightweight, welterweight. If it’s welterweight I just want to fight tall strikers mostly. If it’s lightweight, I’ll fight anybody.”

One thing that bothered Anderson about Page’s short notice withdrawal was that injuries in MMA are prevalent and commonly fought through. He said he’s been dealing with his own slate of injuries, yet was going to go through with the commitment he made.
“He pulled out for an injury man, and trust me, I’m injured,” he said. “I got stitches on my foot right now. There’s no way I should have been fighting, but I was going to fight because I’m not a wuss. So I’m just going to get healed up and I can’t wait to get back to training. I’m a machine. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in, and I’m ready to kick some ass. So whoever’s in line, I’ll be ready.”

As for whether he believed Page’s injury was serious enough to warrant him pulling out so close to the fight, Anderson said he had his doubts.

“He better be on crutches man,” he said. “He didn’t get anything broken. He didn’t get his knee bent backwards I’m sure. I bet you he’s been doing some road work and his knees are sore and he thought I was going to kick his ass so he didn’t want to fight.”

Anderson said he would like to get back in the cage as soon as possible, and that Bellator had mentioned an August return. But he’s leaving himself open for one possibility — when Bellator makes its debut at Madison Square Garden next month, he wants to be ready in case something should happen.

Namely, should something happen to lightweight title challenger Brent Primus, who fights Michael Chandler during the main event on the June 24 card. Primus and Anderson squared off in 2015, with Anderson losing a controversial split decision, that to this day he swears he won.

“It kind of just sickens me that Brent Primus is fighting for the title in the first place, because I think he’s garbage already,” Anderson said. “So hopefully he falls out and I can jump in there for that or something. I’m just going to stay ready. Whatever the got for me. I’m just glad to be getting a little bit of money at least, because I need it.”

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New UFC Show to Bring Us Live Fights on Tuesday Nights

The Ultimate Fighter is still chugging along, despite being older than the dress shoes in the back of your closet. But the UFC is smart and knows the market is ready for another product, so they’re pulling the trigger on a show that gives us live fights on Tuesday nights. Hooray! As per an official […]

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TJ Dillashaw on coaching TUF opposite TAM: ‘I really get to show the world some true colors’

Former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw was far from the only person to leave Team Alpha Male over the past couple years. But out of all those who left Sacramento, from flyweight standout Joseph Benavidez to coaches Martin Kampmann and Duane Ludwig, Dillashaw caught the most flack for leaving Urijah Faber’s famed gym.

“I left when I had the belt, there was a lot of attention coming back on the team about it being kind of on a downward spiral,” Dillashaw said on Monday’s edition of the MMA Hour. “Coaches left, they couldn’t get another coach to stay, Kampmann moved back home, and so, I was the one coaching practices, and just kind of knew that I didn’t really need it for my career. So I feel like there was just some insecurity there.”

Dillashaw’s beef with TAM, now two years running, is back in the headlines with The Ultimate Fighter 25 playing out on FOX Sports 1. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt are coaching teams of fighters in a comeback season, which will culminate in Dllashaw challenging Garbrandt for the bantamweight belt at UFC 213 in Las Vegas.

And with the scrutiny comes fresh reminders of what went down. One of Team Alpha Male’s coaches, Justin Buchholz, has been vocal in criticizing Dillashaw. But the former champ noted that Buchholz was in his corner for his Jan. 2016 fight in Boston with Dominick Cruz, in which Cruz defeated Dillashaw in a narrow decision to claim the belt — and that this went down after Dillashaw left Team Alpha Male.

“He cornered me for my Cruz fight, when this all started,” Dillashaw said. “When I told Urijah I was going to do my full camp in Colorado. That’s when I got the ultimatum and left, and yeah, Buchholz continued to coach me. He was actually the one who told me I made the right decision, that me leaving was the best thing and that Faber was running that team into the ground and that what I did was the right thing to do.”

Dillashaw admits that when he got the call asking him to take the TUF coaching gig, he hesitated, not wanting to rehash all the drama that seemed close to dead and buried. But at the end of the day, he was confident his side of the story would shine through.

“I get to really show the world some true colors,” Dillashaw said. “I get to show, you know, what’s really been going down. And it’s kind of nice. I’ve always wanted to coach The Ultimate Fighter, I thought it would be something I’d really enjoy. But, when I got the call and they asked me to coach against Team Alpha Male and Cody Garbrandt, of course, there was a hesitant of thinking, like ‘damn, I don’t really want to deal with all this drama.’ I’ve done everything I possibly can to avoid this drama in my life and now I’m going to put it back in. So, it’s something I’ve been trying to avoid, but ultimately, I knew the best decision was to take the fight and take the show, and show people who I am, and tell my side of the story once again and be done with it.”

Showing up on the set nearly every day for six weeks and being side-by-side was a bit unnerving at first, but Dillashaw said he got around it by simply focusing on his own team’s needs.

“It was stressful, you know? It was definitely a stressful situation, but I feel like I handled it well.” he said. “I just kind of laughed it off, really. I just continue to be professional and give all my guys as much as I possibly could. I was there to be a coach, I really enjoy coaching, and I really was there to push my guys as far as I possibly could, but I felt like the other team was there to try to make themselves look cool and try to make me look as bad as possible, so, I think the thing about it was just that I stayed level-headed and kept to my business for the most part.”

Dillashaw’s final concern was how he’d be portrayed in the fast-and-loose version of the truth often provided by reality TV. Through the early episodes, at least, he has no complaints.

“When I was on the show, you’re always worried about how you’re going to come off, and so far it’s been portrayed the way it’s really gone down, you know?” Dillashaw said. “So, I mean, there was so much drama and so much going on with the show that they didn’t have to add anything or add a storyline, because it was already there. The drama and the storyline of me and Team Alpha Male and them so worried about me and my life was already there, you know? Their insecurities and them being worried about me created the plotline for The Ultimate Fighter, so, it’s gone the way it went down.”

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