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UFC Welterweight Jake Matthews Uses Twitter, Humor To Lobby Sage Northcutt For a Fight

Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight Jake Matthews is doing his best on Twiiter to get the attention of another welterweight, Sage Northcutt
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Anthony Johnson left UFC to open cannabis facility (for medical uses)

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight contender, Anthony Johnson, walked away from mixed martial arts (MMA) earlier this year after suffering his second submission loss to division kingpin Daniel Cormier.

“Rumble” claims he was never that into combat sports, and skipped town to preserve his health and pursue other endeavors. Early reports had Johnson working with the NFL, but it appears he’s more interested in greener pastures.

FOX Sports has the quote:

“My friend Paul, he’s in cannabis, we’re opening up a facility. It’s for medical uses,” Johnson revealed on “Heated Conversations” with retired WWE superstar Booker T. “We’re getting in that way. We’ve got some good things going on. It’s already big. We’re just waiting on that law to pass and whenever it passes, we’re golden. We’re playing our cards right. We’re playing by the books so that way there is no issues. We’re good to go.”

The customers are probably lining up as we speak.

Johnson finished his combat sports career with a 22-6 record and unfortunately, was never able to throw hands with Jon Jones, despite a pairing at UFC 187 that ultimately went to Cormier (because of this).

At age 33, there is still a solid chance Johnson will get the itch to return, especially if Cormier retires (or succumbs to “Bones” for the second time) and the division begins to open up.

Time will tell.

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Sean O’Malley uses highlight-reel spinning wheel kick to knock out David Nuzzo at LFA 11

Mollywhopped? How about O’Malley whopped?

Sean O’Malley, a bantamweight prospect, knocked out David Nuzzo with a highlight-reel spinning wheel kick Friday night at Legacy Fighting Alliance 11 in Phoenix. The finish came at just 2:15 of the first round.

O’Malley (6-0), who trains under John Crouch at the MMA Lab in Arizona, was making his LFA debut, but he’ll surely be getting a call back. The 22-year-old Montana native looks to be someone to watch. O’Malley has finished all but one of his pro MMA fights thus far.

In the main event of the card, Matthew Frincu defeated Maicon Mendonca by TKO at 1:36 of the first round in a welterweight contesnt. A left hand from Frincu was what did in Mendonca and Frincu finished up with hard punches on the ground.

Frincu (11-2), an Aussie who trains out of Arizona Combat Sports, has won four straight.

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Jessica Andrade uses one of Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s gifts to prepare to punch her

NTEROI, Brazil — Jessica Andrade turned down a fight with UFC champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in late 2016 to get one last win before finally feeling ready for a shot at the gold, and her time has come.

With her UFC Fight Night 104 win over Angela Hill, which also earned her a $ 50,000 check for the fight of the night, Andrade was able to bring more coaches and training partners, and also buy an Octagon for her gym, and finally feel confident enough to take on the champion.

Andrade and Jedrzejczyk will collide for the strawweight championship on May 13 in Dallas, and the Brazilian striker, who is managed by Jedrzejczyk’s former agent and used to have a close relationship with the Polish star, is using one of Jedrzejczyk’s gifts as she prepares for the biggest fight of her life at UFC 211.

“She already gave me several gifts,” Andrade said during a media lunch in Niteroi, Brazil. “She gave me a glove that I use it to train thinking that I’ll punch her [laughs]. When it’s time to fight, we’re professionals. It’s our jobs and careers. Respect must always exist. It’s not because I’m fighting her that she’s my enemy, that I want to kill her. She’s my opponent and I’ll do my best. I want to win, but there’s respect and friendship.”

Andrade bought a big Octagon to the gym, Parana Vale Tudo, but admits that a smaller cage would be an advantage for her against the champion.

“The more space you give Joanna, the better for her,” Andrade said. “I work better when I close the distance. Whatever the Octagon or place we are, I’ll be well prepared. She can run as much as she want, but she won’t be able to run eventually, and then I’ll catch her.

“Watching her fight with ‘Claudinha’ (Gadelha) and Karolina (Kowalkiewicz), you can see many flaws,” she continued. “If you’re versatile, and get punched in the face, but still go forward, that frustrates Joanna, she doesn’t know what to do. She won by decision, it was one of her toughest fights, but ‘Claudinha’ was able to knock her down with a jab, and if I have the opportunity to get my hands ready and the right timing, I can knock her out.”

Andrade knows that her life and career will change completely if she’s successful in her quest to win the other women’s belt.

“It’s like the saying, with great power comes great responsibility,” “Bate-Estaca” said. “Get the belt, bring it, and, most importantly, keep it, which is the hardest. Train twice as hard, train outside of Brazil is needed, bring people from other countries, because that’s my job. From the belt on, everything changes.”

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Matt Riddle, the King of Bros, uses Dana White’s criticism as incentive to succeed in pro wrestling

Only two years into his pro wrestling career, Matt Riddle is making a good living, traveling the world and likely on the verge of superstardom.

In early 2014, Matt Riddle had just won his fifth straight MMA fight — even if two of those wins were overturned for positive tests for marijuana — but he was tiring of the politics, the injuries, and the drastic weight cuts.

He’d been a fan of pro wrestling since the age of seven. It was really the only sport, if you want to even categorize it as such, that was watched in his household. He already subscribed to the WWE Network, the streaming service that allowed him to watch the pay-per-views at a fraction of the price. And while watching WrestleMania 30 in April 2014, which was built around the quest of Daniel Bryan’s attempt to win the WWE championship, he made a decision.

Years earlier, Riddle had thought about doing pro wrestling, but in looking around at the landscape and tipping the scales at 205 pounds, Riddle thought he was too small to make big money. But Bryan, who is much smaller than he is, ran though two monsters in the main event — 6-foot-4, 240-pound Randy Orton, and future movie star Dave Bautista, who is about 6-foot-3 and 275 pounds. There were other guys smaller than him on the show, and some guys were doing matches filled with MMA moves or offshoots of such move.

“I feel like it clicked that day,” Riddle said recently on The MMA Hour.

“I thought I could do that and do it better,” he said. “I’m in my prime. Nothing was working out in MMA.”

Riddle also had some motivation in the form of UFC President Dana White, who cut him after his second positive marijuana test and then buried him on the way out.

“That didn’t hurt,” Riddle said. “I was just more disappointed. I spilled a lot of blood and broke some bones for that company, and to be talked down to, that was disappointing. But for me, it was more the fact he said that I’d never be able to earn money being a loser and this and that. And I can honestly say, I’m making more money than I ever did in UFC, and doing it on my terms and loving life. Granted, I’ll never be Dana White rich, but I don’t want to be. I’m not that kind of guy.”

Riddle, now 31, is one of the biggest stars in independent pro wrestling, a subculture of promotions all over the world featuring talent that ranges from awkward beginners to people often as good — and in many cases far better — than those in the WWE. He is getting steady work, doing four matches most weeks, and as the “King of Bros,” his nickname, he’s doing well on the T-shirt selling front. He’s a true independent businessman, making his own schedule, such as taking a week off for Easter, or taking dates anywhere in the U.S., Canada or Europe that he wants to travel to. If there’s an opponent he wants to face, he can often just ask and his name is big enough that he can get his wish.

Riddle is coming off his first year as a name pro wrestler, where he not only won Rookie of the Year by a record number of votes, but also Most Improved Wrestler. He holds a championship belt in Progress Wrestling, one of the name U.K. promotions, and the WWN championship, a conglomerate of smaller promotions that are mostly running up and down the East Coast. In many ways, he’s the not just the King of Bros but the King of Flo — the Flo Slam streaming site which broadcasts a wide variety of different promotion events.

His rapid success in picking up the sport has been compared with Kurt Angle and Owen Hart, who were great performers almost instantly, taking to pro wrestling like a duck takes to water. Part of it is being in his comfort zone and being unique, doing a style based on being an MMA fighter. His gimmick is essentially what he was in UFC, going shoeless and without knee pads, wearing MMA shorts, and doing a style based on submissions, open handed strikes, elbows, knees and kicks, closer to a worked version of the old Pancrase rules of the ‘90s.

Though he didn’t perform at the WWE events that drew sellout arena and stadium crowds, Riddle was all over Orlando three weeks ago for WrestleMania, doing seven matches over those few days, facing elite talent from all over the world.

What’s funny is that Riddle started in MMA and was in the UFC, the top organization, instantly, after an impressive performance after being chosen for The Ultimate Fighter. He had no pro fights at the time, but he had a good look and was a Division I college wrestler. In pro wrestling, he’s been in for about two years and hasn’t been signed by WWE, but seems in no rush to get there.

“It’s funny, but when I did MMA, I got to the UFC so quick, so when I started (pro wrestling), I assumed I’d get to the WWE, but it’s taken me longer to do it,” Riddle said. “But I’m not too surprised. It took a couple of years getting the people’s respect and their trust and becoming that character for them. I’m definitely not disappointed. I think it’s better this way, for pro wrestling, to come up slowly and to build your way up. In MMA, if you go right to UFC and win fights, you’re the man. In pro wrestling, you can’t just get that push.”

When Riddle decided to make the move, he sold his house in Las Vegas and he and his family moved to the Northeast to start training at the Monster Factory Gym in Pennsylvania. He bought a less expensive home and used the difference in money to fund his early training. Sean Waltman, who was X-Pac in WWE during the peak of pro wrestling’s popularity in the late-’90s, saw him as soon as he started training and immediately recommended him to WWE. He got a tryout where he was heavily praised, but not signed, since he’d only had a handful of matches and they were leery about the marijuana test failures in UFC.

Instead, WWE officials pushed Evolve, an independent group that they are affiliated with, to use him on their shows to get experience and to test his attitude.

When he came to Evolve, a group that featured some of the best performers in wrestling, he had to be carefully protected due to his inexperience at first. But within a few months he was hanging with the best, and a few months after that, was one of the best himself.

His style isn’t typical pro wrestling and he doesn’t even consider what he does as pro wrestling.

“When I first started, they wanted me to do a pro wrestling style, clotheslines and dropkicks, that I can do. But I’m not a pro wrestler, I’m an MMA fighter,” Riddle said. “Once I started working for Evolve (in late 2015), they didn’t want me to do clotheslines, or dropkicks or cross bodies, nothing. They wanted me to go out there and do MMA, do a fight. That’s when I started doing open palm strikes, kicks, hard forearms, European uppercuts hard. Everything’s hard. I hit somebody, it’s hard. It’s not soft and it’s not a work. I don’t consider what I do as pro wrestling. I consider it sport wrestling. When I hit you, I hit you, but I don’t kill you.

“When I kick someone in the head, I don’t kick you in the head, but to the body. The body slams, that’s real,” he continued.

“If you like pro wrestling and MMA, you’ll see I’m making sweat fly off fools and slamming them on their heads.”

At first, Riddle had to deal with skeptics. In pro wrestling, there is a mixed reaction of fans to MMA fighters.

“The best part about coming from an MMA background is that I didn’t come over to pro wrestling to be an over-the-top character,” he said. “I came to be myself.”

After gaining a reputation in Evolve, he debuted last year in PWG, a group that runs out of Reseda, Calif., which is the Broadway for aspiring wrestlers. It’s a specialized world of about 400 fans who fly in from around the world and the hardest ticket in pro wrestling to get. The feeling is if you make it there, you can make it anywhere. He made it instantly, and that put him in the elite group of traveling true independent businessmen in wrestling who can make a solid living and would be able to wrestle regularly against the small group of some of the most talented wrestlers in the world.

Recently, he attended a WWE NXT event, and even though he’s never been on any television platform in the U.S. and his only time on a WWE canvas was a private tryout two years ago, when he walked in, the place was chanting “Bro!” at him. He was already more popular than many of the performers on that company’s show.

“I’m in no rush [to get to WWE],” Riddle said. “I’m doing very well. I get to see my family every week. If I was working for WWE, it would be rough. My schedule is very relaxed and I do well.

“There’s things I want to do first, and there’s things you can’t do if you are there. I’d like to wrestle in Japan and work for New Japan (the No. 2 pro wrestling company in the world). I’d like to wrestle guys like (Katsuyori) Shibata and (Minoru) Suzuki and the high level New Japan guys. And I can wrestle in Europe or I can go to Japan. That’s the real good part of wrestling indies. You can wrestle anyone anytime unless you sign with WWE.”

He also noted that his favorite U.S. opponents are people like Kyle O’Reilly, who does a pro wrestling style with a heavy emphasis on kicks and jiu-jitsu submissions, and Jeff Cobb, who wrestled in the 2004 Olympic games.

Suzuki — who is the same Minoru Suzuki who was one of the real innovators of MMA 24 years ago in Japan with the likes of Bas Rutten, Ken Shamrock and Masakatsu Funaki — and Shibata, both have extensive MMA experience and incorporate that into their pro wrestling in Japan. It’s more realistic, and some would argue more exciting than WWE, but also more dangerous.

In one of his seven matches in Orlando, Riddle even did a pro wrestling match against another former MMA champion: Dan Severn, the 58-year-old UFC Hall of Famer.

“I told him we’ll do Pancrase rules, open palm strikes, kicks. We went at it,” said Riddle. “I don’t know if you’ve seen the match, but I enjoyed myself thoroughly.”

He doesn’t expect to ever fight again, saying he doesn’t have the desire, but still loves MMA.

“It’s the greatest sport ever,” Riddle said. “There’s only one sport where you can test yourself against another man or another woman, go out, give 100 percent. You can’t even tape your ankles and you can’t even wear knee pads.”

But it was the other stuff that surrounds fighting that wasn’t as much fun.

“The politics of MMA I’m not a fan of,” he said. “I love the politics of indie wrestling. As long as you’re a good guy and a nice person, it’s great.”

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Ronda Rousey Uses a Roll of Toilet Paper a Day

All credit to ESPN for getting a post-UFC 193 interview with Ronda Rousey. And also kudos to them for getting something somewhat deep and juicy. I mean, I didn’t really need to know that after her loss to Holly Holm, Rousey went camping with her beau Travis Browne and crapped in the woods, using an […]

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Bobby Lashley: CM Punk ‘feeds on’ fan hate, uses it to better himself

CM Punk has gotten more than his fair share of heat for attempting to make the transition from pro wrestling to MMA. Bobby Lashley has been there, though many people have forgotten that he was bashed as well.

“It’s just that I’m not one of those people to fight the criticism,” Lashley told MMA Fighting. “I don’t go on social media. If somebody has something negative to say, I’m a very — I won’t say introverted, because I’m not introverted — I’m a very just calm person. I don’t move into the negativity and when I get those, I just move past it.”

Lashley thinks CM Punk is the polar opposite. He believes the former WWE star almost embraces that venom and bile from social media trolls and uses it to improve himself.

“I think Punk is one of those guys that needs it,” said Lashley, who meets James Thompson at Bellator 145 on Friday in St. Louis. “He’s one of those ‘f-you’ guys. Like, ‘Oh I can’t do it? Yes I can.’ He feeds on that and I think he uses that to make himself better. I say either shut it off or keep feeding into it. Whatever he feels like works for him.”

Punk went on a rant last month on The MMA Hour against Twitter’s “cesspool of humanity.” He seemed to be at his wick’s end with all the criticism following a shoulder injury that has kept him out of training at Roufusport since August. (Punk began training again this week, according to coach Duke Roufus on Twitter.)

Lashley believes Punk should be used to taking heat and overcoming it. That exact thing, Lashley said, is what marked him as successful in WWE.

“He doesn’t fit the bill of the Brocks (Lesnar) and Rocks and everything like that,” Lashley said. “And he overcame every one of those odds and he shut people up and he deemed himself for a while as ‘The Best in the World.’ He overcame some huge odds to do what he did. So now, look at him. He’s going to MMA and he’s getting the same things that he got before. I think when people learn that blueprint of being successful, they can apply that blueprint to anything they do. He’s not sitting at home doing nothing. That guy is at one of the best camps right now and he’s busting his ass and working his ass off.”

Lashley, who once headlined Wrestlemania and currently works for the TNA pro wrestling promotion, had one significant thing over Punk when he started MMA: an impressive background in amateur wrestling. Lashley, 39, was a two-time NAIA national wrestling champion in college and also wrestled in the United States Army.

Punk, 36, has very little formal martial arts training and no previous competition experience. He came in when he was signed by the UFC last December with essentially clean slate. Punk, whose real name is Phil Brooks, has been training at Roufusport since early 2015.

The biggest negative with that, Lashley said, is that Punk won’t have that bread and butter to go to when things get tough in the Octagon. Lashley can rely on his wrestling. Punk needs to develop something he’s comfortable with him that can help him through.

“I know he has one thing,” Lashley said. “I know that guy has a tremendous amount of heart. There’s no such thing as ‘I can’t’ for him.”

And, regardless of the hate, Lashley is sure of one thing when it comes to CM Punk in the UFC.

“I know he’s gonna draw a lot of fans,” Lashley said. “And I think that’s what the promotion is looking at. They’re not looking for him to be a UFC champion; they’re looking at him to put on a good show and prove some people wrong and it’ll be an exciting fight.”

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Beyonce uses Ronda Rousey’s ‘Do Nothing Bitch’ audio during concert

Ronda Rousey’s star reached a new height this weekend and she didn’t even have to fight.

Beyonce used Rousey’s “Do Nothing Bitch” audio during a concert Saturday in Toronto. Rousey’s words appeared on the big screen and her voice was heard over the speakers as part of Beyonce’s performance of the song “Diva.”

UFC vice president of public relations Dave Sholler told MMA Fighting that Beyonce’s team contacted the UFC and the UFC licensed the audio to them. The clip originally appeared on UFC 190 Embedded before Rousey’s fight with Bethe Correia on Aug. 1.

Beyonce is one of the biggest stars on the planet with more than 14 million Twitter followers. Rousey, 28, has come along in the last few months as a major name herself, especially among women. She’ll defend her UFC women’s bantamweight title against Holly Holm at UFC 193 on Nov. 15 in Melbourne, Australia.

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Beyonce uses Ronda Rousey’s ‘Do Nothing Bitch’ audio during concert

Ronda Rousey’s star reached a new height this weekend and she didn’t even have to fight.

Beyonce used Rousey’s “Do Nothing Bitch” audio during a concert Saturday in Toronto. Rousey’s words appeared on the big screen and her voice was heard over the speakers as part of Beyonce’s performance of the song “Diva.”

UFC vice president of public relations Dave Sholler told MMA Fighting that Beyonce’s team contacted the UFC and the UFC licensed the audio to them. The clip originally appeared on UFC 190 Embedded before Rousey’s fight with Bethe Correia on Aug. 1.

Beyonce is one of the biggest stars on the planet with more than 14 million Twitter followers. Rousey, 28, has come along in the last few months as a major name herself, especially among women. She’ll defend her UFC women’s bantamweight title against Holly Holm at UFC 193 on Nov. 15 in Melbourne, Australia.

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VIDEO: Ronda Rousey Wins “Best Fighter” at ESPY’s, Uses Opportunity to Blast Floyd Mayweather

Look, I know that any discussion of Ronda Rousey vs. Floyd Mayweather represents the absolute nadir of the MMA vs. Boxing debate and perhaps even sports journalism, but game simply must recognize game here.

At last night’s ESPY’s, Rousey took home the award for “Best Fighter” — beating out a field that included Mayweather, Terence Crawford, and Donald Cerrone — as well as the “Best Female Athlete” award. While discussing her big win on the red carpet, Rousey used the opportunity to eviscerate the pound-for-pound boxing king for his history of domestic…let’s call them “issues.”

“I wonder how Floyd feels being beat by a woman for once,” Rousey said. “I’d like to see him pretend to not know who I am now.”

#BOOMHEADSHOT. Next up on Rousey’s call out list, Mike Tyso-nevermind.

In other ESPY news, Caitlyn Jenner was bestowed with the Arthur Ashe Award for courage, and everyone was too busy talking about how she looked/sounded to consider whether or not it might be a bit presumptuous to give a courage award to someone who recklessly killed a woman in a car crash earlier this year. Yay Hollywood.

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