Posts Tagged ‘UFC’

UFC 171 Live Blog: Hendricks defeats Lawler

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Johny hendricks

Johny Hendricks (left) survived a five-round battle with Robbie Lawler to win the welterweight title. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Johny Hendricks outworked Robbie Lawler to win the vacant UFC welterweight title Saturday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Hendricks earned an early lead with effective outside kicks to southpaw Lawler’s lead right leg and with mixed combinations. Lawler rallied with steady, measured boxing to take rounds three and four and closed the distance heading into the final round. Hendricks clinched the final stanza with effective striking and a fight-turning takedown with only seconds remaining on the clock.

With the voluntary exit of former champion Georges St. Pierre, incumbent Hendricks becomes the division’s first new champion since 2008.

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  • Published On Mar 15, 2014
  • Renan Barao retains bantamweight crown vs. Urijah Faber at UFC 169

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    Renan Barao (left) and Urijah Faber face off during the UFC 169 weigh-in at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

    Renan Barao (left) and Urijah Faber face off during the UFC 169 weigh-in at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

    Here is SI.com’s live play-by-play blog for UFC 169: Renan Barao’s first-round TKO of Urijah Faber to retain the bantamweight crown was the highlight match from the UFC 169 card at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Play-by-play and results are listed from main event down.

    Official Results:

    Renan Barao def. Urijah Faber - TKO (punches) 3:42 R1 

    Jose Aldo def. Ricardo Lamas – Unanimous Decision (49-46 all)

    Alistair Overeem def. Frank Mir – Unanimous Decision (30-27 all)

    Ali Bagautinov def. John Lineker – Unanimous Decision (29-28 all)

    Abel Trujillo def. Jamie Varner – KO 2:32 R2

    Alan Patrick Silva Alves def. John Makdessi – Unanimous Decision

    Chris Cariaso def. Danny Martinez – Unanimous Decision

    Nick Catone def. Tom Watson – Split Decision

    Al Iaquinta def. Kevin Lee – Unanimous Decision

    Clint Hester def. Andy Enz – Unanimous Decision

    Rashad Magamedov def. Tony Martin – Unanimous Decision

    Neil Magny def. Gasan Umalatov – Unanimous Decision

    ———————————–

    UFC Bantamweight Championship: Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber

    With the injury-ridden Dominick Cruz now out of the picture (for the moment), interim champ Barao (31-1) has taken the throne. Barao is a bit of a slow-starter, but finds his groove (and his opponent’s pace) as the fight goes on. He’s deceivingly dangerous everywhere and already beat Faber via decision in July 2012. Barao is going for his fourth title defense.

    Some might take offense to Faber (30-6) getting a title shot tonight – it’s been blatantly obvious in the past that he’s a Zuffa favorite and might not have been completely deserving of the breaks he’s gotten. But in this case, I believe Faber has earned his shot this time. Since his loss to Barao, Faber has looked real good in his last four UFC bouts, including his most recent second-round submission over the younger Michael MacDonald (December.)

    R1 - Faber lands first: an outside left low kick. Faber catches Barao kick and slips in a decent punch. Faber looks aggressive. Faber throws a kick and slips to the ground; Barao tries to capitalize, but Faber composes himself. Barao with a left to overhand right. Faber moves in and Barao lands a combo that sends Faber back out. Barao with an outside low kick. Barao with a huge punch and Faber goes down. Faber to his feet and Barao swarms him on fence. Faber clinches for his life and manages to push the mass of men back to center. Barao is relentless, though, and another overhand and Faber goes down again, turtled, Barao punching away. Dean steps in with the stoppage, though Faber objects.

    Official Result: Renan Barao def. Urijah Faber - TKO (punches) 3:42 R1 

    12:32 – Our boys meet center cage, referee Herb Dean flanking them. Of course, they touch gloves.

    12:27 – Main event time. A corn-rowed Urijah Faber enters first with his “California” anthem. He’s taking this bout on three weeks’ notice. Lights out and boos fill the arena. Poor Renan Barao.

    UFC Featherweight Championship: Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas

    The UFC is past running out of opponents for Jose Aldo, the Anderson Silva of the featherweight scene before Chris Weidman broke the Spider’s streak. Enter Ricardo Lamas (13-2), coming off a second-round TKO over Eric Koch – Lamas’ fourth straight win in the UFC. Is it a good enough resume for Aldo? Probably not.

    Making his sixth title defense and with no obvious challengers in sight, Aldo (23-1) continues to flirt with his promise to move up to the lightweight division, where things will get much more interesting for him. Until then, we get to see if underdog Lamas can usurp a champion whose sheer aggressiveness and power is daunting.

    R1 - Lamas with opening low kick; misses a second attempt. Two minutes in with little action. Lamas throwing low kicks, but Aldo defending easy. Aldo has thrown virtually nothing up to this point. Aldo with a spinning back kick but Lamas circles out to avoid. Aldo catches Lamas’ kick, charges in with flying knee and almost nails Lamas with that. He gets in a follow-up shot before Lamas escapes again. Aldo lands body shot. :30 to go. Not much happening to the bell. Aldo 10-9 with effective striking.

    R2 - Aldo lands first significant kick about a minute in. Aldo misses with a combo.  Lamas again with low kicks, but Aldo has that number. Aldo looks like he’s calculating, waiting for his opening. Aldo with occasional body punch, but not landing. Aldo with a low kick to Lamas’ thigh; and then another.  Lamas with a missing wheel kick. Aldo lands another right kick to thigh. 1:00 to go. Aldo with another harsh kick; Lamas’ thigh must be hurting. Bell. Aldo 10-9

    R3 - Aldo starting to pick up his pace. Punch to his killer kick. Lamas shoots for single; Aldo defends easy. Lamas must know the end is coming. Aldo’s low kicks are just brutal and they’re all landing on Lamas’ lead leg. Lamas hasn’t given up yet, but his striking attempts aren’t really getting through. Aldo with body shot to another low kick. 1:30 to go. Aldo with body shot – his pace is starting to slow, but he’s still out ahead of Lamas. Bell. Aldo 10-9

    R4 - Aldo opens with his low kick. Lamas shoots for double, pushes Aldo to cage, has Aldo off his feet against fence for a few seconds before Aldo finds his footing again. Lamas switches to single leg, but Aldo reverses him on fence. 3:00 to go. Aldo trips Lamas to mat, settles into half guard. Crowd is not impressed with this laboring pace. Aldo slips to mount. Lamas flips to his back, and rear-naked is in. Aldo switches sides and Lamas manages to buck Aldo off. Lamas grabs a single leg, Aldo’s back to fence. :30 to go and it stalls here. Aldo 10-9

    R5 - Lamas starts strong with kicks and Aldo pushes him to fence. Aldo with a trip TD into full guard. Lamas’ corner screaming for him to get up. They don’t like how this one is going. Aldo trying to pass guard. Aldo to side and right to mount. We’re parallel with the fence. 3:00 to go. Lamas is trapped. Lamas escapes out the back and Lamas takes top in the scramble that follows. Lamas to his feet and leaps in with punch, Aldo responds by clinching him. Aldo with high guard; 1:30 to go. Lamas misses with an elbow. Lamas trying to rally for a finish, but Aldo’s tying him up for the most part. :30 to go. Lamas can’t get anything through Aldo’s guard to bell. Aldo 10-9

    Official Result: Jose Aldo def. Ricardo Lamas – Unanimous Decision (49-46 all)

    11:38 – Lamas struts with purpose to the cage. And it’s Aldo’s turn. Pedro Rizzo and Andre Pederneiras in his corner.

    11:32 – Overeem tells Rogan he played a conservative game tonight, then calls out Brock Lesnar. I seriously doubt Lesnar has designs to come back to the UFC  – just Dana White propaganda talk, in my opinion.

    Heavyweight: Frank Mir vs. Alistair Overeem

    This is probably the most anticipated fight on the card, even with two title bouts still to go. Former champ Mir (16-8) has had a tough road of late: three straight losses to Junior Dos Santos, Daniel Cormier, and most recently, Josh Barnett, who took Mir out with a quick first-round knee (TKO). Mir is a master on the ground, but the bad news is…

    ….Alistair Overeem (36-13) comes out like a monster in the first round, trying to bully his opponents to the cage with punches and knees. Beyond the first round, Overeem’s endurance, both physically and mentally, wanes dramatically. Travis Browne and Antonio Silva have exposed these weaknesses in Overeem’s last two bouts, leaving the Holland-based fighter a disappointing 1-2 in the Octagon.

    R1 - Overeem with right to body. Mir in with a left-right, they clinch on the fence, but Overeem shrugs it off. Mir lands a quick left. Overeem with an overhand left that lobs Mir’s neck. Overeem clinches, then nails Mir with a big knee to head that sends Mir to his behind and against fence. Overeem pounces, locks up Mir’s arm so he can’t defend. Mir fights to his knees, but Overeem is kneeing his body bad. Mir manages to escape and it’s back to center. 2:00 to go. Mir looks surprisingly OK. Mir swings and misses. Overeem clinches again and Mir drops to guard, trying to grab a leg on the way. No go. Overeem in Mir’s half guard. 1:00 to go. It stalls here to bell. Mir is bleeding slightly from his nose.  Overeem 10-9

    R2 – Overeem with a dead-on  jab. He doesn’t look gassed. New territory for him. Overeem with a left, then throws Mir off him like he did Brett Rogers back in the Strikeforce days. Mir clinches and Overeem reverses him onto fence. Referee separates them quickly. Overeem with combo. Mir bulldozes Overeem to his butt against the fence, locks up the guillotine and flops to his back. Mir loses the hold and is left with Overeem in his half guard. Overeem peppering Mir with big shots to the head. Mir is getting bloody; looks like cuts around his eyes, affecting his vision. Mir recovers guard. 1:15 to go. Overeem is still punching, picking his shots. Mir can only defend. Overeem to his feet, Mir still on his back. Ref makes Mir stand with :13 to go. Bell. Overeem 10-9

    R3 – Overeem is looking — dare I say it — pretty fresh. Mir tries to shoot, but Overeem’s girth pushes Mir to his back. Mir has closed guard. Overeem to his feet; Mir asked to stand right away. Again, Mir shoots and Overeem sprawls, then muscles Mir to his back. Mir recovers full guard. Overeem with a big elbow that makes the crowd wince. Mir again forced to defend. He pulls Overeem into him, trying to stop the onslaught. 2:00 to go. Mir’s face getting bloodier and bloodier. Overeem’s pace has slowed, but he just needs to ride this out.  Overeem backs out with 1:00 to go and Mir is beckoned to his feet again. Overeem with a nice right hand. Mir is spent. Overeem with a right-left; only lands the right. Bell. Overeem 10-9 (judges might go 10-8 on this one.)

    Official Result: Alistair Overeem def. Frank Mir – Unanimous Decision (30-27 all)

    11:08 – Mir gets the lights-out treatment, enters with Frank Sr. in his corner. Mir’s father has cornered his son for all of his fights. TUF vet James McSweeney is also in Mir’s corner.  Our referee is Dan Miragliotta.

    11:05 – Overeem is the first to enter, again with the extroverted entrance, egging on the crowd to get hyped. he gets the first pop from the crowd once he climbs into the cage and makes his entrance lap.

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  • Published On Feb 01, 2014
  • St-Pierre-Hendricks fight lives up to hype, St-Pierre defends title

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    Johny Hendricks will take welterweight incumbent Georges St-Pierre for his belt at UFC 167 on Saturday. (Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)

    Johny Hendricks will take on welterweight incumbent Georges St-Pierre for his belt at UFC 167 on Saturday. (Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)

    Georges St-Pierre eked out a split decision over a very game Johny Hendricks Saturday at UFC 167 in Las Vegas. Hendricks came out strong and scored damage with his powerful combinations early on, giving GSP some real trouble during interludes on its feet. The pair matched wits with their wrestling during some tactical scrambles and clinch battles on the fence.  SI.com scored the five-round thriller for Hendricks 49-47, with R3 a even 10-10.

    Official Results:

    Georges St. Pierre def. Johny Hendricks – Split Decision  – (48-47 H, 48-47 GSP, 48-47 GSP)

    Rashad Evans def. Chael Sonnen – TKO (strikes) 4:05 R1 

    Robbie Lawler def. Rory MacDonald – Split Decision (29-28 L, 29-28 M, 29-28 L)

    Tyrone Woodley def. Josh Koscheck — KO 4:38 R1

    Ali Bagautinov def. Tim Elliott — Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

    Play-by-play and prelim results below:

    UFC Welterweight Championship: Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks

    Hendricks (15-1) has some exciting tools that can take St-Pierre out tonight. The former OSU wrestler is a two-time NCAA Div I. champion at 165 pounds, and one of the greatest competitors that legendary OSU coach and two-time Olympic gold medalist John Smith said he’s had the pleasure of molding. Without much tutelage in this area, GSP’s natural talent and work ethic had made him a highly functional wrestler, but the 30-year Hendricks was at it 20 years before he even stepped into the cage. People forget that, as Hendricks is also a deadly KO machine who’s caught some top-shelf talent moving with love taps heading into his fighting prime.

    The 32-year-old St-Pierre (24-2) is the longest reigning champion in the UFC welterweight division with 11 straight wins and eight consecutive title defenses on his docket. He’s highly proficient to above-average in nearly all areas and is a master, if not a slightly conservative tactician. He hasn’t lost since the Matt Serra fiasco in April 2007. Rumors have swirled this week that GSP will either retire after this bout (win or lose) or move up to middleweight to make way for protégé MacDonald (who won’t fight his mentor) to make a run for the 170-pound title. Your guess on that is as good as mine.

    11:52 pm ET – We head into our main event. Here comes the hype for a big fight. This time around, it’s warranted. Hendricks is an intriguing challenger. His power punching, his stellar wrestling. GSP has his biggest challenge in quite a while. Great main event that I hope lives up to its potential.

    11:55 pm ET – Lights out and challenger Hendricks snakes his way to the cage to what else? Some down-home country music. Hendricks just signed a big Reebok deal – two-years, mid six-figure, incentive-based regardless of what happens tonight, according to his management. His slogan is “Go beard or go home.”

    11:58 pm ET – The champ is here and the crowd welcomes him heartily. Donning the full gi, his karate headband, GSP mean-mugs it to the cage. Looks like a man on a mission. Big ovation as he bows to the crowd and enter the Octagon. Let the butterflies ensue.

    12:03 pm ET – Buffering in rare form tonight. Our referee is Mario “Stand ‘Em Up” Yamasaki. Hendricks gets pretty positive reaction; GSP can do no wrong. They meet center cage. Hendricks is grinning ear to ear. GSP has that concerned look of his. And we’re off.

    R1 – St-Pierre with a measuring kick and leaps into a successful takedown out of the gate. Hendricks is locked into a guillotine, but escapes to his feet. They’re clinching and GSP goes to work with some body knees. Yamasaki separates them. Hendricks sees the TD attempt coming this time and lands an uppercut as GSP moves in. Another uppercut and GSP reacts by pushing Hendricks to fence. Still clinching, elbows from Hendricks and he moves to outside, trying now to take GSP down on fence. Hendricks gets a TD. GSP’s slightly nicked with a cut over his right eye from those close-quarter elbows. GSP wall-walks up and they separate. In clinch, hard knee from Hendricks, which backs GSP up. GSP with high kick that Hendricks partly defends. Another clinch and Hendricks barreling GSP’s thighs with knees. They separate again. :30 to go. Hendricks pumps a left twice and GSP backs out of range. Stellar first round. Hendricks 10-9

    R2 – GSP trying to find range with kicks. Hendricks coming in with combos and backing him up. His left is pretty close each time. That left. Hendricks connects with uppercut, then another, GSP flustered, wobbling, in trouble. GSP clinches with Hendricks in a little bit of desperation. Then, referee Yamasaki separates them for no reason. Re-start and Hendricks is right back in with lefts. Hendricks drops levels and has GSP’s legs on fence, but no TD. GSP’s face reddening. Back to center cage. GSP fights back with a left hook, then another. Hendricks in again with uppercut and knee that just misses. GSP lands left hook, then a left superman punch. Right hook by Hendricks. Every time Hendricks moves in, GSP is affected. GSP lands the left on Hendricks, then a jab. Hendricks registers that they’re good hits with a head nod. GSP head kick lands but it’s soft. Hendricks looks loose, but a little tired. Hendricks in with two uppercuts, backing GSP out. It’s a dogfight, folks. GSP ducks Hendricks punch that GSP turns into clinch. Trade of knees to thighs and bell .Very close round. I have it even 10-10. Judges will be split on this one, no doubt.

    R3 – Hendricks with right. GSP with low kick. Hendricks in with body knee. GSP left over top. Hendricks dodges a GSP combo. Hendricks pumps jab once; he’s starting to slow down a little bit. GSP is breathing heavy, but coming on a little stronger now. GSP with tagging left. Hendricks still coming in, but his punches aren’t as crisp. He’s lowering his head, too, as he lunges. Not a good sign. GSP right. Hendricks left hook. 2:10 to go. GSP has found range and starting to avoid Hendricks’ attacks. Hendricks jab. St. Pierre is starting to land more. Single punch exchanges now. Hendricks shoots, pushes GSP to fence. Completes TD and crowd explodes. Hendricks in GSP’s guard. 0:15 to go. GSP to his feet right at bell. GSP 10-9

    R4 – Championship rounds, folks. Pawing until GSP throws a straight and Hendricks counters with a combo, uppercut included. It mostly misses. He’s headhunting, but seems to have some snap back. Hendricks grabs at the back of GSP’s neck and he falls to his back trying to back-pedal. Hendricks in GSP’s guard, pulling him to fence. Hendricks backs out and lets him stand (!) GSP’s face is now busted up, bleeding. Hendricks lands an uppercut. 2:00 to go. Hendricks with a right-right-left uppercut. Uppercut lands. GSP pushes Hendricks to fence for a shoot. Hendricks stuffs it and turns GSP around against fence. A battle for the TD. GSP fighting all the way and he reverses. Hendricks against fence, then another reverse. Hendricks on outside. Lands a knee. Nothing major. Bell. Hendricks 10-9

    R5 – GSP cut under both eyes, but bleeding has been stopped during rounds. Hendricks starts round bobbing is head, singing to himself. Cool as a cucumber. They clinch quick and Hendricks is on one leg, the other entwined between GSP’s legs. He manages to stay standing. What balance. Both to fence, but they separate quick. Big right by GSP and he takes Hendricks down. This is huge. Hendricks nearly sneaks out, but is stopped on his knees. Hendricks on his feet, crouched, then pushes to standing, back to fence. Fight for control and TD. Hendricks reverses GSP. He looks stronger. Much more composed. GSP’s face is bloody again. 1:50 to go. Referee Yamasaki separates them. GSP with front teep kick. Another kick to side of Hendricks body. GSP has to know it’s oh-so close. Chants of “GSP.” 1:05 to go and GSP shoots for a single-leg. Fights to take him down. Completes it but Hendricks is back up fast and GSP can’t capitalize. Hendricks has GSP against fence, leaning in with his body weight. GSP goes for a weak Kimura, but he doesn’t have position. Hendricks 10-9/49-47

    Official Result: Georges St. Pierre def. Johny Hendricks – Split Decision  – (48-47 H, 48-47 GSP, 48-47 GSP)

    St. Pierre: “I couldn’t see out of one eye. He really messed me up. I need a vacation.”

    And here’s our big bombshell from GSP: “I have to hang up my gloves for a bit. I have to step away, at least for a bit. I have some personal things to take care of. I have to go away [for] a little bit.” Rogan presses him to clarify but GSP just keeps saying he has to go away for a “little bit.”

    Hendricks says he thought he won the bout, but GSP is a great guy. Hendricks: “He didn’t land anything strong on me.” Crowd boos with his comments. Hendricks is noticeably upset and for good reason. People believe he won and GSP’s “exit” is strange. We’re not sure what it means.

    Light Heavyweight: Chael Sonnen vs. Rashad Evans

    What can we say about Chael Sonnen? The man with the mighty mouth is a cat with nine lives in MMA. After collecting back-to-back losses to champions Anderson Silva (July 2012) and Jon Jones (April), the one-time Olympic wrestling alternate resurrected his perpetual career with a rousing win over fading former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Sonnen (29-13-1) could have his hands full with Evans…

    … if former UFC titleholder Evans (19-3-1) avoids Sonnen’s grinding wrestling and gets some of his old mojo going again. The man who iced Chuck Liddell and outboxed Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has been missing of late. Evans’ last victory over Dan Henderson was a conservative one. When Evans is on and feeling loose, he’s light on his feet, ready for a shootout or a grappling battle and is a lot of fun to watch.

    11:30 pm ET – We get a retrospective featuring UFC majority owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, UFC President Dana White and others. The images are moving; the words not so much.

    11:35 pm ET – Sonnen is on his way to the cage to a country twang. His shirt says “RESPECT IS EARNED.” Lights out and Evans struts in next, looking very serious; eyeballing the Octagon. He better be serious tonight. He needs this win. Buffer with the intros; Sonnen gets a warm reception. Evans welcome is mixed. Our referee is Herb Dean.

    R1 – Sonnen takes center cage immediately, then shoots. Evans pushed to fence and it’s a Greco Roman match quickly, a fight for underhooks and position. Evans on outside and tries to TD, but Sonnen stops. Still in clinch on fence, Sonnen trying to knee, Evans answering with body shots. Evans separates slightly and lands a right. More underhook pummeling. Evans gets a double-leg on fence. Evans has half guard. Sonnen is cradled on fence. Evans posts to knee and land a few shots. Sonnen is trapped but not in imminent danger – yet. Evans lands an elbow and Sonnen flips to his stomach, then again to his back. Evans to full mount, then takes Sonnen’s back. Evans wails away and finishes Sonnen who looks like the life was sucked out of him.

    Official Result: Rashad Evans def. Chael Sonnen – TKO (strikes) 4:05 R1

    Solid performance for Evans. Very poor performance for Sonnen. Pretty anti-climatic without Sonnen putting up much of a fight once it hit the ground and Evans landed the fight-turning elbow. You have to think all of Sonnen’s extra-curricular commentating (which is fantastic work!) just doesn’t allow him enough time to train. I’d much rather Sonnen retire, so he can concentrate on his true calling in this sport.

     Welterweight: Rory MacDonald vs. Robbie Lawler

    GSP protégé MacDonald (15-1) is on a five-fight win streak, with some impressive names on his mantel, B.J. Penn (December) and Jake Ellenberger (July) included. Both were decisions, and I’m figuring UFC matchmaker Joe Silva is pairing him against the all-out Lawler to kick the-24-year-old Canadian’s career into high gear for a title run.

    The 31-year-old Lawler is a real crowd-pleaser: a decent wrestler turned dangerous boxer who could care less if the fight hits the ground. Lawler starched Koscheck in the first round at his UFC return in February and followed up that explosive win with a head-kick KO of the less foreboding Bobby Voelker. MacDonald is not particularly popular outside the Canadian contingent, so you’ve got to think that there’s a healthy part of the crowd itching for another Lawler special.

    10:56 – Lawler enters, a small grin on his face. Very calm. This dude loves to scrap. MacDonald follows, getting a surprisingly strong pop from the crowd. Buffer with the intros and Lawler is shaking his head like he was born to do this. MacDonald looks confident, hands on waist. Mario Yamasaki is our ref.

    R1 – Lawler with two hard front-leg kicks. High left kick attempt. Crowd chants “Rory” off the bat. MacDonald with a low kick.  Lawler moving in, missing by inches with haymakers. Lawler lands with front leg kick again. Lawler blocks a right body kick from Mac. Trade of body kicks that don’t land. Kick-o-rama. Pensive pace – both looking for a big hit. 2:00 to go. Lawler with body kick. Mac isn’t checking much. Lawler misses with another haymaker. Crowd getting a little restless.  Mac lands weak teep kick. More Lawler body kicks. Not much to write home about.  “Rory” chants start again. Crowd wants something big; neither fighter has yet to deliver. Lawler with Head kick; Mac grabs his leg, but can’t do anything to capitalize at bell. Lawler 10-9

    R2 – Lawler with body kick out of gate and MacDonald takes his first shot. Lawler on one leg, hops back and escapes. Impressive balance. This is not the fight people expected. Slow. Plodding. Headhunting. Lawler with right kick; follow up with right body kick. Lawler is winning on volume. Lawler with head movement, blocking MacDonald right. MacDonald drops levels fast and secures a TD on fence; trying to pass guard. MacDonald to his feet, allows Lawler to backdoor out, but Mac stalls Lawler on his knees, holding onto his head. MacDonald trying to maneuver to Lawler’s back, but Lawler gets guard and is actually landing hard shots from his back. MacDonald posts to his knees and tries to elbow. Misses and bell. MacDonald 10-9 takes this one with TD and ground control.

    R3 – Lawler tags with a right, then an uppercut. Lawler kicks, MacDonald catches his leg and gets a TD. Mac in Lawler’s guard. Stand-up. Lawler with a left and Mac shoots; scramble to ground and Lawler takes top, trying to unload some ground-and-pound, It settles with Mac on his back; Lawler in his guard. Re-stand and Mac is bleeding bad from his nose. Lawler with a left. An eye poke  with Lawler right and ref stops it to check on Mac. Re-start. Mac grabs Lawler leg kick; Lawler defends again beautifully. Lawler drops Mac with left uppercut, tries to finish with follow-ups. Lawler into side control. 1:40 to go. Lawler has this if ref doesn’t stupidly re-stand. Mac recovers guard, but Lawler is swinging to finish. Lawler trying to pass to mount and Mac stops him. Mac goes for an armbar. Back to his feet; Mac looking wobbly. Lawler with right and Mac answer with a TD to half. Mac trying to finish, but Lawler mostly defends. It was a 10-8 round before Mac went for the all-or-nothing finish. Lawler 10-9/29-28

    Official Result: Robbie Lawler def. Rory MacDonald – Split Decision (29-28 L, 29-28 M, 29-28 L)

    Lawler and MacDonald arm-in-arm after fight. Lawler can’t stop smiling. He doesn’t have a graze on him. Lawler makes UFC rankings at #10. No argument here. He is on the rise, for sure.

    Welterweight: Josh Koscheck vs. Tyron Woodley

    Koscheck (19-7) has been on the downslide with two consecutive losses in the Octagon to tonight’s main eventer Hendricks (May 2012) and Robbie Lawler (February), who we’ll see later during the night. Lawler starched the 2001 NCAA Div. I wrestling champ with his trademark power punching. Unfortunately for Kos, Woodley possesses the same potential to stop him with his hands – if he lets them go.

    In addition, “T-Wood” has enough collegiate wrestling skills to keep up with Kos. However, Woodley (11-2) is still finding his legs in the division and is 1-1 since joining the UFC ranks, with a scary 36-second KO over Jay Hieron in February (Yes!) and a tepid split decision loss to Jake Shields in May (Meh).

    Big ramifications for both in this bout – the UFC’s welterweight division is always close quarters and any given guy is one or two losses away from the exit door. Another interesting side story must be Kos praying Hendricks gets the job done tonight; Kos has lost twice to GSP (one being a title bout) soundly, and it’s a tough, tough climb back to the top in this situation.

    10:41 pm ET – “T-Wood” enters to some rap. He looks like he’s put on some more muscle; he’s huge. Koscheck struts in afterward to a mixed response. Fans never forget TUF 1. Herb Dean is our referee.

    R1 – Woodley connects right away with an overhand, then barrels in with knees. Koscheck is wobbled a little to cage and touches his hand to canvas to stop the knee attack. It becomes a wrestling battle on the fence quick and stalls. Boos and referee Dean re-starts it center. Kos looks composed again. Wood lands another right and a kick, but Kos counters with a kick that backs Wood up. Wood with a barrage of rights that sends Kos to the canvas, head banging on ground. Koscheck takes some follow-up leather, but recovers enough to grab onto Wood’s body for his dear life. Wood is in Kos’ guard, pulls him to fence. Ref Dean with a questionable re-start. Kos is bleeding from his left ear; face swelling. Woodley with a huge counter right and another as Kos goes down; follow-up punches, but Kos’ hands are at his sides and it’s over.

    Official Result: Tyrone Woodley def. Josh Koscheck — KO 4:38 R1

    Woodley had Koscheck’s number from the get-go, giving the TUF vet an uphill battle he eventually lost. Great win for Woodley, who’ll stick around for a bit longer. Koscheck’s future is less certain with three losses in a row.

    Flyweight: Ali Bagautinov vs. Tim Elliott

    Dagestan’s Bagautinov (11-2) is a mixed bag of talent, with both a Greco Roman and freestyle wrestling background and a gold medal in Combat Sambo (2012). On top of that, Bagautinov took out his last opponent, Marcus Vinicius, with punches in his Octagon debut in September.

    Elliott (10-3-1) rides in on two unanimous decision victories over Jared Papazian (December) and Louis Gaudinot (August). Both are making their first appearances on a UFC main card, on its 20th anniversary card, no less. That should speak volumes as to what UFC brass expects from them.

    R1 - Bag gets the best of the feel-out exchanges, just missing with an uppercut. Elliott is the pursuer, until Bag clinches at 3:45. They separate quickly.  More circling. Elliott shoots; no go.  Bag with a punch, knee; Elliott is hurt and tries to grab a single-leg. Bag won’t have it and Elliott re-sets again. More circling. Bag gets a takedown. Elliott springs to his feet, pushing forward with swings that aren’t close. 1:00 to go. Bag is clearly the more skilled striker. He ties up the round with a clinch on the cage, then a right and a knee that lands and sends Elliott to his back as the bell sound. Bag 10-9

    R2 – Bag with TD right into an Elliott guillotine. It’s a close one, but Bag escapes is out and now on his back, Elliott in his guard. (Stats say Elliott has landed 40 strikes to Bag 26, but Bag’s are much more effective.) Bag escapes and it’s back to its feet, Elliott center-canvas and stalking. Elliott with inside kick, but not much else being thrown. Bag lands a right; Elliott shoots and it’s a wild scramble with Bag on top, but then to his feet quick. Bell. Bag 10-9 for more effective striking, but nice try on Elliott’s guillotine attempt.

    R3 – Elliott is chasing, but Bag lands a body kick, then another at 3:30.  Elliott with a left that lands, but the punch has no heat. Bag swings and misses again.  Bag connects with two right overhands. This punch is working for him, so he’s keeps at it. The pace isn’t that fast. 1:30 to go. Elliott is another shot that Bag easily thwarts. Another Bag right. 1:00 to go. Elliott stuffs Bag TD.  He has to find a fight-ending punch. Bag lands a hard combo and Elliott slams Bag at bell but too little too late. Bag 10-9/30-27 

    Official Result: Ali Bagautinov def. Tim Elliott — Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

    10:36 pm ET — UFC Hall of Famer Dan Severn in the house. Arnold Schwarzenegger has also made it to the show tonight — he’s a huge martial arts fan with the Arnold Classic hosting many disciplines in Columbus, Ohio every year.

    Here’s  your prelim results:

    • Donald Cerrone def. Evan Dunham – Submission (Triangle Choke) 3:49 R2 – Cerrone was on fire tonight, had Dunham in trouble early with a knee. He continued his dominance into round two, going for and nearly found an oma plata before finishing it with an inescapable triangle choke he maneuvered off the fence. Dunham had nothing for him.
    • Thales Leites def. Ed Herman  – Unanimous Decision (30-27 all) – Leites scored early in each set with takedowns and fished for finishes against a mostly-defending Herman.
    • Rick Story def. Brian Ebersole – Unanimous Decision (30-27 all) – Story lit Ebersole up a few times on its feet and looked very sharp. Of course, Story has faced much stiffer competition in the past, so take it with a grain of salt.
    • Erik Perez def. Edwin Figueroa – Unanimous Decision (30-27 all) – evenly matched, but not particularly compelling bout.
    • Jason High def. Anthony Lapsley – Unanimous Decision (29-28 all)
    • Sergio Pettis def. Will Campuzano – Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)  – decent UFC debut for the younger brother of UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.
    • Gian Villante def. Cody Donovan – TKO (punches) 1:22 R2

                                                                                                                                                                                  —  Loretta Hunt


  • Published On Nov 16, 2013
  • Injury will keep Aleksandra Albu from fighting Julie Kedzie

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    New UFC fighter Aleksandra Albu has withdrawn from her Dec. 7 bout against MMA veteran Julie Kedzie due to an unspecified injury.

    Albu, a Russian fighter with a Muay Thai background, was scheduled to make her UFC debut on the UFC Fight Night 33 in Brisbane, Australia. It’s unclear if Kedzie (16-12 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will remain on the card with a replacement opponent.

    “I’m disappointed but wish her the best and hope to face her in the future,” Kedzie said on Wednesday.

    Kedzie already has a suggested replacement: Rin Nikai, of Japan. Nikai beat Kedzie’s Jackson/Winklejohn teammate Tara La Rosa on a controversial decision in September. Nikai, however, is not currently under UFC contract.

    – Melissa Segura


  • Published On Oct 30, 2013
  • In WSOF debut, Jon Fitch gets choked out in 41 seconds by Josh Burkman

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    Josh Burkman knocked out veteran (Lucas Noonan/World Series of Fighting)

    Josh Burkman (pictured above) knocked  veteran Jon Fitch unconscious in just 41 seconds during the World Series of Fighting. (Lucas Noonan/World Series of Fighting)

    Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

    Jon Fitch, the longtime UFC welterweight contender and the No. 7 fighter in the SI.com 170-pound mixed martial arts rankings, made his debut with the nascent World Series of Fighting on Saturday night in Las Vegas. The fight lasted all of 41 seconds and did not end well for him.

    Fitch was floored by a Josh Burkman left-right combination in their first exchange of fisticuffs, then was choked unconscious so swiftly that referee Steve Mazzagatti didn’t seem to notice that he was out. The ref just stood there watching as Burkman let go of the submission hold all on his own, climbed to his feet and raised a fist triumphantly in the air. Fitch lay limply on the canvas.

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  • Published On Jun 15, 2013
  • With Anthony Pettis injured, José Aldo will defend UFC belt vs. Chan Sung Jung

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    Jung, known as the "Korean Zombie," will face Jose Aldo as Anthony Pettis will miss the fight with a torn meniscus. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images)

    Jung, known as the “Korean Zombie,” will face Jose Aldo as Anthony Pettis will miss the fight with a torn meniscus. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images)

    You win some, you lose some.

    Title bouts, that is.

    On Thursday afternoon in Winnipeg, Manitoba, as he was hyping a UFC 161 card (Saturday, 10 p.m. ET, PPV) that has zero championship fights on it, promotion president Dana White captured the full attention of the assembled media by announcing the next title defenses for his heavyweight, light heavyweight and welterweight champs. Three belts, up for grabs.

    Then, on Friday, White unveiled still another tussle for a brass-and-leather strap. But this time, the news, which was released via Twitter, was not so welcome. Well, unless you’re a zombie from East Asia.

    Anthony Pettis, the lightweight contender who dropped down to featherweight in order to challenge José Aldo, injured a knee in training and is out of the Aug. 3 title fight in Rio de Janeiro. According to White, he’ll be replaced in the UFC 163 main event by Chan Sung Jung.

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  • Published On Jun 15, 2013
  • UFC’s Daniel Cormier to Jon Jones: “We can fight at 220 [pounds] tomorrow”

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    Jon Jones

    Jon Jones retained his light heavyweight title at AFC 159 in April via a first roudn TKO. (Gregory Payan/AP)

    LAS VEGAS — Apparently word got around that Daniel Cormier was going to be taking questions from fans on Friday afternoon at MGM Grand Garden Arena prior to the weigh-ins for UFC 160.

    The news reached all the way to Moscow, where Jon Jones is presenting a mixed martial arts seminar. And the light heavyweight champion couldn’t help but tweak the undefeated heavyweight who keeps talking about cutting down to 205 pounds and beating him up. “Someone ask DC when his diet starts,” Jones wrote on Twitter.

    When Cormier caught wind of the “Bones” tweet, he sidetracked the Q&A session by playfully but forcefully telling the next fan who stepped to the microphone, “OK, your question is to ask me, for Jon Jones, if I’ve started cutting weight yet.” That got a rise out of the crowd, as did the answer Cormier provided the champ: “I haven’t started cutting weight yet. But we can fight at 220 tomorrow if you want. He can walk off the street at whatever he weighs now, and we can fight. Let’s fight at any weight, Jon, you and I.”

    Hmm, Jones has been talking about moving up to heavyweight. But dueling bravado aside, it seems more likely that Cormier will aim for a challenge of Jones at 205 at the end of the year. First he plans to trim from his current 235 pounds to 220 for a heavyweight fight in August or September. He expressed an interest in the winner between Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira and Fabricio Werdum, who meet in Brazil in two weeks.

    If Cormier should get past one of those heavies, it would be down to 205 for him. That clearly will be a challenge for a man who likes to eat as much as Daniel does. What will he have to cut from his diet? “Gumbo,” said the native of Lafayette, Louisiana. “Jambalaya. Red beans and rice. All of the Louisiana food.” As he said this, he looked sad.

    Cormier perked up, however, when he told fans that after the weigh-ins he was planning on taking Cain Velasquez, who defends his heavyweight belt against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in Saturday’s main event, out for a movie to relax. Someone asked him if he’d be having butter on his popcorn, and he impulsively answered in the affirmative. Then caught himself. “If I’m going down,” he said, speaking of the long-range weight cut, “well, if I’m going down …” He paused. “Aw, it’s still popcorn with butter!”

    –Jeff Wagenheim


  • Published On May 24, 2013
  • UFC 159′s Michael Bisping: ‘I fight better when I’m angry’

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    UFC 159

    An angry Michael Bisping eyes revenage against Alan Belcher at UFC 159. (Diamond Images/Getty Images)

    NEWARK — He’s back. After an absence of nearly a year and a half.

    True, Michael Bisping competed in the UFC as recently as January, but that wasn’t the real Bisping. And I say that not because he was knocked out by a Vitor Belfort head kick. He fared much better in the fight before that, a decision victory over Brian Stann last September, and performed admirably even in a loss to Chael Sonnen eight months earlier.

    But the Bisping in those bouts — or, more precisely, in the leadup to those bouts — was a gentleman, an agreeable sort. He talked about his dedication and preparation and blah blah blah. It was not the Bisping we’d come to know and love. Or hate. Not the Bisping who spewed insults in the face of Jason Miller right up until the night in December 2011 when he made “Mayhem” his fourth straight conquest. Would we ever again see that angry guy from so many past fights?

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  • Published On Apr 27, 2013
  • Dana White went soft on Matt Mitrione; updated with fighter’s apology

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    UFC president Dana White lifted Matt Mitrione's suspension despite Mitrione never apologizing for his comments. (AP)

    UFC president Dana White lifted Matt Mitrione’s suspension despite Mitrione never apologizing for his comments. (AP)

    NEW YORK — Dana White was sitting on a brightly lit makeshift stage in the lobby of The Theater at Madison Square Garden, well aware of the irony of him being on this stage on a Thursday afternoon while, two nights later, his fighters would not be allowed to put on a show under the bright lights in the arena behind him. UFC 159 will play out on Saturday night not in New York’s eminent sports cathedral but across the river in New Jersey. It’s as if White’s mixed martial arts organization were the Giants or Jets, except for one tiny detail: The NFL is welcome in the Empire State.

    “It is what it is,” the UFC president told a gathering of reporters, pulling out a well-worn phrase of his, but this time with what seemed more resignation than usual behind it. White has seen MMA sanctioning legislation have its moments up in Albany, like a fighter getting in a few crisp jabs and leg kicks early in the first round, self-assuredly sticking and moving, looking like it’s his night. Until he runs into an overhand right. The leadership of the New York State Assembly, which again and again has KO’d an MMA bill before it even could come up for a vote, packs a mean punch.

    “I’m so over it,” said White, sounding like he’s anything but. Unless by “over it” he means keeping his nose out of a lobbying effort that can only suffer from his crudely tactless manner. That’s why the company’s visits to Albany are being made by CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, whom White characterized as “the kinder, gentler side of the UFC.”

    But as the UFC pushes for the sanctioning it needs to celebrate its 20th anniversary come November with a gala fight card in the Garden, which the organization has expressed keen interest in doing, White continues to play a significant role. How could he not? More than any fighter, the boss is the public face of the company. What he says and does matters.

    That is why the irony White missed on Thursday was more telling than the irony he acknowledged. Sure, he noticed the row of sports photographs that line one of the walls of the Garden lobby, prominent among them a shot of a kickboxing match. That sport is sanctioned in New York, along with boxing and other combative disciplines that are elements of MMA, while MMA itself is not? Right there from a frame on the wall, irony was getting up in White’s face.

    At the same time, the UFC poobah chose not to look squarely in the eye of the situation’s other source of irony. That would be the shameful saga of Matt Mitrione. You know, the heavyweight who back on April 8 had his UFC contract suspended after he’d spewed a venomous tirade against transgender fighter Fallon Fox. Back then, the UFC had rose petals thrown at its feet for swiftly bringing the hammer down.

    As it turns out, though, the hammer was only a Nerf hammer, the suspension no more than a kid’s timeout. Fox Sports reported on Wednesday that Mitrione will fight on the network’s UFC card in Seattle on July 27. So that’s it? A suspension lasting 16 days, which since “Meathead” wouldn’t have been fighting anyway amounts to nothing at all? White wouldn’t address the upcoming fight, reportedly to be against fellow Season 10 alum of The Ultimate Fighter (and fellow ex-NFL player) Brendan Schaub, but said Mitrione was fined “enough to make him call me 40 times and ask me not to fine him that much.”

    The takeaway: Open your wallet, Matt, but no need to publicly acknowledge that calling Fox a “lying, sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak” was vile and unbecoming of a professional athlete employed by the UFC.

    Of course, White doesn’t see it that way. “If a guy comes out and says something stupid, I don’t go to him and say, ‘Here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to apologize,’ and you’re gonna do this and that,” he said. “You can’t make somebody apologize. If I make him do it, it’s not real. Then he’s not really apologizing.”

    There’s truth in that. All too often, athletes and others in the public eye issue faux mea culpas crafted by their PR teams. Those apologies aren’t worth the breath wasted on them. But the UFC is not the NFL or Major League Baseball, sports organizations that are already well established in the public perception, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. White’s fight league is on the fringes, vying for attention.

    Positive attention, that is, as opposed to having its notorious history of misogyny, homophobia and other antisocial behavior continually spotlit by groups like the Culinary Workers Union, Local 226. The Las Vegas-based outfit has long waged a battle with UFC majority owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta in an effort to unionize the brothers’ other business, Station Casinos. Recently the local has dragged the UFC into the fight, using the union’s political muscle in New York to lobby against MMA legislation. White calls this “dirty.”

    No, what’s dirty is masking Mitrione’s depraved hatred under the guise of having an opinion but just expressing it wrongly. Here’s what White said on the Mitrione matter on Thursday: “I don’t think that somebody who used to be a man but became a woman should be able to fight women. I don’t. But the way he said it? If he was standing in front of a courtroom because he was so passionate about this, in front of a judge or a committee or something like that, he wouldn’t have said it the way he said it. Maybe he thought he was trying to be funny? It wasn’t funny. My guys aren’t comedians, and they really need to figure that out and learn it. You wanna be funny, do it in with your friends, around your crew and everything else. Don’t do it on any public forum.”

    Now, there’s nothing wrong with White expressing an opinion of whether a trans woman should be allowed to compete with other women in combat sports, particularly in light of what he said next: “And you know, I’ll leave it up to the athletic commissions and the doctors and scientists, or whatever it is, to see if you have that surgery and you go through that stuff, if you actually become a … but bone structure is different. Hands are bigger. Jaw is bigger. Everything is bigger. I don’t believe in it. I don’t believe that someone who used to be a man and became a woman should be able to fight a woman. I don’t.”

    So White believes what he believes, but he’ll leave it to the experts to decide on how to proceed. Fine. The UFC president is not alone in that evenhanded stance. However, neither he nor anyone else who has commented on the matter — other than Mitrione — has darkened his or her opinion with a nasty personal attack. If the UFC wants to get past dirty politics, it needs to clean up its act by cleaning out the haters. Not by simply telling them to just whisper their malevolence to their buddies.

    Dana White might not get that, but his light heavyweight champion sure does. Jon Jones, who’ll defend his belt against Chael Sonnen in Saturday night’s main event at the Prudential Center in Newark (10 p.m. ET, PPV), offered up his own opinion of Mitrione during Thursday’s media gathering. “I think he’s terrible for that,” Jones said. “It’s ridiculous. I think Fallon Fox, that’s a strong person. Despite what the person has been through in their life, that’s a strong person. I’m a fan of that person because of what they’ve gone through and what they’re willing to go through. People like Matt Mitrione are scumbags. He’s a scumbag. I don’t care if he’s off suspension or doesn’t fight again. He’s a ridiculous person.”

    You might have noticed that Jones, even in defending Fox, did not once use a female personal pronoun. Taken within the context of what he said, he clearly meant no disrespect. Jones was just speaking outside his comfort zone. The emergence and gradual acceptance of transgenders and others who’ve long been shunned or ignored is a work-in-progress in sports as well as all of society. Comfort zones  can only expand along with education and compassion. One wonders whether that’s a lesson the UFC is even remotely interested in teaching Matt Mitrione.

    – Jeff Wagenheim

    UPDATE: Mitrione issued an apology on Friday via a UFC press release: “I want to apologize for my hurtful comments about Fallon Fox and a group within our society which, in truth, I know nothing about. I know now there’s an important line between expressing an opinion on a subject and being hurtful and insensitive. I crossed that line by expressing my views in an ugly, rude and inappropriate manner.”

    So, is this one of those meaningless apologies White was talking about? The jury is out on that, as Mitrione himself went on to acknowledge: “Anyone can say ‘I’m sorry’ to get themselves out of trouble. That’s not the kind of person I want to be. I am embarrassed I chose to express myself in such a fashion and am looking forward to living up to this apology through my future actions, words and conduct.”

    A couple of word choices suggest that perhaps the fighter is learning something from this ordeal. Describing transgenders as a group “I know nothing about” is a simple yet difficult acknowledgement that he was speaking out of ignorance. It also was good to hear Mitrione talk about “living up to this apology” with not just words but actions, a commitment the UFC plans to hold him to. Lawrence Epstein, the promotion’s vice president and COO, said Mitrione will work with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender groups “to make amends to the community he hurt.”

    How many grains of salt with which you take all of this depends on your own degree of naivete, cynicism or pragmatism. But if Mitrione is sincere in his desire to move forward, he has an opportunity here. There’s no better way to develop respect for a group of people different from you than to spend time around those people learning ways in which you’re the same.

    –J.W.


  • Published On Apr 26, 2013
  • Amid furor, Fallon Fox and UFC officials address Matt Mitrione suspension

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    Dana White said Matt Mitrione should not have been doing an interview in the first place. (Jed Jacobsohn/SI)

    Dana White said Matt Mitrione should not have been doing an interview in the first place. (Jed Jacobsohn/SI)

    A significant portion of public reaction to the UFC’s suspension of Matt Mitrione for verbally assaulting a transgender fighter on Monday has been even more hateful and vile than the words spewed by the heavyweight during his ill-fated online radio appearance. The comment section on the SI.com story was even taken offline because of the offensive tone.

    However, the responses by those most closely associated with the matter — Mitrione’s bosses at the UFC and the athlete he targeted with his rant — were more measured.

    “Matt Mitrione went well beyond disagreeing with the medical experts who say I should be able to compete as a woman, and personally attacked me as a fighter, as a woman, and as a human being,” Fallon Fox, a 37-year-old postoperative transgender female who is 2-0 as a mixed martial artist, wrote on her Facebook page. “His comments do not reflect the spirit of our sport, where most competitors uphold values like respect and dignity.”

    That was the theme also taken up by Lorenzo Fertitta, chairman/CEO of Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the UFC. “Whatever your thoughts are on the whole transgender issue, I’ve listened to [what Mitrione said] and, in my opinion, it came off as a bit mean-spirited and is something I think warranted review,” Fertitta told Yahoo! Sports. “Obviously, this is not the easiest issue and a lot of people are questioning both sides of this thing. A fair debate and discussion of the issue should be allowed. But when you call her disgusting, and Buffalo Bill, that’s another matter. It warrants review. I think it’s the same thing the NFL would look at and the same thing that any professional organization that is at the level we’re at would at least take a look at.”

    Reading between the lines, it would seem that rather than cutting Mitrione loose — for calling Fox a “lying, sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak,” for comparing her to a serial killer character in The Silence of the Lambs, for putting the UFC in a hideous light — Fertitta is inclined to use this as an educational opportunity. That was the tenor of his rebuke, at least.

    Dana White also has fighter education in mind, but not so much focused on the issue at hand. The UFC president wants to simply teach his athletes when to do interviews and when not to. “I’m going to talk to these guys,” he said during a Tuesday conference call with reporters covering this weekend’s finale of The Ultimate Fighter. “The only time these guys really need to be doing interviews is leading up to fights. You know? It ended up being a nightmare for him.”

    White addressed the substance of Mitrione’s rant only obliquely. “It’s one of those things. It’s just a pain in the ass, you know what I mean?” he said, later adding, “What was the point of that interview? There was no point in it. Now it’s caused him a bunch of headaches and problems. It’s caused us a bunch of headaches and problems for no reason whatsoever.”

    – Jeff Wagenheim


  • Published On Apr 10, 2013


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