Monday Morning Cornerman


Darth Bader and The Last Emperor star in Bellator weekend wars; More PFL finals set; UFC news and much more

Ryan Bader and Fedor Emelianenko both punched their semi-final ticket over the weekend at Bellator 207 and 208, respectively, and will now meet in the finals of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix on December 31st.

On Friday night at Bellator 207 in Uncasville, CT, Bader (25-5, 4-0 Bellator) used his wrestling game to put Matt Mitrione (13-6, 4-1 Bellator) on his back within the first minute of all three rounds. From there the current Bellator light heavyweight champion controlled the former UFC heavyweight and New York Giants footballer on the mat with a far side cross-wrist ride and some heavy ground and pound en route to an easy unanimous decision (30-25, 30-24, 30-25) victory. 

"He rode me like a mother(expletive) pony," Mitrione said after in a social media post he made from his phone. "I'm just not a good wrestler, sorry."

The next night at Bellator 208, Fedor and Chael Sonnen waged war in a wild first round - with Fedor (38-5, 2-1 Bellator) dropping Sonnen (30-16-1, 2-2 Bellator) in the first exchange of the fight, and then twice more in the round until the ref stopped it at 4:46 of the first. 

Both fighters scored takedowns during the round. Fedor's was particularly spectacular, a sambo throw where he used Sonnen's momentum from an attempted takedown and ended up on top in Sonnen's half guard. 

Sonnen's one takedown led to an ill-conceived grappling sequence that saw the American Gangster go for a sloppy rolling back take attempt that put him on his back, again. Sonnen was able to get up one last time but Fedor finished him off soon thereafter. 

After Fedor's win, they had him and Bader face off in the cage to hype the finals, with Bader looking like the physically larger person between two. Fedor has now won two straight and is 7-1 in his last 8 fights. Bader has now won six straight fights, and is 11-1 in his last 12. 

A former All-American wrestler at Arizona State University, Bader holds a decided wrestling advantage over the Russian Sambo expert and should be able to ground Fedor - but this is "The Last Emperor" we are talking about, and he has shown in this tournament that there is still some of his trademark explosiveness remaining. 

While not on the scale of Khabib-Conor, the weekend was not without its fair share of controversy for Bellator. After Saturday night's fight, Bellator president Scott Coker was asked during the press conference if Fedor-Sonnen was fixed, after rumors surfaced online.

"I mean, come on, that doesn’t even deserve a response to the people that are saying it,” Coker told reporters at the Bellator 208 post-fight press conference. “Listen, Chael got clipped. He told me, he said, ‘Man, he hit me, and he hit me really good.’ And he was done. That’s it. With Chael, the thing with Tito (Ortiz), ‘Oh, he let him go,’ or something. Come on. Why would you do that? You’re a professional athlete. You’re a fighter. He wants to continue, he wants to go to the next round of the tournament. That’s just all rubbish.”

Needless to say, I'd hope fighters wouldn't "work" fights at all, let alone world-class fighters at the levels of Bellator or UFC but it is not without precedent. The reality is they have in the past. 

Aside from the long-held belief among many hardcore fans that both Oleg Taktarov vs Anthony Macias at UFC 6 and Mark Hall vs Don Frye at UFC 10 were "works," as well as several fights from the Pride Fighting Championship days, former UFC lightweight Tae Hyun Bang received a 10-month prison term from the Seoul Central District Court after being found guilty of taking bribes as part of a plan to throw a fight with Leo Kuntz at UFC Fight Night 79.

Bang (18-10, 2-3 UFC) worked with three “brokers” who set up the fix and gave money to Bang totaling $92,160 in US dollars. All three brokers, including MMA fighter Dae Won Kim, were given jail terms for their roles.

Bang reportedly took the money from the brokers before his fight against Kuntz in November 2015 at the UFC’s debut in South Korea, and then bet roughly half of it on Kuntz. UFC officials noticed a big swing in the betting lines that took Bang from the favorite to a heavy underdog, and both fighters were warned.

The plan was for Bang to lose, but at some point he changed his mind and won a split decision. He later returned the money to the brokers. After the fight, Bang reportedly received death threats from organized crime figures, who had bet roughly $1.7 million on Kuntz to win. 

Bang fought for the UFC once more after the fight with Kuntz, losing a unanimous decision to Nick Hein at UFC Fight Night 93 in Germany. 

So it's not like it hasn't happened. I have personally always found the Rich Franklin vs Ken Shamrock main event fight from the first Ultimate Fighter Finale back in 2005 - and Shamrock falling from what appeared to be a Franklin punch that never landed - very questionable. 

I have heard other fights called into question as well. In 2006, Brian Ebersole (who would go on to fight several times in the UFC) and Pride FC veteran Shannon Ritch were suspended by the California State Athletic Commission for having a "fake fight." From what I watched on Saturday night, with Fedor landing heavy blows standing and on the ground, this did not appear to be a worked fight.

Bellator MMA 208 results - Long Island, NY (Sat Oct 13, 2018)

Fedor Emelianenko def. Chael Sonnen - TKO at 4:46 of R1
Benson Henderson def. Saad Awad - unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Cheick Kongo def. Timothy Johnson - KO at 1:08 of R1
Anatoly Tokov def. Alexander Shlemenko - unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Henry Corrales def. Andy Main - KO at 2:08 of R3
Jennifer Chieng def. Jessica Ruiz via TKO at 1:22 of R1
David Meshkhoradze def. Shaquan Moore via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)
Tommy Espinosa def. Sukhrob Aydarbekov - armbar submission at 1:27 of R1
Nick Fiore def. Jerome Mickle - unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jeremy Puglia def. Eric Olsen - TKO at 3:16 of R1
Dennis Buzukja def. Ryan Castro - KO at 2:53 of R1
Andrews Rodriguez def. Mike Diorio - unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Zarrukh Adashev def. Christian Medinavia - TKO (strikes) at 1:08 of R1

Bellator MMA 207 - Uncasville, CT (Fri Oct 12, 2018)

Ryan Bader def. Matt Mitrione - unanimous decision (30-25, 30-24, 30-25)
Sergei Kharitonov def. Roy Nelson - KO at 4:59 of Round 1
Lorenz Larkin def. Ion Pascu - unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Corey Browning def. Kevin Ferguson Jr. - TKO at 2:08 of Round 2
Mandel Nallo def. Carrington Banks - KO (knee) at :57 of Round 2
Janay Harding def. Sinead Kavanagh - TKO (cut) at 5:00 of Round 1
Andre Fialho def. Javier Torres - majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)
Sarah Click def. Kristi Lopez - unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Alexandra Ballou def. Lisa Blaine - 3rd-round TKO (3:28)
Mike Kimbel def. Alex Potts - KO at :06 of Round 1
Pat Casey def. Kastriot Xhema - unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)

Other highlights from the back-to-back Bellator weekend:

* Mandel Nallo had the co-KO of the weekend, with a step knee that caught the chin of Carrington Banks and instantaneously knocked him out cold.

* The other half of the co-KO of the weekend was from earlier on that same Bellator 207 card, as Mike Kimbel tied a Bellator record with a 6-second knockout win. 

* "Baby Slice" Kevin Ferguson Jr., the son of the late Kimbo Slice, was stopped by TKO in the 2nd round of an upset loss. 

* Lorenz Larkin won his alternate bout in the Welterweight Grand Prix on Friday night, decisioning late replacement Ion Pascul in a fun fight. 

* Former Pride star Sergei Kharitonov showed off his striking skills, landing a series of punches and knees to knock out former UFC heavyweight star Roy Nelson with one second remaining in the first round. 

* MMA Lab teammates Benson Henderson, the former UFC and WEC lightweight champion, and Henry Corrales were both impressive in victory Sat night at Bellator 208.

* Cheick Kongo knocked out Timothy Johnson in 1:08 of the first round in a battle of former UFC heavyweights. The stoppage at first appeared to be premature but replays showed that a Kongo punch caught Johnson on the top of the head, causing him to fall forward. The ensuing ground and pound from Kongo with the knee mount over Johnson's face caused the referee to call a stop to it. The 43-year-old Kongo has now won 7 straight fights and is 11-2 in his last 13.


PFL 9 Playoffs - Long Beach, California
Sat Oct 13, 2018

Vinny Magalhaes used a kimura to submit both of his opponents in under two minutes at PFL 9 on Saturday night to move onto the light heavyweight finals, where he will face Sean O' Connell. 

The former gi and no-gi world jiu-jitsu champion, Magalhaes has now won four straight fights in the PFL, 3 by submission and 1 by TKO. 

O'Connell followed the underdog path of Josh Copeland (pictured with me in layout picture) from the previous week and made his way to the finals by winning both of his Saturday night fights, decisioning former The Ultimate Fighter competitor Dan Spohn and then knocking out former WSOF heavyweight champ Smealinho Rama.

A part-time commentator for PFL and a radio host, O'Connell is now 3-1 in the PFL, after having gone 2-5 during his stint in the UFC. 

The other finalists to emerge from the PFL 9 playoffs were Brazilian Natan Schulte (who won a split decision over Chris Wade) and Rashid Magomedov. Magomedov was supposed to fight his teammate Islam Mamedov in the semi-finals, after Mamedov had decisioned Thiago Tavares earlier. An injury forced Mamedov out, however, and Tavares back in, to fight Magomedov in the semi-finals. Tavarez would fare no better against his Mamedov's Russian teammate, losing by TKO. 

PFL 9 results 

Vinny Magalhaes def. Bozigit Ataev
– light heavyweight semifinal - submission (kimura) - Round 1, 1:58
Natan Schulte def. Chris Wade – lightweight semifinal - split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Sean O'Connell def. Smealinho Rama
– light heavyweight semifinal - knockout - Round 1, 1:45
Rashid Magomedov def. Thiago Tavares
– lightweight semifinal - TKO - Round 2, 3:36
Vinny Magalhaes def. Rakim Cleveland
– light heavyweight quarterfinal - submission (kimura) - Round 1, 1:20
Natan Schulte def. Johnny Case
– lightweight quarterfinal bout (Schulte advanced on tie-breaker by winning first round) - majority draw (19-18, 19-19, 19-19)
Bozigit Ataev def. Emiliano Sordi – light heavyweight quarterfinal - TKO - Round 1, 1:43
Chris Wade def. Robert Watley - lightweight quarterfinal - majority decision (19-19, 20-18, 20-18)
Preliminary Card
Sean O'Connell def. Dan Spohn
– light heavyweight quarterfinal - majority decision (19-19, 19-18, 19-18)
Islam Mamedov def. Thiago Tavares
– lightweight quarterfinal - unanimous decision(20-18, 20-18, 20-18) - Round 2, 5:00
Maxim Grishin vs. Smealinho Rama – light heavyweight quarterfinal bout (Rama advanced on tie-breaker by winning first round) - majority draw (20-18, 19-19, 19-19)
Will Brooks vs. Rashid Magomedov
– lightweight quarterfinal - (Magomedov advanced on tie-breaker by winning first round) - draw (19-19, 19-19, 19-19)
Brandon Halsey def. Ronny Markes
– light heavyweight alternate - unanimous decision (20-18, 20-18, 20-18) 
Ramsey Nijem def. Yuki Kawana – lightweight alternate - unanimous decision (19-18, 19-18, 19-18)

The next round of playoffs - PFL 10 - will take place this coming Saturday, October 20th at the St. Elizabeth's East Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington D.C., featuring the welterweight and middleweight playoffs.

Most notably, Ray Cooper III will rematch Jake Shields, after Cooper knocked him out during the PFL regular season, avenging his father's loss to Shields in Hawaii from years ago.

Also, Abubakar Nurmagomedov, the cousin of UFC lightweight champion Khabib, did not qualify for the playoffs but is replacing an injured Joao Zeferino as the No. 2 seed and will face No. 7 seed Bojan Velickovic in a welterweight quarterfinal.

Here is the full lineup for the PFL 10 playoffs this Saturday:

No. 1/8 winner vs. No. 4/5 winner –
middleweight semifinal
No. 1/8 winner vs. No. 4/5 winner – welterweight semifinal
No. 2/7 winner vs. No. 3/6 winner – middleweight semifinal
No. 2/7 winner vs. No. 3/6 winner – welterweight semifinal
No. 1 Abusupiyan Magomedov vs. No. 8 Gasan Umalatov – middleweight quarterfinal
No. 1 Ray Cooper III vs. No. 8 Jake Shields – welterweight quarterfinal
No. 4 Bruno Santos vs. No. 5 Sadibou Sy – middleweight quarterfinal
No. 4 Rick Story vs. No. 5 Handesson Ferreira – welterweight quarterfinal
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook Watch, 6:30 pm)
No. 3 Shamil Gamzatov vs. No. 6 John Howard – middleweight quarterfinal
No. 3 Magomed Magomedkerimov vs. No. 6 Pavel Kusch – welterweight quarterfinal
No. 2 Louis Taylor vs. No. 7 Rex Harris – middleweight quarterfinal
No. 2 Abubakar Nurmagomedov vs. No. 7 Bojan Velickovic – welterweight quarterfinal
Artur Alibulatov vs. Eddie Gordon – middleweight alternate bout
Yuri Villefort vs. TBA – welterweight alternate bout


Daniel Cormier defending the heavyweight title against Derrick "The Black Beast" Lewis is in as the headliner for UFC 230 at Madison Square Garden, and Valentina Shevchenko vs Sijara Eubanks is out.

The much-anticipated undercard fight of Dustin Poirier vs Nate Diaz is also off, as Poirier said he has a hip injury. There was no replacement announced for Poirier as of press time. 

The proposed Schevchenko vs Eubanks women's flyweight title fight was so poorly received as the MSG main event that after deciding on Cormier-Lewis as the replacement, the UFC went ahead and canceled the fight altogether.

There was an extra bizarre moment, before the change to Cormier-Lewis, during an episode of "The Joe Rogan Experience," when Rogan heard the news for the first time that the main event was Shevchenko vs Eubanks. Rogan told Brendan Schaub on-air that he didn't even know who Eubanks was and commented on how that was bad since he was the commentator for the UFC.

Meanwhile, Schevchenko is back on UFC 231, defending the title against former strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who was her originally scheduled opponent before the UFC pulled that fight in an attempt to put together a main event for UFC 230.

Eubanks is now facing Roxanne Modaferi at UFC 230. Ironically, Eubanks was originally supposed to fight Nicco Montano in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 26 to determine the first UFC women's flyweight champion but Eubanks was unable to fight due to weight cutting issues and was replaced by Modaferi, who then lost to Montano.

Montano was then scheduled to defend her title for the first time against Schevchenko in September at UFC 228. Prior to the weigh-ins, however, Montano was transported to a hospital due to the effects of weight cutting, the bout was cancelled and she was subsequently stripped of the title, which was awarded to Schevchenko.

The flyweight title has yet to be defended since Montano won it in December 2017. 

And you thought the UFC 230 main event situation was a mess. 

While the Cormier-Lewis main event might not make much sense from a health and safety standpoint, for either fighter, and though Lewis is far from your ideal No. 1 contender, it is much more of a fan-pleasing fight.

The heavyweight championship is always going to appeal more to the average fan, and both Cormier and Lewis are coming off knockout victories that continued the raising of their stocks.

There's always the fact that Joe Rogan himself didn't know who Eubanks was. And don't overlook the comedic gold of Lewis on the mic. Which leads us to why this fight was really put together.

If anything, Cormier vs Lewis is like the anti-Khabib vs Conor. The biggest issue they have with each other is fried chicken.

The first hint of the two fighting each other came from Cormier himself at a press conference before UFC 226 in July, when Cormier joked that Lewis was sizing him up and had called him small.

When a reporter asked why Lewis may have an issue with Cormier, and with Cormier asking as well, Lewis said “he disrespected that Popeyes chicken on a commercial,” which broke the press conference room up into laughter.

Suffice to say, there will be no dolly's thrown by Cormier or Lewis, no wild jumps off cages onto cornermen. Just a bunch of funny jokes about Popeye's chicken and whatever else these guys can come up with. This is a safe fight for the UFC. Everybody likes to see the big guys throw down, MSG gets a title fight and it is a better main event than the ill-conceived Schevchenko-Eubanks matchup.

Whether or not this is really a "safe" fight in regards to health, however, is another question. It was just a week ago that Cormier had said he had a broken hand, when asked if he would be able to fight a returning Jon Jones or even Alexander Gustafsson at MSG for UFC 230. 

So it was broken enough to be unable to fight Jones or Gustafsson, which I understand and don't blame him for if he is injured, but not broken enough to fight Lewis? 

Is Lewis that safe of an opponent for Cormier, in Cormier's mind, that he would risk fighting and defending his title with a broken hand? Cormier admitted as much in an interview, saying that he took the fight because of Lewis' lack of wrestling and cardio.

It was Lewis himself two Saturday's ago who said in the cage during his post-fight interview that he wouldn't be fighting for the title anytime soon because of his cardio struggles. And that was after he took 78 blows to the head while getting beat up by Alexander Volkov for 14 minutes and 30 seconds, pulling off a miraculous come-from-behind knockout win in the final 30 seconds. 

Now he's fighting for the title 3 weeks later against the guy who knocked Stipe Miocic out to become the two-division champion. The same guy who said he had a broken hand a week ago. So yeah, maybe this isn't such a "safe" fight for the UFC, after all. But hey, they are both funny, everybody loves the heavyweights and they will do good business.


It has been a little more than a week since UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov thoroughly dominated Conor McGregor at UFC 229, and then soared off the cage much like his "Eagle" nickname after McGregor's cornerman and jiu jitsu coach Dillon Danis, sparking a wild brawl that led to arrests, the commission withholding the purse of the champion, and impending fines and sanctions that will be determined at a hearing on October 24th. 

On Thursday, Nurmagomedov raised the ante and threatened to leave the UFC - "send me my broken contract" - if the promotion follows through on its promise to fire his teammate Zubaira Tukhugov.

Tukhugov attacked McGregor in the cage from behind and was one of three Nurmagomedov teammates that were arrested, and later released as McGregor did not press charges. Nurmagedov said on an Instagram post on his page:

"I would like to address UFC. Why didn't you fire anyone when their team attacked the bus and injured a couple people? They could have killed someone there, why no one says anything about insulting my homeland, religion, nation, family?

"Why do you have to punish my team, when both teams fought. If you say that I started it, then I do not agree, I finished what he had started. In any case, punish me, (Tukhugov) has nothing to do with that.

"If you think that I'll keep silent then you are mistaken. You canceled Zubaira's fight and you want to dismiss him just because he hit Conor. But don't forget that it was Conor who had hit my another Brother FIRST, just check the video.

"If you decide to fire him, you should know that you'll lose me too. We never give up on our brothers in Russia and I will go to the end for my Brother. If you still decide to fire him, don't forget to send me my broken contract, otherwise I'll break it myself."

Nurmagomedov also told the UFC to "keep" his $2 million payday, which is being withheld during the investigation by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and for Dana White to not get his paycheck "stuck in your throat."

UFC 229 had over 2.4 million buys, making it the largest UFC pay-per-view in history. 

Nurmagedov and his father, Abdulmanap, also met with Russian president Vladimir Putin upon his return home.

“I will ask your father not to punish you too strictly, because you achieved the main task, worthily and convincingly,” said Putin, which was a response to Nurmagomedov's father publically saying
that his punishment on Khabib for his role in the UFC 229 post-fight melee would be worse than what the UFC would do.

As if Nurmagomedov hasn't been in the news enough over the past week, the lightweight champion also called out legendary boxing champion Floyd Mayweather over the weekend, calling for a fight between the two undefeated fighters.

Nate Diaz joined Nurmagomedov in threatening to leave the UFC through social media, saying that the UFC should fire him instead of Tukhugov. 

 In the meantime, seemingly undeterred by his loss to Nurmagomedov, McGregor was spotted over the weekend at a Dallas Cowboys game (poorly) throwing a football on the field and rubbing shoulders with team owner Jerry Jones and media mogul Rupert Murdoch. He was also spotted at a Migos concert over the weekend.


Former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez has left the UFC and signed with ONE Championship, ONE CEO and Chairman Chatri Sityodtong announced on Twitter today with a video of Alvarez signing the contract.

Alvarez (29-6) had his UFC contract expire in July and was negotiating with both the UFC and Bellator, but was unable to reach an agreement with either promotion. Terms of the deal with ONE Championship were not disclosed.

In his last UFC fight, Alvarez lost to Dustin Poirier by 2nd round TKO in the main event at UFC on Fox 30 in July. It was a rematch of a No Contest between the two fighters from May 2017 at UFC 211.

Alvarez knocked out former WSOF Lightweight Champion Justin Gaethje in the third round at UFC 218, earning both fighters the Fight of the Night bonus award. 

Alvarez had won the UFC lightweight title previously with a first-round TKO over then-champion Rafael dos Anjos on July 7, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 90, despite being a 3-to-1 underdog. Alvarez would lose the belt in his first title defense, against then-UFC Featherweight champion Conor McGregor at UFC 205 by 2nd round TKO in the main event of the first-ever UFC in New York. 


Fight Results and upcoming fights

Combate Americas Sat Oct 13th main card results - Tucson, Arizona

Anthony Birchak over Adam Martinez via TKO in 51 seconds of 1st round
Amanda Serrano over Erindira Ordonez via Rear Naked Choke at 2:04 of 1st round
David Michaud over Francisco Gonzalez Trevino via TKO at 1:07 of 2nd round
Mario Bautista over Juan Pablo Gonzalez via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

The Oscar De La Hoya-promoted Chuck Liddell vs Tito Ortiz 3 event takes place November 24 at The Forum in Inglewood, California, live on pay-per-view via FITE TV. Here is the full proposed fight card for Liddell vs. Ortiz 3:

Pay-per-view main card:
Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz
Kenneth Berg vs. Jorge Gonzalez
Gleison Tibau vs. Efrain Escudero
Walel Watson vs. Ricardo Palacios
Deron Winn vs. Tom Lawlor
Jay Silva vs. Oscar Cota
Swing bouts:
Albert Morales vs. Cleber Luciano
Jose Huerta vs. Fernie Garcia
Kendall Grove vs. Andre Walker
Dave Terrel vs. Johnny Cisneros
Craig Wilkerson vs. Joshua Jones
Weston Wilson vs. Mike Segura
Amateur bouts:
Isaiah Culpepper vs. Djavan Coleman
Joshua Kim vs. Geoffrey Thomas
Jonathan Kim vs. Mauro Gutierrez
Tyler Schafer vs. Maria Favela
Julianna Miller vs. Diana Mendoza

UNDERGROUND Cage Fighting Championships returns to the Palm Beach Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida with Underground 2 on Sat. November 17th.

Hayder Hassan, finalist fron The Ultimate Fighter: American Top Team vs Blackzilians season, is headlining and UFC vets Steve Montgomery and Yosdenis Cedeno are also on the card, along with rising ATT star Gabriel Barletta. I will be ring announcing this event.

Bareknuckle FC takes place this Saturday, October 20th in Biloxi, Mississippi and is available on national pay-per-view. The full card was listed here last week. I will be working the corner for former UFC fighter, former Strikeforce and WEC champion and Bellator "Fight Master" winner Joe "Diesel" Riggs in his fight vs Brok Weaver, I'm flying out Thursday and returning to Florida on Sunday. Time to play Saturday night Cornerman. Riggs and the rest of these Bareknuckle fighters are savages, should be a great scrap.

Monday Morning Cornerman


Monday Morning Cornerman 10/8: Khabib mauls McGregor, then sparks wild melee at UFC 229; Copeland KO's Nicholson to move on to PFL finals; Ryan submits Barnett at Quintet 3

It started in April with a dolly thrown through a bus window and culminated on Saturday at UFC 229 with a wild brawl inside and outside the cage that marred an otherwise spectacular night of fights.

The most anticipated matchup in UFC history lived up to its lofty expectations and cemented the greatness of the undefeated and undisputed lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. 

The explosive aftermath, however, has left many questions that will be answered in the days and weeks to come.

Utilizing his relentless wrestling attack and vicious ground and pound, Nurmagomedov (27-0, 11-0 UFC) mauled former two-division titleholder Conor McGregor (21-4, 9-2 UFC) before finishing off the charismatic Irishman with a rear-naked choke at 3:03 of the 4th round at UFC 229 in front of 20,034 fans at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The bad blood between the two boiled over in the moments after McGregor tapped out - which was more of a face-crank than a choke, with Nurmagomedov's forearm crushing the jaw line of the "Notorious" one and forcing him to submit.

Nurmagedov held the choke on McGregor for a few moments after the tap, forcing referee Herb Dean to pull the Dagestani fighter off and release the choke. Nurmagomedov then stood over a slumped McGregor and yelled at him, before turning to his opponents corner and throwing his mouthpiece in their direction.

Then all hell broke loose, as "The Eagle" scaled the cage and went after McGregor's jiu-jitsu coach, Bellator fighter Dillon Danis, flying feet first into the crowd to spark a melee both outside and inside the cage.

Conor tried to climb the cage to defend his corner but was stopped by security. With Conor being restrained while sitting on top of the cage, Nurmagomedov's teammate, Khabib’s cousin, Abubakar Nurmagomedov, also climbed the cage and the two started swinging at each other. Afterward, Abubakar released a video that showed a swollen bruise where McGregor had hit him below the eye during the brawl.

Two other teammates of Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev and Zubaira Tukhugov, both UFC fighters, then jumped into the cage from different angles. As Makhachev neared, McGregor threw a straight left that landed to Makhachev's face just before Tukhogov immediately attacked him from behind with a series of punches.

Tukhugov later went on social media to brag that he slapped McGregor as "promised."

Las Vegas metro police and security were able to eventually calm the fracas and escorted Conor out of the arena before the official fight announcement was made.

Khabib was seen on camera after the brawl talking to UFC president Dana White inside the cage, asking him to put the title belt on him. White refused, noting that the Vegas crowd would potentially riot and throw things in the cage, and Nurmagomedov left without his belt. As he was being escorted out, beltless, he had several cups of beer hurled at him towards the end of the runway.

That led to a surreal scene where ring announcer Bruce Buffer would proclaim Nurmagomedov the winner despite neither fighter being present in the cage.

Afterwards, White said he was "disgusted and sick" about the incident. Three of Nurmagomedov's teammates were arrested, and White said two of them, Makhachev and Tukhugov, "will never fight here (in the UFC)" again as a result.

McGregor declined to press charges and all three were later released by police.

Tukhugov was scheduled to fight McGregor's teammate Artem Lobov on October 27th at UFC Fight Night Moncton. The fight card, which was listed previously on UFC.TV and included Tukhugov vs Lobov, was pulled from the website and is currently blank.

"God knows what the (Nevada State Athletic Commission) is going to do to Khabib and his guys,” White said after the fight on FS1, before the names of Nurmagomedov's teammates were announced. “Will they even get a visa again to get back in this country? There’s a lot of repercussions from what they did tonight, ones I don’t even think they realize yet.”

Among the immediate repercussions: Nurmagomedov's $2 million purse was withheld pending an investigation by the NSAC. McGregor received his $3 million purse but the NSAC said they will conduct further investigation after videotape showed him throwing the first punch on Makhachev.  

Aside from the impending punishment from the NSAC, Nurmagomedov also made it clear that he expects his father, Abdulmanap, to come down hard on him. After apologizing to the fans and Las Vegas at the post-fight press conference, Khabib said "I know my father gonna smash me when I go home because … I know he gonna smash me.”

Speaking to Russian reporters, Nurmagomedov's father said "the toughest sanctions are my attitude. I will be very hard on this. I warned him. For me, discipline comes first.

"You can do whatever you want in the octagon; outside of it, there’s children, women, random people,” Abdulmanap said. “My team has always been known for its discipline, hence my sanctions to Khabib will be much stronger than the ones from UFC.”

McGregor released a statement on Twitter the following day: "Good knock. Looking forward to the rematch."

Meanwhile, White said that it's too soon to determine if a rematch is likely because of the impending punishment to come from the NSAC.

"Not just the commission – there’s going to be fines and God knows what else," White said at the post-fight press conference. "Can these guys get visas and get back in the country? And I mean Khabib... We’ll see how this thing pans out.”

The battle lines were drawn, and the line of sport was crossed, when McGregor verbally taunted Nurmagomedov over his Muslim religion, his Dagestani homeland and his family. McGregor also attacked his business relationships, with incendiary remarks about Nurmagomedov's jailed benefactor, Ziyabudin Magomedov, as well as Nurmagomedov's controversial manager, Ali Abdelaziz.

"I don't want people talking shit about opponents, talking shit about fathers or religion," Nurmagomedov said at the post-fight press conference. "You cannot talk about religion or nations. Guys, you cannot talk about this stuff and, for me, this is very important."

Nurmagomedov faces a significant fine and suspension from the NSAC. He may be stripped of his belt depending on the length of suspension handed down by the commission. White has said definitively that he will not strip Nurmagomedov.  


Largely overshadowed by the bedlam that followed the main event, UFC 229 also featured impressive performances up and down the card.

Most notably, Tony Ferguson continued his impressive run at lightweight with a Fight of the Night performance in beating Anthony Pettis, whose corner threw in the towel after the second round due to a broken hand.

The former interim lightweight champion who was stripped after blowing out his knee and being unable to defend his title, Ferguson (24-3, 14-1 UFC) has now won 11 straight fights in the Octagon and solidified his status as the no.1 contender in the lightweight division.

Ferguson and Nurmagomedov have been scheduled to fight each other four times previously, with the fight falling through each time.

Other standouts from UFC 229 include heavyweight contender Derrick "The Black Beast" Lewis and rising light heavyweight Dominick Reyes.

Lewis pulled off one of the biggest statistical come-from-behind victories ever in the UFC, landing an overhand right that dropped former Bellator heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov with less than 30 seconds left in the third round, before he finished off the Russian with a series of brutal shots on the ground.

His post-fight interview was a highlight as usual. Lewis took off his fight shorts as Joe Rogan went to interview him in the cage post fight. Rogan asked him why he took his shorts off and Lewis said because his "balls were hot."

Despite telling Rogan that he was not in cardio shape to challenge for the championship, rumors abounded early Monday morning that Lewis was possibly being offered a main event title shot for the heavyweight title against double-champ Daniel Cormier at UFC 230 on November 3rd at Madison Square Garden. 

Reyes won a unanimous decision over Ovince St. Preaux in a battle of former college football players. Reyes, who played safety at Stony Brook University (where I played two years of college football), dropped St. Preaux, a defensive end at University of Tennessee, with what appeared to be a walkoff straight left hand and threw his hands up in the air without following up as the bell sounded. 

Reyes is now 10-0 in his pro MMA career, and 4-0 in the UFC. He said afterwards he feels that he is one win away from a title shot. 

Full UFC 229 results:

Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Conor McGregor via submission (RNC) (4th, 3:03)
Tony Ferguson def. Anthony Pettis via second-round TKO (5:00) 
Dominick Reyes def. Ovince Saint Preux via unanimous decision
Derrick Lewis def. Alexander Volkov via third-round TKO (4:49)
Michelle Waterson def. Felice Herrig via unanimous decision
Jussier Formiga def. Sergio Pettis via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-28)
Vicente Luque def. Jalin Turner via first-round KO (3:52)
Aspen Ladd def. Tonya Evinger via first-round TKO (3:26)
Scott Holtzman def. Alan Patrick via third-round KO (3:42)
Yana Kunitskaya def. Lina Lansberg via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Nik Lentz def. Gray Maynard via second-round TKO (1:19)

Ferguson and Pettis were awarded a $50,000 bonus each for Fight of the Night. Lewis and Aspen Ladd also earned $50,000 Performance Bonuses.

The UFC announced a sellout crowd of 20,034 to set a UFC attendance record in Vegas, with a gate of $17,188,894.67, which is the second-largest in UFC history.

White said Monday that the pay-per-view didn't come close to 3 million buys but that it was "well over 2 milllion."


Josh Copeland overcame a number 8 seed ranking to win two fights in one night on Friday night and punch his ticket into the million dollar finals of the Professional Fighters League, to be held December 31st. 

Considerably leaner and more aggressive than his previous PFL appearances, "The Cuddly Bear" defeated number one seed Francisco Barroso by tie-breaker in the opening round of the playoffs, per rule if the first two rounds are ruled a draw. 

Copeland then cashed in his ticket to the finals by landing a devastating overhand right on a charging Alex Nicholson at 1:27 of the first round. Nicholson - who had defeated Jack May by 1st round TKO earlier in the night to advance - had Copeland hurt and reeling. Looking for the kill, Nicholson came in reckless and paid the price as Copeland capped a night of upsets. 

Equally impressive in advancing to the heavyweight finals was Philipe Lins, who finished both of his opponents - submitting teammate Caio Alencar with a guillotine choke just 58 seconds into the first round, and then stopping the favored Jared Rosholt in the second round by TKO. 

Lins and Copeland will now meet in the PFL heavyweight finals on Dec 31st, with the winner receiving a million dollars. 

Also advancing for a chance at a million dollars were Lance Palmer and Steven Siler, who will face off in the featherweight finals. 

Palmer won unanimous decisions over Max Coga and Andre Harrison to earn his spot in the finals. It was the first loss of Harrison's career.

Siler had an unconventional path to the finals, winning the tiebreaker in his opening round draw with Nazareno Malegarie, and then winning in the semifinals by disqualification from an illegal upkick by Alexandre Almeida.

PFL 9 will take place on October 13, 2018, at the Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, California, and will feature the lightweight and light heavyweight playoffs, with the quarterfinals and semifinals taking place that night.  

PFL 8 results

Main Card - Semifinals
Josh Copeland def. Alex Nicholson via KO at 1:27 of R1
Steven Siler def. Alexandre Almeida via DQ (illegal upkick) at 0:52 of R2
Philipe Lins def. Jared Rosholt via TKO at 0:45 at R2
Lance Palmer def. Andre Harrison via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Undercard - Quarterfinals
Francimar Barroso vs. Josh Copeland draw (19-19, 19-19, 19-19). Copeland advances on first round tiebreaker
Steven Siler vs. Nazareno Malegarie majority draw (20-18, 19-19, 19-19). Siler advances on tiebreaker
Alex Nicholson def. Jack May via TKO at 2:03 of R1
Alexandre Almeida def. Jumabieke Tuerxun via majority decision (20-18, 20-18, 19-19)
Philipe Lins def. Caio Alencar via submission (guillotine choke) at 0:58 of R1
Andre Harrison def. Alexandre Bezerravia majority decision (20-18, 20-18, 19-19)
Jared Rosholt def. Kelvin Tiller via unanimous decision (20-18, 20-18, 20-18)
Lance Palmer def. Max Coga via unanimous decision (20-18, 20-18, 20-18)
Alternate Fight - Mo De’Reese def. Mike Kyle via TKO at 2:38 of R1


The Quintet Team Survival Match made its US debut on Friday night in Las Vegas, Nevada and showed why it's one of the most exciting submission-only based events in jiu jitsu, as a dominant Gordon Ryan led Team Alpha Male to the overall team victory at Quintet 3.

Featuring IBJJF World Champions, UAEJJF Abu Dhabi Pro Champs, ADCC Champs and more on its roster, Quintet 3 opened its team competition with the highly anticipated matchup of Alpha Male leader Uriah Faber vs the legendary founder of Quintet, Kazushi Sakuraba.

Faber dominated the former Pride star with his athleticism and top game but both grapplers were eliminated at the end of 8 minutes, per rules, as neither could lock on a match-ending submission.

Two matches later came what was perhaps the most significant submission of the night, as Ryan tapped out Josh Barnett with a triangle.  Ryan snuck in the triangle from full mount as Barnett tried to buck him off. Ryan then followed that with a rear-naked choke submission of Marcos Souza in the next match.

Ryan capped his stellar night in the finals, forcing Craig Jones from Team Polaris (the winners of Quintet 2) to submit to a short choke to help lead Alpha Male to the team victory. Jones had submitted 10th Planet teammates Adam Sachnoff and Richie Martinez, and Alpha Male's Antoine Jaoude prior to facing Ryan.

Team Alpha Male X Team Sakuraba
Match 1 – Urijah Faber drew with Kazushi Sakuraba
Match 2 – Antoine Jaoude drew with Daisuke Nakamura
Match 3 – Gordon Ryan defeated Josh Barnett by triangle choke
Match 4 – Gordon Ryan defeated Marcos Souza by RNC
Match 5 – Gordon Ryan drew with Roberto Satoshi 

Team Alpha Male advanced

Team Polaris X Team 10th Planet
Match 1 – Vitor Shaolin lost to PJ Barch by rolling armbar
Match 2 – Gregor Gracie defeated PJ Barch by kneebar
Match 3 – Gregor Gracie defeated Amir Allam by kimura
Match 4 – Gregor Gracie lost to Geo Martinez by kimura
Match 5 – Marcin Held defeated Geo Martinez by kneebar
Match 6 – Marcin Held lost to Richie Martinez by shoulder lock
Match 7 – Craig Jones defeated Richie Martinezby Caio Terra footlock
Match 8 – Craig Jones defeated Adam Sachnoff by RNC

Team Polaris advances

Team Polaris X Team Alpha Male
Match 1 – Daniel Strauss drew with Dustin Akbari
Match 2 – Marcin Held drew with Mansher Khera
Match 3 – Craig Jones defeated Antoine Jaoude by RNC
Match 4 – Craig Jones lost to Gordon Ryan by short choke
Match 5 – Gregor Gracie Drew with Gordon Ryan

Team Alpha Male wins Quintet 3

* Nicky Ryan defeated Hiedo Tokoro by RNC
The 17-year old little brother of Gordon Ryan lived up to his prodigy billing by easily submitting the 40-year old MMA veteran.
*Marcelo Nunes defeated Haisam Rida by katagatame
* Satoshi Ishii defeated Frank Mir by DQ
Mir weighed in at 281 pounds and did little in the match. The former UFC heavyweight champion was disqualified after his 4th stalling warning.

ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES - Njokuani upsets Souwers; Aoki wins

Anthony Njokuani shocked the kickboxing world by picking up a split decision win over the legendary Andy Souwers at ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES this past Saturday at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.

Njokuani now holds a 26-1 record in kickboxing. He went 16-12 overall in MMA, with a 3-5 record in the UFC and 4-3 in the WEC. He last fought MMA in 2016.

Japanese MMA star Shinya Aoki was also victorious on the card, submitting Ev Ting by triangle choke 57 seconds in the first round.


Main Card
*Srisaket Sor Rungvisai defeats Iran Diaz via unanimous decision to retain WBC Super Flyweight World Title
*Stamp Fairtex defeats Kai Ting Chuang via unanimous decision to claim the ONE Kickboxing Atomweight World Title
*Shinya Aoki submits Ev Ting via arm-triangle choke at 57 seconds of round one (MMA)
*Nong-O Gaiyanghadao defeats Mehdi Zatout via unanimous decision (Muay Thai)
*Anthony Njokuani defeats Andy Souwer via split decision (Kickboxing)
*Muin Gafurov defeats Leandro Issa via knockout at 2:24 of round one (MMA)
Preliminary Card
*Alain Ngalani and Andre Meunier - No Contest (Kickboxing)
*Alaverdi Ramazanov defeats Petchmorrakot Wor. Sangprapai via unanimous decision (Muay Thai)
*Hayato Suzuki submits Robin Catalan via rear-naked choke at 3:42 of round two (MMA)
*Singtongnoi Por Telakun defeats Masahide Kudo via unanimous decision (Kickboxing)
*Rika Ishige defeats Bozhena Antoniyar via TKO at 2:48 of 1st round (MMA)
*Petchdam Kaiyanghadao defeats Kenny Tse via knockout at 1:26 of round one (Muay Thai)
*Fu Chang Xin submits Rin Saroth via rear-naked choke at 3:04 of 1st round (MMA)
*Ramon Gonzales submits Dodi Mardian via rear-naked choke at 3:33 of 1st round (MMA)


The Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships takes place on Saturday, October 20th in Biloxi, Mississippi, and is available nationwide on pay-per-view. 

There are some notable MMA names on the card, with former rivals Kendall Groves (facing Marcel Stamps) and Joe "Diesel" Riggs (facing Brock Weaver) the most well known. 

This will be the first Bare Knuckle FC appearance for Riggs, but he did beat Christian Evans by unanimous decision last January in England to win the Bare Knuckle Boxing (BKB) light heavyweight title. I will be cornering Riggs for this fight. 

The main event is Arnold Adams vs Sam Shewmaker for the 1st ever Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships heavyweight title.


HBO Boxing has thrown in the towel after more than 1,000 fights, as the network recently announced that it was dropping boxing. 

What started 45 years ago with George Foreman’s shocking knockout of the heavyweight champion Joe Frazier in 1973, will come to a close at the end of 2018. The final boxing broadcast on HBO is scheduled for October 27th at Madison Square Garden.

Peter Nelson, the executive vice president of HBO Sports, said in a recent interview that “our audience research informs us that boxing is no longer a determinant factor for subscribing to HBO.”

The HBO Boxing staff includes play-by-play announcer Jim Lampley, analyst Max Kellerman, ringside scorer Harold Lederman, and former boxing champions Andre Ward and Roy Jones Jr. worked for HBO as freelance commentators.

There are many new options available to fans of the sweet science, fear not.  Matchroom Boxing, run by promoter Eddie Hearn, recently signed a $1 billion deal with the new digital platform DAZN (pronounced “Da Zone”) to televise fights over the next eight years.

DAZN's streaming service cost $9.99 a month (I mistakenly put $4.99 two weeks ago) and will be available through internet and smartphone apps. Bellator MMA also recently signed a multi-year deal with DAZN.

ESPN completed a seven-year deal with Top Rank in August to present 54 boxing shows, including on ESPN Plus, its subscription-based streaming service that costs $4.99 per month.

Showtime presented 22 live boxing events in 2018 and says it is still committed to boxing.


Fight fans get back-to-back nights of Bellator MMA this weekend, featuring the semi-finals of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix, with UFC vets Matt Mitrione and Ryan Bader facing off Friday night in one semi-final, and "The Last Emperor" Fedor Emelianenko meeting Chael Sonnen in the other. Here are the main cards for both nights:

Bellator 207 - Friday, October 12th
Main Card (9 PM ET, Paramount Network/DAZN)
Matt Mitrione vs. Ryan Bader
Roy Nelson vs. Sergei Kharitonov
Lorenz Larkin vs. Ion Pascu
Kevin Ferguson Jr. vs. Corey Browning
Carrington Banks vs. Mandel Nallo

Bellator 208 - Saturday, October 13th
Main Card (9 PM ET, Paramount Network/DAZN)
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Chael Sonnen 
Benson Henderson vs Saad Awad
Cheick Kongo vs Timothy Johnson
Alexander Shlemenko vs. Anatoly Tokov
Henry Corrales vs. Andy Main


Bellator 206 results: MW champ Mousasi smashes WW champ McDonald, Rampage TKO's Silva to even series; Cormier calls Jones a "snitch"; Al-Hassan indicted by Grand Jury

In its first-ever show on the streaming service DAZN, Bellator 206 on Saturday night at the SAP Center in San Jose, California delivered with a rare Champion vs Champion main event and the fourth installment of a Legends rivalry that seemingly set the table in the future for a fifth and final fight.


The much-anticipated champion against  champion matchup of Bellator middleweight kingpin Gegard Mousasi vs Bellator welterweight titleholder Rory McDonald culminated in anti-climactic fashion, with the Dutch fighter facing little resistance from McDonald en route to a dominant TKO stoppage at 3:23 of the 2nd round. 

Only Mousasi's middleweight strap was on the line, in what was his first defense of the title he won back in May of this year when he defeated then-champion Rafael Carvalho by 1st round TKO. 

In the co-main event, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson was able to land an overhand right late in the 3rd round that caught the chin of Wanderlei Silva, dropping "The Axe Murderer" and leading to a referee stoppage. 

For Mousasi (45-6-2), it was a dominant performance from the onset as he started off the contest with precise jabs that snapped McDonald's head back and bloodied his nose early on. The first round took place on the feet for its entirety, and the former kickboxer outclassed his Canadian counterpart from bell to bell, landing a series of stiff right hands along with the prevalent jab as McDonald (20-5) tried in vain to move away from Mousasi's constant pressure and avoid damage. 

McDonald showed little desire to engage in the standup battle at the start of the second round, twisting to the ground right away for what looked like an attempted rolling Imanari lock/scissor-lock takedown into heelhook, ala Ryo Chonan submitting Anderson Silva. 

Mousasi was unfazed by the flashy roll and went right into smash mode, landing heavy elbows with McDonald stuck under him in half guard. Seconds later, Mousasi slid through McDonald's legs and took full mount where he kept up the vicious ground and pound until referee Herb Dean waved it off.

Mousasi and McDonald both took home $150,000 for the fight. 

Now on an 8-fight winning streak, Mousasi said in the cage after that undefeated Rafael Lovato Jr. ( who is 9-0, coming off his submission win last week at Bellator 205 over John Salter) had earned the next shot, and also made a parting shot reference to Lyoto Machida, who he lost to in the UFC by unanimous decision in 2014.

McDonald is still the welterweight champion and already has his next fight scheduled, a first-round matchup against Jon Fitch in the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix, but no date or location has been announced yet. 

With the TKO victory, Jackson (38-13) evened the series at 2-2 between the two MMA legends. Silva (35-14-1) had won their first two fights in Pride, with Rampage gaining a measure of revenge at UFC 92.

Though Jackson, 40, and Silva, 42, were fighting age and fatigue, they put on a show for the fans by turning back the clock and waging war for three rounds of back-and-forth standup action. Ultimately, it was Rampage's punching power that would prove the difference.

Jackson made $300,000 for the victory, while Silva was paid $200,000. Afterwards, both fighters talked about a fifth and deciding fight as the likely next step. 

The undercard had some interesting matchups and results, with 5 of the 6 main card fights ending in a stoppage. Most notable was Douglas Lima's 5th round rear-naked-choke win over Andrey Koreshkov in a Welterweight Grand Prix first round matchup that featured a battle of former Bellator welterweight champions.

This was the rubber match of their rivalry, with each fighter holding a win over the other. It wasn't a fan-pleasing fight but it was a technical masterpiece for Lima, who thwarted repeated Koreshkov takedown attempts throughout and was able to finish it off with the Mata Leon "Lionkill" finish. Lima earned $130,000 for the victory, and will now move onto the 2nd round to face the winner of MVP Michael "Venom" Page and Paul Daley. Koreshkov received $55,000 in the losing effort.

The main card also saw the continued emergence of rising star Aaron Pico, who dusted off former title contender Leandro Higo with a spectacular striking display in the first round and earned $80,000 in doing so. Higo pocketed $14,000 in the loss. 

Full Bellator 206 results:

Gegard Mousasi def Rory MacDonald via 2nd-round TKO (3:23)
Rampage Jackson def Wanderlei Silva via 2nd-round TKO (4:32)
Douglas Lima def Andrey Koreshkov via sub (RNC) (R5, 3:04)
Aaron Pico def Leandro Higo via 1st-round TKO (3:19)
Keri Melendez def Dakota Zimmerman via split decision
Gaston Bolanos def Ysidro Gutierrez via 2nd-round TKO (1:37)
Adam Piccolotti def James Terry via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 x2)
Jeremiah Labiano def Justin Smitley via 1st-round TKO (3:28)
Arlene Blencowe def Amber Leibrock via 3rd-round TKO (1:23)
Josh San Diego def Joe Neal via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Cass Bell def Ty Costa via submission (armbar) (R2, 3:06)
Chuck Campbell def Joseph Ramirez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Anthony Figueroa Jr. def Samuel Romero via unanimous decision (29-27, 28-26, 29-26)



The long-simmering fued between UFC champ-champ Daniel Cormier and the former champ Jon "Bones" Jones is back at a full boil with the two rivals taking social media shots at each other this past week. 

Jones had originally been suspended for 48 months because he tested positive during a urine test for the steroid Turinabol prior to his fight against Daniel Cormier in July 2017 at UFC 214. This was the second US Anti-Doping Agency violation for Jones, both times after victories over Cormier (the first time was January 2015). The test was taken before the second fight, but did not come back until after he knocked out Cormier in the third round. 

After Jones posted on Instagram that Cormier had a "fake belt," the current light-heavyweight and heavyweight champion responded on the popular social media forum:

"So here we go again Jonny boy. First off, if you did nothing wrong and were ‘innocent’ then you’d have never been suspended. You’ve had to stand before these people and arbitrators so many times it’s insane. So you slipped again, how many times can one man slip? I’ve been tested 70 times and I haven’t slipped once. How do you explain that? And on top of all the cheating you’ve done around UFC 182, UFC 200 and UFC 214 that’s not even the straw that broke the camel’s back. You are actually a SNITCH! You think you’re the only one that’s been offered this deal? No, you’re just the only scumbag low enough to take it! Which one of your teammates did you tell on to get this joke of a punishment from USADA! I thought there was nothing lower than a cheater but it’s not surprising that you show me a whole new level. You’re a cheater and a SNITCH! Get off my page and go do some coke, or steroids or whatever you losers do in your spare time."

The "snitch" insult is in response to the USADA reducing Jones' suspension previously from 48 months to 18 months and now reduced again to 15 months, and the resulting statement from a USADA representative in direct response to dismissive comments made by Jones' manager, Malki Kawa, who recently said a 30-month reduction in his potential suspension was the result of information he provided about himself and not 'snitching' on someone else. 

A representative of USADA disputed that Jones assistance was regarding his own case, however, and provided a statement of how the policy actually works:

“There are two avenues in 10.6.1 of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy which allow for a reduction in sanctions: 1) an individual can get a sanction reduction if he or she provides information that results in USADA or another anti-doping agency bringing forward an Anti-Doping Policy Violation against other athletes or support personnel; and/or 2) a reduction can be given if the information results in a criminal or disciplinary body bringing forward a criminal offense against individuals. Importantly, if the athlete or support personnel fails to continue to cooperate and provide credible substantial assistance, USADA will reinstate the original sanction. These rules set out in 10.6.1 are crystal clear and if they are not met, an individual would not be considered for a reduction based on substantial assistance. Because the substantial assistance relates to ongoing matters, USADA is unable to provide any further information.”

All of this bad blood has led to rampant rumors that Cormier might face Jones as soon as November 3rd to headline Madison Square Garden. Earlier today though, Cormier said his hand is injured and he won't be able to fight until January.

Cormier also said that talks with the UFC have been "tense" recently and that they want to strip them of his light-heavyweight title for being unable to defend it due to the hand injury. He said he thinks Jones will fight Gustafsson for the light-heavyweight title in a rematch of their 2013 Fight of the Year that Jones won by a close decision. 

I expect to hear that announced any day now as the main event for UFC 230 at Madison Square Garden on November 3rd, or for the December 29th show. Cormier said if he does get stripped and that fight happens, that he wants to face the winner for the LHW title. Cormier holds a split decision win over Gustafsson at UFC 192 in 2015.  

I also expect we will hear at some point who Jones allegedly has "snitched" on to receive the reduced sentence. It certainly gives reason to keep an eye on any future violations that may result from his teammates at Jackson-Wink MMA.

Other UFC news - 

* Rising UFC welterweight star Abdul Razak Al-Hassan was indicted last Monday in Tarrant County, Texas, for charges related to the alleged rape of two women in one night earlier this year.

Al-Hassan was arrested in April following a Saginaw Police Department investigation of a reported sexual assault in March, and was out on $20,000 bail bond when he knocked out Niko Price at UFC 228 earlier last month.

The Fort WorthStar Telegram reported that on or about March 23, Al-Hassan agreed to drive two women home from the Varsity Tavern in Fort Worth, where he was working as a bouncer. One of the alleged victims, a 22-year-old woman, claims she was drunk and incapacitated when Al-Hassan reportedly drove her and her 20-year-old friend back to the younger woman’s family home. It is there that the women say Al-Hassan raped them, one after the other, in a bedroom of the home.

Al-Hassan's attorney has said that his client will plead not guilty. The UFC has not released a statement as of press time, and it is unclear if the UFC was aware of the pending charges when Al-Hassan fought at UFC 228. 

Al-Hassan is currently on a three-fight winning streak and has an overall MMA record of 11-1, 4-1 in the UFC. 

* With the main event of Khabib Nurmagedov vs Conor McGregor billed as "the biggest fight in UFC history," UFC 229 takes place this Saturday, October 6th at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. 

The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, the UFC’s digital streaming network. You may also be able to stream part of the event on the FOX Sports GO app.

The early prelims kick off on Fight Pass at 6:15pm ET, with the FS1 prelims starting at 8pm ET, and the five-fight main card airing on pay-per-view at 10pm ET.

Longtime MMA veteran and American Top Team fighter Steve "The Creepy Weasel" Montgomery told me this week on Inside Fighting Radio that anybody in their right mind is picking Khabib, while also acknowledging the greatness of McGregor and his ability to create set ups for his striking. 

I liked the analysis of Chael Sonnen, who said, and I'm paraphrasing here, that everyone expects Khabib to win if he takes Conor down, and for Conor to win if he keeps the fight standing, but that this is MMA and things rarely go as simple as that in this sport. 

With all of that said, I've got Conor by KO in the first or second round. I wouldn't be surprised if Nurmagomedov wins, Khabib is a beast who wrestled bears as a kid growing up in Dagestan and now mauls his opponents in a similar fashion, but I think Conor keeps it standing enough to catch him on the feet. 

Dave Meltzer reported that Herb Dean will be paid $1,900 to referee the main event, and that a cageside ticket to the show was priced on the primary market at $2,505. 

Also excited to see the return of Tony Ferguson in a great matchup as he takes on former lightweight champ Anthony Pettis, and Derrick Lewis always has fun fights. 

Can't forget about fellow former Stony Brook Seawolves football player Dominick Reyes fighting Ovince St. Preux. I was a starting offensive tackle for the Stony Brook football team for four games back in 1997, about 15 years ahead of Reyes' graduation from the Brook. Reyes started 41 games for the Seawolves as a safety from 2009-2012, was a first-team All Big South selection his senior year and finished his career as the program's all-time leader in solo tackles. 

Here is the full up-to-date UFC 229 card:

UFC 229 main card (Pay-Per-View, 10 pm ET)

Champ Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor – lightweight title fight
Tony Ferguson vs. Anthony Pettis
Dominick Reyes vs. Ovince Saint Preux
Derrick Lewis vs. Alexander Volkov
Felice Herrig vs. Michelle Waterson

UFC 229 preliminary card (FS1, 8pm ET)
Jose Quinonez vs. TBA
Jussier Formiga vs. Sergio Pettis
Vicente Luque vs. Jalin Turner
Tonya Evinger vs. Aspen Ladd

UFC 229 preliminary card (UFC Fight Pass, 6:15pm ET)
Yana Kunitskaya vs. Lina Lansberg
Scott Holtzman vs. Alan Patrick
Nik Lentz vs. Gray Maynard
Ryan LaFlare vs. Tony Martin

* The UFC has announced that moving forward the promotion will no longer announce potential anti-doping violations committed by fighters until their cases are resolved.

The public won’t receive any notice on whether a violation has or hasn’t been found until a case is completely resolved.

“If an athlete has a positive drug test, we aren’t putting them in a fight until their case is resolved – but what we can do is give the athlete an opportunity to adjudicate their issue without the public rushing to judgment,” UFC Chief Legal Counsel Hunter Campbell told “Announcing the test result creates this narrative around the athlete before people understand the facts.”

"Sugar" Sean O'Malley appears to be the first casualty of this new rule, as he took to his YouTube podcast and Instagram page to explain that he had been taken off Saturday's UFC 229 card last week due to testing positive for a banned substance. In accordance with the new policy, the UFC did not announce the reason O'Malley was pulled from the fight with Jose Quinonez. 

O'Malley and his trainer/confidante Tim Welch have claimed that the substance in question likely came from an over-the-counter substance they bought at a local supplement store, One Stop Nutrition. They also said they are working closely with Jeff Novitzky, who is Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance for the UFC. 

* UFC light heavyweight Mark "The Hands Of" Godbeer has announced his retirement. Godbeer (13-4) had withdrawn from his scheduled fight against Luis Henrique at UFC Sao Paulo this past weekend due to injury. 

In his last fight, Godbeer was submitted by Dmitriy Sosnovskiylate in the second round of their matchup at UFC London in March. That setback snapped his two-fight win streak, which included a DQ victory over Walt Harris at UFC 217. Godbeer ends his career with 9 wins by way of KO.

* Dustin Poirier and Nate Diaz both took to Twitter last week in an effort to get their scheduled November 3rd matchup bumped to a main event title fight in a weight class that doesn't currently exist.


Poirier (24-5 MMA, 16-4 UFC) first put out a tweet last Tuesday that called for UFC prez Dana White to promote their UFC 230 bout to headliner status as the first 165-pound title fight in UFC history. Diaz (19-11 MMA, 14-9 UFC) followed up Poirier’s message hours later by saying that he was happy to announce that he was fighting in the main event Nov 3 "for the first ever 165lb belt," which led to a categorical denial to TMZ from a confused White. 

“Not only will there not (be a 165-lb title fight), we did not ever discuss that with (Diaz),” White said. “It was never an option, never anything.”

I like the idea of a 165-pound division, and getting rid of the 170-pound weight class altogether and going with 125-lbs, 135-lbs, 145-lbs, 155-lbs, 165-lbs, 175-lbs and 185-lbs, before going up to 205-lbs and then creating a 235-lbs weight class and finishing at 265-lbs. That would be 10 weight classes, which creates an issue with roster depth. However, the potential benefits would be many. 

Not to mention it would create a title fight main event matchup of Poirier vs Diaz to headline MSG and UFC 230 (if not the rumored Jones vs Gustafsson 2 lhw title fight), and I'd be ok with that. Either way, it's a great fight that I can't wait to see. Poirier has been fighting a lot (5 fights since 2017, 4 wins and 1 no-contest)) and has looked sharper in each outing, while Diaz has been inactive since his rematch decision loss to Conor McGregor back in August 2016. As much as I enjoy the fighting style of the Diaz brothers, I think this will be a night for the "Diamond" to shine.

* UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway has been medically cleared to return and will meet Brian Ortega on December 8th at UFC 231 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, the promotion announced Monday night.

The latest UFC 231 card now includes:

UFC Featherweight Title Fight - Champ Max Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) vs. Brian Ortega (14-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC)
UFC Vacant Women's Flyweight Title - Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Valentina Shevchenko
Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Gilbert Burns
Chad Laprise vs. Dhiego Lima
Kyle Bochniak vs. Hakeem Dawodu
Devin Clark vs. Aleksandar Rakic
Nina Ansaroff vs. Claudia Gadelha
Brad Katona vs. Matthew Lopez
Jimi Manuwa vs. Thiago “Marreta” Santos
Eryk Anders vs. Elias Theodorou


Bellator MMA News - 

* Rapper 50 Cent has put his name, and supposedly his money, at the forefront of Bellator's lightweight grand prix, offering an additional one million dollars in cash to the winner.

According to a press release sent out by Bellator last Thursday, rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson will take one million dollars out of the money he has received from the “Bellator Viacom franchise,” as part of a promotional agreement and award it to the tournament winner.

“A passionate and knowledgeable MMA fan, Jackson has already agreed to re-invest a portion of his deal by offering one million dollars in cash to the winner of the upcoming Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix that will air exclusively on DAZN.”

As the former personal bodyguard of 50 Cent for 10 months of 2005, I find the press release line of 50 being a "passionate and knowledgeable MMA fan..." laughable for many reasons. For one, 50 can care less about sports, let alone mixed martial arts. He is about one thing. The money. That said, there is NO WAY that 50 Cent is paying one million dollars out of his pocket. It is a nice promotional play but it's not reality.

* With back-to-back nights of Bellator 207 and Bellator 208 less than two weeks away, an injury has forced former UFC standout Erick Silva to withdraw from his scheduled welterweight grand prix alternate matchup against Lorenz Larkin at Bellator 207 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. on Friday, October 12th.

A replacement for Silva has not been named as of press time. The main card airs on Paramount and DAZN.

Here is the full Bellator 207 card:

MAIN CARD (Paramount, DAZN, 9pm ET)
Matt Mitrione vs Ryan Bader – Bellator heavyweight grand prix semifinal
Sergei Kharitonov vs Roy Nelson
Corey Browning vs Kevin Ferguson Jr.
Lorenz Larkin vs TBA

Andre Fialho vs Javier Torres
Alexandra Ballou vs Lisa Blaine
Nicholas Giulietti vs Alex Ortiz
Peter Barrett vs Blair Tugman
Tim Caron vs Reginaldo Felix
Janay Harding vs Sinead Kavanagh
Pat Casey vs Kastriot Xhema
Mike Kimbel vs Alex Potts
Kemran Lachinov vs Sean Lally

Here is the full Bellator 208 card, taking place Saturday night, October 13th at NYCB Live in Uniondale, New York:

Fedor Emelianenko vs Chael Sonnen - Bellator heavyweight grand prix semifinal
Alexander Shlemenko vs Anatoly Tokov
Benson Henderson vs Saad Awad
Cheick Kongo vs Timothy Johnson

Robson Gracie vs Peter Nascimento
Tommy Espinosa vs Suhrob Aidarbekov
Frank Buenafuente vs James Gonzalez
Jeremy Puglia vs Eric Olsen
Mike DiOrio vs Andrews Rodriguez
Zarrukh Adashev vs Christian Medina
Jerome Mickle vs Nick Fiore
Ryan Castro vs Dennis Buzukia


Other MMA News:

* Headlined by former UFC fighter Kyoji Horiguchi’s valiant but futile effort in a kickboxing match with Japanese striking star Tenshin, RIZIN FF 13 drew its largest-ever crowd to the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Japan with over 25,000 fans.

The RIZIN card also saw Mirko Cro Cop use elbows to win his 9th straight fight, along with a flying knee knockout win from Daron Cruickshank over Diego Brandao in a matchup of former UFC fighters, and highlights from Jiri Prochazka and Haruo Ochii. Also, Bob Sapp snapped his 14-fight losing streak in a comically bad affair.

RIZIN honored Japanese legend Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto with a moment of silence. His sister, Miyuu, also fought and won a fight against Andy Nguyen, just 12 days after Kid’s passing due to cancer. With the win, Miyuu avenged a loss to Nguyen in 2016.

Full RIZIN FF 13 results
Jiri Prochazka def. Jake Heun via TKO (strikes) at 4:29 of R1
Mikura Asakura def. Karshyga Dautbek via unanimous decision
Daron Cruickshank def. Diego Brandao via KO (flying knee) at 5:18 of R1
Miyuu Yamamoto def. Andy Nguyen via unanimous decision
Mirko Cro Cop def. Roque Martinez via TKO (doctor stoppage) at 4:58 of R1
Bob Sapp def. Kintaro Osunaarashi via unanimous decision
Haruo Ochi def. Mitsuhisa Sunabe via KO (soccer kick) at 2:51 of R3
Kai Asakura def. Topnoi Thanongsakiek via unanimous decision
Ayaka Hamasaki def. Mina Kurobe via submission (kimura) at 4:45 of R1
Taiga Kawabe vs. Kento Haraguchi majority draw [Kickboxing bout]
Manel Kape def. Yusaku Nakamura via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:28 of R1

* Greg Hardy knocked out Rasheem Jones in 53 seconds at an XFN event in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday night. It was the third straight pro win and third straight knockout under one minute for Hardy.

Hardy thwarted a weak takedown attempt from Jones early on and landed a devastating series of hammer strikes that ended it. The much-maligned former Dallas Cowboys star moves to 3-0 as a pro with a 3-0 amateur career. All six of his fights have ended in the first round by way of KO or TKO.

* LFA 51 Results -

Main Event – Bantamweight Fight – Cody Gibson (16-7) def. Gustavo Erak (19-4-1, 1 NC) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Co-Main Event – Catchweight Fight (140 pounds) – Nohelin Hernandez def. Rolando Velasco by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Jordan Powell TKO over Andres Alcantar (referee stoppage due to injury) at 4:00 of the 2nd round.
Joaquin Lopez KO over Salaiman Ahmandyar at 1:13 in round one.
Kailan Hill knocked out Adam Fugitt at 1:31 of 1st round.
Paul Elizondo TKO victory over Freddy Mendez at 1:46 of 1st round.


Boxing News:

* Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KO's) will defend his WBC title against Tyson Fury (27-0, 19 KO's) on Saturday, December 1st at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in one of the biggest heavyweight fights in years.

Wilder is coming off a wild, come-from-behind KO win over Luis Ortiz that is the most-watched boxing match of 2018 for HBO or Showtime. 

Fury shocked the world when he defeated long-reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 to win the unified WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, Ring magazine and Lineal heavyweight titles. Battles with drugs and alcoholism sent him into rehab for a period of time during a 2-year sabbatical away from the ring, which saw him balloon to over 350 pounds. 

Fury and Wilder agreed to terms in September and met face-to-face in the ring in Belfast last month after Fury's decision win over Francesco Pianeta, his second victory since returning in May 2018.

Anthony Joshua had been in talks with Wilder's promoter, Eddie Hearn, for a super fight to decide the undisputed world heavyweight champion.

When talks broke down regarding a unification fight, Joshua opted for a mandatory defense against Alexander Povetkin, which Joshua won by 7th round TKO.

Joshua has said he wants to face Wilder at Wembley on April 13th.

Promoter Eddie Hearn says he wants the Joshua-Wilder fight to be agreed before Wilder takes on Tyson Fury on December 1.

* Logan Yoon (13-0, 10 KOs) kept his undefeated record, as well as his NABO Super Lightweight belt, against a very overmatched John “El Emperador” Renteria (16-5-1, 12 KOs) in the main event of Rumble at the Rock 2 this past Friday night at The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, The Fighting News reported. 

In the co-main event, Livan “The Machine Gun Kid” Navarro (9-0, 6 KOs) won a unanimous decision over Armando “The Gentleman” Alvarez (18-2, 12 KOs) by scores of 98-92, 97-93, 97-93.

Earlier fights saw Featherweight Mussa “Warrior” Tursyngaliyev (8-0, 6 KOs) outpoint Deivi Julio “El Cabo” Bassa (20-6, 12 KOs) for 8 rounds to retain his NABA USA Featherweight Title. Others victorious at The Rock were Irosvani Duvergel (4-0, 2 KOs), Dusty Arnold (6-1, 1 KO), Jorge de Jesus Romero (11-0, 9 KOs), Jessy Cruz (14-7, 6 KOs) and Derrieck Cuevas (18-0-1, 14 KOs).

Rumble at the Rock 3 is set for Friday, November 30th at The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. 


Muay Thai/Kickboxing

* GLORY Kickboxing's biggest star Rico Verhoeven defended his heavyweight title for the 8th time with an unanimous decision victory over former UFC fighter Guto Inocente in the main event of GLORY 59 on Sept. 29 at the Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam.

Here are the full results from GLORY 59 Amsterdam:

GLORY Heavyweight Championship - Rico Verhoeven (c) def. Guto Inocente via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
GLORY Featherweight Championship Title Unification Bout - Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao def. Robin van Roosmalen via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
Jamal Ben Saddik def. D’Angelo Marshall via TKO (three-knockdown rule) (Rd. 1, 0:57)
Tyjani Beztati def. Christian Baya via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
GLORY 59 SuperFight Series Results:
Murthel Groenhart def. Mohammed Jaraya via TKO (Rd. 2, 1:05)
Alim Nabiyev def. Eyevan Danenberg via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Michael Duut def. Mourad Bouzidi via KO (Rd. 3, 2:56)
Roel Mannaart def. Daniel Skvor via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Aleksei Ulianov def. Zakaria Zouggary via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27, 30-26, 30-26)



* The Quintet submission show will take place at the Pearl at the Palms in Las Vegas this Friday, October 5th, the night before the Nurmagomedov-McGregor fight.

It will be headlined by Team Sakuraba vs. Alpha Male in a survival series match, and it’s already been announced that Sakuraba and Urijah Faber will start for their respective team and face each other.

Quintet also features former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir facing 2008 judo heavyweight gold medalist Satoshi Ishii.


Monday Morning Cornerman 9/24: Yamamoto and Robinson deaths; Cheisa files suit; McGregor-Nurmagomedov press conference; UFC and Bellator event coverage; Joshua wins by KO and much more


Welcome to the Monday Morning Cornerman, the only weekly newsletter to cover the fighting sports exclusively! The main focus will be on mixed martial arts, but the Monday Morning Cornerman will also shine a much-needed light on the sports of muay thai and kickboxing, as well as boxing, jiu jitsu and amateur wrestling. 

My goal is to provide news, analysis and opinion of the combat sports world in a weekly wrap-up format that becomes your one-stop fight shop. The first two months will be free, up to and including the issue on Thanksgiving week. For all who subscribe within the first two months, the cost will be $1 monthly starting with the issue the week after Thanksgiving. After that, the normal cost will be $2 monthly. I hope you enjoy and please share it with any fight fans and friends you have. Tune into Inside Fighting Radio every Sunday 11am ET in South Florida on Fox Sports Radio 640AM The Hurricane, and you can listen from anywhere at Please submit news entries for the Monday Morning Cornerman to and remember, chin down, hands up and let's get ready to fight!


Japanese fighting legend Kid Yamamoto passes away at age 41

The martial arts community was left in mourning this week as Japanese legend Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto died on Tuesday, September 18th at the age of 41. 

Yamamoto passed away in Guam, where he had been hospitalized since he first revealed he was battling cancer on August 26th, just three weeks prior to his death. 

One of the top smaller MMA fighters in the world in the mid-to-late 2000's, Yamamoto was widely considered the greatest bantamweight and featherweight fighter in the world during that time period, and regarded among the best pound-for-pound.

Listed at 5'4", 146 pounds (other reports have his size as 5'3, 141 pounds), he was known for his aggressive and explosive style that earned him massive crossover appeal in Asia and made him Japan's biggest fighting star. 

Yamamoto fought for the UFC between 2011-2015 but knee and elbow injuries and age had already taken its toll, and he went 0-3 with 1 no-contest during his time in the octagon. He made his UFC debut in a unanimous decision loss to soon-to-be bantamweight champion Demetrious Johnson. His final mixed martial arts fight was in the UFC against Roman Salazar, which was ruled a no-contest due to an accidental eye-poke that left Salazar unable to continue. 

He fought fellow Japanese star Masato in a kickboxing match (a fight he lost but earned respect by dropping Masato early in the fight) in Japan on December 31st, 2004, which drew a monster 31.6 TV rating and was viewed in 33 million homes. 

Yamamoto took the MMA scene by storm when he won the Hero's Lightweight Grand Prix in 2005, defeating Genki Sudo by controversial 1st round TKO stoppage in the finals of a tournament that also saw him stop Royler Gracie (2nd round KO from a one-punch right hook) and Caol Uno (2nd round TKO), despite being at a significant size disadvantage. 

He followed that up with perhaps his most memorable fight, knocking out Olympic wrestler Kazuyuki Misata in 4 seconds with a flying knee at Hero's 5, setting a record for fastest knockout in a major MMA organization (later tied by Duane Ludwig's KO over Jonathan Goulet). 

He further cemented his status among the MMA elite with a subsequent victory over another Olympic wrestler, Istvan Majoros (1st round TKO at K-1 Premium 2006 Dynamite), after which he announced his intention to take an indefinite leave from the sport to focus on following his father's dream of representing Japan in the Olympics as a freestyle wrestler. 

He returned in late 2007, after a shoulder injury during a qualifying match dashed his Olympic hopes, to defeat Asian champion Bibiano Fernandes by unanimous decision at Hero's 10. “Kid” then defeated current UFC star Rani Yahya by KO due to soccer kicks and punches in the 1st round to cap off a 14-fight winning streak that stretched from 2002 to 2007. 

A series of injuries kept him out of action until May 2009 but he was never the same fighter, going 1-5 with 1 no-contest over his last 7 fights. Yamamoto's overall MMA record was 18-6-1 with 13 wins by KO. 

Yamamoto was part of a famous wrestling family in Japan. His father, Ikuei Yamamoto, represented Japan in the 1972 Olympics in Munich, and his two older sisters, Miyuu and Seiko, were multi-time world champions. Miyuu, 44, is a regular star with Rizin who competed as recently as 2017 when she was 43. Miyu's son, Arsen, was an age group champion in wrestling and also fights with Rizin.

Yamamoto's father sent him to the United States as a teenager so he could train with US Olympic silver medalist and former Arizona State University wrestler, Townsend Saunders. Yamamoto became a 3x state champion at Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe, Arizona. 

He then left wrestling to focus on MMA training under Hawaiian native and former Japanese fighting legend Enson Inoue, who was married to Yamamoto's sister, Miyuu, at the time.

According to an account by Inoue, Kid's first foray into MMA followed a series of brushes with the Yakuza, during which he accidentally shot one member in the face with a BB gun and later jumped off a third-story balcony to escape them. From there, Inoue is said to have used his celebrity to diffuse the situation, before guiding Kid into the world of MMA. 

The outpouring of love and support from the combat sports community was strong on social media, as would be expected for someone who was a true pioneer of the sport, for both lighter weight fighters and those of Asian descent. 

Current UFC commentator and former UFC contender Dan Hardy wrote "Rest in Peace @kid.yamamoto (prayer hands emoji) One of the best - One of my favorite fighters - What a loss to the sport. #SadDay #TooYoung #Legend" 

Current UFC fighter Mark Hunt wrote "Fly High Kid"

Ironically and sadly enough, Urijah Faber, the WEC Bantamweight champion from 2006-2008 and who was often talked about as a potential super fight opponent for Yamamoto that would determine the best bantamweight of the time, found out about Kid's passing from an Instagram post from UFC president Dana White, which had Yamamoto's picture and the words "RIP."

Along with comments on White's post from fighters like Alan Jouban, Rafael Dos Anjos and Brian Caraway - "Nooooo way," Caraway wrote. "He was one of my favorite fighters... watching him was one of the reasons I started fighting," - was a simple one-word post from Faber that spoke to the suddenness and shock of Yamamoto's death. 



More sad news to report in the MMA world as Glenn Robinson, the influential founder of the Blackzilians fight team based out of Boca Raton, Florida, died on Wednesday, September 19th due to a suspected heart attack. His age was not released.

Robinson, the president of Iron Bridge Tools, a successful tool manufacturer, formed the Blackzilians in 2011 after meeting former UFC fighter Jorge Santiago, who was leaving American Top Team at the time. Former champion Rashad Evans was another big-name defection from ATT to the Blackzilians.

Robinson appeared as a coach on season 21 of The Ultimate Fighter reality show, against bitter rival American Top Team coach Dan Lambert. That season was eventually won by a Blackzilian fighter, current welterweight title contender Kamaru Usman.

Recent years have seen the Blackzilians split between Robinson and head coach Henri Hooft, with several of the team’s stars migrating over the past two years to Hooft’s Combat Club MMA in Lantana, Florida. Robinson had recent business problems with Iron Bridge Tools, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Robinson also branched into management and MMA apparel, founding Authentic Sports Management and clothing brand Jaco.


Jon "Bones" Jones ruled eligible to return to UFC 

It was announced on September 13th that McLaren Global Sports Solutions ruled that the suspension of Jon "Bones" Jones was reduced from 18 months to 15 months, making the former 2-time UFC light heavyweight champion eligible to fight as of October 28th. 

Jones had tested positive for the steroid Turinabol on July 28, 2017, the day before his second fight with Daniel Cormier.

Ironically or not, Jones is also eligible to be back in time for the November 3rd show in Madison Square Garden, which is currently headlined by former middleweight champions Luke Rockhold and Long Island, New York native Chris Weidman facing off in a rematch, along with Dustin Poirier vs Nate Diaz, but is still without a big main event. 

Rumors prior to the announcement of his impending return, and certainly more so since, have had Jones fighting Daniel Cormier for a 3rd time or Alexander Gustafsson in a rematch in his first match back, with MSG being the location. Brock Lesnar is another rumored name to fight Jones, despite Lesnar coming into the cage to challenge Cormier after Cormier knocked out Stipe Miocic to become the double champ. 

Meanwhile, Jones was supposed to be handed a 4-year suspension after his second offense, which came after his much publicized hit-and-run crash in 2015 New Mexico that hospitalized a pregnant woman and led to him being stripped of the title during his first championship reign. 

The California State Athletic Commission, however, failed to rule a time frame for Jones’ suspension, allowing USADA to cut 30 months off its own guidelines of 48 months. This was done in spite of Jones never providing an explanation of how the steroid made it into his system on the day of his championship fight with Cormier. 

To make matters more curious, USADA only tested Jones once in 2018, despite his two prior positive tests that he was suspended for, and a cocaine positive that he wasn’t suspended for because it was out of competition. 

Ultimately, the arbitrator cut the final three months from the suspension based on Jones saying he didn’t knowingly use steroids.

The reduction in suspension came even with his admission to USADA that he continued to use cocaine and other street drugs after his positive test for steroids resulted in his suspension from mixed martial arts competition. 

Much like Conor McGregor, who got off relatively light from the UFC (more like rewarded, as he prepares to fight for Khabib Nurmagomedov's title on October 6th) and law enforcement for inciting a riot and throwing a dolly through a bus window, it appears to many as if Jones has received similar preferential treatment. 

Imagine another fighter testing positive for banned drugs on two separate occasions, and having his suspension reduced simply because he says he was not aware that he was ingesting it? It just wouldn't happen, unless apparently you are Jones or McGregor or someone of that ilk. 

Jones last fought on July 29th, 2017 when he knocked out Cormier in the third round to win the UFC light heavyweight title for a second time, his second win over Cormier, despite never losing the title in a fight. Aside from a controversial loss to Matt Hamill due to a 12-to-6 elbow on a downed opponent, Jones has never lost in his career and is inarguably one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the history of the sport.

With Jones suspended, Cormier fought and defeated Johnson twice and Alexander Gustafsson once in title matches, and he also defeated Anderson Silva in a non-title match. 

There wasn't much interest in a potential Jones-Cormier 3 fight until Cormier, as a huge betting underdog, knocked out then-heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic on July 7th. 

Jones vs. Lesnar talk has also been heating up but Lesnar isn't eligible until January, while Cormier vs Lesnar appears as if it is going to happen then, with Cormier being the heavy favorite. Another obstacle with a potential Jones-Cormier 3 in November is that after just fighting at heavyweight, Cormier is probably well over the 205 weight limit and unlikely to want to drop that kind of weight in such a short time period. There has also been a rumored rematch of Jones vs Gustafsson, which was fight of the year in 2013. 


UFC Fight Night 137 - Saturday, September 22nd (Sao Paolo, Brazil - Ibirapuera Gymnasium; 9,485 attendance)

While it may not have been the headliner that was planned - originally scheduled to be Glover Texeira vs Jimi Manuwa - Thiago "Maretta" Santos, sporting a new Thor-like sledgehammer tattoo prominently on his chest, sent his native Brazilian crowd home happy as he brought the hammer down on a gutsy Eryk Anders en route to a referee stoppage at 5:00 of the 3rd round in the main event of UFC Fight Night 137 in Sao Paolo, Brazil. 

Santos (19-6, 11-5 UFC) stuffed an Anders (11-2, 3-2 UFC) takedown attempt with heavy lateral elbows and hammerfist punches late in the 3rd round, causing Anders to collapse under the Santos barrage as the bell sounded.

In between rounds, Anders collapsed twice more as his corner tried to help him to his stool, prompting third man Marc Goddard to wave off the fight. 

Santos had replaced Texeira, who blew out his shoulder in training, and was set to fight Manuwa, who then tore his hamstring while running sprints the day after he arrived in Brazil.


Anders, who just fought three weeks ago and won by 3rd round head kick KO over Tim Williams at UFC Fight Night 135 on August 25th, was named as Manuwa's replacement a week before the fight. Prior to the fight, more likely as a reward for stepping up to save this main event as much as for his success and exciting style of fighting, Anders signed a new 4-fight deal with the UFC. 

For Santos, who was making his light-heavyweight debut, this was his 6th win in his last 7 fights. His 9 knockouts since 2014 in the UFC is tied with Derrick Lewis for most in the promotion. 

The biggest news from a show that saw 10 of 14 fights end in stoppage came from Charles "Da Bronx" Oliveira. Oliveira used a rear-naked choke in the 2nd round to submit Christos Giagos for his record-setting 11th submission win in the UFC, breaking the record he had previously tied with Royce Gracie of 10 submission finishes. After the fight, Oliveira, who is now 3-1 since returning to lightweight, said that he will be returning down to 145 pounds where he feels he deserves to be in consideration for a title shot.

The co-main event saw "Cowboy" Alex Oliveira (20-4-1, 9-3-1 UFC) blitz through Carlo Pedersoli Jr. (11-2, 1-1 UFC) in 39 seconds of the first round in a welterweight matchup. Oliveira (no relation to Charles "Da Bronx" Oliveira) caught a Pedersoli sidekick and landed a return right hand that dropped him, followed by a quick swarm of punches to claim the KO victory. "Cowboy" is now 6-1-1 in his last 8 fights, and 9-2-1 going back to his last 13. 

"I want to fight well-ranked guys,” Oliveira told reporters through an interpreter at the UFC Fight Night 137 post-fight news conference. “I want to fight for the belt, and I just want the opportunity.”

Speaking of fighters that should be fighting "well-ranked guys" and being talked about as potential contenders, Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos (20-5, 6-1 UFC) continues his tear through the welterweight division. Somehow, despite being on a 5-fight win streak heading into Saturday's fight night, including a 1st round spinning wheel kick (and followup punches) finish of Sean Strickland at UFC 224 in May, Dos Santos was relegated to the Fight Pass prelims. Can't figure that one out for the life of me. 

Regardless, make it six wins in a row for the fighter known by the nickname "Capoeira" as Dos Santos added another highlight to his reel with a flying knee and punches that knocked out Luigi Vendramini in the 2nd round. 

The home crowd also popped big for Antonio Rogerio Nogueira's KO win over "Smilin'" Sam Alvey. It was a slow, plodding fight that saw the southpaw Little Nog catch Alvey with a left cross that rocked him. From there, Nogueira went on the attack, finishing it off with another clean left cross, this one behind the ear in the temple area that folded Alvey. 

Afterwards, Nogueira hinted at retirement. For what it's worth, Lil' Nog has facially looked old since he was in his early 20s fighting in Pride, you can say the same for both of the legendary Nogueira brothers actually, but his body has unquestionably had a ton of wear and tear throughout his years of fighting. 

Sergio Moraes showed off his world-class jiu jitsu skills once again as he submitted Ben Saunders with a head-and-arm triangle choke in the 2nd round to hand "Killer B" his first-ever submission loss.

Also, two separate retirement fights took place with differing results. Francisco Trinaldo (23-6, 13-5 UFC) stopped Evan Dunham (18-8-1, 11-8-1 UFC) by KO in the 2nd round with a perfectly placed counter knee to punches that dropped Dunham and left him sprawling in agony. It was Dunham's retirement fight and afterwards he thanked the Brazilian crowd, who in turn applauded him. Dunham holds wins over Joe Lauzon, Gleison Tibau, Ross Pearson, Nik Lentz and Efrain Escudero, most notably. 

Also, Thales Leites scored a unanimous decision win over Hector Lombard in Leites' retirement fight. Leites also recorded wins in the UFC over Nate Marquardt, Ed Herman, Tim Boetsch and Chris Carmozzi during a professional fight career that saw him finish with a 28-9 record. 

On a personal note, I was there live in 2006 at the Ultimate Fighter Finale to watch Thales Leites make his UFC debut against Martin Kampmann, who I was an agent for at the time. It was an amazing fight, with Leites dropping Kampmann multiple times in the first round and Kampmann turning it around to pull off the come-from-behind decision win. 

Last of note from UFC Fight Night 137, Andre Ewell defeated the former 135-pound champ Renan Barao by split decision in a result that has to be considered an upset, albeit a mild one as Barao has fallen on hard times, losing three straight and five of his last six. Even worse, he weighed in at 141.5 pounds, a full 6.5 pounds over. Expect Barao to be cut.

The $50,000 bonuses went to Santos and Anders for Fight of the Night, while Charles Oliveira and Nogueira earned the extra bonus check for their performances as well. Fighters took home UFC Promotional Guidelines Compliance pay (also known as the Reebok deal, with new contingencies based on outfitting requirements, media obligations and other items under the fighter code of conduct) totaling $228,500, bringing the 2018 total to over 5 million dollars. 

UFC Fight Night 137 full results

Thiago Santos def. Eryk Anders via TKO (stoppage) at 5:00 of R3

Alex Oliveira def. Carlo Pedersoli Jr. via KO (punches) at :39 of R1

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira def. Sam Alvey via KO (punches) at 1:00 of R2

Andre Ewell def. Renan Barao via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Marina Rodriguez majority draw w/ Randa Markos (28-29, 28-28, 28-28)

Preliminary Card

Charles Oliveira def. Christos Giagos via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:22 of R2

Francisco Trinaldo def. Evan Dunhamvia KO (knee to the body) at 4:10 of R2

Ryan Spann def. Luis Henrique via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Augusto Sakai def. Chase Sherman via TKO (strikes) at 4:03 of R3

Sergio Moraes def. Ben Saunders via submission (arm triangle choke) at 4:42 of R2

Mayra Bueno Silva def. Gillian Robertson via submission (armbar) at 4:55 of R1

Thales Leites def. Hector Lombard via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos def. Luigi Vendramini via KO (strikes) at 1:20 of R2

Livia Renata Souza def. Alex Chambers via submission (guillotine) at 1:21 of R1


UFC news 

UFC fighter Michael Chiesa filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court this past Tuesday against Conor McGregor for the events on April 5th prior to UFC 223 in New York.

Among those named in the lawsuit, which claims negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and assault and battery, include McGregor, McGregor's promotional company, his teammates that were there that day and the Barclays Center. The UFC was not named in the suit. 

Chiesa's suit "demands judgment that exceeds the jurisdictional limits of all lower courts," but does not have a specific financial request. 

The crux of Chiesa's suit is his belief that he would have received the lightweight title shot given to Al Iaquinta against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223, after then-champion Tony Ferguson had to drop out due to injury.


After a confrontation at the hotel earlier in the week between Nurmagomedov and McGregor's teammate and close friend, Artem Lobov, McGregor and his teammates attacked the bus that held several UFC fighters, including Nurmagomedov, following UFC 223 media day. 

McGregor threw a metal dolly through a window that injured several fighters, including Chiesa and Ray Borg. Chiesa's scheduled fight with Anthony Pettis was postponed to a later date.

McGregor negotiated a plea deal with New York State for no jail time, community service and plead guilty to multiple non felonies instead. McGregor is scheduled to face Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title on October 6th. 

Speaking of McGregor, the UFC held a press conference on September 20th straight out of bizarro world to hype the October 6th Nurmagomedov vs McGregor PPV - fans were banned for the first time ever, only media, police and fighter representatives were in attendance. McGregor was full of big talk and bravado as usual, while also plugging his Whiskey brand. "I came back for the love of this," Conor said. "To come and shut this man up... a little rat... a little weasel."

Nurmagomedov was stoic and stone-faced through most of it, as expected. His biggest response was "I will smash this guy." When they did the face-off, McGregor repeatedly whispered to his face, "you're dead, 3 weeks..."

In other news, UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley will be undergoing surgery on his right hand next month after being injured during his fight against Darren Till. "I dislocated my thumb in the fight and by doing that I tore three ligaments," Woodley told ESPN. 

The current season of The Ultimate Fighter, and the last on Fox Sports before it moves to ESPN next year with the rest of UFC's programming, "Heavy Hitters" is coached by UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker and top contender Kelvin Gastelum, and features heavyweight men and featherweight women. The show airs on Wednesday nights, this coming episode will be week 5. An early standout is heavyweight Maurice Green, a former 300-pounder who is a solid striker and used his size and length well in his opening round knockout win. 


Bellator 205: McKee vs Macapa (Boise, Idaho; Century Link Arena; September 21, 2018)

A.J. McKee landed a vicious left hand off a scramble that crumpled John "Macapa" Texeira just 1:09 seconds into the first round in the main event of Bellator 205 this past Friday night at the Century Link Arena in Boise, Idaho. 

Originally scheduled to face Pat Curran, who was forced to pull out with an injury, the 23-year told McKee improves his perfect record to 12-0 with the knockout victory.

All four bouts on the main card ended in a stoppage. 

In a battle of grappling aces, Rafael Lovato Jr. sunk in a rear-naked choke on John Salter to get the tapout via submission at 4:27 of Round 3. Local favorite Veta Arteaga submitted kickboxing champion Denise Kielholtz by guillotine choke at 4:24 of Round 2.

In the opening bout of the Paramount telecast, Patricky "Pitbull" Freire defeated Roger Huerta by KO at 0:43 of Round 2. It was a back-and-forth slugfest until Freire clipped Huerta early in the second round, with the finish coming soon after. On the non-televised prelims, ATT up-and-comer Steve Mowry used a slick Americana submission to finish off Ben Moa and improve to 7-0 as a pro. 

The rest of the Bellator 205 card results:

Vince Morales def. Justin Hugo via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-27, 29-27)

Adam Borics def. Josenaldo Silva via Submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:46 of Round 3.

Jarod Trice def. Sean Powers via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Emilio Trevino def. Sua Tuani via TKO (punches) at 1:55 of Round 2.


Bellator MMA news 

Bellator has three big shows over the next three weeks, starting with this Saturday night's September 29th show in San Jose, headlined by middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi vs welterweight champion Rory McDonald. I can't wait for this one. This will be streamed exclusively on DAZN (it costs $4,99 per month and you can get a free trial), and also features Rampage Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva 4, Andrey Koreshkov vs. Douglas Lima in the welterweight tournament and Aaron Pico vs. Leandro Higo. 

Then they go back-to-back nights two weekends after that, starting at the Mohegan Sun Casino on Friday, October 12th with Ryan Bader vs. Matt Mitrione in the heavyweight tournament semifinals, along with Roy Nelson vs. Sergei Kharitonov. The next night at the Nassau Coliseum has Fedor Emelianenko vs. Chael Sonnen in the other heavyweight tournament fight. 

In what will be the first major promotion event in Hawaii (excluding Hawaiian-based promotions of the past like SuperBrawl or Rumble on the Rock), the December 15th Bellator show in Honolulu is headlined by Ilima-Lei MacFarlane vs. Valerie Letourneau for the flyweight title.  The winner of the Neiman Gracie vs. Ed Ruth fight welterweight Grand Prix fight on that show will face the winner of the first round match with MacDonald vs. Jon Fitch. That fight will be a welterweight title match since the title is up in every round of the tournament. King Mo Lawal vs. Liam McGeary is also on that card. It will be another DAZN exclusive event.


Other MMA News

Johny Hendricks and Brennan Ward, who retired recently from UFC and Bellator, respectively, were announced this week as facing each other for the World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation on a pay-per-view show on November 9th in Casper, WY. Hendricks is the former UFC welterweight champion. 

Also signed to fight each other bare knuckle in the WBKFF that night is former UFC fighters Chris Leben and Phil "New York Bad Ass" Baroni.


Former UFC and Bellator fighter Melvin Guillard, 35, was in a bar brawl on September 2nd at 2 a.m in Denver. TMZ obtained the footage of the incident, which started with pushing and shoving and ended when Guillard knocked a man out cold. Guillard then hit a woman who came after him. After several witnesses came forward to identify the man as Guillard, the Denver Police Department issued an arrest warrant.


This is the second assault arrest this year for Guillard. Back on April 23rd, he was arrested in Lakewood, Colorado by police when his girlfriend claimed he started choking and shaking her. He was charged in that incident with felony assault and misdemeanor domestic violence. 

Guillard’s last fight was on July 21st when he was knocked out by Takanori Gomi on a Rizin show at the Saitama Super Arena. He went 0-3 in Bellator, and had a knockout win over David Rickles overturned since he both missed weight and tested positive for drugs. His last official MMA victory was in 2014 over Gesias Cavalcante in the WSOF, but he had missed weight in that one as well. Guillard went 12-9 with one no contest during his time in the UFC from 2005 to 2014. 

Combate Americas promotion signed a deal with DAZN to stream their events, joining Bellator on the new streaming service. Between its deals with Combate Americas, Bellator, Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing and World Boxing Super Series, DAZN (which costs $4.99 per month) announced they will do more than 80 live events per year. 

The first show under the new deal was September 14th, with the announcement of the deal just one day before the first broadcast. The Combate Americas announcing team is comprised of Max Bretos, Gilbert Melendez and Julianna Pena.

The playoffs for the Professional Fighters League (PFL) will be starting quarterfinal and semifinal action in each weight class next month. 

The first PFL playoffs show will by heavyweights and featherweights on Thursday, October 5th in New Orleans, with Francimar Barroso vs. Josh Copeland, Jack May vs. Alex Nicholson, Philipe Lins vs. Aladrin Istrefi and Kelvin Tiller vs. Jared Rosholt as the heavyweight matchups. 

In the featherweight division, the quarterfinals are Steven Siler vs. Nazareno Malegarie, Timur Valiev vs. Alexandere Almeida, Andre Harrison vs. Alexandre Bezerra and lance Palmer vs. Max Coga. 

The two finalists from each of the six weight classes will fight on New Year’s Eve in New York for the one million dollar payday. 

October 13th in Long Beach will be the quarterfinal and semifinal shows for lightweight and light heavyweights, and October 20th in Washington, DC for the middleweights and welterweights. 

My good friend and former Bellator Fight Master/UFC veteran Joe "Diesel" Riggs celebrated his 36th birthday yesterday, September 23rd. Riggs has gone 6-1-1 in his last 8 official fights over the past 2 years. 

LFA 50 Fight Results (September 21st)

Main Event – Middleweight Title Fight – Brendan Allen (10-3) submitted Tim Hiley (7-1) with a rear-naked choke at 3:16 in round three.

Co-Main Event – HW – Raphael Pessoa (9-0) knocked out Brian Heden (31-17) at 1:39 in round one.

Welterweight – Bobby Lee (9-2) knocked out Ben Neumann (13-6) with a flying knee at 3:50 in round two.

Welterweight – Jason Witt (14-5) submitted Ashkan Morvari (15-8) with a rear naked choke at 1:01 in round three.

Featherweight – Josh Marsh (5-1) defeated  Dimitry Gerasimov (9-7) via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-28)

Bantamweight – Askar Askar (8-0) defeated Derrick Mandell (8-5) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Heavyweight – Daniel James (8-3-1) scored a TKO victory over Calyn Hull (5-1) at 0:36 in round two.

One Championship 80 Fight Results

(Jakarta, Indonesia; Jakarta Convention Center; September 22)

Joshua Pacio def. Yoshitaka Naito by unanimous decision

Xuewen Peng def. Stefer Rahardian by unanimous decision

Muay Thai: Rodtang Jitmuangnon def. Sergio Wielzen by unanimous decision

Danny Kingad def. Yuya Wakamatsu by unanimous decision

Koyomi Matsushima def. Marat Gafurov by knockout (strikes). Round 1, 2:41

Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev def. Timofey Nastyukhin by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 1:57

Kairat Akhmetov def. Hao Bin Ma by unanimous decision

Priscilla Gaol def. Jomary Torres by unanimous decision

Muay Thai: Fabrice Fairtex Delannon def. Yodpanomrung Jitmuangnon by split decision

Sunoto Peringkat def. Victorio Senduk by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 2, 4:12

Adrian Mattheis def. Angelo Bimoadji by knockout (uppercut). Round 1, 2:41

Egi Rozten def. Riski Umar by TKO (strikes). Round 3, 0:51



Anthony Joshua stopped Alexander Povetkin in the 7th round on Saturday, September 22nd at Wembley Stadium in London, England to retain his IBF, WBO and WBA titles.

Joshua was in trouble early in the fight and had his nose bloodied but was able to come back and cut Povetkin, who suffered his first career loss by stoppage. Joshua is expected to fight again in April. 

In the highly anticipated rematch of last September's controversial draw, Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2) defeated Gennady "Triple G" Golovkin (38-1-1) by majority decision to win the WBA/WBC middleweight title on Saturday, September 15th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

There has been the predictable controversy as a result of Canelo's win - media scores had it 50 percent for Golovkin, 45 percent for a Draw and 5 percent for Alvarez - but not a repeat of last year's Adelaide Byrd judging debacle, when she scored it 118-110 in favor of Canelo, in a fight that most observers felt "Triple G" won but was certainly closer than that score indicates. 

Byrd, who stepped down from judging major boxing fights as a result of the backlash, was not a judge for the rematch. Though she did make a judging appearance at UFC 222 in March 2018, which Joe Rogan expressed his unhappiness with during that night's UFC prelims and PPV telecast. 

This time around, the judges, Dave Moretti, Steve Weisfeld and Glenn Feldman scored it 115-113, 115-113 and 114-114, respectively. 

It seems most of the people I follow on social media favored "GGG" but I felt Alvarez won by 1 round or that it was a draw. Former WBO Continental Americas light heavyweight champion Seanie Monaghan (from my hometown of Long Beach, Long Island, New York) says Golovkin won 8 rounds. 

Famed boxing trainer Teddy Atlas and ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith were split, with Atlas feeling Golovkin was robbed for the second time, and Smith feeling like Canelo edged out a very close fight. 

I wouldn't have been mad if Golovkin won, as all of the rounds appeared to be razor close. It was the kind of fight that when I watch it again, I may judge it different. It felt that close. 

Their first fight did 1.3 million pay-per-view buys, the rematch is expected to have done around 1.5 million when the final numbers come in. 

It was announced on Friday that WBC champion Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) and Tyson Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) have agreed to fight on December 1st. A location has not been named. 


Muay Thai/Kickboxing 

GLORY Kickboxing 58; Sears Centre Arena; Hoffman Estates, Ill.; September 14th 

GLORY middleweight champion Alex Pereira rematched the man he defeated to capture the belt, Simon Marcus, and walked away still the champion in the main event of GLORY Kickboxing 58 on September 14th. 

Here are the full results: 

Alex Pereira def. Simon Marcus by unanimous decision (48-46, 48-46, 49-45, 49-45, 50-44) – for middleweight title

Benjamin Adegbuyi def. Jahfarr Wilnis by unanimous decision (29-26 x5)

Omari Boyd def. Richard Abraham by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Anvar Boynazarov def. Bailey Sugden by split decision (30-27, 27-30, 29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Troy Jones wins the welterweight tournament final after Mike Lemaire was unable to fight

Junior Tafa def. Haze Wilson by TKO (referee stoppage). Round 1, 1:35

Matt Baker def. Thomas Jenkins by knockout (punch). Round 3, 1:55

Troy Jones def. Casey Greene by knockout (head kick). Round 1, 1:00 – welterweight tournament semifinal

Mike Lemaire def. Omar Moreno by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27, 30-26, 30-26) – welterweight tournament semifinal

Houssam El Kasri def. Kou Lee by TKO (knee). Round 3, 2:36

Justin Moss def. Paul Banasiak by split decision (28-27, 27-28, 28-27, 28-27, 28-27)

Nick Chasteen def. John Morehouse by unanimous decision (30-27 x5)

Lorawnt-t Nelson def. Trevor Ragin by unanimous decision (30-27 x5)

Best Of Siam XIII; Rajadamnern Stadium in Bangkok; August 23rd, 2018

Payator (TH) won on points Vs. Andrea Serra (IT) 

Janjao (TH) won on points Vs. Tom Wallace(FR) 

Raksommai (TH) won on points Vs. Rayan Mekki (FR) 

Jimmy Vienot(FR) won on points over Sorgraw (TH) and became WMC world champion 160 lb.

Hamza Ngoto (FR) beat ko at round Thongchai(TH) and became the WBC mt world champion 168 lbs

Jaruadsuek(TH) vs Withayayut (TH)  ‘No Contest’

Chadd Collins ko at round 3 beat the Rajadamnern champion Sakmongkol (TH)

Kongthoranee(TH) vs Puenkol(TH) ‘No Contest’

Noppakit (TH) won on points Manaowan  and became the WBC mt world champion 154 lbs

Manachai fights Brazilian fighter Julio Lobo for the coveted WBC Muay Thai World Welterweight title at YOKKAO 34 on October 29th.