Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz II, Edgar vs. Aldo for Interim Featherweight championship set for UFC 200

C is for Conor.

The UFC Featherweight champion Conor McGregor will get his wish at UFC 200 when he rematches TUF Season 5 winner and top ranked Lightweight Nate Diaz in a rematch from their bout at UFC 196. The bout will be contested once again at Welterweight at 170 lbs. The bout was announced on UFC Tonight.

McGregor (19-3, 7-1 in UFC) and Diaz (19-10, 14-8 in UFC) met in the main event at UFC 196 when Rafael dos Anjos pulled out the main event title fight with McGregor. Nate Diaz stepped up on 11 days notice to fight and upset the Featherweight champion with a round two rear naked choke submission that shocked many as Nate was polled as a heavy underdog. Conor won the first round and gave Diaz trouble early on the feet. Diaz would rally with a combination that stifled McGregor who, in a state of desperation, went for a takedown that would lead to a scramble that swiftly saw Nate in the mount position ready to strike.

Another feature fight added onto the card that suprised many, including this writer, will be an Interim Featherweight championship fight between former champ Jose Aldo (25-2, 7-1 in UFC) and the former UFC Lightweight champion and top contender Frankie “The Answer” Edgar (20-4-1, 14-4-1 in UFC). The bout will serve as the co-headliner of the night. This bout will also be a rematch from their 2013 meeting where Jose Aldo edged Edgar across five rounds on the judges score cards.

Since that fight, Aldo would the defend the Featherweight championship three more times against Chan Sung Jung, Ricardo Lamas, and Chad Mendes before falling to current champion Conor McGregor by knockout last December. Edgar has since reeled off five impressive victories over BJ Penn, Charles Oliveira, Cub Swanson, Urijah Faber, and most recently a first-round knockout of Chad Mendes last December.

UFC 200 takes place July 9th at the newly built T-Mobile Arena.

Carla Esparza steps in to face Juliana Lima at UFC 197

The first ever and former UFC Strawweight champion Carla Esparza looks to finally make her return to competition.

Stepping in on just over three weeks notice for Jessica Aguilar, Carla Esparza will take on Jessica Aguilar at UFC 197. The L.A Daily news broke the news Tuesday.

Esparza (10-3, 1-1 in UFC) will be making a return to competition since losing her Strawweight championship to current champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk last March at UFC 185. Esparza won the title in December of 2014 after making it to the finals of the TUF Strawweight championship tournament finals and defeated Rose Namajunas to claim the belt. Esparza met Joanna Jędrzejczyk three months later and would fall to the Polish striker in round two via KO. Before coming into the UFC, Esparza was a successful champion in Invicta Fighting Championships defeating the likes of Felice Herrig and Bec Rawlings, and defeating Angela Hill, Tecia Torres, and Jessica Penne while on the Ultimate Fighter.

Lima (8-2, 2-1 in UFC) is riding a two-fight winning streak having defeated Nina Ansaroff and Ericka Almeida back to back. This fight will be Lima’s second ever fight outsside of Brazil and first in Las Vegas.

UFC 197 will be headlined by a Light Heavyweight title fight between Daniel Cormier and Jon “Bones” Jones.

Jon Jones arrested for violating probation

It seems the media circus that is Jon Jones continues to dazzle and amaze. Just not in the way he was prefer, I’m sure (at least you would think).

24 hours removed from announcing on the MMA Hour that he had received 5 tickets last week from an Albuquerque Police Officer during a traffic stop, Jon Jones was arrested and taken into custody at 10 a.m. local time. He was arrested by officers from Probation & Parole and taken to the detention center. Jones remained in custody as of Tuesday afternoon and no bail has been set.

Jones was pulled over in his vehicle by an officer from the Albuquerque Police Department on Thursday night and given five tickets, including one for drag racing. Jones denied in a video released by the Albuquerque Police Department that he was racing , and further denied any wrong doing during an appearance on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. An emotional Jones could be heard on the body camera video, worn by the ABQ officer,  cursing at the officer and att one point, Jones called the cop a “f*cking liar” and a “pig.”

Jones was ticketed for drag racing, having a loud, modified exhaust on his car, an illegible license plate, unable to maintain a traffic lane and exhibition driving, an APD spokesperson confirmed. None of these tickets would not normally have resulted in an arrest. However, Jones was on probation after pleading guilty to a felony hit-and-run charge in September. A Bernalillo County judge granted Jones a conditional discharge from the April 2015 case. Jones had to complete 18 months of probation and 72 appearances of community service and his felony would be wiped clean.

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The UFC released a press statement this morning concerning Jones:

“UFC is aware that Jon Jones turned himself into the Albuquerque Police Department this morning for a potential probation violation stemming from a traffic stop last week. UFC has been in touch with Jones’ legal team and will have no further comment until the organization has had appropriate time to gather necessary information.”

Jon Jones is set to face Daniel Cormier for the UFC Light Heavyweight championship at UFC 197 on April 27.

Brock Lesnar Doesn’t Know and Doesn’t Care where His UFC Titles Are

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Brock Lesnar, the former UFC Heavyweight Champion from 2008-2010, told Sportscenter on Monday, that he doesn’t know where his UFC titles are located. But that’s also because Lesnar seems to not really care about his titles or his accomplishments. Lesnar stated that he is more concerned about a paycheck than how he will be remembered.

“I’m not much for legacy,” said Brock Lesnar. ” I guess people have their way of remembering what I did. I’m not about accomplishments. I don’t have a trophy room. I don’t have any symbolic things. I’m not a sentimental guy. I couldn’t even tell you where my UFC titles are or my WWE championships or my NCAA plaque, my heavyweight plaque. I don’t even know where that is right now. But I do know one thing, how much money’s in my bank account”

Lesnar had won NCAA heavyweight wrestling championship at the University of Minnesota, which opened up a career in professional wrestling at the WWE.  Lesnar would also try out for the NFL and made it into the Minnesota Vikings before getting cut due to injuries. Lesnar settled back in the WWE for the time being.

Lesnar then set his sights on the mixed martial arts (MMA) career where defeated UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture by TKO in the second round to win the UFC Heavyweight belt in 2008. Lesnar held the belt until 2010, where he lost via TKO as well to Cain Velasquez. After being defeated in Alastair Overeem in his next fight, Lesnar retired from MMA to go back to a career in the WWE.

Video: ABQ Police release video of Jon Jones receiving ticket for drag racing

Jon Jones appeared on the MMA Hour Monday morning. Among the many topics discussed, Jones admintted to being ticketed for multiple citations from an Albuquerque police officer last week.  Not too long after Jones’ appearance on the show did the Alburquerque Police Department relaease two videos of Jon’s police stop off of an officers body cam. Below are the two video links to Jon Jones’ traffic stop.

Video 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6yFu5ZD32c

Video 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6yFu5ZD32c

Jones acted somewhat hostile-like towards the officer. But what do you fans think?

BREAKING: Cris “Cyborg” set to make UFC debut at UFC 198 against Leslie Smith

One of the most feared fighters in the world will finally step foot inside the octagon as Invicta FC featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino faces Leslie Smith at UFC 198 on May 14 in a catchweight of 140 pounds. The UFC made the announcement Monday morning after weeks of speculation surrounding the Brazilian champion.

Justino (15-1, 1 NC) has been unbeaten for over 10 years, and attained 13 of her 15 pro wins by knockout which included victories over the likes of Gina Carano, Marloes Coenen, and Shayna Baszler. She is also the former Strikeforce Featherweight champion before the company folded, and has compiled a 5-0 record with five knockouts as a member of the Invicta FC roster.

Smith (8-6-1, 2-2 in UFC), a former Invicta FC standout in her own right. won three Fight of the Night awards and garnered victories over Raquel Pennington and Jennifer Maia during her time in the all-female promotion. A fearless competitor, Smith is now pressed to compete in the biggest fight of her career this May when she faces “Cyborg”. Winner of two of her last three over Jessamyn Duke and Rin Nakai, the California native eagerly anticipates a fight to remember, where a victory in this bout would be considered as one of the biggest upsets in MMA history.

UFC 198 is headlined by a Heavyweight championship match-up between Fabricio Werdum and Stipe Miocic. In the co-main event, Brazil’s finest will do battle as Vitor Belfort faces Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, and also featured on the card is a middleweight matchup between Anderson Silva and Uriah Hall and a light heavyweight bout pitting Mauricio “Shogun” Rua against Corey Anderson.

 

Michael “Venom” Page vs. Jeremie Holloway added to Bellator 153

One of the sports most enigmatic fighters will return as Michael “Venom” Page takes on Jeremie Holloway at Bellator 153.

Michael Page (9-0, 5-0 in Bellator), for the past couple of years, has amazed fans with his wildy unorthodox striking and mysterious grappling that has thus far accomadated him in the cage with a perfect 9-0 record. Page has only ever reached the judges scorecards once and most recently scored a TKO victory against Charlie Ontiveros in which “Venom” showed off some of his very rarely seen grappling skills. He was originally scheduled to make his first appearance of the year against Fernando Gonzalez at Bellator 151 as the cards co-main event, but was forced to withdraw from the bout due to injury.

Holloway (7-1, 0-1 in Bellator) will be looking to record his first victory, as well as one of the biggest upsets, in his second appearance under the promotion when he faces Page. Holloway made his debut last year at Bellator 144, losing via leg lock submission to Matt Secor. The loss was the first of Jeremie’s career. Holloway holds five stoppages of his seven total professional victories.

Bellator 153 will be headlined by a Bellator Welterweight championship bout that will see Andrey Koreshkov defend his championship for the first time against former UFC Lightweight champion and newly signed Bellator star Benson “Smooth” Henderson. The event takes place on April 22nd at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connetticut. The main card will air on Spike TV following prelims that will be streaming live on SpikeTV.com.

Marcin Held vs. Dave Jansen II, Joey Beltran vs. Chase Gormley fill out Bellator 155 main card

Bellator 155 has solidified its main card with the addition of two bouts within the Lightweight and Heavyweight divisions. Former Bellator title challengers Marcin Held and Dave Jansen will rematch in a contest to determine who will be the first to make the climb back towards the 155 pound title. Also former Titan FC Heavyweight champ Chase Gormley takes on fellow former UFC veteran and divisional journeyman Joey “The Mexicutioner” Beltran.

Both Held (2-4, 10-2 in Bellator) and Jansen (20-3, 7-1 in Bellator) have a common opponent in their most recent losses as both men tried and failed to dethrone current Bellator Lightweight champion Will Brooks. Held, one of the best and most decorated grapplers under the Bellator banner dropped a judges decision to the champion as well as a 6-fight win streak that included the names of Alexander Sarnavskiy, Derek Anderson, and Patricky “Pitbull” Freire. Jansen, a former WEC veteran, suffered his first loss in the promotion against Brooks that snapped a 7-fight win streak that included a victory over Held.

Former Titan FC Heavyweight champion Chase Gormley (9-5, 0-1 in Bellator) makes his sophomore appearance with the promotion after losing his debut against Dan Charles last September. Gormley has fought among numerous promotions that include RFC, MFC, XFC, and even the UFC although he was unable to register a win in his short time competing in the Octagon. Beltran (17-12, 2-3 in Bellator), has competed most recently in the Middleweight and Light Heavyweight divisions but will be making a return back up to Heavyweight for this fight. Beltran has recorded wins against Vladimir Matyushenko, and Brian Rodgers inside the Bellator promotion and has 12 knockouts out of his 17 wins.

Bellator 155 will be headlined by a Middleweight championship bout between the newly crowned champ Rafael Carvalho and Melvin Manhoef and will be taking place on May 20th at the Century Link Arena in Boise, Idaho.

Updated Bellator 155: Carvalho vs. Manhoef Fight Card

Rafael Carvalho (12-1) vs. Melvin Manhoef (30-12-1)
Pat Curran (21-7) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (24-5-1)
Dan Charles (10-3) vs. Augusto Sakai (9-0)
Dave Jansen (20-3) vs. Marcin Held (21-4)
Joey Beltran (17-12) vs. Chase Gormley (12-5)

Preliminary Card

Joe Hamilton (3-0) vs. Tyler Freeland (3-0)
Veta Arteaga (1-0) vs. Jackie Vandenburgh (0-1)
Vince Morales (3-1) vs. Hamilton Ash (3-1)
Brendon Raftery (4-2) vs. Casey Johnson (4-0)
Scott Thometz (9-5) vs. Josh Tyler (7-3)
Sean Powers (9-5) vs. Will Noland (15-6)
Ricky Steele (5-0) vs. Erick Cronkhite (2-1)
Jesse Brock (21-8) vs. Olly Bradstreet (39-12)

Sara McMann vs. Jessica Eye added to UFC Fight Night 88: Almeida vs. Garbrandt

Two women’s Bantamweight mainstays will lock horns in Vegas this upcoming May as former title challenger and Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann takes on the UFC’s No. 7 ranked Jessica “Evil” Eye. The fight was announced formally on UFC Tonight Wednesday night.

McMann (8-3, 2-3 in UFC) has struggled in recent bouts, going 1-3 in her last four losing to Ronda Rousey, Amanda Nunes, and newly crowned champ Miesha Tate with her only victory being a split decision victory over Lauren Murphey. She returns in this fight from what will be a 10-month layoff if she makes it to fight night.

Eye (11-4-1 NC, 1-3-1 NC in UFC) has also found struggles as of late, similarly going 1-3 in her last four bouts losing to Alexis Davis, Miesha Tate, and most recently to Julianna Pena at UFC 192. Her only victory comes against Leslie Smith whom she defeated by way of devastating TKO after causing one of the most grusome injuries inside the Octagon after popping and tearing Smith’s ear open.

UFC Fight Night 88: Almeida vs. Garbrandt takes place in Las Vegas on May 29th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Thomas Almeida vs. Cody Garbrandt
Renan Barão vs. Jeremy Stephens
Chris Camozzi vs. Vitor Miranda
Abel Trujillo vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira
Tarec Saffiedine vs. Rick Story
Chris De La Rocha vs. Adam Milstead
Jake Collier vs. Keith Berish
Erik Koch vs. Joe Proctor
Josh Burkman vs. Paul Felder
Jorge Masvidal vs. Lorenz Larkin
Sara McMann vs. Jessica Eye

John Lineker vs. Rob Font added to UFC 198

A phenomenal Bantamweight bout has been added to what is already one of the most stacked pay-per-view cards in recent history at UFC 198.

Former Flyweight contender turned Bantamweight John “Hands of Stone” Lineker takes on exciting up-and-coming prospect Rob Font which is set to take place in the 40,000-seat arena in Curitiba, Brazil.

Lineker (26-7, 7-2 in UFC) is coming off a successful debut at Bantamweight after spending all of if his UFC career at Flyweight. Weight cutting setbacks and issues forced Lineker, who was highly ranked at 125, to move on up in weight class and in his divisional debut he took out Francisco “Cisco” Rivera by way of rear naked choke submission in the first round after chaotic war to open up the bout. At Flyweight, Lineker defeated the likes of Alp Ozkilic, Phil Harris, and Ian McCall. Lineker has finished five of his seven wins by submission or TKO.

Rob Font (12-1, 2-0 in UFC) burst onto the scene at Bantamweight back in 2014 when he made his debut against veteran George Roop. Font displayed vastly superior striking early on and knocked Roop out in the opening round. After a slew of injuries held the young prospect back, Font made his return to action early on this year where he finished Joey Gomez via TKO at UFC Fight Night 81: Dillashaw vs. Cruz. Font has won eight of his 12 victories by way of submission or TKO.

UFC 198 takes place in Curitiba, Brazil at the Arena da Baixada on May 14th. The card thus far is listed below:

Fabricio Werdum vs. Stipe Miocic
Vitor Belfort vs. Ronaldo Souza
Corey Anderson vs. Mauricio Rua
Matt Brown vs. Demian Maia
Uriah Hall vs. Anderson Silva
Patrick Cummins vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Warlley Alves vs. Bryan Barberena
Yancy Medeiros vs. Francisco Trinaldo
Nate Marquardt vs. Thiago “Marreta” Santos
Sergio Moraes vs. Kamaru Usman
Renato Moicano vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
Rob Font vs. John Lineker
Photo Credit: MMA Fight Night Live