Fedor Emelianenko has signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator, the promotion announced Saturday, and his first fight for the company will be at Bellator 172 in February against Matt Mitrione.
The two will headline the fight card, which will be held on Feb. 21 at SAP Center in San Jose and televised on Spike.
One regarded as the best fighter in the world, the luster came off Fedor after he lost three Strikeforce fights in a row from 2010-2011. He has aged and is now 40, but he has won five in a row since then, and he will still attract an audience based on his name alone.
Mitrione is 11-5 as a pro. Though he gained a name by beating Kimbo Slice in 2010, he’s lost to most of the big-name fighters he’s faced, such as Travis Browne, Roy Nelson and Brendan Schaub.
The buzz surrounding an unprecedented inter-sport fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC star Conor McGregor died down for a while, but it has suddenly picked up again. As you might expect, McGregor seems to be enjoying it.
The latest chapter in “The Fight That Will Probably Never Happen” began when a TMZ reporter referred to McGregor as the Mayweather of MMA while interviewing Floyd. Mayweather said comparing McGregor to him is “disrespectful” and called himself an elephant compared to the “ant” McGregor. McGregor later fired back by telling Mayweather to say that to his face.
Then on Tuesday night, McGregor was partying at 1 OAK in New York City when he took the mic at the DJ booth and called out Mayweather.
“Much respect to Floyd. He’s a solid businessman on what he’s been able to do,” McGregor said. “He’s a f—ing animal at what he’s been able to do. But as far as real fighting, as far as true pure unarmed combat, Floyd don’t want none of this.
“He wants a boxing match, he doesn’t want a fight. I want $100 million cash to fight him under boxing rules, because he’s afraid of a real fight.”
McGregor and Mayweather both love the attention that this little useless feud brings. In reality, Floyd is much more likely to come out of retirement for this fight than he is to step in the ring — or Octagon, or whatever — with McGregor.
The trash talk between Michael Bisping and Yoel Romero is heating up.
Romero beat Chris Weidman with a flying knee at UFC 205 in New York on Saturday, and then he engaged in some trash talk with Bisping afterwards. Bisping, who was in attendance, ended up flipping Romero the bird in response.
On Monday, Bisping sent a tweet to Weidman, in which he labeled Romero a “cheat.”
@ChrisWeidmanUFC I know we had our differences but I was rooting for you against that cheat.All class in defeat, look 4ward 2 ur next bout
— michael (@bisping) November 14, 2016
Romero tested positive for a banned substance earlier this year as a result of a tainted supplement. He received a six-month suspension after arbitration, so his fight with Weidman was his first one back.
Now 13-1 and having won all eight of his fights in the UFC, Romero appears on target to challenge Bisping next. Bisping appears to be game.
Conor McGregor had a funny reaction to dropping Eddie Alvarez to win the UFC lightweight championship on Saturday night.
Immediately after his second-round victory over Alvarez, McGregor, who entered the fight as the UFC featherweight champion, demanded his second belt because he had just knocked off the lightweight champ.
The colorful Irish fighter demanded the second belt with a couple of choice F-bombs and made a second reference to the belt a minute later. UFC boss Dana White finally brought the second belt out to McGregor to satisfy the fighter. McGregor then let out a classic line about not apologizing to anyone.
Conor McGregor with the greatest line of 2016 pic.twitter.com/9MB1ZHkQLE
— Tyler Boone (@TylerBoone23) November 13, 2016
McGregor captured the UFC featherweight championship in 2015. He then jumped up two weight classes to fight Nate Diaz and went 1-1 in those fights.
Alvarez was the previous lightweight champion, but he was completely outclassed by McGregor, who was faster, better and toyed with him during the match. McGregor is now the first fighter in UFC history to hold two belts at the same time.
- Conor McGregor
UFC ring announcer Bruce Buffer had himself a Steve Harvey moment on Saturday night.
Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson had a close fight at UFC 205 that went the distance. Two judges scored the fight 47-47, while the third had it 48-47 in favor of Woodley.
Two of the three judges scoring the fight a draw would mean the outcome is a majority draw. However, when announcing the results in the octagon, Buffer called it a split decision win for Woodley.
Woodley was being interviewed by Joe Rogan as the fight winner until the interview was interrupted and Rogan was informed the results meant there was a majority draw.
As the defending champion, Woodley retained the title belt, but he did not win the fight as Buffer said — the result was a draw.
Video via Bro Bible
- Bruce Buffer
Miesha Tate was responsible for two surprises on Saturday night.
Not only did Tate, who was favored to win her fight at UFC 205 in New York, lose to Raquel Pennington, but then she stunned many more by announcing her retirement.
Tate announced her retirement during her post fight interview with Joe Rogan inside the octagon, immediately after her loss:
— #UFC205 (@ufc) November 13, 2016
Tate saying that she retired because of the outcome of the fight seems to indicate she was planning to make this announcement if she lost. They say that in combat sports, if you’re thinking about retirement, you’ve already lost. That appears to have been the case for Tate, who really shouldn’t have even been fighting.
If Tate does call it a career, she goes out as one of the most notable and significant female fighters in MMA history. Tate, 18-7, fought every big name in women’s MMA. She first captured the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight title with a win over Marloes Coenen in 2011 before losing that title to a surging Ronda Rousey, with whom she had a bitter rivalry.
Tate was one of the first women to fight in the UFC. Her heart and determination may be one of her best characteristics. After losing a second time to Rousey — her third loss in four fights — Tate rallied to win five straight fights and capture the UFC women’s bantamweight championship. She beat the likes of Liz Carmouche, Sara McMann, Jessica Eye, and eventually Holly Holm.
Tate has been fighting professionally for nearly 10 years. She is now 30 and has lost two in a row. With other top fighters like Gina Carano and Rousey discussing exit plans/leaving MMA for Hollywood, you have to wonder whether Tate will do the same.
- Miesha Tate
Conor McGregor teased a big announcement he would be making after UFC 205, and there is a lot of speculation that he is announcing his girlfriend Dee Devlin is pregnant.
Rumors that Dee Devlin is pregnant took shape when the UFC fighter’s longtime girlfriend posted photos on Instagram early in November showing her wearing much more clothing than her typically skimpy outfits:
A photo posted by Dee Devlin (@deedevlin1) on
Being in New York instead of LA certainly contributed to dressing warmly, but many thought Devlin wore a coat and had it buttoned specifically to cover up a baby bump.
The pregnancy rumors got a dose of reality when McGregor’s UFC 205 opponent Eddie Alvarez said during a press conference that McGregor’s big announcement was that he was having two kids — and his girlfriend is not pregnant with twins. Video below: