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Monday, May 21, 2018

MMA

Jon Jones finally responds to Chuck Liddell calling him out

Jon Jones

Chuck Liddell has been calling out Jon Jones for years, and the 30-year-old light heavyweight champion decided to respond on Monday.

Jones said on Twitter that he was ready to fly Liddell out to New Mexico for a fight so he could pummel the veteran.

“Old Chuck has been calling me out for years! I get it, I hold pretty much every record in the division. I normally try to respect my elders but if you want it come get it. Id literally fly you out to Albuquerque this weekend. You might want to test the strength of that jaw before you take a bite you cant chew,” Jones tweeted.

Despite being 48 and not having fought since 2010, Liddell has been talking about coming out of retirement to fight Tito Ortiz. This would be a fight for Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions new MMA branch. During an appearance on “The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani” Monday, Liddell also called out Jones, which led to the response.

Jones is currently on a provisional suspension. He has tested positive for banned substances after each of his last two fights.

Vitor Belfort retires after brutal KO loss at UFC 224

Vitor Belfort Lyoto Machida

Vitor Belfort called it a career after getting absolutely owned by Lyoto Machida at UFC 224 in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday night.

Belfort was knocked out by a crane kick from Machida in the second round of their fight. He got drilled in the face and hit the canvas, where the fight was immediately called.

After becoming alert, Belfort left his gloves on the mat as a sign that he was done. He then said in his postfight interview that he was retiring.

“I miss my family, and I think everything in life has something: it has beginning, middle and end. And it’s time for me to take care of my family and my endeavors,” Belfort said.

The 41-year-old is 26-14 (1) in his career.

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Several UFC employees were victims of armed robbery in Brazil

Dana White

The UFC has traveled to Rio de Janeiro for its latest event this weekend, and there was an unfortunate incident involving several of the company’s employees in Brazil Thursday night.

UFC president Dana White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that a number of UFC staff members were victims of an armed robbery on Thursday. While several employees lost personal items such as phones, wallets and passports, there were no injuries reported. Police are in the process of reviewing security footage from where the incident took place.

The official weigh-ins for UFC 224 were scheduled for Friday morning, and Okamoto reports that there have been no indications any of the robbery victims were fighters.

Between Thursday night’s incident and the mayhem that occurred with Conor McGregor last month, White and the UFC have had to deal with a lot of drama — the bad kind — in recent weeks.

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Report: Greg Hardy to make pro MMA debut, could sign contract with UFC

Greg Hardy

Greg Hardy has been committed to carving out a career in mixed martial arts since his NFL career infamously fell apart, and it sounds like he is a step closer to accomplishing his goal.

ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reports that Hardy, who is 3-0 in amateur MMA fights, has booked a heavyweight fight for June 12 on the “Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series.” The event features several live fights in Las Vegas, and at least one fighter is offered a multi-fight deal with the UFC when it’s over.

Hardy will reportedly face Brandon Sayles, who is 5-1 and has not lost a fight since 2012.

Hardy, 29, has not totally given up on his pro football career, as he is currently signed with the Richmond Roughriders of the American Arena League. He was once one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL until disturbing details of his domestic violence case were released, which basically made him untouchable to NFL teams. Hardy was also arrested for possession of cocaine more recently, but he says he is not giving up on playing football or becoming a UFC champion.

David Branch says his leg is busted after win over Santos

David Branch

David Branch may have beaten Thiago Santos convincingly at UFC Fight Night in Atlantic City on Saturday, but it certainly came at a cost.

After his first-round win via knockout, Branch said that his leg was busted from Santos’ hard kicks.

Branch finished the fight at 2:30 in the first round. He knocked Santos down with a big bunch and jumped on him to end it.

Branch is now 22-4 and has won 12 of his last 13 fights.

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Dana White changes tune on Conor McGregor, won’t rule out another fight

Conor McGregor belts

Dana White was furious with Conor McGregor after McGregor and his entourage attacked a bus outside a UFC event last week and basically ruined the fight card for UFC 223, but it sounds like White may feel a bit differently after sleeping on it.

Over the weekend, White was asked once again for his thoughts on McGregor’s arrest. While the UFC president initially hinted that McGregor may be done with the organization altogether, he wasn’t quite as animated on Saturday.

“We talked. It’s good,” White said after UFC 223, per Tristen Critchfield of Sherdog.com. “I think that there’s a mutual respect between us and obviously this week, I had so many things thrown at me. To focus on this show was insane. We’ll get back and we’ll focus on Conor McGregor.”

For comparison, here’s how White reacted in the hours after McGregor and his crew smashed some windows on a bus and injured two UFC fighters in the process.

McGregor is facing some serious charges in the wake of the incident, and he has a court date scheduled for June. Before the mayhem, White said the lightweight champion was expected to fight again later this year. Even with McGregor in serious legal trouble, White is not ruling anything out.

“We had talked about him fighting in September,” White said. “I don’t know. You can’t ask me anything about Conor. I don’t know anything. I haven’t thought about it. There’s nothing to think about this week except for the event.”

No one would have blamed White for immediately suspending McGregor or cutting ties with him altogether after seeing the footage of the bus attack, but the Irishman is the biggest draw the sport has. Money almost always trumps morals, and it appears this situation is no different.

Floyd Mayweather indicates his next fight will be in MMA

Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather Jr seems to be making it pretty clear that there is a lot more than just talk behind the possibility of him stepping into the octagon.

Mayweather was interviewed by Showtime’s Jim Gray on Saturday night during the boxing show headlined by Erislandy Lara and Jarrett Hurd. In his interview, Mayweather talked heavily about what’s in store for him, and he indicated he will fight in MMA.

“Is it possible that I come back? Yes, but if I do comeback, it has to be in the octagon,” Mayweather said.

Then Mayweather didn’t equivocate about whether he would fight in MMA.

“When I do go to the octagon, I look forward to going to 145 (pounds),” he said.

Note how Mayweather said “when” and not “if”.

Gray noticed that and pointed it out. Mayweather also said he was confident he would get the amount of money he wants for the fight.

“Only if the money is right. The money will always be right. Of course the numbers is going to be crazy.”

There has been plenty of talk about Mayweather stepping into the octagon and fighting in the UFC. Mayweather’s father has said that Floyd Jr is training for MMA. As for whom he would fight, well Dana White seemed to hint at it last week.

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