Score Fighting Series 7 results: Mein quickly stops Petz, Ronson batters Healy

Strikeforce took a gamble by loaning out Jordan Mein, one of its top welterweight prospects, for Friday’s Score Fighting Series 7 headliner.

Against UFC vet Forrest Petz, he faced a heavy-handed fighter with proven knockout power.

Yet, quickly in the main-event fight, it looked like anything but a risky proposition.

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Dana White: ‘Conor McGregor next in line for title shot’

Rising UFC featherweight star Conor McGregor shot into many MMA featherweight rankings top-five lists this week after knocking Dustin Poirier out with an accidentally illegal shot to the back of the head, but UFC president Dana White believes that the rising star has done enough to be granted a world title shot. Champion Jose Aldo next defends the belt in a rematch against Chad Mendes later this month at UFC 179.

After that, White told UFC.com that the charismatic and hard-hitting Irishman is next in line for a shot at the winner. ?Here?s the thing,” White began.

“If you go down the list, every one of those guys has fought Jose Aldo already…Conor hasn?t. So who do you line up next for the champ other than Conor? Everybody else has fought him.?

McGregor has said he plans to watch Aldo and Mendes go at it at UFC 179 in Brazil. Having the sharp-dressing and loud-talking contender there during fight week will likely hype up a potential fight between he and Aldo or Mendes.

In speaking of wanting a match up that would be considered fresh and exciting to fans, White is likely on-point that a fight between McGregor and Aldo would garner the most interest. Not only is McGregor 4-0 inside the UFC cage, but he also hasn’t lost a fight in nearly four years.

Perhaps just as important as his impressive fighting, however, has been McGregor’s outlandish trash talk and impressive presence as a personaliity. The 26 year-old seems to be gaining a great deal of stardom in his native Ireland, and is also quickly becoming a favorite among U.S. fans.

All the while, he’s winning fights and trashing the long-time featherweight king Aldo in interviews and on Twitter. White’s calculation, however, would seem to lean heavily on Aldo beating Mendes later this month.

That is no lock. Aldo did earn a KO win in the first round against Mendes in 2012, but that fight was competitive up until the last-second knee that caught and felled Mendes, and it also wasn’t without its own controversy.

Mendes was having some success tying up and taking down Aldo throughout the first round before the champ held on to the cage in a violation of the rules and in order to stop Mendes from taking him down. After stopping the take down, with the assistance of the fence-grab, Aldo spun around and landed the knee that knocked Mendes out.

Since that loss, Mendes has won five straight fights and looked dominating. All that is to say, UFC 179′s main event between Aldo and Mendes could go either way.

Would the UFC be just as eager to place McGregor ahead of the pack in the featherweight contender’s list if Mendes becomes champion? Time may tell.

Until then, let us know who you think deserves the next featherweight title shot, after Mendes!

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

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The peace and accomplishment behind Charles Rosa’s UFC debut

Only UFC fighters themselves know what they feel as they walk into the cage, glove up and fight one another. One can only imagine that it has to be a daunting sense.

First time ?Octagon jitters? are almost legendary among debuting UFC combatants.  The lights, cameras, large arena, and quite conscious sense of how what?s about to happen is both an incredible career opportunity, after years of work and dedication, as well as perhaps the most dangerous and high-level fight you?ve ever been in, can doubtless make for an interesting brew of nerves for most fighters.

Maybe featherweight Charles Rosa (9-1) felt all of that, heavily, as he stepped into the cage for the first time on October 4 and fought top 10 fighter Dennis Siver (22-9). After all, Rosa had been thisclose to getting a UFC contract for some time, now, as a top prospect.

And when he finally got the call, it was to fight on short notice against a much more experienced fighter in Siver, on another continent, and after cutting nearly 30 pounds in one week. If Rosa felt the ?Octagon jitters,? he sure didn?t show it.

For three rounds, Rosa looked to be not just a top-level UFC fighter, but someone who was so at home in the Octagon, that he enjoyed every second of his close battle to Siver.

Rosa lost a close decision, but earned a performance bonus check and put the division on notice that he was for real. Perhaps he was able to look so comfortable, and even happy, while fighting a Hercules look-a-like on short notice because of how far he?d gone to get there.

Rosa, at just 28 years old, is a young man. He has already, however, lived plenty, and persevered through a lot already.

In fact, MMA may have very well helped him save his own life.

Ultimate Rehab

Charles Rosa is from the Boston area, yet he began his fight training down in South Florida. When we spoke with the featherweight some months ago, while he was still fighting on regional circuits and hoping to get a call up to the major leagues of MMA, Rosa revealed that it wasn?t training that initially brought him to Florida from Massachusetts years ago, but rather a drug rehabilitation program.

Rosa had experienced things many other young people his age had ? a sense of aimlessness, coupled with frustration and anger ? after losing both his first athletic love in hockey, and a beloved brother. Charles wasn?t doing a whole lot up North, and was eventually compelled to go to rehab.

Florida, he hoped, would be a fresh start. It became just that, thanks to a new sport for the man who would go on to be called, ?The Boston Strangler.?

?I was on the bus one day, heading to the facility and I saw a guy with a gym bag,? Rosa recalled, to us.

?I recognized it as a fight gym bag, and I asked him where he trained. He told me, and I decided to go check it out.?

Rosa had an uncle who boxed, and thought of himself as a tough guy, though he had little in the way of formal training. Still, when he walked into American Top Team black belt, and UFC veteran Charles ?Chainsaw? McCarthy?s gym for the first time, he sought out as much action as possible.

First, he unintentionally insulted Cole Miller by challenging him to spar. Miller obliged him and battered the rookie around a bit.

Most importantly, however, Rosa came back the next day. And the next, and the next day after that.

?I thought I was tough, and I was expecting them to say, ?good job,? or something like that. But nobody said anything, so I kept coming back and training more,? he said.

Eventually, Rosa?s diligent attendance in class did get McCarthy?s attention, and he sat the newbie down for a talk. ?He told me that he thought I could be good, if I trained hard,? Rosa recounted.

?When I first walked in, I knew nothing about MMA, so I didn?t know who all the guys around me were. Eventually, I learned that a lot of them were some of the best fighters in the world. I realized who I was working with. These were world-class guys and I was surviving with them, on just guts.?

Rosa took McCarthy?s talk seriously, and trained harder than ever, with the hopes of landing his own MMA debut, sooner than later. McCarthy initially rebuffed Rosa?s many attempts to have a fight booked, but there was a reason.

?Every week I?d come in and ask, ?do you have a fight for me?? And he would say, ?not yet, not yet.? Later, he told me that he had a plan for me,? Rosa said.

?They thought I could become a world champion one day. So, they wanted to take things seriously, slowly, and build a career.?

The planning and deliberation paid off for Rosa because once he made his pro debut, in 2012, he would rattle off nine straight wins over the next two years. More than that, Rosa had gotten clean and found a new calling.

?MMA kind of replaced hockey for me, I think,? he told us.

?This was something new that I loved, and got good at.?

To be sure, Rosa had a lot on the line when he made his UFC debut a week ago against Siver. More than that, perhaps, he was exactly where he wanted to be, and so he was able to look so fluid and confident against a savvy veteran, many years and battles his elder.

?I don?t think I could do a regular, nine to five job,? he told us.

?[MMA] fits my personality and temperament well. This is what I?m supposed to do.?

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The Sunday Junkie: Nov. 25 edition

Even if the Anderson Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre super fight never happens, it sure has given fans plenty to talk about.

This week, The Sunday Junkie got reams of entries on the potential fight between the UFC’s middleweight and welterweight champs, which could be in the works after St-Pierre’s win over Carlos Condit at UFC 154.

But this week’s Canadian winner, “A-shock,” from London, Ontario, has some interesting ideas on how to infuse new life into the UFC’s reality series, “The Ultimate Fighter.”

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RFA 5 card set with Downing-Rinaldi featherweight title fight, Krause vs. Jordan

Resurrection Fighting Alliance puts its featherweight title up for grabs when it returns this week.

The show is set for Friday’s RFA 5 event in Nebraska with a seven-bout main card, including Jared Downing vs. Jordan Rinaldi for the 145-pound title and WEC vet James Krause vs. Joe Jordan.

RFA 5 takes place Friday at Viaero Event Center in Kearney, Neb. The main card airs live on AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET.

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Dominick Cruz: ‘TJ Dillashaw has my UFC belt’

In Dominick Cruz’s three-year absence due to injuries, Faber teammate TJ Dillashaw (11-2) has become the new UFC bantamweight champion. After his stunningly quick and dominating win over Takeya Mizugaki (fight video above) last month, Cruz was quick to call out “Team Alpha Fail,” as he called Dillashaw and his Team Alpha Male stablemates.

Despite how it may appear, however, Dominick Cruz (20-1) says he doesn’t have anything personal against TJ Dillashaw or Team Alpha Male. Cruz has a long-running feud with the team’s founder, Urijah Faber, and the two have faced off twice with each of them owning a victory over the other.

?It?s just, man, he?s got my belt, and he thinks it?s his, and it?s not,” Cruz explained recently.

“So it?s me vs. Team Alpha Male.?

Cruz feels as though he has already dealt with the team’s leader Faber, but now has to take out another Alpha Male guy in Dillashaw. The “Dominator” is fine with it because, as he sees it, he’s got a style custom-built to beat those types of athletic wrestlers.

?The truth is, I cut one head off and another one keeps popping up,” Cruz said.

“So I?ve already realized in my head, I?m fighting these guys. If it?s all of them, OK, let?s do it. I have a good track record against their style of fighting, and it?s not a personal thing when it comes to T.J. Dillashaw.”

Do you think Cruz can step back into title-winning form and beat Dillashaw, or do you think the new champ will be able to hang onto his title? Let us know in the comments section!

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

 

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Chael Sonnen: ‘I’m not sorry for drug use’

Retired UFC fighter Chael Sonnen is finally being honest about intentionally violating drug rules, but he isn’t about to apologize for any of it. Speaking on his new podcast, You’re Welcome, Sonnen says he’ll just have to live with intentionally trying to game the system.

“I’m not going to apologize because I’m not sorry. I’m a consenting adult. I knew exactly what I was doing. This was a premeditated decision,” Sonnen said.

Sonnen went on to explain the rationale and criteria he used when deciding what drugs to take. What substances were and were not allowed by governing athletic commissions was not one of the criteria he was concerned with.

“For me, the litmus test was flawed, but here was my litmus test: Can’t be a steroid, and it’s got to be legal,” Sonnen explained.

“I can’t take anything, I don’t wan’t to be in possession of anything that isn’t legal. What I’m talking about there, I’m not talking about the commissions and their rules, I’m talking about the law. I’m talking about, am I holding something in my possession and then a police officer sees me, am I allowed to have that. If the answer’s yes, then I’m in. That was my test. If I could get this legal, if there’s a legal medication, I’m taking it, I’m not cross-referencing it with the commission. I’m not taking the rules or someone else’s over that of a doctor. That’s what I’d tell myself to sleep well at night.”

There is no way of knowing for certain if Sonnen is telling the truth here, or once more lying. As a convicted felon, he has shown to have trouble keeping on the right side of the law, and before he got caught using himself, he criticized other athletes for using drugs he himself used or would go on to use.

All that is to say – we may be finally getting the full truth from Sonnen, or just another partial version of it. In any case, the three-time UFC title challenger isn’t shrinking away from his actions or the limelight.

Sonnen will admit to cheating, but he won’t say he’s sorry for having tried. “If you’re going to try to get away with something, if you’re beat, you’re beat,” Sonnen concluded.

“There’s nothing more to it, there’s nothing more to the story. I took something, I was caught, I got tarnished and that’s it.”

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‘TUF’ times: Sonnen says he turned down spot on ‘TUF 1,’ Jones once cut from tryouts

LAS VEGAS – The debut season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ has long been recognized as the starting point of MMA’s current popularity boom and was responsible for launching the careers of stars such as Stephan Bonnar, Kenny Florian, Forrest Griffin, Josh Koscheck, Chris Leben, Diego Sanchez and Mike Swick.

But as successful as the 2005 series debut proved, imagine what it could have been with one Chael P. Sonnen.

Sonnen, who coaches on the upcoming 17th edition of the series, says he actually turned down a spot on “TUF 1.”

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Jake Shields: ‘The hunger is back’

Jake Shields went unbeaten for two straight years in the UFC, before losing handily to Hector Lombard last March. Immediately prior to that loss, Shields won a main event grappling battle with Demian Maia.

In fact, Shields headlined three out of his last seven UFC bouts, in all. The Cesar Gracie black belt was a long-time top ten welterweight and star fighter.

That’s why it was so shocking to the MMA world, and the fighter himself, when he was cut by the UFC after his loss to Lombard at UFC 171. “I was shocked, yeah,” Shields admits to Cagewriter.

“Before that loss, I was coming off a nice winning streak, and had headlined an event. I just had to not let it keep me down, and I had to stay focused.”

As the 35 year-old pondered a future outside of the world’s top MMA promotion, he found solace in the fact that he had made a living without the UFC for so many years, prior to joining it in 2010. I had spent most of my career outside the UFC, anyway,” he explains.

“So, I didn’t feel my career was defined by fighting in the UFC. Plus, I was a bit tired of dealing with the UFC on some issues, anyway.”

Shields signed with the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) and was set to make his organization debut against fellow former top UFC welterweight contender Jon Fitch before an injury cancelled that bout. The fighter out of San Francisco says that latest set back was also mainly a psychological challenge.

“It was more psychologically hard than physical,” he says.

“Because I knew I’d be back. It was just an annoying injury that took me out of the fight, but I knew I’d recover fine.”

Now, Shields is set to headline yet another event – WSOF 14 – against Ryan Ford in the Canadian’s home town of Edmonton. All his set backs, including his time away from competition, have only made Shields more motivated and eager to step into the cage.

“Definitely,” he says.

“I’m raring to go, get in there and fight. It’s good because, prior to this, I was a little burned out. Now, I’m refreshed and have that hunger back.”

Shields fights Ryan Ford Saturday, Oct. 11 on a four-fight card airing on NBC Sports Network at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT

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UFC on FOX 5 weigh-ins slated for Dec. 7 at Seattle’s KeyArena

Fans are invited to pre-event festivities for the next major UFC event, UFC on FOX 5.

The network-televised event takes place Dec. 8 at Seattle’s KeyArena.

Fans are invited to the traditional pre-event open workouts, press conference and weigh-ins throughout fight week. All of the events are free.

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