Rory MacDonald wants UFC title shot with win over Woodley

Rory MacDonald is scheduled to face fellow UFC welterweight contender Tyron Woodley at UFC 174 this summer and, should he win, the Candian believes he will have earned a shot at champion Johny Hendricks ?When I beat Woodley, hopefully [I get a title shot] in the fall or winter in Toronto or Montreal,? MacDonald told MMA Junkie in a recent interview.

?Hendricks is a great fighter. I have a lot of respect for him. He?s definitely a good fighter, and I?m excited to see him in the future.?

MacDonald was on the verge of getting a title shot before losing to Robbie Lawler last fall. Since then, MacDonald’s teammate and mentor, Georges St. Pierre, left MMA and gave up his welterweight title, and MacDonald got back in the win column by beating Demian Maia.

The young fighter from Vancouver believes that he’s finally hitting his potential. ?I definitely feel like I?m hitting my stride now this year,? he went on.

?My focus is at an all-time high, and I couldn?t be happier. ?I?m striving to be a champion in the welterweight division.”

MacDonald doesn’t hope to replace St. Pierre, however. All he can do, he knows, is become the best “Ares” that he can be.

?I don?t want to fill Georges? shoes. That?s an impossible task,” he concluded.

“I don?t want to be Georges. I want to be myself. I want to represent my style of martial arts and my own personality.”

Follow Eiias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

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Welterweight, lightweight titles on line at Saturday’s BAMMA 11 card in England

BAMMA returns this week with a card featuring a pair of title fights as well as a struggling UFC vet in the main event.

Tom Breese meets Warren Kee for the promotion’s British welterweight title while Dale Hardiman takes on Steve Ray for the British lightweight belt. Headlining the card is a middleweight bout between UFC vet Xavier Foupa-Pokam and BAMMA regular Jack Marshman.

BAMMA 11 takes place Saturday and airs on AXS TV at 4 p.m. ET.

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UFC 150: Henderson vs Edgar II Preview

Ben Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar

This Saturday night, UFC 150 from the Pepsi Centre in Denver sees ?Smooth? Benson Henderson defend his UFC lightweight championship belt against Frankie Edgar, the former title holder and the man he defeated to take the title some six months ago in Japan at UFC 144.

Frankie Edgar is the proverbial ?fighter with a lot of heart?. The ?lil? guy? from New Jersey doesn?t know when to quit and if fights were judged on guts and bravery alone he would still hold the title.

He?s like the son Tony Soprano never had, (and yes I know Tony did actually have a son, but let?s be honest A.J. was a pussy and would never have gotten off the canvas following a Gray Maynard uppercut!) but if their first bout is anything to go by he may have come across a fighter in Henderson too big and too good for him to overcome.

In their previous bout Edgar took everything that Ben Henderson had to throw at him and kept coming.

The first two rounds were pretty even and Edgar caught many of Henderson?s kicks and replied by showering his opponent with counter punches.

Yet over time Henderson was able to use his size to his advantage to essentially beat the smaller man down.  Fightmetric.com shows that Henderson out landed the New Jerseyite in total strikes by 100 to 81 and in significant strikes 87 to 68.

Edgar was the more successful fighter in the ground game, converting 5 of 12 takedown attempts with “Bendo” converting his only attempt.

The significant strikes were the difference and looking at the fighter?s faces at the end of the bout there was clearly one winner.

?Smooth? Benson Henderson was still looking just so with hardly a mark on him and ready to go another round; Edgar not so much.

For all his bravado and determination Edgar?s face was busted up, his right eye nearly welded shut, his mouth a bloody mess.

Watching a re-run of the first fight this week it was interesting to hear Goldie and Rogan comment on the weight and size disparity between the two fighters with Goldberg suggesting that: ?we might be watching a fight between a future welterweight and a future featherweight.?

A conservative estimate would suggest that Henderson outweighed Edgar by 30-40 pounds when they stepped into the Octagon for the first time and while Edgar has beaten fighter?s physically bigger than him before, notably BJ Penn and Gray Maynard, in Henderson he may have meet his match.

Donald Cerrone vs. Melvin Guillard

In the co-main event we have two former team-mates coming to meet each other in a bout that has knowledgeable fight fans predicting ?Fight of the night? from the moment it was announced.

Cowboy Donald Cerrone meets his former Jackson?s camp teammate Melvin Guillard in another bout from the stacked UFC lightweight division.

Jackson fighter?s such as Carlos Conduit and Clay Guida have recently been criticised for supposedly negative tactics in big fights and for looking to win fights by point scoring. It is highly unlikely that either Cerrone or Guillard will be accused of that following this bout as both are known for their entertaining fights and both like to finish their opponents.

Cerrone was thought to be close to a title shot before his defeat to Nate Diaz at the turn of the year. He looked uncharacteristically tentative against Diaz although he did rebound with a unanimous three round victory against Jeremy Stephans in May.

The Cowboy will be looking to use this victory against his friend and former training partner to propel himself, as Dana White likes to say, ?back in the mix? for a title shot in the deepest, most talented division in the UFC.

He is fighting a highly experienced and highly unpredictable fighter in Guillard. The dude is 29 years old and has had 43 pro fights!

The issue with Guillard is that you never know which fighter is going to show up. He has the ubiquitous ?one-punch knockout power? so loved by fight commentators and fight fans alike.

This is evident by his ?two knock out of the night? awards but he can also come to fights with what would appear to be a lack of focus.

When he fought Joe Lauzon at UFC 136 he came in smiling and dancing, giving fans high fives, playing to the crowd as he swaggered his way to the Octagon; he opened the bout with an audacious flying knee which left him open.

He got caught by Lauzon who clipped him and took him to the ground, where the Boston fighter choked him out within 42 seconds.

This was an important fight for Melvin as previous impressive victories and a victory would have solidified his ranking at the top of the division and opened up the possibility of a title shot.

Guillard should certainly be aware of the ground game of his opponent on Saturday night. Cowboy Cerrone has lethal BJJ with 13 of his 18 victories coming by way of submission.

While he only has one victory by knockout people should certainly not sleep on his striking abilities.

He is after all the former S-1 May Thai United States Champion and compiled a 28-0-1 record as a kickboxer.

He has won two Fight of the Night awards, a knockout of the night and a submission of the night during his time in the UFC, coupled with 5 of his 9 fights in W.E.C. being awarded Fight of the Night it is safe to say that the Cowboy won?t be looking to eke out a result this Saturday night, he comes to fight like a regulator (Young Guns not Warren G btw!).

Best of the Rest

Scrap Pack member and professional Ryan Reynolds impersonator Jake Shields looks to improve his UFC record to 3-2 with a victory over Ed Herman in the middleweight division.

Two recent Ultimate Fighter alumni fight on Saturday. Dennis Bermudez who fought on the Bisping vs. Miller season and was defeated in the final by Diego Brandao (aka Jose Aldo Jr, Jr) , will face Tommy Hayden on the undercard in the featherweight division.

The highly touted Justin Lawrence, who recently fought as a lightweight in the most recent season, the Ultimate Fighter Live will drop down to the featherweight division to face off against Max Holloway.

UFC 150: Henderson vs Edgar II will be on ESPN live at 3am, Sunday 12th August.

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Former WEC announcer Joe Martinez tapped for octagon debut at UFC on FX 6

Former WEC announcer Joe Martinez will soon make his octagon debut.

Martinez recently revealed to Examiner.com that he has been hired for in-cage duties at next month’s UFC on FX 6 event, which takes place on Saturday, Dec. 15 in Australia but due to the time difference airs live in the U.S. on Friday night.

Promotion mainstay Bruce Buffer is set for his familiar announcing role that same weekend at The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale.

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Alexander Gustafsson – I’m a bad matchup for Jon Jones

 It’s pretty clear that UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones doesn’t want to fight Alexander Gustafsson for a second time after walking away with a razor-thin and controversial decision win over the Swede last year. First, Jones didn’t grant the automatic rematch to Gustafsson that was warranted and then he had the gall to suggest that Gustafsson should have to win two consecutive fights to earn the right to challenge him once more.

A lot of fighters in Gustafsson’s position might pick up the trash talk at this point but the soft-spoken contender doesn’t seem interested in doing that. He’ll readily admit that Jones does not seem to want to fight him but the Nordic fighter won’t attribute that to simple fear in “Bones.”

“The thing is he knows – he knows I’m a really bad matchup for him. He knows that,” Gustafsson said in a recent FoxSports interview.

“I don’t think Jones is scared or he’s trying to run or anything like that. He just knows that I’m a really bad matchup and he knows that we will fight one day. He knows that, but he’s trying to avoid it as long as he can.”

Jones fights Glover Teixeira later this month in defense of his 205-pound belt. Gustafsson is picking Jones to win but, whomever walks away with the belt, he expects to be the next man to step in the cage with them.

“It feels great, I can’t wait,” Gustafsson said about getting another title shot next.

“The future looks very good and I’m very excited.”

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

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Manny Pacquiao coach Freddie Roach delivers ‘No 1 sox symbol’ message to Timothy Bradley

Freddie Roach sent this to Timothy Bradley yesterday: Freddie Roach had a box full of dozens of socks delivered to Tim Bradley at his LA media workout on Thursday with the attached note, but Bradley’s management team refused to allow him to show the contents of the box to the media. Mr. Timothy Bradley, Jr. [...]

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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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Alex White gets back to work after UFC win

Many Cagewriter readers were touched to read about Alex White’s inspiring path to the UFC late last week. The fighter overcame nearly dying as a child and homelessness as an adult and ended up fighting his way into the best MMA promotion in the world.

After White’s incredible success in his UFC debut on Saturday, where he earned a first-round KO and a $50,000 Performance of the Night honors bonus check, we got even more requests to check back in with the hard-hitting featherweight.

Like most fighters starting out in the UFC, Alex works hard at a day job. This morning, less than 48 hours removed from winning in the Octagon, Alex was back at work in Missouri.

“There’s no rest for the wicked,” he jokes.

Alex won’t call them “UFC jitters” but he admits that it took him a few moments to collect himself once his first UFC bout had begun. “Yeah, I went in there and it took me a little bit to get warmed up,” he says.

“After a little bit, I was able to think to myself, ‘This is what you’ve been training to do. Do this, and this and this.’

It only took White a few punches to knock opponent Estevan Payan out cold. White was and is the undefeated prospect but Payan had far more big-stage experience than White.

“Yeah, it felt good,” White said of the step up in competition.

“It was my first UFC fight and it was a different level of fighting. I was pretty pumped and I’m pretty happy now.”

White had to wait a little bit longer than expected to begin celebrating once the ref had called a halt to the action, however, because once Payan regained consciousness, he angrily began to protest the stoppage.

For his part, White never let his guard down, and stayed close to Payan, seemingly ready for the fight to continue. “Yeah, I wasn’t for sure what was going on,” White says of those tense moments immediately following the fight’s end.

“I was totally unloading on him and he didn’t get up til the ref pushed me off. I wasn’t for sure what was going on – if the ref had stopped it or was going to continue it so I tried to stay in the mode.”

Once White’s victory did settle in, the blue-collar fighter didn’t hit the Florida clubs or beach for a wild party. At six feet tall, it must be a task for White to make the 145-pound featherweight limit and after cutting weight on short notice for his UFC debut, Alex and his team had a practical celebration.

“We went to IHOP,” White says.

“I had one of those bacon omelets and pancakes.”

Now back to work at his day job, White plans to take a week off from training and plan a party for his supporters in town.

“I want to spend time with family and I’ll probably throw a bar-b-que for my supporters in the park,” he says.

“I’d like to have a bunch of food for everyone so people can relax, have a good time and so that I can let them know how much I appreciate all their support and help.”

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

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Alexander Gustafsson – I’m a bad matchup for Jon Jones

 It’s pretty clear that UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones doesn’t want to fight Alexander Gustafsson for a second time after walking away with a razor-thin and controversial decision win over the Swede last year. First, Jones didn’t grant the automatic rematch to Gustafsson that was warranted and then he had the gall to suggest that Gustafsson should have to win two consecutive fights to earn the right to challenge him once more.

A lot of fighters in Gustafsson’s position might pick up the trash talk at this point but the soft-spoken contender doesn’t seem interested in doing that. He’ll readily admit that Jones does not seem to want to fight him but the Nordic fighter won’t attribute that to simple fear in “Bones.”

“The thing is he knows – he knows I’m a really bad matchup for him. He knows that,” Gustafsson said in a recent FoxSports interview.

“I don’t think Jones is scared or he’s trying to run or anything like that. He just knows that I’m a really bad matchup and he knows that we will fight one day. He knows that, but he’s trying to avoid it as long as he can.”

Jones fights Glover Teixeira later this month in defense of his 205-pound belt. Gustafsson is picking Jones to win but, whomever walks away with the belt, he expects to be the next man to step in the cage with them.

“It feels great, I can’t wait,” Gustafsson said about getting another title shot next.

“The future looks very good and I’m very excited.”

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

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High Five – Why Dana White Should Step Down as UFC President

High Five

A wise man; I believe his name was @TheRealAdil (the ?@? being silent), once said that if you can?t convince someone of your point of view in five simple points, you never will. So he created a concept known as a High Five: a means by which to convey those five simple points about any argument he so wished.

One argument, five points ? this is a High Five for Full Mount MMA readers to ponder.

I hereby submit:

Five Reasons Why Dana White Should Step Down as UFC President

 

Read more…

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