UFC Michael Bisping: ‘Cung Le “a phony” a must-win fight for me;my performance against Tim Kennedy sucked’

Michael Bisping says he’s going “all in” on Cung Le this weekend in Macau, that the Vietnamese mixed martial arts star is “a phony” and that it is win or bust for his career. ?This is a must-win fight for me. I have to prove to the UFC, I have to prove to the fans, [...]

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UFC Fight Night 47 averages 735,000 viewers

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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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Women’s MMA Report: Invicta FC and Jewels announce 115-pound title fights

Invicta Fighting Championships is set to crown its second champion on Jan. 5 with 115-pounders Claudia “Claudinha” Gadelha vs. Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza.

Additionally, Japan’s Jewels promotion will feature a title fight three weeks prior with strawweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Emi “Kamikaze Angel” Fujino.

In our latest Women’s MMA Report, MMAjunkie.com’s Robert Sargent looks at both cards and discusses other news and notes from the world’s top female fighters.

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UFC interim champ Renan Barao’s coach prefers title shot, but doesn’t want to wait

Barao coach Pederneiras would prefer title shot, but doesn’t want fighter to wait

Nova Uniao leader and coach Andre Pederneiras on Wednesday told MMAjunkie.com he’s waiting on UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby’s call to tell him when and where UFC interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao is fighting next.

“If I had a choice, I would rather Renan fight Dominick (Cruz), but I don’t want to wait too long,” Pederneiras said.

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Eddie Alvarez says he’s the ‘underground king’ who will be UFC champion ‘very soon’

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Eddie Alvarez signs with UFC, fights Donald Cerrone in UFC 178 co-main event

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Inspire a Generation?of Fighters?

Look at any other tweet about the Olympics and you?ll see the hashtag #inspireageneration and while this is evidently there out of a desire that the London Olympics will cause a generation of couch potato British kids to switch off their PS3s and pick up a pair of running shoes, a tennis racket or see if their bike is still in the shed, I can?t help but view the Olympics as a potential launch pad for the next stage in the development of UK MMA.

MMA may not be in the Olympics and mastery of any of the Olympic disciplines may not necessarily translate to a successful career in the cage, but there is an undoubted link between the Olympics and Mixed Martial Arts. Ronda Rousey won a Bronze medal in Judo for the USA at 70kg in the 2008 games and is now the face of women?s MMA. Daniel Cormier captained the US freestyle wrestling team in Beijing and is now one of the highest ranked heavyweight fighters in the world. Legends like Randy Couture and Dan Henderson were in their nation?s Greco-Roman wrestling team and current fighters like Satoshi Ishii (Gold, Judo, 2008,) Alexis Villa (Bronze, wrestling 1996), Sara McMann (Silver, wrestling, 2004) and Randi Miller (Bronze, wrestling, 2008) have tasted the Olympic podium before transitioning to the cage.

In the light of this and especially in the wake of Britain?s most successful Olympics of all time, I can?t help but think if any of Britain?s Olympic standouts might transition to the cage and lead British MMA into a new phase of legitimacy, success and growth. Of course, our medal-winning sailors, cyclists and dressage team probably wouldn?t be too interested in, or inclined towards a switch to the cage, but there are plenty combat sports at the Olympiad.

Boxing

While the sweet science has often been portrayed as MMA?s great nemesis, at least in terms of gaining the pay per view buys and mainstream acceptance as the #1 combat sport, boxing is a key part of the MMA fighter?s canon. If you lack a standup game, you will never be elite level and of the many striking disciplines, boxing is by far the most popular.

Sadly, I?m writing this before the medals are determined in the men?s boxing (I?m going on honeymoon on Sunday 12th, so I hope you?ll forgive me) but this year marked the first year that Women could compete in boxing at the Olympics and there was massive success from some British (in the geographical sense) girls.

First up Team GB?s Nicola Adams won gold in the Flyweight (51kg) division, swiftly followed by Ireland?s Katie Taylor winning gold in the Lightweight (60kg) division. Both girls are very experienced, at 29 and 26 years old respectively and as such might not want to convert to MMA this far into their careers, but if either could develop some takedown defence and/or a ground game, I?d LOVE to see them bringing some top notch boxing into the flyweight and bantamweight divisions of the Women?s game.

Judo

As I?ve said above, Ronda Rousey used the momentum from her bronze medal at 70kg in Beijing to catapult herself to the top of Women?s MMA. As a martial art which starts standing and ends on the ground, with the most important aspects being balance, presence of mind and technique, Judo is one of the most adaptable bases for an MMA career. What?s even better is that Team GB has TWO medalists who could cross over, both of them girls.

Gemma Gibbons won an emotional silver medal in the half-heavyweight 78kg class while Karina Bryant won a bronze medal in the 78kg+ weight class. Bryant may be too set in her ways at 33 to cross over, although Gibbons is well placed at 25 years old to make the switch. One problem both women may find is that Women?s MMA tends to max out at the featherweight division, and as both would likely need to compete at lightweight or above, they may simply be too big to find meaningful opposition, given the current limited nature of women?s MMA.

Taekwondo

Always one of the most stylish martial arts, many have said that Taekwondo isn?t practical for use in MMA, given its emphasis on spinning kicks and complete lack of takedowns. However, the attributes balance and quick reactions are never a bad thing and many top MMA fighters, including current UFC champions Benson Henderson and Georges St-Pierre are known to train in TKD and if that?s not evidence enough to justify the sport being talked about here, I don?t know what is.

As I?m writing this, I?ve just watched Wales? Jade Jones become the first British woman to take a gold medal in TKD, defeating the double world champion Hu Yuzhuo in the process. At only 19 years of age, she?s got her whole career in front of her and weighing in at 57kg, she?s ideally placed to compete in the Flyweight or if she?s still got growing to do, Bantamweight divisions.

Wrestling

Broadly accepted as the best possible base for an MMA fighter, with it?s emphasis on controlling where the fight takes place, allowing you to smother an opponent to a super-dull decision or keep it standing where you?re standup may take effect or to the ground where you?re secondary BJJ skills can take over, wrestling has already shown itself to be the finest breeding ground for MMA standouts of the future.

Sadly, Britain didn?t post any medalists in the Greco-Roman wrestling and the freestyle is yet to be completed. I?m not expecting medals anyway, as our wrestling has long been far behind the rest of the world anyway and I?m less than impressed with the way we suddenly naturalised a bunch of Ukrainian wrestlers who had ostensibly been brought over to train our home grown talent. That?s just not cricket.

However, given my blond haired, blue eyed genetics and tendency to dedicate things to Odin, I?m plenty chuffed to see Sweden?s Jimmy Lidberg and Johan Euren snare bronze medals in the Greco-Roman wrestling at 96kg and 120kg respectively. At 30 and 27 years old, they?ve still got time to transition to the cage, and I?d happily see some Olympic gold round the necks of a competitor on a Vision FC card in the near future.

Sadly, I?ve had to write and post this before the freestyle wrestling, men?s boxing and taekwondo have wrapped up so it?s by no means a complete run down of the combat sports potential coming out of these games, but I ?ve got a honeymoon to go on?

Of course, mastery of boxing, wrestling, taekwondo, judo or any other one discipline will never make you an elite level MMA fighter, but I?d love to see some crossover from the sheer amount of hype the Olympics have received, raising MMA?s profile and legitimacy in this country and having our beloved Olympic medalists competing in ?cage fighting? can only help.

Can you see any of our medal winners crossing over and making an impact? Do you think MMA should be in the Olympics? Failing that, and given that the next games are in Rio, should Brazilian Jiu-jitsu be included as an Olympic sport? I?d love to see that?

Slainte,

Chris Napier

Twitter: @chriscrowing

Disclaimer: This article consists of the opinion and thoughts of the author and as such should not be considered as the position of Full Mount MMA. This piece is intended to create debate, not to give offence to any fans, fighters or promoters.

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Eddie Alvarez officially free agent, granted release by Bellator

Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez has been granted an unconditional release by the promotion and is now free to sign anywhere he pleases. Bellator and Alvarez both released statements Tuesday afternoon.

The lightweight star has been interested in leaving Bellator and signing with the UFC for years, but was unsuccessful in freeing himself from his Bellator contract through a contentious legal battle. New Bellator boss Scott Coker, however, has avoided any further conflict and decided to grant Alvarez his requested release, freeing him to sign with the UFC, should they still be interested.

?We?ve granted Eddie his unconditional release,” Coker said in a statement.

“Eddie is free to explore the free agent market, we hold no matching rights, and we wish him the best in the future. We sat down with Eddie and his team a few times, and it became pretty clear early on that he just wasn?t interested in fighting for Bellator in the future. We want guys in this organization that want to be here, and after the history Eddie and the former regime had here at Bellator, we decided to move on. We wish Eddie the absolute best of luck with whatever is next for him. It?s a new chapter for everyone involved.?

Eddie Alvarez expressed gratitude towards Bellator in his statement, as well as an eagerness to move on with his career.¬†?This was a long process but it?s a decision that everyone seems happy with,” he said.

“I think it?s important¬†to say that I am genuinely thankful for my time at Bellator. I know that sounds a little crazy given everything I went through, but I?ve fought there since 2009, and have been involved in some really amazing fights. The staff there always treated me great, and I?m going to miss seeing a lot of those familiar faces around for sure. Myself and my team had some really good discussions with Scott, but in my heart I knew I was ready to move on and start the next chapter in my career.?

The 30-year old champion last fought in Nov. 2014, when he won a controversial decision over Michael Chandler at Bellator 106. The top lightweight has long been one of the very best fighters outside of the UFC, and has built an excellent 25-3 record over the course of his decade-long MMA career.

The UFC has yet to officially comment on Alvarez’ release but we will keep you posted as this story develops.

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

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Nick Diaz irons out issues with UFC, plans early 2015 return

It appears the prodigal son is about to return.

Welterweight Nick Diaz, who was last seen in the Octagon when he was routed by Georges St-Pierre in a title fight in Montreal on March 16, 2013, plans to fight soon.

Diaz was in Las Vegas on Thursday to meet with UFC president Dana White and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, according to a story on UFC.com.

Next year I guess. Whatever, though. I can fight tomorrow, tonight. You have to do what you have to do. … [I came today] to sort things out with Dana White and Lorenzo. It was hard times for a little bit, but people act like I’ve been doing nothing. I’ve been getting some things done. Just because I’m not getting punched around every day doesn’t mean I’m not focused on what I’m doing. Now, here we are.

Diaz has long been one of the sport’s most popular fighters, but he might have been at the peak of his popularity on the night of his unanimous decision loss to St-Pierre at the Bell Centre.

And after the fight, even when he was thoroughly beaten, he stole the show. He said St-Pierre “hits like a girl,” and demanded a rematch even though the fight wasn’t close.

Worse, he said he hadn’t paid his taxes and would ‘probably go to jail’.


He managed to stay out of jail and is now nearing a return. Former middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who broke a leg last December in a fight with Chris Weidman, is looking to return at the end of this year or early next. But White tweeted that UFC officials haven’t talked to Silva, putting a bit of a damper on hopes for a Silva-Diaz bout. White said in his tweet that Silva won’t return until February.

Diaz, who has lost two fights in a row, expressed interest in a Silva fight in his interview with UFC.com.

I’d like to fight for the title. I think that would be a big deal and worth fighting for. I want fights that will lead to a title fight. Whoever is in line and whoever has the title, that’s who I’m going to be fighting. I’d be interested in fighting [Silva] and anything that’s going to do well. As far as Anderson Silva, I think that would be a great fight for people to see because he has my type of style.

So while it’s unlikely he’ll get Silva, there are plenty of great opponents in the welterweight division who would make for a good fight with Diaz, so his potential return is encouraging.

Nothing is ever written in stone with either of the Diaz brothers, but it’s been a long time since better news for fight fans came out of Stockton, Calif.

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