UCMMA 31: Neil Grove talks to Dave O’Donnell

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BAMMA 11: Live on Channel 5

As BAMMA nears its tweens with its 11th show they continue to break new ground in UK MMA with their 11h show being broadcast live on Channel 5. The return of UK MMA’s most famous fighter, Alex Reid, to the cage should draw a wide audience of people from fight fans to celeb watchers which can only be a good thing for the growth of the sport in the UK.

Running from 23:00 hours to 00:15 hours, the Saturday night broadcast features Alex Reid vs. Sam Boo live and marks the first time that Mixed
Martial Arts is aired live on Channel 5. The programme also includes Foupa ? Pokem vs. Marshman, which, if you’ve ever seen Marshman fight you know will be an epic battle, plus taped highlights from earlier in the night.

BAMMA?s director David Green said:

?We are thrilled to see BAMMA 11 going out live on Five and 1st December marks a really big moment for us.  The official figures released from Channel 5 following the BAMMA 10 taped broadcast showed audiences peaking at 275, 000.  Going live on Five is a big step up for BAMMA but a challenge that we feel confident and excited about and we look forward to the opportunity of taking MMA to a broader Saturday night audience.?

Internationally BAMMA 11, presented by Go Daddy.com, will be shown on AXS-TV (US), The Fight Network (Canada), Red Media (RUSSIA), TV Esporte Interativo (Brazil), Setana (Africa) and TDN (Latin America).

*Buy tickets here: **http://bit.ly/iKuapN* <http://bit.ly/iKuapN>**

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Invicta FC 4 official with Esparza-Gadelha title fight, Baszler-Davis and more

The lineup is nearly compete for the all-female Invicta Fighting Championships’ next card.

Invicta FC 4 takes place Jan. 5 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. The card is expected to stream online.

Headlining the 12-bout lineup is undefeated Claudia Gadelha vs. Carla Esparza for the organization’s first-ever 115-pound strawweight championship.

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Coach says Conor McGregor much improved for UFC fight Night 46

Conor McGregor has not fought in nearly a year thanks to an ACL injury but his coach John Kavanagh insists that his fighter is better than ever. McGregor takes on Diego Brandao Saturday night in Dublin in the UFC 46 main event and Kavanagh recently told MMA Fighting that the brash fighter is worlds away from where he was when he last fought and beat Max Holloway.

“Now I look at Conor sparring, I look at him moving around. I actually recently watched his fight with Max Holloway about a week ago – I hadn’t looked at it since August and I watched it again. He actually looked very basic in that fight compared to who he is now,” he said.

“I said to Conor, if you get in the ring with that Conor, he’s not going to survive a round with you. His grappling his improved hugely, and in that fight I thought he was experimenting with a lot of new kicks. Now he’s mastered them. He’s knocking out people with them rather than just trying them.”

As for the possibility of McGregor having to shake off ring rust come fight night, the coach was dismissive. “I believe it’s right what he’s saying: Ring rust is an excuse for those who do this part-time,” he said.

Do you think McGregor will pick up where he left off on Saturday night? Let us know in the comments section!

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

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Wanderlei Silva still wants to fight Chael Sonnen, even if it means grappling match at Metamoris

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Daniel Cormier says injured knee ‘feels fine’

UFC light heavyweight contender Daniel Cormier is missing half of one ACL in a knee, and partially tore his LCL as well. Because of this, just weeks ago he had planned to undergo surgery this month to repair the injuries.

When Alexander Gustafsson tore his meniscus and pulled out of his Sep. 27 title challenge rematch against champ Jon Jones this week, Cormier decided to jump in as a substitute. According to an interview “DC” gave to MMA Junkie this week, he came thisclose to getting the surgery but “thankfully” missed a doctor’s appointment last week and so never got the last recommendation to do so.

Cormier, now a televisino analyst for FOX in addition to his fighting, said that he missed an appointment to see his doctor last Wednesday in order to be in Los Angeles to cover the Donald Cerrone vs. Jim Miller fight. The fighter claimed that he was going to ask the doctor if he could skip surgery anyway, because his LCL had begun to heal and his knee felt back to normal.

“Thank goodness I didn’t go into that doctor’s appointment because I didn’t want to have the surgery but what if he would have advised me to? Just because, you know, doctors always kind of like to play it safe,” Cormier said.”

The two-time Olympian went on to assure that his knee feels fine and that he’ll be ready to go against Jones – perhaps the most dominant fighter in UFC history – and on short notice.

“I feel fine, boys,” Cormier claimed.

“I realize now that my LCL was what was bothering me. And the only thing you can do for that is time. Well, with time, it has healed and now my knee feels completely strong, man. I sparred yesterday. I did Jiu Jitsu yesterday, I ran and I feel fine. I’m pretty sore, though, I’ll be honest with you. Too much time behind the desk and not enough time in the gym.”

Even if Cormier does not, in fact, “feel fine” he likely found it impossible to pass up the chance at a world title. He’d earned one at heavyweight but the champion is his friend and training partner Cain Velasquez, so the wrestler decided to drop down to light heavyweight.

Now, Cormier will get to fight not just a long-time rival of his in “Bones,” but have a chance at achieving a dream of being the best in the world. “Realistically, you have two undefeated guys fighting for the title. It doesn’t get bigger than that,” Cormier said of himself and Jones, whose only official loss was a controversial disqualification one against Matt Hamill.

“He’s undefeated in my eyes. He’s the greatest fighter in the world. I’m excited to test myself against the dude. this is the fight that I’ve been waiting for. This is the moment that I’ve been waiting for.”

Do you think Cormier is rushing his recovery to fight Jones? Let us know in the comments section.

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

 

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Vitor Belfort has a message for Luke Rockhold: ‘When you get knocked out just shut your mouth, go to the gym and train’

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UFC’s Alex White continues to pull double duty

Getting to the UFC is hard for upcoming MMA prospects. There’s fitting countless hours of training into daily life which includes a day job, family but rarely ever enough sleep.

There’s taking fights on short notice, fighting ridiculously often, all to try and improve yourself and get the attention of the UFC brass. Chasing the dream is often arduous but once that dream is realized, coming back to reality can be even harder. 

Take Alex “The Spartan” White. The featherweight made a stunningly successful UFC debut last April with a first round KO.

His win was the culmination of an inspiring journey. White had changed his life and transformed himself with martial arts training and fighting and winning in the UFC was the dream that fueled his long days of working a day job, sandwiched by intense hours of training .

White was elated by the victory but once the party was over, he went back to the same old grind. These days, he may be an undefeated UFC fighter who can be seen by millions on television, but Alex White is still the same blue-collar guy he’s always been and that means early mornings and late nights.

“It can be hard, I’m up at 5:40am to work out before work,” White admits when asked if it has been tough to go from the high of achieving his UFC dream to returning to the “real world” of balancing two simultaneous careers.

“After work, go to the gym not home until after 8pm. There isn’t much time left after all that.”

Even so, White’s decision to keep his day job while fighting in the UFC has been a conscious decision on his part. The responsible family man doesn’t mind working extra to save for the future.

“I want to get more settled before I do fighting full time,” he tells Cagewriter.

“If things go well and I can train and fight full time one day, I’d love to.”

Alex White [L] balances a day job with his UFC career. (David Manning-USA TODAY Sports)

Should “The Spartan” ever focus 100% on his fight career, the sky may be the limit. He’s got the size, speed, aggressiveness and -perhaps most importantly – composure to succeed in the UFC. There have been volumes written on the extra jitters fighters get when fighting in the UFC’s vaunted Octagon for the first time but White seemed completely comfortable and unfazed by the stage in his first bout.

“You get nervous before fights and the UFC is a big deal so, of course, you get more nervous,” he admits.

“But as soon as that first punch was thrown, you forget all that. You’re in a fight.” 

White takes a step up in competition in his next bout, a main card bout against Lucas Martins Wednesday at UFC Fight Night. White is happy to be fighting again so soon after his debut and anticipates a striking battle with the Brazilian.

“He’s good, tough and experienced,” White says of Martins.

“He also likes to kick box so I hope we’ll put on a great show for fans. I think we’ll swing hard. That’s what I want.”

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter 

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Conor McGregor backs up his words, takes big step toward UFC stardom

The one commodity a fight promotion can never have enough of is stars.

After a devastating performance in stopping Diego Brandao at The O2 arena in Dublin on Saturday, it appears Conor McGregor could become the UFC’s next big star.

The audacious featherweight sold out The O2 in just three minutes, and the fans who filled the building cheered from start to finish like giddy school kids. The atmosphere was one of the greatest ever at a UFC fight.

There should be little doubt now that McGregor is a star of the highest order in his native Ireland, the United Kingdom and throughout Western Europe.

He’s already one of the best promoters in the UFC and should get better at that with more experience. There remains a question of whether he’s as good of a fighter as he says he is ? before the fight, he repeatedly said he’d win the featherweight title before the end of 2014, a feat that seems impossible at this stage ? but he took a big step toward answering that by bludgeoning Brandao.

McGregor took his share of shots from Brandao in the opening moments of the bout, but he simply walked through them and they had no discernible impact.

Such was not the case when McGregor connected with Brandao. As soon as McGregor started to connect, Brandao shoved it into reverse and seemed to be looking for a safe place to hide. McGregor cracked him with a left near the cage and Brandao backed away, and McGregor was ready for the finish.

And as any good finisher would do, McGregor put Brandao away with ground-and-pound strikes at 4:05 of the first.

Immediately, he spoke of fighting next in a soccer stadium, where he could draw as many as 80,000. UFC president Dana White put a damper on that just about every time he heard it, because of the unpredictability of the weather. But McGregor, never one to be denied, wouldn’t give up and said he’d take his case to UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta.

“Look, what’s next for me is that I’m going to go backstage, sit down with Mr. Lorenzo Fertitta, drink some fine-ass whiskey and talk about football stadiums,” McGregor said in the middle of the cage with cheers raining down upon him.

McGregor is now 3-0 in the UFC and while he’s defeated three solid fighters ? Marcus Brimage, Max Holloway and now Brandao ? none of the three has ever been, or probably ever will be, in the title picture. If that’s where McGregor is going to be, and be 100 percent certain that’s what he is planning, he needs to step up the competition level significantly.

McGregor also must prove that his appeal extends beyond Western Europe. There’s little doubt he’d be a massive hit in Boston, and he’d be a popular draw in metropolitan New York (or in New York proper if the politicians there weren’t brain dead) and perhaps even Chicago.

He must show that he can take his act on the road and fill up arenas and sell pay-per-views in order to get true star status.

He’s on his way, and he’s doing all the right things.

He’s not ready to be the champion at this point, and perhaps he’s not even ready for the likes of top contenders like Chad Mendes, Frankie Edgar and Cub Swanson.

But he shows all the signs of going down that path. Now, it’s a matter of challenging him against a tried-and-true top-10 featherweight.

Give him plenty of credit, because he talked unbelievvably heavy trash and set himself up for plenty of scorn and ridicule had he lost or been knocked out. But he put the burden on his back, said, “I’m the man,” and then went out there and fought exactly like he was.

There is still much for him to prove, but he aced this test easily.

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BAMMA 11: Live on Channel 5

As BAMMA nears its tweens with its 11th show they continue to break new ground in UK MMA with their 11h show being broadcast live on Channel 5. The return of UK MMA’s most famous fighter, Alex Reid, to the cage should draw a wide audience of people from fight fans to celeb watchers which can only be a good thing for the growth of the sport in the UK.

Running from 23:00 hours to 00:15 hours, the Saturday night broadcast features Alex Reid vs. Sam Boo live and marks the first time that Mixed
Martial Arts is aired live on Channel 5. The programme also includes Foupa ? Pokem vs. Marshman, which, if you’ve ever seen Marshman fight you know will be an epic battle, plus taped highlights from earlier in the night.

BAMMA?s director David Green said:

?We are thrilled to see BAMMA 11 going out live on Five and 1st December marks a really big moment for us.  The official figures released from Channel 5 following the BAMMA 10 taped broadcast showed audiences peaking at 275, 000.  Going live on Five is a big step up for BAMMA but a challenge that we feel confident and excited about and we look forward to the opportunity of taking MMA to a broader Saturday night audience.?

Internationally BAMMA 11, presented by Go Daddy.com, will be shown on AXS-TV (US), The Fight Network (Canada), Red Media (RUSSIA), TV Esporte Interativo (Brazil), Setana (Africa) and TDN (Latin America).

*Buy tickets here: **http://bit.ly/iKuapN* <http://bit.ly/iKuapN>**

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