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Aisling Daly Retires from MMA – Cites Abnormal Brain Scan

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Aisling Daly , one of the pioneers for mixed martial arts in Ireland has been forced to retire from the sport after an abnormality was spotted during a routine brain scan.

Daly’s head coach John Kavanagh has been an advocate for advanced medical testing for the safety of his fighters. Kavanagh has started to enforce the fighters that train under him to undergo brain scans while they compete in mixed martial arts and following her own brain scan, a small hemorrhage was spotted forcing the 29 year old to retire for medical reasons.

She issued a statement on her Instagram page about her retirement earlier today

I will be officially retiring from the sport of MMA. This past year a routine brain scan showed up evidence of an abnormality, the remnant of a small haemorrhage that had taken place at some point in the months previous. It would be unlikely I would be medically cleared to compete again, even in the event I could find a doctor who would clear me it would be very unwise for me to continue to compete with the risks involved. My career has ended prematurely but I’m very grateful for my long list of achievements, I am and will always be ‘Ais the first’ for so many things, my legacy set in stone in the history of Irish mixed martial arts. I am the countries first ever world champion, the first and only female to ever do it. I have and always will give back to the sport which has given me so much. I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart the fans who have supported me tirelessly through various parts of the journey. Without this support there is no sport of MMA as we know it. I would like to thank my good friends and close team mates, there is no substitute for the genuine loyalty built between people over years of blood, sweat and tears. I am truly most grateful for my wonderful family, who were there to pick up the pieces throughout my entire career and especially now when my dream fell apart. This would have been intolerable without their help, emotionally and financially. They say you can’t choose family but I would want no other. Now starts the next chapter of my life. I’m very fortunate to have grown up within such an outstanding organisation as SBG. I am equipped with the skills to be an exceptional coach and member of the martial arts community and I look forward to seeing what challenges lie ahead for me. “New Beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”― Lao Tzu #TheQueenofIrishMMA #AisTheFirst #SBG #happy #proud #grateful #MMA #UFC #retirement #worldchampion #blackbelt #legend

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Daly has fought under the UFC banner on three occasions following her run on the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter, going 2-1 in the strawweight division. Her last win came in her hometown of Dublin, Ireland at UFC Fight Night : Holohan vs Smolka where she dominated Erica Almeida in a three round decision.

The fight marked the first time Daly fought in her hometown since signing with the UFC. It produced one of the most memorable moments of the night, when the Irish crowd sang along with Daly to the song Zombie by The Cranberries as she made her entrance to the octagon for what would be unknowingly her final time fighting in mixed martial arts.

She states in her Instagram posts that she will continue to coach in mixed martial arts and often corners Irish bantamweight prospect Dylan Tuke with her long time training partner and former UFC flyweight Paddy ” The Hooligan” Holohan who also was forced to retire from mixed martial on medical grounds.

Daly will be known for her aggressive unorthodox style, her signature hairstyle and becoming the first ever mixed martial arts champion in Ireland beating Jessica Eye at flyweight during her 22 fight career.

 

 

 

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Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the works for UFC 223

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UFC 223 looks to add a variety of intriguing bouts. With Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta reportedly set for the unannounced UFC 223 card, the promotion looks to add a high stakes female flyweight match-up. According to MMANYTT.com, sources confirmed a bout between Felice Herrig and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, is in the works for the pay-per-view card.

 

Assuming the match-up does come to be, both women have much to gain from a victory. For Herrig, she currently sits on a four-fight win streak. A streak in which the strawweight contender defeated Kailin Curran, Alexa Grasso, Justine Kish, and Cortney Casey. The MMA veteran, Herrig, began fighting professionally in 2009. As of late, her issues with the marketing machine that is the UFC have intensified.

After demonstrating her technical prowess over Justine Kish at UFC Fight Night 122: Chiesa vs. Lee, Herrig put her emotions on display. She stated at the post-fight media scrum, “Sometimes, I feel like, I’m not young and beautiful enough for the UFC to want to promote me. And it’s sad because I’ve really worked so hard to be here and it’s hard to see these people who’ve not been through what I’ve been through. Who just got into the UFC at the right time. They’re getting all these opportunities and I see how hard I work to get here and it’s just like, it doesn’t matter. I just feel like, ‘I’m not pretty enough and I’m not getting any younger'”.

A frustrated Felice Herrig then spoke to MMAJunkie.com in December. She claimed, “Aside from (former UFC women’s strawweight champ) Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), I’m the only strawweight who’s gone on a four-fight winning streak. That’s a fact. At this point, I want to fight someone in the top 10. It doesn’t really make sense for me to keep fighting girls that are ranked below me. That’s the whole point. If I want to keep working my way up. I fight the most dangerous girls outside the top 10”. The #9 ranked women’s flyweight has a point. In her UFC career, she recorded one loss in six appearances. Yet, she has one co-main event booking, while fighters like Michelle Waterson, booked the main event in her second UFC bout. In Waterson’s third bout, she received a co-main event scheduling. Understandably, Felice Herrig is upset with her situation.

Later in her interview, Herrig brought up Kowalkiewicz as a potential next opponent. “For whatever reason, I really want to fight Karolina. I just think that would be an exciting fight… Stylistically, I really like that fight. She’s ranked above (me), and it may be a good gauge for me,” she stated. Right now, it looks like Herrig is close to getting what she wants.

Kowalkiewicz last fought in her native country of Poland on the UFC Fight Pass card, UFC Fight Night 118: Cowboy vs. Till, in October. The Polish star defeated Jody Esquibel, after losing consecutive contests to former UFC female strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejcyk and Claudia Gadelha, respectively.

A win for either makes a good case for the next or an eventual title challenger. Kowalkiewicz holds a victory over current division champion, Rose Namajunas. While a win for Herrig would further establish her impressive win streak and undoubtedly give her the boost in the rankings she deserves.

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Chael Sonnen vs. Rampage Jackson the new main event at Bellator 192

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Bellator is getting ready to kick off their heavyweight grand prix at Bellator 192 on January 20th. The grand prix gets started with two former UFC greats who have now set their sights on Bellator gold, Chael Sonnen and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson. Today it was announced that this heavyweight matchup of two ordinarily light heavyweights will be getting the bump up to the main event. The reason for the change has not been announced.

The main event was scheduled to be the much anticipated welterweight matchup between champion Douglas Lima and former UFC title challenger Rory MacDonald. Bellator has been promoting this event as such the welterweight title fight would get top billing. Earlier this week the fighters involved in the main and co-main event were part of a conference call. At the time there was no mention of the switch to the lineup.

This fight between Sonnen and Jackson is just the first in a series of heavyweight fights leading up to the crowning of the Bellator heavyweight championship in December. There has been great interest shown in this heavyweight grand prix between fans and media, which could attribute to the last minute change.

Lima vs. MacDonald will now serve as the co-main event on January 20th. Lima, who has been with Bellator since 2011 has been accused of being overlooked by the organization. He has held the welterweight title since November 2016 and perhaps has not gotten the showcases he deserves. This event will take place at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

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Bellator announces longtime referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy to join broadcast team

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After the announcement last week that Bellator would be parting ways with their longtime color commentary man Jimmy Smith, Bellator has now found their replacement. Bellator announced Tuesday through a press release that they have signed well known MMA referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy to fill the void left by Smith.

McCarthy will be making his commentary debut on January 20th at the much anticipated Bellator 192: Lima vs. MacDonald at The Forum in California. McCarthy will join the likes of Chael Sonnen, as Bellator has also extended his contract as well. The two will be added to the broadcast team that already included former UFC broadcaster Mike Goldberg and Mauro Ranallo.

“With the addition of ‘Big’ John to our broadcast team, we have put together the premier group of MMA commentators ahead of our Jan. 20 debut on the Paramount Network,” Bellator President Scott Coker said via the press release. “With John and Chael providing analysis, you’re getting two people who have spent more time in the cage than they have spent with a headset on, and that will translate to a positive viewing experience for Bellator fans.”

McCarthy has been seen inside the cage for the last 20 years. He is most likely the most recognized referee in MMA. In addition to refereeing, McCarthy is the founder of a program called “C.O.M.M.A.N.D.” This program trains and certifies future MMA referees and judges.

“I first want to say how grateful I am for the opportunity I have been given to work with the incredible team Bellator has assembled. It is always so hard to leave something you love, but I have always wanted to step away based on my terms rather than someone else’s. My goals are to work as hard as I can to meet the expectations everyone will have for me and to hopefully someday exceed them.” McCarthy said via the press release. “I cannot think of anyone I would rather be working with than Scott Coker. Scott has always been a person I admire because of his honesty, loyalty, and love for the martial arts. I want to thank everyone from Bellator and Viacom for the trust you are bestowing upon me to keep the commentating of Bellator MMA at the highest levels of the sport.”

Bellator is in the midst of transitioning their live broadcasts from Spike TV to the new Paramount network.

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