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Former UFC Title Challenger Mikey Burnett Shot in Tulsa

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A senseless act of violence befell the MMA community on Monday night when former UFC welterweight Mikey “The Eastside Assassin” Burnett and his 18-year-old son, Freddy, were shot in what Tulsa Police are reporting as an attempted robbery gone wrong.

At 7:30 PM, the Burnetts were walking to their truck parked in the Rib Crib restaurant’s parking lot on 31st and Garnett after completing a workout at 10 Gym when two juveniles attempted to rob them at gun-point. The arrest report states that, Harold Thompson, 16, walked up to Burnett and asked to use his cell phone. As Mikey was handing his phone to the teenager, Thompson pulled out a pistol, pointed at Burnett’s head and demanded his wallet. When Burnett reached for the gun, he was shot 3 times. Freddy, who was on the passenger’s side of the truck when the struggle began, immediately ran to aid his father. According to the report, that is when Kywaun Washington, 17, also began fighting with the victims and Freddy was shot in the leg. On the scene, police told “News on 6″ that there were multiple witnesses and surveillance video of the incident.

“Really Freddie probably saved Mikey’s life jumping on the shooter after he opened fire on his dad” – Scott Burnett’s Facebook

After the shooting, witnesses said the assailants fled the scene in a 2001 white Oldsmobile Aurora. One witness wrote down the license plate number and followed as the car drove onto Highway 169. About three hours later, a K-9 unit identified the vehicle on the 700 block of East 41st Place and began surveillance. At 6:00 AM, the owner of the car attempted to drive away and police stopped the vehicle. During the stop authorities learned the identity of Thompson and Washington. Around 11:00 AM, Thompson was arrested on the 2700 block of North 45th Street, while Washington was apprehended on the 4300 block of North Garrison. Police say that both of the teenagers admitted to trying to rob the Burnetts and then shooting them. Two teenage girls were also taken into custody Tuesday morning, however after questioning they were released.

Thompson and Washington were arrested on one count of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. Police added that Washington had an outstanding warrant for an unrelated incident and that both of the teens have previously faced felony charges. Police also told reporters that before the attempted robbery and shooting of the Burnetts, the suspects allegedly attempted to rob a woman in the same parking lot, but she ran. Both of the suspects are currently being questioned about the incident and Tulsa Police say that the investigation is on-going.

The Burnetts were transported to the emergency room at St Francis Hospital. Burnett’s brother, Scott Burnett, stated in a social media post that the gun shots severed Mikey’s femoral artery and femoral vein. Mikey is reportedly in good spirits and is expected to be kept in ICU for another day or two as a precautionary measure. Both of the victims are in stable condition and are expected to survive.

Burnett was born and raised in Tulsa and graduated from Nathan Hale High School. He was an amateur Oklahoma Golden Gloves Boxing Champion and represented Ken Shamrock’s Lion’s Den when he fought in the UFC from March 1998 to January 1999. His most memorable bout was when he lost a split decision to UFC Welterweight Champion Pat Miletich at UFC Brazil in 1998. Burnett formerly owned and operated Mikey’s Gym in East Tulsa and in 2011 Mikey opened the new Mikey’s Gym located at 3320 E. 32nd St in Tulsa.

In 2006, Burnett attempted comeback after a seven-year absence from the sport when he competed on the fourth season of The Ultimate Fighter. Unfortunately, the comeback was short lived when “The Eastside Assassin” injured himself during training. After the injury, He fought Din Thomas in the fifth episode of that season with a broken neck and was submitted via triangle choke in the first round. Doctors did not inform Burnett of the severity of his injury until the last episode when he was told that it would require major surgery to repair and that he would be unable to fight for a year. Burnett’s insurance policy did not cover the surgery and in 2008 he filed suit against TUF’s production company and health insurance provider. He has not fought since and holds an MMA record of 5-2, with 2 wins and 1 loss in the UFC.

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Interviews

UFC 219’s Jimmie Rivera to TJ Dillashaw “Defend Your Belt or Vacate.”

Harry Davies

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MMA Latest had the chance to talk to #4 ranked UFC bantamweight Jimmie “El Terror” Rivera ahead of his fight at UFC 219 against John Lineker.

Rivera (21-1) extended his unbeaten run to twenty when he defeated Thomas Almeida at UFC Long Island in July. Originally scheduled to face former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, we began by asking Rivera how the opponent change had affected his preparation for UFC 219.

The only thing that’s changed is the game plan, everything else stays the same. Cruz is more of an irritating fight because he just doesn’t stop moving, but with Lineker, he’s going to stay in the pocket and bang, and I love that.

Recently, Rivera posted a video to his Twitter account of him sparring with the recently crowned bantamweight champion, TJ Dillashaw. He told us about the context of this video, and how the sparring went down between them.

It was 3 or 4 years back. I think TJ had just lost to (John) Dodson on TUF. My teammate Louis Gaudinot was actually fighting Tim Elliott at the time, and we were in Milwaukee so I got to train with (Urijah) Faber and Dillashaw.

I just sent it to TJ to say, don’t forget what happened. I was getting the best of him, and I don’t really brag about it. But he wants to leave the weight class and fight DJ for the money fight, and I want to fight for the belt, so it’s defend your belt or vacate.

After briefly referencing the potential superfight between Demetrious Johnson and TJ Dillashaw, I asked Rivera about his thoughts on the somewhat flawed UFC rankings system, and title fights being put together purely for entertainment value.

It sucks. When I become champ I won’t be like a TJ or McGregor, I’m going to be like Demetrious Johnson and defend my belt against people coming up, it’s the right thing to do. If you want to win the belt and leave the division straight away, it’s kind of bullshit.

Rivera concluded by telling me that although he isn’t looking past Lineker at 219, “the only fight that makes sense after this one, is fighting TJ for the belt.”

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Announcement

Mark Hunt Returns to Fight Curtis Blaydes at UFC 221

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UFC 221 in Perth has officially added a another Australian to the main card. Joining Robert Whittaker is the knockout legend Mark Hunt.

The Daily Telegraph first reported that Hunt will be stepping into the octagon to face #9 Curtis Blaydes. Some weren’t sure if we would ever see Hunt fight again after he was pulled from the main event in UFC Fight Night 21 against Marcin Tybura. The UFC removed him due to “medical concerns” while Hunt was stating he was perfectly fine.

After getting evaluated and cleared to fight by Australian and American doctors, it looks like his time has come to return.  Hunt’s last fight was back in June when he derailed the Derrick Lewis hype train with a 4th round TKO win.

Hunt had been adamant about calling out #3 ranked heavyweight Fabricio Werdum and trying to get that rematch booked, labelling Werdum a “chicken shit” and a “coward.”

Curtis “Razor” Blaydes who has an 8-1 record, is coming off a TKO victory due to doctor stoppage at UFC 217 in November. Since losing to now title challenger Francis Ngannou in April of 2016, Blaydes has rattled off three straight wins over Alexey Oleynik, Daniel Omielanczuk, and Cody East.

With all this momentum from the win streak, Blaydes looks to capitalize and win the biggest fight of his career against Hunt.

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Valentina Shevchenko vs. Priscila Cachoeira Officially Booked for Belem, Brazil card

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The wait is over. Valentina Shevchenko (14-3, 3-2 UFC) will make her highly anticipated flyweight debut when the UFC returns to Brazil. She will face Priscila Cachoeira (8-0) on the February 3rd card scheduled for Belem, Brazil. Luciana Andrade was the first to report the match-up last week. On Tuesday, the UFC posted an article which stated the bout had been set.

Now that the flyweight tournament is over and the inaugural champion has her crown, many women shall migrate from the strawweight and bantamweight ranks in search of a more suitable weight class. The division is so infantile means a lot moving parts in the rankings. Yet, only women who fought at one hundred and twenty-five lbs. are ranked. Such practices muddy the title picture for the time being. Essentially ruling out the idea of Montano vs. Shevchenko for the first defense of the belt, illogical. An idea that floated around the internet until today’s confirmation of the newest female flyweight match-up. The TUF 26 winner, Nicco Montano called it, “kinda silly”, earlier this week while on The MMA Hour. Montano believes her first title defense, as it stands, should pit her against the original finalist of the flyweight tournament, Sijara Eubanks. Although Eubanks withdrew from the title fight, she is still ranked as the #1 contender in the division.

Shevchenko explained her desire for the flyweight belt on The MMA Hour, a week earlier than Montano, “For me it’s number one, to fight for the title… It doesn’t matter for me, if I have to have one fight before it, okay I will do it… my main goal is to be the champion… It doesn’t matter I move from one thirty-five to one twenty-five. My goal is still the same, to be the champion”. The Russian fighter is coming off an unsuccessful title shot in the bantamweight division against the current reigning champ, Amanda Nunes. The bout went to a decision after close five rounds, Nunes ultimately defeated Shevchenko via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47).

Her opponent, Priscila Cachoeira, is not only new to the UFCs female flyweight division but the promotion’s roster as well. Cachoeira originally was scheduled to make her promotional debut against veteran Lauren Murphy at The Ultimate Fighter Finale 26. The Brazilian fighter withdrew from the bout due to visa issues. As a professional, she is undefeated with four knockouts in her eight fights.

UFC Belem is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018. The card will feature Timothy Johnson vs. Marcelo Golm in the heavyweight division. It will also have Thiago Santos taking on Anthony Smith in the middleweight division.

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