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Georges St Pierre Enters USADA Testing Pool for UFC Return

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Since the at-the-time UFC welterweight champion Georges St Pierre took a sabbatical from MMA following his successful UFC 167 title defence against Johny Hendricks, there has been much speculation about whether or not the Canadian would return to the sport. Such speculation has intensified in recent weeks after the new UFC welterweight king Tyron Woodley claimed that St Pierre was interested in fighting him for the title, and that the feeling was mutual. It now appears that the fight is a massive step closer to coming to fruition, as St Pierre has told Bloody Elbow that he has entered himself in the USADA testing pool and that he wants to return.

In response to the simple question asking whether or not he was returning to MMA, St Pierre gave a unanimous answer. “I want to,” before going on to explain that the recent UFC sale held up negotiations somewhat. As the sale has gone through and the details surrounding that issue ironed out, St Pierre says that “Now we’re talking again and I’m starting the USADA process to be tested. I’m starting it Aug 10th in Las Vegas. Because to be eligible to fight you need to be tested.”

Every athlete returning to MMA following a hiatus must complete 4 months of USADA testing prior to making their return to the octagon. Of course, the possibility exists, as happened most famously in the case of Brock Lesnar, that an athlete can be given an exemption from that period of testing. However, St Pierre will not be applying for such an exemption, because he does not want one. “I don’t want to be an exception,” St Pierre says. “Because I was very outspoken about Performance Enhancing Drugs. It would be bad for my reputation if I would have an exemption. I don’t want to have a free pass, I want to be like everybody else. That’s why I’ll be starting the process Aug 10th I don’t have any fight yet, but it’s going to happen now, because I’m getting tested. If I’m getting tested it’s for a reason.”

The question now is; who will St Pierre fight on his return? Being who he is, St Pierre could command a title shot immediately should he wish to do so. The obvious candidate is Tyron Woodley, but St Pierre also revealed that the UFC attempted to put together a fight between him and the current UFC middleweight champion, Michael Bisping. “The first offer they made us was for Bisping,” he begins. “We were interested in that fight, we made a counter offer, but like I said, one day after we heard they sold the company. Bisping was already a world champion. They asked us if we wanted to fight in Toronto, I don’t remember if it was the Rogers Centre or the Air Canada Centre, but it was to be Bisping. And I said yeah, I’m interested, but you know how negotiations go, they give you a price, they lowball you, you put a higher price, and then we meet somewhere in the middle. I would have done it because it was a nineteen wins against nineteen wins – who will have the most wins (in the UFC). That’s one thing I’m very proud of. But now he’s going to fight Dan Henderson.”

As for why St Pierre is choosing now to come back to the sport, aside from the fact that the situation on PEDs has improved and that St Pierre is in a much better mental space now, “Rush” says he does not want to live his life wondering what if. “I don’t want things that I regret in life, and things that I have not done – and I don’t want to at 80 years wake up, and tell myself: ‘Oh I was on top of my shape and skills and I didn’t do it.’ If I come back and I lose, at least I know I did everything I should have done, I have no regrets, I’ll be happy. I can die happy. If I never come back, and I’ll tell myself I should have done this, I should have done that – I don’t want to have regrets.”

St Pierre also said that welterweight has been, and still is his division and the weight at which he feels most comfortable. Based on that, all signs point to the likelihood of a welterweight title bout against Tyron Woodley. St Pierre does have to wait out the 4 month USADA testing period before he can compete again, but if there is one returning athlete who fans can be completely confident in passing his USADA tests, it is Georges St Pierre. As one of the greatest fighters in the history of MMA, the prospect of a St Pierre return is something that, for the first time since 2013, that fans can start to get excited about again.

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Fight Announcements

Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220

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UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)

Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:

“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.

The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.

If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.

Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.

UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.

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Events

Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview

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Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.

LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.

Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.

Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)

The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.

In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.

Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.

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Invicta

Mackenzie Dern victorious in Invicta debut 

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Late Friday night, Mackenzie Dern (5-0, 1-0 Invicta FC) won her co-main event booking, defeating Kaline Medieros (8-6, 2-2 Invicta FC), at Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzwiedz, via submission (armbar) with only fifteen seconds remaining in the fight.

Much of the fight was controlled by Dern. The heralded prospect displayed her power, visibly damaging her opponent with multiple overhand rights. Striking is an under-developed aspect of her attack, only when compared to the twenty-four-year-olds black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Above all, she showed a progression of her striking skills. Dern looked to be bigger and physically stronger than her veteran opponent. She utilized forward pressure and found the proper timing for her overhand right throughout.

The veteran Medeiros showed her toughness throughout the fight. She defended and scrambled out of some bad positions during the grappling exchanges. Ultimately, she tapped when caught in a deeply planted armbar.  While Medeiros did earn a few hard trip takedowns, it factored minimally in the result as she refused to follow Dern to the mat. The Boston native suffered her second straight loss, Friday night. Her first was to, former Invicta strawweight champion, Angela Hill.

Dern made her professional debut in July of 2016 with Legacy Fighting Alliance (previously: Legacy Fighting Championship). In her debut, she defeated Kenia Rosas by unanimous decision. The Phoenix-born fighter won her next three bouts. Before her MMA career began, Dern won the ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) championship at 60 kg. She was the first American born female to become champion at the weight. Her grappling resume boasts many more incredible accomplishments. Justifiably, a growing spotlight now hangs over her, her skills, and potential in the sport of MMA.

Elsewhere on the Invicta 26 card, Jennifer Maia defeated Agnieszka Niedzweidz by unanimous decision. Maia retained her Invicta flyweight belt, defending it for the second time. Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzweidz, took place at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Missouri.

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