Connect with us


Muhammad Ali passes away at 74

Matthew Wells



Born in Lousiville, Kentucky on January 17, 1942, was Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.

The world would come to know him as Muhammad Ali, one of, if not the most, influential athletes and cultural icons to ever walk the planet.

After a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, at 74 years of age, “The Greatest” passed away on June 3, 2016.

Muhammad Ali was much more than a legendary boxer. While his career inside the boxing ring provided some of the most memorable fights in the history of the sport, such as the “Thrilla in Manila,” it was his actions beyond the ropes that elevated him into a class of his own. Ali faced social injustices head on during the height of the civil rights movement and never shied away from conveying his feelings on political issues. Ali famously refused to enter the U.S. Army’s draft for the Vietnam War, resulting in being stripped of the Heavyweight Title, in addition to legal issues that kept him sidelined for three years during his athletic prime. “Hell no, I ain’t gonna go on the war in Vietnam I sing this song, I ain’t go no quarrel with them Viet Cong. Clean out my cell and take my tail to jail without bail. ‘Cause better to be in jail fed, than to be in Vietnam, dead,” Ali rhymed in response to questions about refusing to fight in the war. Ali used his boxing celebrity as a platform to speak out against social injustices.

Ali was very quick witted and had a way with words that was completely foreign to the sporting world. He brought a completely new style of fighting to the boxing game, as he verbally knocked out his opponents before even stepping foot inside the ring. He completely reinvented what it meant to “sell a fight” to fans by creating clever rhymes that predicted the outcome of his upcoming bouts. Before his fight with Sonny Liston in 1964, his poem delivered the night before the two would meet in the ring is legendary:

“Clay comes out to meet Liston and Liston starts to retreat,
If Liston goes back an inch farther he’ll end up in a ringside seat.
Clay swings with a left,
Clay swings with a right,
Just look at young Cassius carry the fight.
Liston keeps backing but there’s not enough room,
It’s a matter of time until Clay lowers the boom.
Then Clay lands with a right, what a beautiful swing,
And the punch raised the bear clear out of the ring.
Liston still rising and the ref wears a frown,
But he can’t start counting until Sonny comes down.
Now Liston disappears from view, the crowd is getting frantic
But our radar stations have picked him up somewhere over the Atlantic.
Who on Earth thought, when they came to the fight,
that they would witness the launching of a human satellite?
Hence the crowd did not dream, when they laid down their money,
That they would see a total eclipse of Sonny!”

If Ali wasn’t up for the long-form rhyme, he would unleash a quick-witted response that would prove to be equally effective. “Sonny Liston is great, but he’ll fall in eight,” Ali also quipped about Liston. While the timeframe was off by one round in this instance, as Ali finished the fight in the seventh round, there were many other times Ali’s predictions played out to the letter.

Ali’s approach to pre-fight antics has inspired generations of fighters to attempt what he was able to create so genuinely. The best example of this today in the world of mixed martial arts is the pre-fight material from Conor McGregor. The ability to sell a fight is something that few possess, and even a smaller number can pull it off while coming across as believable. Everyone has their favorite Ali quote and there is quite an extensive library of them to choose from.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Ali’s boxing game is that he didn’t let the talk stop once the gloves were laced up. Ali was very much a showman during his fights has he taunted his opponents at nearly every opportunity, much to the delight of the crowd, and the frustration of his opponents. The best example of this in MMA in recent years has been Anderson Silva, who is widely considered to be the best of all-time in the sport and has spoken about Muhammad Ali’s influence on his own career many times.

After hearing the news of his passing, UFC President Dana White spoke with ESPN on Friday evening about Ali’s influence: “I think Muhammad Ali changed the face of combat sports forever. A lot of guys didn’t have a lot of personality back in the day. He was charismatic. He was incredible. He was a guy who was known around the world, one of the most famous human beings to ever live. In my house today, there’s tons of artwork of Muhammad Ali. Anybody who has ever been involved in combat sports, I think is a huge fan of Ali.”

Many of today’s athletes draw inspiration from Ali, regardless of the sport they compete in. When it comes to training, the most grueling aspect of combat sports and mixed martial arts in particular, Ali delivered historic quotes that can be found on posters and painted on gym walls throughout the globe to provide that extra push to persevere. His inspirational quotes reverberate through the walls of the training room and extend out into all aspects of life.

“I hated every minute of training, but I said don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

The legend of Muhammad Ali will live on for generations to come, inspiring people to strive for greatness while standing up for what they believe in.

Onnit Primal Bells


Angela Magana says she has been cut from the UFC



Angela Magana announced her release from the UFC on Twitter yesterday.

The now-former UFC strawweight was 0-3, in as many contests with the promotion. Her most recent loss came at the hands of Amanda Cooper, at UFC 218, on the UFC Fight Pass Prelims. A bout which she lost by TKO in the second round.

Her first opportunity arose with the UFC when she appeared on, The Ultimate Fighter 20. A #12 seed, in the tournament of strawweights, Magana lost her preliminary round bout to #4 seed, Aisling Daly. Unfortunately, her promotional debut, on The Ultimate Fighter Finale: 20, resulted in another loss. Tecia Torres defeated Magana that night via unanimous decision. The following summer, Magana fought Michelle “Karate Hottie” Waterson at The Ultimate Fighter Finale: 21. Waterson won by submission (rear-naked choke) in the third round of the bout.

Oddly enough, following her July 2015, loss to Waterson and before her final bout with the UFC, Magana seemingly instigated a feud between herself and current featherweight champion, Cris Cyborg. A feud which began on social media and boiled over at the 2017 UFC Athlete Retreat. Disregarding her well-documented spat with Cris “Cyborg”, Magana managed her way through a storm of misfortune on her way to UFC 218.

After falling in love with Puerto Rico while on vacation, Magana moved to the island in the fall of 2016. Her entire life followed her there, as she began to train on the island she fell in love with. The tropical paradise turned to an apocalyptic wasteland following Hurricane Maria, the category five hurricane which decimated the area. The disaster became an extreme hindrance for the strawweight.

Her UFC 218 bout became official in early October. Yet, in spite of horrendous living conditions, she powered on through the natural disaster that left her home without power, until the week of the fight. Magana took to social media to tell fans that she would not stop fighting and is currently training for her next opportunity.


Onnit Primal Bells
Continue Reading


Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone intends to move back to lightweight in next bout



Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (32-10 1 NC, 19-7 UFC) has been a jewel in the eyes of fight fans for quite a while. How can fans avoid gravitating to the man with the most post-fight bonuses in UFC history? The fan favorite appeared on former UFC heavyweight, Brendan Schaub and comedian, Bryan Callen’s podcast, The Fighter and The Kid, on Thursday. Cordially, the trio briefly discussed a few topics pertaining to “Cowboy”, and his combat sports career.

Schaub and Callen peppered the UFC veteran on what takes precedent moving forward, his acting career or his fighting career. Schaub asks, “So, is the plan to forget the octagon and go full Hollywood?”, a question which Cerrone scoffed at.  Schaub was referencing news the active fighter broke a few minutes earlier on the podcast; Cerrone would be co-starring with Denzel Washington in, The Equalizer 2.

Callen then followed up with his partner’s question, “See, Schaub and I, secretly, want you never to fight again, (because) you already proved everything. All we want is you to stay healthy and become an actor.”

Eventually, the group reached the topic of Darren Till, when the former fighter turned comedian, Brendan Schaub, asked, “In retrospect, the Darren Till fight, would you still have taken it?” In typical “Cowboy” style, he nonchalantly claimed he would have still taken the fight. Less than a minute later, Schaub made the point, “While you’re doing movies and traveling with your boys in RVs, guys like Darren Till are in the training room.”

Cerrone adamantly stated on what was not the first occasion, “I’m there, five years. Five years come on guys,” referring to how long he wishes to continue fighting for. After a question on how many fights he plans to schedule per year he states, “Well, I’m going back to fifty-five… I’m more focused. At seventy, I can just not train, f*ck off more… I put more into at fifty-five… Let’s do it, man…let’s go back have a couple more fights. Yea, I won’t take like twenty a year anymore, I’ll probably take it down a little bit”.

“Cowboy” is coming off a three-fight losing streak, after falling to young prospect Darren Till but, prior to his past three fights, Cerrone had only lost once since late 2013. As many fans know, he is an active fighter. Since November of 2013, he has fought sixteen times. On that list, are wins over Benson Henderson, Edson Barboza, Eddie Alvarez, and Rick Story.

With over forty professional MMA fights, and a budding acting career, it looks like Donald Cerrone is doing exactly what he should. It is a bit sad to see one of the great modern fighters begin to close out his career. Yet, like Callen and Schaub, I imagine anyone who calls them-self a “Cowboy” fan, wants to see the talented Denver, Colorado-based fighter walk away with health and a new promising career.

Onnit Primal Bells
Continue Reading


Sijara Eubanks out of TUF 26 Finale, Roxanne Modafferi steps in on short notice



Sijara Eubanks (2-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC)  is out of The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion finale. In her absence the UFC has announced that #1 ranked TUF 26 semifinalist, Roxanne Modafferi (21-13 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will be stepping up to fight Nicco Montano for the inaugural women’s flyweight championship.

Modafferi lost to Eubanks in the very last episode of TUF, she was then set to fight fellow castmember Barb Honchak in the finale that takes place on December 1. Early Thursday afternoon, Sijara has forced to pull out of the fight giving Roxanne the opportunity to fight for the championship against Nicco Montano

UFC released an official statement about the change courtesy of MMA Junkie “Due to medical issues, Sijara Eubanks, was hospitalized Thursday morning and has been pulled from her bout against Nicco Montano at Friday’s The Ultimate Fighter Finale. Stepping in for Eubanks to fight in the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight championship bout will be Ultimate Fighter 26 semifinalist Roxanne Modafferi.”

Honchak will now likely be facing TUF 26 alternate Lauren Murphy on December 2. Murphy lost her opponent Priscila Cachoeira after Cachoeira failed to get a visa for the fight.

Eubanks has taken to her personal Instagram to put out a statement to her fans. In the post, she writes, “First of all, I’m a champion. Point blank. I will be UFC champion, but it’s God’s will that it won’t be Friday night. I’m a gangster and I’ve cut more weight than most male fighters, and unfortunately, there were some miscalculations this cut, no excuses, I worked my ass off and went out on my shield. I was hospitalized early this morning for kidney failure but best believe I’ma be right back training and right back after that belt. This game is full of ups and downs, true champs know that and bounce back. Nicco and Roxanne I’m sure will have a great fight and best wishes to both those ladies. True class, those two. Nothing changes, I’m still the queen and I will claim my throne.
Thank you to all my coaches, friends and family and the wonderful staff at UFC.
God is good and I am truly blessed.”

The entire fight card to date is as follows:

  • Roxanne Modaferri vs Nicco Montano
  • Emily Whitmire vs Gillian Robertson
  • Barb Honchak vs Lauren Murphy
  • Ariel Beck vs Shana Dobson
  • DeAnna Bennett vs Melinda Fabian
  • Rachael Ostovich vs Karine Gevorgyan
  • Montana De La Rosa vs Christina Marks
  • Sean O’Malley vs Terrion Ware
  • Eric Spicely vs Gerald Meerschaert
  •  Joe Soto vs Brett Johns

The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale “A Champion Will Be Crowned” is still set to take place Dec.1st at The Park Theater, Paradise Nevada.





Onnit Primal Bells
Continue Reading