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Recap: Dana, Nick and Matt go Lookin’ for a Fight in Philadelphia and the Jersey Shore

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For those of you who may or may not know what ‘Lookin for a fight’ is let me give you the run down real quick. Every month in 2016 we will get an episode of this new hit reality show from the UFC.

In these monthly episodes UFC President Dana White will be travelling to the local MMA shows in the US as well as the globe in search of brand new talent to add to the UFC’s roster. Towards the end of 2015 we the promotion dropped the first episode in which we saw a young man named Sage Northcutt do his thing and impress Dana so much that he offered him a contract on the spot. Since then Northcutt is 2-0 in the UFC and is future star at the age of 19. Joining Dana on the road is his child hood best friend, Nick ‘the tooth’ and former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra. What better way to find new and emerging talent then to do it with your two best friends.

Now we are in 2016 and the first episode has aired and yet again it proved to be a huge hit. In episode 1 the trio visited Philadelphia and the Jersey shore in search of good food, fun and of course to hit up the best local shows to see what the talent pool would hold.

Philadelphia

After a long road trip to the “City of Brotherly love” and immediately find themselves sourcing out a world famous Philadelphia Cheese Steak. They find themselves in Dana Whites favourite spot, Geno’s Steaks, where they will learn how to make the city’s favourite fast food. After both White and Serra successfully make themselves multiple cheese steaks, all the while making fun of Nick for being a vegan and eating mushrooms and onion, they head across the street for dessert.

Located a stones throw from Geno’s is the King Of Cannoli, a beautiful little cafe in where they serve any kind of sweet and delicious cannoli’s. Next the trio visited the Wells Fargo Centre which is the home of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers where they met some the great players from years passed, attempted to run some drills and a good play around on the ice. Yet again Nick ‘The Tooth’ stole the show by firstly showing up in a New York Rangers jersey and then turned out to be the best skater out of the three.

Finally after the great food, the joking and playing around with the NHL’s finest from years past the three attended a local show called Dead Serious MMA. unfortunately the night starts off slow as Dana and Matt are not impressed with the first fight of the night as it lacked any of what the show is all about.

Both men failed to impress the UFC president, “This is the worst fight i have ever seen”, he said. Then things started to get interesting when a fighter named Mickey Gal (0-0) stepped into the cage.

The crowd was loud and a sea of Orange as they sported Gal’s walkout shirt. In his first professional fight, Gal found himself in the most important fight of his life with Dana White ringside. Safe to say he didn’t disappoint as he would not only finish the fight via submission early but then go onto call out the UFC’s own C.M. Punk, who is 0-0 in MMA. No one from Philadelphia may have been signed but Dana White was very interested in Mickey Gal who could well be the perfect opponent for C.M. Punks UFC Debut.

Atlantic City, New Jersey

On the last stop of the tour, the three find themselves on a beach, half-naked and in the freezing waters of the Jersey Shore doing what is called “The Polar Bear Challenge”. A challenge in which the participants enter freezing water in as little clothing as possible usually to raise money, but for our three heroes it was just all for fun. And without fail ‘The Tooth’ out does Matt and Serra by doing the challenge a second time, this time fully naked.

Once everyone was dried off, it was time to get into some kind of food. They travelled to Shriver’s candy company to learn how to make salt water taffy, which is a famous sweet dating back to the 1880’s. All three participated in and enjoyed the process, although Nick ‘The tooth’ and his hygiene was brought into question a few times after he would continue to touch his hair then the Taffy, which would drive both White and Serra bananas.

It was that time again, the three were cage side for a Ring Of Combat card and were blown away by the night’s fights. Ring of Combat has produced some the UFC’s best fighters including Matt Serra and Frankie Edgar.

From huge right hands to spinning back-fist K.O’s the fighters came out to show the what they have and potentially could bring to the UFC. Matt Serra would end up on corner man duty as a fighter from his academy, Robby Plotkin, would fight in the main event. A fight in which impressed not only the crowd but Dana, Nick and even Matt himself.

Plotkin fought Randy Brown and both men brought the fight, throwing big shots and showing good technique. Brown finished Plotkin via TKO and immediately white made his way backstage to chat with Brown and his camp.

The food was out of this world and the trio showed us that no one is passed hanging out with your buddies and having a good time. Both cities showed they have great talent and dangerous fighters on the rise. But it was randy brown who caught Dana’s eye and it was later announced that Brown has indeed been signed and will make his debut in New Jersey on January 30 on UFC Fight Pass. As for Mickey Gal, well lets just say that he is Dana’s radar for a potential match up.

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Dana White

UFC to Sell #VegasStrong Shirts and Donate the Proceeds

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Our hearts are heavy this week as we remember our brothers and sisters that lost their lives in Las Vegas.

The perpetrator Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, killing 59 people and injuring over 500 more.

It was the largest mass shooting in Modern American history.

Dana White and the UFC were quick to step up as they donated $1M to the residents of Las Vegas who were affected by this tragedy. White has also stated that this weekend’s UFC 216 card will be “dedicated to the entire city of Las Vegas.”

The UFC and Fanatics have also teamed up to sell #VegasStrong shirts and 100% percent of the proceeds will be donated.

These shirts are available at UFCStore.com

#VegasStrong

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Conor McGregor

Dana White posts sparring footage of Conor McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi

Matthew Wells

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What happens in the gym, stays in the gym.

That is, until recently when Conor McGregor’s camp posted photos of his former training partner Paul Malignaggi on the receiving end of what looked to be a knockdown during a sparring session. McGregor, preparing for the blockbuster fight against Floyd Mayweather taking place on August 26, brought in Malinaggi to help sharpen and test his skills in preparation for the boxing contest.

However, when pictures of their sparring battles surfaced, painting Malignaggi in a negative light. The former IBF/WBA World Champion boxer turned analyst took to social media to defend himself stating the images were taken out of context, sparking controversy.

Late Friday evening, UFC President Dana White out all of the rumors to bed by taking to Instagram to post a pair of clips from their sparring session, most notably, the infamous “knock down” that Malignaggi defended adamantly.

Video 1: The video shows McGregor blasting Malignaggi with a hard left hand that popped his head back and then following up with a series of punches causing Malignaggi to retreat from the pressure.

 

Video 2: The knockdown. Conor hits Malignaggi with a punching combination, sending the former boxing champion to the canvas.

While the knock down does come after a series of punches from McGregor, Malignaggi was not completely knocked out. With this video evidence coming to light, it seems the UFC Lightweight Champion’s hands may be better prepared for the upcoming fight against one of boxing’s best than previously thought.

Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather takes place on August 26, 2017 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Contender Series

Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series – Week 2 Recap

Matthew Wells

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The second week of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series provided some incredible moments from fighters looking to earn their shot in the UFC.

With five fights on the docket and Dana White handing out only one, possibly two UFC contracts at the end of the show, fighters not only had to win their fights, but make a statement to impress the boss. If nobody makes a strong enough impression, White could also decide to not award anyone with a contract.

That was not the case on Week 2 thanks to three exciting finishes.

Sean O’Malley said in video packages in the lead up that he shows up to knock people out and he did exactly that with an exciting first round finish of Alfred Khashakyan. O’Malley kept his undefeated record in tact by utilizing hard, fight-ending strikes that sent his opponent to the canvas in the closing minute of the first round. A hard right hand dropped Khashakyan for good and O’Malley ran over towards Dana White to let him know he’s ready for his shot.

The Ultimate Fighter 22 veteran Thanh Le got the fans on their feet with his impressive finish of Lazar Stojadinovic, and made his case with Laura Sanko for Dana White to give him a contract.  Stojadinovic, a solid boxer began fighting angry in the second round after getting caught with a few clean strikes, which only left more openings for Le. Moments later, Le would land a beautiful kick followed up by hard strikes to get the second-round stoppage.

Daniel Spohn, after a rough start to his fight against Angel De Anda, recovered from illegal blows to the back of the head to lock in a submission in the first round. Referee Big John McCarthy paused the action after three illegal blows by De Anda, and once the action resumed, Spohn blitzed across the cage to unleash strikes and eventually find the arm triangle submission.

At the conclusion of the show, Dana White decided to give Sean O’Malley an opportunity on the big stage by awarding him with a UFC contract due to his flashy, exciting style inside the Octagon.

Below are the full results of Week 2:

  • Daniel Spohn (16-5) vs. Angel De Anda (18-6)
    • Result: Daniel Spohn def. Angel De Anda via Submission (Arm Triangle), Round 1 – 3:10
  • Sean O’Malley (8-0) vs. Alfred Khashakyan (8-4)
    • Result: Sean O’Malley def. Alfred Khashakyan via KO (Punch), Round 1 – 4:14
  • Thanh Le (7-1) vs. Lazar Stojadinovic (15-6)
    • Result: Thanh Le def. Lazar Stojadinovic via KO (Strikes), Round 2 – 1:35
  • Sidney Outlaw (9-4) vs. Michael Cora (4-2)
    • Result: Sidney Outlaw def. Michael Cora via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-27)
  • CJ Hamilton (11-5) vs. Casey Kenney (7-0-1)
    • Result: Casey Kenney def. CJ Hamilton via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
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