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UFC 193 Media Call: Ronda drops off, Holm confident and JJ and Valerie trade barbs



The UFC 193 media call took an unexpected turn earlier today when reigning bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey’s phone mysteriously experienced technical difficulties. Whilst this might not seem all that interesting the time at which these technical difficulties took place, following a question about her relationship with Travis Browne, has fueled speculation that Rousey may have just reached her threshold when it comes to questions about her personal life.

Whilst the UFC officials arranged to get Rousey back on the line, the media took the opportunity to shine the spotlight on Holly Holm, Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Valerie Letourneau in what has likely been unprecedented air time for the bantamweight title contender and the co-main event stars. Whilst on most occasions Holm tends to shy away from the spotlight, she seemed to relish taking a front seat and had no qualms fielding questions for the better half of the forty minute media call, in particular about her current underdog status and preparation for the fight ahead.

“When I first hear about a fight I almost have more nerves than I do closer to the fight because the closer to the fight, the more work I put in and the more work I put in, the more confident I feel.”

“There’s a lot of mental (preparation) heading into a fight — and every fight — and she’s on a big scale but I want to win every fight I have, not just this one, I want to win all of them and with that comes everything. It’s mentally challenging and physically challenging, it’s the whole package.”

“I think a lot of people get in there and they put her (Ronda) so high on a pedestal that they get in there not remembering that they’re in there for a reason too. I’m in there for a reason.I believe in myself. She hasn’t been beaten yet but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.”

“I’ve been the underdog more than once and it’s fine with me.”

Holm also talked briefly about her training relationship with Jon Jones and his advice to her throughout this training camp.

“We have the same coaches, we have the same team and I love to hear his input because he’s obviously been able to take what our coaches teach and put it together perfectly; so I love to hear his input on it and he has been very helpful and very instrumental in this fight camp. Y’know a lot of things he’ll just brainstorm on that works really well for me and he’s been great, he’s been a great help. There’s been times when he might just come to my mitts session and come up with ideas that he knows works with my fight style.  He’s got a very good mind about fighting and I always appreciate his advice.”

The highlight of the media call, however, came when current strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and 9th ranked contender Valerie Letourneau traded barbs following Jedrzejczyk’s comments that Letourneau was “not ready for her.”

Valerie Letourneau: “Maybe she’s going to get a big surprise on November 14. I feel like I have improved from my fight with Jessica (Rakoczy) and I feel like I’ve improved 10 times from my fight with Maryna Moroz to now. I just can’t wait to put it all out there and show what I’m capable of. I’ll put everything I’ve been working on in that fight.”

Joanna Jedrzejczyk: “But I’m not Maryna Moroz and I’m not Jessica Rakoczy, I’m Joanna Jedrzejczyk.”

Valerie Letourneau: “I know you’re a great fighter Joanna.”

Joanna Jedrzejczyk: “That’s good. Keep it in your mind.”

Valerie Letourneau: “Oh, don’t worry about that.”

Despite their best efforts, at the 35-minute mark, UFC Vice President of Public Relations, Dave Sholler, returned to announce that Rousey would not be rejoining the media call.

UFC 193 will take place at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne on 15 November, 2015 AEST.

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



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, 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 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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Douglas Lima found out about change to co-main event at Bellator 192 from the internet



Bellator 192 fight card has gone through a shake-up over the past week. Bellator president Scott Coker revealed last week that the scheduled welterweight title fight between Rory MacDonald and champion Douglas Lima will now be serving as the co-main event and the heavyweight matchup between Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson would instead take top billing. At the time no explanation was made for the change. Monday Douglas Lima was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to discuss this change.

“I was little bummed, but it is what it is, it’s business you know. I was pretty excited you know? Being the main event, having Rampage fight as the co-main event, I was happy there. Then I was bummed out that they changed it back to the co-main event. It’s not going to change a thing for me, I’m just focusing on the fight.”

Lima has been notoriously looked over in the eyes of fight fans. A longtime member of Bellator and a two-time champion has not gotten the notice he deserves and hopes to get.

“I found out through the internet, nobody tells me anything, I didn’t know. the same thing happened in New York, I thought my fight would be before the two main events there, but it ended up being the first fight of the night on Pay-Per-View. Hopefully, it doesn’t take anything away from the fight, you know spotlight and stuff.”

Lima is looking to make all the naysayers take notice at Bellator 192 that takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, Califonia on January 20th.

“This is the fight I’ve been waiting for for a long time. To get my name out there, to get people to know who I am. I’ve been delivering a lot of good fights, fights fans like to watch but no attention yet. I’m hoping though that after a win over Rory this week it will really put my name out there and show all these welterweights out there that I am for real.”

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Fight Announcements

Al Iaquinta vs. Paul Felder rescheduled for UFC 223 in April



MMA fans around the world wept in deep sorrow when Al Iaquinta withdrew from a bout scheduled for UFC 218 against Paul Felder. Weep no more, for Paul Felder faces Al Iaquinta at UFC 223. Rumblings behind the match-up, first reported by, came Sunday night before confirmed the bout scheduled for unannounced pay-per-view card, later in the evening.


The original bout fell through due to a severe knee injury to Iaquinta. He spoke to BJ Penn Radio about the injury nearly a week before the December 2nd, PPV event in Detriot. The Long Island real estate agent claimed, “I tore my PCL and my MCL maybe three or four months ago… for me to really put in a full training camp and do what I need to do, I would’ve had to just focus on fighting and physical therapy… it was the kind of thing where all roads led to me not kind of taking a risk and fighting on December 2nd”.

Iaquinta went on to say, “I kind of accepted the fight, but I never signed a bout agreement… I was kind of told I had to give them an answer pretty quick. It was a fight I thought I really wanted. I thought it was a good stylistic match-up for me, so I accepted the fight, and then thinking about it over the course of a day, we realized it probably wasn’t a smart decision for my health, for everything”.

An outspoken lightweight, he is not the first of his kind. Al Iaquinta is no stranger to idly waiting on the sideline for the UFC to make a move. Contract disputes and other bad strokes of luck left the Serra-Longo with three octagon appearances since 2015. The feud between Iaquinta and the promotion comes as a surprise when looking at the credentials of the aforementioned fighter. With an octagon record of 8-2, he earned notoriety as one of the best lightweights in the world. During his time in the UFC, he defeated Kevin Lee, Ross Pearson, Joe Lauzon, Jorge Masvidal, and most recently Diego Sanchez.

His opponent, “The Irish Dragon”, Paul Felder, holds an impressive UFC record of his own. At 7-3, Felder defeated tough competition as well. His record notes wins over Daron Cruickshank, Jason Saggo, Stevie Ray, and Charles Oliveira. Even more impressive than his record, his knockout ratio. At this stage of his career, Felder knockouts 55% of his opponents (10 knockouts in 18 career pro bouts).

Like his opponent Iaquinta, Paul Felder has a separate career outside of fighting. As many should notice, Felder found a role as a color commentator with the promotion he fights for. Following the footsteps in a long line of fighters before him, Felder announced multiple events alongside another new addition to the UFC broadcast team, Brendan Fitzgerald.

PPV card, UFC 223 and its location are not official yet. Despite a lack of an announcement, the event takes place in Brooklyn, New York at the Barclays Centre, according to multiple reports. Currently, the card features no official bouts. Reports state Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (per Jim Edwards), and Evan Dunham vs. Mairbek Taisumov (per Farah Hannoun) are both in the works for UFC 223.

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