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UFC Veteran Chris Cariaso Calls it a Career

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MMA veteran and San Jose native Chris “Kamikaze” Cariaso has called it a career at the age of 34.

Cariaso (17-8 MMA) fought in the UFC 13 times, as well as under the WEC, Strikeforce and EliteXC banners. He broke the news Wednesday to MMAjunkie of his decision to hang up the gloves for good where he spoke fondly of his time in the UFC, where he once challenged longtime flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. .

“I’ve decided after 22 years of active fighting to call it a career,” Cariaso lamented. “It’s a bittersweet decision, as fighting and competing in a ring or cage is about all that I have known for a lifetime.”

Cariaso first started training martial arts when his parents enrolled him in Tae Kwon Do classes when he was 5. By 11, he began training in Muay Thai after his mother saw a flier at a Thai restaurant. “After the first week, I could barely walk, I was just so sore” Cariaso recalled.

Before he began competing in professional MMA he had a promising career as a BMX racer. At 17 years old he was considered one of the best BMX racers in the country and ranked in the top 10 nationally for his age group. He had significant sponsors such as MH clothing and Trek Bicycle Corporation, making it possible for him to travel the country during his ultimately short racing career. His run as a BMX racer was cut short by a bad wreck in which he flew over his handlebars and flew face-first into a turn. He “broke [his] forearm, broke [his] jaw, had to have surgery for two plates and 12 pins in [his] forearm.”

After the accident, he decided to turn his life entirely toward martial arts making his pro debut just two weeks before his 25 birthday. Of his first eight professional fights, three came in Scott Coker’s Strikeforce promotion and two were with EliteXC. By the age of 28, when he won the ICSF Bantamweight Championship, his record was an impressive 10-1. The following year he made his WEC debut at WEC 29 and beat Rafael Rebello by unanimous decision. His next, and last, WEC fight was at their final event where he lost to future UFC Bantamweight Champion Renato Barao.

In his UFC career, “Kamikaze” went 3-1 in the bantamweight division with wins over Will Campuzano, Vaughan Lee and Takeya Mizugaki. His only loss in the division was a close split-decision to Michael McDonald. Cariaso then dropped down to 125 lbs to compete in the newly created flyweight division where he debuted with a win over Josh Ferguson before suffering the first back-to-back losses of his career to John Moraga and Jussier Formiga. He bounced back nicely after those losses with a three-fight win streak over Iliarde Santos, Danny Martinez and Louis Smolka, earning a title shot against UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.

At the time of his retirement, he was ranked #14 in the UFC official rankings.

Cariaso now lives in Arizona, and although he will not be throwing down under the bright lights of the UFC, that doesn’t mean he will be taking in the scenic Sonoran Desert sunsets on his back porch. Cariaso is the owner of Tucson’s Rise Combat Sports, as well as San Francisco’s Fight and Fitness. He said he will now use his time to focus on his business ventures, his fighters and his family.

“I own two gyms, and I have so many talented fighters on their way up that I feel it is selfish for me to continue,” Cariaso said. “The fighters I have are headed to greatness, and I want to be there for them 100 percent.”

“I have two amazing kids that I want to be there for. I don’t want to miss soccer games and school performances anymore. I want to take my boys to the BMX track, I want to go camping, and I want to start living more for my family.”

“I’m excited for this next chapter in my life. I’m young still, and I’m healthy still, and I feel that this is the right time to retire. I have so much more to offer the world as a trainer, entrepreneur and father.”

We here at MMALatestNews.com would like to thank Chris for the memories and wish he well in all of his future endeavors.

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Watch: Bellator 185 Prelims

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Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Complete Bellator 185: Mousasi vs. Shlemenko Fight Card:

Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)

Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)

Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)

Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)

Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)

Preliminary Card:

Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)

Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)

Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)

Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)

150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)

150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)

Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez

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Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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