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[Video] UFC 197 – Will it be Jones vs Cormier? Will it happen in NYC?

Jim Edwards

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Following confirmation from Mike Winkeljohn that Jon Jones is preparing for a return in April, Jim Edwards of MMALatestNews.com discusses the possibility of a showdown with UFC Lightheavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in New York at UFC 197. Jones himself might be ready, but there are other obstacles that the UFC will have to overcome if this fight is to go ahead.

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BAMMA

Today’s MMA news round-up

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Today has been a pretty busy day when it comes to MMA news. We’ve had it all today from new champions to commissioners being slapped to fighters being flagged by USADA. It’s been hectic to say the least so here are the highlights of today’s news.

1. Conor McGregor causes havoc at Bellator 187

Yes, that’s correct, Conor McGregor at Bellator. Following the win of his teammate and friend Charlie Ward at Bellator 187 the UFC Lightweight Champion entered the cage to celebrate with Ward, however, their celebrations did not go to plan. Referee Marc Goddard wasn’t pleased with this in the slightest and tried get McGregor out. This didn’t go down too well as McGregor confronted the referee who initially pushed him. See the video here:

This unfortunately was not the only incident as Conor appeared to slap an official who tried to get him off the top of the cage.
Credit to @BryanLaceyMMA for this one

2. Bellator to hold 8 Man Grand Prix for Vacant Heavyweight Championship

Earlier today it was confirmed by MMA Fighting that Bellator would crown a new Heavyweight champions following a report from MMA Junkie. There is no official dates yet, however, they do hope to start on January 20th and crown a new champion by the end of the year. There are some big names bidding to become the new champion, they are:

Fedor Emleianenko
Frank Mir
Matt Mitrione
Roy Nelson
Ryan Bader
Rampage Jackson
King Mo Lawal
Chael Sonnen

3. Anderson Silva flagged by USADA for potential doping violation, out of UFC Shanghai Main Event

Former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva failed a USADA doping test and was pulled from the UFC Shanghai Main Event. The sample was collected from an out of competition test on October 26th. This is now his second time failing a doping test. Last time he was hit with a one year suspension and a heavy fine. No more information on the matter has been made available yet in relation to suspension.

4. UFC newcomer Grant Dawson also flagged by USADA for potential doping violation

USADA had a field day today in terms of fighters testing positive for doping. Grant Dawson, who has yet to even get a date for his debut was flagged for a sample collected on October 18th. The 23 year old was signed after impressing on Dana White’s contender series where he scored a second round submission on Adrian Diaz.

5. Martin Nguyen becomes ONE Championship’s first ever two division champion

Featherweight Champion Martin Nguyen stepped up to Lightweight to clash with title holder Eduard Folayang in effort of making history. Many ruled Nguyen out but he silenced all critics when viciously knocked out Folayang to take home another title. See the knockout here:
Credit to @Jolassanda for the video.

 6. All but one fighter make-weight for UFC Norfolk

Things were running smoothly today at the UFC Norfolk weigh ins until Matthew Lopez stepped up to the scales for his bout with Rafael Assuncao. He weighed in 2.5lbs over for his bout. The fight will go ahead, however, Lopez will lose 20% of his purse. Both Pettis and Poirier successfully made weight for their Main Event fight tomorrow night.

7. One new BAMMA champion while Lahore defends his belt in style

Despite some streaming troubles for the first two fights, BAMMA finally got one up in time for fans to see the final 3 fights. In the World Flyweight Title fight, Andy “Taz” Young fell lost his belt to Spaniard Daniel Barez via Majority Decision, After being docked a point in the opening round Barez came back strong to take home the World Title.

In the Main Event of the evening then, the anticipated match up between Alex Lahore and Richard Kiely went down. There was a lot of hype surrounding this one in the build up to the fight but it went as planned for Lahore. The champion pressured for a takedown in the first until finally succeeding, following some work on the mat it looked as if Kiely was about to gain some advantage on top. Only for Lahore to lock in a Kneebar and finish off the fight retaining his belt.

8. Cage Warriors 89 gets a shake up

The Cage Warriors Belgium card had an incredible addition today as they announced via newsletter that Karl Amoussou will defend his belt against Dominique Steele in the Main Event. The fight for the Vacant Heavyweight Championship was then demoted to co-main with a change in opponents for Mauro Cerilli. Dutchman Nills van Noord stepped up to face the Italian after Light Heavyweight Champion Karl Moore was forced off the card due to injury. This dampened his hopes of becoming the first Cage Warriors two division champion since Conor McGregor.

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Bellator

[Video] Aljamain Sterling – “We got an offer this week from Bellator”

Matthew Wells

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In part 1 of this interview, #5 ranked UFC Bantamweight Aljamain Sterling speaks with Matthew Wells about the latest updates surrounding his contract situation. With Benson Henderson signing with Bellator, the free agent market is alive and well in mixed martial arts, proving that promotions other than the UFC are capable of signing the biggest names in the sport.

Aljamain explained he received an offer from Bellator and WSOF this week.

After comparing those two offers, they will bring the best of the two to the UFC to see if they will match it to retain one of the best talents in the bantamweight division. His goals at the moment are to fight more often that he does currently, and make enough money so that he doesn’t have to teach while trying to train. He believes the best in the world should be able to train and not have to worry about anything else but being the best athlete possible.

Aljamain currently holds a record of 12-0 with four appearances in the Octagon. The undefeated Serra-Longo product explained that he would love to stay with the UFC,

“I’m a company guy. I’m trying to promote myself which is going to bring money to me and money to the UFC.”

 

In part 2 of the interview, Aljamain has some advice for Sage Northcutt and talks potential upcoming opponents. Stay tuned!

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Interviews

[Video] 2015 Fighter of the Year Exclusive interview

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The end of the year is nigh and with that comes the time when people reflect on the year gone by. In the MMA world, it is a time when everyone considers their fight, KO, submission and, of course, fighter of the year. MMA Latest’s Jim Edwards has chosen his fighter of the year for 2015 – Joanna Jędrzejczyk. Jim was able to catch up with and interview Jędrzejczyk in Las Vagas and you can watch that interview in the above video.

Jędrzejczyk came into 2015 extremely under the radar having not been part of The Ultimate Fighter strawweight season which was won by Carla Esparza, making her the UFC’s first champion at 115 pounds. The first defence of that title would be against Jędrzejczyk in March, a fight in which Esparza was the heavy favourite, largely down to her strong wrestling pedigree. However, not only would Jędrzejczyk emerge victorious, she completely dominated TUF winner Esparza on the feet and nullified her wrestling expertly. The fight was mercifully halted in the second round and Joanna Jędrzejczyk had become Joanna Champion.

If people did not know her name before that, they certainly learned it quickly. She was matched opposite Jessica Penne in June headlining a UFC event for the first time in her career – and she did not disappoint. Jędrzejczyk put on a clinic, brutalising Penne with her vicious Muay Thai arsenal of attacks. By the third round, Penne was wearing a crimson mask and referee Marc Goddard had seen enough, stopping the fight following another barrage from the champion.

Her final fight of 2015 took place in the co-main event of UFC 193 against another talented striker in Valerie Letourneau. While she did not earn a finish in her second title defence, she impressed once again, comprehensively outstriking her opponent en route to a unanimous decision victory.

Jędrzejczyk’s situation going into 2016 is the polar opposite to 12 months ago. Now, she is one of the biggest stars in the UFC, male or female. She is not about to rest on her laurels, however. As you can hear in the above video, Jędrzejczyk told Jim what fans can expect next year: “You’re going to see a different and better Joanna. I promise you.”

 

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