Last night, on FS1’s “TUF Talk,” UFC President Dana White announced that Vice President of Public Relations, Dave Sholler, will be leaving the UFC.
— Zombie Prophet (@ZPGIFs) October 13, 2016
— Dave Sholler (@DaveSholler) October 13, 2016
It's time to go home, to the organization I grew up rooting for. Will miss fight game very, very much, but excited for the new challenge.
— Dave Sholler (@DaveSholler) October 13, 2016
Sholler, who has been with the UFC since 2009 when Zuffa merged the UFC and WEC, will now be taking his PR talents to the National Basketball Association with the Philadelphia 76ers. According to MMA Junkie, Sholler will be overseeing all basketball and business communications for the 76ers. In his WEC days, Sholler ran public relations for the promotion and moved over to the UFC when the merger happened. Since then, we have seen him take the podium during press conferences in place of Dana White, and sometimes, attempt to break up a brawl or two between heated competitors, most notably, the stage brawl between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier.
When speaking with MMA Junkie about the decision to leave the UFC, Sholler said, “This is a tremendous opportunity for me personally and professionally. It gives me the chance to go home to work for an organization I grew up rooting for, an organization that I’m incredibly passionate about, and an organization I believe is going to add to its storied legacy in the coming years.”
The landmark UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden in New York City will be the last event Sholler works for the promotion before starting his new journey in the NBA.
““My time at the UFC was nothing short of a dream come true. It’s an organization that believed in me and gave me the chance to succeed. From the early days traveling the globe with Pete Dropick, Reed Harris and characters like Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone promoting WEC, to today where athletes like Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor are true crossover stars, I’ve had such an incredible ride. But after such an incredible ride, I know it’s time. It’s time to go home,” Sholler told MMA Junkie.
Once the news broke that Sholler would be leaving the promotion, the MMA community gave a resounding response via social media. Below are just a few of the many, many examples of support:
— Jessica Eye (@jessicaevileye) October 13, 2016
Damn wake up to see my Jersey bro @DaveSholler is leaving the UFC for the Sixers. Best of luck Dave you will be missed!
— Frankie Edgar (@FrankieEdgar) October 13, 2016
good luck! You will definitely be missed! Maybe we can get you to stand between Nate and Connor for the trilogy?
— Joe Lauzon (@JoeLauzon) October 13, 2016
Congrats to my good friend and alleged look-a-like @DaveSholler on accepting a job w/ the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers! Sixers got a great one.
— Jon Anik (@Jon_Anik) October 13, 2016
Going to miss you in the UFC @DaveSholler best wishes in the next chapter in Philly!! 🙏🏽
— Cody Garbrandt (@Cody_Nolove) October 13, 2016
— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) October 13, 2016
damn! It's been an amazing journey working with ya. I'm happy for your next chapter but gonna miss ya bro! Thank you, Much love
— Joseph Benavidez (@JoeJitsu) October 13, 2016
wow finally time to put the suitcases away. All the best Dave. Appreciate the opportunities
— Jim Edwards (@MMA_Jim) October 13, 2016
Say it ain't so !! We will miss you Dave. You the man best of luck brother.
— Mike Brown (@mikebrownmma) October 13, 2016
good luck! Thanks for always being so good to Gilbert and myself!! :)
— KeriMelendez (@KeriMelendez415) October 13, 2016
@DaveSholler good luck!
— Alistair Overeem (@Alistairovereem) October 13, 2016
— Matthew Wells (@MrMWellsArt) October 13, 2016
Yo @DaveSholler I'm gonna miss you buddy! Congrats on the new job
— James Vick (@JamesVickMMA) October 13, 2016
Incredible man, it's been such a pleasure working with you. The Sixers are so lucky to have you
— Danny Austin (@DannyAustin_9) October 13, 2016
— Stephie Haynes (@CrooklynMMA) October 13, 2016
— Will Brooks (@ILLxWillBrooks) October 13, 2016
Dave Sholler will always have a special place in the minds of us here at MMA Latest News, as he helped open the door for access to the UFC. We wish Dave nothing but the best in his future endeavors.
For the latest MMA news, live event coverage and more follow @mmalatestnws on Twitter.
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 MMANYTT.com, 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 MMAJunkie.com 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.
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.”
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 FloCombat.com, came Sunday night before MMAFighting.com 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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