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Interview: UFC co-creator Campbell McLaren

Campbell McLaren talks to Kingdom MMA 'I would have never sold the UFC'

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Cage Warriors add 6 Brits to Roster

Cage Warriors add 6 Brits to Roster

Photo: Gavin Morris | Cage Warriors
Europe's leading MMA promotion Cage Warriors has today confirmed the addition of UK based fighters Saul Rogers (pictured), Arnold Allen, Danny Lawson, Paddy Pimblett, Sean Carter and Fabio Ferrari, all who join the promotions ever expanding roster on exclusive 5 fight deals.

Rogers (7-1) puts pen to paper having made an impressive CWFC debut in Liverpool last weekend when he submitted Jason Cooledge in the first round of their bout at Cage Warriors 57.
The 21-year-old lightweight said: “I’m delighted to have signed with Cage Warriors and I really appreciate the opportunity I’ve been given. I’m stoked about the whole thing. I couldn’t be happier.
“Neither Cage Warriors nor MMA fans will ever be disappointed by my performances. I can promise that all my fights will be well worth watching.”

Allen (4-0), a 19-year-old featherweight, joins the CWFC ranks after he also won by first-round submission in his promotional debut earlier this month against Andy Green at Cage Warriors 56.

Lawson (8-3), a 24-year-old featherweight who’ll soon make his Cage Warriors debut, has taken all but one of his wins by stoppage and is currently on a six-fight win-streak.

Pimblett (4-0), an 18-year-old bantamweight, took his first three professional wins by first-round stoppage before earning an impressive unanimous-decision win over Florian Calin at Cage Warriors 56.

Carter (6-0) is now 2-0 with CWFC thanks to wins this year against Matt Hughes and Adam Boussif, which saw the 28-year-old lightweight keep his unbeaten record intact.

Ferrari (6-2-1), a 27-year-old Brazilian-born middleweight, overcame Brett Sizeland at Cage Warriors 56 and also holds a notable win over CWFC veteran Henry Fadipe.
“I’m very happy with this latest batch of signings,” said Cage Warriors CEO Graham Boylan. “They’re six guys with excellent records and their best years still ahead of them. I look forward to seeing them develop with Cage Warriors.”

Stay tuned to for all the latest Cage Warriors news as it happens.

UFC on FOX 8 Weigh in results

Weigh in Results for UFC on Fox 8

by Ben Heather @benheather

Tomorrow nights UFC live from the Key Arena in Seattle Washington, is now set after the weigh ins have now made the fights official. The main event sees Demetrious Johnson attempt to defend his UFC Flyweight title for the 2nd time against John Moraga. This fight will be a step up for Moraga in terms of how many people get to see his fight as last time out he was fighting on the Facebook prelims of UFC 155 and now he is headlining a UFC on FOX event live on national TV in the USA. Johnson has looked impressive since it was first announced that the UFC would create a flyweight division and last time out put on a brilliant performance against John Dodson, who many people thought may have beaten him going into the fight. Both men weighed in within the 125lbs limit to make the fight official. Now its just a matter of time before we see if Johnson can remain undefeated at Flyweight in the UFC or will Moraga become the second Flyweight champion in UFC history.

In the co main event, we will see a welterweight fight which could have a massive impact on the welterweight division as Rory MacDonald is set to battle Jake Ellenberger. Both men weighed in under the 171lbs limit at the weigh ins, and they both know that a big win will move them a step closer to a potential title shot. If Rory wins and puts on a show tomorrow night that could leave him, GSP, the Tristar gym and the UFC with a massive dilemma to answer if GSP beats Johny Hendricks at UFC 167. Due to the timing of this fight and the title fight not due to take place until November I think the logical move would be to put the winner of this fight back in to action against the winner of the Condit vs Kampmann 2 which takes place at the end of August. That number 1 contender fight could take place in December leaving the winner to fight for the title early next year. However that being said, on a personal note I would love nothing better than to see GSP vs Rory.

Also on the main card we have a welterweight contest between Robbie Lawlor and Bobby Voelker in which we see two men having there second fight in the UFC since coming over from Strikeforce. Robbie Lawlor shocked a few people when he knocked out Josh Koscheck at UFC 157 and now looks to continue that good work against late replacement Voelker who stepped in on 16 days notice for this fight. Could that decision prove to be a good idea.... we will find out tomorrow night.

Finally we have Liz Carmouche vs Jessica Andrade. Carmouche will become the first women to fight twice in the octagon tomorrow night after being defeated by Ronda Rousey in the first ever women's fight in the UFC. Carmouche was originally slated to fight Miesha Tate before she got the opportunity to fight for the title and in the process coach on the next series of The Ultimate Fighter. This fight also marks the first women's MMA fight on network TV in the USA. Jessica Andrade will be making her UFC debut and has a 9-2 MMA record including fighting seven times last year. Andrade will be looking to make it three wins in a row tomorrow night but it will definitely be against her strongest opponent yet.

John Albert, Tim Means and Jorge Masvidal all missed weight, all of the other fighters made weight when they stepped on to the scales making all of the fights official. I expect John Albert and Jorge Masvidal to attempt to lose the last bit of weight but with Tim Means coming in 4 lbs over weight I expect him to lose a lot of money.

A full list of results from today's weigh in can be found below.

Main Card - Live on ESPN at 1am Sunday 28th July 2013

Demetrious Johnson (c) (124.5 lbs) vs. John Moraga (124.5 lbs)    
Rory MacDonald (170.5 lbs) vs. Jake Ellenberger (171 lbs)
Robbie Lawlor (170.5 lbs) vs. Bobby Voelker (170 lbs)
Liz Carmouche (136 lbs) vs. Jessica Andrade (134 lbs)   

Prelims - Live on

Michael Chiesa (155.5 lbs) vs. Jorge Masvidal (157.5 lbs)***
Danny Castillo (155 lbs) vs. Tim Means (160 lbs)** WTF
Mac Danzig (155 lbs) vs. Melvin Guillard (155 lbs)    
Yves Edwards (155 lbs) vs. Daron Cruickshank (156 lbs)   
Ed Herman (186 lbs) vs. Trevor Smith (185 lbs)   
Julie Kedzie (135.5 lbs) vs. Germaine de Randamie (135 lbs)

Facebook Prelims - Live on Facebook

Aaron Riley (156 lbs) vs. Justin Salas (155 lbs)   
John Albert (137 lbs)* vs. Yaotzin Meza (136 lbs)   

*John Albert has 2 hours to lose 1 lb
** Tim Means has 2 hours to lose 4 lbs
*** Jorge Masvidal 2 hours to lose 1.5lbs

Friday, 26 July 2013

Roy Nelson re-signs with the UFC, fights Cormier at UFC 166

Big country pens new 9 fight deal, plans to retire with the UFC

by John Haigh @JohnBJayHaigh

UFC heavyweight Roy "Big Country" Nelson's new UFC contract is a nine fight deal, according to what Nelson told Ariel Helwani on Tuesday. The new deal was announced on UFC Tonight, as well as the first fight of the deal with Nelson (19-8) squaring off against Daniel Cormier (12-0). The fight will be the co main event on October 19th at UFC 166 in Houston Texas, underneath the Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos rematch

Nelson now 37, said that he is relatively happy with the new deal, using the term relative saying he didn't get everything he wanted. But he said he expects to finish his career in the UFC and wants to fight for another five years.

Nelson was on a three fight win streak, all via knockout in less than three minutes off fighting over Dave Herman, Matt Mitrione and Cheick Kongo going into UFC 161 in Winnipeg. The streak had gained him the most popularity of his nine year career. But he couldn't match the speed, stamina, wrestling ability and footwork of Stipe Miocic in his last fight scoring a unanimous decision loss on June 15th.

Getting Cormier as an opponent, largely based on Nelson goading the former Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix winner, is the kind of match up somewhat unusual after such a decisive loss to a lower ranked opponent.

A win over Cormier would reverse all the damage of the Miocic loss and put Nelson back into contention in the UFC heavyweight division. It would also derail all the talk regarding Cormier dropping down to Light Heavyweight and getting an immediate title shot against the winner of the Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson.

UK MMA Expo - Roll on UK MMA Expo 2014

My review of the UK MMA Expo

by Ben Heather @benheather

This past weekend I went along to the UK MMA Expo in Manchester's Event City. I arrived with no expectations of what the expo would be like and was only concerned with wanting to have a good weekend watching some MMA, do a bit of training, meeting fans and fighters who we have previously interviewed and talking about the sport I love more than any in this world MMA. I certainly didn't expect it to be anything like the UFC Fan Expo held in Vegas two weeks before.

Last year I bought a ticket to go to the MMA Show Live expo in Birmingham and was left disappointed when the expo was cancelled on just five days notice. I know I was not the only person who was let down last year and unfortunately the actions of some people which led to the cancellation of this expo has led to repercussions which have been dealt with by the organisers of the UK MMA Expo. A lot of people thought at first that the UK MMA Expo was organised by the same people which was not the case. Also, due to the cancellation of the MMA Show Live a lot of people doubted that this Expo would ever take place also.

As I arrived on the Saturday morning I was greeted by both Paul and Darren who organised the whole event. I had spent a lot of time interviewing fighters before the Expo for the site and have had many conversations with both men so it was nice to meet them both in person.

When the UK MMA Expo opened I first had a look around all the stands which were selling products or services at the expo and was very impressed at the professionalism of them all and how good all the stands looked. My two year old son was particularly impressed with the Banned Fightwear stand which had a Dodge Viper (or as my son kept shouting "Racing Car") in front of it. The guys who were on the stands were all happy to talk to me and explain what the product they were selling was and why it was different from any other products, however they did not cross the line from selling to annoying me. They were happy to discuss and then let me continue looking around the expo.

The companies which came out to support the expo was very impressive. Some of these companies were the same companies I imagine which lost money last year when the MMA Show Live was cancelled 5 days before the event. Although there was a lot of companies supporting the expo this year a lot of floor space was still available. I now believe that the Expo in 2014 (if it happens) will have a lot more stands due to people realising that it is legit and will actually happen.

The fact some of the top UK fighters were walking around mingling with the fans was brilliant. You could walk up to them have a chat with them, get photo's with them and they would happily sign anything which you wanted them to. This is something which I know as a fan means a lot, we normally pay our money and go watch them fight without getting the chance to meet these guys but at the Expo you could.

The Expo consisted of many different aspects, to me the main areas were the stands where people were selling their products, you had the live events which included a full MMA event on the Saturday afternoon and the British grappling championship on the Sunday. Then you had the training seminars, photo signing sessions and knowledge base theatre which gave you a chance to meet your favourite fighters.

Training Seminars

One of the major selling points of the UK MMA Expo was the ability to be able to book to train with some of the top fighters in UK MMA including Michael Bisping, Ross Pearson, Rob Sinclair as well as a lot of others over the weekend.

For a small additional charge you would get the chance to be able to take part in the training sessions led by the fighters at set times throughout the weekend. I thought this was a brilliant idea and was a major selling point to me. It's not everyday you can train with fighters like Michael Bisping. I also felt it also gave guys who may have not trained in martial arts before the ability to not only give it a go but to try it in an atmosphere that was potentially more comfortable to them than walking in to a gym for the first time.

I actually took part in the Michael Bisping but will discuss the actual training seminar in an article later this week on the site. So look out for the "The day I trained with Michael Bisping" article in the coming days.

Knowledge Base Theatre

The Q&A sessions which were held at the Knowledge Base Theatre were fantastic, it was truly a great place to go to be able to hear some of the best UK fighters open up about any questions they were asked.

For me personally I was very proud to be given the opportunity to host the women in combat sport seminar on the Sunday afternoon and it was great to hear from the elite women athletes just what they thought about how far the sport has come. I had a great time hosting and was very impressed with how knowledgeable the crowd were who came to the seminar and asked their own questions were. All in all it made for a brilliant seminar. Rosi Sexton, Helen Currie and JoJo Calderwood let us know what opinions they had on a variety of subjects from Transgender fighters to sexism in MMA and even discussed if they thought BJJ should be an Olympic sport.

Other seminars I went to included the pioneers of UK MMA and Its a TUF Life which between them included the who's who of the top UK MMA throughout the years. Guys like Ian Freeman, Ross Pearson and Michael Bisping to name a couple.

The Photo Signing Sessions

This was another brilliant aspect of the Expo which worked really well. At set times throughout the weekend you had the chance to meet your favourite fighter, have a picture with them (for a small fee of £10) it was then printed off and framed. But the best bit was the fighters would then sign your photo.

I think for £10 this was a great experience and the photo quality was brilliant.


I think the UK MMA Expo was a great weekend and if and I hope they do have the Expo again next year I think the organisers will have so much experience from this weekend. They can look back at the things that went really well as well as the bits which didn't. By reflecting on this year as well as now having evidence that they can pull it off next year will be a brilliant Expo.

This year they had so many doubters keep saying that they couldn't pull it off.... well guess what people they did. They did the UK MMA scene proud and I am sure a lot of companies that did not take part this year due to the previous Expo being cancelled on such short notice will already be contacting them to say they want in next year. They have been left in a situation where they have had to prove everyone wrong through no fault of their own to pull off the expo this year but they certainly did it.

The first day seemed to be a little hectic with some things not starting when they were scheduled to start but what do you expect when this is the first time that anything like this had been done. Even by the Sunday the organisation was so much better and things ran a lot more smoothly.

I think lessons will be learnt about trying to put so much on for example the training with fighters happening at the same time as a Q&A seminar and maybe next time we may see less on at the same times. This is not a bad thing as it makes more things accessible to everyone and easier to control.

Overall, I really enjoyed my weekend at the UK MMA Expo and if this is what they managed to pull off on the first year all I can say is roll on UK MMA Expo 2014.

Paul Daley Releases Statement Confirming his Bellator Release

Paul Daley Releases Statement Confirming his Bellator Release
by Chris Houten - @mrhouts

Nottingham based Welterweight Paul Daley has this morning released a statement confirming he has been unconditionally released from his Bellator contract as the promotion feel Daley will not be able go obtain a visa to fight in The US following the results of a past legal issue.

Reports  of the release surfaced yesterday evening, with Daley now confirming his release via his official facebook:
"Yes, i have been released by Bellator, due to visa issues resulting from previous offences. Although my application for a new visa WAS NOT DENIED, i am assuming the Bellator legal team thought it would not be possible for me to obtain one, in light of recent events.
I apologies to all the fans/supporters, that wanted me to win the Bellator tournament and challenge the boring Ben Arsken for the title....this is not gonna happen now, but we have Martin Stapleton and Rob Sinclair in Bellator, representing the UK, both im sure will do a great job.

I am currently in talks with a number of organisations, and have about half a dozen contracts already in my inbox........but i will take my time, and read through them all. The whole situation has been difficult, but my release now alllows easier negotiation with different organisations.

I will be fighting real soon, September. Any media want more information, please inbox me directly.

Thank you."

One of the finest MMA fighter to come out of the UK, Paul Daley, who holds notable wins over Scott Smith, Jorge Masvidal, Martin Kampmann, John Alessio, and Duane Ludwig most recent fought at Cage Warriors 57 where he beat Lukasz Chlewicki by doctors stoppage. 

Following the release its likely that Daley will be one of the most desired free agents in MMA.

Tom "Kong" Watson "a win is not enough, I need to go in there and knock him out" at UFC 163 against Thales Leites

Kingdom MMA chat to Tom "Kong" Watson ahead of his fight at UFC 163

by Ben Heather @benheather

In the early hours of Friday morning Kingdom MMA caught up with Tom Watson. We discussed everything from his last fight, his next fight at UFC 163 in Brazil next Saturday, his recent run in on twitter with Michael Bisping, twitter trolls and even his opinion on whether Suarez will stay at Liverpool.

Next Saturday at UFC 163 live from the HSBC Arena in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil "Kong" will be fighting former UFC Middleweight contender Thales Leites. He will aim to try and make it back to back wins for the first time in his UFC career. Kong made his debut in the UFC in September 2012 where he lost a split decision against Brad Tavares but in Nottingham. That performance was then forgotten about as Kong won for the first time in the UFC by knocking out Stanislav Nedkov in the second round.

Ben: Last time out you were in the fight which in my opinion is the fight of the year so far. Do you feel extra pressure coming off a great performance?
Watson: Not really, that's how i try to go out there and fight every time. I think the fight before that against Tavares was a good fight but I think that went under the radar a little bit because it was a loss. I think the Ninja fight before that was a good fight, the Marshman one similar back to fighting in Cage Rage and MFC. I just think I am always in those type of fights really.

Ben: The atmosphere in Wembley for that fight was incredible I have never been in a crowd and heard the crowd like as loud as it was for that fight. Did you notice it at all and if so did it spur you on in to the second round and ultimately to get the win?
Watson: Yeah I did notice it and I don't usually notice the crowd that much. Obviously I have fought at Wembley before and headlined but I didn't really expect that much noise on the prelims. Even the atmosphere at the weigh ins i think it was a pretty loud reception at the weigh ins for that fight. I wouldn't say it necessarily spurred me on, you hear the noise but I don't get that caught up in to it. But it definitely makes it more exciting to be able to compete in that sort of atmosphere.

Ben: Like you have said before you like to put on exciting fights do you aim to be known as an exciting fighter? Is that important to you?
Watson: Yeah that's the main thing to me really. I think a lot of people get too carried away about it all, I see a lot of fighters come out and say this is my job and its better for me to win blah blah blah but not necessarily be exciting. I disagree I was a fan of the fight game before I ever fought and went to a lot of events and its pretty expensive to go to. I have a lot of friends and family that go to them and its not just the ticket prices that are expensive but the whole occasion going down there, most people stay down there and if you don't put on an exciting fight is it worth spending that money. So if I can put on those kind of fights its what I want to do.

Ben: Would you rather be in an exciting fight and possibly lose or a boring fight which you can guarantee a win?
Watson: I have said that before I came to the UFC, but the UFC put so much emphasis on winning that its difficult but I would still probably be in a much more exciting fight to be honest. For me its not really about doing this for the money, its not really about any of that. Its about enjoyment and if its a boring fight i don't really enjoy it so I would sooner enjoy the fight myself.

Ben: How has the camp gone for this fight?
Watson: Its gone pretty well, obviously for every fight you have a few injuries I think if you don't then you haven't really had that good a camp. If you come in 100% fresh then your just gonna get knocks. Ive probably had a 10 week camp for it so its been as good as can be expected. Its going to be a tougher fight and I'm excited to be going to Brazil and fight there in front of a reasonably hostile crowd I think with me fighting a guy from Brazil. I just need to lose the weight and I will be ready to go.

Ben: Where have you done your camp for this fight?
Watson: I have been in California at Mark Munoz's gym. I was helping him a lot for his fight with Tim Boetsch and there is a lot of guys out here. Chael Sonnen has just come out here in the last week. There is a lot of good wrestlers for me to work with out here.

Ben: Leites has won most of his fights by submission have you focused on your take down defence and your ground game for this fight?
Watson: Yeah obviously that's his speciality, he is super dangerous on the ground so he is not just a good grappler he finishes. Most of his wins he has actually submitted his opponent and finished them so obviously I need to focus on that. The longer you fight, the longer you're in the sport I have had a lot of fights where I have thought this guy is going to do this so I need to do that but then you get in to the fight and he does something else so really I train mostly the same for most fights now. A lot of striking, a lot of wrestling, a lot of grappling it doesn't really change for any fight really.

Ben: Do you think you can be the first person to knock out Leites? Anderson Silva couldn't do it, can you?
Watson: Yeah that's my intention. Obviously Anderson fought him over 5 rounds, it wasn't a great fight but he didn't finish him. He has fought some good names and I don't really think its enough for me to go in there and just win the fight. I need to go in there and knock him out and I see it happening. I know if I catch him at some point in the fight he is going to go to sleep.

Ben: How do you feel going to fight in Brazil? In front of a very partisan crowd.
Watson: I have fought in Canada against people and I think my mind is pretty good and I am not bothered by that kind of thing but it will be a loud crowd but I would sooner fight in front of 200-300,000 people than 5 so the more people the better.

Ben: You touched upon fighting in Canada there, the last time you travelled to fight a foreign fighter in his home country was against Travis Galbraith and you got possibly the best knockout of your career, would you say you thrive on the pressure of being the foreign fighter? (For those who haven't seen that fight the link is here and its well worth a watch)
Watson: Well I don't really think it makes that much difference in my experience by the time you get there. When you fight in the UFC the fighters generally get the same hotel and the same kind of schedule so although you are in Brazil your still really in a sort of bubble with the UFC. Your in that media circle or at the hotel, I'm not really going to see a lot of Brazil. The only real difference is obviously there is going to be a huge crowd who isn't really supporting me. So as long as its loud it gets me excited so we will see what happens, I'm pretty excited by it.

Ben: Having been in that fight can you draw any comparisons for what you are expecting from the crowd next weekend in Brazil?
Watson: Well the fight in Canada was a similar thing, when I fought the guy everybody was really against me and then because the fight was a pretty exciting ending and a good finish the crowd kinda took to me. They didn't really know what to make to the entrance, I don't know what Brazil will think to that either. I think Brazil just like to watch a fight so if its a good fight I put on, the type of fights I usually put on then they will appreciate that. As far as the world goes I think they are right up there with one of the biggest of the fight community.

Ben: When do you leave for Brazil?
Watson: I fly out of California on Monday and I get to Brazil on Tuesday so five days before the fight.

Ben: Recently you gave an interview and mentioned Michael Bisping's name. He seems to have taken offense to it and went on twitter to tell you not to use his name to try get ahead in your career. Do you think it has all been blown out of proportion?
Watson: Well I don't really know what happened, to be honest they asked me about Leites saying is it an easy fight and all I said was he has fought for the title. If you take Bisping for example the guys he has fought who have fought for the title he has never beaten any of them so that was just referencing the fact that how can it be an easy fight if the guy has fought for the Middleweight title. Bisping obviously didn't like it. Whatever, doesn't really bother me you know nobody can obviously mention his name. Its not allowed you need approval from him first, so whatever he wants to go on about it doesn't really bother me. 

Ben: After Bisping sent the tweet to you it seemed every troll on twitter was tweeting you, did you have fun reading the messages as some of the comments you replied with were brilliant.
Watson: Yeah its just because half the people on twitter I swear they don't want to be abusive but that's there way to get a response. I think that they think that if they say something normal they wont get a response so mostly I go and look at peoples timelines and if they are just abusing everybody then I don't really respond to them but if its just specific abuse to me then I find it quite funny so I enjoy that type of thing. I don't really get wound up by it so it makes a bit of a laugh to my day to be honest.

Ben: Lastly, I believe you are a Liverpool fan. Do you think Luis Suarez has played his last game for Liverpool?
Watson: You know what, I think he probably has. I hope he hasn't, you know obviously he has had a few problems at the club but really if you ask me what they would have done over the past couple of seasons without him I don't really think it would have been a lot so I think they will really struggle if he leaves. They got a lot of really good younger players coming through I have been talking about Sterling since he was about 16 but in pre season they got another couple of youngsters who look pretty good. I don't really like it when players leave all the time I think it takes a few years so hopefully on that basis I hope he stays.

 Kingdom MMA would like to thank Tom for his time and all of us at the site will be cheering Tom on in Brazil.

Neil Grove Out of Fight with Oli Thompson at UCFC 6

Neil Grove Out of Fight with Oli Thompson at UCFC 6
by Chris Houten - @Mrhouts

THE UCFC has confirmed that Neil Grove has pulled out of his fight with Oli Thompson in a UCFC heavyweight bout on the show held on Saturday (27th) at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster.
A UCFC spokesman said: “It is with regret that the UCFC can confirm that Neil Grove has pulled out of his fight against Oli Thompson in their pro heavyweight bout. The UCFC is saddened Neil will not be appearing as his bout with Oli [the fight] would have been a crowd pleaser. Oli’s management team have already been informed of Neil’s decision.”
UCFC 6 is being headlined by UK MMA legend Ian “The Machine” Freeman and former UFC champion Ricco Rodriguez with form Bamma champion Jack Marshman, Paul Taylor, Darren “Powerhouse” Towler, Scott Askham as well as Zi Shah, Craig Burke, and Khaled “Ammo” Radman also on the card.

Adding a twist the the usual fight night, UCFC 6 will also feature a live pa by chart topping rapper Professor Green, as well as Jay Mya and the Educates and Sam Wright.
“There are still tickets available of the fight event of the year and if you are a fight fan then this is one show not to be missed." added a UCFC spokesman. “Good luck to all the fighters taking part in this talented fight card.”
Tickets for UCFC 6 are still available from £25 student concessions, £35 normal standard, £50 premier standard as well as cageside Olympic at £120. Call 0844 324 5590 or visit or to purchase.

Michael Chandler Signs Long-Term Fight Extension with Bellator

Michael Chandler Signs Long-Term Fight Extension with Bellator

As Michael Chandler prepares to defend his Bellator Lightweight Title on July 31st live on Spike, the promotion announced today an eight fight extension with the top ranked lightweight to keep the undefeated Alliance MMA product with Bellator.
“In all my years in combat sports, I’ve never seen the growth and development in a fighter like we’ve all witnessed with Michael Chandler,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “I believe Michael is the best lightweight in MMA.  And, given that, I felt it was paramount to keep Michael at Bellator for the long term.  Both inside and outside the cage, Michael is a tremendous representative for our Bellator.  And, now as one of the highest paid lightweights in MMA, he’s without question earned that distinction.”
A former University of Missouri Wrestling standout, Chandler wasted no time turning heads with Bellator, finishing his first two opponents before getting a taste of The Toughest Tournament in Sports. Chandler continued his winning ways, storming through the Lightweight Tournament with decisive victories over Marcin Held, Lloyd Woodard and Patricky Pitbull, earning Chandler a title shot against then Bellator Champion Eddie Alvarez. What followed was the unanimous fight of the year candidate as Chandler and Alvarez engaged in what can only be described as an epic battle between two of the sports best pound for pound athletes, with Chandler eventually capturing gold with a submission victory deep into the 4th round. The win propelled Chandler into elite status, and the new Bellator Lightweight Champion continued his dominance over Akihiro Gono and Rick Hawn. Now set to defend his title against David “The Caveman” Rickels on July 31st, Chandler looks to continue his stranglehold on the lightweight division for years to come.
“Since I signed with Bellator back in 2010, Bjorn laid out a plan for me of how he saw my career progressing and what type of levels we could reach together, and everything has come true,”
Chandler said. “I couldn’t be happier with the situation I’m in right now. Bellator is my home, it’s where I want to be, and it’s where I’m going to continue to defend my belt. Over the last few months you’ve continued to see Bellator go out and sign some of the best talent in the world, and the tournaments continue to be loaded with talent that I’m ready to take on. I believe in this format and what Bellator is doing, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. My focus right now is solely on David Rickels, and making sure we put on a show July 31st.”

Healy vs Nurmagomedov Set for UFC 165

Healy vs Nurmagomedov Set for UFC 165
by Chris Houten - @mrhouts

An intriguing lightweight match between Pat Healy(29-16 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Khabib Nurmagomedov (20-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) has been added to UFC 165, which takes place September 21st in Canada.

Healy who is ranked in the UFC Lightweight top 10 rankings, return to the octagon following a 90 day suspension following a positive drug test (majunana) after beating Jim Miller in a fight that earned Healy fighter of the night honours as we as sub of the night honours.

Healy who holds notable wins over Carlos Condit, and Brits Dan Hardy, & Paul Daley, entered the UFC on a 6-1 win streak in Strikeforce which was enough to earn Healy a lightwight title shot against Gilbert Melendez, which Melendez withdrew from due to injury on two occasions before both men joined The UFC when Strikeforce closed its doors.

His opponent, Russian import Nurmagomedov enters the bout having never been beaten in 20 professional MMA fights. Nurmagomedov, a combat Sambo champion made his UFC debut in January 2012 and his picked up wins over Kamal Shalorus, Gleison Tibau, Thiago Tavares, and Abel Truijillo. In his most recent fight at UFC 160 Nurmagomedov set a new UFC record for the number of takedowns landed in a single fight - 21 out of 27 attempts.

Although unconfirmed it is likely Healy vs Nurmagomedov will likely feature high on the main card, with the winner likely to enter the lightweight title picture.

UFC 165 takes place on September 21st at The Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with the main card fighting 2 title fights, with Jon Jones defending the light-heavyweight title against Alexander Gustaffason, and Reneo Barao defending his title between Eddie Wineland.

Stay tuned to for more on UFC 165

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Brits Rob Silnclair & Martin Stapleton Included in Belllator Season 9 Tournament

Brits Rob Silnclair & Martin Stapleton Included in Belllator Season 9 Tournament

The Toughest Tournament In Sports continues as Portland’s Rose Garden Arena plays hosts to Bellator MMA on Friday, September 27th. The night will showcase the opening round of the Bellator Lightweight Tournament, as well as stacked preliminary card.

No stranger to the MMA game, Marcus Davis will use his veteran talent as he faces Russian submission artist Tiger Sarnavskiy. Davis is well aware of the opportunity at stake for his future, but will have to hold off Sarnavskiy, who holds an impressive 24-1 professional record.
After spending only 74 seconds in the cage with two first round knockouts last season, but falling to David Rickels in the Season 8 Tournament Final, Saad Awad is ready for redemption. Awad will face UK striker Martin Stapleton, who enters the fight riding an eight fight win streak and brings an impressive 12-1 record to the cage.   
“Bellator always brings top tier athletes from around the world and I'm excited that I get to be a part of this upcoming tournament again,” Awad said. “I’ve added a few things to my arsenal and I can't wait to showcase them and put on a great show.”
Fan favorite Will Brooks will also return to the big stage and battle MMA veteran John Alessio. After suffering just the first loss of his professional career in the Season 8 Lightweight Tournament Semifinal to Saad Awad, Brooks is ready to get back under the bright lights.
“I just want to get back in the winner circle,” Brooks said. “I have some unfinished business from last season and I am going to keep it simple, to the point and devastating for every fight. I need and want the belt and I am going to take it from whoever has it, but I am hoping it will be Michael Chandler.”
Making his Bellator debut, England’s own Rob Sinclair will battle long time veteran Rich Clementi on September 27th. With 27 submission wins in his professional career, Clementi will look to his experience in the cage to take down Sinclair, and put it all on the line for a last tournament run.  
“I am so excited to have the chance to compete again,” Clementi said. “For those who have been following me, I made an official retirement a few months ago and was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. The last few years of competing, I’ve been running on four flat tires, but after being under treatment for the last three months and my body is responding well. Fighting is who I am and the thought of not being able to do that was devastating. I am so excited to get back in the cage and show people what I am made of.”
Bellator MMA Main Card:
Bellator Lightweight Tournament Opening Round: Marcus Davis (22-9) vs. Tiger Sarnavskiy (23-1)
Bellator Lightweight Tournament Opening Round: Will Brooks (10-1) vs. John Alessio (34-16)
Bellator Lightweight Tournament Opening Round: Saad Awad (14-5) vs. Martin Stapelton (12-1)
Bellator Lightweight Tournament Opening Round: Rob Sinclair (12-2) vs. Rich Clementi (45-22-1)

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Cage Warriors 58: Abiltarov v Brum

Bantamweight showdown added to Cage Warriors 58

Photo: Dolly Clew | Cage Warriors
James Brum will aim for his sixth consecutive CWFC win when he takes on Ruslan Abiltarov at Cage Warriors 58.

The event, which is set for the Olympisk Arena in Grozny, Chechnya, on Saturday, August 24, will see Europe’s fourth-ranked bantamweight face the highly-rated Ukrainian prospect on the main card.

Brum (12-2) is currently on a six-fight win-streak, which began in October 2011 when he rebounded from a loss to current UFC star Erik Perez to defeat Martin McDonough.

The 26-year-old Englishman, who has since remained unbeaten, made his Cage Warriors debut last year before going on to pick up wins over Leandro Gontijo, Thomas Back, James Saville, Moktar Benkaci and Olivier Pastor.
“I’m really looking forward to fighting for Cage Warriors for the sixth time in my career and I’ll be looking to entertain the Chechen fans. I’m excited about fighting overseas again,” said Brum.
“My opponent is young, hungry and very confident, which makes him extremely dangerous. But he’s never been in the cage with an opponent of my calibre.”
 Abiltarov (10-1) has been building a big reputation in eastern Europe since making his professional debut just last year and will be looking for his fifth win on the trot when he clashes with Brum.

The 21-year-old has taken six of his 10 victories inside the first round and has competed for the M-1 and Pro FC promotions. He said:
“I’m very thankful and excited to be competing for Cage Warriors. It will be an honour to fight at such a high level."
“I’ve been training hard and I’ll give everything I have to win this fight. I’ll be looking to impress Cage Warriors and the fans on the night.”
More fights are still to be announced for CWFC 58.

CWFC unveils plans to rejuvenate women's divisions

Plans unveiled for women's divisions

CAGE WARRIORS Fighting Championship has begun the process of rejuvenating its women’s divisions by securing the signatures of 18 female fighters across four different weight classes.

CWFC is pleased to reveal details of its plans to establish itself as the epicentre of women’s MMA in Europe, with agreements also already in place with several other female fighters to sign exclusive five-fight deals with the promotion.

More signings will be announced shortly, but those who have already put pen to paper range from experienced stars like Spanish-based veteran Karla Benitez (10-4) to unbeaten English prospect Laura Howarth (3-0).

Cage Warriors has consistently supported women’s MMA in recent years, helping some of the sport’s top fighters to showcase their talents, including Rosi Sexton, Sheila Gaff, Joanne Calderwood, Katja Kankaanpaa and Aisling Daly.

The promotion will now take that to the next level, with women’s MMA bouts to become a regular feature on CWFC cards as the next wave of female stars are provided with the global platform they deserve.

“This is a hugely significant development for CWFC but it’s by no means new territory for the promotion,” said Cage Warriors CEO Graham Boylan. “With the exception of the UFC, Cage Warriors is now not only the busiest promotion in MMA, but it’s also the place to be for female fighters outside the USA.

“The women we’ve signed are now with a promotion that’s broadcast live on TV into 150 million homes around the globe, as well as being streamed live worldwide. We’ll be bringing a lot of exposure their way and helping them to make names for themselves, as we’ve done in the past with the likes of Conor McGregor and many others.

“Cage Warriors invests from £25,000 to £50,000 in each fighter over the terms of their contracts, so you can rest assured that their stock will rise rapidly as their time with us continues and develops. We reward fighters’ commitment to us by investing in them like this.

“I’d like to thank Rosi Sexton for her assistance and advice in putting these plans in place. Her knowledge and experience helped me to make the decisions I needed to make.”

Sexton, a former CWFC champion, clocked up a 6-0 Cage Warriors record during her career before recently making history by becoming the first female fighter in the UK to compete in the UFC.

She said: “Cage Warriors have supported me throughout my career and gave me the opportunities which have led to where I am today. I’m very excited to see them making this huge commitment to developing women’s MMA, which will give many more up-and-coming female fighters a chance to show what they can do.

“For a long time Europe has been in need of a really strong women’s division within a single promotion, to give the female fighters the opportunity to fight regularly against good opponents on top quality shows. It gives all the female fighters out there something to aim towards. This is just the first step and I can’t wait to see how it develops.”

Fighters have been signed in the women’s atomweight, strawweight, flyweight and bantamweight divisions, with Cage Warriors also keen to develop a featherweight division in due course.

See below for details of the 18 fighters who have signed exclusive five-fight contracts:

Division: Atomweight
Record: 2-0
Age: 33
Country: Ireland

Division: Atomweight
Record: 1-1
Age: 25
Country: Germany

Division: Atomweight
Record: 0-1
Age: 32
Country: Spain

Division: Strawweight
Record: 10-4-0-1nc
Age: 34
Country: Spain

Division: Strawweight
Record: 1-1
Age: 20
Country: Spain

Division: Strawweight
Record: 0-0
Age: 36
Country: Spain

Division: Flyweight
Record: 1-3-0-1nc
Age: 24
Country: England

Division: Flyweight
Record: 4-2
Age: 26
Country: England

Division: Flyweight
Record: 0-0
Age: 25
Country: England

Division: Flyweight
Record: 2-0
Age: 38
Country: Italy

Division: Bantamweight
Record: 1-1
Age: 29
Country: England

Division: Bantamweight
Record: 0-0
Age: 31
Country: England

Division: Bantamweight
Record: 3-0
Age: 26
Country: England

Division: Bantamweight
Record: 0-0
Age: 28
Country: England

Division: Bantamweight
Record: 0-0
Age: 31
Country: England

Division: Bantamweight
Record: 3-0
Age: 18
Country: Poland

Division: Bantamweight
Record: 2-0
Age: 31
Country: Finland

Division: Bantamweight
Record: 1-1
Age: 22
Country: England

Photo: Dolly Clew | Cage Warriors

Paulo Thiago injured, replaced by Brian Melancon at UFC Fight Night 27

Paulo Thiago injured and out of UFC Fight Night 27

by Jack Broadey @J3cK_b

Paulo Thiago has had to pull out of his welterweight fight with Kelvin Gastelum at Fight Night 27 due to a knee injury. This made the UFC have to rethink who was going to go up against the season 17 TUF champion. Gastelum won that series at Middleweight before dropping to welterweight and this will be his first welterweight appearance in the UFC.

At first Cage Warriors champion Cathal Pendred offered his services and tried to rally for support to get him in to the UFC to the ufc and to step in on short notice for this fight. Unfortunately for Cathal this did not get him anywhere. I am not sure how this act may have gone down with Cage Warriors management as its not the first time he has tried to get noticed by the UFC after he defeated Che Mills he publicly called to Dana White to get him in the UFC.

Later though it was announced that Brian Melancon will step up to the plate and try to make it two wins in two months for the UFC after knocking out Seth Baczynski in the first round at UFC 162. That fight was his debut in the UFC and he dominated the whole fight and could have rode out the last few seconds of round one but he decided to push the pace and in doing so knocked out Baczynski.

Phil Harris out of UFC 163

Phil Harris is the latest fighter to pull out of a fight due to an injury

by Jack Broadey @J3cK_b

Phil Harris will miss out on his big opportunity of facing John Lineker in Lineker's home country of Brazil on the main card of ufc 163. The British flyweight was caught in sparring preparing for the fight and has unfortunately fractured his orbital bone.

Harris made his UFC debut in October unfortunately he was submitted in the second round of that fight. That loss snapped a five fight win streak but he got back to winning ways when the UFC returned to the UK in February as he beat Ulysses Gomez.

Lineker will now fight Jose Maria Tome, who he defeated in 2009. Will this fight also finish via a first round submission victory or will Tome pull off the upset.... we will find out at UFC 163.

UFC announces more fights for UFC 166 and Fight Night 27

Latest fight announcements for UFC 166 and UFC Fight Night 27

by Jack Broadey @J3cK_b

Mike Rio vs Tony Ferguson has been added to UFC 166. Both men are in desperate need of a return to the win column. The TUF 13 winner Ferguson is coming off a loss to Michael Johnson and has taken time off to prepare for this fight.

Rio who is also a TUF veteran is coming off a big submission loss to Francisco Trinaldo.

It is certainly a fight both men can not afford to lose, I just hope they turn up to fight and not try and play it safe to get the win.

As well as that fight Jason High v James Head has also been added to UFC Fight Night-Condit v Kampmann 2. The bout fills up the nights card and the event is now complete. Head was originally scheduled to face Bobby Voelker but he was pulled to face Robbie Lawler for the upcoming card this week.

Both men are coming off losses. Jason High lost his UFC debit to Erik Silva at UFC on fuel 10. He had a  7 fight win streak snapped with that loss. Head meanwhile suffered a KO loss to Mike Pyle last December so is also returning from a little bit of a layoff.

Josh Samman and Clint Hester injured and pulled from their fights

TUF17 fighters are the latest to pull out of fights due to injury

by Tommy Strong @Strong_tea

Ultimate Fighter 17 runner up Uriah Hall will now face his third change in opponent come UFC fight night in Boston on August 17th 2013. After his latest opponent and former TUF cast mate Josh Samman, had to withdraw from the fight. 

Uriah was originally scheduled to fight Nick Ring in Boston, but Ring was forced to pull out due to social security number issues. Josh Samman stepped forward in the fight which we all hoped to see on the ultimate fighter. Samman has now been forced to pull out due to an injury.

Uriah Hall will now face Boston's very own, John "Doomsday" Howard the UFC have re-signed Howard, after releasing him back in 2011 having lost 3 fights in a row at Welterweight to Jake Ellenberger, Thiago Alves and Matt Brown. Since his release, Howard decided to move back up to Middleweight and went on to a (6-1) record and in the process winning the CES Middleweight title and successfully defending it four times.

Another TUF 17 contestant Clint Hester has been forced to pull out with his bout with Cezar Ferreira (5-2) which was scheduled for UFC 163 on August 3rd which is being headlined by Jose Aldo vs Chan Sung Jung. 

Clint (8-3) defeated Bristol Marunde via KO in his debut fight, which was at the TUF 17 final. Ferreira who won the 'TUF' Brazil middleweight tournament defeated Sergio Moraes in the final via unanimous decision at UFC 143 in June 2012. But hasn't fought since.

He will now be facing Thiago "Marreta" Santos. Thiago will be making his debut within the UFC after appearing on the ultimate fighter Brazil 2 series, making the quarter finals before losing via UD to Leonardo Santos.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Anderson Silva gets his chance for redemption

Silva vs Weidman 2 confirmed and set to take place on New Years event

by Jack Broadey @J3cK_b

We all know the story by now. The unbeatable Anderson Silva has in fact been beaten. I wrote a piece last month /2013/07/how-to-knock-superstar-off-its-perch.html
the article above mentions the challenger not only has to do the unthinkable once he has to actually shock the world twice.

Any dominant champion is going to be granted an immediate rematch. In this case Anderson Silva clearly deserves the title shot after holding on to the belt for so long. The fight was also finished on questionable terms with Anderson doing his usual job of clowning his opponent and showing no respect. This puts the new champion over very weak as all questions are about the ex champions mistakes rather than the new champion tearing the belt away. If Weidman was to successfully defend his belt in the rematch it legitimises his belt and should put him over. He will unquestionably be the best middleweight on the planet and can't possibly be regarded as a fluke job.

The rematch will go down on a stacked end of year card for the ufc on December 28. It will boast Rousey-Tate 2 as co main event for the women's title. I have no doubt it will break PPV records. If Silva can avenge his loss and regain his belt I also have no doubt we see Silva-Weidman 3. The middleweight division could be put on hold for a year whilst this situation sorts itself out. Only time will tell.

How to knock a superstar off it's perch

The key to beating a dominant UFC champion

by Jack Broadey @J3cK_b

Please Note:
This article was written by our very own Jack but unfortunately didn't make it on to the site before the Anderson Silva vs Chris Weidman fight. Knowing what we know now Jack is proved correct by his thoughts. It makes a great read now.

I was looking at the upcoming Anderson Silva-Chris Weidman fight when it dawned on me. Weidman doesn't need to beat him once. He needs to do it twice. Not only to become the Middleweight champion but to get Silva out his way. Think about any title match that has been remotely close lately. What has happened? Instant rematch.

What has happened when the champion was close to being beat? Instant rematch. The way I see it there are now 7 dominant champions in the UFC. Rousey, Johnson, Aldo, GSP, Silva, Jones and I will class Velasquez in this as well. Cruz/ Barao reign over the Bantamweight division is slightly confusing so we will leave that for the purpose of this argument.

If any of these champions are beat you aren't rid of them by any stretch of the imagination. You will be straight back up against them in an instant rematch. There are currently only 2 divisions where I can see the champion losing and not being granted and immediate rematch. One is Bantamweight and that's more to do with the lay offs and nature of the champion. The other is lightweight. Benson Henderson has been in enough rematches already for him to get beat and the UFC to allow the new champion to move on.

If any of the true superstars get beat, GSP/ Silva/ Jones/ Aldo. What happens next? They have ruled there division for so long they can't get closure and allow a new champion to move on until they've been defeated again. Will that really happen. Can anyone see these champions losing 2 big fights in a row?

It shows how dominant the champions currently are in the UFC. Change is necessary for the UFC to create interest but at the moment that is not happening. They have too many dominant champions and you can't make stars out of them all. The only anomaly too this at the moment comes in the Heavyweight division where no one seems to be able to keep hold of the belt. Even then it is 2 men the belt is passing between. The 3rd fight between JDS-Velasquez is expected next. If JDS wins it back there's more than likely an immediate 4th match.

The UFC need to get a new contender involved in there somehow and will need Velasquez to retain to do so. If he does retain the problem carries on though as potentially they have another dominant champion on there hands.

They desperately need someone to come in and disrupt that trend. Can Chris Weidman be that man at Middleweight?  Then can he be that man again as his 1st defence will undoubtedly be Anderson Silva should he defeat him.

Monday, 22 July 2013

UK Heavyweight James McSweeney Meets Paul Buentello at Legacy Fights 22

UK Heavyweight James McSweeney Meets Paul Buentello at Legacy Fights 22
by Chris Houten - @Mr Houts

UK Heavyweight James McSweeney will meet Paul Buentello in the main event at Legacy Fights 22 replacing the injured Marcus Sursa.

Former TUF 10 contestant McSweeney (11-10) enters the bout on the back on a impressive run of 5 wins in his last 6 fights, including a brutal headkick TKO of former Strikeforce contender Dion Starring after just 38 second of the first round. McSweeney has never been the distance in his 11 professional victories.

His opponent Paul Buentello(32-15) , is former UFC and Strikeforce contender, who will be looking for his fourth straight win against fellow UFC vet McSweeney. A native of Texas, Buentello has has shared the cage with Top heavyweight such as Stefan Struve, Cheick Kongo Alister Overeem, and Tim Sylvia, and holds notable victories over Gary Goodridge, Tank Abbot and Mike Kyle

Legacy Fights 22 takes place August 23rd, in Lubbock, Texas with form UFC and WEC bantamweight Damacio Page, and recent Bellator MMA "Fight Master" contestant Aretenas Young also on the main card.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Danny Roberts "however the win may come, I dont see it making the 3rd round" ahead of Cage Warriors 57 fight

Danny Roberts talks to Kingdom MMA ahead of his Cage Warriors 57 fight

by Ben Heather @benheather

Photo: Dolly Clew/ Cage Warriors
 Today Kingdom MMA caught up with Danny Roberts ahead of his welterweight fight on Saturday night at Cage Warriors 57 in Liverpool's Echo arena. The past few days have been full of change for Danny Roberts as it was only a couple of days ago his opponent was forced to change due to an injury and now he is now set to fight Aldric Cassata.

Ben: On Monday it was announced that your opponent has changed and you are now fighting Cassata. how will that change things on the final week before the fight?
Roberts: I've done all the hard training so there is not much I can change. I'm now in the final week so its all about studying my new opponent and doing as much homework as I can to be prepared for what he's going to bring on the night. The mental side of things and the game plan will have to change but other than that I'm physically ready as always to go the full 3 rounds.

Ben: Did you have a specific game plan for Chimento and will that now change due to the change of opponent?
Roberts: Chimento is a world class Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt, whereas my new opponent is more of a striker and wrestler so I will mentally adapt more of an offensive game, I will be fast and accurate, watch for the big shots and take downs. At Next Generation throughout our fight camps we train every area of our game to the highest level so we're ready for whatever our opponent brings on the night, no matter who they are or when it is.

Ben: Are you pleased that Cage Warriors were able to find you a new opponent at such short notice?
Roberts: I had all faith that Cage Warriors would find me a new opponent, they're Europe's premier MMA organisation and this is one of the reasons why they can still find top level opponents at the drop of a hat and always promise exciting match-ups.

Ben: What do you know about your new opponent Aldric Cassata and do you like the new match up?
Roberts: I've done some research over the last week which will continue up until the fight. He's a little bit shorter than me, a striker and wrestler with a good ground game. He's seems to prefer to strike and likes to load up with his power. He has got strength and a bit of an unorthodox style but I see many holes in his game, a lot of areas open for me to exploit.

Ben: Are you disappointed that you can't fight Chimento the opponent you had been training to fight? And do you hope you can fight him in the future?
Roberts: No not really, Chimento was just another fighter stopping me from getting where I want to be.  There was no bad blood between us, so no real hatred or reason to want to fight him in the future. I am disappointed about the fact that I've had a big fight camp and me and my team have game planned for this particular fight so it can throw you off mentally. But these things happen and you have to accept the fact and deal with it mentally, because you know you are physically ready, its just a frame of mind to overcome.

Ben: How has the camp been?
Roberts: I've done a 10 week fight camp now, pretty much straight of the back of my last one. The training camp has gone really well from start to finish, I've had good training partners to make my training more diverse and to work on different parts of my game and learn more as well as sharpen up the tools that I've already got. I've been lucky to get top level guys like Jack Mason, Luke Barnett and Leeroy Barnes to mix it up with so it's been an enjoyable 10 weeks with a difference.

Ben: Last time out you fought in a big arena in Cardiff and now another in Liverpool. Are you getting used to fighting in big arenas now?
Roberts: Coming into every fight I get the same nerves and feel the same way about my opponent and what lies ahead whether it be in front of a small crowd or thousands. Initially the build up to the fight ie ticket sales, interviews, filming and the overall publicity around the event creates a good buzz and gets me mentally pumped and ready but whatever the show, big or small, I go in with the same frame of mind and keep telling myself that this person is trying to take something away from me.

Ben: Coming from Liverpool is it a dream come true to be fighting in the Echo Arena in front of your home town?
Roberts: I've watched the Echo Arena being built and have always known like everyone else that Liverpool is a great fighting city, so for any professional athlete to be able to perform in Liverpool's Echo Arena in front of thousands on a massive stage like Cage Warriors is a dream come true. 

Ben: Have you got a lot more family and friends that will be coming to the fight this weekend that maybe haven't been able to make some of your past fights?
Roberts: Throughout my career I've always had a good turn out and a good following, and I'm very grateful for the support that I have so it has made it easier for a lot people to know its on their door step in a major arena like the Echo. The positive attitude and vibe I get off my friends and family always helps and in their own individual way it helps to push me towards success and that's why having a big following to this fight will be special to me.

Ben: This card is a massive card for UKMMA have you heard/ felt a buzz for this card that has differed to some of your previous fights?
Roberts: Fighting out of a Liverpool based gym with loads of local lads on the card in a major arena has had the city talking. There is always a lot of conversations about the Cage Warriors event in the Echo, the advertising and the publicity has been bigger than any other I've fought on so far. Its a credit to Cage Warriors and shows their ambition in being a top MMA show in putting on such a high level card with some of the UK's top prospects going head to head.

Ben: Do you think a win here puts you next in line for a title shot? You have won your last two, both times stopping your opponents and one of those wins was against another title contender Jack Mason.
Roberts: I believe that when the time is right a title shot will come. Right at this moment in time I'm concentrating on taking one fight at a time, progressing to the top level and entertaining on the way up. But ye I do think another win wont put me far off.

Ben: What's going to happen on Saturday night? How do you expect to get the win?
Roberts: Saturday night will be a tough, awkward fight at a very fast pace. I do not see it going the distance and however the win may come, I don't see it making the 3rd round.

Ben: Would you like to say thank you to anyone?
Roberts: Yes a big thank you to my team at Next Generation Liverpool and @NolimitsGym_, my head coach Paul Rimmer, my sponsors; @Keneticasports for providing me with the right supplements to help me through my fight camp, @fuelshakes for helping me in every way they can and Les Oulton at Livewire Dynamic for making it all possible.

Bisping and Munoz verbally agree to fight in Manchester

Michael Bisping vs Mark Munoz expected to headline UFC return to the UK

by John Haigh @JohnBJayHaigh

The UFC is returning to Manchester for the first time in four years, and it is expected that the guy everybody loves to hate Michael Bisping will headline the fight card in a middleweight bout with Mark Munoz.

Bisping vs. Munoz is expected to headline the event rumoured to be a UFC on Fox Sports 1 event on 26th October in Manchester. The UFC was last in Manchester for UFC 105, which featured Randy Couture vs. Brandon Vera in the night’s main event.

This time around, Bisping takes center stage and is sure to draw a big crowd to Manchester Arena, when he and Munoz square off in a five-round, non-title main event. Bisping has been on the verge of getting a title shot for the past couple of years, but has twice been derailed; once in a decision loss to Chael Sonnen that many people feel he won the fight and then by a brutal KO at the hands of Vitor Belfort.

Bisping (24-5) most recently fought at UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen. He defeated Alan Belcher by a unanimous technical decision after the fight was stopped following an injury to Belcher’s eye. The injury happened as a result of an accidental poke to the eye by Bisping.

Munoz (13-3) is fresh off of a dominating performance over Tim Boetsch at UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman on July 6 in Las Vegas. He had been sidelined for a year prior to the fight, battling injuries, depression, and extreme weight gain, but looked as good as ever in this fight.

Munoz had also been a step away from a shot at the UFC middleweight championship, but was stopped last summer by Chris Weidman, who recently upset Anderson Silva and shocked the mma world to win the stap and prove Silva is human.

TJ Dillashaw set to battle Raphael Assuncao in Brazil

Dillashaw vs Assuncao added to UFC on Fox Sports 1 #3

by Tommy Strong @Strong_tea

UFC on Fox Sports 1 #3 has a new fight added to the card, which will see Bantamweights TJ Dillashaw vs Raphael Assuncao face off on September 4th in Brazil.

TJ Dilliashaw (8-1) an ultimate fighter finalist, who's only defeat is at of the hands of John Dodson, who defeated TJ via TKO to win season 14 of TUF. Since that loss, TJ has been undefeated in four fights, taking a decision win over Walel Watson, a submission over England's Vaughan Lee, and knockouts over Issei Tamura, with the latest being TKO victory over Hugo Viana inside the first round. The string of results now leaves TJ officially ranked number 9 in the Bantamweight division.

Raphael Assuncao (20-4) will have home advantage in Brazil when he takes on TJ in September. Since dropping to Bantamweight from Featherweight Assuncao is undefeated in his last four fights. Having lost on his UFC featherweight debut to Erik Koch, which ended in a first round TKO in March 2011 at UFC 134. Assuncao decided to drop the 10lbs and move to Bantamweight which it proving to have been a wise choice. Victories over Johnny Eduardo, Issei Tamura, Mike Easton and more recently a submission victory over Vaughan Lee in June, Assuncao finds himself ranked number 6 in the division and ever nearer being a top contender in the division.

With both men having fought two of the same fighters recently and via the same verdict, it will be interesting to see who is ready to take their career to the next level in the division!

Headlining UFC on Fox Sports 1 #3 main event will see a light heavyweight clash between Ryan Bader vs Glover Teixeira. And the co-main event, will see top Middleweight contenders Yushin Okami vs Ronaldo Souza.

Brian Stann The real "All American"

Brian Stann announces his retirement from MMA

by Tommy Strong @Strong_tea

When I heard the news Brian Stann had retired I was hit with mixed emotions. The first being rather saddened by the news, as I felt he had a lot more to offer to the sport and the fans. But after giving it a few hours for the news to sink in and reflect on his decision, its the sort of honourable thing Stann would do. Knowing he couldn't put his family through any more heartache for the sake of the sport and a few more $$$$ and possibly long term health problems.

Brian Stann in an interview with Ariel Helwani on "The MMA Hour" announced his retirement from MMA. Brian Leaves the UFC with the most precious thing in life that money can't buy, his health intact!
The key decision in making the announcement was wanting to leave the sport with his health in check. Having a young family and wife to support there is only a certain amount of fights you can have like the one he had vs Wanderlei Silva before the damage takes it's toll.

Stann speaking to Ariel Helwani 
"I played football from second grade on and after football I went to Iraq and was involved in several explosions, then there was my eight year MMA career that's a long time. There's only so long that  I can roll the dice and be successful, for me the risk isn't worth it"
Brian isn't just an ordinary MMA fighter, he made his way to MMA via a very successful career in the Military and is a former captain in the US Marines. On May 8th 2005 Stann's unit was ambushed, Stann and his Marines held out for 6 days under heavy attack until air and tank support arrived on May 14th 2005. All 42 of Stann's platoon managed to survive the ordeal! For his courage and bravery, Stann was awarded the "Silver Star' the nations third highest award for courage in combat

In 2006 Stann signed with World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) whilst still serving on active duty, using leave to train and fight. By March 2008 he had won the WEC light heavyweight belt, winning all his 6 fights inside the first round. Only to lose the belt on the first defence to Steve Cantwell.

Since signing with the UFC his record was a very average (6-5) , in August 2010 Stann made his debut in the Middleweight division not quite getting to the level that would earn him a title shot, though he was one tough cookie who was very dangerous and feared by many fighters.

He will be remembered most for two notorious fights he was involved in.

Firstly versus Alessio Sakara , where after knocking him down and landing heavy blows and clearly knowing Sakara was out cold, he decided to stop landing any more blows to prevent further damage, and instead motioned the ref over to stop the fight. A truly class act.

And secondly and more recently in March moving back up to light Heavyweight, headlining his now final bout against Wanderlei Silva where he lost in a ferocious back and forth battle ending in Stann being knocked out in the second round. A fight that will surely be in contention for fight of the year, and etched in people's minds for years to come! And possibly a major factor why Stann decided its time to called it a day.

He later added
"I'm still going to be involved as much as the UFC allow me, but as far as competing anymore, as sad as it makes me, its not the best thing for me, as a husband and father, which is ultimately for me and by far the most important thing in my life, and most important job i have"
Stann won't go down as one of the best ever fighters we have see, though he might go down as the nicest and most honourable fighter inside the octagon. A man that oozed class and touched many hearts from all over the world.

Knowing when to bow out at the right time isn't something fighters are renowned for especially at 32 years old. though in this case It's perfect timing for "The All-American" who ends his MMA career (12-6).

Brian Stann will now serve as a broadcast commentator for ACC Football on Fox Sports South.

For everything he has achieved inside and outside of the octagon, I Sir, salute you!!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Al Iaquinta replaces injured Quinn Mulhern and takes on Ryan Couture at UFC 164

Another injury forces more changes to UFC 164

By Tom Rooney @oldmanrooney

Ryan Couture (6-2-0) will now face TUF Live finalist Al Iaquinta (5-2-1) at UFC 164 after his original opponent Quinn Mulhern (18-3-0) announced on Tuesday that he had sustained a fractured hand and would be unable to compete.

The lightweight bout is scheduled for the undercard of UFC 164, which will be headlined by 155lbs title-fight between Benson Henderson and Anthony Petits in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Saturday, August 31st.

Couture, who lost his Octagon debut against Ross Pearson via KO at UFC Sweden in April, was part of the migration of fighters from Strikeforce after it was absorbed by Zuffa. Prior to his loss to Pearson, he was on a four fight win-streak, which he will need to resume with haste or he may be joining his errant father at Bellator.

Iaquinta, a member of Team Faber on TUF LIVE, has not fought in the UFC since the series finale in June 2012, when was submitted in the first round by Michael Chiesa.

Rosi Sexton discusses being a part of the Women in Combat Sports Seminar at the UK MMA Expo

Rosi Sexton chats to Kingdom MMA about being a part of the women in combat sports seminar at the UK MMA Expo

by Ben Heather @benheather

The UK MMA Expo is now less than a week away. The Expo which is taking place in Manchester will happen this weekend July 20th -21st. As part of the expo not only will you be able to meet some of the best UK MMA fighters but you can also train with some of them too. For all the details on the expo go to

We have been bringing you some interviews with these fighters. The fighters will be discussing what they will be doing in each of the seminars and also how they believe the UK MMA Expo can help to promote the sport of MMA in the UK. We all love MMA and know how great a sport it is and hopefully the UK MMA Expo will go a long to to educating more people in the UK. Guys who come along as a casual fan or with a friend who loves MMA and go away wanting to know more about it, watch a live event or even decide that they would like to take it up as a hobby.

We have already interviewed Rob Sinclair, Jo Jo Calderwood, Che Mills, Jimi Manuwa and Ross Pearson and now in the latest interview of the series I caught up with UFC female bantamweight fighter Rosi Sexton to discuss her seminar at the UK MMA Expo.

Rosi makes up part of a panel in a seminar called "Women In Combat Sports" which takes place on the 21st July at 2pm. That seminar is free to go and watch and is a one hour Q&A seminar which includes Helen Currie the 1st UK Female BJJ Black belt, Jo Jo Calderwood who is undefeated and fights for Invicta FC and finally Rosi Sexton the first UK women to fight for the UFC. Rosi is also a former Cage Warriors Champion. I recently asked her how she felt to be part of such a great panel for the seminar.
"I think in the UK we have a lot of talent when it comes to women in combat sports, and this is a great opportunity to celebrate that. I've got a lot of respect for all the other women on the panel - they've each achieved a huge amount within their sport, and have a lot of technical knowledge and experience. I'm looking forward to a really interesting exchange of ideas."
I know a lot of your UK fans are excited at the prospect of being able to see you at the seminar and potentially meet you too, are you excited about meeting your fans at the expo?
"I've had a lot of encouragement and appreciation from the MMA community and the fans here in the UK, throughout my career, but especially before and after my recent UFC fight. I'm always excited to meet those who have supported me!"
Finally we spoke about what holding the seminar at the UK MMA Expo means to Rosi and how in her opinion the UK MMA Expo is helping the sport of MMA in the UK as well as female fighters.
"For a long time, there were few women involved in combat sports, and it was easy to feel isolated in a male dominated environment. Now more and more women are starting to develop an interest, and want to take part - which is fantastic. This is a great opportunity both for women who are new to the sport who would like to find out more and those who've been training a while who might have their own experiences to share, or questions about taking it to the next level." 
So that's what Rosi Sexton thinks about being in her seminar as well as her opinion on the UK MMA Expo. Remember Rosi is part of the Women in Combat Sports Q&A Seminar on Sunday 21st July at 2pm.

Benson Henderson v Anthony Pettis 2 is on

Benson Henderson set to face Anthony Pettis at UFC 164

by Jack Broadey @J3cK_b

The lightweight title fight we all wanted is on. Albeit in controversial fashion. Anthony Pettis was due to face Jose Aldo at UFC 163 on August 3rd. He will now fight at UFC 164 on August 31st. He was forced to pull out of the Aldo fight with a minor injury on doctors orders. A mere 4 weeks later he will instead face off for the Lightweight title.

Pettis is no stranger to the title controversy. Pettis entered the UFC as the reigning WEC lightweight champion after Zuffa merged the companies. He was originally scheduled as the No1 contender in early 2011 until Frankie Edgar battled Gray Maynard to a draw. With no one winning the fight the rematch was scheduled straight away. Leaving the Pettis situation up in the air. He decided not to wait around and battled Clay Guida to a tough split decision loss. That loss cost him his number 1 contender status. 

Ben Henderson will know all about Anthony Pettis and will relish his chance to take revenge. Henderson was struck by the now infamous show time kick. Pettis launched himself off the cage to land a flying kick to Henderson face and drop in the 5th round off the last ever WEC bout. The fight was awarded fight of the year 2010 and the rematch is a long time coming. 

Henderson has now defended his UFC lightweight strap 3 times after controversially winning the title from Frankie Edgar. He edged another controversial Edgar decision before dominating Nate Diaz. He went back to the normal with another controversial decision this time over Gilbert Melendez. Henderson has been there and seen it all. He will hope his title experience will help in this much anticipated rematch.


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