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ufc 196

In an interesting turn of events, the same person who helped get Miesha Tate out of her slumber is the one trying to defeat her this Saturday night.

Tate will challenge Holly Holm for the female bantamweight belt in the co-main event of UFC 196 from Las Vegas.

Last year, when Holm knocked out Ronda Rousey, Tate felt a sense of adrenaline rush back through her body.

“My attitude had a complete 180 when Holly knocked out Ronda,” said Tate, during a luncheon earlier this week (thanks to MMAjunkie.com for the quotes). “I thought, ‘Well, there we go. I’m back in. I’m back in the game, ladies and gentlemen.'”

Two of Tate’s (17-5) last three losses have come at the hands of Rousey, with the other being a No. 1 contender match vs. Cat Zingano. Since the second loss to Rousey, the 29-year-old has scored four consecutive wins, including two over former title challengers Sara McMann and Liz Carmouche.

Still, it took an upset by Holm to get not only get Tate back in the title picture, but to want to compete again.

“I was considering retirement out of frustration, not out of feeling like I didn’t have what it takes anymore,” she said. “My fate was in someone else’s hands and I was frustrated thinking that.”

ufc 196

Former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo didn’t think for a second about accepting a short notice bout with Conor McGregor.

And Aldo wouldn’t think twice about it even now after being called out by others.

The Brazilian appeared on Monday’s edition of “The MMA Hour” to explain why he turned down the UFC when they came call last week about replacing Rafael dos Anjos and facing McGregor this coming Saturday night.

“It’s not a cockfight where I go there and put my rooster to fight,” Aldo said. “It’s a high-level sport. I’m going there to do my job. When I have time to train, it can happen at any time, anywhere.

“I can’t speak for others and I don’t care what they say. I know I deserve an immediate rematch. People who say I don’t, I don’t care about them.”

Aldo suffered a loss to McGregor in 13 seconds this past December, knocking him from a perch atop the 145-pound division that he sat in since the UFC decided to begin promoting such fights.

As for when he might be ready to return, Aldo is targeting UFC 200 on July 9, saying “It’s a historical edition, a great event. I would like to be part of it.”

McGregor will instead meet Nate Diaz in a non-title fight at welterweight this Saturday.

bubba jenkins

Bubba Jenkins admits he has always gotten by on his pure athleticism.

But now, as he prepares for his 10th Bellator fight this Friday night at Bellator 151 against Goiti Yamauchi, the 28-year-old has an understanding of the sport he calls home.

“I grew up in Bellator,” said Jenkins, during a recent interview with FightLine. “I am now starting to come into my own as a mixed martial artists. I am starting to understand why I am doing things and how they are going to help me later in a fight.

“I am starting to understand why setting things up in the first round will pay off in the third. I see fighters for what they are doing and who they are, striking angles, where to put my arms, my head. You gain knowledge with experience and become better, and that’s not just in MMA.

“You can be writing letters to the Pope. You write more and more letters and you become good at it. You understand the ins and the outs. I have definitely grown and become a more mature man and a better mixed martial artists.”

Following three pro fights, and no matches at the amateur ranks, Jenkins (10-2) signed with Bellator in 2013. He scored a second round TKO victory over Mike Barreras, but suffered his first pro loss later that year to veteran LaRue Bentley.

“If I had taken some amateur fights, I truly believe I would have one less loss and that’s the Bentley loss,” Jenkins said. “I had two fractured ribs, but I thought I could get in there and get out as quick as possible. But against a decent fighter and a professional, you can’t do that. Being a wrestler, I would go into matches hurt all the time. I was hardly ever at 100-percent, but I had seven minutes to get it done. I was accustom to getting off the couch and getting the work done.

“I think amateur experience would have shown me that you can’t just hop into a fight against a professional. Looking back, if I had gone through the amateur ranks, I think I would have known that.”

Jenkins competed for both Penn State University and Arizona State University in college, winning the 2011 157-pound title for the Sun Devils. He was also a runner-up in 2008 for the Nittany Lions at 149 pounds.

He jumped right into MMA the same year as his NCAA winning performance, scoring a first round submission win over Josh Williams. A few months later and Jenkins added another first round win with a stoppage.

“It’s crazy to think about (how many fights since turning pro),” he said. “Coming straight into pro MMA without any amateur experience, being this beast wrestler trying to deal with people who train and know the ins and outs, I’ve had to grow and close that gap.

“As we get better, coming up on my 13th pro fight and 10th with Bellator, I see self-growth and understand what I need to become a champion. Once I become a champion, then I can become legendary.”

Jenkins has scored seven finishes among his 10 pro wins, recording four via knockout and three by submission. After going the distance with Jordan Parsons last November, he doesn’t believe this fight reaches that point.

“Third round knockout,” Jenkins said, of how he sees it ending. “I am looking for it however I can get it. I’m not Conor McGregor when it comes to predicting the way it is going down, but in the third round, I will put him away whether it is with a knee, elbow or a fingertip.

“I am going to try to get him out of there because I don’t want it to go to a decision.”

joe warren

Joe Warren first stepped foot inside the Bellator cage in 2010 with a decision victory over Eric Marriott.

At the time, the former standout wrestler was just 2-1 and coming off a tough submission defeat to current ONE champion Bibiano Fernandes.

But the prospects of Warren as an MMA fighter were only starting to grow, and Bellator picked up a valuable piece by claiming his rights.

Fast-forward six years later and Warren is the only two-division champion in promotion history, and on the cusp of competing yet again for more hardware.

He’ll main event this Friday night’s Bellator 151 card against top prospect Darrion Caldwell on Spike TV.

“I have been saying for years that Bellator is where the cool kids come to fight,” Warren said during an exclusive interview with FightLine recently. “Now, they are bringing in more and more top names and I am honored to welcome all these studs into the Bellator family. I’ve been here since the beginning and have had three belts (featherweight, bantamweight and interim bantamweight titles); that’s a tough thing to do.

“I am just honored that people are taking that step and coming to fight (in Bellator). To see what huge numbers the shows have been doing; it just gets cooler every single fight.”

Warren, who won the 2006 FILA Wrestling World Championships Senior Greco-Roman gold medal and was gold medalist that year at the Pan American Championships, is 6-1 over his last seven. His lone loss came to Marcos Galvao last March, costing him the bantamweight title.

With a record of 13-4 overall and 11-3 with Bellator, the 39-year-old Warren holds notable wins over L.C. Davis, Eduardo Dantas, Joe Soto, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire and Georgi Karakhanyan.

“When I came out of Dream, I had the choice of signing with either the UFC or Bellator,” Warren said. “Bellator really wanted me and paid me what I deserved. The UFC saw me as just another guy.

“Bellator has never told me something that they haven’t done. They have always held up their end of the bargain, and now that Viacom is behind them, they are making big moves and hosting big shows. People come to watch and it is exciting to be part of the Bellator movement.”

Warren captured his first Bellator title in 2010 when he knocked out Soto in the second round. He claimed the interim bantamweight title four years later with a decision over Rafael Silva and unified the titles later that year with a decision over Dantas.

In Caldwell, Warren will be facing another former standout wrestler, but that is about all he knows about his opponent.

“I haven’t watched tape of any fighter ever,” he said. “I am usually such an underdog that I don’t want to see something to be nervous. The task at hand is to win and I know how to win better than anyone.

“I’m just going to do what I’m suppose to do and not worry about what the other guy is doing. To me, (Caldwell’s) just a body standing between me and the belt, and I’m going to run through him to get (the belt) back.”

The fact that the two share a wrestling background isn’t much of a common aspect, according to “The Baddest Man on the Planet.” At the University of Michigan, Warren was a third place finisher and Big Ten runner-up. Caldwell, competing at North Carolina State University, won a national title and finished with 109 career victories.

“I am a world champion Greco-Roman stud, while he is a former Div. I national champion, which is a tough thing to do,” Warren said. “Fighting in the cage, I believe my MMA wrestling is superior to him. I’ve been tested before and I am expecting to be tested again by a young stud.

ufc fight night 84

The Octagon set up shop Saturday for a special event in London that aired entirely on UFC Fight Pass.

UFC Fight Night 84 featured the return of Anderson Silva, as he went toe-to-toe with England’s own Michael Bisping.

Despite taking a nasty knee to the face at the end of the third round that left him looking knocked out, Bisping was declared the victor via decision. He earned the win on all three scorecards, 48-47, to defeat the former champion.

It wasn’t pretty in the co-main event, but former Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi avoided a losing streak and turned back the efforts of Thales Leites. Mousasi was effective with his striking and takedown defense vs. the former title contender.

For the first time in 10 fights, Tom Breese was forced to go the distance, but the unbeaten Brit came out on top over Keita Nakamura. The Tristar Gym fighter improved to 10-0 in his career.

London’s own Brad Pickett got the arena buzzing, earning a split decision over Francisco Rivera. The win snapped a three-fight losing streak for Pickett, who admitted retirement and being cut from the UFC was on his mind before and during the contest.

In the featured bout on the prelims, Makwan Amirkhani settled his differences with Mike Wilkinson, earning a decision victory. Amirkhani improved to 13-2 in his career, while Wilkinson fell to 9-2 overall with the loss.

Marlon Vera did not make a new friend in referee Marc Goddard, constantly being admonished in a decision loss to Davey Grant. Goddard took a point away and was all over Vera for his illegal moves throughout the contest.

Scott Askham got the crowd going again on the prelims after delivering a head-kick knockout vs. Chris Dempsey. In a back-and-forth first round, Askham connected and finished with just 15 seconds left. British prospect Arnold Allen was able to turn back the effort of game veteran Yaotzin Meza, earning a decision. He put together a furious combo to end it, but the bell sounded as Meza went out.

It took four fights before we went to a full decision, as Rustam Khabilov defeated Norman Parke in a key lightweight contest between fighters. We followed that up with another decision, as Krzysztof Jotko pushed his win streak to three over Brad Scott.

Heavyweights Daniel Omielanczuk and Jarjis Danho provided us with a technical decision which resulted in a win for Omielanczuk. The bout was stopped in the third round after what Jarjis said was a low blow.

We started the night quickly with two finishes right off the bat, as David Teymur bested fellow Ultimate Fighter alum Martin Svensson in the second round. Teemu Packalen followed that up with a 24-second submission of Thibault Gouti, dealing him his first career loss in the process.

The official attendance was announced at 16,734, while Silva and Bisping scored “Fight of the Night” honors. “Performance of the Night” bonuses went to Askham and Packalen.

Complete results can be found below:

Michael Bisping def. Anderson Silva via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)

Gegard Mousasi over Thales Leites via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)

Tom Breese def. Keita Nakamura via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Brad Pickett def. Francisco Rivera via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Makwan Amirkhani def. Mike Wilkinson via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)

Davey Grant def. Marlon Vera via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)

Scott Askham def. Chris Dempsey via KO (head-kick) at 4:45 of Round 1

Arnold Allen def. Yaotzin Meza via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Krzysztof Jotko def. Brad Scott via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)

Rustam Khabilov def. Norman Parke via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Daniel Omielanczuk def. Jarjis Danho via majority technical decision (29-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Teemu Packalen def. Thibault Gouti via submission (rear-naked choke) at :24 of Round 1

David Teymur def. Martin Svensson via TKO (strikes) at 1:26 of Round 2

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