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ufc fight night 68

Dan Henderson couldn’t do it.

Neither could Roy Nelson, Frank Mir or Josh Barnett.

In fact, it took Jon Jones every bit of 25 minutes to deal with Daniel Cormier.

But Ryan Bader, a former Ultimate Fighter winner, believes he has the right tools to become the first fighter to stop Cormier. The two will meet at UFC Fight Night 68 this June.

“I want to go out there and I want to stop him,” said Bader, during a recent interview with Submission Radio. “I want to make a statement, to go out there knock him out and earn this title shot.

“If he takes me down, I’ll get back up. I feel like I have the ability to take him down, have the ability to land some heavy shots on him and put him away.”

The 31-year-old Bader (19-4) has won four in a row since a 2013 loss to one-time title contender Glover Teixeira. That includes a January split decision over Phil Davis.

Cormier, meanwhile, is coming off his first career loss to Jones for the UFC light heavyweight championship. The two share Jones as a common opponent, as Bader lost to him in 2011 via submission.

“I’m a totally different fighter (compared to the Jones fight),” he said. “I came into the sport just a wrestler and that’s it. I didn’t really have anything else, and by getting the right people around me and everything, I’ve definitely grown as a fighter.

“I definitely want to get a rematch because I’m definitely 100-percent not the fighter I was, and the fighter I am today would whoop my own ass. I love the challenges, I love fighting the best guys.”

wanderlei silva

Wanderlei Silva still has a fight left on his UFC contract.

The promotion, though, won’t give him a fight because of his legal troubles with the Nevada Athletic Commission after refusing to take a drug test. “The Axe Murderer” was suspended for the decision, but the UFC has yet to release him from his contract.

“That’s the problem is because I have one fight left in my contract and I don’t want to fight for this event (UFC) anymore,” said Silva, during a recent appearance on Submission Radio. “And these guys hold my contract and I can’t do nothing in any other event. And I’m not gonna fight there, I’m not gonna fight in any other event and these guys hold my contract.

“I want to be free. I don’t want to (be) working for these guys anymore. And he don’t sign the agreement and say ‘no, you are free.'”

Silva (35-12-1) hasn’t fought since a 2013 second round knockout victory over Brian Stann. He was scheduled to face Chael Sonnen last year, but both fighters ended up being removed from the planned bout due to failed drug tests.

After being asked why he can’t just call up either UFC president Dana White or UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and solve this whole problem, Silva explained that he’s attempted to do just that.

“No, these guys don’t talk with me, you know? These guys don’t talk with me,” he said. “They don’t say nothing, and this is so disrespectful, because like, wanting them (NAC) to make me retired. When happened all these things with the commission, these guys didn’t contact me and say ‘It’s gonna happen this, it’s gonna happen that.’

“I saw what was happening on the news, on the internet. This is so disrespectful and I don’t wanna (be) working for these guys anymore.”

ufc fight night 63

After a week off, the Octagon returns this Saturday night with UFC Fight Night 63.

Set for the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia, the card airs entirely on FOX Sports 1, but does begin at 11 a.m. ET with the prelims. The six-bout main card is set to start at 1 p.m. ET.

In the headline act, featherweight title contenders Chad Mendes and Ricardo Lamas square off. Both have previously faced Jose Aldo for the UFC belt, coming up short of their ultimate goal.

Al Iaquinta and Jorge Masvidal meet in a lightweight co-main event, while former Ultimate Fighter winner Michael Chiesa takes on Mitch Clarke in another 155-pound affair.

Remaining main card bouts include Julianna Pena vs. Milana Dudieva, Clay Guida vs. Robbie Peralta and Diego Ferreira vs. Dustin Poirier.

On the prelims, one-time UFC title contenders Liz Carmouche and Gray Maynard are set for action.

Below is the current lineup, along with a video preview:

MAIN CARD (FOX Sports 1/1 p.m. ET)

Featherweight: Chad Mendes vs. Ricardo Lamas

Lightweight: Al Iaquinta vs. Jorge Masvidal

Lightweight: Michael Chiesa vs. Mitch Clarke

Female Bantamweight: Julianna Pena vs. Milana Dudieva

Featherweight: Clay Guida vs. Robbie Peralta

Lightweight: Dustin Poirier vs. Diego Ferreira

PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1/11 a.m. ET)

Female Bantamweight: Liz Carmouche vs. Lauren Murphy

Lightweight: Gray Maynard vs. Alexander Yakovlev

Heavyweight: Timothy Johnson vs. Shamil Abdurahimov

Middleweight: Ron Stallings vs. Justin Jones

chris weidman

For Chris Weidman, there remains one goal out there left to be accomplished.

Weidman scratched off his first career goal when he stunned the MMA world and knocked out Anderson Silva, becoming the UFC middleweight champion. He proved it was no fluke when he defeated Silva in the rematch.

Now, with pro MMA getting closer and closer to becoming legal in New York, Weidman might be able to achieve his second goal.

“There are two things I envisioned when I got into this sport,” said Weidman, during a recent appearance on UFC Tonight. “Winning the belt and fighting in Madison Square Garden.”

Before any of that can take place, though, Weidman will meet Vitor Belfort later this year. The two have been on a collision course for several months, with scheduled bouts being delayed for numerous reasons.

While the delays have been troubling, Weidman has remained focus on the task at hand.

“I have these goals, things I’ve envisioned,” he said. “I want to clear out my division and become the best of all-time. I’m very motivated not to lose and to shut up the doubters.”

Weidman and Belfort have had several disagreements over the past year-plus, but that doesn’t mean the champion has no respect for the former champion.

“I have a lot of respect for him,” he said. “When you watch his fights, he’s a technician on his feet and on the ground. I’m going out to dominate him.

“His biggest thing is his stand-up. I’m not afraid of him. I’m not sure how it’s going to finish, but I’m definitely going to finish him.”

ufc 189

Rory MacDonald is never one to take the bland and vanilla approach to press conferences.

MacDonald, who challenges Robbie Lawler for the welterweight title at UFC 189 this July, went very detailed when asked to describe himself during the UFC 189 World Tour recently.

“I compared myself to a silver-back gorilla and a lion, a cross-breed with a little bit of a bunny,” he said. “Gorillas are powerful and have a position as a leader, a lion for its heart and a bunny for its love.”

Back in 2013, MacDonald (18-2) lost via split decision to Lawler, but has rebounded with three straight wins. Lawler claimed the title from Johny Hendricks last year.

“The fight with Robbie is going to be the biggest fight of my career,” he said. “I’m more focused than ever and I’m hungrier than ever.

“I am prepared for the hardest fight of my life and I feel confident and strong-minded. I definitely learned a lot from my last fight with him.”

MacDonald, who fights out of the Tristar Gym in Canada, added that he will “have a much better mental approach in this fight and will be giving Robbie the respect he deserves. I don’t think I adequately gave him the respect he deserved last time, and I paid the price for it.”

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