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Conor McGregor

UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor has the opportunity of a lifetime this March, taking on Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight title.

With a win, “Notorious” will become the first UFC fighter to hold two titles at the same time.

And while that will most definitely get McGregor inducted into the UFC’s Hall of Fame – if he hasn’t already done enough – the fighter went ahead and declared himself a member.

The Irish fighter has actually upped his social media game in recent days, posting several comments about his future and his standing in the UFC:

benson henderson

Benson Henderson caused shockwaves with news of his signing a fight contract with Bellator on Monday.

Henderson became the latest athlete to leave the UFC for Bellator, agreeing to a multi-fight deal.

While no announcement was made concerning when he’ll first fight, or at which weight, Bellator president Scott Coker sounds giddy over the addition.

Check out the complete press release regarding the signing below:

Bellator MMA President Scott Coker continues to make good on his commitment of adding value to the Bellator roster, as he and the promotion are pleased to announce the signing of former UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson (23-5) to an exclusive, multi-fight deal. The signing was scheduled to be announced today on “The MMA Hour,” which is hosted by 6-time MMA Journalist of the Year, Ariel Helwani. When news of the signing broke earlier than anticipated, the flood of traffic to the website may have been responsible for technical difficulties causing some of the interview to not stream live; However, the interview will be available in its entirety this afternoon at www.mmafighting.com.

Henderson has accomplished a great deal over the course of his 10-year professional career as a mixed martial artist. A former WEC and UFC lightweight titlist, “Smooth” holds black belts in both Taekowndo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and also earned NAIA All-American honors in both 2005 and 2006. Multiple media outlets named Henderson the fighter of the year in 2012, and has been a part of several epic battles that have received “Fight of the Year” accolades: Donald Cerrone (2009), Anthony Pettis (2010), Frankie Edgar (2012), and Brandon Thatch (2015).

“Benson is a tremendous athlete who puts forth an exciting effort each and every time he steps into the cage,” said Coker. “Whether he chooses to fight at lightweight or welterweight, he’s without question a great addition to this promotion, and brings countless amazing matchups to the table. We’re looking forward to having him put on a show for the great Bellator MMA fans that tune into Spike. We plan on announcing his Bellator debut in the very near future.”

Having competed at both lightweight and welterweight, there are plenty of enticing potential matchups in Henderson’s future. Bellator’s lightweight division is currently championed by Will Brooks, and features many of the world’s best including: Michael Chandler, Josh Thomson, Marcin Held, Brandon Girtz, Brent Primus, Derek Anderson, and Melvin Guillard. Meanwhile, Andrey Koreshkov sits atop the welterweight division with studs the likes of Paul Daley, Brennan Ward, Michael Page, Josh Koscheck, Douglas Lima and Chris Honeycutt vying for his gold.

ufc fight night 82

What a weird and interesting past few weeks for the UFC Fight Night 82 card – or the one that was previously entitled UFC 196.

First, Cain Velasquez pulled out of the planned UFC heavyweight title fight main event with Fabricio Werdum. Stipe Miocic stepped in, but shortly after, Werdum exited the card.

We are left with an event set to air live on FOX Sports 1 instead of pay-per-view this Saturday night with former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks facing Stephen Thompson from Las Vegas and the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Along with Hendricks-Thompson, Roy Nelson takes on Jared Rosholt in a heavyweight affair, while Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante battles Ovince Saint Preux at light heavyweight.

The FS1 main card, which begins at 10 p.m. ET, opens with flyweights Joseph Benavidez and Zach Makovsky.

All the action starts at 6 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass before shifting over to FS1 for the remainder of the night at 8 p.m. ET. Veterans Josh Burkman and KJ Noons collide in the main prelim bout.

Below is the complete lineup, along with a video promo:

MAIN CARD (FOX Sports 1/10 p.m. ET)

Welterweight: Johny Hendricks vs. Stephen Thompson

Heavyweight: Roy Nelson vs. Jared Rosholt

Light Heavyweight: Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante vs. Ovince Saint Preux

Flyweight: Joseph Benavidez vs. Zach Makovsky

PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1/8 pm. ET)

Lightweight: Josh Burkman vs. KJ Noons

Heavyweight: Derrick Lewis vs. Damian Grabowski

Welterweight: Mike Pyle vs. Sean Spencer

Light Heavyweight: Misha Cirkunov vs. Alex Nicholson

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass/6 p.m. ET)

Welterweight: Mickey Gall vs. Mike Jackson

Featherweight: Artem Lobov vs. Alex White

Flyweight: Ray Borg vs. Justin Scoggins

Featherweight: Noad Lahat vs. Diego Rivas

ufc on fox 18

A wild and crazy first month of 2016 for the UFC wrapped up Saturday with UFC on FOX 18.

It didn’t take Anthony Johnson long to show why he’s a scary contender at 205 pounds.

After “Rumble” defended a takedown attempt by Ryan Bader, he quickly gained mount and knocked the former Ultimate Fighter winner – and two-year unbeaten contender himself – out on the ground with a series of shots.

Johnson now has 10 career finishes inside the Octagon, tied for third-most in promotion history with former champion and Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell.

Ben Rothwell admitted he has the utmost respect for former UFC champion Josh Barnett. That didn’t stop him from becoming the first fighter to submit Barnett, locking up a second round choke for his fourth consecutive finish.

Competing in front of family and friends, Jimmie Rivera earned his 19th straight win, downing Iuri Alcantara via decision. Rivera, a native of New Jersey, picked up his third win with the UFC.

For as quickly as he emerged on the MMA scene, Sage Northcutt knew he would be a target. Bryan Barberena embraced that, earning a second round submission win over the 19-year-old prospect to kick-start the FOX main card.

Tarec Saffiedine capped off the FOX Sports 1 prelims by earning a hard-fought decision over Jake Ellenberger. Carlos Diego Ferreira turned back the effort of Ultimate Fighter alum Olivier Aubin-Mercier, claiming a decision victory.

Rafael Natal and Alexander Yakovlev picked up prelim finishes. Natal stopped Kevin Casey in the third round via strikes, while Yakovlev knocked George Sullivan out in Round 1.

Alex Caceres got back into the win column, scoring a decision over Masio Fullen, while Wilson Reis did the same vs. Dustin Ortiz.

Randy Brown highlighted the early UFC Fight Pass prelims with a decision victory over Matt Dwyer. Brown was featured on the reality series “Lookin’ for a Fight” with UFC president Dana White.

Tony Martin earned a third round technical submission on Felipe Olivieri, while Damon Jackson and Levan Makashvili fought to a majority draw. Makashvili was deducted a point for an illegal knee and eye poke in the third round.

Johnson and Rothwell took home “Performance of the Night” bonuses for their efforts, while Rivera and Alcantara were named the “Fight of the Night.” All four scored an additional $50,000.

The attendance was announced at 10,555 for a live gate of $818,000.

Complete results can be found below:

Anthony Johnson def. Ryan Bader via KO (strikes) at 1:26 of Round 1

Ben Rothwell def. Josh Barnett via submission (guillotine choke) at 3:48 of Round 2

Jimmie Rivera def. Iuri Alcantara via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Bryan Barberena def. Sage Northcutt via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 3:06 of Round 2

Tarec Saffiedine def. Jake Ellenberger via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Carlos Diego Ferreira def. Olivier Aubin-Mercier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Rafael Natal def. Kevin Casey via TKO (strikes) at 3:37 of Round 3

Wilson Reis def. Dustin Ortiz via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Alexander Yakovlev def. George Sullivan via KO (strike) at 3:59 of Round 1

Alex Caceres def. Masio Fullen via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Randy Brown def. Matt Dwyer via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Damon Jackson vs. Levan Makashvili ruled a majority draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)

Tony Martin def. Felipe Olivieri via technical submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:02 of Round 3

ufc on fox 18

Welcome to FightLine’s live coverage of UFC on FOX 18.

Tonight’s card comes to us from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, with fights airing on FOX, FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, light heavyweight title hopefuls Anthony Johnson and Ryan Bader square off in a five-round battle.

Johnson (20-5) is coming off a knockout of Jimi Manuwa that got him back on track following an early 2015 submission loss to Daniel Cormier for the vacant UFC title. “Rumble” has 10 of his last 11 fights overall.

Bader (20-4), a winner on Season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter, has not lost in over two years. He is on a five-fight win streak that includes victories over former champion Rashad Evans, Bellator title contender Phil Davis and Ovince Saint Preux.

In the co-main event, heavyweights Josh Barnett and Ben Rothwell throw down. Barnett, a former UFC champion himself, is 3-1 over his last four, while Rothwell has won three straight via finish over Matt Mitrione, ex-Strikeforce titleholder Alistair Overeem and Brandon Vera.

The other two FOX main card bouts feature Iuri Alcantara vs. Jimmie Rivera and “Super” Sage Northcutt moving up to welterweight to take on Bryan Barberena.

In early prelim action:

Tony Martin def. Felipe Olivieri via technical submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:02 of Round 3

Damon Jackson vs. Levan Makashvili ruled a majority draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)

Randy Brown def. Matt Dwyer via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Alex Caceres def. Masio Fullen via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Alexander Yakovlev def. George Sullivan via KO (strike) at 3:59 of Round 1

Wilson Reis def. Dustin Ortiz via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Rafael Natal def. Kevin Casey via TKO (strikes) at 3:37 of Round 3

Carlos Diego Ferreira def. Olivier Aubin-Mercier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Tarec Saffiedine def. Jake Ellenberger via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

MAIN CARD

Sage Northcutt vs. Bryan Barberena

We’ll begin the FOX main card with a welterweight showdown, as “Super” Sage Northcutt (7-0) bumps up to 170 pounds to take on Bryan Barberena (10-3). Northcutt, one of the top prospects in MMA, was originally scheduled to face Andrew Holbrook before an injury scrapped the lightweight contest.

Round 1: All smiles from Northcutt as he is introduced. This marks his third fight in four months, and Northcutt comes right out strong with a right. Huge flurry from Northcutt forces Barberena to tie things up. Combo lands and drops Barberena, forcing another clinch against the fence. Takedown for Northcutt and he immediately jumps on the back, looking for a rear-naked choke. Northcutt is showing all of his tools here early, but Barberena is remaining calm and showing his own power. Nice takedown for Barberena near the end of the round.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Northcutt

Round 2: Barberena on top early in the round, peppering Northcutt with elbows. The veteran is imposing his will from the top position, connecting with short elbows and forcing Northcutt to fight off his back. Barberena has opened up a cut on the face of Northcutt with one of those many elbows that found a home. Barberena slips on an arm-triangle, and while he wasn’t in tight, he got Northcutt to tap quickly.

Bryan Barberena def. Sage Northcutt via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 3:06 of Round 2

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