Former Bellator champion Ben Askren had a successful debut with ONE FC on Friday, earning a first round submission victory. In the hours after, Askren had fun on Twitter, engaging in a lengthy debate with Mike Ricci.
Ricci, who trains at Tristar Gym and is a former competitor on The Ultimate Fighter, posted a message directed towards Askren to get things started, writing, “Clearly got hit enough to forget how to spell combined you clown.”
Askren, always one to be aware of what is being said on social media, responded with, “You are a bum and can’t fight worth a damn. I’d play with you like a rag doll.”
Things continued from there, with Ricci writing, “behave yourself. If I ever decide to fight the most boring man in MMA I’ll give you a call.” Askren, who left Bellator after his contract expired, said, “you couldn’t even make it in Bellator! Got knocked out and had to retreat to the sad stage of TUF. I’d beat you and your BF Rory (MacDonald) back to back no problem. Stop wasting my time you bum.”
Ricci called out Askren for a fight at lightweight, his weight, saying, “I’ll make sure to watch your next fight if I need help falling asleep. Calling me a bum? Make 55 watch the beating I put on you.”
Many, including UFC president Dana White, have used that phrase to describe Askren. In his last three fights, though, the ex-U.S. Olympic wrestler has finished each of his opponents.
“No creativity, you suck at fighting and will only fight me at 155,” Askren wrote. “You such a bum, can’t believe I’m wasting time responding.”
Ricci changed his mind about the weight class, saying, “I’ll scrap it out with you at 70..either way this fight won’t happen so I’m done wasting my time as well.”
All of the back-and-forth eventually led to MacDonald chiming in, writing, “watched one of Ben’s fights (today), was very impressed with his technical ability it’s a shame he has no respect.”
Ricci currently fights for Titan FC, earning a win over Jorge Gurgel earlier this year in his debut. MacDonald is set to face Tyron Woodley at UFC 174 next month.
Interim Bellator lightweight champion Will Brooks was an unscheduled guest on The MMA Hour recently, joining up to discuss a potential fight with Eddie Alvarez to unify the titles.
While Alvarez tried to play it nice and say things were out of his hands in regards to what Bellator will decide to do with himself, Brooks and former champion Michael Chandler, Brooks made sure to get in some strong words of his own.
“I’m telling you homie, whatever you got with the UFC, it’s not going to look pretty for you,” Brooks said (thanks to MMAFighting.com for transcribing). “If that’s really what you think, you’re not going to walk out of Bellator clean. I promise you that.
“Your best bet is to change the way you think. I promise you, if you think this is going to be an easy fight, you outside of your mind, homie. I’m telling you that right now.”
Brooks earned a decision victory over Chandler earlier this month, and added that he’s only been in MMA “for three-and-a-half years now.
“I’m starting to learn how to strike and I just went out there and almost knocked this kid out, hurt or not, with skills that I haven’t even mastered yet.”
Alvarez, who is 1-1 in two previous meetings with Chandler, said that “I think Mike is a tougher match up, so I’m trying to get the easier match up here. You’re right.”
For what it’s worth, Brooks believes a future rematch between himself and Chandler is in the cards, but he wants to unify the belts first.
“Me and Chandler will have our day again I’m sure,” he wrote on Twitter recently. “But first it should be me and Alvarez.”
According to a report out of Brazil by Combate, Wanderlei Silva has failed to pass his medical exams and will not meet Chael Sonnen this July at UFC 175. The report also stated that Vitor Belfort has been tabbed to step in and meet Sonnen.
The card takes place July 5 from Las Vegas and features a double-championship lineup. Chris Weidman defends his middleweight title against Lyoto Machida – a bout Belfort originally was suppose to have this month – and Ronda Rousey puts her female bantamweight gold on the line vs. Alexis Davis.
Sonnen attended a required meeting with the Nevada Athletic Commission, but Silva did not appear for the hearing and was denied his fight license. Belfort, who was previously not licensed, has performed all the necessary steps set before him by the commission following the banning of TRT earlier this year.
Later tonight, Sonnen will be on “UFC Tonight” in his normal co-host duties with Kenny Florian. We will continu to provide updates on this situation as they are made public.
Just recently, Jon Jones made it known that he would be training with Belfort this week. Jones has previously fought, and defeated both Sonnen and Belfort in successful UFC light heavyweight title defenses.
UPDATE: Twitter source FrontRowBrian confirmed the news, saying that Globo’s report is “10000 true. Vitor v Chael. UFC 175. Las Vegas.” He also stated the bout will take place at light heavyweight, but will be for the middleweight No. 1 contender spot and shot at the Weidman-Machida winner.
Sonnen has twice fought for the UFC 185-pound title, falling on both instances to Anderson Silva. He also fought for the light heavyweight belt previously in the UFC.
Below is the list of current fights announced:
UFC Middleweight Championship
Chris Weidman (c) vs. Lyoto Machida
UFC Female Bantamweight Championship
Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Alexis Davis
Light Heavyweight: Chael Sonnen vs. Vitor Belfort
Bantamweight: Urijah Faber vs. Alex Caceres
Heavyweight: Stefan Struve vs. Matt Mitrione
Middleweight: Uriah Hall vs. Thiago Santos
Middleweight: Chris Camozzi vs. Bruno Santos
Welterweight: Ildemar Alcantara vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
Middleweight: Luke Zachrich vs. Guilherme Vasconcelos
Urijah Faber and the boys at Team Alpha Male had a little fun at the expense of Renan Barao recently, posting a photo on Instagram showing “Renan Barao” as the latest person to sign up for a Bang Muay Thai class this coming weekend.
The list also shows the names of several others. Barao was beaten by T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 173 this past weekend, snapping his nine-year win streak and costing him the UFC bantamweight title.
Dillashaw credited Duane “Bang” Ludwig, the former coach of Team Alpha Male, for helping give him the necessary tools to defeat Barao. Ludwig recently decided to leave the team and open his own gym in Colorado, but Dillashaw is planning to continue working with him for future fights.
Faber twice before lost fights to Barao, including a TKO defeat earlier this year.