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pat barry

Over the weekend, Brock Lesnar’s name came back up in MMA media circles. But this time, it had nothing to do with rumors of a return to the Octagon.

Instead, UFC president Dana White stated that Lesnar asked him directly to force Pat Barry into retirement. Lesnar and Barry were once teammates in Minnesota at the DeathClutch Gym.

“Brock called me and begged to make him retire,” said White, during his media scrum following UFC Fight Night 40 (thanks to MMAjunkie.com for the quotes). “He said, ‘Dana, you’ve got to get this guy to retire.'”

White stated that Lesnar, a former UFC heavyweight champion, told him, “I don’t consider too many people my friend and I consider Pat a friend.” Barry left the UFC after a fourth straight loss, signing with GLORY and returning to kickboxing.

Earlier this month, Barry was knocked out at GLORY 16. He has suffered four KO losses in the last two years of combat sports career.

White told Lesnar that “There’s only so much I can do.” He discussed how the situation is different for fighters like Barry compared to the Chuck Liddells and Forrest Griffins of the world, who are “multi-millionaires.”

“It’s easy to make them quit,” he said. “It’s tougher to make a guy quit who has to make a living. At the end of the day, it’s the state athletic commissions that should step in and help a guy like Pat retire. Or the people who care about him.”

Barry closed out his UFC career by going just 2-5 in his last seven, including 2013 first round knockout losses at the hands of Soa Palelei and Shawn Jordan.

nick diaz

UFC president Dana White didn’t sound to ready to proclaim Matt Brown the No. 1 contender to the welterweight title. Brown earned his seventh consecutive victory – and fifth straight finish – Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 40 when he defeated Erick Silva.

However, with the division currently locked up as champion Johny Hendricks recovers from surgery, the UFC still needs to see how things play out. Contenders Rory MacDonald and Tyron Woodley are scheduled to meet later this year, and several others have laid claim to the next contender line.

“I was just talking to him about that,” said White, during a post-fight interview on FOX Sports 1, when asked who Brown might fight next. “I told him, ‘Let me get home and figure it out.’ He’s not there yet because he was injured. We’re going to give him something big, maybe Hector Lombard is next.”

Last December, Brown was scheduled to face former interim champion Carlos Condit before a back injury scrapped the contest. Lombard is coming off a victory over Jake Shields earlier this year and is a former Bellator champion.

One fighter Brown likely doesn’t have to worry about stepping inside the Octagon against is Nick Diaz. Despite a large push on social media platforms for Brown-Diaz, the boss doesn’t see it happening.

“There’s no sign of Diaz,” he said. “Until they call me, both are not fighting. Nate will come back before Nick. Nick is still saying he’s retired.”

But all that is for the future. On this night, White was left in awe by the performance Brown and Silva put on inside his Octagon. Brown recovered from nearly being finished in the first to put the Brazilian away in the third.

“That was one of the best first rounds I’ve ever seen,” he said. “Brown ate those body shots like a champ. Those were brutal. The kid is becoming a big star, but he’s a huge star in Cincinnati (Saturday).”

Matt Brown

For Matt Brown, there is just one man left for him to topple: Johny Hendricks.

Following a seventh consecutive victory at UFC Fight Night 40 Saturday night, Brown was asked during the FOX Sports 1 post-fight show who he wanted next.

“Johny Hendricks,” said Brown, looking directly into the eyes of the interview with blinking.

Brown (19-11) overcame a slow start vs. Silva to delight the Cincinnati crowd with his fifth straight finish. He has stopped six of his seven opponents during his win streak, which started after losing three of four from 2010-11.

This one, though, was more emotional for “The Immortal.” It was his first main event, five-round fight and he was competing in front of friends and family in his native state of Ohio.

“I came out and I was a little cold,” Brown said. “It was my first main event. I warmed up right, but then had to wait for the main event to start. I don’t know how to prepare for that. I was cold.”

Brown showed his humorous side, something he doesn’t normally reveal in interviews, when he said, “I guess I’ll have to ask Jon Jones” about getting preparing for main events. Jones is the reigning UFC light heavyweight champion and has fought in numerous headline fights.

As for a fight with Hendricks, that would have to wait until later in the year. The UFC welterweight champion is recovering from bicep surgery, an injury he suffered in March while defeating Robbie Lawler to win the vacant title.

ufc fight night 40

UFC president Dana White stopped by “UFC Tonight” earlier this week to discuss UFC Fight Night 40. The card takes place this evening, and FightLine will be providing complete coverage of all the action.

In the main event, welterweights Matt Brown and Erick Silva square off. Brown is on a six-fight win streak, while Silva enters the contest as a 2-to-1 favorite in the betting circles.

White thinks both Vegas and the official UFC rankings are crazy.

“Matt is ranked No. 7 and has been looking for respect for forever now,” White said. “The guy has destroyed everybody he’s fought. He feels like he’s been disrespected for so long. He’s done so much and should have an opportunity to fight for the title soon.

“Erick, who’s ranked 14th; I think there’s no way he’s 14th. In Vegas, the odds have Erick as a favorite. It’s driving Matt Brown crazy. He says he’s going to knock him out, like everyone else, and is going to finally get his respect.”

A pair of middleweights will meet in the co-main, as Costas Philippou and Lorenz Larkin try to get back on track after recent losses.

“Larkin is a tough guy. He’s been around a long time and he’s another guy, with a great performance, could earn some respect,” White said. “I think this is going to be an absolute stand-up war and somebody is getting knocked out.”

Michael Bisping, a training partner of Larkin’s, stated much the same during a recent interview with FightLine.

While White believes both the main and co-main will deliver, he’s focusing on another bout on the main card to surprise people.

“I love the (Erik) Koch vs. (Daron) Cruickshank fight,” White said. “Both guys are coming off impressive wins. I think that fight will be an absolute war.”

eddie alvarez

According to multiple reports, Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez has suffered a concussion in training and will not be cleared to fight Michael Chandler next Saturday at Bellator 120.

The news was first reported by Sherdog, while MMAFighting.com confirmed the concussion injury.

Bellator was forced to crown an interim champion after Eduardo Dantas suffered a concussion in training and his return was left up in the air. UFC lightweight contender TJ Grant has been sidelined since early last year after he went down with a concussion while preparing for a world title fight.

Alvarez and Chandler are set for a third meeting in a highly-promoted pay-per-view fight for Bellator. The promotion had to cancel plans for a PPV last year after an injury to Tito Ortiz. They went with Alvarez-Chandler in a rematch and placed the event on Spike TV.

Officials with Bellator have yet to release any information regarding the reports, which also state Will Brooks would be selected to replace Alvarez and meet Chandler. Brooks (13-1) was the season nine lightweight tournament winner.

Set for May 17 from Southaven, Mississippi, the card currently features bouts pitting Quinton “Rampage” Jackson against Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, Ortiz vs. middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko in a non-title fight and Michael Page vs. Ricky Rainey.

MAIN CARD (PPV/10 p.m. ET)

Bellator Lightweight Championship
Eddie Alvarez (c) vs. Michael Chandler

Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament Final
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal

Light Heavyweight: Tito Ortiz vs. Alexander Shlemenko

Lightweight: Will Brooks vs. Nate Jolly

Welterweight: Michael Page vs. Rickey Rainey

PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike TV/8 p.m. ET)

Heavyweight: Cheick Kongo vs. Eric Smith

Bellator Heavyweight Tournament Final
Alexander Volkov vs. Blagoi Ivanov

Featherweight: Shahbulat Shamhalaev vs. Fabricio Guerreiro

Featherweight: Mike Richman vs. Goiti Yamauchi

PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com/6 p.m. ET)

Featherweight: Austin Lyons vs. Zach Underwood

Heavyweight: Justin Frazier vs. Mike Wessel

Welterweight: Ben Brewer vs. Andy Uhrich

Welterweight: Anthony Lemon vs. Codie Shuffield

Bantamweight: Brian Hall vs. Cortez Phelia

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