Ricardo Lamas may not be challenging UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo for the belt at UFC 169 in Newark, N.J. until February, but he’s already lost the battle to win the hearts and minds of fans in nearby New York. Thanks to a Zuffa press conference held at Madison Square Garden announcing some new something or other pertaining to the fight for MMA in the state, I got a chance to interview Lamas. We talked about fight stuff. THEN HE BETRAYED ALL NEW YORKERS.
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The Ultimate Fighter 18: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate continued tonight on FOX Sports 1. This season features 8 men and 8 women bantamweights battling together in The Ultimate Fighter house for the first time in the show’s history. Tune in each week as the fighters, coached by UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and rival Miesha Tate, vie for a six-figure UFC contract on FOX Sports 1. [Spoilers Below]
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UFC veteran and almost-Bellator fighter Matt Riddle has been cut from the latter organization. This is interesting news for a number of reasons. First, Riddle smokes a lot of marijuana. Like, as in “two failed post-fight drug tests” a lot. Secondly, Riddle was supposed to fight on Bellator cards a few times – including Bellator 109 slated for Friday – but for whatever reasons (probably marijuana), he never did. And lastly, Riddle smokes a lot of marijuana. Like, as in he likes to drive around in a green van with his friends, one of whom is a talking Great Dane, and solve mysteries.
Here’s Anthony Mazzuca of Bellator talking about the situation:
“Matt was a guy we had high hopes for coming into Bellator,” Bellator Director of Communications Anthony Mazzuca said. “After Matt suffered his rib injury and withdrew from our tournament, we went back to the drawing board and got Matt another fight on November 22. Unfortunately, Matt very recently informed us he would not be fighting on November 22 from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and at that point we decided to release Matt from Bellator. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
MMA decisions don’t get any closer than 48-47, 47-48, 48-47. And yet the GSP-Hendrick bout is still churning up outrage. Going into the fifth frame I had Johny up 3-1 (losing only round 3), but as I watched him lean back against the cage I started screaming at the TV, “Get active, Johny! He’s going to steal this from you, Johny! Put him in a body bag, Johny! Why does your name only have one ‘n’ Johny?” When my wife wanted to know why I was so worried if I had it 3-1, I said, “Round 1 was close: To be the champ, you have to beat the champ.”
This old chestnut drives certain members of the MMA media crazy. Ariel Helwani thinks it’s meaningless. Adam Martin at Cagepotato wrote today, “Listen up, jackasses: There is NOTHING in the Unified Rules that says, ‘To be the champ you have to decisively beat the champ.’ It’s made up logic by people who don’t know how to properly score a competitive round.”
Ben Askren remains a free agent who has his sights set on competing for the UFC welterweight title.
However, Askren understands the belt is likely to be tied up in a rematch between Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks after their recent fight ended in a split decision.
So, Askren has another Tristar fighter in his target: Rory MacDonald.
“If Dana White were willing, if I lost to (MacDonald), I would fight for free and retire from the sport of MMA,” said Askren, during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour. “That’s how confident I am that I will beat Rory MacDonald.”
White, the president of the UFC, has stated he has no desire to sign Askren after Bellator officially parted ways with the welterweight champion. However, Askren, a former U.S. Olympic wrestler, did say his management team is expected to meet with the UFC in the near future.