Paddy Pimblett isn’t interested in competing at UFC Liverpool
Cage Warriors star Paddy Pimblett has ruled himself out of contention for UFC Liverpool.
Following Friday’s announcement that the promotion would make its first trip to Liverpool, “The Baddy” was one of the names that topped UK MMA fans’ wish lists given his history of bringing an electric backdrop to the Echo Arena.
Pimblett claims he will be on vacation in Mexico when the UFC touches down in his hometown.
“I’m on holiday May 27th. I’m in Mexico,” he told Ariel Helwani on the latest episode of The MMA Hour.
Pimblett believes that the UFC are putting on the show for Darren Till. He maintains he will have a show of his own in the Echo when Cage Warriors return to the venue in September.
“I’m not that arsed to be fair, about the UFC in Liverpool. I’ve headlined shows there twice and I just fought there the other week. It’s great for UK MMA and great for Liverpool, but the show is for Darren [Till]. Darren can have his show, I’m good — I’ll have my own one in September.”
“The Baddy” thinks the UFC needs him more than he needs the promotion. As far as he’s concerned, once he gains legendary status at some stage during his career, he doesn’t care if he ever fights under the UFC banner.
The Cage Warriors star still thinks UFC Liverpool will sell out, but he doesn’t believe it will be the same without him, citing a recent event Cage Warriors 88 as an example of an event that didn’t bring the same atmosphere without him on the card.
“You’ve seen the Cage Warriors shows when I’m on there and you’ve seen the one when I wasn’t on there — when Chris Fishgold beat Alex Jacobsen — and it just wasn’t the same. And [UFC Liverpool] won’t be,” said Pimblett.
Pimblett underlined that he wouldn’t play second fiddle to anyone in Liverpool, adding that it was nothing personal between him and Darren Till.
“I wouldn’t play second fiddle to anyone, never mind Darren. I know Darren, he’s sound, but I wouldn’t play second fiddle to anyone.”
Pimblett continued: “Whenever we see each other we talk to each other. One of his coaches is the Thai coach in our gym. He’s a sound lad, I’ve talked to him a good few times, I’ll always support him and I hope he knocks out whoever he’s fighting.
“It’s his show. They’re going to Liverpool for Darren Till to be main event, so leave his show to him. I’m not fighting on anyone’s undercard.”
Jon Fitch makes Bellator debut against Paul Daley on May 12th
Former UFC contender Jon Fitch will fight Paul Daley at Bellator 199 in May
It didn’t take long for Jon Fitch to be signed to his first Bellator MMA fight.
Just one day after the promotion announced the signing of the ex-UFC contender and former World Series of Fighting welterweight champion, it was revealed on Friday night’s Bellator 195 broadcast that Fitch would fight Paul Daley at Bellator 199 in San Jose, California on May 12th. That bout will serve as the card’s co-main event.
Fitch (30-7-1-1 NC) became a free agent after the Professional Fighters League (formerly known as WSOF) vacated all of its titles. His final defense of the belt was a submission of Brian Foster in June 2017, marking the first time he won by stoppage since 2007.
Daley (40-15-2) spectacularly knocked out Lorenz Larkin at Bellator 183 last September, an impressive bounce back after he was dominated and submitted by Rory MacDonald in May. “Semtex” had one of the best knockouts of 2017, as he demolished Brennan Ward with a flying knee in January.
Bellator 199 airs live on the Paramount Network, and is headlined by a heavyweight tournament quarterfinal fight between current Bellator light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader and Muhammed Lawal. This card will be running at the same time as UFC 224.
Donald Cerrone scores first-round KO of Yancy Medeiros
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone moved into a three-way tie for the most wins in UFC history on Sunday, as he knocked out Yancy Medeiros in the first round at UFC Fight Night in Austin, Texas.
The finish came with just two seconds remaining in the round. Cerrone (33-10) wobbled Medeiros with a straight right to the temple and put him away with a vicious follow-up shot. The 170-pound bout headlined the event inside Frank Erwin Center.
It was Cerrone’s 20th win inside the Octagon. He is tied with former champions Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre for most in company history.
“I didn’t know there was only 10 seconds left in the round. I was just going for the finish,” Cerrone said. “That’s what Yancy and I look for. You know what’s cool? I think I just tied the most wins in UFC history.”
Cerrone and Medeiros (15-5) were extremely cordial with each other all week — and that continued in the fight. At one point, after Medeiros slipped in an exchange, Cerrone allowed him to get back up, and they shared a high-five.
That friendship, however, did not affect the pace of the bout. According to Fightmetric, Cerrone and Medeiros combined for 137 strike attempts in the opening round. Cerrone dropped Medeiros multiple times, and both welterweights suffered facial cuts.
Immediately after the result, Medeiros leapt over the cage to embrace Cerrone’s grandmother, who regularly attends his fights. The victory was a big one for Cerrone, as he snapped a three-fight skid — the longest losing streak of his career.
Cerrone has expressed interest in returning to the lightweight division but is known to change plans on the fly. When asked what he anticipates next, the New Mexico-based veteran said, “They call me, and I say, ‘Where we going?’ That’s all I need to know.”
Medeiros, of Hawaii, saw a three-fight win streak snapped.
Exhausted Derrick Lewis rallies to late knockout
Derrick Lewis (19-5) didn’t have much left going into the final round of his heavyweight fight against Marcin Tybura (16-4), but he made the most of it.
Lewis knocked out Tybura with a left-hook, right-cross combination along the fence at 2:48 of the final round. After a trademark celebration, Lewis collapsed backward out of sheer exhaustion.
It was a wild fight that saw both men nearly finished at multiple points. Lewis struck first, hurting Tybura with an overhand right midway through the opening round. Tybura, of Poland, managed to sweep Lewis out of the top position moments later and finished the round in full mount. He moved to full mount again in the second round.
With his corner pleading for him to stop the takedown, Lewis rallied in the final frame. He kept his balance along the fence, then turned Tybura into it to set up the finishing combination.
“I just believed in myself,” said Lewis, of Houston. “I knew I had to touch him one more time. That’s it. These boys from Texas can hit.”
Lewis bounced back from a loss to Mark Hunt in June. Before that setback, he recorded a six-fight win streak.
Popular prospect Sage Northcutt pulls out narrow decision victory
Lightweight prospect Sage Northcutt (10-2) picked up a razor-thin decision over Thibault Gouti (12-4) via unanimous judges scores of 29-28.
A native of Katy, Texas, Northcutt significantly outlanded Gouti in total strikes, but the majority of his offense came in the final round.
Gouti, of France, stunned Northcutt with right hands in the first round and threatened to secure a guillotine choke. He outwrestled Northcutt in the middle frame and again in the third, though he landed virtually no offense in the final five minutes. ESPN still scored the 155-pound bout for Gouti 29-28.
The 21-year-old Northcutt has already accumulated five UFC wins. He has lost twice, but both of those were at welterweight. He fights out of Team Alpha Male.
Surging lightweight James Vick collects ninth UFC win
Lightweight contender James Vick (13-1) has obviously earned a date against a highly ranked opponent. The question now is: Which one will accept the fight?
Vick, of Fort Worth, Texas, moved to 9-1 inside the Octagon with a clear-cut decision victory over Brazil’s Francisco Trinaldo (22-6). All three judges scored the contest for Vick, 29-28.
The three-round bout was not all that fan-friendly, as Vick was obviously affected by a dislocated pinkie. The 30-year-old spent the majority of the final round circling away from Trinaldo’s power, knowing that he was ahead on the scorecards.
The best action took place early in the fight. Vick dropped Trinaldo with a right hand but was forced to fight off a tight guillotine choke later in the round. Overall, Vick used his height and reach well on the feet and quickly popped back to his feet any time Trinaldo managed to get him to the floor.
“I keep calling these guys out — Michael Chiesa, Kevin Lee — these guys turn down fights,” Vick said. “I’m tired of calling these clowns out. I’m thinking Khabib [Nurmagomedov], Tony [Ferguson], Conor [McGregor]. World title fights. I’m 9-1 in the UFC. That’s one of the best records in the UFC.”
Millender knocks out former title challenger Alves with highlight knee
Welterweight newcomer Curtis Millender (15-3) kicked off his UFC career with a bang, as he knocked out Thiago Alves (22-12) with a knee to the chin at 4:17 of the second round.
It was more of the same, however, in the second. Millender’s size and speed appeared to have Alves a little cautious, which Millender took full advantage of. After the devastating knee, Millender simply stood back and allowed the referee to stop the fight. Alves did not go unconscious from the blow, but he was visibly out of it.
It was Millender’s seventh consecutive win. Alves, who fights out of American Top Team in South Florida, has suffered three knockout losses in his career.
WWE announces participants for the women’s Elimination Chamber match
With history and a shot at Asuka’s unbeaten streak at WrestleMania 34 on the line, tonight (Feb. 5) the WWE announced who would participate in the women’s Elimination Chamber match.
A WWE men’s match since 2002 and a stand alone pay-per-view since 2010, last week it was announced the first ever women’s Elimination Chamber match would take place this month.
Raw women’s champion Alexa Bliss was also announced last week as the first wrestler in the Chamber match. Bliss’ title will be on the line in the Chamber match versus five other women.
Tonight on Raw, Kurt Angle revealed the remaining participants:
- Mandy Rose
- Sonya Deville
- Mickie James
- Sasha Banks
The 2018 Elimination Chamber match is set for Sunday Feb. 25 in Las Vegas, Nevada
WWE Raw’s 25th Anniversary Special Predictions
WWE Monday Night Raw has been a pro wrestling institution since it debuted on January 11, 1993, making the day this article was published the official 25th anniversary of its first episode.
The show began as a one-hour weekly program featuring the best and brightest WWE had to offer. At first, Raw was like most of the other weekly wrestling shows at the time. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what made the Monday night program more popular than other shows scheduled on the weekends, but Raw soon dominated the pro wrestling landscape. It eventually expanded to two hours before becoming the three-hour juggernaut we see today, making it just as long as the majority of the company’s pay-per-views.
WWE is preparing to celebrate 25 years of Raw in style by bringing in several legends who made the show a success over the years and giving fans as many special moments as possible.
James Wortman of WWE.com has posted a list of most of the special guests set to appear on January 22 for the anniversary show. This article will attempt to make some predictions for the monumental occasion.
Reunions and More Reunions
If there is one thing WWE loves to do more than anything else, it’s pat itself on the back. The company constantly reminds us of its past successes, and it usually comes in the form of a reunion.
This can be a former tag team or stable coming together for a special appearance, or it could be two bitter rivals crossing paths one more time.
We already know Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn will be there, so a D-Generation X reunion is practically a guarantee.
Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Eric Bishoff are also set to appear, so a New World Order segment is likely. We might even see some other WCW references throughout the night to commemorate the Monday Night War between Raw and Nitro.
Stone Cold Steve Austin being present opens the door to revisit numerous rivalries from his stories career, and it’s a safe bet Vince McMahon will show up at some point. The roster still has some veterans who worked alongside most of these legends, so we could be treated to a special match featuring someone we thought was retired for good.
A Title Change
Title changes always generate buzz for the company, and having a belt change hands at the 25th anniversary would be a great way to cap off the night.
One thing we know for sure will take place is an Intercontinental Championship match with Roman Reigns defending the title against The Miz. The A-Lister has made no secret of his desire to be known as the greatest IC champion of all time, and a win over The Big Dog would certainly go a long way toward building his legacy. With Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas at ringside to cause all kinds of distractions, The Miz could be booked to defeat Reigns without making him look weak with a clean loss. If The Miz regains the belt, Reigns can focus on winning The Royal Rumble again so he can main event WrestleMania against whoever leaves the pay-per-view with the Universal Championship. There is also the possibility WWE could choose to have a different title change hands. Cedric Alexander has a valid argument for a rematch against Enzo Amore for the Cruiserweight Championship, and Kurt Angle could always move The Bar’s tag title at The Royal Rumble against Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan to Raw. We could even see Alexa Bliss drop the Women’s Championship to a number of different competitors. WWE could go in any number of different directions at this point.
A SmackDown Crossover
Raw’s anniversary is a big moment for the entire company, but half the roster is exclusive to the SmackDown brand at the moment. It wouldn’t be out of the question for management to bring in a few of the bigger stars from the blue brand to give the show some memorable encounters. Seeing how AJ Styles reacts to Finn Balor, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson joining forces would be interesting, as would Bray Wyatt interacting with the new and improved Bludgeon Brothers. Having some champion vs. champions matches will always elevate an episode of Raw, so pitting The Usos against Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan would give the fans some brand warfare as well as a show-stealing performance from two talented teams.
WWE saved 2 stars and set up Daniel Bryan’s return in 1 match
Yep. Yep. Yep. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn still have their jobs – but will Daniel Bryan?
A.J. Styles defeated Jinder Mahal to retain his WWE title in the “main event,” but Owens and Zayn — who would have been fired with a loss — beating Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura was the main attraction. Bryan’s quick count ensured the leaders of the Yep Movement are still employed.
The match got off to an awkward start with “SmackDown” commissioner Shane McMahon and Bryan, its general manager, both operating in the ring as special guest referees. Their presence left the performers less room to operate, leading to plenty of striking over the first two-thirds of the contest. At one point, McMahon inadvertently poked Bryan in the eye outside the ring after he got too close at the wrong moment.
But it was from that point — which included Owens delivering a frog splash from one announce table to the next — that the match, the story and the previously quiet crowd hit a crescendo.
Following an RKO, Orton appeared to have the win, but Owens pushed Bryan into McMahon to stop his count. McMahon berated Bryan, who looked as embarrassed as an honor-roll student who failed his math test. Shortly after, McMahon, with a smug look of defiance, stopped his count at 2 ½ as Zayn held Orton’s shoulders to the mat. Bryan put himself in the match to guard against McMahon screwing Zayn and Owens, so he got in his boss’ face and eventually quick counted Zayn’s pin of Orton.
Zayn and Owens celebrated like giddy teenagers (and with champagne later on “Talking Smack”), and Bryan stared down a peeved McMahon and Orton. There will be repercussions Tuesday. This likely leads to a Bryan-McMahon clash, either against each other if Bryan is cleared to wrestle or with someone in his place. The best story and duo of “Smackdown” have plenty of momentum.
Mahal appears headed in the opposite direction, though his matches with Styles, who sold all of his opponent’s bevy of power moves, have been solid. He pounded the champion’s ribs the entire match, but Styles ultimately rallied to win with the calf crusher. The loss likely ends Mahal’s time as a main-eventer. Styles’ win was no surprise, but Dolph Ziggler holding gold again certainly was.
He went from expressing his frustration with his role in WWE earlier this month on Edge and Christian’s podcast to cleanly becoming U.S. champion as a late addition to the match. The triple-threat contest had just enough false finishes to make you believe Bobby Roode or Baron Corbin would win. Ziggler earned the pin by hitting Corbin with a Zig Zag, as the Lone Wolf was set to hit End of Days on Roode. Maybe this will help Ziggler make his looming decision about his future in WWE. The future of the “SmackDown” women’s title should no longer include Natalya. Her heel turn started well, but it’s time to move on.
She failed again to reclaim the belt in a chaotic and confusing lumberjack match that didn’t make full use of champion Charlotte Flair’s in-ring abilities. Too many times the match was about Flair just getting beaten out by the lumberjacks, except for Naomi, and she and Natalya employed a slow, grinding style when it was one-on-one in the ring. We have seen it before from these two, this time without Flair getting in the explosive moves to balance the action.
Also, the rest of the women — after clear lines appeared to be drawn on the go-home “SmackDown” episode — couldn’t logically decide whether to all attack Flair or go after one another. Natalya’s crying promo after tapping to the Figure Eight made little sense in the context of the story. She should have blamed the other women for her loss, not chastise the WWE Universe for “turning their back” on her. While Nattie is likely fading to the background again, every day is becoming Rusev Day. Rusev and partner, Aiden English, didn’t claim the “SmackDown” tag titles, but boy did they come close — with five legitimate pin or submission chances — with the vocal backing of the TD Garden crowd. The match made excellent use of the freedoms of a four-corners format. Rusev and English, New Day, Chad Gable and Sheldon Benjamin were given time to look good before the Usos — arguably the company’s best in-ring team right now — rightfully retained.
The Bludgeon Brothers lived up to their names against Breezango (whose Fashion Files success still hasn’t translated into wins) in a rare pay-per-view squash match.
Mojo Rawley – after an epic social media promo – successfully debuted his new heel person in a pre-show win over former Hype Bro Zack Ryder. It started an entertaining night that closed the right chapters and furthered the right stories.
Biggest winner: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
Biggest loser: Natalya
Match of the night: “SmackDown” tag title match
Eddie Alvarez hopes to lock up mega-fight, long-term UFC contract post-UFC 218 war
Fresh off a knockout win over Justin Gaethje at last weekend’s (Sat., Dec. 2, 2017) UFC 218 pay-per-view (PPV) event in Detroit, Michigan — which proved to be an all-out battle — Eddie Alvarez wants to lock down his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) future.
With only one fight left on his current deal with the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, “UFC’s Most Violent Man” is hoping to land a long-term extension, as well as a big fight for his return to the cage.
“I actually have one fight left with the UFC,” Alvarez said in his first post-fight interview with 93.3 WMMR in Philadelphia (courtesy of MMA Junkie). “I’ve finished all my fights, and I have one fight left in my contract. It’s time to sit down with the boss man and talk about long-term, talk about how we’re going to do this thing and what big, mega-fight we can have coming up.”
Prior to his matchup against Justin, Eddie wasn’t lost on the fact that he wasn’t in a position to start demanding title fights. Still, the former 155-pound champion of the world isn’t too far off the front of the pack, as one or two more dazzling victories could get him back to the big dance.
For now, he’s happy with the title he earned after handing Gaethje his first loss in rather violent fashion.
“I’m the most violent man in the UFC,” Alvarez said. “They can take the No. 1, 2 and 3 (ranking). I’ll just take that title, and I’ll keep it. I’ve been crowned. We went in to make a point,” he added.
“My performances in the UFC, I’ve been trying to win. Win, win, win. I’ve been so focused on winning that the performance itself wasn’t showing my true colors. We went in here with just the idea of, ‘Just be as violent as we can.’ The byproduct of that would be a win.”
Alvarez’s win was his first since coughing up his Lightweight title to Conor McGregor at UFC 205 back in 2016. Now that he’s back on the winning track, “The Underground King” is eyeing bigger and better things marching forward.
Former WWE Superstar Jack Swagger Signs With Bellator
Jake Hager aka Jack Swagger is no stranger to performing in front of huge crowds, but his recent career change will find him in different arenas and a new form of sports entertainment
In the Latest in WWE/UFC Jake Hager aka Jack Swagger is headed to Bellator to begin his MMA career.
On Monday, Bellator announced the signing of Hager, a former WWE Superstar. Hager will compete in Bellator’s heavyweight division.
“This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It’s something that’s a part of me, so it makes sense. I’m very happy with the deal. I’ve felt a lot of love from Bellator,” said Hager. “I think there are certain types of guys who need to be punched in the face and taste blood. I’ve always been a fan of MMA, I’ve been wrestling since I was five-years-old. It’s awesome to be with Bellator. They’re really going to put 100 percent towards it!”
Hager talked in depth about his upcoming journey in an interview from The MMA Hour
The 35-year-old has been listed at 6’7 and 275 pounds. During the interview, Hager says he’s 271 pounds, but he’s officially 6’5″.
In addition to his nine-year career as a professional wrestler, Hager is also a former college All-American wrestler from The University of Oklahoma. He’s still currently a professional wrestler on the indie scene and doesn’t plan to stop wrestling as he ramps up his MMA training.
While many will compare this signing to the UFC‘s deal with another former WWE Superstar, CM Punk, this is a little different because of Hager’s legitimate wrestling background. Many MMA experts will tell you wrestling is the most-useful base for any mixed martial artist and Hager certainly has that skill.
Hager also possesses excellent athleticism for a man his size, which is evident if you’ve ever seen him perform in the WWE. Those skills aren’t guaranteed to transfer over to MMA, but it’s enough to create some intrigue around his as-yet-announced debut.
“I’m excited to see Jake Hager debut for Bellator in 2018,” Bellator President Scott Coker said. “When I heard he was seriously interested in competing in MMA and when you look at what he did at the collegiate level, I was very interested in having him on our roster. I think Jake will expose new fans to Bellator from his previous run with WWE and he will be given every opportunity to prove that he’s the real deal inside the cage.”
Bellator’s heavyweight division has been the most newsworthy division in the promotion over the past week. On November 10, the promotion announced a Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament that will crown a new champion in 2018.
The Hager signing comes on the heels of that announcement. It all works toward bringing more attention to what could be Bellator’s most interesting division in 2018.