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Anderson Silva: ‘I Think Khabib Nurmagomedov is the Best’ Fighter in the World

Former middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva held the 185-pound title for a record 2,457 days. He’s widely considered the greatest fighter of all time. Silva’s been out of action since February 2017, but expects to return to the Octagon next year. While not actively fighting, Silva continues to watch the sport. Two fighters stand out to the 43-year-old Brazilian legend: Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor. “Khabib is a great fighter. I’m very impressed. Conor is a great fighter. Having a new generation of fighters, especially in the UFC… this is a huge company that’s worked for a long time to get the great fighters in the sport,” said Silva in an interview with Inquistr. Khabib Nurmagomedov UFC on FOX 30 BackstageMcGregor became the third two-division champion in UFC history when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez to capture the lightweight title at UFC 205 in November 2016.  He was stripped of the belt after the conclusion of UFC 223 in April due to inactivity.  Nurmagomedov won the title that night by defeating late replacement Al Iaquinta by unanimous decision. On Aug. 3, it was announced that McGregor would return at UFC 229 in Las Vegas to face Nurmagomedov in the Oct. 6 pay-per-view event’s headlining bout.  Silva didn’t make a prediction for the fight’s outcome, but he did weigh-in on who he thinks is the better fighter. TRENDING > Oscar De La Hoya Aims to Upend MMA and ‘Pay Fighters What They Deserve’ “I think Khabib is the best, here, in this moment,” said Silva. Nurmagomedov has yet to lose a fight. He is 26-0 overall with 10 of those victories occurring in the Octagon. He puts all that on the line, as well as the undisputed UFC lightweight title, when he meets McGregor at UFC 229.

Is ‘UFC 25 Years in Short’ the Ultimate Rags to Riches Story?

Matt Hughes - UFC 25 Years in Short

(Courtesy of UFC)

2018 marks twenty-five years of the UFC, and in celebration of their silver anniversary, they are presenting a groundbreaking, 25-part series of original, documentary short films.

UFC 25 YEARS IN SHORT brings together an award-winning team of documentary filmmakers, to tell twenty-five captivating stories, one for each year of the UFC’s extraordinary history. UFC 25 YEARS IN SHORT premieres this September, only on UFC Fight Pass.

TRENDING > Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor: The UFC’s Biggest Fight Ever (Video)

Jon Tuck Expecting Can’t Have a Boring Fight with Drew Dober at UFC Lincoln

It’s been over a year since UFC lightweight Jon Tuck stepped into the Octagon.

After getting a first round submission win over Takanori Gomi at UFC Fight Night 111 in June of last year, Tuck has dealt with an inability to find fights, taking care of personal business and recovering from injury.

“After my fight with Gomi I was trying to get a fight with anyone,” Tuck told MMAWeekly.com. “At UFC (214) they had a guy fall out of a fight with Sage Northcutt, and I told them I wanted to fight on that card, but I guess the UFC and Sage’s team didn’t accept the fight because of the style of fight I would have brought.

“From there I got married and was training and trying to get a fight for UFC Australia, but nothing came through. Then I ended up having to take care of a knee injury, and that put me on hold for a bit. I’ve been helping guys get ready for fights coming up, and just staying ready.”

Just because he wasn’t fighting in MMA, that doesn’t mean that Tuck wasn’t competing during his time off.

“I actually did an Oceania tournament for wrestling just to keep me motivated because I was looking for a fight and nothing came through,” said Tuck. “I never got to compete in wrestling, and even though I don’t utilize it much in my fights, I decide to do the Oceania tournament and won the championship.”

On August 25 at UFC Fight Night 135 in Lincoln, Nebraska, Tuck (10-4) will finally return to the Octagon when he faces Drew Dober (19-8) in a preliminary 155-pound bout.

TRENDING > The Conor McGregor vs. Paul Malignaggi Feud Just Won’t Die

“It’s interesting because we both came from The Ultimate Fighter 15, so we could have fought there, but we didn’t,” Tuck said of Dober. “We’re both respectful fighters and love the martial arts and bringing out the best in people. He’ll bring out the best in me.

“He’s a great fighter who definitely loves to put a show on for the fans. I can’t have a boring fight with him, and I’m excited by that. I don’t always look for Fight of the Night, but with his style of fighting and my style of fighting, I think we can bring that to Lincoln.”

Should Tuck come out of his bout with Dober healthy, he’s more than ready to step back into the cage, no matter the opportunity and no matter the weight class.

“I’m always willing and available,” said Tuck. “I always tell them for fights that are last-minute fallouts; I’ll fight at 170 pounds. Even as crazy as it sounds, I might fight at 185 pounds.

“I’m not a huge middleweight fighter, but I train with bigger guys, so putting it together and fighting in there I don’t think would be too much of a difference. I’ll fight anywhere; 185 pounds, 170 pounds, and 155 pounds too.”

TJ Dillashaw Still Willing to Fight Boxer Gervonta Davis and His Padded Record

TJ Dillashaw

(Video courtesy of TMZ Sports | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw has been doing the media rounds apparently to drum up interest in a potential fight with newly crowned UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo, but another fighter has interjected himself into the conversation.

Undefeated Floyd Mayweather boxing protege Gervonta Davis tweeted that he wanted to “fight the dude that fought Cody yesterday,” after Dillashaw knocked Cody Garbrandt out for a second consecutive time at UFC 227 earlier this month. He added, “I will whip ya ass.”

Not one to shy away from some good trash talk, Dillashaw responded by saying, “Come on over then. Ask daddy Mayweather for permission and come sign a one fight contract then. Actually, no need for a one fight contract, just sign a one round contract. That’s all I need.”

TRENDING > Dana White Shoots Down Georges St-Pierre Fighting Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov Winner

Of course, most people dismissed the exchange a short time later, but Dillashaw told TMZ Sports recently that he would definitely want to take a fight with Davis, who said that he would fight Dillashaw under mixed martial arts rules.

“I would love to show him what real fighting is all about. This guy has the most padded record I’ve ever seen.”

Jon Jones Says He Never Left USADA’s UFC Testing Pool

Jon Jones UFC 197 Open Workout

Though it’s been quite some time since Jon Jones set foot in the Octagon, the former UFC light heavyweight champion claims he has never left the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency testing pool for UFC athletes. “Glad you enjoyed the few seconds of training footage I shared the other day,” Jones wrote on Twitter. “Just wanted to let everyone know, I never left the testing pool, not even for a day.” Jones is currently mired in the adjudication of his latest UFC Anti-Doping Policy infraction, which showed an anabolic steroid in his collection sample that was taken the day of weigh-ins prior to his fight with Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 in July of 2017. He defeated Cormier in the Octagon, but the outcome of the bout was changed to a no contest following the positive result of his drug test, and he was stripped of a UFC title for the third time in his career. While it’s been more than a year since that fight, Jones insists he has still been available for drug testing. According to USADA records, he is likely telling the truth. Jones was tested nine times in 2017, although the USADA records only break out testing by quarters, so it is unclear how many times he was tested following the positive result at UFC 214. Jones was tested at least one time in the fourth quarter, which absolutely was after he was suspended. TRENDING > Wanderlei Silva’s Run for Office is Official; Rampage Jackson Might Be Final Fight Jones was not tested in the first or second quarters of 2018, but has been tested in the third quarter; thus far, his lone test of 2018.

Wanderlei Silva’s Run for Office is Official; Rampage Jackson Might Be Final Fight

Wanderlei Silva pointing

There are two things for sure in 42-year-old Wanderlei Silva’s future. One, he is fighting Quinton “Rampage” Jackson on Sept. 29 at Bellator 206 in San Jose, Calif. Two, he is officially running for office in Brazil.

Disheartened by the corrupt political landscape of Brazil, Silva had talked about potentially running for a position as a federal deputy in the Chamber of Deputies, which is similar to the U.S. House of Representatives. He has moved full speed ahead and confirmed his candidacy recently on Instagram.

Rampage Jackson vs Wanderlei Silva UFC 92Silva told MMAFighting that, whether or not he won the electoral campaign, his fight with Rampage Jackson might be his final bout. 

“I’m facing this as maybe it is my last fight,” Silva said. “I will run for federal deputy now. It’s a new career, a new time in my life. I’m seeing the need for it. There are guys being elected that have no business being there, a bunch of poor guys, dishonest guys that steal from the people. You have to put guys that have an ideal and already have money to live so they don’t need to steal from the people.

“I will do this fight and then I’ll run for congress and if I get elected, I’ll go one direction, and if I don’t get elected, I’ll go another one. But the intention is that maybe this is my last fight. … I think that being elected or not, maybe this is my last fight. I’ve done enough. But there are a lot of people coming back. I think that my performance will say if it’s my last one or not.”

TRENDING > Anderson Silva: ‘I Think Khabib Nurmagomedov is the Best’ Fighter in the World

Bellator, in particular, has signed a lot of fighters in the sunset of their careers over the past few years. Silva joins Jackson and the likes of Chael Sonnen, Fedor Emelianenko, and others that appear to be fighting their final bouts under the Bellator banner.

Bellator Bantamweight Champ Darrion Caldwell Blisters Noad Lahat in Featherweight Feature Fight

Darrion Caldwell - UFC 204

Bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell returned to featherweight at Bellator 204 on Friday night in Sioux Falls, S.D., where he made quick work of Noad Lahat.

Though Lahat has an impressive track record fighting for the UFC and Bellator, it wasn’t enough to fend off Caldwell. The bantamweight champ was impressive in his first fight at featherweight in nearly four years, easily taking Lahat to the canvas and pounding him out with a brutal assault of punches rocketing up from under Lahat’s arm.

Decorated wrestler Logan Storley kept his undefeated record intact, taking out A.J. Matthews in the Bellator 204 co-main event. Storley continuously put Matthews on the canvas until the referee had to step in and stop his ground-and-pound attack. 

TRENDING > Dana White: I Would Have Beat Tito Ortiz in Bungled Boxing Match

Irishman James Gallagher had intended to put a stamp on his chase for the bantamweight belt, but his brash demeanor backfired, as Ricky Bandejas shocked and rocked him. He dropped Gallagher with a right hand and then again with a sidekick to the face before unloading with a fury of fists to finish him.

Bellator 204: Caldwell vs. Lahat Full Results

Main Card:

  • Featherweight Main Event: Darrion Caldwell (13-1) def. Noad Lahat (12-4) via TKO (punches) at 2:46 of round two
  • Welterweight Co-Main Event: Logan Storley (9-0) def. A.J. Matthews (9-8) via TKO (punches) at 3:56 of round two
  • Bantamweight Main Card Bout: Ricky Bandejas (11-1) def. James Gallagher (7-1) via KO (strikes) at 2:49 of round one
  •  Featherweight Main Card Bout: Tywan Claxton (3-0) def. Cris Lencioni (3-2) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Preliminary Card:

  • Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Omar Morales (7-0) def. Troy Nawrocki (3-1) via KO (strikes) at 0:58 of round one
  • Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Demarques Jackson (9-2) def. Bryce Logan (9-3) via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Jason Jackson (8-3) def. Jordon Larson (9-5) via TKO (punches) at 3:52 of round one
  • Welterweight Preliminary Bout: David Michaud (13-4) def. Corey Davis (3-1) via KO (punches) at 1:42 of round one
  • Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Romero Cotton (3-0) def. Willie Whitehead (2-3) via TKO (strikes) at 4:12 of round one
  • Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Tyler Ray (3-1) def. Seth Bass (4-3) via KO (strikes) at 3:30 of round one
  • Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Keith Phathaem (1-1) vs. Micah Peatrowsky (2-1) via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Flyweight Preliminary Bout: Lloyd McKinney (8-5) def. Robiel Tesfaldet (2-2) via submission (arm triangle choke) at 4:17 of round three
  • Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Jeff Nielsen (2-0) def. Wyatt Meyer (1-1) via TKO (punches) at 2:53 of round one

Eryk Anders Planning ‘Highlight Reel Finish’ at UFC Lincoln

Eryk Anders - UFC on FOX 25 weigh-in

After winning the first 10 bouts of his pro career, middleweight Eryk Anders suffered his first defeat at UFC Fight Night 125 in February to former light-heavyweight title holder Lyoto Machida via split-decision.

For Anders, it’s not so much the damage Machida had done to win the fight, but the amount of activity the judges saw him have that put the fight in his favor.

“I didn’t get the results I was looking for,” Anders told MMAWeekly.com. “I think the key takeaway from the fight was seeing how judges score fights.

“During the fight I thought he was just basically putting his foot up there and touching me on the leg. In my head during the fight I wasn’t considering those significant strikes. He wasn’t doing any damage. There was a strike differential, but they were all leg kicks, and that’s how the judges looked at the fight.”

Since his loss was not a devastating one that exposed a potentially large hole in his game, Anders did not feel the need to overhaul his training, but more focus on upping his activity level for future bouts.

“I’m always consistently evolving my game in every facet of the game: whether it be on the ground, on the feet, or against the cage, wherever the fight takes place,” said Anders. “I would say more output. Throw more strikes. Go out and assert my dominance.

“I’m just moving forward. It was cool being undefeated. It gave the talking heads something to talk about, but at the same time I wasn’t under any extra pressure to remain undefeated. I just want to go out there and perform my best and get the W.”

Anders (10-1) will look to rebound when he faces Tim Williams (15-4) in a main card 185-pound bout at UFC Fight Night 135 on August 25 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

TRENDING > Glover Teixeira Knocked Out of UFC Sao Paulo Headliner

“I’ve just got to be myself,” Anders said. “I think (Williams’) only chance of winning the fight is to get it to the ground. We are in a fist fight with four-ounce gloves. I’ve still got to go out there and perform, but I think I’m better wherever the fight takes place.”

While the most important thing to Anders is getting back on track, he would like to secure a spot on a future card and have an opportunity to fight in one of the meccas of combat sports.

“I think you can call your shots a little bit more when you win,” said Anders. “I think if I can go out there and get an impressive W, hopefully I can fight again at Madison Square Garden. I want to get a highlight reel finish and get the invitation to fight whoever in November.”

Dana White Shoots Down Georges St-Pierre Fighting Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov Winner

Dana White - Khabib Nurmagomedov - Georges St-Pierre - Conor McGregor

UFC president Dana White is not willing to entertain Georges St-Pierre challenging the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor.

Nurmagomedov’s undisputed UFC lightweight title will be on the line when he and McGregor headline UFC 229 on Oct. 6 in Las Vegas.

St-Pierre returned from a near-four-year hiatus last year to move up to middleweight and immediately take the title from Michael Bisping. Despite assuring White that he would defend the belt if he won, St-Pierre, citing health issues at the increased weight, vacated the title a few weeks later and hasn’t fought since.

He has, however, expressed interest in challenging the winner of Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor for the lightweight title, further adding to his legacy.

White isn’t buying.

Georges St-Pierre Workout Interview“I’m not interested in that fight. He knows that and I’ve told him many times,” White said on The BBC MMA Show recently. “He was the 170-pound champion, he moved up to 185 pounds to take on Michael Bisping and put in his agreement that he would absolutely defend the title at 185 and then just dumped the title. I’m not interested.”

White understands what St-Pierre is doing and doesn’t fully fault him for it. St-Pierre ruled the welterweight division for years, defeating all comers, but now, as he nears a self-imposed career deadline of 40 years of age, the 37-year-old Canadian only wants fights that add to his legacy.

Although it would have made him a truckload of money, St-Pierre shot down a proposed match-up with Nate Diaz because he didn’t feel it fit the bill for solidifying his place in UFC history.

“Georges St-Pierre is looking for one-off fights where he can make a lot of money, which it’s smart, that’s what he should do, but we’re not interested in that,” White continued.

“I’m interested in Georges St-Pierre coming back at 170 [pounds], not at 155 pounds.”

TRENDING > Oscar De La Hoya Aims to Upend MMA and ‘Pay Fighters What They Deserve’

As he did when negotiations for the Bisping bout hit a rough patch, White doubts that St-Pierre really wants to fight. In fact, he’s not sure that he’ll ever return to the Octagon again, despite his success against Bisping in 2017.

“I don’t know. He’s not too excited about fighting or defending his title or anything like that. I don’t know if he’ll ever fight again.”

Bellator 204 Fight Highlights: James Gallagher Upset by Bellator Rookie

Bellator 204 Fight Highlights

(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)

Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell made his way up to featherweight for a non-championship headliner at Bellator 204, where he made quick work of Noad Lahat.

In a main card feature bout, newcomer Ricky Bandejas upset Irish sensation James Gallagher, derailing his run at a title shot.

TRENDING > Oscar De La Hoya Aims to Upend MMA and ‘Pay Fighters What They Deserve’

Bellator 204: Caldwell vs. Lahat Full Results

Main Card:

  • Featherweight Main Event: Darrion Caldwell (13-1) def. Noad Lahat (12-4) via TKO (punches) at 2:46 of round two
  • Welterweight Co-Main Event: Logan Storley (9-0) def. A.J. Matthews (9-8) via TKO (punches) at 3:56 of round two
  • Bantamweight Main Card Bout: Ricky Bandejas (11-1) def. James Gallagher (7-1) via KO (strikes) at 2:49 of round one
  •  Featherweight Main Card Bout: Tywan Claxton (3-0) def. Cris Lencioni (3-2) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Preliminary Card:

  • Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Omar Morales (7-0) def. Troy Nawrocki (3-1) via KO (strikes) at 0:58 of round one
  • Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Demarques Jackson (9-2) def. Bryce Logan (9-3) via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Jason Jackson (8-3) def. Jordon Larson (9-5) via TKO (punches) at 3:52 of round one
  • Welterweight Preliminary Bout: David Michaud (13-4) def. Corey Davis (3-1) via KO (punches) at 1:42 of round one
  • Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Romero Cotton (3-0) def. Willie Whitehead (2-3) via TKO (strikes) at 4:12 of round one
  • Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Tyler Ray (3-1) def. Seth Bass (4-3) via KO (strikes) at 3:30 of round one
  • Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Keith Phathaem (1-1) vs. Micah Peatrowsky (2-1) via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Flyweight Preliminary Bout: Lloyd McKinney (8-5) def. Robiel Tesfaldet (2-2) via submission (arm triangle choke) at 4:17 of round three
  • Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Jeff Nielsen (2-0) def. Wyatt Meyer (1-1) via TKO (punches) at 2:53 of round one