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Dana White Says Conor McGregor is Better Than Muhammad Ali at Mental Warfare

Dana White and Conor McGregor UFC 229 NYC Presser

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UFC president Dana White characterized the UFC 229 New York Press Conference with Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov the darkest UFC promotional event that he could think of.

While White had an odd feeling coming out of the press conference, he was still amazed by McGregor’s approach to Nurmagomedov, calling the Irishman the “master of mental warfare,” even going so far as to proclaim that he is better at it than the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, who was a master button pusher.

TRENDING > Conor McGregor’s Best Quotes from the UFC 229 Pre-Fight Press Conference

Tune in to MMAWeekly.com on Oct. 6 for UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor full live results. Undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov puts his belt on the line against Conor McGregor in the main event.

Joshua Pacio has a Point to Prove in ONE: Conquest of Heroes Rematch

Joshua Pacio

In MMA, defeat is inevitable (unless your name is Ben Askren). Everyone loses eventually, but for a young prospect like Joshua Pacio the bitter taste of failure in his first title shot has helped him to learn, evolve, and ultimately secure a second fight with the champion.

In July of 2017, Pacio’s 11-0 record marked him out as one of the top prospects on the ONE Championship roster. He more than held his own for two rounds against strawweight king Yoshitaka Naito in Myanmar, but a mistake in the third stanza was ruthlessly punished by the Japanese submission specialist.

Pacio was submitted with a rear-naked choke. It was a crushing blow, but two year’s later he looks back on the experience as a valuable learning lesson.

“That loss taught me more about myself than any of my victories. Winning feels good, but being given the opportunity to discover my weaknesses was invaluable. I’ve learned and grown so much, I am a completely different fighter.”

The two men will rematch at the Jakarta Convention Centre on Saturday night (local time). Pacio will be the underdog again but wants to show the champion that he is not the same fighter who tapped to that rear naked choke two year’s ago,

“I respect Naito a lot as a champion, as a competitor, and as a martial artist. To be able to show him what I’ve become in the two years since I lost to him is an honor for me.”

The stakes are high for Team Lakay on Saturday because Pacio’s friend and training partner Danny Kingad is also on the card, taking on Yuka Wakamatsu. They have been preparing together in the mountains of Baguio and believe the hard work will be rewarded with a clean sweep on Saturday.

“Me and him have talked before about competing on the same card. It was one of our goals. Now, we have that chance. We are facing two very talented Japanese warriors, and we have a tough task ahead of us,” said Pacio. 

Pacio’s record currently stands at 15-2. He’s won three straight fights and last time out finished Pongsiri Mitsatit with a submission that has variously been described as an inverted Kimura, a hammer lock and an arm lock. It secured him the rematch and the Filipino has a point to prove against Naito.

TRENDING > Conor McGregor Explodes Asking If Khabib Is Disrespecting Vladimir Putin? (UFC 229)

“I take this as an opportunity to finally show him that I have changed so much since the last time we fought,” Pacio explains.

Pacio’s record against Japanese opponents does not make for good reading. He’s faced two of the best strawweights that country has ever produced, but both bouts have ended with the Filipino unable to escape from a rear-naked choke. Hayatao Suzuki and Naito are responsible for the two blemishes on that otherwise outstanding 15-2 record.

Pacio can’t turn back the clock. He will never be an undefeated prospect again, but what he can do is win a title in Jakarta this weekend. The 22-year-old has recovered from his setbacks and thinks the sour taste of defeat will ultimately help him to secure the sweetest of victories.

“At the end of the day, every experience is a learning experience, and you have to be humble enough to recognize that.”

UFC Fight Night 137 Weigh-in Results: Renan Barao Grossly Overweight

Renan Barao at UFC Fight Night 88

The revamped UFC Fight Night 137 headliner got the green light at Friday’s official weigh-in, but former bantamweight champion Renan Barao’s struggles continued, as he was grossly overweight.

UFC Fight Night 137 was originally slated to feature Jimi Manuwa vs. Glover Teixeira in a light heavyweight main event in Sao Paulo on Saturday, but Teixeira withdrew because of injury several weeks ago. Thiago Santos quickly agreed to move up from middleweight to face Manuwa, but just days ago, Manuwa also had to withdraw because of injury.

Another middleweight, Eryk Anders, quickly accepted the fight, so the headliner when we hit the scales is Santos vs. Anders, as both men easily made weight for the light heavyweight showdown.

The lone fighter that didn’t make weight was Barao, the former bantamweight king. After having fought his way to a 32-1, 1NC record, Barao has struggled mightily over the past few years. He is 3-7 over his last ten bouts, but the battle has also been with the scale.

Those struggles continued on Friday, as Barao stepped on the scale at 141.75 pounds for his 135-pound bout with Andre Ewell, who was on point.

At the time of publication, the bout was still being negotiated. Should Ewell accept the bout, Barao would forfeit a percentage of his fight purse to Ewell and might also be required to weigh under a certain specified limit on fight day.

TRENDING > Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov Face Off at UFC 229 Presser in New York

UFC Fight Night 137: Santos vs. Anders Weigh-in Results

Main Card (10:30 p.m. ET on FS1)

  • Thiago Santos (203.7) vs. Eryk Anders (205.6)
  • Alex Oliveira (171) vs. Carlo Pedersoli (170.3)
  • Sam Alvey (205.6) vs. Antônio Rogério Nogueira (205.3)
  • Renan Barão (141.75) vs. Andre Ewell  (135)
  • Randa Markos (115.7) vs. Marina Rodriguez (115.4)

Prelims (8:30 p.m. ET on FS2)

  • Charles Oliveira (153.9) vs. Christos Giagos (155.6)
  • Francisco Trinaldo (155) vs. Evan Dunham (156)
  • Luis Henrique (204.8) vs. Ryan Spann  (203.8)
  • Augusto Sakai (265.6) vs. Chase Sherman (257.1)

Early Prelims (6:30 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass)

  • Sérgio Moraes (170.8) vs. Ben Saunders (170.3)
  • Mayra Bueno Silva (125.4) vs. Gillian Robertson (125.6)
  • Thales Leites (185.9) vs. Hector Lombard (185.7)
  • Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (170.6) vs. Luigi Vendramini (170.4)
  • Livinha Souza (116) vs. Alex Chambers (115.8)

UFC Sao Paulo: Santos vs. Anders Ceremonial Weigh-in Video

Thiago Santos UFC 198 weigh-in

(Courtesy of UFC)

Watch the UFC Fight Night 137 Ceremonial Weigh-in, as the athletes stepped on the scale to make Saturday’s bouts in Sao Paulo, Brazil, official.

TRENDING > Brock Lesnar Returns to WWE, Still Expected to Face Daniel Cormier for UFC Title

Dana White: Conor McGregor Will Earn Biggest Payday Ever for Biggest PPV Ever

Dana White separates Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor

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UFC president Dana White admitted that Conor McGregor will earn the biggest payday ever of any fighter in company history when he faces Khabib Nurmagomedov in the UFC 229 main event on Oct. 6 in Las Vegas.

White doesn’t begrudge McGregor that distinction one bit, as he proclaimed him worth every penny. That’s largely because McGregor is a draw in everything he does and UFC 229 is trending to be the biggest UFC Pay-Per-View ever.

TRENDING > Conor McGregor Signs New Six-Fight Deal with the UFC

Tune in to MMAWeekly.com on Oct. 6 for UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor full live results. Undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov puts his belt on the line against Conor McGregor in the main event.

Watch the UFC Sao Paulo Ceremonial Weigh-in, Live at 5 pm ET

Eryk Anders - UFC on FOX 25 weigh-in

(Courtesy of UFC) Watch as the UFC Fight Night 137 athletes step on the scale at Friday’s ceremonial weigh-in to make Saturday’s bouts in Sao Paulo, Brazil, official. The weigh-in is live at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT. TRENDING > Dana White Says Conor McGregor is Better Than Muhammad Ali at Mental Warfare

Bellator 205 Results: AJ McKee Makes Quick Work of John Teixeira

AJ McKee lays out John Teixeira at Bellator 205

Bellator MMA keeps lining them up and AJ McKee keeps knocking them down, quite literally.

McKee has yet to lose a fight and keeps calling for tougher opponents. At Bellator 205 on Friday in Boise, Idaho, he was handed one of his toughest tests to date in John Teixeira.

It made no difference to McKee as he started quick and came into the fight hands and feet blazing. It only took him a little over a minute into the opening round to end the fight. 

McKee started fast, but Teixeira initially answered well. Though McKee missed with a spinning kick and was driven to the canvas, he got back up and laid Teixeira out with a left hand to the chin. 

Jiu-jitsu ace Rafael Lovato Jr. kept his undefeated record intact as well, by stopping John Salter in the Bellator 205 co-main event. Though he had to go deep into the third round, Lovato Jr. locked on a rear-naked choke to finish the fight.

Patricky Freire kept his run toward a title shot moving forward by stopping Roger Huerta in the main card opener on Friday night. The victory was Freire’s fourth consecutive since failing to take the Bellator lightweight belt from Michael Chandler two years ago.

TRENDING > Dana White Says Conor McGregor is Better Than Muhammad Ali at Mental Warfare

Bellator 205: McKee vs. Teixeira Results

  • AJ McKee def. John Teixeira via knockout (punch) at 1:09, R1
  • Rafael Lovato Jr. def. John Salter via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:27, R3
  • Veta Arteaga def. Denise Kielholtz via submission (standing guillotine choke) at 4:24, R2
  • Patricky Freire def. Roger Huerta via knockout (punches) at 0:43, R2
  • Adam Borics (8-0) def. Josenaldo Silva (25-7) via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:46, R3
  • Steve Mowry (5-0) def. Ben Moa (4-1) via submission (Americana) at 2:40, R1
  • Jarod Trice (4-0) def. Sean Powers (9-7) via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Emilio Trevino (3-0) def. Sua Tuani (2-1) via TKO (punches) at 1:55, R2
  • Vince Morales (8-2) def. Justin Hugo (3-5) via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26, 29-27)
  • Johnny Nunez (7-1) def. Josh Wick (9-4) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
  • Andrew Cruz (4-3) def. Nathan Stolen (8-4) via submission (arm bar) at 3:41, R1
  • Kyle Frost (3-0) def. David Rangel (0-2) via technical submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:29, R1
  • Bryce Edminister (2-1) def. Leon Taylor (0-1) via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:34, R2
  • Stephen Stirewalt (2-0) def. Joe Aguirre (2-1) via submission at 2:13, R1

Khabib Nurmagomedov on Jon Jones Suspension: ‘USADA is No. 1 Bulls–t!’

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

There has been a mixed reaction to former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones having the penalty for his second UFC Anti-Doping Policy infraction reduced from a potential four-year career killer down to a much more manageable 15-month suspension that ends in October. 

There was no waffling in the response from UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov as he spoke to TMZ Sports ahead of Thursday’s UFC 229 press conference with Conor McGregor in New York.

“I think it’s very bad. They have to give him, like, a little bit more,” Nurmagomedov said of Jones’ suspension before adding, “But now I understand that USADA is number one bulls–t.”

TRENDING > Jon Jones Suspended 15 Months by USADA Following Arbitration Over Failed Drug Test

Tune in to MMAWeekly.com on Oct. 6 for UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor full live results. Undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov puts his belt on the line against Conor McGregor in the main event.

UFC KO of the Week: Watch Thiago Santos Finish Jack Marshman

(Courtesy of UFC)

Watch Thiago Santos‘ highlight-reel finish Jack Marshman during their Fight Night bout in 2017. Santos earned a Performance of the Night bonus for the win. Don’t miss Santos in the main event of UFC Sao Paulo on Saturday, live on FS1.

TRENDING > Eryk Anders Likes Last-Minute Call for UFC Sao Paulo

Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov Face Off at UFC 229 Presser in New York

(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)

Ahead of their UFC 229 showdown on Oct. 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and the UFC’s first dual-division champion, Conor McGregor, came face to face at their kickoff press conference on Thursday at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

TRENDING > Conor McGregor’s Coach Breaks Down His Training and the Khabib Nurmagomedov Match-Up

Tune in to MMAWeekly.com on Oct. 6 for UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor full live results. Undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov puts his belt on the line against Conor McGregor in the main event.