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Former Bellator MMA Color Commentator Jimmy Smith Joins UFC Broadcast Team

Following a split with Bellator MMA just a couple of weeks ago, veteran combat sports color commentator Jimmy Smith has joined the UFC broadcast team.

Smith had hinted a potential move to the UFC after leaving Bellator just recently and now he’ll take on a familiar role as color commentator as well as working as an analyst in studio for pay-per-views, FOX and FS1 broadcasts going forward. 

“I am honored to join the world’s premier combat sports brand in 2018,” Smith said in a statement. “It is a privilege to call fights for a living and I can’t wait to join the tremendous UFC broadcast team to call the best fights in the world. To the UFC fans, I am thrilled to join you for this wild ride. See you all very soon!”  

Smith is well respected in the MMA community with his knowledge of the sport and enthusiasm calling fights. He now joins a UFC broadcast team that employs several color commentators including Joe Rogan as well as current fighters Daniel Cormier, Dominick Cruz and Paul Felder.

Smith is expected to make his UFC debut in the very near future. 

Vince Cachero Plans to ‘Put the Pressure On’ Nohelin Hernandez at LFA 30

Looking back over his first year as a pro, bantamweight prospect Vince Cachero couldn’t be much happier with the way things turned out.

In three bouts in 2017, Cachero was able to go undefeated and continue the success he had built up in the amateur ranks.

“I feel really good about my 2017,” Cachero told MMAWeekly.com. “I went 3-0. I got two finishes; a TKO in February, and a second round submission in June, and then we won a unanimous decision Fight of the Night in my last win in November.”

Having spent a couple years at the amateur level, which saw him win a championship, Cachero believes that time had a big impact on the way he was able to take care of business in his first year as a pro.

“The transition was really easy because of the group and team around me,” said Cachero. “I know the level that I’m at, and I get really good looks. The competition is good, and the guys I’ve fought are quality, but I’m looking forward to where I can take it.

“I was able to discover if I really wanted to fight. I got into fighting just to try it out. I knew I was decent in the gym, and I wanted to see what it was really like. Amateurs allowed me to mature, play with my game and grow as a fighter. By the time I turned pro I really hit my stride.”

Cachero (3-0) will look to keep his winning ways going in his first bout of 2018 when he takes on Nohelin Hernandez (6-1) in a main card 135-pound bout at LFA 30 this Friday in Costa Mesa, Calif.

“We knew going into this fight that he was going to be a tough person to fight,” Cachero said of Hernandez. “We know the UFC probably has eyes on him.

“I haven’t even shown the level I’m at in the gym in a fight, so I’m excited to go out there and put the pressure on him. He’s more of a stand-up fighter who is good at controlling the distance and has good takedown defense, but I’m just going to pressure him and see if he can handle that or not.”

TRENDING > Conor McGregor Knocks Out Floyd Mayweather’s Trolling Attempt!

While other fighters might seek to take things one bout at a time, Cachero has a clear idea of what he wants to accomplish in 2018 to move his career forward.

“I absolutely set goals,” said Cachero. “I think you need to set goals to determine how you act to reach what you want. You just can’t go out there and go fight to fight.

“I have a goal this year and that’s get four wins. I’m 3-0 right now, and four wins would get me to 7-0, and I think that will have me knocking on the door to the UFC. So yeah, the goal for this year is four wins.”

Vitor Belfort Reflects on Legendary Career Ahead of Final Fight (Video)

(Courtesy of UFC)

A pioneer in MMA and the UFC, Vitor Belfort is ready for his final chapter at Fight Night St. Louis. Don’t miss the action on Sunday, January 14 on FS1.

TRENDING > Vitor Belfort Announces He Will Retire Following Fight Against Uriah Hall

Jeremy Stephens: ‘I’m Taking All Dooho Choi’s Hopes and Dreams’

(Courtesy of UFC)

Featherweight Jeremy Stephens previews his main event fight against Dooho Choi at UFC Fight Night St. Louis on Sunday live on FS1.

TRENDING > Relive an Instant Classic: Cub Swanson vs. Doo Ho Choi (UFC St. Louis Free Fight)

Tune in to MMAWeekly.com on Sunday for UFC Fight Night 124: Stephens vs. Choi Full Results and Live Fight Stats.

While Stephens and Choi meet in the night’s headliner, in the night’s co-main event, former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort heads into the twilight of his career, looking to put together one last winning streak. He’ll have to be on point though, as he squares off with The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finalist Uriah Hall.

Invicta FC 27: Kaufman vs. Kianzad Weigh-in Replay

The fighters competing on Saturday’s Invicta FC 27: Kaufman vs. Kianzad fight card officially weighed in on Friday in Kansas City, Missouri. See how the athletes looked on the scales.

TRENDING > Tyron Woodley Explains Why He Doesn’t Like What the Sport of MMA Has Become

Dooho Choi: ‘I Was Born to Knock Fighters Out’

(Courtesy of UFC)

Dooho Choi is ready to show the world again how he fights like a beast. On Sunday, he’ll take on Jeremy Stephens in the main event at UFC Fight Night St. Louis.

TRENDING > Big John McCarthy Explains Move from Refereeing to the Bellator Broadcast Booth

Tune in to MMAWeekly.com on Sunday for UFC Fight Night 124: Stephens vs. Choi Full Results and Live Fight Stats.

While Stephens and Choi meet in the night’s headliner, in the night’s co-main event, former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort heads into the twilight of his career, looking to put together one last winning streak. He’ll have to be on point though, as he squares off with The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finalist Uriah Hall.

Watch the Invicta FC 27 Weigh-in Live at 7 PM ET

(Courtesy of UFC)

Watch the 18 fighters competing on Saturday’s Invicta FC 27: Kaufman vs. Kianzad fight card officially weigh in on Friday in Kansas City, Missouri.

TRENDING > Tyron Woodley Explains Why He Doesn’t Like What the Sport of MMA Has Become

Tyron Woodley Explains Why He Doesn’t Like What the Sport of MMA Has Become

Tyron Woodley really doesn’t like where the sport of mixed martial arts is headed these days.

According to the reigning UFC welterweight champion, he misses when MMA was still a sport more than entertainment and fighters were judged based on performances inside the cage rather than outlandish acts on the outside.

It’s part of the reason why Woodley admits that he doesn’t actually enjoy fighting all that much but it has nothing to do with training or the actual battles he endures when he’s competing.

Instead, Woodley points to all the outside factors that have started to play a part in the sport more and more these days where fighters are talking themselves into fights rather than earning it based on accomplishments.

“I don’t even really like fighting to be honest. I’m just good at it,” Woodley told Joe Rogan on his podcast on Thursday.

“I don’t like the politics behind it. I don’t like the martial arts aspect has been taken away from it. I don’t like the disrespect to the sport. Guys that aren’t really training hard. They don’t look the part. I think professional athletes should look a certain way. I really don’t like the youth, this generation of fighters that watch a move on TV, on YouTube and they go and want to do it. They don’t want to drill repetitions, they don’t want to actually put in the work.”

Of course how other fighters are behaving doesn’t necessarily impact Woodley directly but he points out how it does hit his bottom line when it comes to the opponents he faces and how matchups in the UFC are determined these days.

Woodley prefers a merit based system where the best of the best are the ones rising to the top of the sport but instead the loudest fighters in any given room seem to get the most attention these days.

“It affects me because our sport is also the fans and the fans actually the culture who gets the fight. If a guy’s going to talk enough s–t and start wearing fly suits then in this day and age, that’s good enough for a title shot,” Woodley said. “I think that’s disrespectful to everybody that came before.

“Remember you had to go 10-0 and then you get the f–king call from the UFC? If Conor [McGregor] wants Artem Lobov in the UFC and a .500 record, he’s going to be in the UFC. It’s ways that the sport has taken the love out of it.”

Woodley does give credit to McGregor for backing up all the crazy things he says by performing whenever he competes inside the Octagon but the Irish superstar is an anomaly when it comes to outspoken fighters who also back up every word.

Still the overall trend with matchups being made in the UFC based on trash talk rather than who has actually earned an opportunity will always rub Woodley the wrong way.

“I love training,” Woodey said about his own career. “I don’t like what the sport has become.”

Paige VanZant Looking to ‘Make Her Stamp in the Flyweight Division’ at UFC St. Louis

(Courtesy of UFC)

Paige VanZant is looking forward to making her mark on the new flyweight division when she faces off against Jessica-Rose Clark at UFC Fight Night St. Louis.

TRENDING > Max Holloway Opens as Heavy UFC 222 Betting Favorite Over Frankie Edgar

Tune in to MMAWeekly.com on Sunday for UFC Fight Night 124: Stephens vs. Choi Full Results and Live Fight Stats.

While VanZant is looking forward to her flyweight debut in the Octagon opposite Clark, Jeremy Stephens and Dooho Choi meet in a pivotal featherweight bout in the night’s headliner. In the UFC Fight Night 124 co-main event, former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort heads into the twilight of his career, looking to put together one last winning streak. He’ll have to be on point though, as he squares off with The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finalist Uriah Hall.

Robert Whittaker Injured; Luke Rockhold Now Faces Yoel Romero for Interim Title at UFC 221

UFC 221 has just suffered a major loss.

Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has been forced out of the main event due to an undisclosed injury. With Whittaker out, the UFC has decided to move forward with an interim title fight with former champion Luke Rockhold facing Yoel Romero in the new main event from Perth, Australia on Feb. 10.

UFC officials confirmed the news via ESPN on late Friday night.

“I’m beyond disappointed that I’m unable to defend the title in my home country of Australia,” Whittaker said in the release. “I hope the fans enjoy what should be a great night of fights at UFC 221, and I look forward to a recovery as soon as possible that will have me back in the Octagon to face the winner of the main event.”

Whittaker’s injury with a new interim title being introduced is just the latest saga affecting the middleweight division.Yoel Romero UFC 213 Made for This

Whittaker was crowned interim champion last July with a win over Romero while Michael Bisping was injured and awaiting an eventual showdown with Georges St-Pierre in November. St-Pierre ultimately defeated Bisping to become champion but then he vacated the belt just a few weeks later.

Whittaker was then declared the undisputed middleweight champion but now that he’s been sidelined another interim belt will be introduced with the winner of Rockhold vs. Romero expected to then unify the title later in 2018.

Romero was already scheduled for a fight a few weeks later at UFC on FOX 28 from Orlando in a middleweight bout against David Branch. Now the former Olympic silver medalist will bump up to the main event at UFC 221 where he’ll face Rockhold with a chance to win UFC gold for the first time while also potentially setting up a rematch with Whittaker later this year.