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Heavyweight showdown headlines LFA 67 in Branson, Missouri

Legacy Fighting Alliance CEO Ed Soares recently announced that the promotion will feature a heavyweight showdown at the top of LFA 67 when the promotion kicks off Memorial Day weekend in The Ozarks.

The main event of LFA 67 will feature a heavyweight showdown between two heavy-handed knockoutartists when Chicago native Daniel “The Predator” James faces Des Moines product Patrick Martin. LFA 67 – James vs. Martin takes place Friday, May 24th at the Branson Convention Center in Branson, Missouri. The entire main card will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV.

“We are excited to kick off Memorial Day weekend in Missouri,” stated Soares. “RFA hosted four shows across the state and this will be our third trip to the Show Me State as LFA. Missouri has some of the best fight fans in the country. Daniel James put the division on notice with a big knockout win at LFA 50. Patrick Martin made a similar statement with a quick knockout win at LFA 60. Both men have the ability to end a fight with one punch. This will be a memorable main event at LFA 67.”

James (8-3-1) put the LFA heavyweight division on notice in his promotional debut this past September at LFA 50. “The Predator” faced NCAA Division I wrestler turned undefeated MMA prospect Calyn Hull that night and stopped the former Wisconsin Badger with an onslaught of punches just 32-seconds into the second stanza. The win surprised many MMA scouts that were high on Hull, but it also confirmed what many hardcore MMA fans have known for years. That is the fact that the former celebrity bodyguard is a stylistic nightmare for anyone. Knockout power in both hands with a strong Judo base has made the 6’5″, 265-pound behemoth a toughmatchup for anyone during his 5-year MMA career.

Martin (7-4) is perhaps the one man in the division that is equipped to match James in both size and skill set. Standing 6’6″ and also tipping the scales at the division weight limit of 265-pounds, the former college basketball player possesses the same impressive measurables as his Chicago based counterpart. Hailing from the state capital of Iowa, the Des Moines native quickly gave his hometown crowd something to cheer about in February. Like James, Martin also faced an undefeated prospect, but he needed only 31-seconds to dispatch Byron Stevens via TKO at LFA 60. The dangerous southpaw started MMA four years ago, so he like his opponent at LFA 67, he is young in his MMA career.

TRENDING > Joe Rogan waxes on what might be next for Nate Diaz

The co-main event of LFA 67 could determine the next top contender in the talent-laden LFA lightweight division. Dynamic Missourian prospect Dakota “Hairy” Bush (6-1) will look to defend his home state’s turf against fellow top prospect and two-time LFA headliner Jaleel “The Realest” Willis (9-2). Both men have picked up big wins at the Branson Convention Center and will be looking for similar success in their return trip to The Ozarks. The 24-year-old Bush will be making his fifth appearance for LFA. The St. Clair native began that successful run with a submission win over Jose Martinez in Branson at LFA 21. Meanwhile, the 27-year-old Willis will be making his fourth appearance for the promotion. He also picked up his first LFA win in Branson. That win came last summer in the co-headliner of LFA 42. The Memphis native stopped Chel Erwin-Davis with a big right knee and punches just 70 seconds into their bout.

LFA 67: James vs. Martin Fight Card

Currently Announced Main Card (Televised on AXS TV at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT):

  • Main Event | Heavyweight Bout (265 lb)
    – Daniel James (8-3-1) vs. Patrick Martin (7-4)
  • Co-Main Event | Lightweight Bout (155 lb)
    – Dakota Bush (6-1) vs. Jaleel Willis (9-2)
  • Featherweight Bout (145 lb)
    – TeeJay Britton (5-1) vs. Solo Hatley Jr. (5-1)
  • Welterweight Bout (170 lb)
    – Chel-Erwin Davis (5-2) vs. Mike Breeden (6-2)
  • Bantamweight Bout (135 lb)
    – Garrett Armfield (2-0) vs. Chris Ocon (4-0)

Watch the emotional highs and lows from UFC 236

(Courtesy of UFC)

Re-live the thrill and the agony from an unforgettable night of fights at UFC 236: Holloway vs Poirier 2 with this special sneak peek.

Dustin Poirier won the interim lightweight title in the fight card’s main event by defeating featherweight champion Max Holloway. Israel Adesanya captured the interim middleweight crown in the co-main event with a win over Kelvin Gastelum. Both fights earned Fight of the Night honors, and for good reason.

TRENDING > UFC Fight Night: Jacare vs. Hermansson main card moves from ESPN to ESPN+

The UFC 236 main and co-main events both went all five rounds with brutal back-and-forth action with none of the participants escaping the after effects. Watch and see for yourself.

Former UFC fighter Angela Magana in coma after complications from emergency surgery

Former UFC fighter and current Combate Americas athlete Angela Magana remains in a coma following emergency surgery in Puerto Rico.

Members of Magana’s team revealed the news after she was forced into surgery following severe back pain that ultimately forced her out of her upcoming Combate Americas debut on April 26.

“What happened to Angela, she herniated a disc while training for fight, she went for a nerve block to continue training. Nerve block caused a rare neurological disorder, cauda equina, rushed to emergency nuero surgery and hasn’t woken since surgery this AM currently in a coma,” Magana’s team wrote on her Twitter account following the surgery.

“Angela still unresponsive I will be here in the ICU at hospital as nuero team works on this. Remember life is so short and can change in a blink of an eye!”

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, cauda equina is a condition that happens “when the nerve roots of the cauda equina are compressed and disrupt motor and sensory function to the lower extremities and bladder. Patients with this syndrome are often admitted to the hospital as a medical emergency. CES can lead to incontinence and even permanent paralysis”

According to her team, Magana was suffering from a herniated disc in her back, which then led to the bout of cauda equina that forced her to undergo emergency surgery.

Following news of Magana’s hospitalization, a spokesperson from Combate Americas released the following statement:

“We are closely following the progress of Angela Magana who is currently in a coma following complications from emergency surgery. Our team is in direct contact with her coach.  Angela is a true fighter, and we are staying positive that she will fight her way out of this.”

Magana currently resides in Puerto Rico along with her children where she has been training for her upcoming Combate Americas debut.

Members of her team are providing constant updates via her Twitter account as Magana continues to receive treatment after slipping into the coma this week.

Dustin Poirier says September is perfect for Khabib fight, UFC unification bout

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

Following his win over featherweight champion Max Holloway at UFC 236, Dustin Poirier is now the interim UFC lightweight titleholder. His next opponent is already set, that being lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Nurmagomedov, however, is currently serving a nine-month suspension for his UFC 229 post-fight actions when he ignited a brawl with Conor McGregor and his teammates. He will be eligible to return in July, but the UFC is currently targeting September for the showdown with Poirier.

TRENDING > Anderson Silva: Israel Adesanya crossed a line disrespecting Jon Jones, the best fighter in the world

That’s just fine for Lafayette, Louisiana’s second UFC champion, the first being Daniel Cormier.

“I think September is perfect for this fight. I believe that is when his suspension is over,” Poirier told TMZ Sports. “That’ll give me plenty of time to decompress and then get right back into training camp. It’s perfect.”

UFC 236 prelims suffer drop in ratings compared to UFC 234 and UFC 235

The prelims for UFC 236: Holloway vs. Poirier 2 suffered a big ratings dropped compared to the other two pay-per-view broadcasts thus far in 2019.

The card last Saturday night averaged 893,000 viewers over the course of the two-hour broadcast and finished ninth in the cable ratings.

The average viewers for UFC 236 dropped dramatically from UFC 234, which pulled in 1.339 million viewers while UFC 235 went even higher at 1.48 million viewers with both cards airing on ESPN.

While there wasn’t much star power on the UFC 236 prelims headlined by a lightweight fight between Jalin Turner and Matt Frevola, the show did have a solid lead in on ESPN.

The game between the Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic in the first round of the NBA playoffs pulled in 2.444 million viewers on ESPN followed by a SportsCenter broadcast that had 1.688 million viewers.

The UFC 236 card didn’t have a direct competitor at the 8 p.m. start time on Saturday night on cable until ‘Live P.D.’ started at 9 p.m. and pulled in 1.984 million viewers for that broadcast but the show did go head-to-head with another NBA Playoff game on ABC, an NHL playoff game on NBC as well as a NASCAR broadcast on FOX that all pulled in more than 2 million viewers on average.

Because the UFC moved all of their pay-per-views over to ESPN+ now, it’s harder to receive any metrics for that broadcast including social ratings because Nielsen doesn’t typically include any streaming services in their measurements.  

Anderson Silva: Israel Adesanya crossed a line disrespecting Jon Jones, the best fighter in the world

Anderson Silva UFC 234 Los Angeles Scrum

Newly minted interim UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and light heavyweight champ Jon Jones have been firing shots at each other via social media and in interviews for the past couple of months. Former middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva, however, feels Adesanya crossed a line recently with his “disrespect” of Jones.

What Israel Adesanya said about Jon Jones

Ahead of UFC 236, where Adesanya defeated Kelvin Gastelum in a tremendous five-round battle to claim his title, Adesanya said in an interview with TMZ Sports, “I already killed one G.O.A.T. and I’m hunting the next,” in reference to Silva and Jones.

Following the fight, Adesanya appeared on The MMA Hour, where he slammed Jones further, calling him inflammatory names before declaring, “He’s picking the time when I’m supposed to get the most shine to come at me because he’s irrelevant. No one really cares about him. I’m everything he wished he was; I’m everything he wished he would have been.”

What Anderson Silva thinks about Israel Adesanya’s comments about Jon Jones

Silva believes that Adesanya “crossed the line a little bit” when painting Jones in such a light.

“That’s my personal opinion because Israel is young and Jon Jones has a great story for a long time in this sport. I think Adesanya needs to respect Jon Jones, but for the business, it’s good for Dana (White and the UFC’s business),” Silva said.

For Silva, however, he doesn’t think it’s appropriate for Adesanya to insult the athletic accomplishments of a fighter that has the achievements of Jones, whom Silva puts on a pedestal above himself.

“I respect all fighters, especially Jon Jones. Jon Jones is my young brother and I don’t have nothing for talking about Jon Jones. He’s the best fighter in the world.”

What’s next for Adesanya, Jones and Silva?

Regardless of the friction between Adesanya and Jones or what Silva thinks of it, the likelihood of any of them mixing it up in the Octagon any time soon is minimal.

After laying claim to the interim middleweight title, Adesanya is expected to return to the Octagon later this year to unify his belt with that of undisputed UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker, who is healing from an unexpected emergency surgery earlier this year.

Jones, meanwhile, is slated to headline UFC 239 on July 6 in Las Vegas, where he will put his light heavyweight title on the line against Thiago Santos.

Silva is the first of the three that we’ll see in the Octagon again, as he is scheduled to fight Jared Cannonier in the UFC 237: Namajunes vs. Adrade co-main event on May 11 in Rio de Janeiro.

Anderson Silva’s UFC 237 scrum with reporters

(Courtesy of UFC)

Joe Rogan waxes on what might be next for Nate Diaz

Nate Diaz Post-UFC 25th Anniversary Presser

(Courtesy of JRE Clips)

Dustin Poirier just became the interim UFC lightweight champion of the world. Just a few months ago, he was supposed to have fought Nate Diaz. Before the fight ever got near the cage, Poirier had to withdraw because of a hip injury.

What if that fight had happened? And what if Diaz had won? Would we have seen Diaz facing UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway for the interim belt at UFC 236 in Atlanta instead of Poirier? 

TRENDING > Khabib thought Dustin Poirier’s UFC 236 win over Max Holloway was a draw

Joe Rogan, during a recent podcast, discussed that exact scenario with Brendan Schaub and what might be next for Diaz next time he steps into the Octagon. 

What do you think is next for Nate Diaz? Do you think he’ll ever fight in the Octagon again?

UFC 236: Holloway vs. Poirier 2 slow motion highlights

(Courtesy of UFC)

Watch some of the most exciting punches, kicks and moments from UFC 236: Holloway vs Poirier 2 in slow motion.

Dustin Poirier captured the interim lightweight title in the UFC 236 main event by defeating Max Holloway by unanimous decision. In the co-main event, Israel Adesanya was crowned the interim middleweight champion after defeating Kelvin Gastelum.

TRENDING > Joe Rogan waxes on what might be next for Nate Diaz

Both fights were immediately being considered as Fight of the Year candidates. It’s easy to see why when you take a look at the fights again in super slow motion.

UFC Connected: Shevchenko Sisters and Molly McCann

(Courtesy of UFC)

In this episode we head to Thailand and catch up with UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko and her sister Antonina in ‘Fighter Focus.’

UFC Connected is a monthly magazine show that profiles the fighters and events from the world’s leading MMA promotion. With a heavy emphasis on fighters from the Europe, Middle East and Asia regions, UFC Connected gives fans a unique look inside the UFC with exclusive access to fighters, teams and events from around the globe.

TRENDING > Kamaru Usman to Colby Covington: ‘Now you have to beg me for that fight’

Fronted by widely respected sports presenter Layla Anna-Lee, each episode includes regular segments and features that cover a diverse range of aspects within the UFC. We ride along with UFC fighter turned commentator Dan Hardy during his busy fight week schedule at UFC London. And Molly McCann joins Layla in studio to discuss her emotional journey from losing on debut, to becoming the first English female to record a win in the UFC.

Jon Jones puts a cap on feud with Israel Adesanya in latest bout of banter

Jon Jones and Israel Adesanya

Almost out of nowhere, an unlikely feud between UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and newly minted interim middleweight titleholder Israel Adesanya has exploded.

While the chatter initially started as the two addressing the likelihood of one day fighting each other, it quickly devolved.

Jones appears now to be done with the squabble after Adesanya blasted him on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on ESPN on Monday.

“Jon Jones, he literally just reminds me of what I’ve hated most in life, and that’s bullies,” Adesanya said. “I’ve had them through high school, coming up. Literally he’s a jock, he’s a (expletive), and he’s a (expletive). He’s picking the right time. He’s a smart boy. He knows I’m a challenge. Jon Jones likes to look for challenges because there’s a reason. He’s started all this. He’s the one that came out openly and called me out and said, ‘I’d like to fight Israel Adesanya.’

“He knows I’m a threat. But guess what? I’ve said this for so long, if you want to beat me, do it yesterday. I get better every fight. So if he wants to try to take me out early on when he knows I’m only a year in the UFC, and I’m still learning.”

“You sound like you know you can’t beat me right now, so if that’s the case, keep my name out your mouth and we won’t have these problems,” Jones responded Monday on Twitter, seemingly throwing the blame back on Adesanya.

When a fan claimed that Adesanya was simply using Jones’ name to get into the headlines, Jones admitted that was likely so, and said he would stop responding to “The Last Stylebender.”

TRENDING > Dana White defends Daniel Cormier asking to fight Brock Lesnar next

“I won’t even reply to his response. He’s [already] shown me his stripes… Ain’t ready.”

After winning the interim title by defeating Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236 on Saturday in Atlanta, Adesanya is next expected to face champion Robert Whittaker to unify their belts. Jones is scheduled to defend the 205-pound title on July 6 in Las Vegas, where he faces Thiago Santos in the UFC 239 main event.