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Sabina Mazo Plans to Control Carol Yariwaki in First Title Defense at LFA 54

Normally when a fighter has a bout fall through at the last minute, it can be a frustrating and disappointing experience.

For flyweight Sabina Mazo, after having her scheduled September LFA 125lb title defense against Jaimee Nievera get cancelled, she refused to look at it as a negative, but instead look at the good in the situation she had been handed.

“It helped me a lot to have this experience because it happens a lot to fighters,” Mazo told MMAWeekly.com. “It also gave me more chance to train. It’s good that it happened the way that it happened. I was not disappointed at all.

“I was feeling great for that fight, and I kept with the training, and my family came all the way here to visit, so it was good so I could see them and visit. I think it was a little more push for this (upcoming) fight.”

For Mazo, continuing her training from one fight to the next is not a big deal. With the way she trains she is not worried she will suffer from burn out having to get ready for one fight after having prepared for the last.

“I don’t do things like camps,” said Mazo. “I do my training and dieting stuff, but I’m always training, so there was no worries. I’m always training to improve myself – it’s not for my opponent – it’s for myself. I don’t think that was a problem.”

This Friday in Costa Mesa, Calif., Mazo (5-0) will look to defend her title for the first time when she takes on Carol Yariwaki (7-2) in a 125-pound championship main event of LFA 54.

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“(Yariwaki) has a Jiu-Jitsu background, and that will compliment my game a lot because I know I have a really good Jiu-Jitsu game that I’ve never shown before,” Mazo said. “I think I can get the victory by controlling (the fight) and putting my game onto her; using my Muay Thai, my wrestling, and even my Jiu-Jitsu, and try to finish in any stage of the fight.

“It’s always good to show everything. It’s always good to keep evolving and try to apply everything I know. If in the moment I can go to the ground and finish it, I’ll do it.”

A successful title defense in the LFA could be the last step Mazo needs to move up to the next level. While that move would be welcomed, Mazo is open for anything that comes her way in 2019.

“I think (moving up) is a good option, unless (in the LFA) I have more opponents, another good opponents, and they offer me good fights,” said Mazo. “But yes, I think (the next level) is a possibility in 2019.”

Conor McGregor Issues Apology for Selling Out of His Irish Whiskey

Conor McGregor with bottle of Proper No 12

Eire Born Spirits today announced that demand for Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey rapidly outpaced supply, resulting in an out-of-stock situation in its original release markets of Ireland and the United States. The situation is a testament to the quality of the brand’s first expression, a fine blend of Irish grain and single malt whiskey. Proper No. Twelve is becoming known all over the world as a brand that pays homage to Crumlin, Dublin 12 the neighborhood where company founder, Conor McGregor, was born and raised.

Proper No. Twelve sold more cases in less than one month than many whiskey brands sell in a full year. This amounted to hundreds of thousands of bottles.  Prior to unveiling the new whiskey blend on 17 September, the distillery bottled what was estimated to be enough product for six months of sales in Ireland and the United States.  Thanks to consumer demand, this forecast was far short of the mark.  Today, the team is working feverishly to bring new product to market, and first wave solutions are in place for early December in Ireland and the United States.

“I told everyone as the company Founder that I was going to give it my all and take the whiskey market by storm,” said McGregor. “I am energized by the incredible reaction and am looking forward to being back in stock in the next few weeks. The Irish whiskey market has been dominated by one brand, but people want choice.  People want brands that have true meaning to them, that give back to the community and that taste great.  Proper No. Twelve checks all of those boxes.”

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McGregor continued, “Over the past weeks, I have had the honour to visit many of our key distributors, customers, bartenders and consumers in Ireland and the United States.  The feedback on our liquid and brand is outstanding and the support from people around the world has blown me away.  I was thanking many and apologising at the same time for running out.  I don’t usually see reason to apologise but in this case I want to take this chance to apologise to absolutely everyone for our out-of-stock situation.  You have shown great support for Proper No. Twelve.  I was at the distillery last week and we have plans in place to be back in stock in Ireland and the United States in early December and onward.  We are producing many hundreds of thousands of bottles now.  We will ship via air instead of by sea to deliver in time for the holidays for the many loyal customers who are asking for Proper No. Twelve for celebrations and gifting.”   McGregor added, “We are also planning to launch in more countries in 2019 including the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Canada and others.  We will continue to expand as quickly as possible to meet the global demand.  We are also working on additional expressions for the future and will launch them when they are proper ready for release.”

Vince Cachero Expecting a ‘Revamped’ Joe Murphy at LFA 54

When it comes to his 2018 so far, bantamweight up and comer Vince Cachero doesn’t have much to complain about.

In two bouts this year, Cachero has picked up victories and has kept his undefeated streak going to start off his career. It’s the kind of start he is hoping will make an impression on the people at the highest level of MMA.

“I felt really exciting for keeping that undefeated record, but not just keeping that, we’re trying to fight the best opponents we can to prove to Dana (White) and Sean (Shelby) that I’m ready right now to be in the UFC,” Cachero told MMAWeekly.com.

“That last guy I beat, Nohelin Hernandez, I believe is 10-2 right now and is on a winning streak since I beat him. He’s a solid fighter I think is ready for the UFC as well. And the last guy I fought, Thomas Puente, is from that Cub Swanson/TJ Dillasaw super camp. We’re trying to beat the best guys we can and prove we’re ready.”

In his second year as a pro, Cachero feels he’s made strides in the areas of his game he has set out to make improvements over the course of the past two years.

“I’ve been working a lot more on my grappling and my wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu,” said Cachero. “I’ve been working with Kevin Casey this past year, and it’s completely changing my whole game. My ground is getting more dominant.

“I knew I needed to work on my hands last year, and that’s what I did; I knew I needed to work in my ground this year, and that’s what I did.”

In Costa Mesa, California, this Friday at LFA 54, Cachero (5-0) will look to cap off his second straight undefeated year when he takes on Joe Murphy (8-4) in a 135-pound main card bout.

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“He’s one of the OG prospects from back in the RFA and was one of the top guys at the time,” Cachero said of Murphy. “He hit a bit of a losing streak and took some time off, so I’m expecting him to come back better than ever, completely revamped. I’m not going to take him lightly at all.

“He’s a black belt on the ground and has good hands. I’m just really excited to fight him and prove to people I deserve to be at the top. To get the win, it’s whatever it takes; on the feet, on the ground; I feel I can beat him anywhere. If I’m dominant and stay in his face I know I’ll get the finish.”

For Cachero a win this Friday would put him into title contention for the LFA. And while a title would be a big accolade for him, it is the opportunity to step up to the next level that is what he is focused on in 2019.

“Whatever works to get me to the next level,” said Cachero. “If that means go and fighting for the belt and winning the belt, and if that’s what I have to do, that’s what I’ll do. I just want to fight at the next level. I know that I’m ready, so I just want to go out there and prove it.”

Floyd Mayweather Admits He’s Already Made Millions Promoting Rizin, ‘Fight’ Back On

Floyd Mayweather

The on again, off again fight between Floyd Mayweather and kickboxing sensation Tenshin Nasukawa, presumably under the Rizin FF banner in Japan.

The bout was first announced at a Rizin FF press conference in Japan, for which Mayweather flew to Tokyo to attend and conduct interviews talking about the fight. The fight announcement came as a shocker to most, as he has been more recently linked to talks about a potential boxing comeback with Manny Pacquiao and chatter about fighting UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

A few days after the surprise announcement, Mayweather said on social media that he never agreed to fight Nasukawa, that he had been hoodwinked by Rizin. That left many people feeling they had just been “Mayweathered,” as it was certainly an odd circumstance that Mayweather would fly to Japan to promote a bout he had never agreed to. 

Now, in a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Mayweather said the fight is back on as a three-round boxing exhibition.

“It’s gonna be a little boxing exhibition,” Mayweather said. “No kicking at all. I’m moving around with the guy for nine minutes. And of course it’s gonna be the highest paid exhibition ever.”

In announcing the fight was back on, Mayweather also added fuel to the speculation that his trip to Japan for the initial press conference and subsequent recension of the bout was simply promotional fuel by insisting that he had already made “seven figures” to promote Rizin.

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“Just for promoting this event so far, I’ve made seven figures,” Mayweather said.

“People don’t understand. Even when people are like, ‘Floyd fights because he needs money,’ it’s more like this: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Oprah, they still go out there and do different things and get paid financially great. Like I said before, I’m far from hurting for money. I got a ton of money.”

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

Mirsad Bektic Falls Off UFC 231 Fight Card

Mirsad Bektic

Mirsad Bektic has been forced to withdraw from his bout with Renato Moicano, which was scheduled for Dec. 8 at UFC 231 in Toronto.

Bektic was forced out of the bout because of an undisclosed injury. MMAWeekly.com’s Damon Martin verified the news following an initial report by FloCombat.

With each fighter having only one loss on his record and sitting in strong positions amongst the UFC’s Top 10 featherweights, the bout was expected to be of great importance to the 145-pound title picture.

Moicano (13-1-1), who currently holds the No. 4 slot in the division, has only ever lost to Brian Ortega, who will challenge champion Max Holloway for the belt in the UFC 231 main event. He has since won back-to-back bouts over Cub Swanson and Calvin Kattar, so a win over Bektic would have put him on strong footing in the chase for the belt.

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Bektic (13-1) is ranked No. 8 in the division, and looking to make a move to the Top 5. A win over Moicano might have launched him that high up the rankings.

With Bektic out of the fight, UFC officials are scrambling to find a new opponent to keep Moicano on the card, as he could serve as a back-up if either Holloway or Ortega is unable to make it to the Octagon.

UFC Buenos Aires: Neil Magny Says He’ll Break Santiago Ponzinibbio

(Courtesy of MMAFighting.com)

Neil Magny isn’t concerned about facing Santiago Ponzinibbio in hostile territory on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 140. Magny doesn’t think the fight will go the distance and predicts that he’ll ‘break’ Ponzinibbio for a finish.

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Tune in Saturday, Nov. 17, for full UFC Fight Night 140: Magny vs. Ponzinibbio Live Results at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT on MMAWeekly.com. 

UFC Buenos Aires: Magny vs. Santiago Set, but Cynthia Calivillo Misses Weight

A week after its 25th Anniversary event in Denver, the Ultimate Fighting Championship lands in Buenos Aires for its first event in Argentina. Headlined by a welterweight showdown, the UFC Fight Night 140: Magny vs. Ponzinibbio fight card was made official at Friday’s early weigh-ins.

Though Neil Magny (21-6) has long been on the cusp of a welterweight title shot, his path has been a bit bumpy over the past couple of years. Still, he maintains the No. 8 spot in the 170-pound division.

Hot on his heels is Santiago Ponzinibbio (26-3), who is currently ranked at No. 10 in the division due in large part to a six-fight winning streak. Coming off of wins over Gunnar Nelson and Mike Perry, Ponzinibbio is looking to the fight with Magny on his home turf to be the one that launches him into the upper echelon of the division.

Magny and Ponzinibbio will get their opportunity prove their championship mettle on Saturday after each of them weighed 171 pounds for their main event bout.

The UFC Fight Night 140 co-main event pits two featherweights trying to hang on and make a climb back up the divisional ladder. Sitting at Nos. 13 and 14, respectively, Ricardo Lamas and Darren Elkins are fighting for their spots in the Top 15. Neither fighter had any issues with the scale.

The only fighter on the card that had trouble was Cynthia Calvillo, who is making her first trip to the Octagon since serving a nine-month suspension in Nevada after she tested positive in-competition for marijuana metabolites.

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Calvillo tipped the scale at 118 pounds for her strawweight bout with Poliana Botelho. The fight remained intact with Calvillo being fined 20-percent of her fight purse.

UFC Fight Night 140: Magny vs. Santiago Weigh-in Results

Main Card (10 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1)

  • Neil Magny (171) vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio (171)
  • Ricardo Lamas (145.5) vs. Darren Elkins (145)
  • Khalil Rountree (204.5) vs. Johnny Walker (205.5)
  • Cezar Ferreira (185.5) vs. Ian Heinisch (185)
  • Guido Cannetti (135.5) vs. Marlon Vera (135.5)
  • Cynthia Calvillo (118) vs. Poliana Botelho (115.5)*

Prelims (8 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1)

  • Michel Prazeres (170.5) vs. Bartosz Fabinski (170)
  • Alexandre Pantoja (125.5) vs. Ulka Sasaki (125.5)
  • Humberto Bandenay (145.5) vs. Austin Arnett (145.5)
  • Laureano Staropoli (169) vs. Hector Aldana (169.5)

Early Prelims (7 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass)

  • Devin Powell (155) vs. Jesus Pinedo
  • Nad Narimani (145.5) vs. Anderson dos Santos (144.5)

*Calvillo missed weight

Tune in Saturday, Nov. 17, for full UFC Fight Night 140: Magny vs. Ponzinibbio Live Results at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT on MMAWeekly.com. 

Moses Murrietta Looking to Finish Sidiah Parker in LFA 54 Co-Main Event

After a mixed bag of a year in 2017 where he split his two fights, middleweight Moses Murrietta has been able to have a much more advantageous 2018 with two wins in two bouts.

Not only has Murrietta picked up wins in his two fights, but he’s put on performances that have garnished him finishes in both matches.

“Things have been going great,” Murrietta told MMAWeekly.com. “I fought in January in Bellator (against Chris Herrera) and finished my opponent in the first round by knockout.

“A couple months later I fought (Casey Ryan) for the LFA and the guy never made it out for the third round. Things have been going good.”

With wins in all but one of his eight bouts, with finishes in all but two of those victories, Murrietta has proven himself as a prospect to watch, but he doesn’t let that status get to his head.

“I’m happy with my performances,” said Murrietta. “I always criticize my fights after watching them. I know there’s a ton of things I need to work on and get better at. I know there’s a lot more room to grow.

“I see the best guys in the division, and I wouldn’t compare myself to them and I’m a long way from being that skilled. I’m happy that I’m winning, but I don’t believe my own hype I guess you can say.”

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At LFA 54 this Friday in Costa Mesa, Calif., Murrietta (7-1) will look to close out an undefeated year when he faces Sidiah Parker (19-7) in a 185-pound co-main event.

“He’s a little shorter, he’s five-foot-ten, and he likes to strike, mostly box, like me, he doesn’t throw too many kicks,” Murrietta said of Parker. “I know he has a double-leg takedown, but I’m not worried about his takedown.

“I know he has 11 finishes and has a lot more experience than I do, but I believe my striking is on a higher level than his is, and I look to finish him this Friday.”

Looking ahead to 2019, Murrietta has a definitive goal in mind and a path on how to achieve it.

“I just signed a three-fight contract with the LFA, so it will be this fight and then two fights next year,” said Murrietta. “Then hopefully around this time next year I’m walking into the UFC making my UFC debut.”

Nick Diaz Reportedly Returning at UFC 235

Nick Diaz

UFC welterweight Nick Diaz is reportedly returning to the Octagon following a four-year absence.

Diaz is expected to face Jorge Masvidal at UFC 235 on March 2 in Las Vegas, according to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, who cited UFC president Dana White, although additional sources indicated that contracts for the bout had not yet been signed.

Diaz (26-9, 2 NC) has been sidelined since a January 2015 bout with Anderson Silva was ruled a no contest when both fighters tested positive for prohibited substances and were fined and suspended.

Diaz hasn’t shown much interest in fighting since, recently having to fulfill a one-year sanction by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for violating the UFC Anti-Doping Policy because he failed to report his whereabouts to the agency on at least three occasions.

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Masvidal (32-13) hasn’t fought since losing to Stephen Thompson at UFC 217 in November 2017. 

UFC 235 doesn’t yet have a main event, but has been speculated as a likely target for Daniel Cormier to defend his UFC heavyweight championship before retiring later in March.

Dillon Danis, Zubaira Tukhugov and Abubakar Nurmagomedov Have Temporary Suspensions Extended

Dillon Danis and Conor McGregor - SBG Ireland Teammates

The fallout from the UFC 229 post-fight brawl continued on Wednesday with three more people involved in the melee receiving extended suspensions until a full hearing could be held by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Dillon Danis, Zubaira Tukhugov and Abubakar Nurmagomedov all had their temporary suspensions extended for their individual roles during the altercation on Oct. 6 in Las Vegas.

The commission is expected to hold a full hearing for the three fighters named on Wednesday in either December or January. McGregor and Nurmagomedov had previously been suspended pending their hearing that is expected to take place on Dec. 10.

Danis, who serves as one of McGregor’s grappling coaches and training partners, was outside the cage when Nurmagomedov earned a fourth round submission to retain the lightweight championship at UFC 226.

Danis was reportedly shouting at Nurmagomedov during and after the fight and just seconds after he earned the victory, the Dagestan mauler leapt over the cage and went after him. While witnesses claimed that Danis was shouting anti-Muslim rhetoric at Nurmagomedov, the Bellator fighter has denied those allegations.

While that melee was happening, McGregor then jumped up on the cage and ended up getting into a fight with some of Nurmagomedov’s teammates including Tukhugov and his cousin Abubakar, who competes in Professional Fighters League.

Tukhugov already had one fight cancelled because of his role in the altercation after he was pulled from a bout against Artem Lobov just a few weeks after UFC 229 took place.

Now all three fighters will face potential penalties as a result of their actions on Oct. 6 with a full hearing planned for those fighters either later this year or in early 2019.

None of the fighters were present during Wednesday’s meeting but they are expected to appear when the full hearing is held to determine what punishment they may face for their individual roles in the brawl.