About Rich Mitchell


Posts by Rich Mitchell:

Tim Kennedy Announces Retirement, Acknowledges Father Time

UFC middleweight Tim Kennedy on Tuesday decided he will not fade away. While he hinted that Father Time may be catching up to him, Kennedy announced his retirement.

Still a Top 15-ranked middleweight, Kennedy spent the better part of 16 years weaving a successful career in mixed martial arts through his decorated military service. But he wants to leave the sport on his own terms, realizing that it was time to call it a career following a loss to Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 206 in Toronto.

Tim Kennedy unleashes on Melvin Manhoef before he submits him at Strikeforce

“Sitting in the ER at Saint Michael’s hospital in Toronto, Canada, after my fight, I looked up at my buddy Nick Palmisciano who had ridden in the ambulance with me. He is a friend I didn’t deserve and a guy that stood with me from the beginning,” Kennedy recounted on Facebook. “‘That’s it man,’ I said. ‘We’re all done.’ 

“I knew this ride wouldn’t last forever. But saying it out loud definitely brought me both sadness that this chapter was complete and overwhelming relief that it’s a decision I could make without worrying about taking care of my family.”

As he always does, Kennedy poured his heart into the fight with Gastelum, but try as he might, he couldn’t keep the pace of the man 12 years his junior. Bloodied and bruised midway through the third round, Kennedy was still trying to get the fight to the ground, but Gastelum eventually dropped him with powerful punches and earned a TKO stoppage victory. 

“I’m the guy that is always in shape. And I was for this fight. I worked harder than I ever have before for this fight. But I wasn’t me anymore,” said Kennedy. “My brain knew what to do, but my body did not respond. I’ve watched other fighters arrive here. I’ve watched other fighters pretend they weren’t here. I will not be one of them.”

TRENDING > BJ Penn’s Coach: ‘He’s Taken Big Chances Too Many Times’

Kennedy began his career in 2001, but just as he began to build some momentum – winning a one-night, eight-man Extreme Challenge middleweight tournament – he stepped away. 

The infamous events of Sept. 11, 2001, left an indelible impression on Kennedy. He enlisted in the Army, becoming a Ranger assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group. He was deployed in the Middle East several times, serving multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning numerous honors, such as the Bronze Star for valor under fire.

Tim Kennedy celebrates at Strikeforce.

Despite his military commitment, Kennedy re-started his MMA career as well. He twice challenged for the Strikeforce middleweight championship, but was unable to take the belt from Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza or Luke Rockhold.

When Zuffa assimilated Strikeforce into the UFC, Kennedy came along for the ride, spending the final four years of his career in the Octagon. A controversial loss to Yoel Romero derailed his title hopes, and then the loss to Gastelum swayed him into retirement.

Kennedy spearheaded a recent effort to organize fighters and push for a more robust future from fight promoters for the athletes. And even in turning out the light on his competitive career, Kennedy affirmed his commitment to his fellow fighters.

“To all of you fighters out there, I am not going anywhere. I love fighting and will always have the heart of a figher. I am committed to growing our sport and taking care of those who are a part of it. As sad as it is for me to walk away, the only thing sadder would be for me to stay because I had no other choice in order to feed my family,” said Kennedy.

“Someday the Kelvin Gastelum’s and the Yair Rodriguez’s and the Paige VanZant’s will be sitting in their respective emergency rooms with their respective Nick’s talking about it being over. And when that day comes, I want to make sure their future is secure.”

Kennedy exits the sport with an 18-6 professional record.

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Bethe Correia Faces Marion Reneau in Brazil

A women’s bantamweight bout between former title contender Bethe Correia and Marion Reneau has been added to the March 11 UFC Fight Night 106 fight card in Fortaleza, Brazil. UFC officials announced the match-up on Tuesday.

Bethe Correia UFC 190 weigh-inCorreia (10-2) is coming off a split-decision win over Jessica Eye at UFC 203 in September. She debuted in the UFC in 2013 and reeled off three consecutive wins before suffering her first career loss to then-champion Ronda Rousey at UFC 190. The Brazilian hopes to build off her win over Eye when she faces Reneau.

Reneau (7-3) rebounded from back-to-back losses in her last outing, defeating Milana Dudieva by TKO in November. She plans to rise up the rankings with a win over Correia in Brazil.

TRENDING > Joe Lauzon: Undeserved Win Feels Worse Than Getting Robbed on a Decision

UFC Fight Night 106 takes place at the Centro de Formação Olímpica do Nordeste in Fortaleza, Brazil. It is headlined by a middleweight bout between Vitor Belfort and Kelvin Gastelum. More bouts are expected to be added to the growing fight card in the coming weeks.

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Joe Lauzon: Undeserved Win Feels Worse Than Getting Robbed on a Decision

Joe Lauzon is a unique animal. He’s not quiet about voicing his opinion… even when it doesn’t favor him.

That’s where Lauzon found himself after the judges awarded him a decision victory over Marcin Held at UFC Fight Night 103 in Phoenix on Jan. 15, 2016.

Joe Lauzon UFC Phoenix PostYes, Lauzon always wants to get the W, but on that Sunday night that he got it, Lauzon felt like it was undeserved and it bothered him.

“I thought he won the fight,” said Lauzon. “I thought it sucked before when I thought I won the fight and I lost… this is worse. This sucks. It’s great I got the win money, but I 100-percent thought he won the fight.

RELATED > Joe Lauzon Takes the W, but Doesn’t Think He Earned It (Fight Highlights)

“I feel guilty. I feel bad about it because I was in his shoes last time.”

Lauzon even went so far as to say that he would lobby the UFC to keep Held on the roster.

(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Mark De La Rosa Says Combate Americas Opponent Has ‘Padded Record’

Looking back on his 2016, bantamweight up and comer Mark De La Rosa is overall pleased with his year and what he was able to accomplish.

In two bouts, De La Rosa was able to pick up a submission win over Kashif Solarin in January, and then a unanimous decision against Arthur Olivera in April to remain undefeated in his first two years of fighting.

“It was a good year,” De La Rosa told MMAWeekly.com. “I learned a lot. I added a lot more different techniques and different styles to my game, so 2016 was a good year for me.”

While De La Rosa was able to display many aspects of his game, he feels he has yet to showcase his full potential in his fights.

TRENDING > BJ Penn’s Coach: ‘He’s Taken Big Chances Too Many Times’ (UFC Phoenix video)

“I see a bunch of areas that I haven’t shown yet; a bunch of styles I haven’t shown yet,” he said. “I haven’t been able to perform to my full abilities. I’ve shown a lot of good techniques, but not my whole arsenal.

“My wrestling has gotten way-way better, my boxing has gotten better, my kickboxing has gotten better – everything is just clicking right now.”

For his first fight of the New Year, De La Rosa (7-0) makes his Combate Americas debut on Thursday in Mexico City, taking on Ivan Flores (8-0-1) in a main card 135-pound bout.

“I’m going up against another undefeated fighter, but I don’t think this guy has fought anybody nearly as good as I have,” said De La Rosa of Flores. “He has a padded record. I can win this fight standing, on the ground – anywhere – and get the finish.”

For De La Rosa, the goal in 2017 is simple, be as active as he can be and ensure his financial stability.

“My goal for each fight is to be impressive and make more money,” he said. “I always want to perform and test myself.”

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Yair Rodriguez, Two Others Suspended Indefinitely Following UFC Phoenix

Rising star Yair Rodriguez made short work of returning legend BJ Penn, but he still received what could be a lengthy medical suspension following the fight.

Rodriguez attacked with a dizzying array of kicks that the UFC Hall of Fame fighter could not defend, taking Penn out 24 seconds into the second round of their main event fight on Sunday in Phoenix. Though he finished the fight quickly, Rodriguez was one of three fighters handed an indefinite suspension, pending clearance by a doctor.

Yair Rodriguez UFC Phoenix PostThe Arizona Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Commission didn’t specify its concern for Rodriguez or for Ben Saunders and Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger, who were also issued indefinite suspensions.

Penn, Devin Powell, and Nina Ansaroff were all issued six-month suspensions.

UFC Fight Night 103: Rodriguez vs. Penn took place on Sunday, Jan. 15, at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix.

TRENDING > BJ Penn Tops UFC Fight Night 103 Fighter Salaries

UFC Fight Night 103: Rodriguez vs. Penn Medical Suspensions

  • Yair Rodriguez: Suspended indefinitely, pending clearance by a doctor
  • BJ Penn: Suspended 180 days
  • Joe Lauzon: Suspended 30 days
  • Ben Saunders: Suspended indefinitely, pending clearance by a doctor
  • Court McGee: Suspended 45 days
  • Sergio Pettis: Suspended 60 days
  • Devin Powell: Suspended 180 days
  • Frankie Saenz: Suspended 60 days
  • Nina Ansaroff: Suspended 180 days
  • Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger: Suspended indefinitely, pending clearance by a doctor
  • Walt Harris: Suspended 30 days
  • Chase Sherman: Suspended 60 days
  • Joachim Christensen: Suspended 30 days
  • Bojan Mihajlovic: Suspended 30 days
  • Dmitry Smoliakov: Suspended 30 days

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Former Announcer Mike Goldberg Was in the Crowd at UFC Phoenix and the Internet Was Like WTF

Former UFC announcer Mike Goldberg didn’t get a friendly sendoff when he called his last night of fights at UFC 207 last month. News broke earlier that day that it was going to be the last time he would call a UFC fight card, but not a word of his last assignment made mention through the end of the broadcast. Nothing, nada, zilch, just clocked out and didn’t even get a “Hey, thanks for the last two decades of loyalty.” Cold. 

But for all the cards Goldie appeared on in his UFC tenure, few struck a nerve as the one that surprised everyone at UFC Phoenix this past weekend. You see, Goldberg wasn’t in the booth, as we’re used to seeing him. No, he was in the stands, you guys.

And once Goldie’s face hit the screen, the MMA internet collectively did an “LOL, wut.”

To the tweets!

Follow @MMAHotSauce on Twitter and Facebook. Also follow MMAWeekly.com on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Preston Parsons: ‘I Want to Fight for the Titan Belt and Get into the UFC’

Looking back over his 2016, welterweight prospect Preston Parsons is pleased with how the year turned out, especially coming off the first set back in his career the year before.

After suffering a loss to Mike Perry in July of 2015, Parsons took some time off and has since gone undefeated, and in the process he feels he’s shown quite a bit of growth in his game.

“I don’t say it was a comeback year, but in 2015 I had my first loss, and in 2016 I went on a three-fight winning streak,” Parsons told MMAWeekly.com. “I was back in the cage, back to training hard, so overall it was a very good year for me.

“I feel like I’ve progressed over the year, definitely. As an amateur I was mostly a ground guy, but I’ve really focused on the stand-up, and we feel like my stand-up is one of the strong points of my game.”

Having never been a big talker, Parsons hopes his actions speak louder than words, though he knows if he wants to get peoples’ attention, he’s going to have to stand out any way he can.

“I’m not going to lie, I try to stay humble about it, but I want to fight for the Titan belt and get into the UFC, so I have to get used to people noticing me and people knowing who I am,” he said. “I’ve always been a little quieter, but with the fight game, I’ve got to make sure that people are entertained as well.”

Parsons (5-1) will look to pick up his fourth win in a row when he steps into the cage on Saturday in Coral Gables, Fla., to take on veteran Valdir Araujo (16-7) in a 170-pound clash at Titan FC 43.

“I think he’s a very tough opponent and I’m glad I’m fighting him,” said Parsons of Araujo. “I want to be in the UFC and be a big name in the sport, and he’s a top guy who has been fighting for a long time in big organizations.

“I know I have what it takes to beat him. I know he’s a very tough guy who is a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu and Judo, and has some strong punches on his feet, but I feel like I’m better in those aspects of the game as well. I won’t have a problem on the ground, on the feet, or on the scrambles in between.”

Should Parsons pick up another win for Titan, he sees only one thing for him to focus on in 2017: winning a championship.

“I want the Titan FC title and defend it a few times and then make the transfer to the UFC,” he said. “I want that title really bad. I watch the other 170-pounders whenever Titan holds an event, and I think I have whatever it takes to be a title holder – a dominant title holder.”

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Gracie’s Break Down the Ezekiel Choke with Vince Vaughn (video)

Heavyweight Oleksiy Oliynyk pulled off the first Ezekiel Choke in UFC history, and he did it while his opponent was on top of him in full mount. Ryron and Rener are joined by their dedicated student, actor Vince Vaughn, to analyze the choke and all of it’s variations, as well as the proposed counters in case someone ever tries to surprise you from the bottom of the mount with this sneaky submission!

RELATED > Aleksiy Oliynyk Pulls Off Another Ezequiel Choke (UFC Phoenix Fight Highlights)

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Walt Harris: ‘I’ll Fight Anywhere, Anytime’ (UFC Phoenix video)

(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)

Walt Harris talks about defeating Chase Sherman at UFC Fight Night 103 in Phoenix.

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Watch Germaine de Randamie Knee Anna Elmose to the Canvas (UFC 208 Free Fight)

(Courtesy of UFC)

Watch Germaine de Randamie most recent UFC victory, when she defeated Anna Elmose in May of 2016. de Randamie faces Holly Holm for the first ever women’s UFC featherweight championship at UFC 208.

TRENDING > Anderson Silva Returns at UFC 208

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram