MMA News and Information

UFC Unveils New Legacy Championship Belt

On Friday, before the first event as part of the ESPN deal, the Ultimate Fighting Championship unveiled the design for its new belt, called the UFC legacy championship belt.

Rustam Khabilov, Carlos Diego Ferreira Scrap Added to UFC Prague Bill

An exciting lightweight matchup has been added to the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s debut trip to the Czech Republic in February between Rustam Khabilov and Carlos Diego Ferreira.

Donald Cerrone Believes He's Two Wins Away From A Title Shot, Wants Conor McGregor Next

Donald Cerrone is in a confident mood heading into this weekend’s fight against Alexander Hernandez on Saturday night when the UFC makes its long awaited debut on ESPN+.

UFC on ESPN+ 1 Weigh-in Results: Title Fight Set; All Fighters on Weight

The UFC on ESPN era is upon us, with the debut event hosting a title fight with the potential to crown the fourth-ever simultaneous double champ, as Henry Cejudo is set to face T.J. Dillashaw.

Boxing: Manny Pacquiao, Adrien Broner on Weight for Welterweight Championship

It’s all systems go in Las Vegas as both Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner made the welterweight limit at Friday afternoon’s official weigh-in.

UFC Fight Night 143 ‘Cejudo vs. Dillashaw’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round-by-Round Scoring

Sherdog.com’s live UFC Fight Night 143 coverage kicks off Saturday at 6 p.m. ET.

Taylor Johnson Plans to ‘Put It On’ Aaron Chambers at LFA 57

Taylor Johnson - LFA

While his performances in his fights have been impressive, the one thing that has eluded middleweight up and comer Taylor Johnson has been consistency finding bouts.

Since turning pro two and a half years ago, Johnson has only fought four times. Though he’s still young in the sport, Johnson knows that sometimes things just happen and you have to accept circumstances that come up and move on.

“Last year was pretty good,” Johnson told MMAWeekly.com. “I wish I could have gotten in a couple more fights in, but you know how it is. Sometimes you get injured, or things come up, people drop out; stuff like that happens.

“I actually got injured before my last fight that was supposed to happen in Minnesota in December, so that would have been my third fight of the year. Sometimes that’s how it goes. I really hope things pick up and I stay healthy and thing stay steady and there’s plenty of guys in line to fight.”

While he’s been able to pick up finishes in all four of his pro bouts so far, Johnson does admit he wants to be able to slow things down a little bit and get more experience in some aspects of his game.

“I kind of go out there like I’m killing snakes; I’m throwing crazy punches and it usually leads to wrestling, and it usually works in my favor,” said Johnson.

“I would like to showcase my striking a little more. That will come if I was a little more relaxing going into fights. I think if I fought more frequently I would be a little more relaxed in going into it rather than fighting every four, five, or six months.”

This Friday in Broomfield, Colo., Johnson (4-0) is looking to continue his winning ways when he faces Aaron Chambers (2-0) in an LFA 57 main card 185-pound bout.

TRENDING > Stephen Thompson Set to Welcome Anthony Pettis to UFC Welterweight Division

“I don’t know who this kid is really,” Johnson said of Chambers. “Looking up his record, all the fights he’s lost have been through grappling, submissions.

“Honestly I’m just going to go out there and put it on him. If he wants to strike, we’ll strike. If he gets in grabbing range, I like to get them to the ground because I’m pretty dangerous when I get on top of you.”

Should Johnson continue his winning streak and pick up another impressive finish, he could find himself stepping up to the next level before the end of 2019, which is exactly what he’s planning for.

“The goal is try to be in the Top 10 in one of the big shows by the time I’m 30,” said Johnson. “I’m 28 now, so hopefully this year I can sign with the UFC or another promotion like that.

“I think I have two more fights on my LFA contract, and I’ve put so much work into this, and I love the LFA, but I’d love to get to the UFC. (In 2019) I’d love to get in three or four more fights and get to the next level.”

Amanda Nunes Says No to Cris Cyborg, She’s Done with 145-Pound Division

Amanda Nunes and Cris Cyborg

Cris Cyborg has been lobbying for a rematch almost from the moment she lost to Amanda Nunes at UFC 232 on Dec. 29, but it sounds as if that rematch might never come. 

Nunes took Cyborg out in just 51 seconds, but the former featherweight champion felt that fans felt she deserved a rematch, and why shouldn’t she? After all, Cyborg hadn’t lost an MMA bout in more the 13 years prior to that night.

Nunes first teased that she was going to make Cyborg wait two years for a rematch, but now it appears that she might never be willing to run it back, the dual-division champion saying that she is now done with the heavier weight class.

“Sorry Cristiane, but I’m done with 145. My Goal was to be a double champ,” Nunes tweeted. “But, now I can help you build the division. I got someone for you (Kayla Harrison) is a true 145er.”

Harrison is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and world champion judoka, who is currently undefeated in her move to mixed martial arts. All three of her professional bouts have been under the PFL banner, where she submitted her first opponent and stopped the other two via technical knockout.

Harrison and her team have been amping up the public pressure of late, calling for a fight with Cyborg.

“I believe the fight that needs to happen,” her manager, Ali Abdelaziz told MMAWeekly.com before UFC 232. “Right now [Cris] Cyborg is the [greatest of all time], but I believe Cyborg and Kayla Harrison need to fight at the end of 2019 or 2020. I think Cyborg is the greatest combat athlete ever competing in the cage and a lot of people think I’m crazy. I’ve trained with [Kayla] and she’s legit.”

It’s unclear if Nunes is saying that she is ready to relinquish the UFC featherweight title she took from Cyborg just yet, but certainly sounded like it by her tweet. 

TRENDING > UFC Poised for Optimal Growth as ESPN Finally Enters the Octagon

She also went on conversing with fans on Twitter, joking about nonsensical fights with the likes of Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier, and Brock Lesnar. 

Nunes sounded serious, however, when she stated that, “Holly [Holm] would definitely be a great fight to defend my belt at 135.”

She left everyone guessing about her true intentions, however, signing off for the night with one final cryptic tweet. 

“Good night. Anything can change in this business.”

Alexander Hernandez Calls ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone a ’60-Percent’ Fighter Who Runs From Adversity

Alexander Hernandez is nothing if not confident.

The upstart lightweight contender, who burst onto the scene in the UFC last year with back-to-back wins over Beneil Dariush and Olivier Aubin-Mercier, has been asking for the toughest fights the UFC could throw at him while awaiting his next opponent.

He was gladly on board for a showdown against ‘Fight of the Night’ machine Justin Gaethje and when that didn’t happen, Hernandez was quick to accept a fight against Francisco Trinaldo instead.  

When the UFC then opted to match him up against Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone as the headlining fight on ESPN this weekend, Hernandez couldn’t sign his contract fast enough.

“This is the most ideal paradigm for a fight at this stage of my career,” Hernandez said about facing Cerrone when speaking to MMAWeekly. “I need to build my stock. I need to build my fan awareness and just awareness to the general public. So this fight couldn’t have come at a more perfect time to catapult me into that next tier of competition and rankings.

“And all the rankings are f—king subjective anyways. What’s more important is getting your name out there and so Cerrone is the way to do that.”

Cerrone returns to the lightweight division after spending the past couple of years competing at 170 pounds. The move up to a new weight class happened after Cerrone suffered a first round knockout loss in his only attempt to win a UFC title coupled with a tough weight cut to get down to the 155-pound limit.

Cerrone had some big wins at welterweight but he also suffered through some tough losses as well and after his last victory against Mike Perry, he announced his intentions to return to lightweight once again.

Hernandez sees Cerrone’s inability to stick with a weight class as just another example of his primary criticism with the UFC and WEC veteran.

“I think he’s an unsure guy,” Hernandez said about Cerrone. “I think he’s slow to learn. I think he’s extremely temperamental. He goes to 170 [pounds] because 155 [pounds] is not necessarily his best cut and then he goes back to 155. He does a number of extracurricular activities to distract himself from the greatest task at hand, which is a face off in the Octagon. I think he’s constantly running and constantly dividing his attention so he can really find balance or avoid adversity or stress.

“I walk head on into it. I never f—king run from it. That’s going to be forever his greatest crippling attribute.”Donald Cerrone UFC Denver Post Scrum

Hernandez feels like Cerrone’s shortcomings also play a part in some of the crazy activities he does on the side while constantly risking his fighting career at the same time.

Cerrone is well known for his daredevil tendencies while doing everything from rock climbing to wake boarding to riding motorcycles, often times just days away from his fights.

“He puts 60-percent into fighting and 40-percent elsewhere,” Hernandez said. “I put 100-percent of my focus on one mission and one task. I’ll be damned if a man who’s got a mixed focus will hold a candle to my determination.

“I think it comes from a place of fear. He’s expressed it openly. He doesn’t do a good job of combating his nerves, his fears, his anxiety. Instead of facing it and overcoming it and evolving, he distracts himself and those distractions have always been and will always be the death of him.”

Hernandez says the same could be said about Cerrone when it comes to his fighting style inside the cage.

“He doesn’t like a pressure fight. He doesn’t like adversity,” Hernandez said. “He doesn’t like to give up the pace or the cadence of a fight. That just goes back to my point to what I just stated. He’s running from that adversity instead of learning to overcome.”

That’s a primary reason why Hernandez believes he will be able to give Cerrone nightmare flashbacks to all his shortcomings in the past when the clash on Saturday night.

“I want to stamp him like [Darren] Till stamped him,” Hernandez predicted. “I want to finish him. I need to fold him over within the first two rounds.”

Youssef Zalal Guarantees He’ll Win LFA 57 Main Event

Though featherweight Youssef Zalal was able to replicate the success he had in 2017 with three finishes in his three bouts in 2018, winning and finishing aren’t enough.

When it comes to his performances, Zalal is always his harshest critic, and feels like there was more he could have done in his victories.

“The year went great for me,” Zalal told MMAWeekly.com. “I was pretty active for the whole of 2018. I cornered my teammates a lot and that was a great experience. It was an amazing year, but it’s not there yet, it’s just getting started. That’s nothing compared to what’s coming in 2019.

“I’m happy with the wins but I’m satisfied because I always want to do better in every single fight. It challenges me in every fight to do something more, do better stuff, do more exciting, interesting, stuff in fights.”

With his second straight year of three finishes, Zalal has begun to gain some attention, but for him it’s not anything that he didn’t anticipate, and thus doesn’t feel overwhelmed by.

“I planned all of this,” said Zalal. “I knew with winning all this stuff would come; more attention and this and that. It’s nothing new to me.

“I shine under the cameras. That’s where I belong. That’s where I train to be at. For me it’s just another day. It’s all business. It’s not about the cameras, it’s not about the attention, it’s all about the fight.”

On Friday in Broomfield, Colo., Zalal (6-0) will look to repeat the success he’s had to start off his career when he faces Jose Mariscal (8-3) in the 145-pound main event of LFA 57.

TRENDING > Nate Diaz Slaps His Way into Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor Feud

“Everybody talking about this guy how (Mariscal) was a gold medalist in Judo and is a scrappy little Mexican guy, but at the day, they know exactly who is coming for the belt and all these guys,” Zalal said. “But the last time I fought a scrapper like him, he got submitted, so we’ll see.

“To me it’s all about the complete game. For me to win this fight I have to do complete MMA, and guaranteed I’ll win the fight.”

Should Zalal pick up another finish victory in his first televised main event, it could be the thing that helps him make the move to the next level. If not after his bout with Mariscal, then Zalal hopes by year’s end.

“I would hope (this is the fight that gets me to the next level),” said Zalal. “This is my plan. I know in 2019 I will be in the UFC. I’ve said it in plenty of interviews. I’m hoping after this fight – especially after the performance I put on January 18 – it should get me there.”