UFC Vet Mike Rhodes Replaces Chris Honeycutt, Faces Kendall Grove at Bellator 174

Mike Rhodes will step in for Chris Honeycutt on less than a week’s notice to face Kendall Grove at Bellator 174 on Friday night.

Alexander Gustafsson: Why Glover Teixeira is a Great Matchup for Me

Sherdog.com Nordic MMA partner MMAViking.com talks with Alexander Gustafsson ahead of his clash against Glover Teixeira.

Georges St. Pierre to Meet Michael Bisping for Middleweight Title in UFC Return

Georges St. Pierre has an opponent for his long-awaited Octagon return, even if the date is still to be determined.

Khabib Nurmagomedov Fans Send Conor McGregor a Warning (UFC 209 video)

(Courtesy of UFC)

On Episode 1 of UFC 209 Embedded, interim lightweight title contender Khabib Nurmagomedov is surprised after training by some fans, and promises them he will soon be the UFC’s first Muslim champion. His opponent Tony Ferguson does freestyle training outdoors, then recovers with an ice bath. Welterweight Stephen Thompson pushes his cardio in preparation for his title rematch, then unsuccessfully tries to resist a slice of pizza. And welterweight champion Tyron Woodley watches his son carry out the family tradition of winning big. 

RELATED > Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson’s First Bout (UFC 209 Free Fight)

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Sick of Mayweather vs. McGregor Talk, Wonderboy Says ‘Boxing is Going Nowhere’

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

Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson is getting ready to step in the cage for his rematch with Tyron Woodley. 

In a recent interview with TMZ, Thompson recounted what went wrong in the first match-up, as the hours wind down to Saturday’s UFC 209. 

In addition to talking about his upcoming fight, Thompson also addressed all the talk about a possible boxing superfight between UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor and retired world champion boxer Floyd Mayweather. As you can imagine, his reaction is similar that to most of the people that don’t believe it will ever happen.

TRENDING > Michael Bisping Unveils Frustrating Path Back from Knee Surgery

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Julia Budd Going After Her ‘Ultimate Goal’ at Bellator 174

For featherweight Julia Budd, 2016 was a year of frustration. Though she was able to pick up a win in her lone fight in December, it was a canceled bout in May that really disappointed her.

Originally scheduled to face Marloes Coenen to crown the first ever Bellator female 145-pound championship, Budd was forced to pull out of the fight due to back injury.

“Pulling out of the title fight was heartbreaking for me,” Budd told MMAWeekly.com. “It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to come to. I was trying to force it and see if I could do anything to make sure I could fight that night, so to pull out was brutal.

“Doing the proper rehab and getting my back healthy to be able to fight was a huge obstacle to overcome for me.”

While missing out on her fight with Coenen was definitely disappointing, for Budd it helped her come to the realization that she needed to do more to ensure she remained healthy leading up to bouts.

“I was not getting the proper care that I needed; not going to the chiropractor, not getting massage, not taking the time to make sure I was able to do what I wanted to do,” said Budd. “I learned my lesson. Now I go religiously. It’s part of my weekly training, getting treatment done, and I’ve never felt stronger or better.”

TRENDING > Khabib Nurmagomedov Fans Send Conor McGregor a Warning

Budd (9-2) will finally get her opportunity to face Coenen (23-7) for the featherweight championship in the Bellator 174 main event on Friday in Thackerville, Okla.

Julia Budd Invicta FC“I feel like it will be a totally different fight (from last year),” Budd said. “To finally face (Coenen) knowing I’m 100-percent ready and good to go, those are all huge factors in my confidence. I definitely feel like it’s going to be a different fight for sure.

“I think that I definitely have strength in my striking and my wrestling. I want to just push the pace. This whole training camp has been about going out of my comfort zones and being able to capitalize. I feel I’m ready to go anywhere.”

Having held titles in other combat sports, to have an opportunity to pick up her first championship in MMA is definitely a motivator for Budd.

“The fight’s a fight, and to have a title wrapped around your waist at the end is like a bonus after already achieving the main goal – which is making sure you win,” she said. “It’s definitely been my ultimate goal from day one, so it makes me more motivated and excited for sure.”

Taking a title is only the first step for Budd in 2017, as she looks to remain active and have her best year in MMA yet.

“I’m definitely not looking past March 3,” said Budd. “I want to win in the most dominating way possible, have no injuries, and get right back in there and defend the title. I would love to fight two more times after this.”

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UFC Matchmakers Break Down UFC 209 Key Matches (video)

(Video Courtesy of UFC)

UFC commentator Jon Anik sits down with Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard to preview UFC 209: Woodley vs. Thompson 2.

TRENDING > Tyron Woodley ‘Not Concerned’ About Stephen Thompson

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Khabib Nurmagomedov Reviewing Romantic Comedies is as Hilarious as it Sounds

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s post-fight career is now a lock.

Everyone’s favorite Russian fighter not named Fedor is a man of few words. He’s a fairly straight-to-the-point kind of guy, so it’s clear that doing something like reviewing films will produce a unique yet expected outcome.

And it’s glorious.

Ahead of his UFC 209 fight this weekend, Khabib caught up with the guys over at The Chive and he agreed to give his take on romantic comedies. The outcome is priceless and worth every moment. 

To the footage!

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Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson 2: Inside the Octagon Preview

(Video Courtesy of UFC)

Inside the Octagon is back as John Gooden and Dan Hardy break down the main event rematch between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson at UFC 209.

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Chris Honeycutt Looking to ‘Tear Kendall Grove Up’ at Bellator 174

Though he might have stumbled a bit coming out of the block in 2017, middleweight Chris Honeycutt was able to right himself and close out the year on a winning streak.

Coming off a TKO loss to Paul Bradley in January of last year, Honeycutt picked up three straight unanimous decision wins to put himself back into middleweight title contention.

“It didn’t star off well,” Honeycutt told MMAWeekly.com. “I had my first and loss (to Bradley), and that got the wheels spinning again.

“As soon as I was able to get cleared to fight, I got right back to work. Against Matt Secor, I won, and about six weeks later I was fighting Mikkel Parlo, and then finished the year with Ben Reiter. As a year overall I thought it was a good year for me.”

The four bouts Honeycutt had in 2016 were his most in a year to date, and if he had his way, he’d continue to have the same kind of output going forward.

TRENDING > Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson’s First Bout (UFC 209 Free Fight)

“I love to, as long as I’m healthy, fight five or six times,” he said. “If I can go in there and fight and not take too much damage, (I’d like to) keep the wheels going.

“It’s such a physically demanding sport, and there’s only enough lifespan a fighter has, and while I’m not really young, I’m not really old, I’m kind of right before the middle, and I feel at my strongest and athletic ability, so now is the time to crank out as many fights as I can.”

Honeycutt (9-1) will look to pick up his fourth straight win when he takes on veteran Kendall Grove (23-16) in a main card 185-pound bout at Bellator 174 in Thackerville, Okla., on Friday.

“He’s a tall guy and has a pretty good reach, so it’s a no-brainer that his strength is his range,” said Honeycutt of Grove. “I’ll be in his punching range before I can even touch him, so to beat him I have to get past that without taking too much damage.

“Being able to be explosive on the way win will be to my favor, so get inside there and tear him up.”

After having put himself back on the right track, Honeycutt is eager to get his opportunity to become a champion in Bellator this year and solidify his standings as one of the best middleweights in the world.

“I always take it fight by fight as far as preparation and stuff like that, but long-term goals are always necessary to have,” he said. “I think 2017 will be my year. This year I should not only be the champion, but have at least defended it once or twice.

“As long as I’m healthy I’m ready to fight. I’m not shying away from it. I’m not someone to get the belt and just hold it in desperation, I want to hold onto it by the number of fights I’ve had defending it.”

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