Fabricio Werdum No Longer Happy Fighting for UFC

The rift between Fabricio Werdum and the UFC appears to be appears to be widening. The split between the two sides developed when Werdum publicly expressed his disapproval of the UFC’s apparel sponsorship deal with Reebok.

Werdum posted a photo of himself on social media wearing a UFC fighter uniform. Instead of the usual Reebok logo, however, the image had been altered to display the universally recognized Nike swoosh. He did so in a protest of the apparel deal, which forces fighters to wear the Reebok gear and not display other sponsors, a move which he and many others have said cost the fighters varying degrees of sponsorship income.

That didn’t sit well with company officials, who told MMAWeekly.com, “Due to Fabricio Werdum’s recent comments directed at a valued UFC partner, we will no longer utilize Werdum in a broadcast role on UFC Network in Latin America. While we respect an athlete’s right to voice his opinion, we deem the manner in which Werdum chose to do so unacceptable.”

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That was in October. Werdum encountered another uncomfortable situation with UFC officials when he was denied status as a guest fighter at the recent UFC 205 blockbuster event at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

“I feel embarrassed to say that, but I was there in New York to talk to sponsors and asked to be a guest fighter, but they denied me,” Werdum said on the Resenha Black Belt podcast, as translated by AgFight. “My manager needed to buy me a ticket for the event. I did not like it. Imagine, a former champion without a ticket.

Fabricio-Werdum_Strikeforce-450x260I’m not happy, I do not have that thing anymore at the biggest MMA event in the world. I felt excluded, I’m not happy.”

It’s unclear if the incident at UFC 205 had anything to do with Werdum’s status within the organization or if it was simply a matter of not having enough availability at an event of such magnitude. 

Either way, Werdum isn’t pleased with his current status within the organization.

“Once my contract is up, I don’t know if I’ll renew it. Many things can happen, but I’ll say this. I’m 100-percent a company man, be it a sponsor or an organization, I’m the kind of guy people can always count on. However, when it’s not reciprocal, there’s no way I can be the company man,” Werdum said in a recent interview with Combate. “When I’m happy, I do everything for things to turn out the best way they can, but when I’m unhappy, and I’m not happy at all with the UFC, at the moment, it’s hard to be like that.”

Werdum is currently slated to face fellow former heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez in a rematch at UFC 207 on Dec. 30. in Las Vegas. It’s unclear what his plans are beyond that fight, but Werdum doesn’t appear ready to stop fighting anytime soon, even if that means he may eventually have to fight elsewhere.

“I intend to fight for two or three more years, we always say that, but we can never really stop. I can’t confirm anything about the contract. I just want to do the right thing, maybe I’ll get a better proposal from another company once my contract is up, I don’t know. I haven’t gotten any for now. Who knows? Maybe in the future, if I start being happy again in the organization I work for, maybe I’ll stay, or maybe I’ll leave, or maybe I’ll just stop.”

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Watch Anthony Pettis’ Thunderous Head-Kick KO (UFC 206 Free Fight Video)

(Courtesy of UFC)

Watch Anthony Pettis’ thunderous head-kick knockout of Joe Lauzon in his third bout in the Octagon back at UFC 144 in 2012. Don’t miss Pettis face Max Holloway for the interim featherweight title at UFC 206 on December 10 in Toronto.

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Bibiano Fernandes Still Motivated Despite All His Titles, Trophies and Success

There is a certain aura surrounding Bibiano Fernandes these days. The 36-year-old hasn’t lost a fight in six years and is undefeated in the bantamweight division, which has been his long term home.

Modern fight fans know him as the ONE Championship bantamweight champion, a winner of six successive title fights. But anyone who has been following Asian MMA for the past decade would know that before that he held Dream titles at 135 and 145 pounds, earning both with Grand Prix wins.

He’s one of the most decorated fighters of all time, but as he approaches Friday night’s title defense against Reece McLaren at ONE: Age of Domination, Fernandes reveals that he is far from ready to hang up the gloves.

“If I’m still healthy, I want to keep training and keep moving forward. I can be champion for a long time. For me, fighting is my life. When I think about fighting, I think about myself. When I think about defending my title, I think about my life.”

So he’s not going to stop anytime soon, but Fernandes is also determined to maintain the form which has seen him win 11 straight fights, seven of which have been title matches.  There is absolutely no danger of complacency creeping in.

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“A lot of people when they reach a different level lose their focus. They think because they are a champion they can enjoy their life or slack off. I don’t think like that. I think I can be better today. I can be better tomorrow. I can be better the next day.”

Dream featherweight champion Bibiano FernandesThere is evidence to suggest that Fernandes is actually improving. He has finished his last three opponents and recent form would seem to suggest that a fighter who used to regularly go the distance is becoming much more clinical in terms of finding submissions or knockouts.

He’s going up against an opponent 11 years his junior, who has already taken out two of the top contenders in the division. McLaren has a lot of momentum behind him and Fernandes is certainly not taking the Australian lightly.

“He’s a young guy. He wants to fight. He’s going to bring the fight. He’s very good at jiu-jitsu. He has very good takedowns. His stand up is okay. I’ll be surprised if he wants to fight stand-up with me. I believe he will try to take me down.”

Fernandes has held the ONE Championship bantamweight title since 2013. He won an interim version of the belt by beating Koetsu Okazaki and then unified the titles with a win over former champion Soo Chul Kim a few months later.

He also has two Dream belts, but says that the novelty of possessing so much hardware will never wear off.

“I see a lot of guys who when they win the belt say it’s just a piece of metal. For me, it’s not, it’s different. That piece of metal allowed me to meet you. That belt built my family. That belt built who I am. That’s why I respect having the belt.”

Fernandes describes himself as humble, but confident. He’s taking nothing for granted, but at the same time there is no doubt in the Brazilian’s mind that Friday night will bring win number 20 of his MMA career.

“I’m humble, I want to do my job, and I’m professional at what I’m doing. I believe in myself. I believe if I train right and doing everything right, I’m going to do my best and when I do my best the outcome is victory.”

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Watch Sage Northcutt Rip an Apple Apart For No Reason at All

Sage Northcutt is the gift that keeps giving.

Random videos of his life travels, riding hover boards, saying “heck yeah” simply because he’s walking down the street — it just doesn’t end with everyone’s favorite reincarnation of Zack Morris. He’s either obliviously dorky or a goddamn brilliant mind.

Either way, this time your boy Super Sage decided to rip an apple apart and post the video on social media because why not?

 

I want to see who can Rip some Apples! #SuperSage

A video posted by Sage Northcutt (@supersagenorthcutt) on Nov 29, 2016 at 10:46am PST

I tried ripping an apple apart myself, but failed miserably. But then I ordered a pizza and tore that sum’ bitch apart so I don’t feel bad anymore. 

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If Khabib Nurmagomedov Wants It, Tony Ferguson Is Ready

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Tony Ferguson has no issue fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov. In fact, the lightweight contender wants to settle unfinished business with “The Eagle” sooner rather than later. “All (expletive) aside, the guy is a whiny (expletive),” Ferguson said during an appearance on The MMA Hour (thanks to MMA Fighting for the quotes). “He can whine as much as he wants to. Instead of people saying, ‘hey, you need to go for the belt,’ or, ‘you need to do this, you need to do that’ — me, I’m waving my little finger in the air and I (expletive) keep moving forward. I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, which is taking care of my family and training my ass off. And that translates into winning and getting Performance of the Night bonuses. Right now I got, what, eight finishes out of 12? I’m on a nine-fight win streak. I’m what, 22-3? “Where’s my title shot, man? I’m not complaining, I’m not saying nothing, because I know it’s going to come to me.” Earlier this year, Ferguson won his ninth consecutive fight when eh defeated former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have been signed previously, but injuries have kept the two apart. “Like I said before, I’m not going to rob (him) of an ass-whooping. He does deserve one from my hands,” Ferguson said.

Jose Aldo: “To Me, I Never Stopped Being The Champion”

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Jose Aldo must still be suffering from the damage given to him by Conor McGregor. The new undisputed UFC featherweight champion told UFC Brazil that he never really stopped by featherweight champion despite suffering a 13-second knockout last year to McGregor. Recently, the UFC forced McGregor to relinquish the 145-pound title and remain at lightweight to defend that belt. He never defended the featherweight belt after beating Aldo, fighting Nate Diaz twice before his recent win over Eddie Alvarez. “I knew this would happen,” Aldo said. “To me, I never stopped being the champion. I lost that fight due to an eventuality. I knew I would win a rematch and become the champion again. It’s not my fault he (McGregor) is such a coward who was never a champion. I can’t see myself losing to anybody in this division or any other.” Aldo is set to meet the winner of Anthony Pettis-Max Holloway in 2017 to unify the belts. Pettis and Holloway battle for the interim title next month at UFC 206.

Notable MMA Manager On Bjorn Rebney-Union: If “He’s In, I’m Out”

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Malki Kawa is one of the more notable managers in mixed martial arts. His ties run deep within Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA and other camps, including the likes of Jon Jones, Alistair Overeem and others under the First Round Management banner. With talk of a big fighter union being announced Wednesday, Kawa sounded off on one notable name attached to it all: former Bellator president Bjorn Rebney.
“Lol if Bjorn rebney is in, I’m out,” Kawa posted on social media. “He was the most anti-fighter promoter I ever met. Contract worse than ufc, and he was a nightmare compared to ufc to deal with.”

Max Holloway “Blessed” To Fight Anthony Pettis For UFC Gold

Aug 23, 2014; Tulsa, OK, USA; Max Holloway (red gloves) fights Clay Collard (blue gloves) in a Featherweight Bout, Holloway after victory at BOK Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Max Holloway doesn’t care that an interim tag is attached to his UFC 206 main event bout with Anthony Pettis. The proud Hawaiian is just happy to be competing for UFC gold – something he has been dreaming about for years. “I’m just blessed to have the opportunity to be here,” Holloway told MMAjunkie. “I always wanted to fight for a title, and I always wanted to be the main event of a pay-per-view. I can knock two off the list come Dec. 10, and I think the world is in for a treat. “I thought I was going to get Pettis as the main event and move to five rounds. I didn’t think it was going to get elevated to a title shot. But the featherweight division was in murky waters, and now it’s super clear. I’ve been telling everybody this is God’s plan, not mine, and God’s plan is perfect. We’re here now, and it’s all about taking opportunities. This is an opportunity I need to take, and it’s the first step toward greatness.” Holloway (16-3) has won 12 of his 15 Octagon bouts, including each of his last nine since a 2013 decision loss to Conor McGregor. After McGregor won the UFC lightweight title, UFC officials removed his featherweight belt and gave it to Jose Aldo. That allowed them to create the interim title match next month between Holloway and Pettis, a former UFC lightweight champion himself.

Tim Kennedy-Kelvin Gastelum Not Official For UFC 206 Yet

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There still appears to be a hold up involving the UFC 206 card, as the Ontatio Athletic Commission has yet to receive confirmation that will allow the Tim Kennedy-Kelvin Gastelum contest to take place. Gastelum was suspended six months by the New York Athletic Commission after failing to weigh-in. The former Ultimate Fighter winner remains hopeful that his management team will get the suspension lifted so he can compete. “The OAC honors all suspensions by members of the Association of Boxing Commissions,” Denelle Balfour, a spokesperson for the commission, wrote today in an email to MMAjunkie. Gastelum has struggled with his weight, forcing the UFC to move him to middleweight once again. He is planning to try his hand at welterweight next year.

UFC Fight Night 103 Adds Heavyweights Walt Harris, Chase Sherman

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A heavyweight encounter has been added to UFC Fight Night 103, as Walt Harris takes on Chase Sherman. Harris (8-5) has won just once in five Octagon appearances, but it came in convincing fashion when he finished Cody East. Harris is in his second stint with the promotion. Sherman (9-2) dropped his UFC debut to Justin Ledet. He had won four in a row outside the promotion prior to the setback. UFC Fight Night 103 takes place January 15 from Phoenix and features BJ Penn vs. Yair Rodriguez in the main event.