After Brief Delay, Addition of Women’s Flyweight Division to UFC Now Official

A little less than one week after the UFC announced and then retracted its announcement unveiling the women’s flyweight division, the weight class now has an official spot within the Las Vegas-based promotion.

Paul Daley: Rory MacDonald Quit in Loss to Robbie Lawler at UFC 189

Rory MacDonald has been almost universally praised for his effort in defeat against Robbie Lawler in their classic slugfest at UFC 189 nearly two years ago.

Dominick Cruz’s Pick for Cody Garbrandt vs. TJ Dillashaw May Surprise You

Former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has spent five rounds inside the Octagon with champion Cody Garbrandt and former titleholder TJ Dillashaw. He took the belt from Dillashaw by decision in January 2016 and relinquished it to Garbrandt in December. Garbrandt is set to put the 135-pound belt on the line for the first time at UFC 213 in July, and Cruz predicts that “No Love” will retain his title.

“I think Cody wins,” Cruz said during an appearance on The MMA Hour.

TJ Dillashaw and Cody GarbrandtCruz doesn’t base his prediction on the stylistic match-up between the two.  He believes that Dillashaw has the skill set to win back the 135-pound title, but thinks the drama surrounding the two former teammates is weighing more on Dillashaw than Garbrandt and Team Alpha Male.  The intensity of the rivalry has been on full display as opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 25.  

Dillashaw left the Urijah Faber-founded Team Alpha Male in 2015 to be trained by former Team Alpha Male head coach Duane “Bang” Ludwig.  His departure sparked a feud.  The situation was well publicized during TUF 22, coached by Faber and Conor McGregor.  It’s continuing to play out on TUF 25 every Wednesday.   

TRENDING > Georges St-Pierre Refuses to Fight Before Fall 2017

“TJ isn’t just fighting Cody. He’s fighting that entire camp,” said Cruz. “He’s fighting all his old coaches, all his old friends and family members. I think that mental strain and the loneliness that he’s feeling on that show and over this period of time is wearing on him.

“I think the mental aspects of that is what gets him beat against Cody, not the technical aspects that TJ has. I think stylistically, TJ has the technique and tools to beat a guy like Cody,” continued Cruz.  “I think that the fact that TJ is facing that whole camp and not just Cody Garbrandt, I think that’s really wearing on TJ. I think it’s going to keep wearing on him. I think the mental is what gets him beat against Cody.”

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Watch Stipe Miocic KO Alistair Overeem (UFC 211 Free Fight)

(Courtesy of UFC)

Watch Stipe Miocic make his first title defense in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio at UFC 203 against Alistair Overeem. Miocic looks to defend his belt for the second time in a rematch against Junior dos Santos on May 13 at UFC 211.

TRENDING > Nate Diaz Says He Won’t Return to UFC in 2017

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Jessica Andrade: UFC 211 Countdown Video

(Courtesy of UFC)

Go inside the lives and gyms of a champion and an electrifying challenger as they prepare for their biggest tests to date. Undefeated strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk defends against surging Brazilian powerhouse Jessica Andrade.

TRENDING:

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Stipe Miocic vs. Junior dos Santos: UFC 211 Countdown Video

(Courtesy of UFC)

Go inside the lives and gyms of two champions. Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic focuses on retaining his belt and redeeming his 2014 loss to former champ Junior Dos Santos, who believes his new camp has more than readied him to recapture UFC gold.

TRENDING:

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

‘I’ll Smash Rocks Bro!’ (UFC 211 Embedded, Ep 1)

(Courtesy of UFC)

On Episode 1 of UFC 211 Embedded, strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk follows up a first class flight with a first-class workout in Florida. In Rio de Janeiro, title challenger Jessica Andrade makes a huge family decision and visits with journalists. Former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos trains alongside other big talents in his quest to recapture the belt, then recruits a very tiny teammate. Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic wraps up his Ohio camp with a new way to bring home gold.

TRENDING > Anderson Silva Will Not Fight at UFC 212, but is He Done Fighting?

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Chuck Liddell Not Emphatic About a UFC Comeback

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

While retired UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell’s coach, John Hackleman, recently commented about any potential comeback by Liddell, saying that a lot would depend upon the opponent, Liddell isn’t exactly throwing a lot of fuel on the fire. 

TRENDING > Anderson Silva Will Not Fight at UFC 212, but is He Done Fighting?

Though TMZ Sports caught up with Liddell for a strolling-down-the-street comment, the former UFC champion wasn’t all that fervent in his endorsement of a return to the Octagon.

“I’m retired right now, so we’ll see.”

That does leave the door cracked open, but is a return really imminent?

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Anderson Silva Will Not Fight at UFC 212, but is He Done Fighting?

Whether or not the UFC wanted to try and keep Anderson Silva on the upcoming UFC 212 fight card, the former middleweight kingpin has declared he will not fight on June 3 on his home turf in Rio de Janeiro.

“I really wanted to fight in Brazil, in my country, but it will not happen,” Silva said during a live Instagram video interview with UOL on Sunday.

Silva had been conducting his training camp in Brazil, but said that his team had broken camp and he was returning to his home in Los Angeles.

“I wanted to apologize for this. I wanted to fight here, but it did not happen,” he continued. “I think I was wronged in this, but that’s it.”

Silva had originally been slated to fight Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 212, but everything went sideways when Gastelum was pulled from the fight card after having tested positive for marijuana on the day of his bout with Vitor Belfort at UFC Fight Night 106 on March 11 in Fortaleza, Brazil. 

Gastelum, according to a report by MMA Fighting, reached a settlement with the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission to serve a 90-day suspension, pay a fine equal to 20-percent of his purse, and had his victory over Belfort changed to a no contest. Though he has settled with the Brazilian commission, Gastelum still faces possible sanctioning by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which administers the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.

Regardless of any further sanctioning, Gastelum is out of the fight.

The UFC reportedly made an attempt to line up several other opponents, including Luke Rockhold and Belfort, but Silva declined, seeing the fights being offered as a step backward for his career. Top middleweight contender Yoel Romero and Silva angled for a fight at UFC 212, both of them agreeing between them that they wanted to fight, but there was a sticking point; they wanted the fight to be for an interim middleweight title.

TRENDING > Dana White Shoots Down Nate Diaz’s Conor McGregor Conspiracy as Crazy Talk

It’s unclear if the UFC would have entertained the fight minus the championship caveat, but company president Dana White shot down any idea of the interim designation.

The question now is: what does Silva do?

The former middleweight champion, in an interview on The MMA Hour, said that if the UFC did not grant his request to face Romero for the interim middleweight title, he would retire.

“(I’m) just waiting for Dana’s decision for put on this fight for me and Yoel Romero,” Silva said. “It doesn’t happen, I’m done. I go back to my home. No more fights.

“This fight, me and Yoel Romero, no happen. I’m done.”

With White shooting down the fight with Romero and Silva packing his bags, we now wait to see if Silva blinks or if he follows through on his threat to stop fighting.

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Matt Hughes Wants to Make a UFC Return, but No Kids Allowed

Yes, UFC Hall of Fame fighter Matt Hughes really does want to return to the Octagon.

It’s been nearly two months since Hughes appeared on “Undeniable with Joe Buck,” teasing a possible comeback. Although he hasn’t traveled much further down the road to a return than that, it’s not for a lack of desire.

Despite being one the casualties in the UFC staff reduction once WME-IMG took over with full force, Hughes doesn’t need the money, he just has the itch to get back to doing what he never wanted to stop doing in the first place.

“I would love to come back. I didn’t want to retire in the first place. Dana thought it was the best thing for me and so did my stinking wife,” Hughes said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “I would love to go out and fight again.”

Don’t get too excited though, Hughes said that he has nothing lined up and doesn’t really have a bunch of offers flying his way. Although, now that he’s talked about it publicly, that’s sure to change.

Matt Hughes at UFC 123

Hughes is not under any sort of obligation to fight for the UFC, but that is where he would prefer to fight if he gets another opportunity to rectify his record, which currently stands with him having lost back-to-back bouts to BJ Penn and Josh Koscheck is his final two fights.

“You know what my problem is? I lost my last two fights and that’s the only thing I think about is those stinking losses,” he admitted.

Hughes would fight elsewhere if the right offer came along, but given his druthers, the UFC is at the top of the list.

“What would be fun is fighting with one of my old buddies, like Chuck Liddell. I think it would be a blast if he and I were on the same card,” said Hughes.

There has also been some chatter about a Liddell return, but that doesn’t sound to be even as far along as Hughes’ thoughts on the situation. After all, Hughes spoken to UFC president Dana White, letting him know where he stands about a desire to return. He wouldn’t, however, reveal White’s response.

“Dana White knows about this, yes, we have talked about it,” said Hughes. “You better ask Dana (about his response), I don’t want to speak for somebody else.”

TRENDING > Dana White: Anderson Silva Should Probably Just Retire

Hughes has no illusions about making another title run or anything along those lines, he would simply like to replace the two losses at the end of his resume with a victory. 

“Koscheck was my last loss and BJ was my loss before that. I fully believe that if those fights had went all 15 minutes, I would have got my hand raised,” Hughes said, noting that he believes he could still be competitive in the Octagon, but not targeting a championship.

Although he’s not looking to spearhead the start of Vitor Belfort’s proposed UFC Legend’s League, Hughes’ idea of a return would be more in line with what Belfort was saying, matching up against someone of an age similar to his 43 years and with diminishing athletic attributes.

“I have no interest in fighting somebody like Tyron Woodley or (Jorge) Masvidal, some of these young kids, I just don’t,” said Hughes. “I would want to have somebody close to my age that would have the same speed, quickness.

“It’s really just one win. It really doesn’t have anything to do with money. It’s just getting in there competing again and seeing what I can do.”

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram