MMA Athletes Association Officially Announces Formation on Conference Call

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yia7p-RhnPc&t=4s To kick off a conference call that apparently has over 100 media members on the line, UFC middleweight contender Tim Kennedy officially announced the formations of a union/fighters’ association for MMA Fighters, the MMA Athletes’ Association. Attorney Jim Quinn was announced as the head of their legal team, with Kennedy remarking that he’s the best there is in the field of athletes’ associations. Quinn is also the lawyer for Georges St-Pierre, who was also on the call and spoke of how while he got out of the sport rich and relatively healthy, he’s in the minority. The call is still ongoing as this post goes up, and we’ll have more updates later. As previously announced, Kennedy, St-Pierre, T.J. Dillashaw, and Cain Velasquez are the fighters on the call, joined by Bellator MMA founder Bjorn Rebney.

Bellator 168 Card Adds Goiti Yamauchi-Valeriu Mircea To Lineup

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Lightweights Goiti Yamauchi and Valeriu Mircea have been added to the upcoming Bellator 168 main card. Yamauchi (20-3) and Mircea (12-3) will meet from the Mandela Forum in Florence, Italy on December 10. The card features Melvin Manhoef challenging Rafael Carvahlo for the middleweight title. Below is a press release from Bellator and the current fight card:
A lightweight bout pitting Goiti Yamauchi (20-3) against Valeriu Mircea (12-3) completes the MMA portion of “Bellator 168: Carvalho vs. Manhoef 2,” on a night which will feature both Bellator MMA and Bellator Kickboxing brands inside the Mandela Forum in Florence. In addition, due to an injury suffered by Pietro Cappelli, Philipe Lins (10-1) will now meet Kleber Raimundo Silva (12-7) in light heavyweight action on Dec. 10. The mixed martial arts portion of action on Dec. 10is headlined by a middleweight world title fight featuring a rematch between Rafael Carvalho (13-1) and Melvin Manhoef (30-13-1, 2 NC), while Italy’s own Alessio Sakara (18-11, 2 NC) will take on Joey Beltran (17-13, 1 NC) at 205-pounds, and John Salter (12-3) meets Claudio Annicchiarico (1-4) in a middleweight bout. “Bellator 168: Carvalho vs. Manhoef 2” will air LIVE and FREE on SPIKE at 4pm ET/PT. The Bellator Kickboxing card features a female flyweight rematch between Denise Kielholtz (45-3) and Gloria Peritore (11-1-1), but this time, a world title will be on the line. “Bellator Kickboxing: Florence” will also feature a lightweight clash between Giorgio Petrosyan (82-2-2, 1 NC) and British kickboxing champion Jordan Watson (48-11-2), a middleweight matchup pitting Joe Schilling (19-9) against Victorio Lermano (30-7), a welterweight contest pairing Luca Novello (22-4-2) with Karim Ghajji (96-13-1), and Kevin Ross (31-9) will meet Alessio Arduini (26-14-2) in a lightweight fight. “Bellator Kickboxing: Florence” airs Friday, Dec. 16 at 11:15 pm ET, immediately following “Bellator 169: King Mo vs. Ishii.” An 8-fight veteran of Bellator MMA, Yamauchi enters the cage in search of his 21st career win and seventh under the Scott Coker-led promotion. You would be hard-pressed to find a fighter with more promise than the 23-year-old top prospect, who has already taken down proven veterans the likes of Martin Stapleton, Isao Kobayashi, and most recently Ryan Couture. The former featherweight returned to the lightweight division to face the aforementioned Couture earlier in the year at “Bellator 162: Shlemenko vs. Grove,” a fight in which Yamauchi dominated from the get-go, earning yet another first round submission victory. Yamauchi has finished his opponent in 17 of his 20 career wins, including 14 in the opening round of action. The Japanese-Brazilian submission specialist continues to make great strides in the sport, consistently displaying the flawless Brazilian jiu-jitsu technique that has given opponents many nightmares year after year. Challenging Yamauchi will be Valeriu Mircea, a Moldova-born competitor that has also seen a great deal of success early on in his MMA career. The 23-year-old knockout artist will be making his Bellator MMA debut following three consecutive victories, including a pair of first round knockouts. Dating back to 2015, Mircea has collected wins in nine of his last 10 bouts and has already tallied six victories over his 2016 campaign. With three of his last four wins coming by way of first round knockout, you can expect an early array of attack in this pairing of two top prospects. Taking on Lins will now be Raimundo Silva, a 28-year-old striker who will be making both his 2016 and Bellator MMA debut. Dating back to 2011, “Orgulho” has won seven of his last 11 contests, highlighted by his most recent knockout victory over Claudio Rocha, which came just 3:25 into the first round. Complete “Bellator 168: Carvalho vs. Manhoef 2” Card: Middleweight World Title Bout: Rafael Carvalho (13-1) vs. Melvin Manhoef (30-13-1, 2 NC) Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Alessio Sakara (18-11, 2 NC) vs. Joey Beltran (17-13, 1 NC) Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Philipe Lins (10-1) vs. Kleber Raimundo Silva (12-7) Middleweight Feature Fight: John Salter (12-3) vs. Claudio Annicchiarico (1-4) Lightweight Feature Fight: Goiti Yamauchi (31-9) vs. Valeriu Mircea (12-3) Complete “Bellator Kickboxing: Florence” Card: Lightweight Feature Fight: Giorgio Petrosyan (82-2-2, 1 NC) vs. Jordan Watson (48-11-2) Flyweight World Title: Denise Kielholtz (45-3) vs. Gloria Peritore (11-1-1) Middleweight Feature Fight: Joe Schilling (19-9) vs. Victorio Lermano (30-7) Welterweight Feature Fight: Luca Novello (22-4-2) vs. Karim Ghajji (96-13-1) Lightweight Feature Fight: Kevin Ross (31-9) vs. Alessio Arduini (26-14-2)

UFC 206 Free Fight: Max Holloway Vs. Ricardo Lamas

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Next month at UFC 206, Max Holloway will put his nine-fight win streak on the line against Anthony Pettis for the interim UFC featherweight title. But “Blessed” only reached this point with a win at UFC 199 over Ricardo Lamas. Holloway and Pettis meet on December 10 from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

UFC Responds To MMA AAA: “We Respect All Of Our Athletes”

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Following the announcement of the creation of Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association, the UFC responded. And no, they didn’t immediately fire Donald Cerrone, Cain Velasquez, Tim Kennedy or T.J. Dillashaw. The four, along with Georges St-Pierre and former Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, announced the federation on Wednesday during a conference call. “We respect all of our athletes and are always open and willing to hear their thoughts on how to improve the sport,” a UFC official said told MMA Fighting.

Tonya Evinger Appealing Her Invicta FC Championship Match Defeat

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Tonya Evinger isn’t giving up her Invicta FC bantamweight title without a fight. Evinger, who lost to Yana Kunitskaya earlier this month at Invicta FC 20 on UFC Fight Pass, has filed an appeal with the Missouri Office of Athletics, according to a report by MMA Fighting. The 35-year-old Evinger lost via armbar at 1:59 of the first round, but is challenging the result because referee Mike England instructed her she made an illegal move while in the hold. England told Evinger to move from her position after placing a foot on the face of Kunitskaya. But that move is legal and not the same as a stomp to a grounded opponent. Evinger stated that the change of her movement allowed the hold to be tightened and forced her to tap.

Rory MacDonald-Douglas Lima Could Happen This Coming July

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All those itching to see Rory MacDonald inside the Bellator cage will have to wait a little bit longer. On Twitter recently, MacDonald struck up a conversation with current Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima. The two discussed potential fight dates, settling on July for the action to take place. Lima stated that he is currently “treating some minor injuries,” while MacDonald is still recovering from a broken nose suffered at the hands of Stephen Thompson in his last UFC fight.

Conor McGregor Issued Boxing License In State Of California

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Well, well, well. It appears all those talks of Conor McGregor stepping inside the boxing arena might not just be talk after all. According to a report by Ariel Helwani, McGregor was just issued a boxing license in the state of California, per his manager. Since McGregor came into the MMA mainstream scene, he has targeted a potential fight with Floyd Mayweather. Of course, Mayweather almost strictly competes in Nevada, but this could be the actual first step towards that bout taking place.

Demetrious Johnson-Tim Elliott Now Official After Elliott Wins TUF 24

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Tim Elliott put the finishing touches on his run to challenging Demetrious Johnson for the flyweight title Wednesday night, winning Season 24 of The Ultimate Fighter. Elliott, a former UFC competitor who was cut by the promotion, will challenge “Mighty Mouse” Saturday night in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale. During his run to the TUF title, Elliott defeated Charlie Alaniz, Matt Schnell, Eric Shelton and Hiromasa Ogikubo. Elliott was the No. 3 seed, while Ogikubo was the No. 5 seed, upsetting top-seeded Alexandre Pantoja in the semifinals.

Tonya Evinger Appeals Invicta Title Loss with Missouri’s Athletic Commission

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMsZN_8S3dM Less than two weeks ago at Invicta FC 20, Tonya Evinger was defending her Invicta Bantamweight Championship when challenger  Yana Kunitskaya caught her in an armbar from guard. In attempting to defend the submission, Evinger stepped on Kunitskaya’s face as she got up, only for referee Mike England to ask her to move because he said it was an illegal technique — it’s not, and she’s done it before in Invicta against Sarah D’Alelio. In the confusion, Kunitskaya finished the armbar and Evinger tapped out. On Wednesday, Evinger told Marc Raimondi at MMAFighting that she’s officially appealed the result with the Missouri Office of Athletics at the he Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP). The commission couldn’t confirm it to Raimondi because they don’t comment on appeals until they’re complete. While this type of appeal usually seems like a long shot, Missouri did overturn a past Invicta bantamweight fight’s result due to referee error. At Invicta FC 5 in April of 2013, Miriam Nakamoto initially beat Jessamyn Duke by TKO with a series of knees from the clinch. Upon replay, it was clear that Duke was a downed opponent when the last knee was thrown and the result changed to a no contest. In that case, however, referee John McCarthy copped to his mistake, and it’s not yet known if England will do the same.

Goiti Yamauchi vs. Valeriu Mircea Added to Bellator 168 Lineup

California-based fight promotion Bellator MMA announced on Wednesday that a lightweight battle between Goiti Yamauchi and Valeriu Mircea has been added to next weekend’s Bellator 168 event.