UFC Bantamweight Champ Amanda Nunes, Strawweight Nina Ansaroff Announce Engagement

Amanda Nunes and Nina Ansaroff will be tying the knot in the near future.

Ray Cooper III Scores Quick Finish, Kayla Harrison Picks Up Second Career Win at PFL 6

Ray Cooper III made quick work of Pavel Kusch in the PFL 6 featured fight on Thursday in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Cooper secured the top welterweight seed in the Professional Fighters League 2018 playoffs with a first round finish.

Cooper immediately went on the offense at the sound of the opening bell inside the Ocean Resort Casino. A left hook to the body dropped Kusch. As Kusch tried to stand, Cooper unloaded a flurry that sent Kusch crashing to the canvas. He followed up with two right hands before the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight.

“I’m coming at everybody the same way, so you guys better be ready to scrap because I’m coming in here ready to scrap from the beginning,” said Cooper following the first-round finish.

Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist in Judo Kayla Harrison stepped into the cage for the second time in a women’s lightweight bout. She took out Brittney Elkin by submission in her professional debut at PFL 2 in June. Showing improvements, Harrison showed off a quick jab and perfectly timed takedowns in her second-round win over Jozette Cotton.

Harrison’s grappling proved too much for Cotton. Harrison secured takedowns without difficulty and advanced her position on the ground. She mounted Cotton in both rounds. The end came when Harrison postured up and hammered away with right hands until the referee stepped in 84 seconds into the third frame.

“I’m still trying to get all the issues out of the game plan, but overall I’m happy. I never want to go three rounds but it’s good to know that I can go three, or five, or ten, or how ever many it takes to put somebody away,” she said following the fight.

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PFL 6 Official Results

  • Ray Cooper III def. Pavel Kusch by TKO (punches) at 0:18, R1
  • MagomedKerimov def. Bojan Velickovic by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Kayla Harrison def. Jozette Cotton by TKO (punches) at 1:24, R3
  • Abubakar Nurmagomedov def. Jonatan Westin by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Joao Zeferino def. Yuri Villefort by submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:10, R3
  • Rick Story def. Carlton Minus by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:55, R2
  • Jake Shields def. Herman Terrado by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Bruno Santos def. John Howard by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Abuspiyan Magomedov def. Anderson Gonçalves by TKO (punches) at 1:27, R1
  • Shamil Gamzatov def. Rex Harris by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-280
  • Louis Taylor def. Andre Lobato by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
  • Gasan Umalatov def. Eddie Gordon by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

James Vick Wasn’t Talking Trash on Justin Gaethje, He Was Just Giving Him the Facts

James Vick isn’t going to pretend that he’s Conor McGregor whenever he has a microphone in front of his face.

While the former “Ultimate Fighter” contender certainly isn’t afraid to speak his mind, Vick will be the first to admit that he does his best work inside the cage rather than trying to out work an opponent in a trash-talking battle.

That said, Vick says he received more than a few compliments for his “performance” at the UFC’s 25th anniversary press conference recently where he came face to face with Gaethje for the first time.

Vick was more than ready for the verbal exchanges, but as he explains, nothing he was saying to Gaethje could really be classified as trash talk. Instead, Vick says he was just giving Gaethje a list of facts that he couldn’t really dispute.

“I killed him. It was good exposure for me for sure,” Vick told MMAWeekly about the press conference showdown with Gaethje. “Everything I said came from my heart. I believe everything I said. The dude is the Homer Simpson of MMA. He just takes beatings. I don’t want to act like I’m the greatest trash talker in the world cause he’s an easy target.

“I just think with him, the things I’m saying are true. All I did was throw up stats. You take 10 significant strikes per minute and that’s 50 shots a round. Those aren’t lies. Those are legit stats.”

While fighters like McGregor have gotten into their opponents’ heads with a vicious verbal assault before a fight, Vick isn’t sure he had that same effect on Gaethje.

According to Vick, Gaethje was already having doubts about his skills and abilities after suffering back-to-back knockouts courtesy of Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier.

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Now Vick plans on becoming the third person to hand Gaethje a knockout loss when they meet on Aug. 25 at UFC Fight Night in Lincoln, Neb.

“I don’t know how much it threw doubt into his mind because I think he already had doubt in his mind,” Vick said. “I think I’m just reassuring what he’s already thinking, which is not a good thing for him.

“Whether he’s confident or not confident, I think my skill set is going to win this fight.”

UFC 25th Anniversary Full Press Conference Video

Knockout Radio Featuring Frank Trigg, Chris Lytle, and Sam Shewmaker

Check out Knockout Radio’s podcast featuring UFC veteran and current MMA referee Frank Trigg, fellow former fighter Chris Lytle, and Bare Knuckle fighter Sam Shewmaker, plus all the latest MMA news and happenings. Knockout Radio consistently brings the best guests in the world of mixed martial arts, covers the latest news, and breaks down and recaps every UFC event and many of the other top mixed martial arts events from around the world. HOT TOPICS:

Dana White: I Would Have Beat Tito Ortiz in Bungled Boxing Match

Tito Ortiz and Dana White

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

Believe it or not, there was a time in UFC history when the company’s president, Dana White, was going to box one of its top stars, Tito Ortiz. 

White forged his way into the mixed martial arts community by managing Ortiz and the man who became Ortiz’s biggest rival, Chuck Liddell. After a time, they separated and White became Ortiz’s boss at the UFC. Things only went south from there.

After a longtime feud, Ortiz called out White to settle their differences in a boxing ring. White accepted the challenge. 

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The match eventually fell apart, but White said in a clip from his upcoming episode of “OBJECTified” that he would have beaten Ortiz had the boxing match went forward as planned.

Japanese Flyweight Yuya Wakamatsu Signs with ONE, Debuts in Jakarta

Yuya Wakamatsu - ONE Championship

ONE Championship has snapped up one of the most exciting flyweight prospects in Japanese MMA. 23-year-old knockout artist Yuya Wakamatsu has put pen to paper on a contract and will make his promotional debut in Jakarta on September 22.

Wakamatsu (10-2) has only been the distance once in 12 fights, with nine of his wins coming by way of either a knockout or a TKO. His Pancrase title tilt with Senzo Ikeda in February was one of the best fights of 2018, even though the Tribe Toyko prospect came up short on that occasion.

At ONE: Conquest of Heroes, he has been matched with top contender Danny Kingad (9-1). The Filipino is a former flyweight title challenger and a veteran of six fights for the promotion, although he won’t be challenging for the belt again anytime soon, as it currently belongs to his team mate Geje Eustaquio.

Former flyweight champion Kairat Akhmetov (24-2) will also be in action on Sept. 22.  He will be looking to work his way back into title contention after two losses in his last three fights and has been matched with China’s Ma Hao Bin (11-3).

The card will be headlined by a strawweight title rematch between champion Yoshitaka Naito and challenger Joshua Pacio. It also features an atomweight bout pitting Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol against Jomary Torres and an all-Indonesian featwherweight match featuring Victorio Senduk and Sunoto.

Jeremiah Wells Out To Show What He’s Capable of Doing In CES 52 Title Bout

Following a draw in his final bout of 2017, welterweight Jeremiah Wells was looking to get back on the winning track in 2018 and has so far been able to do so.

In two bouts this year, Wells has managed to pick up back-to-back wins in completely different ways; a first round knockout in one, and a hard-fought unanimous decision in the other.

“Against Gary (Balletto) I thought it was going to be a grappling match because even though he’s a stand-up guy, he’s won a lot of his fights by submission,” Wells told MMAWeekly.com. “I knocked him out in 57 seconds, so I can’t complain.

“John (Manley) was a hell of a fighter. He is really durable. I was really surprised how he could withstand all the hits I landed on him. Every round he kept coming forward. He wouldn’t stop. It kind of messed with mentally, but I kind of pushed through it.”

For his third bout of 2018, Wells (5-1-1) will look to pick up his first MMA title when he faces Jason Norwood (18-5) for the vacant CES 170-pound title in the main event of the promotion’s event on Friday in Philadelphia.

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“It’s going be really good me beating (Norwood),” said Wells. “It’s going to show organizations what level I’m on. He’s got a lot of experience, and I’m just so ready to put on a show, and show everybody what I’m capable of doing to a high-level fighter.

“I know I’m going to have to show him he can’t run me over like he does his other opponents – that’s not going to happen. Once he feels my power he’s going to know he messed up.”

For Wells, fighting for a title for the first time in two years will be a much different experience than the last time.

“I’ve been in these situations before,” Wells said. “I felt like the last time I fight for the CFFC title, I wasn’t ready. This time I know I’m ready. I feel that I’m ready. I’m ready to let my hands go.”

While Wells is open to any opportunities that come his way, he does hope claiming a CES belt will help make his case towards moving to the next level.

“I do kind of take (opportunities) as they come, but I really hope I get the call to the UFC,” said Wells. “I’m ready to fight until I get that call.

“I’m ready to show them I’m what they’re looking for. I’m ready to put on a show and let everyone know I’m who they want to watch. I’m ready to fight anywhere.”

Thiago Santos vs. Jimi Manuwa Now Expected as Main Event for UFC’s Return to Brazil

Thiago Santos is expected to move to light heavyweight to face Jimi Manuwa in the new main event for UFC Fight Night in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Sept. 22.

Sources close to the fight confirmed the news on Friday with verbal agreements in place from the athletes. ESPN first reported the potential matchup.

The UFC has not made any announcement regarding the fight and nothing is official until bout agreements are signed and returned.

The new main event came together rather quickly after former title contender Glover Teixeira dropped out of the fight due to a shoulder injury that may end up with him requiring surgery.

Manuwa had been chasing the fight with Teixeira since last year and because the card was taking place in Brazil, there was no word whether or not he would still remain in the main event.

Now it appears the UFC has secured Manuwa a suitable replacement as the British slugger looks to bounce back from two consecutive losses inside the Octagon.

As for Santos, he will move up to light heavyweight after offering to accept a short notice fight following his last win over Kevin Holland at UFC 227 in Los Angeles.

Santos had mentioned the possibility of moving up to 205 pounds on a more permanent basis due to the rigorous weight cut he has to endure to fight at middleweight. Now it looks like Santos will get his wish sooner rather than later as he moves to light heavyweight for a main event showdown against Manuwa.

UFC Fight Night from Sao Paulo, Brazil goes down on Saturday night, Sept. 22 with the card airing live on FS1.

 

Valentina Shevchenko Still Doesn’t Believe Nicco Montano Will Show Up for UFC 228

Valentina Shevchenko ahead of UFC 228

(Courtesy of UFC)

Despite their bout being inked for the UFC 228: Woodley vs. Till co-main event on Sept. 8 in Dallas, Valentina Shevchenko won’t believe that flyweight champion Nicco Montano will show up until they are in the cage together.

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Donald Cerrone Says He Escaped Brush with Death in Diving Incident

Donald Cerrone before UFC Singapore

UFC welterweight fan favorite Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone says he survived a near disaster while diving with a buddy on Friday in Cozumel, Mexico.

Details are scarce, but Cerrone and his friend apparently were diving in caves and experienced a total silt out, which obscures a divers route out of the cave and back to the surface.

“Today, I can honestly say I’m Happy to be alive. We had catastrophic worst case scenario on our dive. Total silt out, lost the cave line and lost my buddy, couldn’t see my own hands, was the most scariest moment to this day in my life,” Cerrone wrote on Instagram.

“I remember kissing Danger and Lindsay and saying I’ll see y’all soon, don’t worry, daddy’s coming home!!!! Told the grim reaper, ‘Not today Mother F—er.’ I’m figuring this the f— out and coming home!!”

In diving, a silt out is when the diver’s visibility is reduced to non-functional levels by disturbing the fine particulate deposits on the bottom or on nearby solid surfaces. Disturbing the particulates creates a smoke-screen of sorts that makes it impossible to see where you are going.

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Obviously, such disorientation is a major problem when you’re underwater and even more so in a cave that you have to find your way out of before running out of oxygen.

Cerrone (33-11, 1NC) is currently slated to fight teammate Mike Perry at UFC Fight Night 139, the UFC’s 25th Anniversary event, on Nov. 10 in Denver.