Toure confirms future is at Man City - Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure says he wants to stay at the Premier League club for "as long as possible". UCLA wades through damages from pipe flooding (Yahoo Sports) - The quiet summer campus of UCLA found itself suddenly steeped in water and chaos after a major water pipe burst and spewed some eight million gallons, stranding people in parking garages and flooding the school's storied basketball court less than two years after a major renovation. The 30-inch, nearly century old pipe burst under nearby Sunset Boulevard on Tuesday afternoon, sending water 30 feet into the air, opening a 15-foot hole in the street and inundating part of the campus that was soon swarmed with police and firefighters. ''Unfortunately UCLA was the sink for this water source,'' UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said. Lisicki hits fastest women's serve - Sabine Lisicki hits the fastest serve in the history of women's tennis at 131mph during a first-round loss in Stanford. Peterson says he's got 5-year, $70 million deal (Yahoo Sports) - Cornerback Patrick Peterson says he has reached agreement on a five-year, $70 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals, with $48 million guaranteed. Peterson revealed the terms via twitter Tuesday night. The Cardinals announced the deal a short time later, but did not disclose the terms. The agreement keeps Peterson under contract with Arizona through 2020. Liriano fans 11 in Pirates' 3-1 win (Yahoo Sports) - Francisco Liriano struck out a season-high 11 in seven innings to win consecutive starts for the first time this season and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the San Francisco Giants 3-1 on Tuesday night. Josh Harrison hit a leadoff home run in the first inning and Travis Snider added a two-run shot in the second for the Pirates, who moved within one game of first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central. A former minor league prospect for the Giants, Liriano (3-7) gave up a home run to Mike Morse but was otherwise stellar while leading the surging Pirates to their eighth win in 11 games. San Francisco lost its sixth straight, matching its longest skid of the season. Vin Scully to return for 66th season in LA in 2015 (Yahoo Sports) - Vin Scully is staying in the booth for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The announcement was made by in Korean, Spanish and English by players Hyun-Jin Ryu, Yasiel Puig and Justin Turner on the Dodger Stadium video board in the second inning of Tuesday night's game against Atlanta. Orioles beat Angels 7-6 in 12 innings (Yahoo Sports) - BALTIMORE (AP) -- Manny Machado homered off Cory Rasmus leading off the 12th inning to give the Baltimore Orioles a 7-6 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night. Cobb strikes out 12, Rays win 5-1 (Yahoo Sports) - ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Alex Cobb struck out 12 in eight innings and Ben Zobrist drove in two runs Tuesday night, leading the Tampa Bay Rays to a 5-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. It was the Rays' 11th win in 12 games. Cain to meet with elbow specialist (Yahoo Sports) - SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- San Francisco Giants right-hander Matt Cain plans to meet with specialist Dr. James Andrews this week to get a second opinion on his injured elbow. AP source: Gordon hires attorney, plans defense (Yahoo Sports) - Josh Gordon has a new, high-profile teammate to help him fight the NFL. Facing an indefinite suspension for marijuana use, Cleveland's talented wide receiver has hired attorney Maurice Suh to represent him at his appeal hearing with the league this week, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. Suh, who helped Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman win an appeal for a suspension in 2012, will be with Gordon in New York on Friday, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks.

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Marlon Moraes, Josh Hill to clash on NBC in WSOF 13 title bout [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 29, 2014, 11:59 pm]
The World Series of Fighting will return to NBC on Sept. 13 when Marlon Moraes defends his bantamweight title against unbeaten Josh Hill in the main event of WSOF 13, tentatively set to be in Pennsylvania, matchmaker Ali Abdelaziz told Yahoo Sports. Moraes, 13-4-1, is ranked No. 9 at bantamweight by Sherdog. Moraes has won seven bouts in a row. Hill is 10-0 and defeated Mike Adams via first-round knockout on June 7 in Edmonton. Abdelaziz said he thinks Hill can give Moraes a good fight. "Marlon's striking is so good, but Josh has a plan to beat him," Abdelaziz said. "Marlon is a guy who puts on exciting fights for the fans and this will be a quality test for him going against a wrestler who has good jiu-jitsu, too." The card will be WSOF's second on NBC. Its first was on July 5 from Daytona Beach, Fla., a bout that drew 906,000 total viewers to see Justin Gaethje successfully defend his lightweight title against Nick Newell.

Marlon Moraes defend WSOF belt against Josh Hill on Sept. 13 [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 29, 2014, 11:59 pm]
The World Series of Fighting will return to the NBC Sports Network on Sept. 13 when Marlon Moraes defends his bantamweight title against unbeaten Josh Hill in the main event of WSOF 13, tentatively set to be in Pennsylvania, matchmaker Ali Abdelaziz told Yahoo Sports. Moraes, 13-4-1, is ranked No. 9 at bantamweight by Sherdog. Moraes has won seven bouts in a row. Hill is 10-0 and defeated Mike Adams via first-round knockout on June 7 in Edmonton. Abdelaziz said he thinks Hill can give Moraes a good fight. "Marlon's striking is so good, but Josh has a plan to beat him," Abdelaziz said. "Marlon is a guy who puts on exciting fights for the fans and this will be a quality test for him going against a wrestler who has good jiu-jitsu, too." Editor's note: Story updated at 9:23 p.m. ET to reflect bout is on NBC Sports Network, not NBC.

Anderson Silva to return to UFC, faces Nick Diaz on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 29, 2014, 10:41 pm]
Only 13 months after a gruesome injury that appeared to end his legendary fighting career, former middleweight champion Anderson Silva will return to the UFC when he meets Nick Diaz in a middleweight bout in the main event of a Jan. 31 pay-per-view show in Las Vegas. White made the announcement mid-afternoon Pacific time, not long after telling Yahoo Sports via telephone he had nothing to announce. White said the deal with Silva was not finalized until 2:50 p.m. PT. Diaz signed a new deal with the UFC last week that gives him eight fights remaining on his contract. When Diaz ended a brief retirement to sign the extension last week, speculation quickly was raised about a fight with Silva. White, though, threw cold water on the deal, saying he hadn't spoken to Silva. But the deal apparently came together quickly. Silva broke his leg 1:16 into the second round of a rematch with Weidman for the middleweight title. Silva fired a kick with his left leg at Weidman, snapping it with great force. Weidman checked the kick and the bone-on-bone impact caused Silva to fracture both the tibia and the fibula. Las Vegas-based orthopedic surgeon Steven Sanders performed the surgery, inserting an 11.5-milimeter titanium rod in Silva's leg. Sanders estimated at the time of the injury that it would be six-to-nine months before Silva would be able to train again. He returned much sooner, but wasn't cleared to return to competition until recently. Silva will be 10 weeks from his 40th birthday at the time of the bout.      

UFC's Nick Diaz: 'I've got to keep it real' [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 29, 2014, 8:28 pm]
Nick Diaz has not fought for a year and a half in the UFC Octagon. And that has suited the elite veteran just fine. "I've just been doing a whole lot of not getting punched around, type stuff. Hanging around," he said to UFC.com in a recently released interview. Diaz has made up with the UFC and come to terms to return to competition. Considering that he's fought professionally since he was just a teenager and been in many wars, the Stockton native said he's enjoyed his time off since losing a decision to Georges St. Pierre in March of 2013. "I've been staying in shape pretty good. Been doing a lot of running. It's been a good experience having that much time off," he admitted. Fans shouldn't assume that the returning welterweight has lost his focus, if he's lost ring time, however. " Just because I'm not getting punched around every day, doesn't mean that I'm not focused on what I'm doing," he maintained. Diaz' last two bouts, against St. Pierre and Carlos Condit were for titles. He lost both of those fights on the scorecards but insists that he'd like to fight for a title again. "I'd like to fight for the title. That would be a big deal. I think that would be worth fighting for," he said. It's clear that Diaz believes that he's paid enough dues, throughout his career, to warrant nothing but big fights from here on out. It's also clear that he's a big name in MMA and one of the rare fighters that riles up emotions in fans and generates a great deal of interest in fights. As such, the controversial martial artist wants to make sure his time is well-spent. "I'f I'm not moving forward in this sport, than I don't need to be out there, making it through training camps to go and fight someone who is going to try and take my head off," he reasoned. One such fighter could be long-time middleweight king Anderson Silva. Both fighters have expressed interest in the match up. Silva is expected to return from his leg injuries in 2015, and Diaz has said that he'll likely return

Kelly Anundson fighting for his piece of history [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 28, 2014, 9:05 pm]
Last week, light heavyweight Kelly Anundson headed into the biggest fight of his young MMA career with momentum as well as the pressure that comes with it. After not having lost in over three years, the American Top Team fighter faced off against Luiz Philipe Lins in the semi-finals of the Bellator 205 pound tournament. The Brazilian was undefeated and looked to be the stiffest test Anundson had yet to face, What’s more, they would face-off just a month and a half after their last bouts. The grueling schedule of Bellator’s notorious tournament format was taking its toll on Anundson, but the grappler said that his goals made it worthwhile. “It can be hard sometimes because you want to rest a little bit after fighting, instead of going straight back into sparring,” he explained. With new management, Bellator has announced that it will drop the tournament structure, moving forward. As such, this light heavyweight tourney may be the last one the promotion will do. Anundson would go on to win over Lins after the Brazilian sustained a knee injury. The American now heads into perhaps the last tournament he’ll ever compete in, with a shot at the Bellator 205 pound belt on the line. It’s those stakes, and more, that make this last, brutal tournament schedule worth it to “Crossface.” “It’s what you have to do,” he said. “I want to become the light heavyweight tournament champion. There have been some very good guys before who have done that. Plus, it appears as though this will be the last tournament Bellator does so there’s added significance. I want to achieve a little bit of history. That’s what motivates me.  Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

[VIDEO] Gas station clerk uses MMA to fend off robbers [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 28, 2014, 8:27 pm]
Three would-be muggers were surprised when an attempted robbery turned south on them after they ran into a gas station clerk who is also a professional mixed martial artist. Several weeks ago, a group of men attacked a Houston Fuel Depot convenience store employee in the store parking lot as he returned from a bank round.  When co-worker Mayura "Top Gun" Dissanayake saw the attack from inside the store, he rushed out, along with another employee, and defended the victim. The attackers were no-doubt counting on the element of surprised and superior numbers but quickly got it taken to them by the Sri Lankan fighter. Dissanayake has over a decade of fight training and has fought and won in India's Super Fight League MMA promotion. "Top Gun" didn't hesitate to use his MMA skills to defend his co-workers and himself in fending off and forcing the attackers into a retreat. "I just kicked him until he lays down on the floor," he said. "Until he stopped moving cause I wasn't sure if he had a knife or a gun so I wanted him to stop moving...We learn how to punch [in MMA training], how to kick and all that stuff you can use in the streets." According to reports, police officers arrested Odell Mathis, a 33 year-old male, and charged him with robbery with bodily injury. He is also a suspect in a chain of similar robberies. Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

Dana White: Negotiations with Gina Carano 'complicated' [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 27, 2014, 12:30 pm]
Two weeks ago, UFC president Dana White confidently stated that he expected to swoop into Los Angeles and sign MMA-cross over star Gina Carano to fight in the UFC in the next week. As it turns out, getting the former fighter to come back to the cage is proving more difficult than White anticipated. Carano is still not signed to the UFC and White cited unspecified complications Saturday night in San Jose at the UFC on FOX 12  post-event press conference. "It's complicated," White said. The UFC boss said that talks are going well in some ways, but that the delay is due to the un-named complications. "It's going very positive, but it's complicated," he said. Though White didn't elaborate and Carano has not either, one might imagine that the movie career of "Conviction" may be the source of some of the complication. Carano has not fought since 2009, and since that time has focused on her growing film career. It isn't hard to imagine that shooting schedules and contracts with film studios and agencies may complicate Carano's intention to get back into fighting in many different ways. Though Carano lost the last time she fight, to "Cyborg" Justino, it is expected that she would fight UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, should she sign with the UFC. Rousey has expressed an eagerness to fight Carano, alternately saying that she herself would go back up in weight to 145 to fight the star and that the Muay Thai specialist has earned a crack at the 135 pound belt. Are you interested in seeing Carano fight Rousey, or would you rather she take on someone else, first? Let us know in the comments section! Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

Clay Guida: MMA's hardcore hobbyist [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 26, 2014, 4:17 pm]
Clay "The Carpenter" Guida goes to work again tonight in the UFC's Octagon against red-hot featherweight Dennis Bermudez. Well, except for the fact that he doesn't consider being a professional fighter, "work." "I don’t think of this as a job,” Guida told UFC.com. “It’s a hobby, and luckily we get paid for it. We travel all over, it’s taken me from coast to coast and from one end of the world to the next. I’ve met some amazing people and built some great relationships, and for anyone in this sport or in this industry that thinks otherwise, maybe they expect too much or maybe they’re just not happy with right now and what they have surrounding them. And I’m always thankful for my family and my fans and my health, and the health of those around me. So I’m always in a pretty cheerful mood, even when it’s time to lose some weight. (Laughs)” The weight-cutting took place yesterday and now that's over and all that's left is for Guida and Bermudez to lock up on the UFC on FOX 12 card tonight in San Jose. Guida thinks highly of his opponent, but is confident that he'll make Bermudez try to find a way out of their bout. “He’s a little sparkplug, man,” Guida said of Bermudez. “He’s got a gas tank on him, he hits from all angles, he moves forward and has that wrestling base, and he likes to push the pace. This is going to be a whirlwind and it’s going to come down to who wants it the most. Who’s going to look for a way out? I don’t know what a way out is. That’s not in my vocabulary, and I’m going to show him the door.” Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

Daniel Cormier says injured knee 'feels fine' [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 25, 2014, 3:04 pm]
UFC light heavyweight contender Daniel Cormier is missing half of one ACL in a knee, and partially tore his LCL as well. Because of this, just weeks ago he had planned to undergo surgery this month to repair the injuries. When Alexander Gustafsson tore his meniscus and pulled out of his Sep. 27 title challenge rematch against champ Jon Jones this week, Cormier decided to jump in as a substitute. According to an interview "DC" gave to MMA Junkie this week, he came thisclose to getting the surgery but "thankfully" missed a doctor's appointment last week and so never got the last recommendation to do so. Cormier, now a televisino analyst for FOX in addition to his fighting, said that he missed an appointment to see his doctor last Wednesday in order to be in Los Angeles to cover the Donald Cerrone vs. Jim Miller fight. The fighter claimed that he was going to ask the doctor if he could skip surgery anyway, because his LCL had begun to heal and his knee felt back to normal. "Thank goodness I didn't go into that doctor's appointment because I didn't want to have the surgery but what if he would have advised me to? Just because, you know, doctors always kind of like to play it safe," Cormier said." The two-time Olympian went on to assure that his knee feels fine and that he'll be ready to go against Jones - perhaps the most dominant fighter in UFC history - and on short notice. "I feel fine, boys," Cormier claimed. "I realize now that my LCL was what was bothering me. And the only thing you can do for that is time. Well, with time, it has healed and now my knee feels completely strong, man. I sparred yesterday. I did Jiu Jitsu yesterday, I ran and I feel fine. I'm pretty sore, though, I'll be honest with you. Too much time behind the desk and not enough time in the gym." Even if Cormier does not, in fact, "feel fine" he likely found it impossible to pass up the chance at a world title. He'd earned one at heavyweight but the champion is his friend and training partner Cain

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson says Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson will be UFC champ [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 25, 2014, 1:48 pm]
Anthony "Rumble" Johnson may be next fighting against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira Sunday on the UFC on FOX 12 card in San Jose, but one action star is predicting he'll soon be fighting for, and winning, the light heavyweight championship of the world. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson revealed to UFC Magazine that he's such a big fan of "Rumble," recently, that he is considering claiming the MMA fighter as a relative. "I bet 2015 will be the year of Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson: a bad dude. When he becomes champion, I’m gonna have to claim him as my cousin!" the Hercules star laughed. Johnson is carrying a seven-fight win streak into the cage with him Sunday night after making a successful and dominating return to the UFC last April against Phil Davis. Should he beat Nogueira, who himself is returning after a year and a half injury layoff after beating two former champions in a row (Rashad Evans and Tito Ortiz), "Rumble" will likely find himself on a short list of 205 pound contenders. Johnson is confident, if pragmatic, about his chances of beating Nogueira, who is calls a legend of MMA. "Can he submit me? Of course. Can he knock me out? Of course. Can I knock him out? Most definitely," Johnson said in the interview below. Who are you picking to win on Sunday? Watch Johnson spend some down time with Megan Olivi (below) and let us know in the comments section!   Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter   

Nick Diaz irons out issues with UFC, plans early 2015 return [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 25, 2014, 12:20 am]
It appears the prodigal son is about to return. Welterweight Nick Diaz, who was last seen in the Octagon when he was routed by Georges St-Pierre in a title fight in Montreal on March 16, 2013, plans to fight soon. Diaz was in Las Vegas on Thursday to meet with UFC president Dana White and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, according to a story on UFC.com. Next year I guess. Whatever, though. I can fight tomorrow, tonight. You have to do what you have to do. ... [I came today] to sort things out with Dana White and Lorenzo. It was hard times for a little bit, but people act like I've been doing nothing. I've been getting some things done. Just because I'm not getting punched around every day doesn't mean I'm not focused on what I'm doing. Now, here we are. Diaz has long been one of the sport's most popular fighters, but he might have been at the peak of his popularity on the night of his unanimous decision loss to St-Pierre at the Bell Centre. And after the fight, even when he was thoroughly beaten, he stole the show. He said St-Pierre "hits like a girl," and demanded a rematch even though the fight wasn't close. Worse, he said he hadn't paid his taxes and would 'probably go to jail'. He's back @nickdiaz209 just signed a new bout agreement 2 fight! Details coming soon http://t.co/coguxLGhUI pic.twitter.com/BGlZriJjMW— Dana White (@danawhite) July 24, 2014 He managed to stay out of jail and is now nearing a return. Former middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who broke a leg last December in a fight with Chris Weidman, is looking to return at the end of this year or early next. But White tweeted that UFC officials haven't talked to Silva, putting a bit of a damper on hopes for a Silva-Diaz bout. White said in his tweet that Silva won't return until February. Diaz, who has lost two fights in a row, expressed interest in a Silva fight in his interview with UFC.com. I'd like to fight for the title. I think that would be a big deal and worth fighting for. I want fights that will

TheSHOOT with Kyle Kingsbury [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 25, 2014, 12:16 am]


TheSHOOT with Matt Brown [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 25, 2014, 12:09 am]


Karo Parisyan: 'I have more guns than Phil Baroni' [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 24, 2014, 8:38 pm]
Former UFC welterweight contender Karo Parisyan heads into a fight Friday night in Bellator against Phil Baroni having won three out of his last four bouts and perhaps more confident than he's been in himself for awhile. the Judo fighter is so sure of the strength in his diverse skill set that he's even unconcerned that Baroni, a former training partner of his, might know exactly what he wants to do. "He’s an old training partner of mine and a buddy," Parisyan said in a recent interview with Ben Fowlkes. "But I’ve got to make the bread, and so does he...I don’t care if he knows what I’m going to do. I have more guns than he does. I want to remind people of that. I want to remind people who Karo Parisyan is.” "Who Karo Parisyan is," is a loaded and complicated answer. Among other things, he is a fighter so talented that he made his UFC debut at 21 years old and quickly rose through the ranks with his grappling ability and willingness to slug it out on the feet. Now, still at just 31 years of age, Parisyan may be old beyond his years, but he claims that he's also more focused and disciplined than he was as a young fighter. As opposed to his early career, conditioning is no longer an issue for the proud Armenian-American, he claims. “Seventy percent of my fights, I wasn’t in good enough shape,” Parisyan said. “I won based on ability and mental strength. I’ve never feared anybody in my life. No man ever scares me." Now that he has worked on those physical and other, drug and psychological issues, Karo is confident that he can continue to win, against Baroni or anyone else. Who are you picking tomorrow night at Bellator? Let us know in the comments section! Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

Renan Barao: 'I have no memory of fight after TJ Dillashaw dropped me' [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 24, 2014, 8:09 pm]
Renan Barao as taken out of the fight quick in his UFC bantamweight title defense bout last May against TJ Dillashaw when the Team Alpha Male fighter connected with a hard punch and dropped the champ. Dillashaw would go on to dominate and then finish the fight to become the new 135 pound king. If Barao looked out of it after the first round, it was because he was. During a recent media scrum, the Brazilian reveals that he has no memory of any of the fight until the punch that dropped him. "I remember everything that happened until that point," he said. "After [that punch], I only woke up in the locker room. The fight was really close in the beginning, but everything changed after that punch. Now, not only will the two fight again in an immediate rematch for no compelling reason, they will do so next month. Barao and his team complained that he didn't have enough time to prepare for Dillashaw before their first bout and then conversely decided to skip adequate rest, recovery and training time to prepare for him a second time, so quickly in their rematch. "He landed a heavy punch in the beginning of the fight and I kept fighting on autopilot," Barao continued. "I was too slow, I wasn’t thinking. [Coach Andre Pederneiras] told me to do one thing and I did another. But I will fight smart this time, I won’t let this happen again." Dillashaw's coach Duane Ludwig told Cagewriter recently that he believes the fight is happening too soon in every way, and wondered why Barao would not allow himself enough time to heal up after the memory-wiping concussion he received against Dillashaw not long ago. By accepting a fight in late August, Barao has had to basically jump right back into a training camp and not let his mind and body heal before taking more damage in sparring. "You always have to bring something new," Barao went on. "I accepted the fight on short notice and I wasn’t 100 percent ready for it, but this time will be different. I never trained so hard in my entire

Alexander Gustafsson faces five to six week recovery post-surgery [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 24, 2014, 6:02 pm]
Yesterday it was announced that number one UFC light heavyweight title contender Alexander Gustafsson was forced to pull out of his Sep. 27 championship rematch with Jon Jones because of a knee injury. Today, Gustafsson told Thomas Gerbasi of UFC.com that he tore a meniscus joint in his knee, will undergo surgery to repair it and then hopes to heal within five to six weeks after that. “I’m disappointed I can’t fight, but this is not the end, it’s just the beginning,” he said. “I’m going to come back much stronger. Gustafsson added that the injury is "not a big deal at all," before also giving his prediction for who will win between Jones and his replacement, Daniel Cormier. “Both are great athletes and it’s going to be a tough fight for sure," the Swede said. "But Jones has his height and reach advantage over DC, so I think that will be the key thing in this fight. I think Jones by decision.” Who are you picking between Jones and Cormier? And, who would you rather see Gustafsson fight when he returns? Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

Phil Baroni still fighting to prove something to himself [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 24, 2014, 5:37 pm]
Phil Baroni is 15-17, overall, in his pro MMA career. He has lost two straight, four out of his last five, seven out of his last nine bouts, and he’s not happy about it. More on that in a bit. Right now, Phil Baroni is riding in a car with his coach Nick, “One Kick” Blomgren in California where the charismatic KO stylist will take on Karo Parisyan at a Bellator event in two days, and he is quite happy about that. Despite being on a losing streak, Baroni – for many years one of the most well-known and most feared MMA fighters in the world – finds himself fighting for a top organization and doing so with his long-time coach and friend Blomgren in his corner. “The New York Badass” has bounced around gyms (including American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose) for years but says he’s happy to be back where he feels at home – with “One Kick Nick.” It all started with a girl.  “I went to California for [expletive],” Baroni explains of his decision to leave Vegas and venture to San Jose for training. “I went for [expletive] and she paid for things so it made sense.” Certainly, that type of arrangement would sound like a favorable one to many a man. That begs the question as to why Baroni returned to “One Kick Nick” and land-locked Las Vegas. “You know what, I don’t think I ever said this in an interview before, but I was kind of embarrassed, I think,” Baroni reveals. “You travel around the world, to Japan, all over, with someone [like coach Blomgren] and you start to make mistakes, start to lose and it’s hard to show your face. If I’m honest, I think I was embarrassed.” That closeness to his coach is also what brought Baroni back, however. At the end of the day, he knew Blomgren’s support for him was unconditional. “Someone like that, who travels all over with you, is with you for years, you’re not just a number to them. He’s there for me, win or lose.” Win or lose, for better or for worse. Baroni talks about loyalty m

Alexander Gustafsson out, Daniel Cormier in vs. Jon Jones at UFC 178 [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 24, 2014, 1:02 am]
The moment that Daniel Cormier decided to drop to light heavyweight from heavyweight, the former Oklahoma State wrestling star and 2008 U.S. Olympic wrestling captain put his sights squarely on champion Jon Jones. Cormier got his wish on Wednesday when he was chosen to replace Alexander Gustafsson opposite Jones in the light heavyweight championship bout that will headline UFC 178 on Sept. 27 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Gustafsson, who nearly defeated Jones last year in an epic battle at UFC 165 in Toronto in one of the great matches in UFC history, tore the meniscus a knee in training that forced his withdrawal. There is no extent of the severity of the injury or how long he'll be out. Cormier is ranked No. 2 at light heavyweight behind Jones, the champion, and Gustafsson, the No. 1 contender. Cormier was at a birthday party and couldn't speak to a reporter. UFC president Dana White was in a meeting and unavailable to comment. This post will be updated with their comments when they are available.

Vitor Belfort gets a license, title shot against Chris Weidman at UFC 181 [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 23, 2014, 11:06 pm]
LAS VEGAS -- Vitor Belfort was given a license by a 5-0 vote by the Nevada Athletic Commission on Wednesday, freeing him to challenge Chris Weidman for the middleweight title on Dec. 6 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in the main event of UFC 181. Whether he'd have gotten that affirmative vote had he announced that the fight would be in Brazil instead of Las Vegas will never be known. But be sure that it didn't hurt his cause at all. Prior to UFC 175, which was also at Mandalay Bay, UFC president Dana White told Yahoo Sports that the card would have a non-gaming economic impact of $175 million on Las Vegas' economy. A Weidman-Belfort title fight, with a potential Ronda Rousey-Gina Carano women's bantamweight title fight underneath it, would do massive business and would likely attract a paid gate in excess of $4 million.  Belfort, appeared in person with attorney Michael Alonso to plead for his license. He got emotional as he spoke and wiped tears from his eyes at one point. He was required to appear in person because in 2006, he'd tested positive for the anabolic steroid 4-hydroxytestosterone. He was fined and suspended nine months for that. In addition, Belfort was given a surprise test by the Nevada commission on Feb. 7 when he was in Las Vegas to attend an awards show. His testosterone was out of the legal range, but he was on a therapeutic use exemption issued in Brazil for testosterone replacement therapy at the time. He testified on Wednesday that he normally injected himself with testosterone twice a week. But he said that because he was traveling, on Feb. 6 he injected himself with a double dose and that was why he was so high. He said he provided subsequent tests that were in the normal range shortly thereafter. TRT usage was legal at the time of the Feb. 7 in Nevada, but only with a TUE from the commission, which Belfort did not have. TRT use was banned later in the month by the commission. But the commission gave great weight to the fact that Belfort w

Josh Thomson: 'Light weight fighters are the best' [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 23, 2014, 8:23 pm]
UFC lightweight contender Josh Thomson returns to the Octagon this Sunday for the first time since a controversial decision loss in January to former champ Benson Henderson. Thomson lost a chance at a title shot with that loss and also had to sit on the bench while recovering from an injured hand. On Sunday, on the UFC on FOX card, the Bay-area resident will get to fight at home in San Jose against Bobby Greene. "The Punk" is happy to get back into action in what he feels is one of the best divisions in the sport of MMA. In fact, Thomson doesn't even seem to think that any fighters above 155lbs are really true MMA fighters, according to a recent interview with Damon Martin. "You start getting in the 185's, 205, heavyweight, they start being one-dimensional, two-dimensional fighters.  They're not mixed martial artists.  They're not as good as the 55-pounders and below," Thomson said. "They're just not.  To me that's just a fact." According to the veteran, the light weight fighters in the sport are the only truly well-rounded ones. As a result, every opponent is a baffling puzzle to try and solve. "With 55-pounders and below, good luck, man.  Everybody's good all around," he said. "They're good wrestlers, they're good jiu-jitsu guys, they're good standup guys, they're game to throw down and they're always in shape.  170 is kind of like the limbo - like there's some well-rounded guys in there.  GSP was the champion so long because he was the most well-rounded and usually in the best shape.  But that's kind of like the whole new guy - that's why Rory MacDonald does well. He's in shape, he's got pretty good jiu-jitsu, he's hard to take down but he's got good standup.  He's well-rounded with good shape. Those are the guys that are hard to beat." What's your favorite division in the UFC to watch? Let us know in the comments section! Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter





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