Who is greatest Ryder Cup golfer? - 'Pope-like' Seve, 'heart of a lion' Faldo, prolific Poulter or magic Monty? Our formula reveals the greatest of the modern era. Bath team 'on cloud nine' - Joseph - Bath centre Jonathan Joseph says the team are on "cloud nine" after Saturday's record-breaking 45-0 win over Leicester. Nadal pulls out of inaugural IPTL - Lim & ex-Man Utd stars buy Salford City - Singapore businessman Peter Lim takes a 50% stake in non-league club Salford City, along with five ex-Manchester United players. Roethlisberger, Steelers top Panthers 37-19 (Yahoo Sports) - CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Ben Roethlisberger threw two 7-yard touchdown passes to Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell ran for 147 yards and the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Carolina Panthers 37-19 on Sunday night. Steelers lead Panthers 23-6 after 3rd quarter (Yahoo Sports) - Antonio Brown hauled in two touchdown passes from Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers led the Carolina Panthers 23-6 after the third quarter Sunday night. Brown's first scoring catch in the back corner of the end zone snapped the Steelers' touchdown drought that stood at eight quarters - two full games - since the first half of the season opener. He struck again on the next drive, getting free while running across the field at the goal line for another 7-yard score that put Pittsburgh in complete control. Shaun Suisham added three field goals in the opening half, the last coming as time expired to give Pittsburgh a 9-3 lead at the break. Steelers lead Panthers 9-3 after 1st half (Yahoo Sports) - Shaun Suisham kicked his third field goal as time expired in the second quarter to give the Pittsburgh Steelers a 9-3 lead over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday night. Pittsburgh has now gone eight quarters - two full games - without a touchdown since the season opener. Pittsburgh nearly got a touchdown catch from Markus Wheaton, but an official ruled Wheaton had stepped on the sideline before making the short catch to set up Suisham's second field goal. Ben Roethlisberger warmed up from a slow start, throwing for 134 yards on 15-for-22 passing. Seahawks hold off Broncos 26-20 in overtime (Yahoo Sports) - Peyton Manning did all he could in the final minute of regulation to get the Denver Broncos to overtime. Russell Wilson made certain he never saw the ball in the extra session and ensured the Super Bowl rematch went in favor of the defending champion Seahawks. Marshawn Lynch scored on a 6-yard TD run on the first possession of overtime and the Seahawks beat the Broncos 26-20 on Sunday in a showdown that lived up to expectations. Seattle (2-1) blew a 17-3 fourth-quarter lead, watching Denver tie the game at 20 on Manning's 26-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Tamme with 18 seconds left in regulation and his 2-point conversion pass to Demaryius Thomas. Stanton leads Cardinals past San Francisco 23-14 (Yahoo Sports) - Even without their starting quarterback, the Arizona Cardinals are on top of the toughest division in football. Backup Drew Stanton threw a pair of third-quarter touchdown passes to rookie John Brown and Arizona rallied to beat San Francisco 23-14 on Sunday, snapping a four-game losing streak to the 49ers. Tommy Kelly blocked a field goal for the Cardinals (3-0), who outscored San Francisco 17-0 in the second half. Michael Floyd caught five for 114 yards. All Black Cruden misses flight - New Zealand suspend Aaron Cruden after the fly-half missed their flight to Argentina following a night out drinking.

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Conor McGregor: 'Dustin Poirier doesn't impress me at all' [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 21, 2014, 7:40 pm]
Conventional wisdom might hold that Dustin Poirier (16-3) will be a step-up in competition for rising featherweight star Conor McGregor (15-2) when they meet Sep. 27. The brash Irishman, however, doesn't see it that way. “He’s a journeyman fighter, and that’s what I see,” McGregor said in a recent interview. “He doesn’t impress me at all. I believe he’s a basic fighter, he throws basic shots, and in my eyes he’s a journeyman. It’s that simple.” So, despite his excellent record and three fight win streak Poirier is kinda "basic," (in club girl parlance) or "standard" (in Brit-speak. Yeah, I know Conor is a Dubliner and not from the North and the UK, it's the best I could do, ok?). To those keeping track, that is pretty much the same criticism McGregor levied on 145 pound champ Jose Aldo, for what it's worth. In addition to his supposedly not impressive skills, McGregor says he saw a flat-out scared man when the two met recently. “I definitely saw a broken man,” McGregor said. “I could look through his soul when I looked into that man’s eyes. He’s been speaking his bit, but as I said before: Face-to-face, man-to-man, he was broken. It was as simple as that." So, McGregor is talking big, per usual. Thing is, he tends to fight big as well, which makes his matchup with Poirier so intriguing. Despite his audacious and pointed criticism, McGregor says he has nothing personal against "The Diamond," or any other opponent. “It can be cruel, it can be ruthless, but it is never personal," he said. "I don’t ever fight with emotion. I can enter cold, calm and collected. That is it. He might have a dislike toward me, but ultimately that is not my problem.” Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

Despite shedding 20 pounds in 24 hours, Mark Hunt delivers massive KO [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 20, 2014, 10:55 pm]
It's not all that surprising when a fight with fighters weighing a combined 524 pounds ends in a devastating one-punch knockout. What is surprising, though, is that one of them was able to score a massive knockout after having a pretty incredible battle with the scale. A UFC source who asked not to be identified told Yahoo Sports a day before the weigh-in at UFC Fight Night 52 at the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo that Hunt had to cut 19 pounds to make the heavyweight limit of 265. Hunt, who was 284 the day before the weigh in, worked the weight off and weighed 264 officially. He then went out and performed like a star, catching Roy Nelson with a perfectly placed right uppercut that knocked "Big Country" cold. Nelson went down face first as referee Leon Roberts immediately stopped the fight while Hunt simply walked away. Hunt denied at the post-fight news conference that he weighed 284 the day before the weigh-in, but Yahoo Sports spoke to multiple sources in the UFC both before and after the fight, all of whom confirmed that Hunt indeed was 20 pounds over. Hunt didn't admit to having dropped that much at the post-fight news conference, but he did say he was struggling with his weight. "Uh, no. I don’t know where they got those rumors from. I didn’t have to cut 19 pounds. I think I had to cut eight or nine." It was an astounding performance by Hunt given his weight loss and it capped a solid night of fights. UFC president Dana White was typically excited by the Hunt-Nelson fight, but said he didn't know what would be next for Hunt.  "I need to talk to [matchmaker] Joe Silva and see what he thinks," White said of Hunt's next opponent. "They both really look good when they're fighting guys outside of the top 10. But those guys in the top 10 give them both a lot of trouble. Stipe [Miocic] is a great athlete and he gave Roy a lot of trouble with his movement. Look at what happened in the JDS [Junior dos Santos] fight with Hunt. Those guys are good, but they have h

Extraordinary day: Thiago Silva cut, Anthony Johnson suspended, Wanderlei Silva retires [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 20, 2014, 3:42 am]
This must be what it feels like these days to cover the NFL. Two cases of domestic violence, an athlete holding a gun, allegations of drug use and an unhappy fighter ripping his organization highlighted the news that happened Friday in the UFC. Iconic light heavyweight Wanderlei Silva, one of the most popular fighters in mixed martial arts history, announced his retirement in a sometimes rambling video he posted on YouTube in which he blasted the UFC for the way it treated fighters and for underpaying them. Earlier in the day, the company announced in a terse statement it posted on its website that it had indefinitely suspended light heavyweight Anthony Johnson, who is No. 5 in its ratings, after the mother of two of his children obtained a temporary protective order against him. She told police he'd knocked out two of her teeth in 2012. The UFC noted in its statement it had hired "a third-party law firm" to investigate the allegations against Johnson, which he denies. Also on Friday, the UFC dropped light heavyweight fighter Thiago Silva (no relation to Wanderlei Silva) after his ex-wife posted a video of him holding a gun while she said he is high on drugs. Thiago Silva was arrested in February in Florida and charged with two counts of attempted murder, among other charges. Charges were later reduced to two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. Thiago Silva had been accused of putting a gun in his ex-wife's mouth. He barricaded himself in his home and the SWAT team surrounded it. He was tazed by a police officer and was taken into custody without incident. Charges were later dropped because prosecutors learned his ex-wife had moved out of the country and wasn't cooperating. Incredibly, Thiago Silva was reinstated on Sept. 5. UFC president Dana White defended the move by saying that Silva had gone through the legal process and had come out "untainted." But when Silva's wife released a video Friday apparently taken while the couple was still married that sho

Takanori Gomi feels the heat rising for MMA in Japan [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 19, 2014, 4:42 pm]
UFC Fight Night Japan Weigh Ins According to UFC lightweight Takanori Gomi, MMA is definitely back on the rise in Japan. "Of course," he recently told Tom Gerbasi in an interview. “The UFC coming back to Japan for the third time this year and I am feeling the heat from the fans.”  Gomi fights Myles Jury in Tokyo Saturday on the UFC Fight Night main card. When he was a Shooto and Pride champion, Gomi got used to fighting at or near home in Japan. Since coming to the UFC, "The Fireball Kid" has had to adjust to fighting away. As such, he appreciates that his opponent, the American Jury, was willing to take him on in Tokyo. “I had a lot of fights there at Saitama Super Arena. It’s a shame that I only get a chance to fight there once a year these days, but that’s why I feel so many expectations from Japanese fans. As for me, it is easy to fight there because I don’t have to fly and adjust to a different time zone," Gomi said. "I really appreciate the fact that Myles accepted to fight me in Japan." Even after over forty pro MMA fights, the Japanese legend still has hopes of accomplishing a lot more. If he has his wish, Gomi will be back in Japan fighting again soon, this time for a UFC title. “If I continue to win, a title shot comes eventually,” he said. “It would be super cool if I get a title shot here in Japan in the near future.” Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

Andrei Arlovski coach talks 'greatest open workout in UFC history' [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 19, 2014, 3:20 pm]
 Andrei Arlovski punched his way back into the top-ten last week with a knockout of Antonio "Pezao" Silva, but before he did that, he conducted what the UFC called "The greatest open workout in UFC history," with his Muay Thai Coach. The light-hearted open workout, which featured Arlovski's coach Said Hatim (view Hatim's most recent MMA fight in the video above) punching, kicking, elbowing and headbutting the fighter (video below) a couple days before the fight in Brazil, delighted the crowd of fans and media members in attendance. According to Hatim, the drill was equal parts useful and fun. "It was Andrei's idea to do it for the workout," Hatim said. "He wanted to do something fun. It gets crazy in Brazil and he didn't want to be serious. He just wanted to relax and have fun. This is something we do after training, sometimes, to just get the body ready to be hit. "I hit him in the body, the legs, hard. People freak out when they get hit, sometimes. This helps the body wake up. It's an old Muay Thai thing, and it's now a part of my "Hatim Style" of training, you could say. We do some other drills and secret training that are fun and useful as well." Other "Hatim Style" secret training for Arlovski have included a custom neck-strengthening program for the former champion after he suffered a number of brutal knockouts. In order to improve his ability to take a punch, the coach had "The Pitbull" do a set of old school neck exercises each day. The coach's program appeared to be quite successful in Arlovski's next fight against Anthony Johnson. Johnson broke Arlovski's jaw in the first round but still couldn't knock him out, as the Belarusian fought on for two more periods and made it to the final horn. If you haven't seen it yet, check out the 135 pound Hatim pound away at a yawning 250 pound Arlovski in the video below! Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter  

Mark Hunt ponders 'the end,' and one last title [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 19, 2014, 2:29 pm]
Few people appear more comfortable with fighting than UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt. The kickboxer looks as calm talking to reporters as he does entering the Octagon on fight night. He fights with apparent fearless reckless abandon and past defeats have not made him gun-shy. He even turned down a fortune to sit at home and do nothing after the UFC purchased Pride, opting instead to fight for his money. Given all that, it may be surprising to hear Hunt say that he never imagined that he'd be a fighter. "I feel blessed by God. This is what I'm supposed to be doing in life. I never wanted to be a fighter," Hunt said in a recent and excellent interview with Dave Meltzer. "This is what God said I'm going to do, and I'm happy with that. The end is the same, if I win, lose or draw." Hunt may have been feeling particularly philosophical after landing in Tokyo this past Tuesday for his UFC Fight Night headline bout against Roy Nelson on Saturday. Soon after landing, the city was rocked by an earth quake. Hunt says he's been to Japan over eighty times in his career but an ominous welcome like that could rattle just about anyone. Hunt's view on death is a calm one, and it informs his attitude towards winning and losing in competition. "We just landed and it was the earthquake, damn," he said. "When God says it's time for one of us to go, we're done." It would be a mistake to take Hunt's zen attitude for fatalism, however. Hunt simply recognizes that, despite all efforts, he may lose on fight nights and one day he'll die. While he's here, however, the "Super Samoan" still has some big goals he wants to accomplish and is willing to work towards. Namely - a UFC world title. "It's good for me to be doing what I'm doing at my age. I love doing what I'm doing. But when I'm finished, I'm not going to come back. I won't need the money. The only reason I'm still fighting is because I believe I'm still the best fighter in the world," Hunt explained. "I want to beat Roy on Saturday night, an

With less than 24 hours to weigh-in, Mark Hunt is 19 pounds over the limit [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 18, 2014, 5:38 pm]
It's Friday in Japan and it's probably safe to say it's not going to be the most enjoyable day for UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt. Hunt, who said he began his training camp at an astounding 340 pounds, weighed 284 on Thursday in Japan, a UFC source confirmed to Yahoo Sports. That means that by the 4 p.m. Tokyo time weigh-in, Hunt will have to shed an additional 19 pounds to make the heavyweight limit of 265 for his bout at the Saitama Super Arena against Roy "Big Country" Nelson.  It's almost certain Hunt is going to spend most of his Friday in the sauna trying to shed 19 pounds. It's hard to imagine he'll be able to lose all of that weight. If he misses, then it will be up to Nelson if the fight goes forward. Hunt weighed 262 pounds for his December bout against Antonio "Big Foot" Silva that went down as one of the greatest matches in UFC history. In the event Hunt misses weight, Nelson will have the opportunity to decline to fight, which is highly unlikely. If Nelson declines, he wouldn't be paid, either.  But if Nelson chooses to fight anway, he would get 20 percent of Hunt's purse in addition to his own. It would be a severe punishment for Hunt, but it's hard to imagine having to lose 75 pounds as Hunt had to do from the start of his trianing camp.  The entire card will be streamed on UFC Fight Pass.    

Ronda Rousey: "'Cyborg' can't beat me, even on drugs" [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 18, 2014, 4:18 pm]
UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was asked to talk about former Strikeforce featherweight queen Cris "Cyborg" Justino again, recently. The "Rowdy" one gave her usual (and quite believable) refrain of, "I'm here. She's the one who asked out of the UFC," but the champ also gave a more detailed skill and psychological analysis of her would-be opponent to members of the Brazilian press corps. Conventional wisdom holds that Rousey, the grappling specialist, would have an advantage over the larger Justino if she could get a hold of her and wrest her to the ground. Of course, Rousey agrees. "If you remember when ['Cyborg'] fought Gina [Carano], she pulled her into mount two different times. Those are very grievous technical mistakes," Rousey said. "The mistakes that she makes technically are absolutely terrible and basic. The only reason why she gets away with it is because of her strength." However, Rousey doesn't concede a strength advantage to the physically bigger Brazilian. "People don’t realize how strong I actually am," she went on. "Ask the girls that I’ve fought. They weren’t expecting this. Because I don’t look like it, it doesn’t mean I don’t have it." The Olympic Judoka also didn't concede the striking area to the kickboxing specialist "Cyborg." Rousey doesn't believe that Justino has one-strike KO power, and that she wouldn't be able to out-pace the grappler. "She doesn’t have any feeling in her punches, she pushes her punches," Rousey claimed. "She can’t knock people out with one punch, she just overwhelms them. My pace, nobody can overwhelm me. And the way that she is on the ground, it’s absolute horrendous. And her distance is absolute horrendous. The only thing that she has is pace and power, and I have pace, precision and power." Lastly, Rousey spoke on Justino's steroid use. "Cyborg" has tested positive for steroid use in the past, and of course claims that is all in the past. Rousey doesn't believe that Justino has given up using

Alistair Overeem and Stefan Struve set to fight Dec. 13 [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 18, 2014, 2:51 pm]
Alistair Overeem will get his wish to fight again this year, as the UFC announced Wed. that he'll face fellow Dutchman Stefan Struve Dec. 13. The two embattled heavyweights are set to face one another on the UFC on Fox 13 card, and each hope to rebound from losses. In booking Overeem for a fight so soon, the UFC continues in it's recent scary pattern of signing just-concussed fighters to jump back into the cage with little rest and recover possible. Overeem last fought and lost to Ben Rothwell earlier this month via first round KO. The loss was the third time in his last four fights that "The Demolition Man" was TKO'd or KO'd. Struve was also knocked out in his last fight, by Mark Hunt back in March 0f 2013. However, the "Skyscraper" has had even more serious health problems since then. Shortly after his fight with Hunt, doctors discovered that Struve had an enlarged heart and leaking aortic valve. The conditions were thought to be career-ending but the 26 year-old courageously fought on through a year of treatment and was cleared to fight against Matt Mitrione in July. Unfortunately, Struve suffered a fainting spell backstage on fight night before his scheduled showdown with Mitrione, and the bout was scrapped. Struve and Overeem both like to strike on their feet and also have serious submission skills on the ground. Though the biggest concern with both men has to still be their health, at this point, their styles and abilities surely provide an interesting matchup on paper. Who do you think will walk away with a "W" in December - Overeem or Struve? Let us know in the comments section. Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

[VIDEO] Roy Nelson, Mark Hunt and more talk fighting in Japan [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 9:52 pm]
The UFC's Megan Olivi recently spoke with some of the stars of this Saturday's UFC: Tokyo event, including headliners Roy Nelson and Mark Hunt. Both Nelson and Hunt spoke of their particular excitement to fight in front of the Japanese crowd, airing in the U.S. on UFC Fight Pass this Saturday. "Fighting in Japan, you know, is kind of an honor," Nelson said. "The thing about me and Mark [Hunt] is that Mark comes to fight, I come to fight, and we always try to finish the fight. And, I that's one thing that fans really get out of our fights. We're not trying to play tag. We're actually trying to finish the fight." The former K-1 kickboxing champion Hunt has been to Tokyo dozens of times and it's clear that the fighting nation has a special place in the Pacific Islander's heart. "I love Japan," Hunt said. "I've been here, like, eighty times. I've been blessed." Hunt also echoed Nelson's assertion that both heavyweights make for can't-miss action each time they fight. "I think so," he said. "We're some of the best fighters in the world. Top-ten in the world. We're the best. If you want entertainment value, watch the fights." Former world champion and Japanese MMA legend Takanori Gomi also talked about fighting at home in the video above, and his opponent Myles Jury admitted to being especially excited to fight "The Fireball Kid" in Tokyo. Check out the video above and then let us know which fight you're most looking forward to this Saturday! Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

Is TUF 20 fighter Rose Namajunas the next Ronda Rousey? [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 5:30 pm]
UFC superstar and bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey isn't close to being done, but she's already picked out her successor. Twenty two year-old Rose "Thug" Namajunas (2-1) is a contender on this season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) and, according to the "Rowdy" one, she's also "The Next Ronda Rousey." The young submission artist is competing on TUF 20 to become the UFC's first ever 115 pound champ and Rousey thinks she's got what it takes to do that, and be a mainstream star. "I called it from the very beginning. As soon as I saw her, I saw this girl is special," Rousey recently told media members. "She’s got an amazing skill set, she’s an exciting fighter. She takes risks, she’s gorgeous, and she’s charismatic." Namajunas, who also dates former UFC heavyweight Pat Barry, lost her last fight, via decision to Tecia Torres. However, she burst onto the pro scene with two dramatic submission wins. "I really think she has all the tools that are needed in order to be the next really influential champion," Rousey concluded. Only time will tell if Namajunas will become a champion. We know one thing for sure - she's already fun to watch, in and out of the cage. Watch her sucker punch a sleeping Barry while singing along to the Lion King as well as some of her nasty submission skills below, if you don't believe us. Flying arm bar: Sucker Punching Pat Barry in his sleep: Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

UFC champ Johny Hendricks looks to return in 2015 [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 5:03 pm]
According to a new interview, UFC 170 pound champion Johny Hendricks says his injured arm is 85% healed and he is back to daily training. However, he still doesn't expect to fight until the second or third month of 2015. Hendricks' wrestling coach, Kenny Monday, said that Hendricks' camp wanted to fight in January. "I know everyone would have loved January, but it doesn't look like that's going to work out," Monday said. "I'm thinking he fights in February or March." Ted Erhardt, Hendricks' manager, said that his client is healthy and able to sign on for a fight, but wants his first title defense to headline a pay per view. And, since the UFC has already announced their ppv headliners through Jan. 31, Hendricks will likely wait it out for another month or two. Do you expect the additional time out to help Hendricks get back in shape or are you worried the welterweight champ will be too rusty if he waits that long since his title-winning bout last March? Let us know in the comments section. Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

[VIDEO] Ronda Rousey and Gilbert Melendez spar [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 17, 2014, 4:54 pm]
UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is all healed up from a broken hand and got back to training recently with a Jiu Jitsu sparring session against number one UFC lightweight contender Gilbert Melendez. Check out the video above fora a beautiful display of good-natured but speedy grappling between Rousey and Melendez. Melendez definitely has a size and strength advantage, but Rousey uses her speed and aggressiveness in scrambles to threaten with back control and arm bars. The former Judo Olympian seems able to get into position for an arm bar from any place, and it's pretty cool to watch. Check it out and let us know what other pro-fighter sparring sessions you'd enjoy getting a sneak peak at, if you could! Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

Tito Ortiz says Stephan Bonnar crossed a line with trash talk [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 16, 2014, 5:13 pm]
UFC Hall of Fame members Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar were involved in a bizarre incident inside a Bellator cage recently, to promote their fight against one another in November. Ortiz swung and missed with a shove directed at "RoboCop" after Bonnar insulted him with some very personal attacks and allegations. It used to be that Ortiz was the one insulting opponents as "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy." Now, the former light heavyweight world champion says Bonnar went too far, and personal with his words. "[Bonnar] started talking smack saying I need money to pay for my family because my chick took all my money or my ex-chick took all my money," Ortiz said in a recent interview. "You don't say [expletive] like that, dude. Seriously. All the same, none of it was true for one. You're saying lies about a person you don't even know about. And it ticked me off...He started saying something about my family and he started talking about the fans and all of a sudden I just blinked and I'm seeing red." Now, of course, Ortiz is properly wound up and he has no problem taking verbal pot-shots at Bonnar. UFC president Dana White reportedly released the retired Bonnar from his UFC fighting contract in order to beat up Ortiz in Bellator, but Tito himself isn't impressed. "[Bonnar] saying Dana [White] is going to release him to kick my ass, I was just like ‘excuse me? Who are you, dude? What fights have you won? You're known worldwide for getting your ass kicked, and for him to say the things he said about me?" Ortiz said. As for Bonnar supposedly getting help scouting Ortiz from the likes of long-time friend and training partner, former UFC heavyweight Justin McCully, "The People's Champ" says he's an open book. "How much of a secret weapon can there be if there are 17 years of fight videotapes?" Ortiz asked, referencing his long career. "You can go back and watch all my fights. There's no secrets. He knows what I'm going to do. I'm going to punch him in his face. I'm going to take

UFC champ Jose Aldo: 'I am the best in the world' [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 16, 2014, 4:06 pm]
Rankings are always contentious to discuss. Everyone's got a different set, and sometimes the most dubious ones (*cough* the UFC's "official" rankings *cough*) actually end up influencing important decisions. Long-time featherweight world champ Jose Aldo is never shy about expressing his opinions and recently said that, regardless of what rankings say, he believes he's the best fighter in the world. "If you talk about skills, I feel that I'm the best in the world. but it doesn't mean that I think that I'm invincible and I'm still working to keep being a champion," he said. The Brazilian went on to say that he feels he still has a lot of room for improvement. "Scarface" may have the confidence of a champion, but he still has the hunger and drive of a contender. "If I'm the number one or I'm not, this is up to the fans and the media, though I have my opinion," he said. "The important thing is that I'm still evolving as a fighter and I have a lot to improve." Who do you think the top fighter, pound for pound, in MMA is? Let us know in the comments section! Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter    

Alistair Overeem wants to get back into UFC cage soon [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 16, 2014, 2:56 pm]
Alistair Overeem may have just gotten knocked out, but he wants to fight again as soon as possible. Overeem was knocked out by Ben Rothwell Sep. 5 but maintains that he was somehow not badly hurt enough to warrant taking time off. "[I’d like to fight] as soon as possible, because I was not out," he said in a recent interview. "I was not sleeping. I was just dazed, and Ben capitalized. So I guess if it’s up to me, not too far away." Whether or not his eyes closed, the loss was the third TKO or KO in Overeem's last four fights, and the ninth TKO or KO loss of the big man's career. Overeem has taken a great deal of punishment over the course of his long MMA and kickboxing career. He's also losing much more than he's winning, of late. It would seem that the Dutchman should at least consider a break in action, if not more, at this point. Of course, the heart of a fighter doesn't give out easily, and it often overrides the mind. As such, the 34 year-old veteran of over fifty pro MMA fights and many more kickboxing ones, wants to fight on and do so again this year At least he's showing some uncharacteristic public humility after his last loss. "Don’t underestimate Ben," he said of his last opponent, Rothwell. "This guy’s 280 pounds, he can take a punch and he hits like a truck. It is the UFC, everybody is there to win." Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

Former UFC heavyweight champ Frank Mir unsure of future [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 16, 2014, 2:40 pm]
Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir is one of the most accomplished big men in MMA history, but after four straight losses, he isn't sure when or if he'll return to competition. “I really don’t know. I’m kind of just taking time off and weighing that out,” Mir said in a recent interview. “That’s a decision that me and my family are still trying to – we haven’t come to a conclusive idea yet.” Mir has not won a bout since December, 2011, when he submitted fellow all-time great Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira with a shoulder lock. Mir's professional career spans thirteen years, at this point, and all but two of his 25 fights have taken place inside the UFC. The Las Vegas fighter has, almost exclusively, fought against the best of the best for his entire career. For example, his last four fights and losses came against former champs Josh Barnett, Junior Dos Santos as well as number one contender Daniel Cormier and former K-1 and Strikeforce champ Alistair Overeem. Even though the 35 year-old hasn't had his mind on competing since losing to Overeem last February, he says that he's been making trips to New Mexico to help out his Jackson/Winkeljohn teammates out. “I’ve actually been down there even though I haven’t got a fight anytime in the forseeable future," he went on. "When [Travis Browne] was fighting Werdum, I was trying to mimic him as much as possible.” Do you want to see Mir fight again, or are you happy to see him ride off into the desert sunset? Let us know in the comments section. Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

Anthony Johnson wants catchweight fight with Alistair Overeem [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 15, 2014, 2:00 pm]
Anthony Johnson is one of the hottest light heavyweights in the UFC, but he still wouldn't mind locking up with down and out heavyweight Alistair Overeem. The two former teammates have exchanged insults and allegations in recent weeks, with Johnson saying that Overeem was a selfish and dangerous training partner back when he did work with the Blackzilians team in Florida. "I'll fight him, I don't care. I've already trained with him before. Why not? To me it's just a fight. If the fans want to see it, I'm down to do it. I ain't said 'no' to any fight ever," Johnson claimed in a recent interview. "I'd meet him at a catchweight. If he wanted to meet me at 225, let's do it. Or whatever, 220, I'd do that. Or I'd meet at 230 at the dot, if he was down to go that far. Let's do it. Even if I fought him, it's a dangerous fight. He's still got weapons that are crazy. He was hitting Ben with some crazy knees. He's a dangerous fighter still, but I'd definitely test him." The heavyweight class weight limit is 265 pounds and Overeem has often been close to that mark. Johnson used to compete in the UFC's welterweight division. Johnson has also won his last eight fights and Overeem has lost three out of his last four. As such, each man is on a quite different path in their respective division. Clearly, AJ is confident in his skills after sparring with Overeem in the gym. The smaller man insists that he would take the fight, simply because of personal animosity and acknowledges that Overeem would be a dangerous fight for him. "I don't have anything against him as a fighter," he said. "I think he's a beast when it comes to fighting. My things were other personal stuff." Would you watch Johnson vs. Overeem? Let us know in the comments section! Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

'Pitbull' Freire canceled Bellator title fight before he won it [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 15, 2014, 1:22 pm]
On Sep. 5 Patricio "Pitbull" Freire won a unanimous decision over then-featherweight Bellator champion Pat Curran to win his first major title. Just weeks before, however, the Brazilian actually hurt himself and pulled out of the fight. Freire injured his knee joint during a particularly strenuous Bellator photo shoot (hint to photographers of fighters who are heading into competition - don't have them throw over two dozen flying knees just because it looks cool) and told the promotion he would be unable to rematch Curran."I actually canceled the fight a couple weeks before the event, I said I couldn’t do it," he revealed in an interview with Guilherme Cruz. "I had the worst camp of my life. I was so injured I couldn’t throw a kick, and then I injured my shoulder and I couldn’t throw a punch, too. I usually train twice a day, and I was barely training once a day. I had fever every time I stopped training. It was terrible. "I was in New York for a Bellator photo shoot and they asked me to throw some flying knees, but I was landing on the concrete. I did it 30 times, and ended up injuring my meniscus ... I couldn’t train. I went to the doctor and he said I couldn’t fight. Bellator took me to another doctor and he said the same thing, so I canceled the fight. I forgot about my diet, forgot about the fight." Freire says that Curran must have known he was injured because Bellator tried to get the Team Takedown member a new challenger after "Pitbull" pulled out, initially. Pressure from Bellator and his own manager convinced Freire to go back into the fight with Curran, now injured. "Three days after I pulled out of the fight, Bellator called me again asking me if I was good to fight. I said I was still recovering, so they gave me a week to think," he said. "They called me again on Aug. 29, a week before the fight. My manager Jorge Guimaraes told me ‘man, let’s do this, you are ready. Every fighter has injuries. Get some rest, make weight, and let’s do thi

'Pitbull' Freire cancelled Bellator title fight before he won it [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 15, 2014, 1:22 pm]
On Sep. 5 Patricio "Pitbull" Freire won a unanimous decision over then-featherweight Bellator champion Pat Curran to win his first major title. Just weeks before, however, the Brazilian actually hurt himself and pulled out of the fight. Freire would injure a joint in his knee during a particularly strenuous Bellator photo shoot (hint to photographers of fighters who are heading into competition - don't have them throw over two dozen flying knees just because it looks cool) and told the promotion he would be unable to rematch Curran."I actually canceled the fight a couple weeks before the event, I said I couldn’t do it," he revealed in an interview with Guilherme Cruz. "I had the worst camp of my life. I was so injured I couldn’t throw a kick, and then I injured my shoulder and I couldn’t throw a punch, too. I usually train twice a day, and I was barely training once a day. I had fever every time I stopped training. It was terrible. "I was in New York for a Bellator photo shoot and they asked me to throw some flying knees, but I was landing on the concrete. I did it 30 times, and ended up injuring my meniscus...I couldn’t train. I went to the doctor and he said I couldn’t fight. Bellator took me to another doctor and he said the same thing, so I canceled the fight. I forgot about my diet, forgot about the fight." Freire says that Curran must have known he was injured because Bellator tried to get the Team Takedown member a new challenger after "Pitbull" pulled out, initially. Pressure from Bellator and his own manager convinced Freire to go back into the fight with Curran, now injured. "Three days after I pulled out of the fight, Bellator called me again asking me if I was good to fight. I said I was still recovering, so they gave me a week to think," he said. "They called me again on Aug. 29, a week before the fight. My manager Jorge Guimaraes told me ‘man, let’s do this, you are ready. Every fighter has injuries. Get some rest, make weight, and let’





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