Plenty of Challengers in Stacked UFC Welterweight Division

hendricksIt was an instant classic with Johny Hendricks digging deep in the fifth and final round to defeat Robbie Lawler at UFC 171 and become the UFC welterweight championship.   But there is no time to rest for the new champ with plenty of contenders in the stacked welterweight division.

The dream scenario for would be a rematch against Georges St-Pierre who escaped with a narrow – and controversial – win against Hendricks at UFC 167 before announcing that he was vacating the belt and taking time off.

GSP has not given any signs on when he might return after stepping away to deal with what he called some personal issues.  But UFC President Dana White said last week that he knows “for a fact” that St-Pierre will return to the octagon at some point.

You can read the rest of the column at The Orlando Sentinel website.

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UFC 171 Results: Johny Hendricks Defeats Robbie Lawler To Win The UFC Welterweight Title

Johny-Hendricks

Johny Hendricks went into tonight’s UFC 171 main event like a man on a mission. Hendricks felt that he got robbed when he lost to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 167 in November. The Texas native this time delivered in the biggest fight of his life.

Hendricks defeated a very game Robbie Lawler to claim the UFC welterweight championship by unanimous decision (48-47×3).

The fight was largely contested on the feet as both guys stood toe to toe for most of the 25 minute affair. The fight was contested like a football game. Each guy won two round with the fifth round being overtime.

BetweenTheRopes.com had Hendricks winning the first two rounds and Lawler winning the third and fourth rounds. The fifth round began with Lawler landing a left hook and moments later Hendricks attempting a takedown that was stuffed by Lawler.

Hendricks went back to throwing leg kicks and connecting, but “Ruthless” kept going forward and punching at Hendricks. With about 90 seconds, Hendricks was able to connect with leg kick/jab combination and then was able to land a takedown to end the fight.

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Nick Diaz Mocks Johny Hendricks During His Second Weigh-In Attempt (Video)

We haven’t seen Nick Diaz in the cage since he lost his chance last March at the UFC welterweight title against Georges St-Pierre. Diaz stated after the fight that he was retiring from active competition. The UFC has reached out to Diaz for numerous fights, but has declined them as he only wants to fight for the title.

Diaz was backstage today at the weigh-ins for tomorrow night’s UFC 171 featuring the main event of Johny Hendricks vs Robbie Lawler for the vacant UFC welterweight championship. Lawler had made the required 170 pounds on his initial attempt, but Hendricks had weighed in at 171.5. Hendricks was weighing in on his second attempt and Diaz was mocking him by saying things like “170 pounds, 170″. Hendricks did end up making the required 170 pounds.

You can watch the antics of Diaz in the video above.

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UFC 171 Weigh-In Results: Johny Hendricks Finally Makes Weight on Second Attempt

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UFC 171 tomorrow night almost lost their main event title fight. The feature fight has Johny Hendricks battling Robbie Lawler for the vacant UFC welterweight title. Weigh-ins were earlier today and took place about two hours. Lawler made the required 170 pounds, but when Hendricks weighed in, he weighed 171.5 pounds. Hendricks had two hours to make weight. If he didn’t make weight, then if Lawler had won, he becomes the champion and if Hendricks won, then the title would still be vacant. On his second and final attempt, Hendricks made 170 pounds.

25 of the 26 fighters on the card made weight as Renee Forte initially weighed 157.5, but was only able to get down to 157 and had to forfeit 20% of his purse to his opponent Frank Trevino. Here are the UFC 171 weigh-in results:

•Johny Hendricks (170) vs. Robbie Lawler (170)
•Carlos Condit (170.5) vs. Tyron Woodley (170)
•Myles Jury (156) vs. Diego Sanchez (155)
•Hector Lombard (170) vs. Jake Shields (171)
•Nikita Krylov (205) vs. Ovince St. Preux (205)
•Kelvin Gastelum (171) vs. Rick Story (170.5)
•Jessica Andrade (135) vs. Raquel Pennington (135.5)
•Dennis Bermudez (146) vs. Jimy Hettes (145.5)
•Alex Garcia (1705.) vs. Sean Spencer (170)
•Renee Forte (157)+ vs. Frank Trevino (155)
•Will Campuzano (125.5) vs. Justin Scoggins (125)
•Robert McDaniel (184.5) vs. Sean Strickland (185)
•Daniel Pineda (145) vs. Robert Whiteford (145)

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Watch UFC 171 LIVE Weigh-Ins On BetweenTheRopes.com At 5 PM ET

UFC 171 takes place tomorrow night from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The main event features Johny Hendricks vs Robbie Lawler for the vacant UFC welterweight title. The co-feature has former UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit battling Tyron Woodley.

Before the fights can be made official, all 26 fighters competing on the card have to weigh-in. You can watch the weigh-ins live starting at 5 PM ET at the video stream above.

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UFC 171 Preview Show

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UFC 171 takes place on Saturday night from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The main event features Johny Hendricks vs Robbie Lawler for the vacant UFC welterweight title. The co-feature has former UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit battling Tyron Woodley.

On today’s podcast sponsored by WarriorDating.com, we talk to MMAOddsBreaker.com managing editor Brian Hemminger. The guys preview the card, the absence of Georges St-Pierre, the latest on Holly Holm possibly entering the UFC and more.

Follow Brian Hemminger on Twitter @BrianHemminger.

Also follow WarriorDating.com on Twitter @WarriorDating.

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Chael Sonnen vs Wanderlei Silva Fight “Not Done Yet”

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It had been long assumed that Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva would square off at a UFC Fight Night event on May 31 in Brazil. Sonnen has been stating that the fight hasn’t been signed and the confirmation of that fact came today.

During a media scrum today to promote Saturday’s UFC 171, Dana White told the media that the fight isn’t official.

“No, it’s not done yet. I gotta get that done this week too,” White stated. The UFC President feels though that everything will get worked out and the fight will happen.

“We’ll get it done,” White said.

People have speculated that the reason why the fight hasn’t been signed is due to the TRT ban, which Sonnen has been receiving an exemption for the last couple years. White though doesn’t feel the recent ban will be an issue in regards to Sonnen.

“One of the things about Chael Sonnen, he’s a very good communicator. So if Chael thought something was in jeopardy or something wasn’t gonna happen, he would let us know.”

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Countdown To UFC 171: Johny Hendricks vs Robbie Lawler Entire Episode

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UFC 171 takes place on Saturday night from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The main event features Johny Hendricks fighting Robbie Lawler for the vacant UFC welterweight title, which was dropped by longtime title holder Georges St-Pierre in December. The co-feature has former UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit facing off against Tyron Woodley.

The UFC before every pay-per-view airs an hour long countdown show that previews the featured bouts of the card. The videos, which you watch below previews Hendricks vs Lawler, Condit vs Woodley and a lightweight bout featuring Diego Sanchez vs Myles Jury.

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Chael Sonnen Posts The Cell Phone Number of Stephanie McMahon In Interview

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Chael Sonnen is scheduled to face Wanderlei Silva on May 31 at a UFC Fight Night event in Brazil. Sonnen was on TSN’s “Off The Record” in Canada that aired today to promote “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3″, coaching opposite Silva.

Near the end of the interview, host Michael Landsberg asked Sonnen if he thought that CM Punk, who is a good friend of Sonnen’s would wrestle at WrestleMania 30. Sonnen said he didn’t know, but said he knows someone who does and that’s WWE executive Stephanie McMahon. Sonnen had McMahon’s “personal and private cell phone number” on a card and flashed it in front of the camera. The number ended up being blurred out and not shown due to the interview being taped yesterday.

After the interview, Landsberg said that his crew had called the number and it was actually McMahon’s number.

You can watch the interview here.

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Johny Hendricks vs Robbie Lawler UFC 171 Main Event Video Preview

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The UFC returns to pay-per-view this Saturday night as UFC 171 takes place from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The main event features Johny Hendricks battling Robbie Lawler for the vacant UFC welterweight title. The co-feature is also a battle of welterweights as former UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit faces off with Tyron Woodley.

The video above previews the Hendricks vs Lawler main event.

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UFC Fight Night 37 Preview Show

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UFC Fight Night 37 takes place today from the O2 Arena in London, England. The main event features Alexander Gustafsson battling Jimi Manuwa in light heavyweight action.

On today’s podcast sponsored by WarriorDating.com, we talk to Fighthype.com lead writer Percy Crawford as to preview today’s card. We also discuss with Crawford, the TRT situation, thoughts on Jon Jones, who Ronda Rousey should fight next and more.

Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFightHype.

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“The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3″ Video Preview Featuring Chael Sonnen And Wanderlei Silva Scuffle

“The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3″ premieres this Sunday on UFC Fight Pass. The coaches on the show are longtime rivals Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva.

The UFC has released a video highlighting Silva and Sonnen, which shows the beginning of the reported brawl between the two.

The two will battle in the main event May 31 in a UFC Fight Night event in Brazil.

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Vitor Belfort Says He Didn’t Voluntarily Withdraw From UFC 173; Says He’s Fighting Weidman-Machida Winner

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It was announced by the UFC last night that Vitor Belfort was out of the main event of UFC 173 against middleweight champion Chris Weidman. The man replacing Belfort would be former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.

Belfort released a statement a short time ago stating he didn’t voluntarily withdraw from the Weidman fight and has been promised by the UFC that he will face the Weidman-Machida winner.

Translation from Google:

“I never give up the fight at UFC 173 and never said that. … The UFC decided to put another opponent in my place because I didn’t have time to fit the new rules of the NSAC. According to the UFC, I will face the winner of Weidman vs Lyotto within the new regulations of all the athletic commissions.

I’m sorry that this happened, and I appreciate the strength and understanding of all fans, sponsors, UFC and athletic commissions”.

That is different from the statement Belfort made last night through the UFC.

“The Nevada State Athletic Commission recently altered its policy and no longer will permit testosterone use exemptions, and will not permit a TRT program,” Belfort stated. “As other jurisdictions may follow suit, I am going to drop my TRT program and compete in MMA without it.

“Given the time constraints involved between now and my proposed next bout in May, I have determined not to apply for a license to fight in Nevada at this time.”

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Vitor Belfort Out of UFC 173, Lyoto Machida to Face Chris Weidman

belfortposeJust hours after the Nevada State Athletic Commission voted unanimously to ban therapeutic use exemptions for testosterone replacement therapy, Vitor Belfort pulled out of his upcoming middleweight title bout against Chris Weidman at UFC 173.  Former champion Lyoto Machida has already agreed to square off against Weidman for the title.

“The Nevada State Athletic Commission recently altered its policy and no longer will permit testosterone use exemptions, and will not permit a TRT program,” Belfort said in a statement.  “As other jurisdictions may follow suit, I am going to drop my TRT program and compete in MMA without it.  Given the time constraints involved between now and my proposed next bout in May, I have determined not to apply for a license to fight in Nevada at this time.”

UFC 173 takes place on May 24 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Belfort was riding a three-fight winning streak, defeating Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson, all by knockout.  All three of these bouts took place in Brazil where he was allowed to continue to use TRT.

That was going to come under scrutiny once Belfort was given the title shot against Weidman in Las Vegas.  He would first have to apply for a license in Nevada where he failed a drug test for elevated testosterone in 2006.  Belfort would have been required to go before the NSAC and apply for a license as well as an exemption for TRT use.

Now, Machida get his chance to reclaim the UFC middleweight championship against Weidman at UFC 173.  Machida is coming off a unanimous decision win over Gegard Mousasi at UFC Fight Night on February 15.

Dana White Releases A Statement Encouraging All States To Support The TRT Ruling By The State Of Nevada

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Less than an hour ago, we reported that the Nevada State Athletic Commission banned (TUE) therapeutic use exemptions for (TRT) testosterone replacement therapy effective immediately. A short time ago, UFC President Dana White released a statement to the press.

“The Ultimate Fighting Championship fully supports the decision made today by the Nevada State Athletic Commission regarding the immediate termination of therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). We believe our athletes should compete based on their natural abilities and on an even playing field. We also intend to honor this ruling in international markets where, due to a lack of governing bodies, the UFC oversees regulatory efforts for our live events. We encourage all athletic commissions to adopt this ruling.”

Will other country and state athletic commissions follow the lead of Nevada?

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Nevada State Athletic Commission Bans Testosterone Replacement Therapy For All Fighters

nevada

A few moments ago, the Nevada State Athletic Commission voted unanimously to ban therapeutic use exemptions for (TRT) testosterone replacement therapy effective immediately.

If any athlete has a TUE, no state commission will recognize it. Any fighter who competes in MMA, boxing and kickboxing will not be allowed to apply for an exemption going forward.

Some of the notables who have or had a TUE in the past include Vitor Belfort, Frank Mir, Chael Sonnen and Dan Henderson.

Brett Okamoto from ESPN.com got comment from UFC President Dana White regarding the news.

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Nate Diaz Tells Dana White And The UFC That He Wants To Be Released From His Contract

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Former UFC lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz has requested to be released from his UFC contract. Diaz took to Twitter a couple hours ago to make his statement.

Diaz last fought in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale in November defeating Gray Maynard by first round TKO. The California native is 1-2 in his last three fights, which includes the title loss to former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson at UFC on Fox 5 in December of 2012.

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Georges St-Pierre Admits He Has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Photo from Sports.Yahoo.com

Photo from Sports.Yahoo.com

Georges St-Pierre defeated Johny Hendricks to retain the UFC welterweight title at UFC 167 last November. St-Pierre during his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan stated that he was going to walk away from MMA. Moments later at the post-fight press conference, St-Pierre said he was undecided if he was really going to retire. St-Pierre announced a few weeks later that he was dropping the title and was taking a leave from MMA, with a return uncertain.

You listen to St-Pierre do interviews and you see how cerebral he is and how obsessed he is with his opponent in the octagon. In an interview with Wendy Mesley of CBC News, the former champion admitted he has from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The former champion describes how he dealt with having the disorder.

“As a fighter it’s a good thing to have it, because it makes you better because you completely obsess about being a better martial artist,” St-Pierre told Mesley. “Everything you do is oriented around that goal. But the same thing could be bad for a normal person in normal life.”

St-Pierre said he would never sleep more than five hours a night and his personal life and mental health suffered greatly.

“It was going to drive me crazy. That’s why I took that break,” St-Pierre said. “I had my first New Year’s and Christmas with my family, a real one. I don’t have to go away because I have a fight coming up.”

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