Category Archives: UFC

FNU COMBAT SPORTS SHOW: Lou Duva Tribute Show, Psychic Tom Padgett absolutely crushes UFC 209 Predictions, Garcia vs. Thurman Recap and Analysis

Tony Penecale (left) and Lou Duva (right) at the Brockton, Massachusetts dedication of the Rocky Marciano statue.

Our show this week was dedicated to Lou Duva (above right with our co-host Tony Penecale). Lou died earlier this week at the ripe old age of 1994. He was a great friend to Rocky Marciano, a promoter of 19 world champions, and a man who had all his irons in the one fire that lit his life: boxing. The promoter/trainer/manager/legend appeared on the FNU Combat Sports show years back, but unfortunately the audio is grainy and spotty. If you listen closely the gems our talk contains outweigh the difficult spots to hear.

The full Lou Duva interview is here:

http://hosts.blogtalkradio.com/fightnewsunlimited/2009/07/03/joey-giambra-the-uncrowned-champion

I’m also posting a couple specific remastered clips here:

 

 

 

 

 

Tom, Tony and Rich also recap Garcia vs. Thurman, The latest on Mayweather vs. McGregor, UFC 209 and the many controversies attached, GSP’s dark warning about weight cutting, and Tony Bellew’s shocking upset of David Haye.

 

Here’s the tape:  (THE TAPE DOESN’T LIE)

 

FNU Combat Sports Show: UFC, Bellator and Boxing Recaps/Previews; Dana The Drama Queen; Muhammad Ali Jr. Detained at Florida Airport; Transgender Wrestler Wins Women’s Wrestling Title in Texas

Tom, Rich and Tony recap the major combat sports events from last week, including a major heavyweight showdown between Deontay Wilder and Gerald Washington, a successful title defense by Liam McGeary last Friday at a Dublin, Ireland Bellator show, and a superb comeback by Jarrett Hurd over Tony Harrison. We also look forward to the inaugural women’s featherweight title bout in Bellator tomorrow night and a star-studded UFC 209 fight card including two of the most anticipated co-main events in recent UFC history. Stephen Thompson gets his rematch with UFC Welterweight Champ Tyron Woodley in the main event while Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson fight for a shot to face Conor McGregor for the lightweight title in the co-main event. We also discuss GSP’s comeback fight against Michael Bisping, a transgender female on her way to becoming a male winning a Texas women’s wrestling title, and Muhammad Ali’s son being detained at a Florida airport in early February. Check out our first Full FNU Combat Sports Show hosted on YouTube:

UFC 209: Woodley vs. Wonderboy and Khabib vs. Ferguson Preview and Prediction

By: Rich Bergeron

UFC 209 is fast approaching with two dynamic fights headlining the card, including a highly anticipated rematch closing the show. Fans are itching for a solid fight card to watch after multiple disappointing Pay-Per-View events left them wanting more in recent months. This is a card that could definitely deliver the action-packed, adrenaline-filled spectacle fans have come to expect for the price of admission. Here are my previews and predictions for the two blockbuster fights at the top of the bill.

Stephen Thompson (13-1-1) gets another crack at the welterweight title against Tyron Woodley (16-3-1) in the main event. Even the odds makers (Check out the M88 sportsbook for more betting info) have a tough time predicting how this highly charged rematch will go. Woodley comes in as the slight underdog at +110 to Thompson’s -140.

Still, the Champion came close to finishing the first fight in the fourth round. Rather than continue with his powerful ground and pound approach against the in-trouble Thompson, Woodley switched to a failed choke attempt instead. Thompson was able to weather the storm and eke out the draw, but he also won three out of the five rounds on the scorecard. The experts who set the betting lines are obviously conscious of this and factoring it into their calculations.

Can Woodley put himself in position to get the knockout win this time or will Thompson make the right adjustments to win every round this time?

Prediction: Stephen Thompson made one glaring mistake in the first fight that led to Woodley having a huge chance to win by knockout. Woodley picked his spots and made the fight competitive, but with both fighters knowing so much about each other now he may not be able to repeat or improve upon his performance in the first fight. Meanwhile, Thompson is a skilled tactician, and he will focus on cage control this time around. He will use distance striking, superb defense, and constant movement to keep Woodley from doing any major damage this time around. Woodley of course has a chance to quiet all his doubters with one punch, but Thompson is the type of fighter who may not give the champ a chance to land that shot.

THOMPSON WINS BY UNANIMOUS DECISION

The co-main event will set the stage for Conor MacGregor’s return to the UFC cage. The Irish superstar will eventually face the winner of UFC 209’s co-main event: Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0) vs. Tony Ferguson (22-3). This fight could potentially upstage the main event, despite the fact that Khabib is a -205 favorite to Ferguson’s +165 odds to win. Both fighters have enough momentum going for them to earn a title shot without fighting each other, but that doesn’t make this bout any less exciting on paper. Ferguson is 12-1 in the UFC with his only loss coming against Khabib’s last opponent: Michael Johnson. Ferguson lost to Johnson in 2012 by unanimous decision while Khabib submitted Johnson via Kimura in the third round of their UFC 205 clash last November.

Both fighters have equally imposing strengths. Khabib smothers many of his opponents with crisp wrestling skills to match his more than capable striking and submission ability. Sambo and judo are also staples of Nurmagomedov’s intense approach to cage fighting. He is so well rounded that he has an equal number (8) of submission, decision and T/KO wins, and all of his decision wins are unanimous.

Ferguson is on a nine-fight win streak. He is more of a volume striker, and he used excellent boxing to impose his will on the opponents he’s dominated so far. He is also well rounded like Nurmagomedov and can use that superb striking to secure submissions on stunned opponents. He has 8 submissions to go with 9 T/KOs and five decisions.

PREDICTION: Ferguson may be on a tremendous run right now, but Khabib’s absolutely dominated every opponent he ever faced in his MMA career. McGregor may actually be rooting for a tie in this fight so he can have some extra time to negotiate a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. while these two contenders are setting up an inevitable rematch. However, ties are rare enough in the UFC that one here is far fetched to imagine. It’s much more likely that this fight ends up with one fighter on the canvas, out cold or too dazed to continue. All signs point to that fighter being Ferguson, leaving MacGregor with the prospect of having to prove his mettle by beating a man nobody’s been able to beat before. Of course, anything can happen in that cage and anyone can have a bad night at the office, but perfection is hard to argue with.

NURMAGOMEDOV BY 2nd Round TKO

FNU Combat Sports Show Featuring Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk

Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk (15-0, 10 KOs) joins the broadcast tonight to talk about his recent war on ShoBox with Abel Ramos (17-2-2, 12 KOs). Baranchyk launched an incredible effort in the later rounds to hand Ramos his second professional loss and establish himself as a spirited, tough-as-nails brawler. Some experts claimed the fight was one of the most entertaining bouts in the 17-year history of the ShoBox series. Tom, Tony and Rich discuss the fight, other highlights of Ivan’s career, and get Baranchyk to explain how his early start in Jiu Jitsu eventually led him to the Sweet Science. The 24-year-old is already solidifying his legend, which explains why he points to “Iron” Mike Tyson as one of his role models in the sport of boxing.

 

Tom, Tony and Rich also discuss the latest Mayweather/MacGregor news, an odd suspension of an MMA fighter for going after his opponent’s corner man, the calling off of Chris Brown vs. Soulja Boy, and Roy Jones Jr. re-establishing his goal of fighting Anderson Silva in a boxing match (he now wants it to be on the Mayweather/MacGregor undercard).

 

We also recap last week’s combat sports events and preview Bellator 173 and this week’s upcoming boxing matches.

Part One: Interview starts around 30 minutes in…

 

Part Two:

 

Mayweather vs. MacGregor Hype Reaching New Heights

 

By: Rich Bergeron

Can a pro mixed martial artist beat a pro boxer is the kind of question that started the UFC in the first place, but now the wildly popular fight league seems to be trying to avoid that question entirely when it comes to a potential boxing match between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather.

Though recent reports indicated a deal was in the works with only a third party failing to agree on terms (most likely the UFC), it seems that the UFC brass knows this could be a lose/lose situation for the promotion. For one, Conor is almost guaranteed to lose the fight. Secondly, the purse he will command should be extremely hefty, which will mean he will demand the same kind of money for every fight after this one. This is why UFC President Dana White put his ceiling at $25 million for McGregor to fight Mayweather.

 

The UFC could end up paying dearly for letting this fight happen. It could make McGregor much too popular and shift the balance of power from the UFC bosses to their star employee. Conor will be the one calling the shots from here on out if this boxing match happens, especially if it ends up being a $100 million payday for “Mystic Mac.”

Just consider this segment on UNDISPUTED, starring Shannon Sharp and Skip Bayless:

 

The inevitable loss for McGregor would really be a huge win for the cocky, arrogant and outspoken fighter who seems like he actually believes he can pull off a miracle win. Even if he’s knocked out, beaten by a wide unanimous decision, or disqualified for engaging in illegal strikes, Conor stands to make enough money to potentially retire from MMA for good.  It’s either that, or he could just continue in MMA with the stipulation that no fight purse in his future be any less than what he makes for the Mayweather bout. If Conor even shows the slightest bit of skill in the boxing ring, he could also end up being the combat sports version of Bo Jackson and maintain a career as a two sport athlete in the future. All of this is simply bad for the UFC as a whole, as they will at best have to share one of their top talents and will have to pay him outrageous fees to keep him fighting in their Octagon.

It would be much much smarter for Conor fans to play some casino games at คาสิโน MarathonBet than it would for any of them to put down money on their hero to win this fight. Whatever odds this fight does finally generate in Vegas, McGregor is sure to be a huge underdog that will tempt his fans to make the bet on the slim chance of a huge payout. It just isn’t a good idea considering the lack of experience Conor has as a boxer and the invincibility of Mayweather in the final years of his boxing career.

What is crystal clear is that Mayweather wants only one fight to leave the comfort of retirement, and McGregor is the only man who will face him in that fight. The fact that this should be a walk in the park is not lost on Floyd. There’s no downside to trouncing McGregor. Floyd has been itching to prove MMA fighters as a whole don’t have the punching power or prowess that a boxer of his caliber has. He will no doubt get his chance, but don’t ask the UFC to pay astronomical record numbers to facilitate a fight of this magnitude if it means raising the fight pay bar to a level they can never recover from if they want to keep their ultimate superstar on the books.

 

McGregor can talk all he wants, and sports pundits will eat it up like candy. People will either have some insane belief that he can pull off this walk on water routine, or they will want to pay to see his ego crushed in defeat. Either way, this bout could reap huge rewards for both fighters. People WILL pay to see it, even if it does prove to be a complete and utter disappointment.

FNU Combat Sports Show Featuring PRESIDENT Donald Trump Interview

Hosts Tom, Tony and Rich of The Fight News Unlimited Combat Sports show had the awesome experience of catching up with President Donald Trump for an exclusive interview contained in tonight’s broadcast. We ask “The Donald” about everything from Mayweather vs. McGregor to Iran and China. The interview starts about 23 minutes into the full show tape, but we will also place the interview alone in another audio file below the main show file on this post. We also discuss some MMA labor union issues, Aisling Daly retiring young from the UFC, Conor McGregor claiming his next bout will be in a boxing ring and Dana White saying Ronda Rousey is all done with fighting professionally. We also recap the first big UFC and Bellator events of the year from last week and look forward to UFC Fight Night 104 in Houston on Saturday night. We take time at the end of the broadcast to talk boxing with a recap of last week’s stunning rematch between Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton. We also talk about the Thursday night bouts on FS1 tonight. Here is our full show:

And here is the Trump interview by itself:

And if you didn’t catch why Rich gave a shout out to the movie “Good Morning Vietnam” you can listen to Rich’s first interview with Trump from 2008 here:

Conor McGregor Fastest Climber On 120 Sports, MVPindex Most Valued Athletes On Social Media Of 2016

McGregor topped only by three NFL Players and Rory McIlroy, and ahead of LeBron James; Ronda Rousey in at Number 18; NFL Dominates with Nine Athletes in Top 25

January 11, 2017 (CHICAGO) – The Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson (No. 1), New York Giants Odell Beckham Jr. (No. 2) and the Houston Texans JJ Watt (No. 3) were officially named the Top 3 Most Valued Athletes in Social Media of 2016 in a ranking created in partnership between MVPindex™ and 120 Sports. UFC star Conor McGregor jumped an impressive 33 spots from last year’s index to claim the No. 5 spot in 2016, just behind golfer Rory McIlroy and ahead of Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James.

The ranking includes U.S. professional and Olympic athletes.

To determine the most valued athletes on social media this year, Chicago-based digital sports network 120 Sports collaborated with industry-leading social measurement and valuation platform MVPindex to rank athletes using a proprietary algorithm that evaluates all of their social activity throughout the past year. The ranking combines three separate scores: Reach (fans, followers, impressions), Engagement (likes, comments, shares, retweets, favorites) and Conversation (positive/negative mentions).

At 9 p.m. ET tonight, 120 Sports will reveal the full list and take a deeper look at the Top Valued Athletes in Social Media on its nightly sports show, The Rally, a two-hour, first-of-its-kind interactive prime-time highlights show exclusively on Twitter. 120 Sports uses up-to-the-moment insight from consumer trends to shape the way it produces its daily live and on-demand programming, providing real-time data on what is resonating most with sports fans.

The National Football League dominated the 2016 ranking with 9 players in the Top 25. The NBA followed with five of the Top 25 athletes. Wilson claimed the top spot for the second straight year with an overall ranking of 0.983, remaining at the center of the social spotlight this year not only for his athletic performance, but also for his recent marriage to singer Ciara.

The 120 Sports talent team will provide insights and analysis on the Top 25 list, as well as break down the top viral trends, videos and photos on social media from this past year, ranking their top 3 in a variety of categories that resonated with sports fans this year like “Best Athlete & Team Mannequin Challenge,” “Cutest Athlete’s Kid Dance,” and “Best Workout Session Video.”

“We produce and deliver sports content based on whatever is the hottest story as indicated by what is trending on social media and what sports fans are talking about on social platforms,” said Jason Coyle, president of 120 Sports. “MVPindex helps us to quantify the commanding voices and influencers on social media from the past year so we can continue to relate with our fans by showcasing the athletes that matter most to them.”

In addition, Cam Newton (No. 16), Stephen Curry (No. 11) and Antonio Brown (No. 12) all made notable double-digit climbs up from 2015.
There are five women represented on the list in 2016; Alex Morgan (No. 15), Serena Williams (No. 16), Ronda Rousey (No. 18), Hope Solo (No. 22) and Kerri Walsh Jennings (No. 25). The Seahawks, Patriots and Cavaliers all have two players each; the youngest person on the list is Beckham Jr. at 24, and the oldest is Tiger Woods at 41.

Top athletes in each sport include:

Robinson Cano (MLB)
Conor McGregor (UFC)
Russell Wilson (NFL)
Rory McIlroy (PGA TOUR)
LeBron James (NBA)
Alex Morgan (US Soccer)
Serena Williams (WTA)
Jeff Gordon (NASCAR)
Kerri Walsh Jennings (AVP)

The 2016 list reveals interesting findings including a spotlight on the growth in popularity of MMA/UFC in the past year, as both McGregor (No.5) and Ronda Rousey (No. 18) are featured in the Top 25.

“For years, the yard stick in determining social media value was based solely on the number of followers someone had. But at MVP we know that quantity does not mean quality,” said MVPindex co-founder Kyle Nelson. “With our sophisticated Engagement Value Assessment™ tool, we look at social media impressions, engagement, virality and social authority to help figure out what it’s all really worth.”

Nelson continued: “This year’s list rewarded those athletes who were able to leverage their success on the field of play to also win on social. They were able to consistently drive high levels of engagement through compelling content and authentic conversations with consumers. This not only helps build their own personal brands but also makes them the most effective ambassadors for the brands they represent.”
The Top 10 of the list is as follows:

Russell Wilson (NFL)
Odell Beckham Jr. (NFL)
J.J. Watt (NFL)
Rory McIlroy (PGA TOUR)
Conor McGregor (UFC)
LeBron James (NBA)
Tiger Woods (PGA TOUR)
Richard Sherman (NFL)
Tom Brady (NFL)
Rob Gronkowski (NFL)

To watch the full reveal of the Top 25 ranking results this evening including an additional spotlight on the Top 30 Social Athletes Under 30, visit rally.twitter.com from 9 -11 p.m. ET.

About MVPindex
Founded in 2014, MVPindex was the first social media intelligence platform to analyze athletes’ social media portfolios and calculate their digital brand value. Today, MVPindex is a comprehensive social media index and valuation platform for the sports and entertainment industries, offering real-time analytics on more than 43,000 athletes, entertainers, teams, leagues, and brands ranked across the most popular social platforms. The MVPindex Engagement Value Assessment™ (EVA) has become the de facto industry standard for calculating the monetary value of social media campaigns and properties. MVPindex clients rely on this data and insight to make strategic decisions about brand ambassadors; evaluate their partnerships; maximize sponsorships; and see what is resonating with their fans. For more information or to request a demonstration, visit www.mvpindex.com.

About 120 Sports
120 Sports is the ultimate destination for up-to-the-moment expert commentary on all trending sports topics. The digital-only broadcast network offers more than 50 hours of live and original content, plus more than 1,200 on-demand video clips, each week. Equity partners in 120 Sports include MLBAM, the NHL, the PGA TOUR, Campus Insiders, Time Inc. /Sports Illustrated, and Silver Chalice. The network’s daily live broadcasts include hosted programming delivering timely narratives of the stories across every sport, as well as breaking news, fan response, video highlights and live look-ins, all integrated with social conversation and expert analysis. The 120 Sports free app has been lauded as one of the best in class by a host of media outlets and is available in both the Google Play and Apple App Store as well as a web experience at 120Sports.com. In addition to Chromecast, 120 Sports is also available on Apple TV, as well as other distribution outlets.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! FNU Combat Sports Show Kicks off 2017

Tom, Tony and Rich break down the biggest year-ending fights of 2016 and look forward to what should be a phenomenal 2017. We discuss Ronda Rousey, Floyd Mayweather, Andre Ward and other fighters in the news. We recap UFC 207 and look ahead to some Friday night fights on January 13th.

 

FNU Combat Sports Show: Povetkin Steroid Issues, Hopkins Knocked out of Ring, Paige and Sage endure UFC Growing Pains

Rich, Tom and Tony cover the past week’s news and events and look forward to the few fight cards happening over the next few weeks. We spend a good amount of time discussing the final fight of Bernard Hopkins, the drug testing debacle with Alexander Povetkin, and the UFC fight night co-main events where highly hyped prospects Paige VanZant and Sage Northcutt bombed hard. Check out the show below. This one closes out the year for us, so fans can tune in next year for our next broadcast on January 5, 2017.

Breaking Down the UFC 207 Main Card: Preview and Predictions

 

By: Rich Bergeron

UFC 207 marks the long-awaited return of “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (12-1) to an Octagon she once dominated as the women’s bantamweight champion. The title taken from Rousey in dramatic fashion by Holly Holm is now around the capable waist of Amanda Nunes (13-4). Rousey will have a chance to rip it off and put it back around her own hips on December 30th.

Rousey’s been out of the cage for over a year, and she already confirmed recently that her career in mixed martial arts is coming to a close. Nunes is young, hungry and intimidating as the underdog (+150) looking to hold on to her belt against the legendary Judoka and MMA juggernaut. Rousey comes in as the favorite at -185.

For more odds and betting information visit 12BET.

There are more questions than answers going into this blockbuster event. Will Rousey shake off the ring rust and return to glory? Is she already one step toward retirement? Can Nunes quiet her doubters and continue to degrade the legacy of the first ever UFC women’s bantamweight champion? Whatever happens, the first round will be crucial. Both women will be looking to make it a quick night.

Prediction: Rousey comes back with a vengeance and displays much improved striking and kick defense. Nunes battles hard and represents the best Brazil has to offer, but Ronda has too much to lose. She may not have a perfect record to protect anymore, but she does have a perfect reason to win this fight. She also needs to establish her alpha status to shut her own critics up and prove she is back to reclaim her title. Rousey wins by knockout early in the second round.

Another UFC bantamweight title is on the line in the co-main event. Dominic Cruz (22-1) gives Cody Garbrandt (10-0) a crack at the belt in what could be a true slugfest. Though Cody never lost a fight and knocked out nine of his ten career opponents at the professional level, Dominic Cruz (-225) is rolling along on a 13-fight win streak that dates back to March of 2008. Garbrandt (+175) does represent a proverbial “puncher’s chance” here, though. He’s won his last three bouts by TKO or knockout. All of them ended thank’s to Cody’s lighting fast punching power.

Prediction: Considering that Cruz is a tactical, defensive fighter, he will thrive as the fight gets into the deeper rounds. Garbrandt cannot win without a first round knockout as the experience and raw talent Cruz brings to the cage is unique and dynamic. He makes adjustments like no other fighter and uses body and head movement that seems to confound every opponent he’s faced in recent years. Cody will have to catch “The Dominator” to connect with him, and he’ll have just one round to do it. Cruz wins by late round TKO or Unanimous Decision.

A heavyweight clash between Fabricio Werdum  (21-6-1) and Cain Velasquez (14-2) is also featured at UFC 207. The fight is a rematch of a UFC 188 war between the two goliaths, which ended with Werdum winning the championship bout by third-round submission (Guillotine choke).

This time around, Velasquez is the favored fighter (-210) while Werdum is a +170 underdog. This is another brawler vs. tactician match-up, and it could go either way. Werdum showed a weak chin against Stipe Miocic, and Cain will be looking for every opportunity to check it.

Prediction: Velasquez dispatches Werdum inside of two rounds. Cain’s striking is superior to Werdum, and he will not make the mistake of letting Werdum take the fight to the ground this time. Velasquez by KO.

Neil Magny (18-5) and Johny Hendricks (17-5)  come into the cage for UFC 207 as two of the best welterweights in the league. Both are experiencing some ups and downs in sport lately, though. Magny had a three fight win streak stopped by Lorenz Larkin in his last bout while Hendricks lost three out of his last four fights. Hendricks is a far cry from his former self and a long way from his championship days. Stephen Thompson wiped the mat with Hendricks en route to a brutal TKO before Kelvin Gastelum stepped into the cage across from the former champ and took home a unanimous decision after three hard fought rounds.

Prediction: Magny is the more durable and dynamic fighter, and Hendricks can’t get close enough to land his best power shots. Magny will stop Hendricks’ advances, deny his takedown attempts and submit or stop the former champ before the final bell. Magny by third-round TKO.

Leading off the main card is another fight involving a former champion. T.J. Dillashaw (13-3) battles journeyman John “Hands of Stone” Lineker (29-7) in a bantamweight fight bound to be a future classic. Lineker brings an intensity, power and accuracy that is simply astonishing to witness. Dillashaw moves around the cage like an Irish stepdancer, dodging attacks like a Mexican bullfighter. Lineker showed in his last bout with John Dodson that he can be a crafty, technical fighter as well.

Prediction: What T.J. lacks is Lineker’s strength: POWER. Lineker will learn to find his range in the second round and start to penetrate Dillashaw’s unorthodox defense. Midway through the third round he will catch T.J. backing up and end the fight on the feet with a brutal series of punches, kicks, knees and elbows against the cage. Lineker by third-round TKO.