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  • Bojan Velickovic puts Nico Musoke on wobbly legs with last-minute knockout

    Bojan Velickovic might have been staring a defeat in the face Sunday. Good thing for him he still had a little more in the tank late.

    “Serbian Steel” landed a right hand to the temple of Nico Musoke that put Musoke on wobbly legs and Velickovic pounced for the finish at 4:37 of the third round at UFC Fight Night 109 in Stockholm. It was the second such come-from-behind finish in the third round after Damir Hadzovic did it to Marcin Held.

    .@serbian_steel noquea a Nicholas Musoke en #ufcstockholm ¿Estás viendo? #UFCEnVivo pic.twitter.com/s9A0xxF2F6

    — UFC Español (@UFCEspanol) May 28, 2017

    One judge had Velickovic down two rounds heading into the third. The other two had it 19-19. The KO certainly sealed the deal.

    Velickovic (15-4-1) snapped a two-fight winless streak with the victory. The 28-year-old Elevation Fight Team product last won in April 2016, a unanimous decision over Alessio Di Chirico. Musoke (13-5, 1 NC), a Sweden native, has lost two straight and three of his last four.



  • UFC Fight Night 109 Results: Gustafsson vs. Teixeira

    MMA Fighting has UFC Fight Night 109 results for the Gustafsson vs. Teixeira fight card May 28 at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden.

    In the main event, top light heavyweights Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira will clash to try to remain in the mix for a title shot. Volkan Oezdemir and Misha Cirkunov will collide in the co-main event in a key light heavyweight matchup.

    Get UFC Fight Night 109 results below.

    Main card (FOX Sports 1 at 1 p.m. ET)

    Alexander Gustafsson vs. Glover Teixeira
    Volkan Oezdemir vs. Misha Cirkunov
    Peter Sobotta vs. Ben Saunders
    Adbul Razak Alhassan vs. Omari Akhmedov
    Oliver Enkamp vs. Nordine Taleb
    Jack Hermansson vs. Alex Nicholson

    Undercard (FOX Sports 1 now)

    Pedro Munhoz vs. Damian Stasiak
    Trevor Smith vs. Chris Camozzi
    Joaquim Silva def. Reza Madadi via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
    Bojan Velickovic def. Nico Musoke via third-round TKO (4:37)
    Darren Till def. Jessin Ayari via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-27)
    Damir Hadzovic def. Marcin Held via third-round KO (0:07)



  • Jorge Masvidal rails against Michael ‘B*tch-ping’ for ‘blatantly dodging other people’

    Jorge Masvidal may not be a member of the UFC middleweight division, but he is good friends and ATT training partners with the division’s No. 1 contender, Yoel Romero, and he’s made no secret regarding his disgust with what is going on at 185 pounds.

    “I’m being the voice for the people that are frustrated with a lot of these cowards in this sport,” Masvidal said Monday on The MMA Hour. “I don’t got to spell it for you — people just blatantly dodging other people, that’s coward sh*t. You know what I’m saying? That’s hashtag ho status. It’s f*cking mind-blowing.”

    Masvidal was asked if he was referring to UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, whose on-again, off-again fight against ex-welterweight titleholder Georges St-Pierre has thrust the UFC’s 185-pound division into uncertainly due to a logjam of contenders building at the top and the still-to-be-determined status of Bisping vs. St-Pierre.

    “B*tch-ping? Yeah, that’s who I’m referring to,” Masvidal responded. “But it’s not just him, there’s a bunch of dudes. It’s just, he’s probably leading the front, you know? He’s a frontrunner. And I don’t even want to talk about him on this show because I’m not going to make that dude famous. We’re not going to make that dude famous. Let him go out there, win some fights, let him generate his own name. I wasn’t even going to say that b*tch’s name.”

    Masvidal isn’t the first fighter to express his displeasure with Bisping vs. St-Pierre, or the UFC’s recent matchmaking trends under the WME-IMG era. Several top middleweights including Luke Rockhold, Robert Whittaker, Ronaldo Souza, and Gegard Mousasi have criticized the St-Pierre booking, to the point where UFC president Dana White has publicly expressed the UFC’s desire to move on.

    Bisping himself said this week on his podcast that the fight was in a rocky place and may ultimately be canceled, with the UFC instead opting to stage an interim middleweight title fight while Bisping recovers from a lingering knee injury. But as a close friend of Romero’s — whose title shot has eluded him despite a 7-0 UFC run — Masvidal isn’t buying it when he hears Bisping explain why he should fight St-Pierre or why he needs more time before the next defense of his belt.

    “Back in the day, you used to have to fight three or four fights in one night with no dodging nobody, and that’s what the sport got built on,” Masvidal said. “And a lot of the guys who came in after they saw that had that similar mindset of just, compete and fight the best and keep winning.

    “Nowadays it’s like, fight the guy that you can beat, or this and that. So, it’s weird, man. When you’re up-and-coming in your career, yes, maybe you have to dodge certain guys. ‘Hey, my wrestling isn’t good yet, let me get it on-point and then I’ll come back there,’ or, ‘I’m not going to fight that guy right now,’ because whatever, when you’re up-and-coming. But once you’re already at the top of your game, you’re in there, man. That’s it. There’s no dodging fighters. What’s wrong with you? That’s the biggest act of cowardice, faking injuries.”



  • Damir Hadzovic scores incredible comeback with knockout of the year candidate

    All it takes is one.

    At UFC Fight Night: Stockholm on Sunday morning, Damir Hadzovic was having a rough go of things. Marcin Held was putting “The Bosnian Bomber” through the ringer, controlling him on the ground, taking his back several times, and threatening multiple submissions. By the time the third round started, Hadzovic needed a finish to win.

    He got it.

    Seven seconds into the final round, Held dropped down for a takedown and Hadzovic landed a perfectly timed knee to the temple to flatten the former Bellator lightweight title challenger. Check out this KO of the Year and Comeback of the Year contender below.

    Wow!! @DamirHadzo with the perfect knee at #UFCStockholm!! pic.twitter.com/K2ur41DD17

    — UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) May 28, 2017


  • Leslie Smith ‘super encouraged’ by fighter response to Kobe Bryant union question

    Kobe Bryant wasn’t known for assists during his NBA career. But maybe when the history book on MMA is written, it’ll include a mark in that category next to his name.

    Leslie Smith had no idea what Bryant would say when she asked him about athlete unions during Bryant’s talk during the UFC Athlete Retreat on Sunday in Las Vegas. She decided to ask anyway.

    “I wished I had Google’d his stance on players associations,” Smith told MMA Fighting with a laugh.

    Smith, a UFC women’s bantamweight, has long been an advocate for fighter rights and has been outspoken in her belief that fighters need to organize for balance between athlete and promoter. So, she asked Bryant what he thought about fighters organizing, not having any idea what his response would be.

    Bryant, an all-time great basketball player speaking at the UFC Athlete Retreat in Las Vegas over the weekend, answered extremely in the affirmative for unions. Athletes in leagues like the NBA, NFL and MLB are a part of an association that is set up to look out for their interests as a whole and collectively bargain with the leagues as representatives of the players. The UFC nor MMA as a sport have anything like that right now.

    “Even us as players, we have our union meetings, and we’re normally at each other’s throats competing against each other,” Bryant told Smith, in a sequence that was captured on video. “But we understand completely that a rising tide raises all boats. So when you guys have this union and you guys can operate together, on the same page together, it will 100 percent fortify the sport and make the sport better, not just for the present but for future generations that are coming. It’s extremely important.”

    And it was at this moment @LeslieSmith_GF showed us how big her balls were. #UFC #UFCAthleteRetreat #KobeBryant pic.twitter.com/HpXY9Ku9W4

    — Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) May 23, 2017

    Fighters could be heard cheering for Smith’s question and even more for Bryant’s answer. Smith said the reaction from her peers afterward was similar. Plenty of hand shakes and fist bumps, she said. Smith said she was unsure what other fighters would say, but was pleased with the result.

    “Super encouraged,” she said. “It was great how many people came up and said something, because it’s been hard to gauge. Fighters are hard to gauge. That’s kind of a sign of a successful fighter — you can’t tell what they’re thinking or feeling.”

    Recent efforts to form an organization of fighters, like the Professional Fighters Association (PFA) and MMA Athletes Association (MMAAA), seem to have hit roadblocks. Smith was in the PFA until last fall, but now does not consider herself a part of any group, with the exception of the MMA Fighters Association (MMAFA), which is currently focused on getting boxing’s Ali Act extended to MMA through Congress.

    That doesn’t mean Smith no longer wants to unionize fighters. She does. But she wants to go about it more quietly. Behind the scenes. From the grassroots. No big proclamations or press conferences or media calls.

    “We need to ground it and we need to get everyone together,” Smith said. “I’m not gonna be making any announcements of any kind about the next steps or the plan or the timeline of any events for a union. There’s not much I'm gonna say.

    “We’ve had a long winter, now we need to get ready for spring and we can’t go out right now.”

    Smith, 34, said she appreciated the retreat for the most part. The Bryant speech was good, she said, but didn’t really apply to the vast majority of fighters. He was talking about investing hundreds of millions of dollars while most fighters are living fight purse to fight purse.

    “We haven't even hit the $1 million mark five years into fighting — 10 years into fighting,” Smith said. “So it really wasn’t that relatable.”

    The UFC Performance Institute was incredible impressive, Smith said, and she’s “excited about using it,” wanting to take advantage of it as much of possible. While she knows the UFC built the state-of-the-art facility, which has a multitude of technologies for strength and conditioning and nutrition for fighters free of charge, with its heart in the right place, Smith said she and other fighters feel like they would have gained more from just getting those millions spread out among them.

    “I cannot be the only person who heard that and thought, well why didn’t you just give us money?” Smith said. ... “As far as my immediate improvement and even long-term improvement, paying me more would have made a much bigger impact than opening the institute.”

    Smith, 34, is hoping communication among athletes at the retreat put the organization efforts back on track. But she conceded it’s not time to go full speed ahead right now.

    “It’s not time for the next phase just yet, but hopefully when it is everyone will be ready,” Smith said.

    For now, Smith returns to California from Las Vegas with a little affirmation in her cause from one of the greatest basketball players of all time.

    “We just need all the fighters to know and understand that the union is a good thing,” Smith said. “There’s so much anti-union rhetoric out there that it’s hard to get past that. … The education aspect was the most important thing to me. I will admit that it was a gamble, but I was really happy about how it turned out.”







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