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  • UFC Sydney weigh-in video

    At the UFC Sydney weigh-ins, all 26 fighters taking part in Saturday night's UFC Sydney fights will step on the scale Friday, and we'll have the video here at MMA Fighting.

    In the main event, Fabricio Werdum and Marcin Tybura made the heavyweight limit of 265 pounds.

    Check out UFC Sydney weigh-in results below.

    Main card (FOX Sports 1 at 10 p.m. ET)

    Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura

    Bec Rawlings vs. Jessy Rose-Clark

    Tim Means vs. Belal Muhammad

    Jake Matthews vs. Bojan Velickovic

    Elias Theodorou vs. Dan Kelly

    Alexander Volkanovski vs. Shane Young

    Undercard (FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET)

    Ryan Benoit vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian

    Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz

    Anthony Hamilton vs. Adam Wieczorek

    Damien Brown vs. Frank Camacho

    Undercard (UFC Fight Pass at 6:30 p.m. ET)

    Alex Chambers vs. Nadia Kassem

    Janel Lausa vs. Eric Shelton

    Rashad Coulter vs. Tai Tuivasa



  • Duane Ludwig: T.J. Dillashaw can make 125 and beat Demetrious Johnson

    Few people work closer with T.J. Dillashaw than coach Duane Ludwig, and “Bang” sees little in the way of the UFC bantamweight champion becoming the man to halt the historic run of Demetrious Johnson.

    Dillashaw has been gunning for a shot at the UFC’s seemingly indomitable flyweight king for months, but one question surrounding the potential superfight is whether Dillashaw can make the 125-lb limit given that he’s never competed in a division lighter than bantamweight.

    Ludwig appeared on The MMA Hour on Monday to endorse the clash of champions and provide assurance that Dillashaw would be able to make the drop.

    “We were en route to fight Demetrious at one point and the direction he was taking with his strength and conditioning coach, T.J. was looking phenomenal on the mitts and the sparring and the training and he looked good, his spirits were good,” Ludwig said. “So obviously we didn’t make 125 and fight and compete, but when were were en route of that, nothing really changed. T.J.’s not a big ‘35er, so he can make ‘25. It’s not going to be easy, but he’s the most dedicated person that I’ve ever seen. He really is.”

    Ludwig went as far as to say that Dillashaw could make 125 by December, though he doesn’t expect Dillashaw to fight so soon with his wife expecting.

    Both Dillashaw and rival Cody Garbrandt had previously expressed interest in challenging Johnson prior to their title fight at UFC 217. It was Dillashaw who got the better of that encounter, finishing Garbrandt in the second round with strikes, which not only won him back the bantamweight belt that he lost back in January 2016, but put him in pole position for a fight with Johnson.

    Over the past five years, Johnson has fended off every challenger at 125 pounds (some twice over) and after he defeated Ray Borg at UFC 216 to break the promotional record for most consecutive title defenses, “Might Mouse” was left with no obvious option as to who to fight next.

    In Ludwig’s opinion, Dillashaw is the only choice.

    “I think it needs to happen,” Ludwig said. “Demetrious, he’s fighting the top guys - this works out because (Joseph) Benavidez is out right now, he’s still having to wait a couple of months with his knee surgery, so it works out time-wise, so in my eyes I would like to see T.J. drop down, fight Demetrious, and then go back to ‘35.”

    Whether Dillashaw will be able to win and then defend titles in two divisions is anybody’s guess, but it’s exactly the sort of challenge that Ludwig craves. Johnson’s 14-fight unbeaten streak has put him among the top names of any pound-for-pound discussion and Ludwig predicts that Dillashaw has what it takes to steal that thunder.

    “There are some areas that we could capitalize on, that’s for sure. But I’m not going to necessarily say that he’s weak in any one area, because he’s really not,” Ludwig said. “He’s great everywhere. This is a tough challenge, but T.J. could beat him. I just think he’s on another level like T.J’s on another level, they’re both on another level compared to the people in their weight class, he just really is.”



  • UFC Sydney media day staredowns

    The UFC returns to Sydney, Australia for the first time in three years, and the stars of the UFC Fight Night event faced off in front of the cameras following Thursday’s media day.

    Former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum will take on Marcin Tybura in the five-round main event, just a little over a month since his last UFC win over Walt Harris in Las Vegas.

    UFC Sydney takes place Saturday night at the Qudos Bank Arena, and the main card airs live on Fox Sports 1.



  • Garry Tonon opens up about transition to MMA, signing with ONE Championship, rivalry with Dillon Danis

    One of the most talented grapplers today is about to begin his career as a mixed martial artist.

    Recently, it was announced that Garry Tonon, a four-time EBI champion and a multiple-time IBJJF medalist, had signed with Asian-based MMA promotion ONE Championship.

    At just 26 years of age, Tonon is out to take full advantage of his athletic prime, and that’s why he knew he would some day end up fighting another man inside a cage, even when he was just on the rise in the grappling world.

    “My whole thing is that competition, whether it’s in jiu-jitsu or mixed martial arts, it’s very short lived and I’m only going to have a certain career length,” Tonon told MMA Fighting. “I don’t know how long it will be. Maybe it’s going to be until 40, like a guy like Demian Maia, or maybe it’s going to be until my early thirties. I can’t say for sure, you never know with injuries, but eventually there’s going to be a day where I’m not going to be able to compete at the highest level.

    “And for me, the long game is being able to teach and being able to pass on the skills that I learned to my future students. And a big part of why I want to do martial arts is because I know that one day I’m going to have students interested in mixed martial arts as well as students that are interested in self-defense in general, and for me to say, ‘Well this works in a fight, that works in a fight,’ and never having stepped in the ring when I was capable of it, I think it’s a disservice to them. So a big part of why I want to do MMA is to build my abilities as a teacher.”

    Although Tonon looks forward to learning more about grappling tailored for fighting and being able to bring that knowledge back to his students, he is still approaching his MMA career with the same mentality he approached grappling. The New York City-based fighter is out to reach the very top of the food chain.

    “I never half-ass anything I do,” Tonon explained. “I wouldn’t step into fighting just because. I don’t think it’s that kind of job. I don’t thing that’s the kind of stuff you want to play around with. I think it’s a very serious sport and you can get seriously hurt.

    “This is only worth the risk if I’m going to try to go all the way. So I absolutely have aspirations of reaching the pinnacle of the sport. As we know, only a certain percentage of people are able to do that. There was no telling whether I was going to be able to do that in jiu-jitsu, but of course, I always believed in my art and in my mind that I was going to be able to do it. I’m realistic as well and I know only a certain amount of people can reach that top-tier level, and my plan is to reach that level as high as I possibly can.”

    For several years, Tonon has been open about one day transitioning to MMA. A pupil of John Danaher, Tonon believes that now is the right time to make that switch, as he’s already achieved plenty in the grappling world.

    “The reason why I’m switching over now it’s because I’ve done quite a bit in my jiu-jitsu career,” Tonon said. “I could’ve transitioned to MMA potentially earlier, but the right offer wasn’t necessarily on the table. I was very much still focused on grappling, and there were still a few things that I wanted to do. I wanted to get that last ADCC out of the way, and it’s hard to split my focus between grappling and mixed martial arts. I always told people when I was coming up in jiu-jitsu that I was interested in fighting, but that I wanted to get good at jiu-jitsu first before starting mixed martial arts, and I think that I’m kind of good at jiu-jitsu now [laughs].”

    The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt hasn’t discussed with ONE Championship when he’ll be making his MMA debut, but he’s eyeing a fight sometime in March in order to fully feel ready to compete inside the cage. Tonon plans on doing the majority of his training at Renzo Gracie Academy in New York City, while doing some work at Tristar and other MMA gyms available to him. Danaher, who has helped coach the likes of Georges St-Pierre, Chris Weidman, Rory MacDonald and more, will be Tonon’s head coach.

    Tonon is used to competing in many different weight classes in grappling, but is not exactly sure what division he’ll be fighting in. He believes he’ll likely end up at lightweight, but he may start off at welterweight.

    And despite now switching his focus to MMA, Tonon is not going to fully abandon his distinguished grappling career.

    “I will be able to do grappling matches,” Tonon said. “Obviously, they’re going to be dependent of my fight schedule. I’m not going to take a grappling match a week before my fight or something, and I would never do that to myself, first of all. They (ONE Championship) wouldn’t want that either, there is too much risk of getting hurt. But who knows, maybe they put on another grappling show in their organization and they seem very open to that idea.

    “It definitely means things are going to slow down in terms of the number of times I compete in a year,” Tonon added. “Usually, I compete pretty heavily throughout the year. I think this last year I slowed things down towards the end because of ADCC, as I wanted to focus on that. But usually, I would say the year before that, I was competing once or twice a month, which that’s a lot of matches. I certainly won’t be able to do that while I’m fighting.”

    Tonon’s world-class grappling skills will not the be the only thing transitioning with him to MMA, as his heated rival in the grappling world, Dillon Danis, is also on the verge of making his MMA debut. Tonon thinks it’s possible he can one day fight Danis in MMA, but doesn’t see it happening in the near future since Danis is signed to Bellator.

    “I have expressed that I wanted to fight him (Danis) and other people like A.J. Agazarm and I put a bunch of attention out there, but it really didn’t get any attention from any American promotions that were really interested in it,” Tonon said. “I kind of put it out there openly and I contacted a couple of people that knew some people and it didn’t really end up working out. But maybe, I don’t know, one day down the line.

    “I really want things to work out with ONE, to be honest, and I don’t see why they wouldn’t. I’m very happy with them as of now and I plan on fighting for them for a while. So unless somehow one picks up either of those guys, I don’t see the fight happening. But will there be talk back-and-forth during each of our MMA careers? Probably, I’m sure.”



  • Morning Report: Michael Bisping’s coach says Kelvin Gastelum is ‘a bigger threat’ than Georges St-Pierre

    Just two weeks ago, Michael Bisping was the UFC middleweight champion, set to defend his title against all-time great, Georges St-Pierre. St-Pierre ended up submitting Bisping with a third-round rear-naked choke to claim the 185-pound title. Now, Bisping is merely one week away from taking on another former welterweight-turned-middleweight contender, and this one could be an even tougher fight than his last one.

    Bisping’s striking coach Jason Parillo recently spoke with the ESPN Five Rounds podcast about Bisping’s upcoming fight against ninth-ranked middleweight Kelvin Gastelum, calling Gastelum a “a bigger threat” than St-Pierre was to Bisping.

    “Really, Kelvin is, in my opinion, on the feet, a tougher fight than Georges St-Pierre,” said Parillo. “It’s not like Mike’s a guy that shoots and wrestles all the time so obviously it’s gonna be a lot of stand up fighting and this guy’s a bigger threat than I think that even Georges was.”

    St-Pierre was the long-time welterweight kingpin of the UFC who retired from the sport with his belt and was lured out after almost four years by the opportunity to take on Bisping for the middleweight strap. Bisping was extremely confident going into the bout and the loss “mentally wounded” him, causing the former champion to jump at the opportunity to get right back on the horse after Anderson Silva was pulled from his UFC Shanghai main event spot against Gastelum for failing a USADA drug test. Parillo says that while a super quick turn around like this could be a reckless move for most fighters, fighting less than a month apart is actually an advantage for Bisping because he’s already mentally focused.

    “This guy’s got a different mind frame. Is it gonna hurt or help him? We’re gonna find out. . . You can look at it both ways. I’m looking that it’s a good thing that Michael wants to do. It’s something that he’s very happy about the decision that he made to do this, so we’ve got to ride that positive mind into this fight and hope for the best.”

    Positive mind state or not, Bisping’s quick turnaround has been a point of discussion among some as the former title holder was dropped by a punch from St-Pierre and badly hurt before being choked unconscious. Taking a fight with a hard-hitting striker like Gastelum so soon after being knocked down could be cause for concern, especially if Gastelum is, as Parillo said, a bigger threat on the feet than St-Pierre. But ultimately, Parillo says that fighting anyone is a dangerous proposition and concerns or not, they’re going into UFC Shanghai to win.

    “I’m concerned with everybody. If the guy’s got two arms and two legs and breathes, there’s a concern. You’ve got to try to look at the concern of it but you’ve also gotta support your athlete and go in there with a positive mind frame. I know Michael can beat Kelvin Gastelum. I know Michael could beat GSP. I truly believe in my heart of hearts that Michael would’ve started running away with it had we got to that fourth round.

    “Mike is a world champion and he can fight any guy on the planet. Is there a question about how he’s gonna be mentally with how close this fight is? Sure, there could be. But I have a feeling Mike’s head is gonna be right in this fight and it’s something that he really wants to go out there and win and try to dust off his last loss. We’re going in. We’re gonna go in regardless of whether I have concerns or don’t have concerns. We’re gonna go in and we’re gonna go in there to win.”

    Michael Bisping fights Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC Shanghai on November 25.


    MUST-READ STORIES

    Law. Colby Covington is pressing charges on Fabricio Werdum for boomerang attack.

    Good. Stipe Miocic says his contract talks are going well, hopes to return early in 2018.

    Sad. Jon Jones feels “sad” for former roommate Colby Covington.

    Frustration. Cub Swanson is frustrated at being passed over for UFC 218 title fight.

    TUF 27. The Ultimate Fighter 27 will feature only undefeated fighters.


    VIDEO STEW

    The MMA Beat.

    Holloway-Aldo 2 promo.

    Highlights from last week’s Bellator.

    Condit interview.

    Masvidal discussing Colby’s antics.

    Tyron saying he accepted a fight with Nate.

    AWESOME KO.


    LISTEN UP

    Fights Gone By. Jack Slack discussing Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor.

    JRE MMA Show. The first ever Joe Rogan Experience MMA Show.

    MMA Mad. Louis Smolka and Jimmie Rivera interviews.


    SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

    Incredible. Local TV coverage of the boomerang incident doesn’t even mention that they’re fighters.

    The Australian TV report on the Fabricio Werdum-Colby Covington boomerang attack is as amazing as you'd expect. pic.twitter.com/1wMDGfMo6Y

    — Josh Sánchez (@jnsanchez) November 16, 2017

    Jon going in.

    Yes because I've been using your name and interviews talking about some imaginary college two year relationship.

    — Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) November 16, 2017

    Thank you so much brother, you just made me more famous

    — Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) November 16, 2017

    At the end of the day brother, I feel sad for you. I couldn't imagine holding that type of animosity in my heart.

    — Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) November 16, 2017

    I understand you're trying to get your followers up, there's nothing wrong with that.

    — Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) November 16, 2017

    Your jealousy and hatred for me it's clear as day. The weird thing is, I'm not even sure what I did to you. I haven't seen you in like 11yrs

    — Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) November 16, 2017

    Just wish you would smash some people in the octagon and become more recognize that way instead

    — Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) November 16, 2017

    You're making a lot of enemies brother. All the best

    — Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) November 16, 2017

    And tell your mom I said hello, it was great getting to know her that one semester we stayed together. She's really a great human being

    — Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) November 16, 2017

    And have him turn around and go cry to the police, I'll pass https://t.co/ZZ75Q9RN64

    — Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) November 16, 2017

    Bobby Knux being the most respectful guy.

    Werdum gets another backer, a teammate of Colby’s.

    Yesterday, while a flying triangle submission was being finished at Bellator 188, this is what the Twitter account was posting instead.

    For those of you wondering, @mercedesterrell WILL be in Tel Aviv for #Bellator188! pic.twitter.com/elbrO4yYiF

    — Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) November 16, 2017

    I think you might be wrong there champ.

    I think will be @HollyHolm

    — Amanda Nunes (@Amanda_Leoa) November 16, 2017

    Khabib keeping the dream alive.

    @TonyFergusonXT

    — khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) November 17, 2017

    Fight announcement coming soon it seems.

    I have who. I have where. I know when. It's time. #teamalphacat #alphacatzingano #catzinganomma #acz #ufc #fightlife

    A post shared by Cat Zingano (@alphacatzingano) on

    Staying hopeful.

    @danawhite if anyone in the light heavyweight category gets injured, I'll be glad to take over on short notice.

    — Matt Hamill (@hammer_hamill) November 16, 2017

    Damn. Look at Khalil Rountree before he started training.

    Sophomore year. #tbt

    A post shared by Khalil Rountree Jr. (@khalilrountree) on

    Ouch.

    Got beat up, lumped up, put to sleep, and cut up know who did it need a little help. Who's in. ⚒ let me know. RT HH pic.twitter.com/VZAiOlr5JP

    — Mark Coleman (@HammerHouseMMA) November 16, 2017

    FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

    Cris Cyborg (18-1, 1 NC) vs. Holly Holm (11-3); UFC 219, Dec. 30.


    FINAL THOUGHTS

    Another weekend, another Fight Night card but sadly, this is not the best one, at least on paper. These cards do often end up being very exciting though so maybe we’ll have that going for us.

    Take it easy and see y’all Monday.


    EXIT POLL


    If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.







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