(Photo: Daniel Mears / Detroit News, file)
Last Wednesday , Michigan House of Representatives approved a bill to add safety checks to amateur mixed martial arts fights.
The plan would add regulations for amateur MMA fights in the state such as required weigh-ins, score tabs and state-approved hand wraps. It would also bar minors from fights, create a new fine for those who violate the rules and require the state to establish official weight classes for amateur fights — one of the most important changes the bill would make, supporters argue.
The GOP-controlled House approved the bill 107-1 last Wednesday, with one Republican voting against it. It is heading back to the Senate for a final concurrence vote before it will likely be sent to Snyder.
The legislation would allow the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to levy a $10,000 fine on an amateur fighter who breaks the state’s MMA rules.
“LARA was very supportive of this legislation that would allow the department to administer the act more efficiently and move the state inline with national standards regarding weight classes,” said LARA spokesman Jason Moon
There was no debate in the House and no one argued against the legislation in panel hearings. Rep. Steven Johnson, R-Wayland Township, was the sole House lawmaker to vote against it, but did not give a public explanation to his colleagues.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. David Robertson, R-Grand Blanc, passed the Senate 38-0 in May.
It follows new MMA regulations Robertson also sponsored that Snyder signed into law in 2015 requiring testing for blood-borne diseases like HIV, AIDS and hepatitis. The plan also required blood tests for drugs and alcohol, created official weight classes and financial penalties for event organizers who break the rules.
Another bill Snyder signed in 2015 sponsored by former Rep. Harvey Santana, D-Detroit, made it a felony for a fight promoter to set up a bout between an amateur and a professional fighter.
Santana called for action in 2013 after an amateur MMA fighter died during a match in Port Huron that year.
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UFC announced on Tuesday that a strawweight match between Michelle Waterson against Tecia Torres has been added to the UFC 218 card in Detroit.
After scoring victories over Angela Magana and Paige VanZant in her first two Octagon appearances, Waterson suffered a second-round submission defeat to current No. 1 contender Rose Namajunas in her most recent outing at UFC on Fox 24. The Jackson-Wink MMA product is 14-5 over the course a pro career that including an atomweight championship stint in Invicta FC.
Torres, has been victorious in five of her six promotional appearances and is 9-1 as a professional overall. “The Tiny Tornado” is coming off a second-round submission of Juliana Lima at “The Ultimate Fighter 25” finale on July 7 – the first finish of her career.
Photo from Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
According to MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani , Former NFL player Greg Hardy will compete in his first MMA contest when he meets Joe Hawkins in an amateur heavyweight bout at Rise of a Warrior 21 on Nov. 4 at the Havert L. Fenn Center in Fort Pierce, Fla.
The news was confirmed by Ariel Helwani after Hardy tweeted a response to a fan who was asking when he would fight.
Hardy, 29, was involved in a domestic violence case in May 2014 when his girlfriend reported that he assaulted her and threatened to kill her. After initially receiving 18 months probation, Hardy appealed the verdict and the charges were later dropped when the alleged victim failed to testify.
The Carolina Panthers did not re-sign Hardy following the accusations, and he would play 12 games for the Dallas Cowboys in the 2015-2016 season before they too declined to bring Hardy back.
Hardy has been working with the American Top Team gym to prepare for his fighting career. In an appearance on The MMA Hour this past February, Hardy said that training in MMA was beneficial to him moving on from his controversial past.
“It’s helped me a lot of ways,” Hardy said. “I have a lot of problems as a human being. It’s not something that you do, just walking around saying ‘I’m perfect’ or ‘I’m good.’ Man, I have a lot of different issues that I’m definitely working through and working on. I would say this helps me channel everything. It helps me just come back down to Earth, be humble, because these are machines that I see everyday. I get choked out, punched in the face, and laid out on the mat daily, and that’s not something that a guy my size and my stature with my history has every come across.
“It’s a humbling experience, man,” he continued. “Actually, it’s making me really appreciative of everything that I’ve had and everything that I have, and the opportunity that I have to kinda come in and show myself as a guy that is not what everybody says on TV, or, ‘he’s not a monster, he’s not a killer, a women beater,’ this, that and the other. It gives me an opportunity to just come in, be a humble guy, and learn, and honestly just be at the feet of all these champions who walk around like they’re just normal guys ... and have the opportunity to make myself better one more time, one last time in sports and life in general.”
Photo from Dave Mandel
Japanese promotion Rizin announced om Friday that Frank Shamrock and Kazushi Sakuraba will square off in a grappling match on its Oct. 15 card at Marine Messe Fukuoka in Fukuoka, Japan. Shamrock is stepping in as a replacement for Dan Henderson, who withdrew from the match due to an injured neck.
Rizin “Aki No Jin” will also feature the “B” portion of the bantamweight grand prix and the opening round of the women’s super atomweight grand prix.
Shamrock, a former UFC champion, once called out Sakuraba at a Pride Fighting Championships event, but the bout never came to fruition. At the time, Sakuraba was one of the sport’s biggest stars in Japan.
48 year old Sakuraba has competed in grappling matches against Renzo Gracie in 2014 and in a tandem match with Hideo Tokoro against Wanderlei Silva and Kiyoshi Tamura at a Rizin event in 2016. Both bouts ended in a draw. Shamrock, 44, last fought MMA in 2009, losing to Nick Diaz via second-round TKO under the Strikeforce banner. He last grappled against Henderson in 1997, winning via submission.
Shamrock and Sakuraba will compete in a 15-minute bout with no point system, which means the match will either end in a submission or as a draw.
Photo from Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
According to a Monday report by Brazilian outlet Psicoticos Por Vale Tudo, “Peditra” Priscila Cachoeira will make her UFC debut later this year when she takes on American Lauren Murphy at “The Ultimate Fighter 26” Finale. The TUF 26 wrap event is scheduled for Dec. 1 at the Park Theater in Las Vegas.
A Brazilian weightlifter training out of Parana Vale Tudo -- the largest women's fight team in Brazil and home of Invicta Fighting Championships titlist Jennifer Maia and former UFC title challenger Jessica Andrade -- Cachoeira has an undefeated eight-fight winning streak to begin her career with half of them by knockout. She heads to the UFC after beating veteran Rosy Duarte via second-round stoppage in September.
Murphy, 34, has not fought in the Octagon since a decision loss to Katlyn Chookagian in July 2016. “Lucky” dropped from the bantamweight division to 125 pounds to join the TUF 26 cast. After being installed as the No. 3 seed in the flyweight title tournament, Murphy was upset by No. 15 Nicco Montano via unanimous decision in the opening round of 16.
Photo from Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
After 12 years in the MMA , UFC Middleweight RAFAEL ‘SAPO’ NATAL is calling it a career.
On Monday's edition of “The MMA Hour” with Ariel Helwani, Natal made an in-studio appearance in New York City to announce his retirement from mixed martial arts after over 12 years as a professional, spending the last seven as a middleweight fixture in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The 34-year-old retires with a pro MMA record of 21-9-1.
“It was the toughest walk in today to your studio because it is hard to make this announcement,” Natal told Helwani, “but I talked to my family, my friends, my coaches. That is the time. I have new focus in my career as a coach, so that’s the thing to do in the moment.”
After starting his career 10-1 and winning the Ring of Combat middleweight title, Natal got his win at Moosin's ill-fated “God of Martial Arts” pay-per-view in May 2010, knocking out “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 4 winner Travis Lutter. He debuted in the UFC five months later, losing a unanimous decision to Rich Attonito at UFC Fight Nigtht 22. He would go on to post a 9-7-1 mark in the Octagon, taking wins over the likes of Paul Bradley, Chris Camozzi, Uriah Hall and Tom Watson
The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has lost his last three matches in the UFC. “Sapo” dropped a unanimous decision to now-interim champion Robert Whittaker in April of last year and was then knocked out by Tim Boetsch last November. The Brazil native was set to face Alessio Di Chirico. When Di Chirco was injured, he was replaced by undefeated former University of Alabama linebacker Eryk Anders, who knocked Natal out in less than three minutes.
"I just opened a huge school in Brazil now and plan to open here in New York too. I'm coming from three losses now, the last two were really bad,” said Natal.
“I’ve had some surgeries on my retina, on my eye. I’ve focused on [fighting] 100 percent of my life, during these 15 years,” he continued. “It’s time to step back. My mom’s asked this from me for a long time. It was a hard decision but it’s what we have. I think it was a smart one.”
Here’s the full UFC 208 betting odds:
UFC Women’s Featherweight Title: Holly Holm (+110) vs. Germaine de Randamie (-130)
Anderson Silva (+135) vs Derek Brunson (-155)
Ronaldo Souza (-500) vs Tim Boetsch (+400)
Glover Teixeira (-210) vs Jared Cannonier (+170)
Jim Miller (+340) vs Dustin Poirier (-415)
Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1)
Belal Muhammad (+120) vs Randy Brown (-140)
Wilson Reis (-600) vs Yuta Sasaki (+450)
Nik Lentz vs (+265) vs Islam Makhachev (-320)
Ian McCall (+125) vs Jarred Brooks (-145)
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Marcin Tybura (-180) vs Justin Willis (+155)
Ryan LaFlare (-310) vs Roan Carneiro (+255)
Phillipe Nover (+170) vs Rick Glenn (-200)
Odds Info are from Caesar's Palace , Bet Online and Westgate Las Vegas
Photo from Dave Mandel of Sherdog.com
A.J. McKee will take on Brandon Phillips in a main card contest at Bellator 171.
Bellator MMA announced the match on Thursday. Also announced for the main card is a women’s flyweight duel between Jessica Middleton and Alice Smith Yauger. Bellator 171 takes place at the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kan., and is headlined by a 175-pound catch-weight affair between Melvin Guillard and Chidi Njokuani. The card will be televised on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.
The 21-year-old McKee is 6-0 as a professional, with all of his wins under the Bellator MMA banner. He went the distance for the first time in his career in his last outing at Bellator 166, as he took a three-round verdict over Ray Wood. All of his five previous triumphs occurred inside of a round.
Phillips was victorious in his only Bellator MMA appearance, earning a unanimous decision against Chuka Willis at Bellator 159 on July 22. Most recently, the 27-year-old Oklahoma City native suffered a second-round submission defeat to Bryce Mitchell at World Series of Fighting 33.
Photo from Dave Mandel of Sherdog.com
Khabib "The Eagle' Nurmagomedov will try to get his winning streak to 25 as he will face Tony Ferguson for the UFC interim lightweight title at UFC 209, the promotion announced on Thursday.
UFC 209 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on March 4 and is headlined by a welterweight championship rematch between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson. Conor McGregor won the 155-pound title with a victory over Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205, McGregor is expected to take an extended leave of absence as he awaits the birth of his first child.
Nurmagomedov is unbeaten in 24 professional bouts, including including eight under the UFC banner. In his last outing, “The Eagle” overwhelmed Michael Johnson before winning via third-round submission at UFC 205.
Ferguson, is on a nine-fight winning streak in the UFC. Most recently, “El Cucuy” earned a clear-cut five-round decision over ex-lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 98 on Nov. 5.
Photo from Dave Mandel of Sherdog.com
UFC President Dana White announced the middleweight matchup via Twitter on Friday. UFC 208 takes place at the Barclays Center on February 11 and will see Holly Holm square off against Germaine de Randamie for the inaugural women’s featherweight title.
Silva last appeared at UFC 200 , filling in for Jon Jones against Daniel Cormier after Jones was pulled from the contest due to an anti-doping violation. “The Spider” lose a lopsided unanimous verdict to Cormier in a non-title bout, making him winless in five Octagon appearances since stopping Stephan Bonnar via first-round technical knockout at UFC 153.
Brunson, had a five-fight winning streak snapped at UFC Fight Night 101, when he was stopped in the first stanza by Robert Whittaker. Four of Brunson’s previous five victories occurred via first-round KO/TKO.
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