[​IMG] Dan Henderson turns 45 this year. After losing 5 of his last 6 bouts, Hendo turned back the clock once again with a spectacular 28 second knock out against Tim Boetsch on their headlining bout. Like what Mark Munoz did in Manila, many felt this would be the perfect way to end a stellar career for the MMA legend. Hendo has other plans though. "It would (be a great moment to retire with a big win)," Henderson said. "But I guess I will have to do that on the next couple of fights also." "It doesn't matter to me (if my next fight is at middleweight or light heavyweight). I'm just enjoying the sport and that I'm still beating top guys." LINK: After big UFC win, Dan Henderson still not planning on retiring anytime soon - Bloody Elbow
[​IMG] It's going to be hard to ignore Ben Rothwell from here on out. The oft-overlooked UFC heavyweight made sure of that Saturday night. Rothwell submitted Matt Mitrione with a unique front choke, cut a hilarious WWE-style promo afterward and then called out Andrei Arlovski at the post-fight press conference at UFC Fight Night: Boetsch vs. Henderson in New Orleans. "I think Andrei Arlovski and I should dance," Rothwell said. "He's ranked fourth and some people are already talking about him getting the next title shot. I think him and I should fight next." Rothwell, 33, might have had his best performance on the mic in the Octagon with Jon Anik. He delivered a classic pro-wrestling monster heel promo and let loose an evil laugh. The entire thing was priceless. "The only fight that matters to me now is the No. 1 contender spot," Rothwell said. "I will have the UFC title. I know right now there is not a man on this planet that can stop me in this Octagon. And only politics can slow me. I don't have much left to say other than you have seen nothing left." LINK: Who's next for Ben Rothwell? 'I think Andrei Arlovski and I should dance' - MMA Fighting View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DW5S2JgqcY
[​IMG] After 70 fights, Brian Ebersole has had enough. The 34-year-old veteran fighter said he’ll retire following his UFC Fight Night 68 loss to Omari Akhmedov on Saturday night. “I’m getting old, I’m getting up there,” Ebersole said. “I planned on retiring in November after the fight in Melbourne, but we’ll call it a night tonight. I’ve had a long career in MMA, a long career in wrestling and this (leg) has been bugging me throughout my camp. It was just lingering stuff. You try to go harder, and things start to flare up. I’ve been very bipolar in my training camp: sprint, rest, and rest longer, then wake up and sprint. It’s been a hard camp. The stress of worrying about being healthy and worrying about my performance – it’s too much.” Ebersole (51-17-1 MMA, 4-3 UFC) suffered a knee injury in the first round against Akhmedov (15-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in their fight on UFC Fight Night 68’s preliminary card. It left Ebersole unable to answer the bell for the second round. It was his 70th career fight, including one no-contest not marked on his record. “I’ve come a long way,” Ebersole said. “I cheated the system. I was a wrestler my whole life. Once I quit wrestling in college, this was the thing I turned to. I extended it another 15 years. I can gracefully hang ’em up and call it a day. The last couple of fights, I’ve really had to tough it out. Fighting Rick Story really hurt my lower back. I was seeing chiropractors every day for almost two weeks before the fight. That was terrible. Getting the win against John Howard, I thought about it, and was like, ‘Man, I’ve got one more year in me before I really settle down and life takes over and my wife wants to get back to work and resume her career.’ This year was me being greedy.” LINK to full article: With 51 wins, Brian Ebersole announces retirement after UFC Fight Night 68 loss | MMAjunkie
[​IMG] In January, after bantamweight Cody Garbrandt made good in his UFC debut against Marcus Brimage at UFC 182, he dedicated his performance to a little boy in the audience who had battled leukemia for the last three-and-a-half years. That boy’s name was Maddux Maple. He was at the MGM Grand that night with his father, Mic, to watch his hero realize a dream. It was a storybook set-up, though, in which the triumph very poignantly extended both ways. While living in the small-town of Uhrichsville, Ohio, there had been a promise between Garbrandt and Maddux Maple that went like this: If Maddux promised to beat cancer, Garbrandt promised he would make it to the UFC. Garbrandt had been a troubled youth who found his inspiration in Maddux. Maddux saw the local fighter Garbrandt as a hero. They made the pact. Both incredibly lived up to their ends of the bargain, which you can read about here. Maddux’s leukemia is in remission, and Garbrandt made it to the UFC. In that story, Maddux’s father said that his son’s ultimate dream was to one day walk Garbrandt out to the Octagon. Well, that dream will be realized on July 11, when Garbrandt will take on Enrique Briones at UFC 189. Mic Maple told MMA Fighting that Maddux, who just turned nine in April, will accompany Garbrandt to the cage at the very same venue where the two "brothers" -- the boy and the fighter, one indistinguishable from the other -- upheld their promises to each other. On Friday, Garbrandt told MMA Fighting how thrilled Maddux was when he heard the news. "We were sitting on the couch when I told him, and his face got all beet red," Garbrandt said. "He smiled so big, like the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on a kid, like seeing a kid get his ultimate gift. He just grabbed me and was just so thankful and so excited. He gave me a big ol’ hug." Back in January, when the 23-year-old Garbrandt defeated Brimage and made the dedication, little did people know that Maddux was actually struggling. A video showed his reaction to the fight, but the whole week he was in Vegas was a tumultuous. Right at the heightened moment of so much coming together in his young life, the fear breaking over the mood was that he might be sick again. "It was kept under wraps, but they thought his leukemia came back a week before they left [for the fight]," Garbrandt said. "He was sick the whole time, so we didn’t get to do much because he couldn’t walk. I had to push him around in a wheelchair, and he was a little embarrassed about being in it. But we made it fun. I said, I’ll push you, so we were popping wheelies and going off all over the MGM." Fortunately for Maddux, whom doctors are monitoring closely and checking every Thursday, it was a false alarm. With everything okay, he’s not about to miss the opportunity to walk Garbrandt to the Octagon. "It was great of the UFC to do this, especially…man, I remember the days when Maddux couldn’t walk. It’s heart wrenching. To see how far he’s come, it’s just motivation for me. I know that I can accomplish anything in life after seeing him come from not being able to walk to now walking me to the cage. It’s amazing. It’s awesome." That’s not all. Next time Maddux sees Cody, things will be a little different. When Maddux gets to Las Vegas in July, he’ll be given the added benefit of meeting Garbrandt’s new girlfriend -- UFC strawweight, Paige VanZant – whom he’s only heard about at this point. Garbrandt trains with VanZant at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, and has told each about the other. LINK to full article: Maddux Maple -- Cody Garbrandt’s young muse -- to realize a dream at UFC 189 - MMA Fighting
[​IMG] Dustin Poirier is a happy man these days. Why shouldn’t he be? No longer is he starving himself. Funny what a few carbohydrates will do for your outlook. Better, too, for the people who have to live with you. “My wife doesn’t have to see me every day aggravated about being hungry,” Poirier told MMAjunkie. “That kind of stuff gets to you after weeks and weeks of dieting crazy hard. You just get aggravated all the time.” It used to be that Poirier couldn’t eat after training. The week of his fights were the worst. A weight cut and dehydration were all there was to look forward to as a featherweight. While it may not have been Poirier’s choice to get knocked out by Conor McGregor this past September, the outcome lead to another – the choice he now feels was the best one for his life: A move to the lightweight division. After his first trip up to 155 pounds ended in a first-round knockout win, Poirier (17-4 MMA, 9-3 UFC) is enjoying life more than ever as he heads toward his second trip, a meeting with Yancy Medeiros (11-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 68. The event takes place in Poirier’s backyard of New Orleans at Smoothie King Center. Main-card fights air live on FOX Sports 1 following prelims on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass. LINK to full article: Dustin Poirier: ‘I think I can beat everybody in the lightweight division’ | MMAjunkie
[​IMG] Most MMA champions want to go on last. They're the best in the world in their division, and one of the top fighters overall. Their bouts are generally the most prestigious and important on any card. So it came as a bit of a surprise that UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson told UFC Tonight's Ariel Helwani that he wanted his next bout to be in the co-main event slot, not the main event. But there's a reason for that. An asterisk, if you will. Johnson would like to defend his title at UFC 191 in September, preferably under a UFC middleweight title bout between Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold. So in this case, it may very well be that Johnson (22-2-1, 10-1-1 UFC) is just trying to get himself onto a big card. The six-time defending champ has unfortunately been put into main event spots that fans haven't gotten behind despite his status as one of the best in the sport. UFC 174 and UFC 186 didn't do that well in terms of PPV sales, so it's not much of a surprise that Johnson would like to get on a card that's going to do big numbers at the gate and on PPV. LINK to full article: Demetrious Johnson wants next title defense to be a co-main event - Bloody Elbow