UFC Brasilia to go on behind closed doors after Coronavirus

UFC Brasilia to go on behind closed doors after coronavirus

13. 3. 2020

UFC Brasilia will go on but fans will not be allowed to enter the Nilson Nelson Gymnasium on Saturday.

The decision comes less than 24 hours after Federal District governor Ibaneis Rocha announced that sporting events and concerts with gatherings of more than 100 people would be suspended until March 16.

The governor updated his decree on Thursday afternoon, allowing events behind closed doors pending an authorization from the Federal District’s health surveillance. The UFC has yet to comment on the situation.

The UFC cancelled Thursday morning’s media day at the hotel hotel, where 24 fighters were expected to talk to the press and face off. Friday night’s ceremonial weigh-ins have also been cancelled.

There are over 70 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Brazil, doubling the number of cases from 24 hours ago.

Lightweights Kevin Lee and Charles Oliveira headline the Fight Night card Saturday, with Demian Maia taking on Gilbert Burns in the co-main event.



  • Kevin Lee vs. Charles Oliveira
  • Demian Maia vs. Gilbert Burns
  • Renato Moicano vs. Damir Hadzovic
  • Johnny Walker vs. Nikita Krylov
  • Francisco Trinaldo vs. John Makdessi
  • Jussier Formiga vs. Brandon Moreno
  • Amanda Ribas vs. Randa Markos
  • Elizeu Zaleski vs. Alexey Kunchenko
  • Rani Yahya vs. Enrique Barzola
  • Mayra Bueno Silva vs. Maryna Moroz
  • Bruno Silva vs. David Dvorak
  • Veronica Macedo vs. Bea Malecki


Colby Covington on Kamaru Usman: “I’m seriously going to leave that dude f**king crippled”

Colby Covington on Kamaru Usman: “I’m seriously going to leave that dude f**king crippled”

2. 9. 2019

To hear Colby Covington tell it, he’s been chasing a fight against Kamaru Usman since 2015 and now it appears he’ll finally get his opportunity to settle the score against the reigning UFC welterweight champion.

Covington is expected to face Usman at UFC 244 in New York in November, which culminates a rivalry that stretches back more than four years according to the former interim title holder.

It was just after “The Ultimate Fighter” season 21 wrapped up with Usman defeating Hayder Hassan by second round arm triangle choke to secure a victory for his team at the Blackzilians over the fighters from American Top Team.

Covington has represented the Florida based gym his entire career and he saw Usman’s win as an opportunity to step up to a challenge.

“I can’t wait to bury that guy,” Covington said. “Me and Dan Lambert were calling for that fight as soon as he won “The Ultimate Fighter” and he beat my teammates at American Top Team. We were begging for that fight and him and Glenn [Robinson] turned that fight down.”

Now there are more than a few conflicting stories regarding attempts to put Covington into the same cage with Usman over the past four years but now the two welterweights are on a collision course that seems unavoidable.

Timing has been the biggest delay recently after Usman underwent double-hernia surgery following his title fight win over Tyron Woodley back in March that was going to keep him sidelined until the latter part of 2019.

Of course, Covington doesn’t buy that injury either and instead believes Usman is just further delaying the inevitable fight between them. He specifically points to an encounter they had the day after his win over Woodley when the two fighters nearly came to blows while standing in a line for food at a hotel in Las Vegas.

“It’s time to unify my belt with Marty Fakenewsman,” Covington said referencing Usman. “This fight has so many angles. The Palms buffet line, look at Marty Fakenewsman, he was faking an injury when he fought [Tyron] Woodley. He’s in a wheelchair after the fight with Woodley, acting like he’s hurt getting wheelchaired to the press conference and eight hours later he’s jumping me in the Palms buffet line, jumping over barricades, pushing a pregnant late out of the way to get to me.”

“It just shows how fake he is. He’s the CNN of the UFC.”

Covington’s inflammatory statements have made him one of the most hated men in all of mixed martial arts but his performances inside the Octagon have also forced everyone to recognize him as a legitimate threat to the title.

Following his jaw-dropping win over Robbie Lawler in early August, the 31-year old former NCAA All-American wrestler put a lot of people on notice that no matter what you feel about him, it’s getting awfully hard to discount his current seven-fight win streak including victories over two former UFC champions.

“I feel really bad for my friends because when the Usman [betting] line first came out, I was like a 3-to-1 underdog and all my friends were going to get rich,” Covington said. “Now I feel bad, now that the world’s seen what I’m capable of, the Vegas lines are sharp. It’s probably going to be a pick ‘em. I mean it should be me as a 3-to-1 favorite but they put credibility in Usman’s win over Woodley, which is a joke. Because Woodley’s not even a top 20 fighter anymore.”

“But I feel bad because I wanted everybody to get rich when I dust up Marty Fakenewsman and honestly leave him unconscious and he has to leave the Octagon on a stretcher but now my friends aren’t going to get rich. They’re only going to be able to make a little bit of money now that the world has seen what I’m truly capable of doing. It kind of sucks.”

If there’s one thing certain about this upcoming welterweight title fight it’s that neither Covington or Usman will be short on motivation to get the job done when they finally clash.

“I’m seriously going to leave that dude f—king crippled. I’m going to f—k that dude up!”

“It’s too bad he was running from me for so many years. Now he has no choice. It’s either you fight me or you don’t fight at all. You lose your No. 1 contender belt and we don’t hear from you anymore and the world figures out the coward that you really are. He’s got nowhere to go. It’s put up or shut up.”

Junior dos Santos: “Cormier-Miocic rematch ‘doesn’t make any sense”

Junior dos Santos: “Cormier-Miocic rematch ‘doesn’t make any sense”

2. 9. 2019

“It was a lucky moment. Not taking anything away from ‘DC’ again. But it was a lucky moment.”

After Stipe Miocic avenged his knockout loss to Daniel Cormier to reclaim the heavyweight title at UFC 241, fans are clamouring to see a trilogy bout between the two pound-for-pound greats.

But, according to former divisional king Junior dos Santos, a rematch between Miocic and Cormier ‘doesn’t make any sense’ due to the nature of their first title bout at UFC 226, where ‘DC’ KO’d Miocic in the first round of the main event to capture the heavyweight title.

Dos Santos is adamant that Cormier landed a ‘lucky’ punch against Miocic and, therefore, isn’t deserving of a third fight with the newly-crowned champ.

“I think this trilogy doesn’t make any sense,” Dos Santos said “Miocic proved he’s the champion. That’s what I mean, this is the most dangerous division in any sport. Once you connect the punch, your opponent is probably gonna go down. And that’s what happened in their first fight. Cormier connected a good punch, Miocic felt the punch. It was the same moment that I’m trying to explain for you what happened with me and Ngannou. It was a lucky moment. Not taking anything away from ‘DC’ again. But it was a lucky moment.”

At UFC 241, Miocic rallied back from adversity to stop Cormier in the fourth round, and dos Santos believes the result left no doubt as to who the ‘baddest man on the planet’ currently is.

“Now Miocic went there. He suffered, he survived for the first [three] rounds and came back and he pulls himself [up] and got the victory,” Dos Santos said. “Man, that was a brilliant performance. I was a fan of Miocic before and now I’m more a fan of him as a fighter and as a person too. He’s a great guy. But he deserves to be the champion. He deserves to be the baddest man on the planet right now, so it doesn’t make any sense to have this rematch with ‘DC.’”

Cormier, who was originally planning to retire earlier this year on his 40th birthday, hasn’t publicly commented on whether or not he wants to avenge his loss to Miocic and reclaim the heavyweight title. Teammate Khabib Nurmagomedov would like to see the former Olympian have one more fight and retire on a high note.

Dustin Poirier: “If I go out there and stop Khabib, I’m the best lightweight fighter in history”

Dustin Poirier: “If I go out there and stop Khabib, I’m the best lightweight fighter in history”

2. 9. 2019

Dustin Poirier knows there’s more on the line in his UFC 242 main event fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov than just unifying the lightweight title.

For the 30-year old Louisiana native, a win on Sept. 6 not only allows him to live his dream of becoming an undisputed UFC champion but it would also etch him in the history books as the first fighter to ever put a blemish on Nurmagomedov’s otherwise pristine record.

Through 27 fights and 27 different opponents, the undefeated Russian has barely been tested in a fight much less put into the kind of trouble to convince anyone that he was on the verge of losing. He’s mauled almost every opponent he’s faced in the UFC, often times talking to them during the course of the fight to convince them to just give up.

Nurmagomedov doesn’t just beat his opponents. In many ways he humiliates every athlete stepping into the cage with him by so thoroughly dominating them that not a single fighter has ever earned a rematch.

It’s for all those reasons why Poirier knows a win over Nurmagomedov means more than just walking away as the UFC lightweight champion.

“It’s huge. It’s history,” Poirier told  when asked what a win over Nurmagomedov would mean to him. “When I go out there and beat Khabib, it’s not a question of am I the best UFC lightweight? It’s a question of am I the best lightweight to ever fight in mixed martial arts with the run I’m on.”

“Max Holloway, Anthony Pettis, Eddie Alvarez, Khabib Nurmagomedov, winning over those guys in a row in main events, over and over, that’s the best run in lightweight history.”

As confident as Poirier seems, he’s also under no impression that he’s going to have an easy night when going up against Nurmagomedov at UFC 242.

He knows this is going to be a battle through every second whether the fight lasts one minute or goes the distance in all five rounds.

That’s why eventually beating Nurmagomedov — or in a perfect world finishing the seemingly unbeatable Russian wrecking machine — would put Poirier in a class all by himself.

“If I go out there and stop Khabib, I’m the best lightweight fighter to ever strap on a pair of four-ounce gloves. Simple and plain. I’m not wrong in saying it.”

While the ‘greatest of all time’ debates will rage on regardless of what any one fighter accomplishes, Poirier knows in his mind what a win over Nurmagomedov will mean for his career.

That said, Poirier isn’t losing sight of the bigger picture that as monumental as a win against Nurmagomedov would be for his legacy, it will also put a massive target on his back at UFC champion.

He’s well aware of the challenges that lie ahead including potential showdowns against fighters like Tony Ferguson or Conor McGregor and that’s why Poirier isn’t looking at UFC 242 as the end of the road.

It’s just the beginning of something much, much bigger.

“This is going to start the reign,” Poirier said. “This is the fight that gives me the undisputed title. But on the other side, this is the fight where I etch my name into the history books forever. Because of this win, I’m going to forever be a part of the best of the best of mixed martial arts.”

“But I’m 30 years old and I still feel like my best fights are ahead of me. I’m starting to hit my stride. This is the beginning of “The Diamond” reign.”

Junior dos Santos calls for rematch, dismisses Francis Ngannou’s lucky punch

Junior dos Santos calls for rematch, dismisses Francis Ngannou’s lucky punch

3. 9. 2019

Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos wants a rematch with Francis Ngannou.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos was on a three-fight win streak prior to his headliner fight against Francis Ngannou in June. That all ended when he was knocked out by “The Predator” in under two minutes of action.

In a recent interview  “Cigano” looked back at the crucial mistakes he made that led to the fourth knockout loss of his career.

“Man, look, I was fighting against a big guy, everybody is talking about the power of Ngannou,” Dos Santos said. “I knew he had a lot of power, but at the beginning of the fight, I felt so good. He kicked me twice, I blocked the kicks twice. I kicked him twice again — one of the kicks he went down, the other one he fell.”

Then I punched him on the body and his eyes were kind of open. My strategy wasn’t to try to knock him out at the beginning, it was to move a lot and throw a lot of punches and make him follow me, make it a longer fight.

“But then I felt so good, and I saw him start putting his arms down, and I said ‘oh my gosh, this is my time,” he explained. “And I threw that overhand right, and that was the biggest mistake.”

For Dos Santos, the loss was more because he deviated from the game plan, more than anything else.

“That wasn’t part of the strategy,” he said. “That exposed me to his punches. He has a long reach, everybody knows that. I put all my power on that overhand right, and once I finished the punch, he connected a little punch right on my ear. I should have come back from the punch, gone backwards, but I couldn’t. I gave my back to him, and he kept punching, and he won the fight.”

“I’m not taking anything away from him, but it was a lucky punch,” he continued. “When I say lucky, there’s a big mistake in the fight world. Sometimes you say a guy won because he’s lucky. It doesn’t mean nothing bad.”

“Being lucky means that you’re taking some [action], you’re doing something positive, then luck can reach you, can find you. So being lucky is something important, something good for you.”

Khabib on retirement rumours: “I’m not ready to leave yet!”

Khabib on retirement rumours: “I’m not ready to leave yet!”

3. 9. 2019

The UFC lightweight champion has no plans to retire anytime soon, though he did acknowledge that he is no longer as young as he once was.

Back in 2017, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father and longtime mentor, Abdulmanap, suggested that his son would retire at the age of 30. And yet, despite now being a few weeks shy of his 31st birthday, it appears the UFC lightweight champion has no intention to retire anytime soon.

Speaking to Match TV, Nurmagomedov hinted that he still has several fights left in him before he decides to hang up the gloves and move on to another stage in his life.

“I’m not ready to leave yet. “Yes, I’m not a young fighter, I’m defending my belt for the second time, and I don’t have many fights left.”

The UFC champion has plenty of options to consider for his post-retirement life, including a potential career in politics. Once his UFC career is behind him, Khabib will likely follow in the footsteps of other notable Russian athletes. Some decide to open gyms and help train a new generation of athletes to represent their nation. Other pursue a career in politics, whether at a local or federal level. In Khabib’s case, he could potentially take on a role as sports advisor to the Kremlin, or a more pronounced role in the republic of Dagestan as a future minister of sports. The opportunities seem endless for the young star.

“I don’t want to fight when I’m 40. But to make a decision about leaving, I will need to talk with the team, discuss this with my father; I won’t make this decision alone.”

Nurmagomedov, 30, remains undefeated heading into the 28th fight of his professional career. He is scheduled to face Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 242, which takes place on September 7 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Alexander Gustafsson wants UFC return and fight with Luke Rockhold

Alexander Gustafsson wants UFC return and fight with Luke Rockhold

3. 9. 2019

Alexander Gustafsson announced his retirement on June 1 at UFC on ESPN+ 11 after a loss to Anthony Smith in front of his home fans in Sweden. But it appears he may have had a change of heart.

“The Mauler’s” retirement may not last much longer.

Speaking to MMA Viking, Gustafsson (18-6 MMA, 10-6 UFC), a three-time light heavyweight title challenger, said it only took a couple of days for him to realize he may have walked away from the sport too soon.

“It came quite fast,” Gustafsson said. “I was home for a couple days, and I had itching in my hands and wanted to get back and train.”

While he isn’t set on a comeback just yet, Gustafsson said he wants to test the waters in training, then go from there.

“I just want to train and get into shape,” Gustafsson said. “Let’s see how it goes.”

The 32-year-old Swede has fought some of the biggest names in the sport, including light heavyweight champion Jon Jones twice and former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. He failed to capture the title in all three title attempts. He had close losses to Jones at UFC 165 and Cormier at UFC 192.

Should he return, he wants to take on another big name. Former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold recently made the move up to light heavyweight, and Gustafsson said he would be happy to fight him.

In his 205-pound debut, Rockhold suffered a knockout loss to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239 and reportedly suffered a broken jaw. But despite Rockhold’s recent slump, Gustafsson said he respects him.

“(I) would love a fight,” Gustafsson said. 

“A fight against Luke would be a great way to come back. He is a tough guy, a legend.”

Tony Ferguson calls for December showdown with UFC 242 title winner

Tony Ferguson calls for December showdown with UFC 242 title winner

4. 9. 2019

Tony Ferguson hopes Dustin Poirier “gets a piece of” Khabib Nurmagomedov and “puts him away” at UFC 242 to set up “a good old American battle royal” in December.

The ex-interim UFC lightweight champion stumped for a fight against the winner of the Sept. 7 title unifier, saying he’s earned it with a 12-fight winning streak.

Ferguson indicated a preference toward facing the current interim lightweight champ, but he also welcomed a long-awaited showdown with undisputed titleholder Nurmagomedov – whom he’s been scheduled to fight on four occasions – at the end of the year.

More important than anything, Ferguson repeatedly said, is a chance to win the undisputed title.

“I have to fight for the title shot. That’s where I’m going. The winner of this next fight is going to come up.”

Ferguson has been named by Nurmagomedov and Poirier as the rightful No. 1 contender for the lightweight belt. And at one point, he stumped to be a standby opponent in case anything happened to the title unifier. But when UFC inquired about being a backup, he said he rejected the offer because “they didn’t make it sound so interesting.”

“First of all, I’m not backup for anybody. It was talked about it, but at the end of the day, I’m not here to be back up. The next fight is going to have to be for the belt.”

Ferguson has waited for a title shot since winning the interim belt in October 2017. Injuries and troubles outside the cage led to him being stripped of the title and losing out on other opportunities. Over the past two years, his relationship with UFC president Dana White hasn’t always been rosy.

The ex-interim champ said noted he hasn’t “been treated the best” and said of attending UFC 242 as a guest fighter, “If you want me there, treat me better.”

Ferguson he has “several outstanding issues” with the promotion, among them not recognizing his status as a UFC champ. But Ferguson said he’ll address the problems “when the time is right” and called himself a “company man.”

Such a distinction could theoretically work against him should the UFC decide to give the next lightweight title shot to someone else, such as Conor McGregor. White has said the former two-division champ could get a rematch with Nurmagomedov sooner than later, though he later clarified he’ll wait to see who wins at UFC 242.

Ferguson scoffed at the idea of being passed up, saying there’s “no way” the promotion would again deny him the opportunity and adding, “the fans wouldn’t have it.”

The Irish star, who was slated to return in July before a hand injury halted a comeback, has also mentioned Ferguson as a potential comeback opponent. The feeling isn’t mutual just yet.

“He’s like one of those ex-girlfriends. I stopped worrying about that. Now he’s mentioning my name? Get the (expletive) out of here.”

“If push comes to shove, I see him fighting the loser of this next fight this weekend. If you want to keep up with the rankings, we have to do it the right way. Maybe I’ll give him a shot (if he beats loser of UFC 242).”

Right now, Ferguson is just asking the UFC to “show him the money” and book him against the Sept. 7 fight’s winner.

Cris Cyborg signs with Bellator MMA

Cris Cyborg signs with Bellator MMA

4. 9. 2019

Cris Cyborg has ended her free agency.

The former UFC featherweight champion has inked a deal to join the roster at Bellator MMA where she will team up with her former Strikeforce promoter Scott Coker again.

The Bellator president made the announcement on Tuesday while stating that she inked the ‘biggest contract in women’s MMA history’.

“I have worked with countless athletes over my thirty-plus years of promoting combat sports, but there is no one quite like ‘Cyborg’,” Coker said in a statement. “Her ability to excite the crowd from the moment she makes her walk to the cage is special, and having had the pleasure of promoting several of her fights in the past, I am looking forward to the opportunity of promoting her once again.”

“‘Cyborg’ is the most dominant female fighter in the history of the sport and she will be a perfect fit here at Bellator, where champion Julia Budd and the other women that make up best female featherweight division in the world have eagerly awaited her arrival.”

Khabib Nurmagomedov plan for Dustin Poirier: “Make him tired, make him tap”

Khabib Nurmagomedov plan for Dustin Poirier: “Make him tired, make him tap”

5. 9. 2019

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov isn’t trying to complicate his approach to Saturday’s title unification bout with interim champ Dustin Poirier at UFC 242.

Nurmagomedov (27-0 MMA, 11-0 UFC) has a relatively similar gameplan for essentially every one of his fights, and it revolves around taking his opponents to the ground and using his grappling to get the win.

There are no major changes for the meeting with Poirier (25-5 MMA, 17-4 UFC).

“Dustin Poirier’s a very tough opponent,” Nurmagomedov said Wednesday at UFC 242 open workouts. 

“I don’t want to underestimate him. He has a lot of experience. But when I go to the cage, my plan is make him tired, make him tap. This is my plan.”

Nurmagomedov’s fight with Poirier marks his return to the octagon after nearly 11 months. Nurmagomedov submitted Conor McGregor at UFC 229 in October but was subsequently suspended for his role in the infamous post-fight brawl.

Now in the clear to come back and fight often, Nurmagomedov said he has an unwavering vision for his future.

“I want to stay in lightweight division, because I feel I can make this weight. This is my weight, and I don’t want to jump to another division – featherweight or welterweight. I want to stay in this division and defend my title and improve my legacy.”

UFC 242 takes place Saturday at The Arena in Yas Island. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and ESPN+/UFC Fight Pass.

Get in touch

Living MMA