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  • Citing headbutt, Josh Thomson appeals knockout loss to Patricky Freire with CSAC

    The result of Josh Thomson’s fight against Patricky Freire at Bellator 172 looks pretty clear in the record books — a second-round knockout victory for Freire. Thomson, though, is asking the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) to dig a little deeper.

    The longtime MMA veteran is appealing the defeat to Freire from that Feb. 18 fight in San Jose due to a headbutt being involved in the sequence of events that led to the finish, CSAC executive officer Andy Foster confirmed with MMA Fighting on Friday.

    Freire knocked Thomson out with an uppercut, but Thomson was rocked by an incidental headbutt earlier on. Thomson is hoping the loss gets overturned to a no contest.

    MMAjunkie was the first to report the news after John McCarthy, the referee in that bout, mentioned the appeal on MMAjunkie radio Thursday.

    Thomson told MMA Fighting that he filed the appeal one week after the fight, but did not want to comment any further on it until after a decision is made “to respect the CSAC appeal process.” Foster said Thomson’s case will likely be brought in front of the commission at the next CSAC meeting May 16 in Costa Mesa.

    Freire doesn’t think it’s fair that Thomson is trying to “erase” his win, but he said he would be interested in a rematch if that’s what transpires.

    “I think it’s unfair,” Freire said. “I’m upset because, if that happens, it will erase my knockout win. I don’t think the knockout came because of that. He was already hurt with the punches I landed before. If they overturn it, I’d be down to fighting him again. I think that … for an example, if a guy slips and I go there and finish him, is he going to say he lost the fight because of that? I don’t think it’s fair, but I can’t do anything, unfortunately. He’s doing that to try to erase my win. If that happens, I’d accept to fight him again. I’d fight him again.”

    Thomson (22-9, 1 NC), the former Strikeforce lightweight champion, was coming off more than a year layoff against Freire. He was on a two-fight winning streak prior to the knockout.

    Freire (17-8), who has won three of four with the only loss in that span to lightweight champ Michael Chandler, will be fighting Derek Campos in a rematch in the main event of Bellator 181 on July 14 in Thackerville, Okla.

    Additional reporting by Guilherme Cruz

  • Urijah Faber, T.J. Dillashaw have heated confrontation on The Ultimate Fighter

    The feud between T.J. Dillashaw and Team Alpha Male has persisted. And Dillashaw coaching against Cody Garbrandt on The Ultimate Fighter 25 — and challenging him for the UFC title in July — is like throwing fuel on the fire.

    Urijah Faber, the patriarch of Team Alpha Male, is on Garbrandt’s TUF coaching staff. He and Dillashaw got into a heated altercation on the second episode of the show, which aired Wednesday night on FS1.

    The crux of their beef is over how Dillashaw left the team. Faber says he bolted to train with former Team Alpha Male coach Duane Ludwig. Dillashaw says Faber gave him an ultimatum and threw him out.

    “You and I were cool until you tried to make it my fault,” Faber told Dillashaw during the confrontation. “I never kicked you off my team.”

    Faber said Dillashaw went to train with Ludwig and Team Elevation in Colorado because Elevation, which is sponsored by MusclePharm, was going to pay him. Dillashaw denied that, saying he still wanted to be part of Team Alpha Male and split time between Colorado and Sacramento.

    “He’s the one being selfish, you know?” Dillashaw said of Faber. “Now that I’m not making his gym any money and going and working out with Duane, he wants to hate me.”

    Garbrandt called Dillashaw a “sell out” during the skirmish. Dillashaw flipped him the bird and the two had to be separated. Garbrandt and Dillashaw will fight at UFC 213 on July 9 in Las Vegas.

    Faber retired from the UFC in December, so a bout between him and Dillashaw will likely never happen. Though the two came pretty close to fisticuffs on TUF.

    “The problem I have with the guy, when our friendship fell apart, is when he made me the bad guy,” Faber said. “He’s saying that I kicked him off the team, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

    “He’s basically saying, ‘Hey, I’m married to you guys, she’s hot. I’m gonna be walking around with her. I may come to town and slap you around a little bit when I need to, but I’m gonna be representing these dudes.’ C’mon dude.”

    Dillashaw, of course, sees it a different way.

    “Urijah just couldn’t take it,” he said. “Couldn’t take that I chose Duane over him and he threw me off the team.”

  • Ronda Rousey throws down in promo for NBC’s ‘Blindspot’

    If you were hoping to see Ronda Rousey fight again, you got your wish — sort of.

    Rousey, the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion, can be seen in some fight scenes May 3 on the NBC show “Blindspot.” Rousey posted a promo video — complete with her kicking some butt — Thursday afternoon.

    Quick promo for my @nbcblindspot guest appearance airing this Wednesday, May 3rd at 8pm/7c on @NBC

    — Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) April 27, 2017

    Sure, it’s only choreographed violence. But this might be the closest thing we come to seeing the newly engaged Rousey in any kind of fight for a long time.

    Rousey, 30, has not officially announced her retirement, but UFC president Dana White has said that “Rowdy” hasn’t mentioned fighting again to him, either. Rousey, once the most dominant fighter on the planet, has been knocked out in two straight bouts, against Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes.

  • Kevin Lee responds to Al Iaquinta: ‘Nobody give a f*ck’ if you retire

    Al Iaquinta’s raging rants have been the story of MMA this week. Kevin Lee was the victim of some choice Twitter barbs from Iaquinta on Tuesday. So on Thursday, the Detroit native responded to his former UFC lightweight foe.

    In an Instagram post, which featured a photo of Lee punching Iaquinta during their 2014 fight, Lee lobbed some trash talk right back at “Raging Al,” poking fun at his real-estate career and saying nobody wants to hear him complain about his UFC contract.

    “Nobody give a fuck if u retire,” Lee wrote.

    Iaquinta has been in a feud with the UFC in recent months, stemming from the promotion taking away his ability to make fight-night bonuses and an issue with the UFC paying for his knee surgery. Iaquinta considered retirement last year to focus on real estate, but came to knock out Diego Sanchez in 98 seconds Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 108 in Nashville.

    Once again, Iaquinta was not given a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus and that made “Raging Al” angry again. Iaquinta bashed the UFC on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour, telling UFC president to “shut your f*cking mouth” regarding his comment about the flight home from UFC 208 being the best part of the night.

    Dana White has done a lot for this sport, but he’s not gotten one injury from this sport,” Iaquinta said. “And for him to say, ‘the best part of UFC Brooklyn was the flight home’ — you’re on a private jet, bro. Shut the f*ck up. You’re on a private jet. Most people, that would be the highlight of their life. Forget the night. You’re on a private jet, of course it’s the highlight of your night.”

    Iaquinta went on a Twitter rant Tuesday, bringing Lee’s name into the fold, criticizing his ability to punch. The two have exchanged words on social media and in interview before. Iaquinta defeated Lee by unanimous decision in February 2014.

    Kevin lee couldn't throw a punch to save his life

    — Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) April 25, 2017

    Lee, who fights Michael Chiesa in the main event of UFC Fight Night 112 on June 25 in Oklahoma City, obviously saw the tweets and Iaquinta’s comments about the UFC.

    “Shut up and let the real men work stupid,” Lee wrote on Instagram. “Or keep f*cking things up for yourself. Nobody wanna hear a grown ass man complain, finish your bum contract and then we can talk again.”

  • UFC 216 will be held in Edmonton

    These are heady days for Edmonton sports fans.

    For one thing, the NHL’s Oilers are currently in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, their first postseason run in a decade.

    For another, the UFC will visit the Alberta city for the first time.

    UFC 216 will be held at Edmonton’s Rogers Place on Saturday, Sept. 9, the UFC announced Thursday. No bouts have yet been announced for the card.

    This will be the 24th UFC card in Canada, dating back to the memorable debut at UFC 83 in Montreal in 2008, in which welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre defeated Matt Serra to regain the welterweight title. Edmonton will become the 10th Canadian city to host a UFC card.

    While this marks the first UFC event in Edmonton, the city did host a WEC 49 in June 2010 when the company was owned by then-UFC owner Zuffa. The main event between Jamie Varner and Kamal Shalorus ended in a split draw.

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