UFC 191 Embedded, Episode 2: 'I'm going to go deliver this baby real quick'
On the second episode of UFC 191 Embedded, Demetrious Johnson gets a haircut, Paige VanZant goes shopping, Frank Mir and Alex Chambers train in Las Vegas, Andrei Arlovski visits the chiropractor, and John Dodson receives a phone call he'll remember for the rest of his life.
Jose Aldo, Conor McGregor highlight finalized lineup for UFC 'Go Big' event
The UFC announced Wednesday the complete lineup for the launch of its ‘Go Big' seasonal campaign.
In all, 19 fighters will be featured at a press event on Sept. 4 in Las Vegas to promote the upcoming end-of-year UFC schedule, including previously unannounced attendee, featherweight champion Jose Aldo.
The event takes place at MGM Grand Garden Arena at 12:30 p.m./3:30 p.m. PT/ET, preceding UFC 191's weigh-ins, and will stream live on MMAFighting.com.
The finalized ‘Go Big' lineup can be seen below.
- Daniel Cormier, UFC light heavyweight champion
- Ronda Rousey, UFC women's bantamweight champion
- Jose Aldo, UFC featherweight champion
- Conor McGregor, UFC interim featherweight champion
- Rafael dos Anjos, UFC lightweight champion
- Alexander Gustafsson, No. 2 UFC light heavyweight contender
- Holly Holm, No. 8 UFC women's bantamweight contender
- Luke Rockhold, No. 1 UFC middleweight contender
- Donald Cerrone, No. 2 UFC lightweight contender
- Josh Barnett, No. 8 UFC heavyweight contender
- Roy Nelson, No. 12 UFC heavyweight contender
- Dustin Poirier, No. 13 UFC lightweight contender
- Joe Duffy, UFC lightweight
- Vitor Belfort, No. 4 UFC middleweight contender
- Dan Henderson, No. 11 UFC middleweight contender
- Matt Brown, No. 5 UFC welterweight contender
- Kelvin Gastelum, No. 15 UFC welterweight contender
- Frankie Edgar, No. 2 UFC featherweight contender
- Chad Mendes, No. 3 UFC featherweight contender
Bellator's Ilima MacFarlane embracing fame from viral 'soccer mom' KO video
TEMECULA, Calif. -- If you haven't heard of Ilima MacFarlane, hop on YouTube sometime.
In January, MacFarlane's vicious KO of winless "soccer mom" Katie Castro went viral. The win took place under the notorious Xplode Fight Series, an unsanctioned event based in California.
Following a split decision win over 2-2 Maria Rios Aug. 28 at Bellator 141, MacFarlane says she felt the pressure of the entire "viral community" watching her debut.
"Of course I was nervous," MacFarlane said post-fight. "This is my Bellator debut. My first fight with a big promotion so my main goal was, win or lose, I just wanted to put on a good fight and prove to everyone that I'm a legitimate fighter. Especially after my pro debut, which I'm sure everyone has seen.
"I can always improve and get better but for right now I think I've proven to a lot of viewers and "haters" that I'm good. I belong here in Bellator. I deserve this."
MacFarlane says she was bombarded with negative comments regarding the KO, but largely brushed them off considering the source.
"I actually did read the comments," said MacFarlane. "At first I was upset. When I found out that it had gone viral, I was, 'Oh, awesome!' But I wasn't expecting the backlash I received. When I took the time to read the comments, I was upset, but when I clicked on their profiles to see who they were they were just keyboard trolls, keyboard warriors. Over time I actually found them to be really funny. I was able to brush it off. It wasn't a problem after that."
In an e-mail interview with MMAFighting.com before MacFarlane signed with the promotion, Bellator MMA president Scott Coker said he was "extremely disturbed" by the fight footage, but placed the blame for the mismatch on Xplode, not the fighter.
"Any publicity is good publicity," said MacFarlane. "A lot of people didn't know that we were in communication with Bellator prior to it going viral. We were fine. I didn't get a contract because of that video. I got a contract because of my skill as a fighter. Hopefully, I proved that I can move past the whole "soccer mom" thing, but we may still capitalize on it. We'll still make shirts, probably. "Soccer mom" with a big "X" through it."
Rodolfo Vieira reacts to ADCC win over Ben Henderson, plans MMA debut in 2016
SAO PAULO -- Five-time jiu-jitsu world champion as a black belt, Rodolfo Vieira earned his first ADCC title on Sunday, and he might be months away from making a transition to mixed martial arts.
Following his victory over Felipe Pena at the 99kg (218 pounds) ADCC 2015 final, Vieira spoke with Real Fight Championship promoters at the Mauro Pinheiro gymnasium in Sao Paulo, and was offered a contract.
"I got nervous when they made the offer, but will still think about it," Vieira told MMAFighting.com, saying he plans on making his MMA debut in 2016. "They told me think about it, if I want to fight this year or in 2016. But it’s not an easy decision. I will talk to my coach and see what I’ll do."
Competing at the 218-pound division in jiu-jitsu, Vieira would likely cut down to 185 to fight MMA.
"I’m too short for 205 pounds," he said. "I believe I would have to fight at 185."
Vieira slowly started training boxing and muay thai in 2013, but admits he’s not used getting punched in the face yet.
"No, not at all," he said with a laugh. "I’ve trained a few times, but it’s hard to train getting punched and kicked in the face. But you get used with it."
Vieira defeated some of the best grapplers this weekend in Sao Paulo, including a submission victory over former UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson at the absolute division, where he placed third.
"I didn’t think he would be an easy match," said Vieira. "I was planning on pulling guard because he’s a good wrestler and I was tired (after a 40-minute match at the -99kg final). He went for a takedown and I countered with a guillotine, swept and mounted. I took his back, went for an arm-triangle choke, but he defended. He’s really technical.
"I was able to lock a triangle choke and attack the kimura to get the submission. But his jiu-jitsu level surprised me a lot. He’s light, but he’s really good."
Vieira, who turns 26 years old on Sept. 25, holds wins over the likes of Antonio Braga Neto, Antonio Carlos Junior, Sergio Moraes, Andre Galvao, and Alan Belcher in jiu-jitsu tournaments.
John Dodson frustrated about T.J. Dillashaw praise: 'I've already destroyed him'
When John Dodson sees Demetrious Johnson sitting at No. 3 among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the UFC, he gets a little upset. It gets worse when his eyes travel just a little further down the list. T.J. Dillashaw is now ranked at No. 5.
Back in 2011, Dodson defeated Dillashaw via first-round knockout. He also has given Johnson his toughest test in a flyweight title defense, in 2013. Yet Dodson's name is nowhere to be found on that pound-for-pound ranking.
"I've already destroyed [Dillashaw] and he's talking about how he should be up on the pound-for-pound list," Dodson said at a recent UFC 191 media lunch in Los Angeles. "These guys are all just frustrating me and just bothering me, because I am better than both of them."
Dodson (17-6) has just one loss in the UFC, to Johnson, but perhaps does not get the respect he has rightfully earned. "The Magician" is arguably the best finisher in the flyweight division. He'll get a chance to make the biggest mark possible in a rematch with Johnson in the main event of UFC 191 on Sept. 5 in Las Vegas.
After that, the Albuquerque, N.M., native plans on going back up to bantamweight in the near future and challenging its champion, Dillashaw. Dodson, 30, was not all too impressed with Dillashaw's win over Renan Barao at UFC on FOX 16.
"I thought it was very boring," Dodson said. "It wasn't because T.J. didn't go out there and put on a spectacular show. I knew T.J. Dillashaw was capable of doing that. Renan Barao, on the other hand, I knew wasn't going to be there for that fight.
"It took you this long to finish [Barao]? It took you four rounds to go ahead and finish this guy. ... I would have finished Renan Barao in the first round."
Dodson thinks Barao's game has deteriorated due to his hard weight cuts and the erosion of his confidence. Dillashaw beat Barao the first time, taking his bantamweight belt at UFC 173 in May 2014, with a fifth-round TKO.
"He's not gonna be the same fighter as he once was, because he's not that man anymore," Dodson said of Barao. "He's not that killer that came out destroying people, dancing, willing to stand and bang and do all the crazy stuff that he once did."
Dodson acknowledges that Dillashaw has improved since the two fought three years, but doesn't think those improvements would change the result. Dodson is still targeting becoming the UFC's first three-division champion -- titles at flyweight, bantamweight and featherweight.
"I already beat him," Dodson said. "I beat him at his specialty, that he can move around and hit you. T.J. Dillashaw is only good when he can hit you against the cage and that's the only time he'll ever dominate a real fighter."
According to Dodson, there is evidence there with Dillashaw's performance against late fill-in Joe Soto at UFC 177. Soto hung around until the fifth round with Dillashaw and didn't do too badly. In his next fight, Soto was knocked out in under two minutes by Anthony Birchak in June.
"I don't know why they didn't give the title shot to [Birchak], because that would have been a better fight," Dodson said with a laugh.
The Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA product feels like he didn't get to show everyone his potential in a unanimous decision win over Zach Makovsky at UFC 187 in May. It was Dodson's first fight back from ACL surgery and, to make things worse, Makovsky is a good friend and former training partner.
Dodson warns that next time he faces a friend in the Octagon, things will go very differently. He won't make the same mistake of being timid again.
"You are going to be obliterated, and I'm going to splatter your blood across the canvas," Dodson said. "And I'm going to show everybody why I'm awesome."