Former UFC champ Miesha Tate joins cast of ‘Celebrity Big Brother,’ debuts Feb. 2

Miesha Tate will get some additional exposure before she returns to the UFC this year.

[autotag]Miesha Tate[/autotag] will get some additional exposure before she returns to the UFC this year.

Tate (19-8 MMA, 6-5 UFC), a former UFC women’s bantamweight champion, is set to join the cast of the upcoming season of “Celebrity Big Brother.”

CBS officials announced Tate’s participation in the reveal trailer for the season, which debuts Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Episodes air on CBS and stream on Paramount+.

Tate is expected to fight Lauren Murphy at UFC Fight Night on May 14. It will mark her debut in the UFC women’s flyweight division after fighting her entire octagon tenure at 135 pounds.

“Cupcake” is not the first MMA fighter to join the show. UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell also appeared in 2018.

Tate will join a cast that also includes entertainer Todrick Hall, television personality Teddi Mellencamp, NBA champion Lamar Odom, actor Todd Bridges, Olympic medalist Mirai Nagasu, comedian Chris Kattan and popstar Chris Kirk Patrick.

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Dana White explains to ‘you idiots’ why he didn’t present Francis Ngannou’s title at UFC 270

UFC president Dana White claims there was nothing personal behind his octagon absence after Francis Ngannou’s UFC 270 title defense.

UFC president [autotag]Dana White[/autotag] claims there was nothing personal behind his absence from the octagon in the aftermath of the UFC 270 main event.

It is standard practice that when a UFC championship fight comes to an end, White wraps the title around the waist of the winner. He wasn’t there to do it after [autotag]Francis Ngannou[/autotag] successfully defended the heavyweight title against Ciryl Gane this past Saturday in Anaheim, Calif., and there was an outpour of speculation as to why.

The major narrative in the lead-up to UFC 270 centered around Ngannou’s contract dispute with the UFC. “The Predator” has said repeatedly he’s not happy with the terms of his contract and has felt disrespected by the organization’s brass, and in a rare move, he fought out the final bout of his deal with the win over Gane.

Ngannou’s contract extended to the end of 2022 via a champion’s clause, but according to him and his team, he doesn’t have to take a fight this year for the deal to run out. It doesn’t seem likely Ngannou would compete this year, anyway, as it was revealed on Wednesday that he’s undergoing surgery on the injured knee he fought and won with at UFC 270.

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The public saga led to speculation that White was upset by Ngannou’s victory, and therefore left the arena floor instead of presenting the champion and his belt. A narrative that was only bolstered by the UFC boss failing to attend the post-fight news conference.

White spoke publicly for the first time on Wednesday, however, and said the reality is nothing of the sort. During an ESPN+ Q&A hosted by Laura Sanko, White took it upon himself to explain the situation.

“I actually walked out of the arena right after the co-main event because there was stuff going on that I was dealing with,” White said. “For anybody to think I was showing any type of disrespect toward Francis, I saw Francis all week, you idiots. I shook his hand. I said hi to him. I was out there for the staredowns, the whole thing. So for anybody to think that there was some type of disrespect toward Francis, I wasn’t out there for Michael Bisping vs. (Luke) Rockhold’s fight, either, because I was dealing with some stuff. I sprinted from the back. I didn’t even have my jacket on. I only had my shirt on to go and put the belt on Bisping, but I couldn’t make it out there to put the belt on Francis.”

White added that, in his recollection, there are almost no other instances of him disrespectful a titleholder in that scenario.

The lone example White could point to was UFC 112, where Anderson Silva and Demian Maia put on a lackluster middleweight title contest in the UFC’s debut event in Abu Dhabi, which held major significance due to new investments into the company from within the region.

“There’s only been one time that I’ve walked out on a fight and made it very clear, showed up to the press conference and said this is exactly why I left,” White said.

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Justin Gaethje set to challenge Charles Oliveira for lightweight title at UFC 274

UFC 274 now has two title fights, adding an incredible matchup between lightweight champion Charles Oliveira and challenger Justin Gaethje.

UFC 274 has now added its second title fight, and it has potential Fight of the Night written all over it.

The UFC lightweight championship will be on the line on May 7 as [autotag]Charles Oliveira[/autotag] is set to defend his title against [autotag]Justin Gaethje[/autotag]. A person with knowledge of the booking confirmed the news with MMA Junkie following an initial report from UFC broadcast partner ESPN.

UFC 274 was originally targeted to take place in Brazil. However, plans have since shifted back stateside, although the event does not yet have a confirmed venue or location.

Oliveira (32-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) will look to defend the lightweight title for the second time. He recorded his first defense at UFC 269, taking out former interim champion Dustin Poirier in the third round with a rear-naked choke submission. This was on the heels of claiming the vacant title by defeating Michael Chandler in the second round via TKO at UFC 262.

Now, another former interim champion stands in his path.

On the heels of his Fight of the Night unanimous decision victory over the aforementioned Chandler at UFC 268, Gaethje (23-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) will now get his second crack at the undisputed UFC lightweight title. The former interim champ previously claimed a piece of the title by defeating Tony Ferguson at UFC 249, but failed to unify the title against then-champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254.

With the addition, the UFC 274 lineup includes:

  • Glover Teixeira vs. Jiri Prochazka – for light heavyweight title
  • Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje – for lightweight title
  • Macy Chiasson vs. Norma Dumont
  • Ariane Carnelossi vs. Loopy Godinez

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Francis Ngannou to have knee surgery, faces nine-month recovery following UFC 270 win

It will be a while before UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou competes again.

It will be a while before UFC heavyweight champion [autotag]Francis Ngannou[/autotag] competes again.

After being medically evaluated on Monday in Los Angeles, Ngannou will have surgery to repair a torn MCL and damaged ACL, which will require nine months of recovery time. Ngannou won’t undergo surgery until after he visits his native Cameroon soon.

Ngannou’s manager, Marquel Martin, confirmed the details with MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohn after they were first reported by ESPN.

Ngannou, 35, retained and unified the heavyweight title this past Saturday at UFC 270 where he defeated Ciryl Gane by unanimous decision. Ngannou revealed after the win that he fought with damage to his knee suffered during training roughly four weeks out from the bout.

“It was pretty bad,” Ngannou told reporters at the UFC 270 post-fight news conference. “I have a Grade 3 MCL (tear), I have damage on my ACL and damage on my MPFL. That was 25 days ago.”

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Martin marveled at the toughness his client showed in going through with the fight and winning.

“I continue to be amazed and inspired by Francis’ heart and resilience,” Martin told ESPN. “Fighting on one leg to overcome all odds and remind the world he is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. I think we can all agree he deserves some time to go back home and be with his family and countrymen.

“Upon his return, we plan on getting surgery and starting the recovery process so we can get him back to 100 percent as soon as possible. In the meantime, we hope we can find a peaceful resolution in these contract talks. We’d like to thank all the fans for their continued support and belief in Francis.”

Ngannou’s win at UFC 270 marked the eighth and final fight on his UFC contract. He’s tied to the promotion for the next year only because of a champion’s clause.

Ngannou, who wants the freedom to box, said prior to UFC 270 that he would not continue fighting “for $500,000, $600,000” anymore. Ngannou earned a $600,000 purse for UFC 270, according to salaries disclosed by the California State Athletic Commission, which oversaw the event in Anaheim.

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Jiri Prochazka aims to take wrestling to ‘next level’ by working with Henry Cejudo, Jon Jones for UFC 274

Jiri Prochazka is looking to add a star-studded lineup to his training camp for UFC 274.

[autotag]Jiri Prochazka[/autotag] is looking to add a star-studded lineup to his training camp for UFC 274.

Prochazka (28-3-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) challenges light heavyweight champion [autotag]Glover Teixeira[/autotag] in the main event on May 7 and plans to get some work in with [autotag]Henry Cejudo[/autotag], who’s been coaching the likes of [autotag]Jon Jones[/autotag], Zhang Weili and newly crowned flyweight champ Deiveson Figueiredo.

Teixeira (33-7 MMA, 16-5 UFC) scored a dominant submission of Jan Blachowicz to claim the title at UFC 267, and Prochazka wants to ensure that he’s well-prepared for the champion’s elite ground game.

“In February, I am thinking about working towards preparation in America,” Prochazka said in an interview with CBS Sports. “Especially with Henry Cejudo and Jon Jones there. I want to go there and turn my wrestling, especially the wrestling, to the next level. I’m really looking forward to that.”

He continued, “I’m a big fan of Figueiredo. His style is great. It’s an honor to go there and train with these guys.”

Teixeira recently revealed that he sought the help of Muhammad Lawal, who knocked Prochazka out in the 2015 Rizin FF grand prix final. But Prochazka says he’s a completely different fighter from then.

“I fought ‘King Mo’ two times,” Prochazka said. “The second time, when I defeated him in the Rizin title fight, I was another guy than the first time he won. From that Rizin title fight to now, I’m five levels up. He can talk with (Teixeira) and give him special tips for me, but I think I’m another person, like in character. I changed myself completely from that time. It doesn’t matter. If ‘King Mo’ will help him to be a better fighter, I’ll be glad for that because I want to fight the best version of Glover’s style.”

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The cops showed up to Deiveson Figueiredo’s UFC 270 after-party, but it was no big deal

It’s always nice when encounters with police end this way.

[autotag]Deiveson Figueiredo[/autotag] has every reason to be celebrating after reclaiming the flyweight title with a hard-fought win over Brandon Moreno at UFC 270, and that’s what he’s been doing.

Figueiredo, his team, his friends and family, they were festive this past weekend after he won the trilogy bout over Moreno by narrow unanimous decision – apparently a little too festive.

In a video posted by Henry Cejudo on Instagram, it appears somebody called the police on Figueiredo and Co. and made a noise complaint. It’s unclear where this took place or whose residence it is, but it was no big deal. As the video shows, the cops showed, had a few laughs with the new UFC champion, and simply asked them to keep the noise down.

Take a look:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CZLVGhChhfH/

We’ve been partying so hard we got the cops called on us. Party till 6 in the morning music 🎶 #andnew

It’s always nice when encounters with police end this way. Another win for the champ.

The Blue Corner is MMA Junkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly serious, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS.

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Pannie Kianzad vs. Lina Lansberg set for UFC Fight Night on April 16

A pair of Swedish bantamweights collide on April 16, with Pannie Kianzad facing Lina Lansberg in a rematch nearly 10 years in the making.

A pair of Swedish women’s bantamweights will collide on April 16, with [autotag]Pannie Kianzad[/autotag] facing [autotag]Lina Lansberg[/autotag] in a rematch nearly 10 years in the making.

MMA Junkie today confirmed with a person with knowledge of the booking that the contest is expected to take place at a UFC Fight Night event on April 16. That person requested anonymity because promotion officials have yet to make a formal announcement.

The matchup was first reported by FrontKick.online.

Lansberg currently sits at No. 13 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie women’s bantamweight rankings, while Kianzad is an honorable mention. Kianzad was victorious in their first meeting, a 2012 clash on the Swedish regional scene.

Kianzad (15-6 MMA, 4-3 UFC), a finalist on “The Ultimate Fighter 28” fought most recently in September, suffering a decision loss to Raquel Pennington. The setback snapped a four-fight winning streak for “Banzai,” who had previously scored wins over Alexis Davis, Sijara Eubanks, Bethe Correia and Jessica-Rose Clark.

Meanwhile, Lansberg (10-5 MMA, 4-4 UFC) is also looking to rebound from a loss after falling short on the cards against Sara McMann in January 2020. She now returns from more than two years on the sidelines, during which she gave birth to a daughter.

With the addition to the card, the UFC Fight Night lineup on April 16 includes:

  • Vicente Luque vs. Belal Muhammad
  • Brandon Jenkins vs. Drakkar Klose
  • Miguel Baeza vs. Dhiego Lima
  • Chris Barnett vs. Martin Buday
  • Pannie Kianzad vs. Lina Lansberg

Daniel Cormier: Jon Jones judged a ‘wounded’ Francis Ngannou, needs to stop talking and start fighting

Daniel Cormier thinks it’s about time Jon Jones stopped tweeting and started competing.

[autotag]Daniel Cormier[/autotag] thinks it’s about time [autotag]Jon Jones[/autotag] stopped tweeting and started competing.

Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC) hasn’t fought since retaining the UFC light heavyweight title against Dominick Reyes in February 2020, then subsequently relinquishing the title six months later. The former 205-pound king has since been prepping for his heavyweight debut but is yet to compete in the division.

While he hasn’t been active inside the cage, Jones has been pretty vocal on social media. He had his eyes peeled for Saturday’s heavyweight title unification fight between [autotag]Francis Ngannou[/autotag] (17-3 MMA, 12-2 UFC) and Ciryl Gane (10-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) at UFC 270 and wasn’t too impressed with either man’s performance – or Ngannou’s win.

But Cormier thinks Jones isn’t in a position to critique if he’s not actively fighting.

“For me, it’s about Jon Jones needs to fight,” Cormier said on his ESPN show “DC & RC.” “At some point, you got to fight. You got to fight. It’s one thing to be the champion, defending, fighting – even when him and I were going through our thing, he would get suspended, but then he would come back and he would fight. Even if that meant fighting Ovince Saint Preux whenever I was hurt, but ultimately he was fighting. Right now, he’s just talking. It’s like, when are you going to fight? Because for as bad as it was, Francis had a torn meniscus. Francis was hurt. Francis had a bad training camp. All these things. Francis still fought.

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“So you can say, ‘Well, they’re not that good,’ but ultimately, they’re still in there doing their thing. Why aren’t you in there doing your thing? You are one of the most talented mixed martial artists of all time.Why aren’t you in there doing your thing against these guys, opposed to judging them, because for all of the bad blood and all the bad stuff between Francis and the UFC right now, Francis still went out there. He went out there, he fought hurt, and he got a victory.”

Ngannou dealt with plenty of adversity heading into his fight with Gane. The heavyweight champion was not only going through a contract dispute with the UFC, but he fought with a grade three MCL tear, as well as damage on his ACL and MPFL.

Cormier thinks that UFC 270 wasn’t an accurate depiction of the real Ngannou, who used a grappling-heavy approach to defeat Gane.

“So if you’re going to judge the apex predator that Francis is on last weekend, know that you’re judging a wounded apex predator,” Cormier said. “So you may think that he’s not as good now because of what you saw, but maybe you’re just putting yourself up for a bigger disappointment when you do finally make that jump.”

MMA fan risks life in confrontation with Don Frye

You don’t tug on Superman’s cape. You don’t spit into the wind, and you sure as hell don’t touch Don Frye’s hat.

You don’t tug on Superman’s cape. You don’t spit into the wind.

You don’t pull the mask off that old lone ranger, and you sure as hell don’t touch [autotag]Don Frye[/autotag]’s hat.

According to TMZ Sports, a fan at this past weekend’s UFC 270 event tempted fate by bumping into the legendary UFC Hall of Famer’s 10-gallon top, leading to the two-time UFC tournament winner delivering a bit of street justice with a short right hand.

Frye told TMZ Sports that he believed the fan was intoxicated, and that the two had a “spirited conversation” before he was challenged to a fight.

Fortunately for the fan, Frye elected to allow the discretion to pass, gifting the man a few additional days in the land of the living, and “The Predator” walked away and watched the rest of the night’s action. Frye, 56, reportedly did not face criminal charges for the incident, which was caught on tape in the video above.

Frye was elected to the UFC Hall of Fame’s pioneer wing in 2016. One of the promotion’s earliest stars, the former pro boxer, Division I wrestler and judo black belt claimed single-night, eight-man tournament victories at UFC 8 and the Ultimate Ultimate 1996, taking out the likes of David “Tank” Abbott, Gary Goodridge and Mark Hall, among others.

He might be best remembered for a legendary brawl under the PRIDE banner, as well, standing toe-to-toe with Yoshihiro Takayama in 2002 in one of the wildest exchanges of punches ever seen in a ring or cage.

The Blue Corner is MMA Junkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly serious, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS.

Kamaru Usman reveals he once considered moving up to light heavyweight to dethrone Jan Blachowicz

“No matter what weight it is, I thought he was a really good matchup for me.”

[autotag]Kamaru Usman[/autotag] contemplated jumping up two weight classes to cement his status as MMA’s pound-for-pound best.

Usman (20-1 MMA, 15-0 UFC), the UFC’s reigning and defending welterweight champion, has already notched five title defenses, which has placed him as the promotion’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, according to the organization’s official rankings.

Having already beaten the likes of Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal twice, Usman has almost cleared out his division’s top contenders. But with his good friend and fellow Nigerian Israel Adesanya sitting on the middleweight throne, Usman says he pondered going up 35 pounds to challenge [autotag]Jan Blachowicz[/autotag] (28-9 MMA, 11-6 UFC) when he was light heavyweight champion for a chance to become dual-champ.

“I was going to skip Israel and go fight Jan at 205 (pounds),” Usman said in an interview with GQ. “Because I’m pound-for-pound, I want to prove it. No matter what weight it is, I thought he was a really good matchup for me.”

He continued, “I think I would beat him.”

Blachowicz defeated Adesanya to notch his first title defense at UFC 259, but was later dethroned at UFC 267 by Glover Teixeira, who dominated the Polish fighter with his grappling.

Usman is currently healing from a hand injury stemming from his most recent title defense against Covington at UFC 268 in November and is projected to rematch Leon Edwards next.

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