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Strawweights Tecia Torres and Marina Rodriguez are reportedly headed to Uruguay in August.

A pair of strawweights scrappers is reportedly headed to South America in August. According to a report by MMA DNA’s Marcel Dorff, Tecia Torres will take on the rising Marina Rodriguez at UFC Montevideo, in Uruguay.

Tecia Torres will fight Marina Rodriguez at UFN 156 in Montevideo, Uruguay. (Aug. 10, 2019). #UFC #UFCMontevideo #MMA #UFCESPN #WMMA pic.twitter.com/1w91lRhmaM

— MaRCeL DoRFF (@BigMarcel24) June 14, 2019

In desperated need of a victory, Tecia Torres (10-4) was bested by Jessica Andrade, Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Weili Zhang in her last three outings, all by way of unanimous decision. In fact, the ‘Tiny Tornado’ hasn’t had her hand raised since a decision win over Michelle Waterson back in December 2017.

On the other hand, the undefeated Marina Rodriguez (11-0-1) will look for her second straight UFC win. After fighting Randa Markos to a majority draw in her debut, the 32-year-old followed that showing up with an unanimous decision win over Jessica Aguilar back in March.

Now, Torres is expected to take on Rodriguez at UFC on ESPN+ 14, in Montevideo, Uruguay, on August 10. So far, the UFC has not announced a headlined for the card.

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Your hosts Shak Mahjouri & former UFC fighter, Kajan Johnson are here each week on Saturday’s at 2pm CST as “MMA’s most colorful and entertaining personalities”. They will present you an hour of MMA content, varying from fighter interviews to discussions on current MMA Topics.

Your hosts Shak Mahjouri & former UFC fighter, Kajan Johnson are here each week on Saturday’s at 2pm CST as “MMA’s most colorful and entertaining personalities”. They will present you a half hour or so of MMA content, varying from fighter interviews to discussions on current MMA Topics.

This week on the show, Project Spearhead founder Leslie Smith joins the “Pull No Punches” podcast. She opens up about her new plans to sue the UFC, what went wrong her labor dispute, and how Dana White and Donald Trump may be involved. Smith also shares her new relationship with Bellator and future unionizing efforts with us, and much more...

Discussion Points:

  • 2:00 - How Leslie Smith signed with Bellator
  • 4:45 - A union in Bellator?
  • 7:10 - Could Brave Combat Federation have MMA’s first union?
  • 13:05 - Court case with the UFC
  • 18:12 - Was Project Spearhead discussed with Bellator
  • 19:45 - Hobbies

You can follow the guys on Twitter: Shak - @ThisIsShak, Kajan - @IamRagin and follow the pages for the @PNPShow on twitter, Instagram, or facebook. Plus, you can watch for articles from Shakiel Mahjouri right here on Bloody Elbow as well.

As always, if you enjoyed our show, give us a shout out in the comments here on Bloody Elbow, or give us a “like”, share & subscribe over on one of our other BE Presents Channels: SoundCloud, YouTube, iTunes & Apple TV, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play, blubrry, TuneIn, OverCast, or Player FM – whichever one happens to be your listening platform of choice. While you’re there, don’t forget to subscribe to Bloody Elbow Presents; that way you’ll always be the first to get all of BE’s daily MMA offerings. For previous episodes of the show, check out our playlists on all of our BE Presents channels.

*Intro/Outro music on the audio podcast has been provided by OxBow, starring Eugene S. Robinson.

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UFC featherweight contender Calvin Kattar says making the ESPN’s SportsCenter Top 10 Plays of the Night for his UFC 238 knockout win was “cool as sh-t.”

Calvin Kattar woke up Sunday morning and was thrilled. He had made ESPN’s SportsCenter Top 10 Plays of the Night.

Kattar knocked out former title challenger Ricardo Lamas in the first round of their featherweight bout at UFC 238 on Saturday in Chicago. It was the biggest win of Kattar’s 20-3 professional career, adding him to a short list of top contenders in the weight class.

His devastating stoppage was featured on SportsCenter, coming in at No. 5.

“It was cool as sh-t,” Kattar told Bloody Elbow. “I was dying. They got me on the intro I think, too. It was pretty awesome. Everyone was pumped.”

Kattar said not only is it cool seeing himself on SportsCenter, but it could also be pretty important for his career. A lot more people ended up seeing his highlight-reel knockout because of the SportsCenter spot. More exposure could lead to more opportunities, he said.

Kattar vs. Lamas opened up the preliminary card, which aired on ESPN. So as is, Kattar was already on a big platform.

“A lot of a good takeaways from the fight as far as that specifically,” Kattar said. “When we try to watch fights in our area, asking [restaurants or bars] to put them on, they can never put them on. But now that it’s on ESPN, it’s on all the TVs in all the bars anyway, just by default. There’s more people now watching it.”

After the win, Kattar thought he had done enough for a post-fight bonus. Unfortunately for him, both Performance of the Night awards went to Henry Cejudo and Valentina Shevchenko, who scored finishes in the main and co-main event of the card, respectively.

Kattar said being on SportsCenter almost makes up for not getting the extra $50,000 he felt he deserved, but not quite. And that’s not to take away from Cejudo and Shevchenko’s wins, he said; both had impressive performances.

“It was almost the bonus that I didn’t get,” Kattar said of making SportsCenter. ... “Sucks it was the last three (fights), though. They went three for three. Just my luck.”

Kattar said he was still satisfied with his win even without the bonus, because after all, the actual performance couldn’t have been much better.

“We can’t do much more than that,” Kattar said. “If I do that every time and I don’t get the bonus, I’ll still be happy with those performances. I was happy with the win and getting into the top 10 was pretty cool. A bonus would’ve made it better, but I’m still happy with how things played out. I’m excited to fight hopefully another top 10 and climb a little bit closer to that ultimate goal (of winning the title).”

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Chinese light heavyweight Yaozong Hu will not be eligible to fight at the UFC’s next event in China, which takes place Aug. 31.

UFC light heavyweight Yaozong Hu has accepted a 10-month suspension from USADA, the UFC’s anti-doping partner announced Friday.

Hu tested positive for arimistane and its metabolite 7β-hydroxy-androst-3,5-diene-17-one in an out-of-competition drug test administered by USADA on March 9. Arimistane, which falls in the class of hormone and metabolic modulators, is prohibited under the UFC anti-doping policy at all times.

Hu is eligible to return Jan. 9, 2020.

USADA determined in an investigation that Hu’s positive sample stemmed from his use of a dietary supplement, per a press release. However, the product listed a prohibited substance on the label.

Hu’s suspension was reduced to 10 months due to his “cooperation throughout the results management process and efforts made to investigate the safety of the supplement prior to use,” per the release. Hu was facing a one-year suspension.

Hu (3-2), born in China, was last seen in action at UFC Beijing in November. He lost to Rashad Coulter by decision on that card. Prior to that, the 24-year-old fell to Cyril Asker by submission in his debut with the promotion. That fight also took place in China.

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Two studies claim choking can lead to CTE, but each has been met with skepticism from within the medical science community.

It is well established that blows that rattle the brain have both short and long term health effects for combat sport athletes. Strikes to the head have been shown to cause concussion symptoms as well as lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Blows to the head also have the potential to cause fatal traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), such as cerebral hemorrhages.

With the evidence mounting that striking sports are more dangerous than once thought (with modern science showing that even blows to the head that do not result in concussion can result in CTE), MMA may one day find itself at a critical moment where the sports’ survival — in its current form — is at risk.

If blows to the head in MMA become a thing of the past, it may fall on the foundational discipline of Brazilian jiu jitsu to provide the biggest thrills inside of the Octagon. For decades the sport has been blessed with grapplers who are able to win fights, in exciting fashion, without taking or delivering obvious damage to the brain.

However, two recent studies argue that even BJJ might have profound affects on the brain health of fighters.

This week on CombatSportsLaw.com Erik Magraken continued his exploration on whether chokes can lead to cognitive impairment and even CTE.

Magraken has been reporting on the issue since last year, when an article titled ‘Verterbral Artery Dissection in Active-Duty Soldier Due to Mixed Martial Arts Choke Hold’ was published in the peer-reviewed journal Federal Practitioner. That article highlighted a case study regarding a military service member who had been choked in a BJJ match and later reported severe nausea and vertigo. The service member eventually suffered a stroke.

In January, CombatSportsLaw followed up on that story with a report on a more recent study titled ‘Dangers of Mixed Martial Arts in the Development of CTE’, which was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

That study included the story of a 40-year-old subject who practiced MMA for a decade and was later diagnosed with CTE. The study claimed the subject’s CTE largely resulted from repetitive sub-concussive brain trauma received both in training and competition.

Additionally, the study referenced repetitive choking as playing a possible role in the subject’s CTE development. Included in the study were the lines, “What is perhaps little discussed is the role of asphyxia in the contribution towards long-term behavior and memory changes in the MMA athlete over time.”

The study went on to claim that, ‘Neurological injury due to compression of the neck could potentially occur,” in MMA and that studies into hanging deaths had shown that a force of two kilograms was sufficient to compress the jugular veins to the point of causing cerebral edema (swelling of the brain). The study also cited that five kilograms of force on the carotid arteries could cause hypoxic brain injury (oxygen deprivation) and that 15 kilograms of force was sufficient to cause severe hypoxia and death.

The study points out that people who suffer from hypoxic brain injuries are at risk of developing persistent cognitive, behavioral, and neurological problems.

However, not everyone is buying the connection between chokes and potential brain injuries. Dr. Samuel J. Stellpflug, an emergency medicine practitioner, wrote an official reply to the study in which he claims there was an absence of evidence to accompany the study’s claim.

Stellpflug’s entire reply is available on CombatSportsLaw.com. A small portion of the reply is available below:

The literature linking CTE or [Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury] and repeat execution of choking techniques in MMA and grappling sports is nonexistent. This lack of evidence is especially significant given the hundreds of thousands of athletes, both past and present, who participate in choke-inclusion sports worldwide.

I understand and respect the authors bringing up choking techniques in the context of this article, but it would be most reasonable to bring up as a question for possible further study with inclusion of the above information as opposed to likely falsely theorizing that the particular presented patient may have suffered some of his CTE-related neurological decline from repeated chokes.

Stellpflug also argued that the study was wrongly associating the affects of being strangled with the kind of chokes that are executed in grappling sports.

This was not the first time Stellpflug has responded to a study linking chokes to CTE. He also penned a response to an article titled ‘The King-Devick Test in Mixed Martial Arts: The Immediate Consequences of Knock-Outs, Technical Knock-Outs, and Chokes on Brain Functions’, published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).

In that response, writing with Dr. Robert LeFevere, Stellpflug took issue with the NCBI study that showed fighters who had lost fights via knockouts, technical knockouts and chokes experienced a similar degree of cognitive impairment.

Stellpflug and LeFevere claimed that this study failed to take into account any damage fighters received from strikes to the head prior to losing a fight by a choke.

Stellpflug’s reactions to these recent studies shows there is a lack of consensus in medical science regarding the connection between chokes and brain injuries. The path to finding consensus is through more studies and discourse. Hopefully that will lead to more definitive evidence, and then disclosure, on any danger that comes along with combat sports.

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Lightweights Alexander Hernandez and Francisco Trinaldo are reportedly headed to San Antonio, Texas.

A battle of generations is headed to the upcoming San Antonio card, in Texas. According to a report by Cage Side Press, prospect Alexander Hernandez will take on veteran Francisco Trinaldo at UFC on ESPN 4, in July.

Undefeated in his UFC career up until his last bout, Alexander Hernandez (10-2) had won his first two fights inside the Octagon, with a knockout win over Beneil Dariush and an unanimous decision against Olivier Aubin-Mercier. However, at UFC Brooklyn in January, the 26-year-old was knocked out by Donald Cerrone.

A contestant on the first season of the The Ultimate Fighter Brazil, Francisco Trinaldo (23-6) will try to begin a new win streak when he meets Hernandez. In his last outing back in September, ‘Massaranduba’ bested Evan Dunham, who retired after the fight, with a knee to the body. Before the victory, though, the 40-year-old was bested by James Vick via unanimous decision, in February of the same year.

UFC San Antonio is set for July 20th. The card will be headlined by a welterweight bout between former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos and rising contender Leon Edwards.

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Fedor Emelianenko will end his career in Bellator.

Fedor Emelianenko contemplated retirement following his 35 second KO loss to two-division Bellator champ Ryan Bader last January, but it looks like he will be putting those plans on hold for now. According to Scott Coker, Emelianenko has signed a multi-fight extension with Bellator, effectively ensuring that the MMA legend will be ending his career with the promotion.

Coker says he plans on bringing the heavyweight pioneer to multiple countries, with a retirement tour of sorts being possibly against the likes of fellow PRIDE stars Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Josh Barnett.

“This will be his farewell tour,” Coker said on Friday night as he announced the new signing. “We’ll do fights in locations we haven’t been before, multi-city, multi-continent.

“To me, Fedor is the greatest heavyweight fighter of all time. For him to end his career here in Bellator, it makes me very proud, very honored.”

Coker says more details of Fedor’s next fight will be announced soon, but they are targeting it to happen on November or December.

Fedor, now 42, had his two fight winning streak against Chael Sonnen and Frank Mir snapped by Bader early in 2019. The all-time great heavyweight has compiled a 38-6 (1 NC) record in his almost two decade long MMA career.

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UFC president Dana White has defended Conor McGregor’s inactivity by stating the former champ-champ “doesn’t turn down fights.”

Despite not fighting since last October against Khabib Nurmagmedov, Dana White has said former two-division UFC champ Conor McGregor hasn’t turned down any fights that have been offered to him.

McGregor has been linked with fights against the likes of Donald Cerrone, but nothing has materialized since his loss to Nurmagmedov at UFC 229. However, UFC president White recently appeared on BT Sport to dismiss the idea that McGregor hasn’t been accepting bout offers.

“No, Conor hasn’t turned down anything,” White said. “Listen, Ali [Abdelaziz] can say whatever, Conor doesn’t turn down fights, period. (Transcription via MMA Fighting)

“Conor has been one of the most stand up [guys], when things get crazy and most people pull out of fights, Conor McGregor stays in. McGregor isn’t afraid to fight anyone so that is absolutely false.”

McGregor (21-4) is without a win in the UFC since defeating Eddie Alvarez to win the lightweight title in November 2016. The 30-year-old didn’t fight in the UFC at all in 2017 as he ventured over to boxing to face Floyd Mayweather Jr., losing that fight by tenth-round stoppage.

“Conor’s in a position where he’s sitting back right now, I think waiting to see how this whole thing plays out with all these guys but he should pop up soon,” White said. “Yeah, I think we’ll see him this year.”

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Bloody Elbow has all the details on Tyson Fury vs. Tom Schwarz right here, including fight card, fight time, live stream info, results, and more.

Six months after a remarkable fight with Deontay Wilder, lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) makes his Top Rank/ESPN debut tonight (Saturday, June 15th) at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The brash Brit’s opponent is the undefeated but also largely unheralded German Tom Schwarz (24-0, 16 KOs), who is looking to pull off an upset akin to Andy Ruiz stopping Anthony Joshua earlier this month.

Tyson Fury vs. Tom Schwarz fight week stream: Live results, updates, highlights, more

Fury was in line to rematch Wilder after battling to a draw last December, but made the surprise move to join Top Rank, killing off plans for an immediate rematch. That bout has since been agreed to for early 2020, but of course both Wilder and Fury need to win their respective matchups for this showdown to happen once again. In theory, Fury should have few problems with Schwarz, but this is heavyweight after all. What is important for Tyson is to look impressive and not revert to some of his uglier fights that made fans not interested in seeing him compete.

Tyson Fury vs. Tom Schwarz fight week stream: Live results, updates, highlights, more

Here are the basic details on the how you can watch this event, where you can catch a live stream, start time for the main event, and more.

For more boxing coverage, check out Bad Left Hook.

Fight time: The main card broadcast starts at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT. The main event is expected to start somewhere around 11:30 PM ET, give or take a half-hour.

TV Network: ESPN2 will broadcast the undercard starting at 6:30 PM ET/3:30 PM PT. BT Sport Box Office goes live on the air at midnight local time in the United Kingdom, where the cost of the PPV is £19.95.

ESPN+ Fight Card: Tyson Fury vs. Tom Schwarz (12 rounds, heavyweights); Eleider Alvarez vs. Jesse Hart (10 rounds, light heavyweights)

ESPN2 Fight Card: Mikaela Mayer vs. Lizbeth Crespo (10x2 minute rounds, super-featherweights); Albert Bell vs. Andy Vences (10 rounds, super-featherweights); Isaac Lowe vs. Duarn Vue (10 rounds, featherweights); Martez McGregor vs. Cem Kilic (8 rounds, super-middleweights); Sonny Conto vs. Daniel Infante (4 rounds, heavyweights); Guido Vianello vs. Keenan Hickmon (6 rounds, heavyweights); Peter Kadiru vs. Juan Torres (4 rounds, heavyweights)

Live stream: Viewers in the United States can catch Fury vs. Schwarz through the ESPN+ subscription service. You can sign-up for a free trial or subscribe for $4.99 per month. Options for streaming the fight via BT Sport Box Office in the UK can be viewed here. There will also be a free live stream through Fite.tv of the main event for select countries outside of the United States and United Kingdom.

Tyson Fury vs. Tom Schwarz fight week stream: Live results, updates, highlights, more
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Rory MacDonald won a unanimous decision over Neiman Gracie to keep his welterweight title in the Bellator 222 main event.

Rory MacDonald vs. Neiman Gracie from Bellator 222’s main event was a reasonably competitive fight.

MacDonald was the better striker on the feet, but he did eat a few leg kicks along the way. What made the match exciting was MacDonald’s willingness to grapple with Gracie. Watching him hold his own with a Jiu-Jitsu specialist was a real treat to watch and further proof of just how elite MacDonald really is. MacDonald was able to find top position multiple times and was able to dish out some punishment without getting himself submitted. Not only does MacDonald get to keep his 170-pound title, but he will also get to meet former two-time champ Douglas Lima for a rematch in the final round of Bellator’s welterweight Grand Prix.

What was the highlight of the fight?

The highlight of the fight was watching MacDonald navigate the ground with Gracie and doing so successfully. Gracie threw up a few leg locks and an armbar attempt, and it was a lot of fun seeing how MacDonald remained calm and escaped the situations. It’s like we all knew MacDonald could probably hang on the ground with Gracie, but seeing him actually do it was pretty cool.

Where do these two go from here?

MacDonald has another date with Douglas Lima, but this time in Bellator’s welterweight Grand Prix finals. The first time these welterweights went to war at Bellator 192 back in January of 2018. MacDonald walked away with the unanimous decision.

The future looks bright for Gracie. He came into this major step up in competition undefeated, and was rather game throughout. He even won a round on one of the scorecards, and two rounds on two of the scorecards. There is plenty of talent in Bellator’s welterweight division to provide some unique and interesting challenges for Gracie. A sweet matchup might even be a bout between him and fellow BJJ guru Dillon Danis. So long as they don’t try and strike it out for the entire 15-minutes. Woof.

Watch now, later, or never?

You can watch this never. Grappling isn’t for everyone, especially when it’s mostly positional control and far from a sub-fest. There is plenty to enjoy in the fight for the true fight-nerds, but not a lot in terms of highlight material. There weren’t a lot of moments where the fight was close to being stopped. This one is okay to skip. Just keep in mind that MacDonald held his own on the ground and Gracie held his own on the feet, both of which are equally impressive.

The takedown & right into side control for @Rory_MacDonald!#BellatorWGP #Bellator222 pic.twitter.com/uydYJyRrTU

— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) June 15, 2019

@NeimanGracie gets the takedown early in round two!#Bellator222 #BellatorWGP pic.twitter.com/p2mHf1y6rE

— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) June 15, 2019

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