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UFC lightweight Desmond Green, 29, was arrested on Tuesday, facing 20 charges stemming from a five-vehicle crash that occurred in August of 2018 in Florida. DUI and manslaughter are chief among the charges that Green faces.
Green was arrested on Tuesday and is currently being held at the Broward County main jail in Florida. His bonds total $194,000.
The crash occurred on Aug. 18, 2018, on Interstate 75 in Pembroke Pines, Fla. Green was driving a 2011 Dodge Durango, according to the police report, lost control, and swerved in front of a tractor-trailer. That started a chain collision that included five vehicles in total.
Two women – Emelina Morfa, 67, and Emma Suarez Hernandez, 76 – were killed in the crash, leading Green to be charged with DUI Causing Death (DUI Manslaughter). Several other individuals were injured in the crash, increasing the number of charges that Green faces.
The police report noted, “Green’s normal faculties were impaired by alcoholic beverages and/or controlled substance at the time the crash occurred," according to a report by the South Florida SunSentinel.
Green was said to have slurred speech and an odor of alcohol. Toxicology tests later confirmed the presence of drugs and alcohol in his system.
Green was charged with possession of cocaine, cannabis, and a controlled substance without a prescription. Other charges included a second offense for driving while on a suspended license, DUI with damage to property, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Green (23-8) has fought three times since the crash. He fought once little more than a month later, losing a unanimous decision to Mairbek Taisumov in September. He then fought in March of 2019, defeating Ross Pearson, and earned a decision victory over Charles Jourdain in May.
Though widely regarded as the greatest fighter of all time, Jon Jones' road to the top has been a rocky one, if mostly due to outside-of-the-octagon issues. He's captured a UFC title on four separate occasions, but has been stripped of the belt three times.
Jones most recently regained the UFC light heavyweight championship when he defeated longtime rival Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 on Dec. 29, 2018. The bout was Jones' first since fulfilling a 15-month suspension.
Jones and Gustafsson's first fight at UFC 165 in 2013 was considered a fight for the ages and is still recounted amongst the best fights in the history of mixed martial arts. The rematch at UFC 232 didn't go down quite the same way. Jones was on a mission to prove that he never should have been stripped of the belt and took his angst out on Gustafsson, finishing the Swede early in the third round.
Jones has since defended the belt against Anthony Smith. He will return to the Octagon at UFC 239 on July 6 in Las Vegas, where he will put his title on the line against Thiago Santos in the event's headliner. But first, take a look back at the Jones vs. Gustafsson rematch at UFC 232 in its entirety.
It's something that those of us that don't fight will never feel, but when a fighter breaks her opponent, the emotions are off the charts. So says current UFC women's bantamweight and featherweight dual-division champion Amanda Nunes. She should know, she's been in that moment on several occasions with the top fighters on the planet.
Nunes is widely regarded as the greatest female fighter the sport has ever known.
"She's the best ever," UFC president Dana White said after Nunes defeated Cris Cyborg at UFC 232 to close out 2018. "How can you deny it? You can't deny that she's the best ever. That's what this fight was for."
Though she stumbled on a few occasions early in her career, Nunes is currently riding an eight-fight winning streak having defeated the best fighters in the world as she's done so. Her rocket ride to being considered the best female fighter on the planet really started when she took the UFC bantamweight belt from Miesha Tate at UFC 200 in July of 2016.
"For Ronda Rousey, when I was able to connect, I saw she was done right away. She didn't wanna be there," Nunes added.
The bout with Rousey is what really put Nunes on the map as one of the promotion's star attractions. Rousey had lost the bantamweight belt to Holm in late 2015. Her December 2016 bout with Nunes at UFC 207 was Rousey's last-ditch effort to regain the title and resurrect her mixed martial arts career after the Holm defeat seemed to crush her spirit in regard to the sport.
Nunes obviously did nothing to help Rousey regain her footing, essentially slamming the cage door shut on the fighter that ushered women into the UFC.
"Move forward to Cyborg, when I connect with the first one was when it got her dropped. I saw she wasn't gonna recover right away because she never got hit like that before, ever in her life. When you never got hit like that, you know you're not gonna come back, because you never felt that before," Nunes said, her face lighting up while trying to explain the feeling.
"In those moments, when you see your opponent done... definitely (it's the best feeling in the world)."
Her firs-round knockout of Cyborg, the woman most people had considered the top female fighter in the sport to that point, cemented Nunes as the fiercest female fighter on the planet. In White's words, there could be no denying it at that point.
Now comes perhaps the most difficult aspect of being considered the best fighter in the world: defending that spot atop the mountain of fighters that want nothing more than to knock you off of your perch.
Nunes gladly accepts the challenge as she takes up the UFC 239 co-main event slot in her fight with Holm. UFC 239 is headlined by the man most consider to be the greatest male fighter of all time, Jon Jones, as he puts his UFC light heavyweight title on the line against Thiago Santos.
Amanda Nunes on Breaking Ronda Rousey, Cyborg & Miesha Tate (UFC 239 Media Day) - YouTube
Looking back on his unanimous decision victory over Jesse Bazzi at PACF 35 in March, flyweight Claudio Ledesma faced a more difficult task than he anticipated, but was nonetheless able to come out with the win.
According to Ledesma, Bazzi proved to be a much more difficult task than he was scouted to be, making the victory that much sweeter.
“It was a top-notched competition. (Bazzi) was one of the top-ranked guys out of the Great Lakes region,” Ledesma told MMAWeekly.com. “It was a tough fight. He was a tough kid, and actually caught me by surprise with how tough he was. It was good to get a win over a good solid guy like that.”
Following back-to-back losses to close out 2015 and open 2016, Ledesma has been on a five-fight winning streak, to which he credits his maturation as a fighter and growth in his mental game.
“I’m starting to look at things a little differently,” said Ledesma. “Our team has always solid, but we just kind of changed our training and are training a little bit smarter than harder sometimes.
“That and believing in myself a little bit more and realizing that a lot of fights that I lost that were slim decisions, or against good guys where I feel like I lost the fight before I even walked in because I felt like I wasn’t at that level. Now I’m starting to realize that I am amongst that level and that I belong in those types of fights.”
On Friday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Ledesma (16-7) will look to claim his first major MMA championship when he challenges titleholder Juan Puerta (16-6) in the 125-pound title main event of Titan FC 55.
“He’s a great fighter on a great streak as well, too,” Ledesma said of Puerta. “I just think we match up really well together and our games are kind of similar. I’m just excited for the opportunity and excited for the big fight.
“It would be cool to win this thing and kind of have that career validation. All of my teammates have belts, or have had belts, are in the UFC or another big promotion, and I almost feel like I don’t belong. It would be nice to get that belt to get that validation.”
Should he pick up a win on June 28, Ledesma could have a bright outlook for the remainder of 2019, but for now he’s just got his mind set on his match with Puerta.
“I never think ahead; one: out of respect for my opponent, and two: just because you never know what life is going to throw at you; so I just think of the one in front of me,” said Ledesma. “Whatever happens after this one, usually I’m asking for another one real quick, so hopefully it turns out to be the situation.”
TMZ Sports on Tuesday released video footage of UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn fighting a man on the street outside of a strip club.
TMZ's report alleges cites the unnamed owner of Club Femme Nu as telling them that Penn was escorted out of the Honolulu club Monday around midnight after appearing "very drunk." As Penn left the establishment, he evidently got into and altercation with security personnel and ended up fighting one of them in the street in front of the club.
The result of the altercation is unclear on the video posted by TMZ, but the site's report states that police were called, but that Penn had left the scene by the time officers arrived.
MMAWeekly.com was unable to ascertain whether or not Penn had been arrested or was even being sought by authorities at the time of publication.
Despite having retired and entered the UFC Hall of Fame in 2015, the 40-year-old former UFC champion returned less than two years later to resume his career. He last fought at UFC 237 in May of this year, losing a unanimous decision to Clay Guida. He is currently in the midst of a seven-fight losing streak.
Dana White talks Jon Jones, Ben Askren, Jose Aldo, more [FULL] | UFC 239 | ESPN MMA - YouTube
(Video courtesy of ESPN MMA | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)
UFC president Dana White on Monday spoke with ESPN's Brett Okamoto to break down many different topics swirling around the UFC. Top of the list was Jon Jones, who is putting the light heavyweight championship on the line opposite Thiago Santos at UFC 239 on July 6 in Las Vegas.
White talked at length about Jones being considered the greatest fighter of all time, his upcoming fight with Thiago Santos, and a potential third showdown with heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and at weight class he'd expect it to take place.
White talked about much more than Jones, however, addressing Amanda Nunes' position in the greatest of all time talk, Ben Askren's chances at getting a shot at the UFC welterweight title, featherweight great Jose Aldo's current status with the company, what's next for Conor McGregor, and other hot topics.
Amanda Nunes is the UFC's first female champ-champ. She's not the UFC's first dual-division champion to put one of her belts on the line, but could become the first to return to a lighter weight class and defend her belt.
The UFC has had four fighters hold title belts in two divisions simultaneously: Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, Nunes, and Henry Cejudo.
The first to achieve the feat was Conor McGregor when he took the featherweight title from Jose Aldo and then won the lightweight title by defeating Eddie Alvarez. McGregor never defended either belt before eventually being stripped of both for his lack of defending them.
Cormier became the UFC's second champ-champ when he defeated Stipe Miocic to add the heavyweight championship to the light heavyweight title he already held. He went on to successfully defend the heavyweight belt against Derrick Lewis prior to being forced to relinquish the light heavyweight championship.
Nunes was the bantamweight champion when she went up a weight class and laid out Cris Cyborg in the first round to capture the UFC featherweight crown, becoming the third UFC fighter to become a champ-champ. She still currently holds both titles and will drop back to bantamweight to put her 135-pound title on the line against Holly Holm in the UFC 239 co-main event on July 6 in Las Vegas.
Though Cormier was the first fighter to hold two UFC belts simultaneously and defend one of them, Nunes could become the first fighter to hold dual-division belts and drop back down to a lighter weight class and defend that belt.
Cejudo recently became the fourth fighter to hold to divisional titles at the same time when he defeated Marlon Moraes at UFC 238. With the win over Moraes, Cejudo added the bantamweight belt to the flyweight title he already held. He has yet to defend after adding a second championship to his collection.
Former UFC interim welterweight champion Colby Covington will headlines UFC on ESPN 5 in a pivotal welterweight battle with former champion Robbie Lawler. The fight will take place on Saturday, Aug. 3, at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Covington had been expected to be the first challenger to new UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, who took the belt from Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 on March 2. That is now in jeopardy, as he'll first have to get past Lawler. Even then, his shot at the belt may not be set in stone with Ben Askren having entered the picture.
Covington (14-1) hasn't fought since winning the interim title in a UFC 225 bout with Rafael dos Anjos in June of 2018. He was later stripped of the interim designation when he declined a fight with Woodley at UFC 228 in September, citing the need for nasal surgery. Woodley instead fought and defeated Darren Till, but subsequently lost the belt to Usman.
"I should be ready to go by November. Whoever Dana White says is next. He’s the boss. If Askren looks good and that’s who the UFC wants, he’s next," Usman said in a comment via his manager, Ali Abdelaziz, to ESPN's Brett Okamoto.
Though Askren could potentially jump the line and be Usman's first challenger, he has a difficult fight of his own to win before that is even a consideration. Askren is slated to fight Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 on July 6 in Las Vegas. If he wins and Covington wins, the UFC will have a difficult decision to make.
Lawler (28-13, 1NC) has lost three of his four most recent bouts, but is still a difficult fight for anyone. He has the wrestling chops to hang with Covington and has powerful hands that make him a constant knockout threat. Plus, being a former UFC champion, Lawler would certainly boost his chances of getting back into the title picture with a win over Covington.
Aside from confirmed Covington vs. Lawler, UFC officials on Tuesday announced several other bouts for the UFC on ESPN 5 fight card.
A light heavyweight clash between Volkan Oezdemir and Ilir Latifi, which had originally been slated for UFC on ESPN+ 11 on June 1, will take place at UFC on ESPN 5. Their original bout was cancelled when Latifi injured his back.
Other UFC on ESPN 5 bouts include an old-school favorites fight between lightweights Clay Guida and Jim Miller, Joaquim Silva vs. Nasrat Haqparast, Jordan Espinosa vs. Matt Schnell, Lauren Murphy vs. Mara Romero Borella, Antonina Shevchenko vs. Lucie Pudilova, Trevin Giles vs. Gerald Meerschaert, Darko Stosic vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu, Ramazan Emeev vs. Claudio Silva, and Scott Holtzman vs. Dong Hyun Ma.
Overall when looking back on his 2018, light-heavyweight Alton Cunningham feels that even though he suffered his first career loss, overall the year was good for him because of what he learned from it.
Following his loss to Bevin Lewis at Dana White’s Contender Series in July, Cunningham was able to rebound and close out his year with two straight victories.
“Going on the Contender Series, fighting on there and having my performance go the way it went, it wasn’t able to go my way, but we were able to learn from it, rebuild, go back to the drawing board, and I was able to finish the year really strong,” Cunningham told MMAWeekly.com.
“I had some adversity, but it was something I was able to overcome and become a stronger fighter mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.”
For Cunningham, the growth he saw in his game has him feeling like the most complete fighter he’s been in over the course of his five year overall career.
“I see (growth) everywhere,” Cunningham told MMAWeekly.com. “I was doing some rounds with my training partners and the things I’m naturally doing now I wasn’t doing last year; in my stand-up, my ground, and the way I mix up my attacks.
“Also mentally I feel like I’ve matured and developed so much. It just feels surreal how everything is clicking at the right time. I’ve grown so much mentally as a fighter that I have no worries or concerns going into my (upcoming) fight.”
Cunningham (7-1) will look to pick up his third straight win when he faces Tony Johnson (7-2) in a main card 205-pound bout at Dana White’s Contender Series on Tuesday night in Las Vegas.
“All I need to do against this guy is be myself and apply pressure,” Cunningham said. “The real question is if Tony is going to be able to withstand what I’m going to bring to the table that night?
“I’m coming with heat. I’m coming to hurt him. The vicious shots I’m going to be hitting with that fight I don’t feel like he’s going to be able withstand that a whole three rounds. I’m going to be hitting this guy so frickin’ hard I don’t see him making it out of the first or second round.”
While his bout at the Contender Series could be career-changing for Cunningham, he’s going to put as much of that aside and just focus on the task at hand and trying to defeat Johnson.
“Honestly I just put it aside,” said Cunningham. “It’s contact season, and my mind is set on that contract, but once that bell rings a fight’s a fight and I’ve got to get that win.
“This last year (at my first Contender Series appearance) I was thinking a little too much about it and I let the nerves get to me. Now it’s just a matter of going in there and performing, executing and applying that pressure.”
Ben Askren Wants to Fight Georges St-Pierre (UFC 239 Media Day) - YouTube
Undefeated welterweight Ben Askren made his UFC debut in March, defeating former champion Robbie Lawler by submission. He faces Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 on July 6 but would rather be fighting former two-division titleholder Georges St-Pierre.