Bigfoot joins Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship

Another MMA fighter has joined the world of bare-knuckle fighting as former UFC heavyweight contender Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva has signed with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.

The promotion announced Thursday they have inked the gargantuan heavyweight to a contract. Here’s what BKFC said in its press release.

“We are happy to announce the signing of ‘Bigfoot’ Silva to our roster,” said BKFC President David Feldman. “He has fought and beat some of the best in the world. We have some intriguing matchups that we are talking about with him now. I really expect great fighters from Antonio.”

The promotion has not yet announced Silva’s debut date or who he will be fighting in his first fight with BKFC.

“Bigfoot” Silva (19-12, 1 NC) was once one of the top-ranked heavyweights in MMA. Silva defeated Fedor Emelianenko in a big upset back in 2011 in the opening round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. He lost his next fight to eventual winner Daniel Cormier, but soon joined the UFC after it absorbed the Stikeforce roster.

After losing to Cain Velasquez in his UFC debut, Silva knocked out Travis Browne and Alistair Overeem in back-to-back fights to earn a title shot against Velasquez. He lost the rematch and has gone on an awful downhill skid in his career since then.

Over his last 10 fights, Silva is just 1-8, 1 NC. He has lost his last five fights and has been knocked out in four of them. His last win came over Soa Palelei at UFC 190 in 2015, and he hasn’t fought since a June 2017 knockout loss to Vitaly Minakov.

Silva has been knocked out 10 times in his MMA career and is now 39-years-old. The odds of him having success in bare-knuckle fighting seem questionable given his chin issues, but we’ll see have to say how he fares in BKFC. A matchup against the promotion’s new heavyweight champion Chase Sherman makes sense next.

Are you excited to see Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva compete in bare-knuckle fighting or do you think he should retire from combat sports at this point?

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VIDEO | Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya square off

UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker and interim champ Israel Adesanya squared off Wednesday at the UFC 243 pre-fight press conference.

As you can expect, it was a tense staredown between the world’s top two middleweights. Check out the video below.

Whittaker said nothing, while Adesanya chirped him a bit, although it wasn’t possible to hear what he said. You can also see at some point Adesanya licking his lips.

Whittaker (20-4) won TUF Smashes back in 2012 and has parlayed that into a brilliant UFC career. He opened up his Octagon run as a welterweight, but only went 3-2 at 170lbs before deciding to move up to 185lbs. Since moving up to middleweight, Whittaker has transformed into one of the greatest fighters on the UFC roster. He is currently on an unbeaten nine-fight win streak at 185lbs, with two decision wins over Yoel Romero, a KO win over Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, not to mention victories over Uriah Hall and Derek Brunson. He became the undisputed champion when Georges St-Pierre retired.

Adesanya (17-0) made his UFC debut in February 2018 and has quickly become one of the promotion’s biggest stars. He’s a perfect 6-0 so far inside the Octagon, including a “Fight of the Year” decision win in his last outing over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236 to become the interim middleweight champ. He also holds a notable win over former middleweight champion Anderson Silva from earlier this year.

UFC 243 takes place October 6 at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. Whittaker vs. Adesanya is expected to sell out the arena as many believe it’s the biggest fight in the history of Oceania. The promotion also recently added a lightweight bout between Dan Hooker and Al Iaquinta to help beef up the undercard. Plus, Holly Holm returns to fight Raquel Pennington in a women’s bantamweight rematch.

On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you for Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/15/2019.

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Bellator releases numerous fighters including Chris Honeycutt

Bellator has made the decision to release a number of fighters from its roster, including former top welterweight prospect Chris Honeycutt.

Veteran MMA journalist Jason Floyd took to Twitter to reveal that the following fighters have been released. Here’s what Floyd said.

“The following fighters are no longer under contract with Bellator: Roman Huerta, Jarod Trice, Chris Honeycutt, Hisaki Kato, JJ Ambrose, Carrington Banks, Mohammad Yahya, Noad Lahat, Nathan Greyson and Chidi Njokuani”

Just going through the list, Honeycutt is the most notable of the fighters to be released. “The Cutt” was 7-3, 1 NC in Bellator since making his promotional debut back in 2014. He was expected to be a welterweight title contender, but never made the jump from prospect to the elite of the division. After losing two of his last three fights, Bellator cut him.

Kato is also another notable name on the list. He was just 3-2 overall in Bellator but had a massive superman punch KO win over Joe Schilling back in 2015. He has not fought since 2017, though, and Bellator decided it was time to move on.

Njokuani is also a bit of a surprise on this list. The brother of former UFC fighter Anthony, Njokuani went 5-3 overall in Bellator. He lost his last two fights but was always putting on a show for the fans, so it’s a bit of a surprise to see him released.

We’ll see where these fighters wind up next, but don’t be surprised to see a few of these names in PFL’s Season 3 tournament next year. Also don’t be shocked if one or two of them eventually work their way back up and possibly even make it to the UFC.

By cutting all these fighters, Bellator opens up more room to sign free agents, including Cris Cyborg, to take their spot on their roster.

Do you think Bellator made good cuts here or did they surprise you?

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Francis Ngannou lands Hollywood movie role

UFC heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou will soon be making his Hollywood debut as he will be a part of the cast for the next “Fast & Furious” film.

The gargantuan heavyweight took to social media on Wednesday to confirm that he will indeed be part of “Fast & Furious 9.” Here’s what Ngannou posted.

View this post on Instagram

🔥🔥🔥 #fastandfurious

A post shared by Francis Ngannou (@francisngannou) on

Quote from the press release: “The ninth instalment of Fast & Furious is getting even more muscle with Francis Ngannou. The UFC fighter is joining Universal’s high-speed blockbuster franchise in a role that is being kept under wraps.”

Considering Ngannou’s hulking appearance, not to mention his colorful personality, it appears that the movies are a perfect spot for him to help grow his starpower. He has the look of a star, and now he has the vehicle to help take him to the next level of stardom. Plus, the movies are the perfect way for ‘The Predator’ to make some extra money.

Francis Ngannou joins a long list of MMA fighters to have made the transition to Hollywood. Gina Carano was the star of the movie “Haywire” in 2011. Georges St. Pierre was in “Captain America: Winter Soldier.” Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson starred in “The A-Team.” Randy Couture played a big role in a number of movies, including “The Expendables” in 2010 and its sequels in 2012 and 2014. The Nogueira brothers also had a minor role in “The Expendables.” And of course, Ronda Rousey had a role in “Furious 7.”

In the meantime, Ngannou will be closely eyeing this weekend’s UFC 241 bout between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic for the UFC heavyweight title. Ngannou is currently riding a three-fight win streak with brutal knockouts over Junior dos Santos, Cain Velasquez and Curtis Blaydes. He should be next in line to get a heavyweight title shot based on his credentials.

Do you think Francis Ngannou will have a successful career in Hollywood?

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Israel Adesanya on journey from MMA fan to UFC champion: ‘It’s crazy’

Israel Adesanya has only been fighting in the UFC for a little over a year, but he’s quickly become a household name as well as the interim middleweight champion of the world.

This quick rise up the rankings has even surprised Adesanya himself. In October, “Stylebender” meets UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker in a title unification bout at UFC 243 in Melbourne, Australia. Adesanya spoke to UFC.com about the fight against Whittaker and how quickly he’s become a star in the sport of mixed martial arts.

“This is going to be the biggest fight event – boxing, MMA, wrestling, judo, anything – the biggest fight event in history in Oceania,” Adesanya said. “I’m honored to be a part of that moment. From a guy who is just a fan, who just likes to watch the UFC amongst all these guys that I’ve watched for years – come on, man. It’s crazy.”

It is remarkable how quickly Adesanya has become a champion in a sport that chews up fighters and spits them out. Adesanya made his UFC debut in February 2018 and in October 2019 he will be headlining the biggest card in the history of Australia and New Zealand. For someone who has come from humble roots, that fact is not lost on Adesanya.

But of course, his sole focus right now on beating Whittaker and taking his belt. Adesanya believes he already has the upper hand when it comes to trash talking, and he is confident that his swagger will translate to a victory inside the cage.

“(Whittaker) doesn’t talk in person,” Adesanya said. “He likes to do it online, and in interviews, and I don’t know if anyone writes his s*hit or he has the same one-liners, but f*ck, whatever. In person, he can’t even want that smoke.”

How excited are you for Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker at UFC 243?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/14/2019.

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Dana White says Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier 3 would be at 205lbs

UFC president Dana White wants a third fight between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier to take place at heavyweight, but he says both men want it at 205lbs.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday night following the latest episode of the Contender Series, White revealed that a trilogy fight between the two bitter rivals would take place at light heavyweight.

“They won’t do it (at heavyweight),” White said. “I have Jones who is the greatest ever, Cormier who is one of the greatest ever, both been champions forever. I’m not going to f*cking fight with them, man. If they want to fight at 205lbs, I’m not going to argue with them.

“Two of the biggest kings in the sport. If that’s what they want, that’s what they get.”

Cormier fights Stipe Miocic this weekend at UFC 241 in a rematch of the pair’s battle last summer which Cormier won via first-round KO to win the UFC heavyweight title. Jones, meanwhile, just bested Thiago Santos by split decision at UFC 239. If Cormier is successful this weekend against Miocic, the calls for a trilogy fight between he and Jones will be loud.

But if this fight does happen, it will take place at light heavyweight.

“I want that fight at heavyweight so bad, but they won’t do it,” White said. “Not only has Jon said no, but Cormier said no. Cormier doesn’t want to beat him at heavyweight.”

First, though, DC will need to get by Miocic this weekend. He has talked openly about retirement, but the allure of a third fight against Jones would be too much to ignore. And though Jones has said he doesn’t want to fight Cormier again, if the UFC offers him an amount of money he can’t refuse, of course he’d have to consider taking the fight.

Are you interested in a third fight between Cormier and Jones at 205lbs?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/14/2019.

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Mike Perry says he’s behind on taxes, has $6.00 in the bank

Despite being one of the most popular fighters in the sport, UFC welterweight Mike Perry says that he’s behind on taxes and only has $6.00 in his bank account.

Perry, who suffered one of the worst nose breaks in MMA history last weekend at UFC Uruguay, posted a story on his Instagram detailing his financial troubles. Here’s what Perry had to say.

“58 to show, Uruguay took 17, Management and team 15%, Still got last years taxes, Nose job priceless, Money in the bank $6.00, 400k fans on IG tho”

This is another example of an MMA fighter who is struggling financially despite fighting in the UFC, generally the most profitable organization in the sport. Perry is one of the UFC’s top stars at the moment and despite that he is really struggling to get by financially. He’s likely hoping UFC president Dana White sees this message and gives him a raise on his next contract.

It’s worth noting Perry did not mention the $50,000 bonus he won for his ‘Fight of the Night’ against Luque, but regardless, the fact such a popular fighter is down to his last dollars and cents in his bank account is troubling.

Mike Perry is also not going to be fighting for a while due to the medical suspension he received for his broken nose. When he does return to the Octagon, he’s expected to get a big fight. Despite losing to Luque, Perry’s stock went up in the performance as he put on an amazing show for the fans and gained the respect of the MMA world for his toughness.

Perry (13-5) made his UFC debut in the summer of 2016 and has since racked up a 6-5 overall record inside the Octagon. Some of his most notable wins include decision victories over the likes of Paul Felder and Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira, to name a few.

Do you think Mike Perry deserves a raise on his next contract?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/14/2019.

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