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MMA — How one of the best feuds in the UFC can make Stipe Miocic more marketable

BOSTON – Stipe Miocic is known as “The Baddest Man on the Planet.” He’s certainly not the first heavyweight champion to lay claim to that nickname. If you type the phrase into Google, you’ll get the Wikipedia bio of Mike Tyson as well as suggestions for Muhammad Ali, Floyd Mayweather and Evander Holyfield. Miocic is obviously not as well known as the other men who have held that nickname, but he certainly backed it up and cemented his place in UFC history when he dominated No. 1 contender Francis Ngannou,…

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Chael ‘The American Gangster’ Sonnen defeats Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson at Bellator MMA World Grand Prix

2:18 AM ET Jovan BuhaESPN Editor Close • Associate editor for ESPN.com• Began covering the NBA in 2011-12• Los Angeles native, USC graduate INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Heading into the opening fight of the Bellator MMA World Grand Prix eight-man heavyweight tournament, both Chael “The American Gangster” Sonnen and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson repeatedly acknowledged that Sonnen’s strategy was to take Jackson to the ground and negate Jackson’s considerable size and strength. Though Sonnen got Jackson on the ground several times, as he proudly predicted, that wasn’t what ultimately won Sonnen the…

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UFC bantamweight Francisco Rivera banned four years by USADA

The United States Anti-Doping Agency has suspended UFC bantamweight Francisco Rivera for four years after the 36-year-old falsified evidence in a failed drug test case. Rivera (11-7) tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol in July 2016. USADA initially informed Rivera it would seek a standard two-year suspension for that offense, but Rivera chose to enter arbitration on the case. According to arbitration records, Rivera claimed he traveled to Tijuana, Mexico, in the days prior to his failed test, where he ingested contaminated meat. As evidence, he submitted a bank…

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Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje to headline UFC Fight Night on April 14, Dana White says

A lightweight matchup between contenders Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier has been targeted to headline a UFC Fight Night on April 14, according to UFC president Dana White. White revealed the date to Fox Sports on Friday. MMAJunkie.com first reported the bout was in the works for the spring. The event does not yet have an official location. Gaethje (18-1) is coming off his first professional loss to Eddie Alvarez at UFC 218 last month. A former WSOF champion, Gaethje won his UFC debut in spectacular fashion against Michael Johnson…

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Dana White says ‘no update’ on Conor McGregor; Tony Ferguson-Khabib Nurmagomedov winner will be ‘undisputed champion’

BOSTON — A UFC news conference on Friday was supposed to bring some clarity to its lightweight division. Ultimately, it did not. Speaking to reporters inside TD Garden, UFC president Dana White said a lightweight matchup between interim champion Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov, scheduled for UFC 223 on April 7 in Brooklyn, New York, would be for the “undisputed” title. Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk will run it back at UFC 223 in April, just five months after Namajunas pulled off a stunning upset to capture the strawweight championship….

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Rose Namajunas, Joanna Jedrzejczyk title rematch set for UFC 223 in April

BOSTON — A UFC strawweight title fight between Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk will co-headline UFC 223 on April 7 in Brooklyn, New York. UFC president Dana White announced the 115-pound title rematch during a news conference on Friday. UFC 223 will take place at Barclays Center. Namajunas (7-3) upset Jedrzejczyk in shocking fashion at UFC 217 in November. Fighting out of Denver, Namajunas dropped Jedrzejczyk with a left hook and finished her with punches on the ground. It was the first knockout of Namajunas’ career. Before the loss, Jedrzejczyk…

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MMA — Daniel Cormier – ‘It’s all about competition for me’

BOSTON — Daniel Cormier was squinting as he tried to listen to the questions being thrown at him at UFC 220 media day Thursday at Fenway Park before he briefly paused and positioned someone to stand in front of the spotlight that had been piercing his eyes. It was perhaps the first time, it could be argued, that any spotlight for Saturday’s UFC 220 pay-per-view was directed in Cormier’s direction. Nearly six months after his last fight in the UFC — a knockout loss to Jon Jones at UFC 214…

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Jeremy Stephens, Josh Emmett to headline UFC Fight Night in Orlando

A featherweight matchup between Jeremy Stephens and Josh Emmett will headline UFC Fight Night in Orlando, Florida. The 145-pound bout will serve as the main event inside Amway Center on Feb. 24, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Emmett (13-1) is coming off a huge, upset knockout of Ricardo Lamas in December, a fight Emmett accepted on short notice after Lamas’ original opponent, Jose Aldo, was moved to another event. Fighting out of Sacramento, California, Emmett is 4-1 overall in the UFC. The victory over Lamas elevated him into title contention….

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UFC female bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes confident on potential fight with Cris “Cyborg” Justino

BOSTON — UFC female bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes says she is ready to accept a fight against featherweight belt holder Cris “Cyborg” Justino, and is confident the fight will be happen “if things go right.” UFC president Dana White has publicly expressed interest in that matchup as well, although Nunes (15-4) says she hasn’t been offered a contract yet. “We’ll see,” Nunes told ESPN. “I don’t have anything yet — no contract, nothing. We’re waiting, but this is the goal. Definitely, the UFC is working on it.” Nunes, 29, only…

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UFC 220 Cheat Sheet — Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir

The UFC’s pay-per-view schedule got off to a weak start in 2017. Such is not the case in 2018. Saturday’s UFC 220 event in Boston will feature one of the company’s best heavyweight title matchups in years, with defending champion Stipe Miocic taking on Francis Ngannou. It’s a shot at history for Miocic as he tries to become the first heavyweight titleholder to defend the belt three consecutive times. And he’ll do so against Ngannou, one of the fastest-rising challengers in recent memory. In the co-main event, Daniel Cormier faces…

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