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  • Ronys Torres parts ways with PFL after NYSAC issue
    Ronys Torres (left) was removed from the PFL card a day before the show.

    Ronys Torres is no longer in the Professional Fighters League roster, he told MMA Fighting on Friday.

    The Brazilian veteran was slated to face lightweight Ramsey Nijem at Thursday night’s PFL card in Long Island, but was pulled from the card after not getting medically cleared by the New York State Athletic Commission.

    On his social media, Torres revealed that the NYSAC wouldn’t clear him based on an eye surgery he underwent a decade ago. Since PFL is doing most of its events in the New York area, and Torres likely wouldn’t get licensed to fight there, the fighter and the promotion came to an agreement and he was released from his contract.

    “It’s upsetting because I’ve trained hard and cut weight for this fight,” Torres told MMA Fighting. “It was a dream for me to be part of this show. They have great athletes, the level is high, but I knew I could get to the finals, but I always leave my life in God’s hands.”

    Torres suffered a detached retina in 2009, prior to a planned UFC debut versus Jeremy Stephens. He won 24 of 29 fights since having the surgery, with two of those defeats coming inside the UFC Octagon in Las Vegas and Charlotte. Torres fought for the last time in Aug. 2018, at Shooto Brazil, a promotion sanctioned by the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA), winning the vacant 160-pound title.

    The Nova Uniao lightweight said he needs to undergo another surgery, but plans on fighting “once or twice” before going under the knife later this year.

    “The good thing is that the doors are open for me at PFL,” Torres said. “I spoke with Ray Sefo, told him that I wanted to continue on the league, and he told me to take care of my eye and come back in 2020, that he wants to see me fighting there next year because he likes my style, he likes that I always going for the finish.”

    Torres (38-6) has 13 of his 14 bouts since 2013, finishing 11 opponents in the process. The 32-year-old Brazilian competed twice under the UFC banner in 2010, losing decisions to Melvin Guillard and Jacob Volkmann.

  • Tyron Woodley has chronic arthritis in his hand, eyes return at UFC 241

    Tyron Woodley’s quest to recapture his UFC gold will have to wait a little longer.

    The former UFC welterweight champion previously announced a hand injury had forced him out of his highly anticipated main event rematch against against Robbie Lawler at UFC Minneapolis next month.

    While the initial diagnosis and severity of his injured limb was unknown, this is no longer the case.

    “I have chronic arthritis in my joint right here,” Woodley told TMZ Sports as he pointed to his right thumb. “There’s three joints that enable me to grab and grip. One has chronic arthritis and this one has severe arthritis. There’s a few different ways to heal and fix the problem permanently but it’s something you wouldn’t do if you were still active, because it limits your range of motion and grip.

    “The temporary fix is to rehab it, get it stronger, get the flexibility to start to grab and grip, then 10 days before the fight let’s try to do a cortisone shot. So, I have the UFC checking on cities and states that accept and allow you to have cortisone shots.”

    In terms of competition, Woodley (19-4-1), who previously earned gold after knocking out Lawler (28-13, 1 NC) in their initial fight at UFC 201 in July 2016, is looking right the ship after seeing current champion Kamaru Usman walk away with his 170-pound championship at UFC 235 in March.

    While Woodley initially hoped his past résumé was enough to earn him an immediate rematch against Usman, the UFC quickly moved on and book him against the man known as “Ruthless.” Too bad Woodley has no intention of fighting someone of Lawler’s caliber without the use of both hands.

    “If I’m fighting against somebody who’s a brawler and slugger and trying to get me back for what I did to him— took his belt, took his billion dollar pay-per-view, took the platform that he had — and I can’t throw my money maker that knocked him out of the first round with confidence and I can’t grab, I can’t grip, if posting down really injures my hands, then I have to be real with myself,” Woodley said. “This is the first time in 14 years of fighting that I’ve committed to fighting and I’ve not fought.”

    As for when he believes fans will see him back inside the Octagon, “The Chosen One” already has a date and venue in mind.

    “I’m targeting the August 17 card [at UFC 241] in Anaheim,” Woodley said. “I just want my belt back.”

  • Conor McGregor on UFC 229 injury: ‘I probably should have reset the match to a later date’

    In hindsight, Conor McGregor thinks he probably shouldn’t have fought Khabib Nurmagomedov after suffering an injury to his foot just weeks out from their clash.

    In a recent interview with motivational speaker Tony Robbins, McGregor was reminded of the injury he suffered when he was speaking about how Jose Aldo pulled out of their initial featherweight championship date in 2015 at UFC 189.

    “The most significant moment of my career was when I first tasted UFC gold,” McGregor told Robbins.

    “It was at UFC 189 in Las Vegas, I was supposed to face the current champion Jose Aldo, but he pulled out nine days before the bout with a broken rib; someone threw a spinning back kick on him and broke his rib. Broke his rib…it was more like a bruised rib.”

    McGregor—who first revealed that he broke his foot before UFC 229 via social media last month—went on to describe how he suffered the injury by attempting to land a front kick on an oncoming wrestler.

    “Two and half weeks out from my last fight I threw a front kick at a shooting Moldovan wrestler—a shooting wrestler is a guy that’s shooting in on your legs—and when he shot and I threw the front kick…I threw it at his belly and my two toes—my baby toe and the toe next to it—bent back like this and stuck in that position,” he explained.

    “My doctor, who’s here with me now, had to come into the cage, stretch it and break it back into place. My foot swelled like a balloon, that was two and a half weeks out from my last fight.”

    The former two-weight champion highlighted that he dynamic skillset can be a blessing and curse because even without his foot, he believed he could beat Nurmagomedov, yet given the severity of the injury, he probably should not have fought.

    “That’s one of the things I’m blessed with, I have many shots in my arsenal, I have many moves—I can box, I can kick—I have many different skills in my arsenal, but that’s a blessing and a curse,” he said.

    “It’s blessing for obvious reasons, I can throw many moves, I can stifle an opponent. A curse because when I face a serious injury where I probably should have just reset the match to a later date, my hunger and my knowledge that I just need one shot; I have one limb gone, but I have another seven limbs...the art of eight limbs, this is, so I can utilize other strikes in my arsenal.”

    “The Notorious” went on to claim that the injury led to further problems with his weight cut and his workouts before dismissing his own points as “nonsensical excuses”.

    “The injury itself led me to half my workload. I couldn’t road run anymore, my weight was too high. So when you’re cutting weight and you can’t get your weight down because your weight is too high because of injuries and what not, I have a more intense weight cut. I was severely dehydrated, I didn’t sleep for 48 hours before the weight cut,” he said.

    “These are all nonsensical excuses that I don’t give a f*ck about, I don’t give a sh*t. That’s why I walked in there hands down—ding ding ding—and walked forward to him and he went running around the cage.”

  • Cleared to return, Amanda Ribas explains why USADA suspension was ‘a gift from God’
    Brazilian strawweight Amanda Ribas hasn't fought since May of 2016.

    Two years later, Amanda Ribas will finally enter the Octagon to compete.

    The Brazilian strawweight prospect signed with the UFC to fight Juliana Lima at TUF 25 Finale on July 7, 2017, in Las Vegas, but was removed from the card due to a potential anti-doping violation. A day later, Ribas released a statement denying ever using illegal substances and vowing to prove her innocence. Ribas eventually agreed to a two-year suspension, saying at the time that it “hurt so bad” to accept it.

    It took a long time, almost the full 24-month period of her suspension, but the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced earlier this month that Ribas’ suspension had been terminated. Ribas was one of the few fighters banned for trace amounts of ostarine and recently cleared after USADA determined it to be consistent with supplement contamination.

    The UFC quickly booked her return for June 29, matching the Brazilian up against Emily Whitmire at UFC Minneapolis. Ribas, who was allowed to competed in jiu-jitsu and grappling tournaments during her USADA suspension, feels “thrilled” to finally make her Octagon debut.

    ”I was very upset at first because I’m a clean fighter,” Ribas told MMA Fighting. “I competed in an Olympic sport, judo, so I was always clean. I was training at American Top Team when they told me I had failed a doping test, and that was scary because I always did everything right, so where could that come from? I tested some supplements I was using, but having everything tested is very expensive, so I just accepted the punishment. I was upset in the beginning, but kept training.”

    After the suspension, Ribas returned from Florida to her hometown Varginha, but was constantly visiting other cities in Brazil for more training experience. She was always in town wherever the UFC put on a card in Brazil, and feels that it helped her get ready for her first bout since May of 2016.

    ”I’m way more experienced now compared to when I signed with the UFC,” Ribas said. “I used to the environment and the pressure that exists in the UFC. It’s completely different now. My head is prepared for this.”

    In the end, even though the suspension forced her out of the game for almost two years, Ribas chooses to see the glass half full.

    ”I really don’t look it that way,” Ribas said when asked if she felt frustrated with the whole situation. “I see it as a gift from God because now I know how experienced I am compared to when I signed with them. Who knows, maybe if I fought back then I would get nervous and not fight the way I can. I think these months got me more mature for this.”

    The one thing Ribas changed in her life after the USADA case was stop using supplements, but admits it’s not easy.

    ”Athletes need supplements, especially when we start cutting weight,” Ribas said. “It’s hard to get everything you need only through food, it’s hard for your body to absorb everything before you get back to training again, but I’m trying. I got rid of all chocolate in my life [laughs], but that’s it. If it was that easy everyone would be a champion.”

    Ribas’ first test in the UFC, Whitmire, is coming off victories over Jamie Moyle and Aleksandra Albu. It was her first winning streak since joining the promotion after being part of The Ultimate Fighter 26. For Ribas, “Spitfire” is a “great opponent” for her debut in the eight-sided cage.

    “I like the fact that she’s coming off two wins,” Ribas said. “That’s great for me, to fight someone who is climbing the division. If I want to become the best, I have to beat the best. I love that she’s my next opponent. We both like to go to the ground to grapple, so that’s how I think this fight might play out, but anything can happen.”

  • Jessica Andrade: Joanna Jedrzejczyk has to win fights to earn UFC title shot
    Jessica Andrade captured the UFC strawweight championship with a KO win in Brazil.

    Jessica Andrade slammed Rose Namajunas to capture the UFC strawweight championship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 11, and is in no rush to point out who should be the next in line for the belt.

    Namajunas outstruck the challenger in the opening round, leaving her bleeding with accurate punches, but the new titleholder swears it was no surprise. With the help of leg kicks, Andrade says she managed to slow “Thug” down and eventually secure the finish with the brutal slam.

    “I knew that the first round would be like that,” Andrade told MMA Fighting. “I knew that I’d get beat up, that she would punch me and cut me, that there would be blood. I knew that the first round would be really tough, but it would be my moment to study her and know what to do in the second round.”

    Andrade expected to lose the opening round. In fact, she says if was part of PRVT leader Gilliard Parana’s plan.

    “My master told me in the locker room, ‘If she tries to go for an armbar or a guillotine, slam her. Don’t give her your back,’” Andrade said. “We trained that in the locker room. He told me not to worry about losing the first round, it was meant to be like that so we could see what we had to go for in the next rounds.”

    Despite some post-fight criticism online, an attempt to question the legality of the throw that finished the contest, Andrade simply won’t pay any attention.

    “I’ll tell you this, it didn’t bother me,” Andrade said. “I think that those who said that don’t really understand about fighting because I didn’t do a spike, it was a slam. She went down like that because she kept holding my arm. If you watch my fights, I do that all the time. I’ve done that against Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), against Claudia Gadelha, against Tecia Torres. It was a slam. So, yeah, it doesn’t bother me.”

    Winner of four in a row now — and 7-1 since moving down from bantamweight to strawweight —, “Bate Estaca” would happily grant Namajunas an immediate rematch if she wants one. It’s still up in the air if the former titleholder will ever get back to the Octagon after an honest post-fight interview in Rio de Janeiro, so the line of 115-pound contenders gets a busy confusing.

    Rising prospect Tatiana Suarez is slated to meet Nina Ansaroff at UFC 238 on June 8. Michelle Waterson, victorious in her last three UFC bouts, was in Rio de Janeiro to watch UFC 237 cageside, hoping to be the one to challenge the winner of Namajunas-Andrade next.

    For Andrade, the next in line is between the winner of Suarez-Ansaroff or Waterson. As for Joanna Jedrzejczyk, the last woman to beat Andrade in the eight-sided cage, “Bate Estaca” tells her to get back in the cage to earn a shot.

    “Everybody expects me to fight Joanna, but she has to work and try to get another opportunity to fight for the belt,” Andrade said. “When I fought her and lost, I had to get back in there and win three fights against the three high-ranked fighters to earn another chance.”

    Jedrzejczyk lost her UFC belt six months after defeating Andrade via decision at UFC 211, getting knocked out in one round by Namajunas. The duo met again five months later, with Namajunas emerging victorious via decision. Jedrzejczyk got back to the winning column last July, defeating Tecia Torres, but failed in her attempt to capture the flyweight championship against Valentina Shevchenko in December.

    “For her to fight me, she has to do the same,” Andrade said of Jedrzejczyk. “She has to get some wins, fight the higher-ranked girls, and then, if she wins, she’ll have the chance to fight me. I do believe that the next in line will be the winner of Nina vs. Tatiana or Michelle Waterson. I’ll wait. When the UFC calls me, I’ll be ready.”

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