MMA News

  • Jay Hieron avoided major damage in MMA but admits long-term health played a part in career change
    by MMA Fighting Newswire on March 27, 2023 at 1:00 am

    Photo by Michael Buckner/Penske Media via Getty Images Jay Hieron knows he’s one of the lucky ones. Throughout a 10-year, 30-fight MMA career, Hieron avoided any major injuries, and though he suffered four knockouts, he never dealt with any long-term effects when it came to brain damage or impaired cognitive function. For the past decade since retiring from MMA, Hieron has been busier than ever working as an actor and stuntman, which has earned him over 100 acting credits on his résumé. While finding success in the film and television industry was the biggest part of his decision to leave fighting behind, the now 46-year-old former UFC fighter admits that his health definitely played a role in getting out when he did. “I took some damage, I had some eye surgeries and of course broken hands, but nothing major, thank God,” Hieron said on The MMA Hour. “I’ve got 30 fights and I’m healthy. My mind is pretty good. I can remember lines. That was on my mind at the time I was making the decision, for sure. It’s a rough business. I think every time you go in there, you leave a little piece of yourself if it’s a dog fight in there. That’s the price we pay. But we all sign up for that. “All my injuries, I’m cool with, but it’s a small window. You’ve got to know. I didn’t want fighting to retire me. I wanted to retire from fighting. I didn’t want to be holding on just for a paycheck and be that old dude fighting and washed up. I’ve got other, bigger passions.” According to Hieron, it was UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture who first introduced him into doing acting and stunt work on major productions, and he actually started taking those jobs for fun while he was still active in his fight career. As time passed, Hieron started fielding more and more offers to continue doing work on various films and television shows. While he was still holding out hope that he might return to fighting, he eventually saw the writing on the wall that it was time to move on. “At that point, I was already fighting 11 years or so, and I made some decent money a couple years before that,” Hieron explained. “My last deal wasn’t the best and I kind of was like, I never wanted to have fighting retire me. I wanted to retire from it. I didn’t think [to retire] right then and there. “I kind of sat back a little bit and just keeping the door open, see if any offer comes that sparks me up, gets me going, gets that fire burning again, and I started taking more jobs.” After filming a role on The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Hieron started to wonder if perhaps he had already found his future in front of the camera. That made it that much easier to call it a career where fighting was concerned. “I was just working and working and working, and I was like maybe I could make a living at this,” Hieron said. “The wheels started turning. I was already in the film business already a couple of years. I had worked but I was part-time. So I had to really get out there and network and let everybody know I’m full-time. “But I was waiting to see if something would come up. PFL, those big tournaments, weren’t around then. I already fought every promotion, Bellator, UFC, Affliction, IFL. So I was just kind of taking a break and I didn’t announce it for a year. As time went on, I started getting more and more busy and I just felt my passion changing towards the film industry.” These days, Hieron is still a fixture at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas whenever he’s in town and not traveling around the world for various film and TV productions. Just recently, Hieron got the chance to return to his old stomping grounds at the UFC for a couple of scenes he shot opposite Jake Gyllenhaal for the upcoming Road House remake that also stars Conor McGregor. Hieron couldn’t be any happier with the way his career turned out because he found so much success after he hung up his gloves for the final time. He understands it’s not so easy for other fighters, which is why so many continue competing when it might actually be a detriment to their long-term health. Unfortunately, Hieron says it’s tough for any combat sports athlete competing at the highest level to seek out another career, especially when fighting is all they’ve ever known. “It’s hard to tell somebody, ‘Have a backup plan,’” Hieron said. “For me, again, I wouldn’t say luck, but a little bit. But I took the opportunity and I ran with it, for sure, and I did the work. “You have to stay ready for opportunities, but you should have something else going on if you can. But then again, you’re telling a guy that’s going in there to fight for his damn life, for his livelihood, to put food on his table, take care of his kids, to have something else going on. It’s hard. These guys are going to war.”

  • Carla Esparza announces pregnancy, aims for mid-2024 return
    by MMA Fighting Newswire on March 26, 2023 at 11:00 pm

    Matthew Lomeli and Carla Esparza | @carlaesparza1, Instagram Carla Esparza has a little “Cookie Monster” on the way. The two-time UFC strawweight champion announced Saturday that she is pregnant, with she and husband Matthew Lomeli expecting a child in September. See Esparza’s Instagram announcement below. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Carla (@carlaesparza1) In the social media post, Esparza wrote that they waited 14 weeks to reveal the news and that she is targeting a return to competition in mid-2024. Esparza has been out of action since losing her strawweight title to Zhang Weili via second-round submission at UFC 281 this past November. That loss snapped a six-fight win streak for Esparza, a stretch of success that culminated in the UFC’s inaugural 115-pound champion earning a split decision win over Rose Namajunas at UFC 274 to become champion a second time. Read Esparza’s caption below: So we’ve been keeping a little secret for the last 14 weeks… we’re expecting! Baby Cookie Monster Grand Entrance September 2023 Excited for this next chapter… and hoping to make my return early to mid 2024

  • Nikolas Motta reveals grisly cut that forced him out of UFC 287: ‘The second picture is my tendon’
    by MMA Fighting Newswire on March 26, 2023 at 9:06 pm

    Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC Nikolas Motta had a good reason for pulling out of UFC 287. Motta, a 30-year-old veteran of the UFC’s Contender Series, was slated to face Ignacio Bahamondes on April 8 in a lightweight bout on UFC 287’s undercard. However, Motta revealed over the weekend that he has been forced to withdraw from the matchup after suffering a deep gash due to an accidental headbutt he sustained in practice. Motta’s full statement can be read below. The second slide features a up-close-and-personal picture of the cut that forced Motta out of UFC 287. (Warning: Potentially NSFW.) View this post on Instagram A post shared by Nikolas Motta (@nikolasmotta) Don’t swipe left if you have a weak stomach. I had this accident couple days by a headbutt in wrestling practice and my coaches and people that i trust made the decision to ask to to pull back my fight 3 weeks to have enough time to heal this or it would easily open in the fight and they would stop the fight by doctor stoppage. I had a lot stitches all my career but never had one deep like that, this white part on my cut in the second picture is my tendon, it got very swollen and inflamed. So even if felt unbelievable that something like that happened right before my fight, after thinking a lot i could see that was the right choice from my coach that i trust. I been focused and always in shape since after my fight in September last year and didn’t go home for the first time to see my family in the end of the year to stay ready to fight in December or beginning of the year and i been focused since then. So i just need couple weeks to heal that 100% trust the process and finally be back. Motta (13-4) holds a 1-1 record over two UFC appearances. After winning a decision over Joseph Lowry on Contender Series, he lost his octagon debut via second-round TKO to Jim Miller before bouncing back with a first-round TKO of Cameron VanCamp. At the time of this writing, it is unclear whether a replacement opponent will be found to keep Bahamondes on the card. UFC 287 takes place at the Miami-Dade Arena in Miami, Fla.

  • Paddy Pimblett calls for Jared Gordon rematch from hospital bed: ‘You’re f****** dog s***’
    by MMA Fighting Newswire on March 26, 2023 at 8:23 pm

    Paddy The Baddy, YouTube Paddy Pimblett is tired of hearing about Jared Gordon. The UFC lightweight released a video Sunday calling out Gordon from a hospital bed following ankle surgery to fix an injury Pimblett says he suffered in the opening round of his UFC 282 bout against Gordon, which he won via controversial unanimous decision. “When I told [doctors] it happened in the first round of a fight, within the first minute, and they said, ‘Oh, did you fight finish there,’ and I was like, ‘No, I’d done another two and a half rounds,’ they went, ‘What?’” Pimblett said on the video, which was uploaded to his YouTube channel. “They said, ‘You should’ve just sat on your stool and not have carried on fighting.’ “I said, ‘Are you mad? You think I’m some p****?’ People are like, ‘Oh, Jared Gordon did so well.’ He only done well because me ankle was f*****. You stupid t***. And he’s just being a bitter little girl, going on every interview site, ‘Oh, I won that fight, I won that fight.’ Well lad, Joe Solecki beat you [in 2021] but you got a split decision, so shut your mouth.” Pimblett was then asked by his cameraman whether he wanted to rematch Gordon. “Yeah, I want to punch his head in toward the end of the year,” Pimblett responded. “I am going to run it back. I hope he beats Bobby Green, because I’ll snap his arm for him in a round. Had a boxing match with him and I still won, because you’re s***. “I hope he watched this. You’re f****** dog s***. At my worst, you couldn’t beat me at your best. Injured, everything going wrong, and you couldn’t beat me on my worst day, and I beat you on your best, because you’re a little bum.” Pimblett, 28, is unbeaten through four fights in his UFC career. His battle with Gordon was the first bout of his octagon run to go to the judges and remains mired in controversy. Twenty-three of the 24 media scores posted to scored the fight for Gordon, as did 90.8 percent of the fan scoring on the database website. Pimblett said on his Sunday video that he expects his ankle to heal within six to 10 weeks. Gordon is currently scheduled to face Bobby Green on April 22 at UFC Vegas 72.

  • ‘Never missed his fights’: Fighters react to Donald Cerrone’s UFC Hall of Fame induction
    by Jose Youngs on March 26, 2023 at 8:00 pm

    Esther Lin, MMA Fighting Donald Cerrone is the latest inductee into the UFC Hall of Fame. During the broadcast of UFC San Antonio, fans were treated to a video package of Cerrrone’s career highlights before his family joined him ringside to surprise him with the announcement. “Cowboy” had previously announced his retirement following his submission loss to Jim Miller last July. To date, Cerrone is tied for second-most wins, (23), second-most finishes, (16), most post-fight bonus awards (18), third most bouts (38), and most knockdowns (20) in UFC history. Cerrone also joins Anderson Silva, Jose Aldo, and Jens Pulver in the 2023 Hall of Fame class. See how some of his fellow fighters reacted to the announcement below. Riding right into the Hall of Fame! @CowboyCerrone is officially joining the #UFCHoF induction class of 2023! [ B2YB @ToyoTires ]— UFC (@ufc) March 25, 2023 Congratulations Cowboy!!— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) March 25, 2023 Well deserved to the legend of Cowboy Cerrone— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) March 25, 2023 Donald was the man never missed his fights— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) March 25, 2023 Congratulations @Cowboycerrone on the HOF nod! Legend #UFCSanAntonio— Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) March 25, 2023 It was such an honor to share the cage with you. Congrats on the hall of fame. Well deserved sir! #ufc— Niko Price (@Nikohybridprice) March 25, 2023 A true legend! Congrats @Cowboycerrone #UFCHallOfFame— Anthony Pettis (@Showtimepettis) March 25, 2023 Congrats Cowboy #UFCSanAntonio #HOF— Proper. Mike Malott (@Michael_Malott) March 25, 2023 — Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) March 25, 2023 How awesome was this moment— bjpenndotcom (@bjpenndotcom) March 25, 2023 Congratulations Cowboy #donaldcerrone #hof— Boston Salmon (@bostonboomboom) March 25, 2023 One of the best to ever do it. Never missed an opportunity to watch a cowboy fight— Damien Brown (@beatdown155) March 25, 2023 Congrats @donaldcerrone #HallOfFame— Jamie Mullarkey (@jamie_mullarkey) March 25, 2023


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