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MMA Cypher Radio: Joey Beltran


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At 7 p.m. ET, MMA Cypher Radio hosts Jason Kelly and Corey Charron welcome Bellator light heavyweight Joey Beltran (Twitter: @Mexicutioner760).

UFC 167 happened, now what?

UFC 167 was a night of questionable futures and judging.

UFC 167 took place Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and the event was headlined with a UFC welterweight championship bout between title holder Georges St-Pierre and No. 1 contender Johny Hendricks.

St-Pierre won a highly controversial decision.  Following the event, UFC president Dana White referred to the judges, Tony Weeks and Sal D’Amato,  as “incompetent” for rewarding St-Pierre with a split-decision victory, and the Nevada State Athletic Commission as “atrocious” for continuously incorrectly scoring MMA bouts.

Whether the judges screwed up the results or not, that’s a topic that is always up for debate, the victory was recorded as a win for St-Pierre and, according to, he broke and extended UFC records.

St-Pierre won his 19th UFC bout, the most of any fighter in organizational history.  He extended his UFC winning streak to 12, the longest active streak of any fighter currently on the roster.  St-Pierre’s 12-fight UFC winning streak is the second longest of any fighter in UFC history. with Anderson Silva being in the No. 1 spot.  The victory was also St-Pierre’s ninth straight welterweight title defense, the most in the division’s history.  St-Pierre passed B.J. Penn for the most total fight time in UFC history with 5:28:12 spent inside the octagon during Round 1.  St-Pierre has won seven consecutive fights by decision for a total of 175 minutes of fighting without a stoppage.  St-Pierre fought to a decision for the 12th time in his UFC career, the second most of any fighter in history behind Jon Fitch and Sam Stout (13). His 12 decision victories are a UFC record, and St-Pierre has never lost a fight decided by the judges.  St-Pierre completed three takedowns in the fight, giving him a total of 87 in his UFC career, an all-time company record.  St-Pierre added to his tally for most total strikes landed in UFC history and has now landed a total of 2,523.  St-Pierre added to his tally for most significant strikes landed in UFC history and has now landed a total of 1,254.  St-Pierre absorbed 85 significant strikes in the fight, the most he has ever absorbed in a UFC bout.

Still, though, the controversial decision will go on to mar the significance of St-Pierre’s night in which many people believe Hendricks won.

Simple solution to an outcome like that is an instantaneous rematch, right?

Well, not when St-Pierre announced in a post-fight interview that he is taking a “step back from MMA.”  It appeared as if “Rush” was trying to express that he was retiring, but couldn’t commit to saying it, so no one really knows if he will fight again or not.

Regardless, Hendricks is left in limbo, as is the rest of the welterweight division until things with GSP become clear as to what his intentions are.  Also, to raise more questions on the near future of the UFC 170-pound weight class, the division was shook up earlier in the evening.

Leave up to Robbie Lawler to throw a monkey wrench up in any organization’s plans.

Prior to UFC 167, there was plenty of talk about St-Pierre’s teammate, Rory MacDonald, defeating Lawler and the two Tristar combatants facing one another.  However, Lawler, a 32-fight veteran at 29 years old, dominated in two of their three-round bout and elevated one rung on the divisional ladder.

MacDonald, who was expected to be a belt contender in a short time, is completely out of the title picture.  Throughout Lawler’s career he has been that fighter who derails the promotion’s up-and-coming talent en route to securing his own title shot.  And he does it without talking to hype fight, but establishing his rank with exceptional performance in combat.

Chael Sonnen, though, is a mixed marital artist who does live off the hype talk.  And that is something he failed to do leading up to his UFC 167 co-main event against Rashad Evans.

Evans defeated Sonnen via TKO in Round 1 of their light heavyweight affair, but unlike a typical bout featuring the former UFC middleweight No. 1 contender, the match flew under the radar.  A reason for that could be that it was revealed by White weeks before their fight that Sonnen will be coaching opposite Wanderlei Silva on “The Ultimate Fighter Brazil” and meet “The Axe Murderer” at a later date.

Everyone, Sonnen included, has been focused on the ongoing feud between him and Silva.  And given that Sonnen is Evans’ colleague on Fox Sports 1, it wasn’t a total shock that “Suga” didn’t receive the tongue thrashing “Chael P.” is capable of.  Nonetheless, Sonnen was pummeled in the opening frame, didn’t stay in the spotlight by utilizing is slick wit and is now coming off a loss as he heads into his coaching stint against Silva.  It takes some meaning away from the match when the American and Brazilian do square off.

Former Strikeforce welterweight Tyron Woodley caused a “TUF 1″ alumni to visit the same thoughts St-Pierre is entertaining.

Woodley blasted Josh Koscheck with a accurately placed right hand to the chin in the first round of their UFC 167 meeting that ended the fight.  Woodley is back in the win column after losing a split decision to Jake Shields at UFC 161 in June, but has numerous competitors between him and a title shot.  He isn’t ranked in the UFC top 10 welterweights, however, the win over Koscheck could help him crack the list.

Koscheck, on the other hand, is on a three-fight losing streak, with the most recent two ending in TKO/KO.  The four-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler reportedly texted White alluding to the fact the he might hang his gloves up.  Considering he is far removed from a title match and consecutive knockouts are a good way ensure brain trauma, it isn’t the worst idea if Koscheck does retire.

Ali Bagautinov, who is just beginning his UFC career, racked up his 10th straight victory in the opening fight of the UFC `167 main card.

Bagautinov outlasted Tim Elliot, winning a unanimous decision and halting the American’s two-fight win streak.  Elliot’s awkward style and high pace was something Bagautinov evidently had never dealt with.  Elliot was able to take advantage of the Russian’s lesser cardio in Round 3, but Bagautinov already had the victory locked in by winning the first two frames with a higher volume of strikes.

Donald Cerrone, who submitted Evan Dunham via triangle choke in Round 1 on the preliminary card, earned the submission of the night bonus.  Woodley won knockout of the night, and St-Pierre and Hendricks picked up fight of the night honors.  All winners received $50,000.

The event drew an attendance of 14,856 and a live gate of $5.7 million.

Something the event did offer is a variety of quandaries.  Such as what happens with the welterweight division?  And, what is to be done about judging in MMA?

Video: UFC 167: Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks highlights

Georges St-Pierre (L) fighting Johny Hendricks (R) at UFC 167. (Photo courtesy of

Ali Bagautinov defeated Johny Hendricks via decision, and defended his UFC welterweight belt at UFC 167, which was the main event of the evening and took place at UFC 167 on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.  Check out highlights from the bout here.

Video: UFC 167: Rashad Evans vs. Chael Sonnen highlights

Rashad Evans defeated Chael Sonnen via TKO in the co-main event at UFC 167, which took place at UFC 167 on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.  Check out highlights from the bout here.

Video: UFC 167: Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald highlights

UFC welterweight Robbie Lawler

Robbie Lawler defeated Rory MacDonald via spit decision at UFC 167, which took place at UFC 167 on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.  Check out highlights form the bout here.

Video: UFC 167: Ali Bagautinov vs. Timothy Elliott highlights

Ali Bagautinov defeated Timothy Elliott via decision at UFC 167, which took place at UFC 167 on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.  Check out highlights form the bout here.

UFC 167 post-fight press conference

UFC 167 took place Saturday at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.  Watch UFC President Dana White, as well as competitors on the card, field questions from the media regarding the event.

UFC 167 results

UFC 167 weigh-ins live video stream

The UFC 167 weigh-ins will stream live on on Friday at 7:00 p.m. ET, which takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

UFC stars predict Hendricks over St-Pierre

In July, at UFC 162, Chris Weidman scored one of the biggest upsets of all time when he knocked out Anderson Silva to win the UFC middleweight championship. Fans Octagonside at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas were stunned when a Weidman left hook laid out “The Spider” in the second round. But not everyone was surprised by the result. Now, some of the sport’s best athletes are predicting another long championship reign to end when welterweight king Georges St-Pierre collides with No.1 contender Johny Hendricks this Saturday.

The fight is the most eagerly-anticipated UFC welterweight title fight in years, with Las Vegas oddsmakers giving the Ada, Oklahoma-born Hendricks the best shot to take the title away from “GSP” in years. The No.1 ranked challenger is currently listed as +205 (or a little over 2-1) to snatch the title away, the narrowest odds offered on any GSP opponent since BJ Penn challenged the Canadian half a decade ago at UFC 94.


UFC president Dana White said: “Just like when Chris Weidman was challenging Anderson Silva, everywhere I go, I’ve got fighters telling me that they think the upset is happening in this fight. All the pros think Johny Hendricks is the biggest challenge that GSP has faced in his entire UFC career. Almost every fighter I’ve spoken to and every fighter we’ve interviewed thinks Hendricks is going to shock the world.”


Here, some of the biggest names in the UFC weigh in on what could be the upset of the year.


Carlos Condit (No.2 ranked welterweight contender, former interim UFC welterweight champion; has fought both St-Pierre and Hendricks)

“If I were a betting man, I’d take Johny Hendricks for the upset. You have to give Johny a huge chance in this fight. I’m most excited to see how their wrestling matches up. If Johny can stop the takedown, like a lot of people think he will, it is going to be very interesting.”


Chael Sonnen (No.6 ranked light heavyweight contender, three-time UFC title challenger)

“Johny is by far the biggest threat to GSP’s title, that’s obvious. Hendricks could be the guy to end GSP’s reign, we all get that. What’s getting missed here is the bigger story: If GSP wins this fight, he is the greatest fighter in the history of the UFC, the number one guy of the UFC’s first two decades. Hendricks will be the UFC champion in the future – I think we can all agree on that – so if GSP can beat him now he will not only be the greatest fighter of his era, but also of the Hendricks era. Every win Hendricks gets after losing to GSP would be a win for GSP, too. So this is an even bigger stakes match than people realize. I think GSP will show up in the form of his life – but I also think Hendricks wins this.”


Tim Kennedy (No.10 ranked middleweight contender)

“I think Johny Hendricks is the better fighter across the board. Better wrestler, better striker, takes a shot better – everything. But I think GSP, he’s just a freak, he will find a game plan to win on points. I really think that Hendricks should win this fight, but I won’t bet against GSP.”


Robbie Lawler (No.10 ranked welterweight contender)

“It’s going to be a tense first round for sure. I think whoever imposes their will and can get the ball rolling early will take it. Cardio is going to be the key and you know Georges will be ready to go the full five. Hendricks needs to come in shape and, if he does, he’s got a great chance to take the title.”


Matt Serra (former UFC welterweight champion, last man to defeat St-Pierre)

“Johny has been taking out a lot of tough guys, knocking guys out, so he has a huge puncher’s chance. Koscheck had a great right hand and a puncher’s chance against GSP, but nothing like this guy. GSP does fight safe, so the opportunities for Hendricks to land the shot are going to be few and far between, but he will get the chance and he has to be ready to take it. That’s what I did.”


Dan Hardy (UFC welterweight contender, former title contender who faced St-Pierre)

“The upset can happen. We all know GSP is the best problem-solver in the sport, but he’s got a hell of a problem in this fight. Johny Hendricks presents a different kind of danger than anyone else Georges has ever fought. GSP has beaten fighters with good power before, but Hendricks, to my mind, is the hardest single-shot puncher in the division. Johny Hendricks needs to hit you once, and that’s it. GSP has beaten great wrestlers – before, but no one anywhere near as decorated as Hendricks. Even if Johny’s wrestling enables him to stay standing for 10 minutes out of the scheduled 25, that’s still a hell of a long time for him to land one shot.”


Alexander Gustafsson (No.1 ranked light heavyweight contender)

“I definitely believe Hendricks has a chance to beat GSP. He’s a hard hitter with excellent wrestling skills, so anything can happen.”


Chad Mendes (No.1 ranked featherweight contender)

“I think Johny is gonna get this. GSP is super athletic, a great champion, but Johny’s wrestling and power gives him the advantage. GSP doesn’t have the best chin in the world, and actually I think he can’t take a shot even as well as he did a few years ago. I can see a second-round KO.”


Brian Stann (former middleweight contender, FOX Sports commentator)

“Georges is the all-round better fighter, but I think Johny is winning this fight. I think the years of being champion, fighting the best of the best, fight after fight, year after year, have taken a toll on GSP. His chin isn’t what it was and I think Johny’s takedown defense is so good that he will spend enough time on his feet to land the knockout shot. Johny is happy to take a few to land one, and I think that will happen. Carlos Condit did a lot of damage to Georges in their fight, and if Johny catches him like that it is over.”


Cat Zingano (No.1 ranked women’s bantamweight contender)

“GSP knows how not to lose fights, and I can see him not losing the fight. But, I have this feeling that Johny Hendricks is so wild, so unpredictable, that he will catch GSP. Hendricks is like a wind-up doll with a chainsaw and I don’t know how you can prepare for that. GSP will have had a hard time preparing for this style. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if Hendricks wins the title.”


Michael Bisping (No.4 ranked middleweight contender)

“I’m going with Hendricks to put him to sleep in one round with a left hook. Hendricks has the capabilities of stopping GSP’s takedowns and, quite honestly, it is going to be a murder on the feet. Hendricks hits too hard and he can take a hell of a shot himself. Hendricks’ left hook is the most dangerous weapon in the entire welterweight division, and it will win him the UFC championship on November 16. Also, I’m just not sure if GSP really wants to do this anymore. He is the best welterweight of all time, perhaps the best UFC fighter of all time, period.”


Jake Shields (No.7 ranked welterweight contender, former welterweight title challenger)

“If I had to bet a lot of money on it, I’d go with GSP on points, but I think Johny has a real good chance because GSP doesn’t like getting hit. I’m excited to see two things happen in this fight. First, I want to see how GSP reacts to getting hit by someone who hits like Hendricks. Second, I’m really interested in how Hendricks deals with getting put on his back. Hendricks is a four-time NCAA Division I wrestling All-American, he’s not used to getting taken down, but it will happen fighting Georges. It will happen in the first round. If Johny can mentally deal with that, keep cool, get up and throw, he can win this fight.”


Matt Hughes (UFC Hall of Famer, former welterweight champion, fought GSP three times)

“I really think Hendricks has the tools to get his hand raised. He’s obviously got the wrestling, and along with the wrestling he’s got that big left hand. I don’t think Georges’ jab is going to be as effective against a southpaw, and he’s always going to know that when he’s close enough to throw that jab, Johny’s gonna be close enough to land that left. So I think that may play into Georges’ mind just a little bit and I think mentally Georges has some obstacles because he doesn’t like to get hit.”


Gray Maynard (No.5 ranked lightweight contender, two-time UFC lightweight title challenger)

“I’m going with Johny. He’s got the wrestling, the power and the more I hear from him, he just sounds confident, like he knows he’s got this. I’m calling the upset.”


Daniel Cormier (No.2 ranked heavyweight contender)

“I was able to work with Johny in the past and no one performs better when the lights are brightest. I pick Hendricks.”


Forrest Griffin (UFC Hall of Famer, former light heavyweight champion)

“Johny Hendricks is a way better wrestler than GSP, Johny Hendricks has way, way more power than GSP, and Johny Hendricks has a far, far, far better chin than GSP. Clearly, Johny Hendricks doesn’t stand a chance of pulling off the upset against GSP…”


Chuck Liddell (UFC Hall of Famer, former light heavyweight champion)

“I think Hendricks is really going to make GSP fight. GSP is a great, great fighter. And he really can fight, but he prefers not to and to think his way to victory. Johny won’t allow that to happen. I will say I thought all this before the last fight GSP fought Josh Koscheck, but I think the pace Johny fights at, how hard he hits with each shot, and how much he seems to want this makes this the most interesting GSP fight in years.”


Luke Barnatt (undefeated UFC middleweight)

“My money is on the upset. GSP is the greatest ever, but Hendricks is the most dangerous opponent GSP has faced in years. Hendricks has the best wrestling credentials in the UFC on paper, and has that one-punch KO power. GSP has the advantage over five rounds, but I see Hendricks finishing the fight early.”


Jimi Manuwa (undefeated UFC light heavyweight)

“I’d definitely give Hendricks a shot against GSP – he’s a great wrestler with powerful striking. I’m really looking forward to seeing this fight.”


Nik Lentz (No.8 ranked featherweight contender)

“GSP is the better fighter, overall, but Johny is the biggest puncher, pound-for-pound, in the sport. Maybe it is because we have the same nutritionist, Mike Dolce, but I think Johny wins the belt by knockout in the second round. Johny is going to get taken down, right away, but if Johny keeps calm, keeps going for the knockout and doesn’t get frustrated, he will land that shot.”


Jason High (UFC welterweight contender)

I hate to go against my wrestling brother Johny Hendricks, but I think GSP might get him. Hendricks is definitely a tough nut to crack for him, but I think in a five-round fight, those fourth and fifth rounds could be a problem for Johny. Georges is always in shape and he’s fought five rounds a bunch of times, so I’ve got to go with the champ on this one.”


Ross Pearson (UFC lightweight contender)

“For this fight I would tell Hendricks to go out and take the fight to Georges, don’t wait for him, be first to do everything. I definitely think Hendricks can defeat Georges. He has scary power; he just has to make sure he uses it early in the fight.”


Brad Pickett (UFC flyweight contender)

“If I was a betting man I’d put my money on Hendricks. He has the finishing power that we’ve seen has caught GSP out before when he fought Matt Serra. We could be in for another Matt Serra upset. When it comes to tactics, GSP is the best he studies his opponents in so much detail. If Hendricks can keep unpredictable then he could outsmart GSP. My prediction would be GSP decision or Hendricks KO.”

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