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  • Michigan moves to regulate amateur MMA after death after amateur bout

    (Michigan state seal)In the wake of a death in an amateur bout, Michigan has moved forward with regulating MMA for amateurs. Felix Nchikwo, a 35-year-old Canadian, died after his amateur bout in Michigan on Saturday. The vote was planned before his death, but the death did bring a spotlight on the need for amateur regulation in the state.

    Nchikwo died in the hospital after fighting in an amateur bout in Port Huron, Mich. The Michigan coroner found no evidence that the death was caused by trauma. After the fight, his cornerman said he was dizzy and a "little exhausted," but then he was brought to the hospital after he collapsed.

    Even though trauma was not behind Nchikwo's death and we'll never know if amateur regulation could have prevented it, it is a good move for Michigan to address this hole in their laws. With regulation, protections will be put in place for fighters such as required pre-fight medical and blood screenings. Professionals who try to fight amateurs could be charged with a felony.

    Professional MMA has been regulated in Michigan for years. The UFC has been to Michigan twice, but both events were marred by controversy. UFC 9 was the event that led to Sen. John McCain's crusade against the sport and its removal from several cable providers. At UFC 123, several years later, Maiquel Falcao filed a formal complaint with the state commission because of a timekeeping problem.

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  • Cat Zingano (Getty)The UFC will put on its 17th edition of the "The Ultimate Fighter" finale on Saturday, which is a little crazy in and of itself. The show has been on for 17 seasons, putting it near "Law and Order" in longevity. The question why is this show still airing was already answered here, but here are a few more questions to be answered on Saturday.

    Who will coach the next edition of "The Ultimate Fighter?" Cat Zingano and Miesha Tate will be the second women to fight in the Octagon, and the stakes are high. The winner gets not just a shot at the UFC women's bantamweight belt and Ronda Rousey, but a chance to majorly increase her profile with a coaching spot on the next season of TUF. It's a huge opportunity for either fighter.

    How will Uriah Hall perform under the lights? There's no question Hall has been the most exciting fighter to emerge from TUF in years. He won with three straight highlight-reel knockouts. But those fights all took place in the relatively sheltered world of TUF, without the bright lights and loud crowd of a true UFC event and without the hype that grew around him as the season aired. Will he be able to deliver again when the pressure is on, or will Kelvin Gastellum play the spoiler?

    Read More »from Four questions that will be answered by Saturday’s finale of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’
  • Has ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ turned a corner?

    (Getty)By the end of the last season of "The Ultimate Fighter," the show was a pale imitation of what it had been. It had terrible ratings, wasn't producing great fighters, and wasn't exactly the springboard to fame and stardom in the UFC. But this season, with new coaches and a new night, a new show emerged. What made it new and improved?

    Updated shooting style: When TUF first started airing, it wasn't one of a million other reality shows that featured castmembers talking into a camera in front of a background. Eight years in? It was hard to tell TUF from "Real Housewives" from "The Biggest Loser." Perhaps it was FX's influence, but the updated look to the way the show was filmed gave it more of a documentary feel and gave it a much-needed update.

    Committed coaches: When Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones were named the coaches of this season, I worried that we would get all shtick, all the time. Thankfully, I was proven wrong. Both men developed bonds with their teams that translated well to the camera, but it was Sonnen who truly surprised.

    He truly relished his role as a coach. His inspirational speeches rivaled the best of Eric Taylor, and he used what he learned in years of wrestling in training his fighters. Even the way Sonnen addressed his future opponent as "Coach Jones" spoke to how committed he was to his role. It was much more enjoyable to watch than two highly ranked fighters talking the same old smack again and again.

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  • Take a closer look at Saturday’s ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ bouts

    Bubba McDaniel will fight on Saturday. (Getty)Now that we know Uriah Hall and Kelvin Gastellum are fighting in the final of "The Ultimate Fighter" on Saturday, it's time to look at the other TUF match-ups. As is the tradition, castmembers from the show will face off at the finale, though most of their bouts are on the preliminary card airing on Fuel. Whether you didn't watch the show or just forgot how it all went down, here's how each fighter did on the show.

    Robert "Bubba" McDaniel vs. Gilbert Smith: This is the one bout that made the main card, and I'm not sure why. Smith was knocked out in his first round fight. McDaniel was choked out by by one finalist and knocked out by another. His one win came when Kevin Casey quit on the chair before the third round.

    Kevin Casey vs. Josh Samman: Coming into the show, Casey was best known for filming a rap video with reality TV has-been Spencer Pratt. Now, he's known as the guy who lost to Collin Hart and then couldn't continue for a third round against McDaniel. He's taking on Samman, the semifinalist who was shocked by Gastellum.

    Read More »from Take a closer look at Saturday’s ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ bouts
  • Watch Benson Henderson train with NFL star Larry Fitzgerald

    UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson met up with fellow Arizonian Larry Fitzgerald, the All-Pro receiver for the Arizona Cardinals. Henderson, who will fight Gilbert Melendez at UFC on Fox 7 on April 20, worked out with Fitzgerald, and had the football player winded by the end of their session.

    Though Fitzgerald is working out with Henderson for off-season training, the UFC champ rightly points out that Fitzgerald could be a great fighter. At 6-foot-3, 218 lbs., he could make an interesting light heavyweight or even middleweight, and he wouldn't have to deal with Arizona's lack of a

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  • Former UFC champ Pat Miletich considering a run for Senate

    (Getty)Pat Miletich has a diverse resume. He was a fighter, earning the UFC welterweight championship in 1998. He is one of mixed martial arts' most prolific trainers, having trained fighters like Matt Hughes, Jens Pulver and Robbie Lawler at one time in their careers. He's a commentator, voicing MMA fights for Showtime and AXSTV with knowledge that makes him one of the best at the job. Now he's considering adding politician to that list.

    A longtime Iowan, Miletich is considering running for the Senate seat opening in Iowa as Tom Harkin is planning to step down.

    "A lot of people are fed up with a lot of things that are happening in the country,” he said to the Quad City Times. If he runs, it will be as a Republican or independent.

    But winning the seat won't be easy. Several experienced politicians are interested in running for Senate. Fighters haven't done well in political races in the past. UFC light heavyweight contender Chael Sonnen withdrew from a congressional run in Oregon, and retired UFC fighter Chris Lytle lost his campaign for office in Indiana.

    Thanks, MMA Junkie.

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  • What you need to know from ‘The Ultimate Fighter’

    Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen with Fifty Cent, obviously. (Getty)It's the second to last episode of "The Ultimate Fighter," and we'll find out who the finalists are. Let's get right to what you need to know about the show.

    Harley Davidson product placement segment! Harley-Davidson is one of the UFC's main sponsors, and they got their money's worth in the opening of Tuesday night's episode. The four semifinalists and two coaches head to a Harley store to pick out the motorcycle he will win. They also play around in the clothing area, and everyone talks about how awesome Harley is.

    Semifinal one: Josh Samman (Team Jones) vs. Kelvin Gastellum (Team Sonnen)

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  • UFC fighters Luke Rockhold and Daniel Cormier both have fights coming up, but they still had time to head to a San Jose Earthquakes game and hang out with their mascot, Q. And when I say hang out, I mean kick a soccer ball at a very sensitive area. The teammates from AKA worked together to create misdirection, and went 1-0 on their shootout.

    They have slightly bigger challenges ahead of them off the pitch. After winning the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix championship, Cormier is making his UFC debut against Frank Mir at UFC on Fox 7 on April 20. Rockhold left Strikeforce as the middleweight champion. He'll make his UFC debut against Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX 8 in May.

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  • The UFC suspended Matt Mitrione for offensive comments regarding Fallon Fox (Getty)

    The UFC wasted little time laying down the law on Matt Mitrione, suspending the heavyweight indefinitely for transphobic comments regarding Fallon Fox he made during an interview with Ariel Helwani Monday on "The MMA Hour."

    Fox was born a man and underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2006 and has had two fights as a professional mixed martial artist, winning both.

    Mitrione repeatedly referred to Fox as a he and called her as "a lying, sick, sociopathic disgusting freak."

    "Because she's not a he. He's a he," he said. "He's chromosomally a man. He had a gender change, not a sex change. He's

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  • (Getty)Matt Mitrione is coming off a huge win. On Saturday, he won with a 19-second knockout of Philip de Fries. It was a hugely needed win after Mitrione suffered two losses in his last two fights. Now Mitrione is using the spotlight to talk about trans fighter Fallon Fox.

    While on the MMA Hour, Mitrione repeatedly called the postoperative transgender female a "he." Mitrione also called Fox, who is scheduled to fight again in May, a sociopath and a freak.

    Read More »from UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione calls trans fighter Fallon Fox a ‘sociopath’ and ‘freak’