Fightin' Words

A mixed martial arts blog about UFC, Bellator and other MMA promotions and fighters.

Thinking about UFC 168 . . .

Miesha Tate gestures to Ronda Rousey during the

(Credit: AP)

LAS VEGAS -- As I watch the sun rise up from the mountains in the desert from my hotel room, I'm reminded that it is a new day, which means more time to process all the things seen at UFC 168 several hours ago.

Here are of the thoughts I'm generating at the moment after watching a series of fights that stirred up more than $6.2 million in gate revenue for the UFC:

-- Miesha Tate vs....

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Things to watch for at UFC 168

Uriah Hall, left, defeated Dylan Andrews in the

(Credit: Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS -- Some thoughts about what to look for at UFC 168 on Saturday night (besides just the punching and the kicking and the grappling):

-- How does Uriah Hall respond after two losses and that "He's not a fighter" quote by UFC president Dana White from the last time he fought? That should be quite interesting to watch unfold against Chris Leben.

-- Can Miesha Tate push...

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A stocking stuffer for Matt Serra

Matt Serra before his fight against Matt Hughes

(Credit: AP)

Matt Serra and Chris Weidman will be linked in MMA history books forever, and not just because Serra is Weidman's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor.

Both are from Long Island. Both train under Ray Longo. Both pulled off monumental upsets to win world titles against the best there ever was in their respective weight classes.

So when you converse at length with UFC commentator Joe Rogan about...

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Chris Weidman on superstititions

Saturday - July 6, 2013 - Las Vegas:

(Credit: Newsday Mario Gonzalez)

Athletes and their superstitions, a combination than can create some intriguing (and disturbing) stories.

This is not one of them.

UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman said he's a little superstitious, "but nothing too crazy." Nothing that would cause concern.

The undefeated fighter from Baldwin does have one thing he must do before each fight. It's probably closer...

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MMA champ trains to the beat of . . . country music

Chris Weidman, right, and Anderson Silva battle it

(Credit: AP)

Nothing about a Tim McGraw-Faith Hill ballad suggests mixed martial arts.

It's a pretty country duet performed by pretty country people, for sure, but it sounds a smidge out of place inside the gritty garage-type gym for punching and kicking and people.

Yet, there was "It's Your Love" coming through the sound system at Ray Longo and Chris Weidman's Power MMA in Garden City...

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Video: Weidman hitting pads with Longo

Middleweight Chris Weidman of Baldwin, trains with Ray

(Credit: James Escher)

Here's a little clip of a training session between UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman hitting pads with trainer Ray Longo one night this past week in Garden City.

It was produced by Weintraub Films, which has been documenting Weidman's camp for UFC 168.

That should be an interesting piece when it's completed and released.

Watch the video embedded below.

(Newsday's...

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UFC adds women's strawweight division

Carla Esparza, left, won a unanimous decision over

(Credit: Invicta FC/Esther Lin)

Not long ago, women fighting inside the UFC's octagon seemed like the most far-fetched concept in the male-driven world of mixed martial arts. Heck, the president of the organization even said as much.

And there Dana White was on Wednesday, on a conference call, announcing that the UFC would be expanding its women's division to now include strawweights (115 pounds).

Invicta FC, an all-female...

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GSP to discuss future on Friday, maybe

Georges St. Pierre, of Canada, fights Johny Hendricks

(Credit: AP Photo Isaac Brekken)

UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre left MMA fans in the lurch in the moments after his split-decision win at UFC 167 last month.

After he won a split decision over Johny Hendricks, St-Pierre said he was stepping away from the sport for a while. He didn't say he was retiring.

This Friday, perhaps we'll get the answer. He'll be doing an appearance in Montreal, UFC president Dana...

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One year, four fights for Urijah Faber

Ivan Menjivar, center, taps out as he is

(Credit: AP)

At age 34, Urijah Faber is just days away from his fourth UFC fight of 2013. Not many fighters his age and with his pedigree stay that active, whether they are healthy or not.

The last time Faber fought four times in the same calendar year was 2007. He went 4-0 that year, all WEC featherweight title defenses, including a win over Dominick Cruz.

Six years later, Michael McDonald stands...

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Video: Invicta FC's 'Road to Honchak vs. Smith'

Barb Honchak, left, continued her winning ways, taking

(Credit: Invicta FC/Esther Lin)

Barb Honchak defends her flyweight title against Leslie Smith at Invicta 7 this Saturday.

Here's an impressive 25-minute "Road to" video that introduces you to both fighters.

(Newsday's app users can watch at http://bit.ly/1cXZqrv)...

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