Fightin' Words

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

LI's Al Iaquinta has new opponent for UFC Fight Night

Al Iaquinta of Wantagh will be a contestant

(Credit: David Pokress)

Last week, Wantagh's Al Iaquinta was tabbed to replace the injured Paul Taylor in a fight against Anthony Njokuani scheduled for UFC Fight Night 30 in Manchester, England, next month.

This week, it is Njokuani who had to pull out of the fight with an injury.

Iaquinta, a Team Serra-Longo fighter, will now face Piotr Hallman in a lightweight bout that same night.

Iaquinta (6-2-1,...

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Jon Jones on fight day

Jon Jones elbows Rashad Evans during a light

(Credit: Getty Images)

Weigh-ins for UFC 165 in Toronto (watch them live here) are a few hours away now, which will conclude with main-eventers Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson hitting the scales.

The day of weigh-ins before a fight is the busiest day of fight week, said Jones. This during a week filled with media obligations, cutting the remaining few pounds to hit 205, workouts, and throwing out the first pitch...

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Jon Jones, Alex Rodriguez and the first pitch

UFC fighter Jon Jones throws out the first

(Credit: Getty)

Jon Jones is better suited keeping his strikes inside the cage. His first pitch at the Blue Jays-Yankees game on Tuesday was a smidge or two out of the strike zone.

But at least he reached the plate, and did so from the mound, two things many celebrity first-pitch throwers rarely do.

Jones, who is in Toronto to defend his light heavyweight title against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165,...

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Chris Weidman, Anderson Silva UFC media tour stops in NYC

UFC champion Anderson Silva and challenger Chris Weidman

(Credit: Newsday/Mario Gonzalez)

In the span of eight days beginning Sept. 23, Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva will visit seven cities across the United States and Brazil to promote their rematch at UFC 168 in Las Vegas on Dec. 28.

Presumably, they will be asked many of the same questions in each city and offer the same answers. Expect quite a few of them to be about UFC 162 when Weidman upset Silva to win the middleweight...

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In the years since Penn vs. Edgar 2 . . .

Frankie Edgar, left, and BJ Penn exchange punches

(Credit: Getty/Al Bello/Zuffa LLC)

By the time Frankie Edgar and B.J. Penn step into the cage to fight each other for the third time, more than 50 numbered UFC events will have passed since their last bout. Plus all the fight nights and such in between.

When news broke earlier this week that Edgar and Penn would coach against one another on the next season of "The Ultimate Fighter" and then face off again afterward,...

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Dominick Cruz to return in early 2014?

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 11: Ultimate Fighting Championship

(Credit: Getty Jerry Markland)

UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz hasn't fought in 710 days. In that time, Renan Barao won the interim bantamweight title once, defended it once and had a second defense canceled once.

Barao is now just 11 days away from his second defense -- at UFC 165 in Toronto against Eddie Wineland.

On Tuesday's UFC 165 conference call, UFC president Dana White said Cruz is expected to return...

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Glover Teixeira deserves his UFC title shot

Glover Teixeira, top, from Brazil, fights countryman Fabio

(Credit: AP Photo Felipe Dana)

The title shot legitimacy of Glover Teixeira is often met with disdain or negativity. Why? Well, for one, that's what MMA fans do. (Ask Chris Weidman . . . after he won the title.)

And second, they say Teixeira has yet to fight a top-10 light heavyweight in the UFC.

Both of those points are true.

Both of those points aren't much of an argument to make in claiming Teixeira doesn't...

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UFC 164 phantom cam highlights

Al Iaquinta of Wantagh trains at Ray Longo

(Credit: David Pokress)

Enjoy this edition of phantom cam highlights from Fox's super slo-mo camera at UFC 164, embedded below.

Wantagh's Al Iaquinta (pictured above) is featured in the early portion of the video. He beat Ryan Couture by unanimous decision.

(Newsday's app users can watch the video at http://youtu.be/_0OzBjzoqlU)...

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Rafael dos Anjos vs. Donald Cerrone highlights

UFC lightweight contender Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone poses at

(Credit: Getty)

Watch highlights from Rafael dos Anjos' unanimous decision victory over Donald Cerrone at UFC Fight Night 27.

Video: UFC Fight Night: Dos Anjos/Cerrone

(Newsday's app users can see the video at http://bit.ly/1dtJh1j) ...

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Frank Mir remains focused on UFC title

UFC heavyweight Frank Mir poses at Jackson’s Mixed

(Credit: Getty)

At age 34, loser of his last two fights and 0-3 in his last three title fights, it's fair to wonder where Frank Mir is at in his career.

Is he a title hopeful still, or is it about "the big fights" for the former UFC heavyweight champion? Mir is certainly not the first fighter to face such a question.

"I don't concede to the fact to just try to put on great fights," Mir said on the UFC 164 conference call earlier this week. "An outcome of my drive is to actually work back towards a title. I don't see it as a situation where that is no longer within my grasp."

Mir is ranked No. 6 in the UFC's heavyweight division, and his opponent next Saturday -- Josh Barnett -- is ranked No. 10. He looked sluggish in a decision against Daniel Cormier last April and was knocked out in the second round against then-champion Junior Dos Santos in May 2012.

It is not inconceivable to think that Mir (16-7) is just a few fights away (perhaps as few as three?) from another title shot. Some things would have to go his way, sure, but in MMA, if you stick around long enough, it can happen. All it takes is an injury or two to another fighter and then, well, you know the deal.

"The training I'm doing now to where I'm at in life and stuff, being only 34 years of age, I don't really see it as an issue to concede to the face that, 'Oh, I'm only going to fight for it to be an entertaining fight, just add it on to a card," Mir said. "That's just not where I'm at in my life."

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