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The Ultimate Fighter Continues to Deliver Strong Ratings

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

“The Ultimate Fighter 17” showcased another strong episode on Tuesday night. Early indications from TVbythenumbers.com have the show pulling in another 1.27 million viewers. That remains significantly higher than the numbers the show drew last season, which bottomed out at 624,000 viewers.

These solid numbers are sure be a continuing trend for the show. There was plenty of turmoil between Jon Jones and his team over the fight picks, which created an excellent story line. That kind of drama is key in maintaining interest from casual fans.

The featured fight between Luke Barnatt and Gilbert Smith also ended in a spectacular finish. Barnatt picked apart Smith on the feet for the majority of the fight. Smith had his moments and scored a few takedowns, but soon got careless lunging for a takedown and was knocked unconscious by a flying knee from Barnatt.

Before the show ended, Chael Sonnen selected Adam Cella to fight Uriah Hall on next week’s episode. Hall is regarded by many as the strongest fighter in this season’s cast.

The previews for next week’s episode showed Dana White discussing what he called, “the most vicious knockout I have ever seen in combat sports.” The next scene in the preview showed a fighter being loaded in the back of an ambulance, to confirm the validity of White’s teaser.

Next week’s episode should deliver more excellent ratings for the FX network. Hardcore MMA fans are sure to be looking forward to seeing the next fight’s violent finish, and casual fans will be drawn back by the ongoing drama within Team Jones.

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Dana White Doesn’t Think Conor McGregor Can Beat Rafael dos Anjos

Things are getting interesting ahead of UFC 196. The headlining fight at that March 5 pay-per-view event will see UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor move up to lightweight to face the champion of that division Rafael dos Anjos. If McGregor succeeds he will become the first UFC fighter to hold belts in two different divisions simultaneously. The oddsmakers have McGregor as the favorite ahead of the fight. UFC president Dana White doesn’t necessarily hold the same opinion.

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Ronda Rousey’s Mom Predicted Holly Holm Would Knock Her Out

Dr. AnnMaria De Mars is the first woman ever to win a gold medal at the World Judo Championship doing so in 1984. She is also the mother of former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Further she may be the most vocal critic of Rousey’s coach Edmond Tarverdyan. Appearing on Submission Radio De Mars once again spoke out on Tarverdyan commenting on Rousey’s loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193. “I predicted it in advance Ronda trained with an idiot and a fraud” said De Mars.

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Ronda Rousey’s Coach Breaks Silence on KO Loss to Holly Holm

We haven’t heard much from Ronda Rousey or her camp about the loss Rousey suffered to Holly Holm in November. Sure Rousey recently hosted Saturday Night Live and briefly addressed her UFC 193 knockout loss in her monologue but as far as detailed comments on the fight there has been mostly silence. That changed earlier this week when Rousey’s trainer Edmond Tarverdyan spoke to ESPN. Tarverdyan took a lot of heat in the days following the fight. Most of that heat was generated when his fighter bloodied and breathing from her mouth sat down on her stool at the end of Round 1.

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Dana White Responds to Jose Aldo’s Demand for Conor McGregor Rematch

On Thursday UFC president Dana White appearing on the “Opie and Jim Norton” radio show said “It’s one of those things; we made the fight the first time and he got hurt and had to pull out. Then we made it again and it ended in 13 seconds. It’s tough to make that fight again right away. Plus Conor wants to be a two-belt champion so he wants to fight dos Anjos.” While White didn’t totally rule out an Aldo versus McGregor rematch his comments make the fight seem unlikely. McGregor’s next fight will take place on March 5 when he moves up to lightweight to try and capture Rafael dos Anjos’ title.

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