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Ronda Rousey Gives Pump Up Speech to Kids 'Gotta Have Self-Confidence'

4/22/2016 10:36 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0422_ronda_rousey_outside_sports_wm-2Imagine you're about to play a middle school soccer game ... and Ronda Rousey shows up to give the pre-game pump up speech -- pretty cool, right?! 

That's exactly what happened in L.A. last week when the UFC superstar surprised a bunch of kids at John Liechty Middle School ... and we're told the kids LOVED it! 

0422-ronda-rousey-tmz-01TMZ Sports spoke with a rep for the Woodcraft Rangers NVISION program -- which puts together after-school programs for kids -- who tells us Ronda primarily spoke about education and the importance of self-confidence. 

0422-sub-ronda-rousey-tmz-01It's interesting considering Ronda's self-confidence was down in the dumps after her loss to Holly Holm -- but she realized she couldn't mope forever and seems to have pulled herself out of the rut. 

We're told Ronda stayed for the entire soccer game -- cheered on the kids -- and then signed EVERYTHING that the students asked her to sign. 

And get this ... after the game, Ronda asked the kids to sign a shirt for her too! 

UFC's Wanderlei Silva Conor McGregor Is Wrong 'Promotion Is Part of the Deal'

4/21/2016 3:46 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

MMA legend Wanderlei Silva has a message for Conor McGregor -- be a pro and do your job. 

The 39-year-old was at LAX when we asked how he felt about Conor's argument that he's paid to fight -- NOT to promote

"The promotion is a part of the deal and you need to be professional," Silva told us. 

Silva says he respects McGregor as a fighter -- but at the end of the day, he signed a contract ... or as Wanderlei so masterfully put it ... "Job is job."

You gotta watch the clip -- this guy is awesome. 

Nate Diaz Top UFC Fighter Asks for Shot ... I'll Replace McGregor!!!

4/21/2016 1:10 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

That didn't take long ... now that Conor McGregor's been axed from UFC 200, a big time fighter is publicly angling to take his spot ... with UFC fighter Tyron Woodley saying he's down to face Nate Diaz.

Woodley is #3 in the UFC Welterweight rankings -- aka no slouch -- and when we got him out in L.A., he told us he's already campaigning Dana White to give him a shot against Diaz.

Just remember to show up at the press conferences bro.

Conor McGregor Takes $10 Mil Hit UFC Officially Calls Off Fight

4/21/2016 9:01 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0421-conor-mcgregor-TMZ-01Conor McGregor's Facebook statement wasn't enough to move the UFC -- the organization is officially calling off his fight with Nate Diaz ... a fight that came with a $10 MILLION paycheck, TMZ Sports has learned. 

Our sources tell us ... besides the massive payday, the UFC told Conor it was willing to move mountains to accommodate the fighter during the UFC 200 media tour. 

Not only did UFC offer to fly Conor to every destination on a top-of-the-line private jet ... but also offered to ship out every single piece of his gym equipment from Iceland to Vegas for this weekend's media event so there wouldn't be a kink in Conor's training. 

We're told McGregor was told his gym would be set up identically to his Iceland training center and it would all be ready to go the second he stepped off the plane.

Still, McGregor refused to budge -- and our sources tell us Conor was "shocked" when he was told the media obligations in Vegas were mandatory. 

As for Conor's future ... we're told he blinked on retirement partially because of anti-doping rules that require fighters to wait 4 months after they un-retire before they can fight again -- and Conor doesn't want to wait that long. 

Dana White told Colin Cowherd he believes McGregor will fight for the UFC in the next year -- but our sources tell us it will NOT be against Nate Diaz. Instead, he'll have to fight Frankie Edgar or Jose Aldo

And when he does return ... he's expected to do a FULL run of promotions for that fight too. 

Conor McGregor I'm Not Retired 'Paid to Fight, Not Promote'

4/21/2016 7:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0421-conor-mcgregor-TMZ_01Conor McGregor says he is NOT retired -- still wants to fight at UFC 200 -- and blasted the UFC saying he's paid to fight, not to promote.

In a long post to social media, McGregor essentially says he's been caught up in the PR machine -- and it distracted him from his main focus ... fighting. 

"I have become lost in the game of promotion and forgot about the art of fighting."

"Talking to some lady that deep down doesn't give a f**k about what I'm doing, but just wants some sound bites so she can maybe get her little tight ass a nice raise, and I'm cool with that too, I've been giving you all raises. But I need to focus on me now."

McGregor says he tried to strike a compromise with the UFC -- asking for permission to skip the Vegas press conference this weekend and instead only hitting the "big" events like the upcoming presser in NYC, but was shot down. 

Conor says he doesn't think the decision to yank him from UFC 200 is fair considering how much money he's made for the UFC over the years. 

"I feel the $400million I have generated for the company in my last three events, all inside 8 months, is enough to get me this slight leeway."

"I am still ready to go for UFC 200."

He also took a shot at Nate Diaz -- "Nate's little mush head looks good up on that stage these days. Stuff him in front of the camera for it."

He concludes by addressing his "retirement" tweet -- saying, "For USADA and for the UFC and my contract stipulations - I AM NOT RETIRED."

Click here for Conor's entire statement ... 

UFC's Dana White I'm Not Buying Conor's Retirement ... He'll Fight Again

4/20/2016 10:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

Dana White is calling BS on Conor McGregor's alleged "retirement" -- saying he's very confident McGregor will fight again in the UFC within the next year. 

The UFC honcho just appeared on "The Herd with Colin Cowherd" on FS1 and said despite pulling Conor from UFC 200, he's "not mad" at the guy ... claiming, "The show will roll on."

And get this ... White said there is STILL A CHANCE Conor could save his spot on the card and battle it out with Nate Diaz at UFC 200 ... but there's a VERY small window of opportunity to fix the situation. 

Conor -- better move fast ... 

Conor McGregor Already Written Out of 'xXx' Movie ... Says Michael Bisping

4/20/2016 6:41 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Conor McGregor's not just out of UFC 200 -- he's also out of Vin Diesel's new 'xXx' movie ... and according to UFC star Michael Bisping, his part's already been written out. 

McGregor pulled out of the flick last month to focus on his rematch with Nate Diaz in July -- but now that Dana White yanked him from UFC 200 for refusing to participate in the promotional campaign, we were wondering if Conor would shift his focus back to Hollywood. 

But according to Bisping -- who has a role in the movie -- it's too little, too late. 

"His part got written out," Bisping said as he was leaving the set in Toronto. 

It's too bad for Conor ... Bisping says he's having a blast shooting the film -- and if it's any good, it could be a huge career booster for him. 

Sucks to be Conor right now. 

Conor McGregor AXED FROM UFC 200 ... Refused to Promote Fight

4/19/2016 5:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

0419_dana_white_conor-mcgregor_tmzDana White says he's yanked Conor McGregor from UFC 200 -- claiming the Irish superstar refused to fly to Vegas to promote the event.

McGregor tweeted about retiring earlier Tuesday -- clearly a reaction to whatever beef he was having with Dana behind the scenes.

"Conor did not want to come to Las Vegas and film the commercial or be a part of any of the marketing that we have," White told ESPN. 

White noted McGregor is currently training in Iceland and refused to fly in for the press conference. 

"You have to do the press conference," White said ... noting that he once pulled Nate Diaz's brother Nick Diaz from a fight when Nick blew off a presser. 

We're told Conor is not begging Dana to reconsider ... sources connected to Conor tell us he has NOT called the UFC back after White made the decision and WON'T call back either. 

As for Conor's future with the UFC, we're told he won't be suspended or penalized any more than this. 

Joe Rogan No Way Conor McGregor Retires Unless ...

4/19/2016 3:07 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

Joe Rogan ain't buyin' Conor McGregor's retirement tweet ... saying there's no way McGregor will hang 'em up "unless he got f*cking head kicked today and knocked into oblivion."

Rogan -- who's been the color commentator for the UFC for nearly 20 years -- was on his "Joe Rogan Experience" podcast Tuesday when the news broke about Conor's tweet and Joe's reaction was about as honest as it gets. 

Rogan made a couple of interesting points ... noting McGregor was ringside at an MMA fight in Dublin earlier this month, in which a fighter was beaten so badly, he died from his injuries ... and Conor may have been affected by what he saw. 

He also noted McGregor came thiiiiis close to retiring from MMA right before he got his first deal with the UFC -- because some of his close friends were having health issues. 

But all that aside, Rogan says he just doesn't believe the announcement is legit -- saying, "There's no way, he'd do it like this."

We'll see ... 

UFC's Nate Diaz Hey, I'm Retiring Too!

4/19/2016 1:01 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0419_nate_diaz_tmzWell, UFC 200 has some problems ... as both headliners have apparently retired ... with Nate Diaz joining Conor McGregor on the beach. 

Nate just tweeted, "I guess my work here is done I'm retiring too."

There's clearly some kind of a dispute going on ... but we're hoping it's nothing that can't be resolved. 

Stay tuned ... 

Conor McGregor 'I Have Decided to Retire Young' ... Internet Loses Mind

4/19/2016 12:12 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0419-conor-mcgregor-tmz-01Conor McGregor is either messing with his fans ... or just made one of the most shocking announcements of all time ... implying he's RETIRING. 

McGregor went to Twitter and wrote, "I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya's later."

We've reached out to Conor's camp -- so far, it's radio silence. 

We've also spoken with a handful of plugged in UFC people -- and so far, no one seems to know if it's a joke or if Conor is seriously hanging it up. 

Meantime, Conor is scheduled to fight Nate Diaz at UFC 200 on July 9th. 

We're working on it -- stay tuned. 

UFC's Demetrious Johnson I Send Poop Pics to My Wife ... Lemme Explain.

4/19/2016 7:27 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

You've heard of trading selfies? 

Well, UFC superstar Demetrious Johnson trades smellfies with his wife ... but there's actually a good story behind it. 

We were talkin' to Mighty Mouse about the best picture in his phone that he HASN'T posted on social media ... and his response -- "My son's poop."

Soooo ... why??

Watch the clip, Johnson has a pretty adorable explanation ... until our photog makes it weird. 

BONUS -- we also ask DJ how he feels about Henry Cejudo changing his nickname before they face off at UFC 197 this weekend ... pretty funny stuff. 

UFC's Bruce Buffer Jason Momoa's a Beast But McGregor Would Destroy You

4/15/2016 11:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

He's bigger than Conor. He's stronger than Conor ... but if Jason Momoa ever got in a fight with Conor McGregor -- IT WOULD BE LIGHTS OUT, so says UFC's Bruce Buffer

"Muscles don't win fights," Buffer told us when we asked how the 6'4", 230-poundish musclebound Momoa would do inside the Octagon. 

Don't get us wrong, Buffer says he's got all sorts of respect for the "Aquaman" actor -- but even the most ripped, beefed up dudes would get SMASHED by the smallest pros in the UFC. 

"I'd put a 135 pounder or a 145 pounder like Conor McGregor on him and it'll be a whole new world for him because he's not a fighter."

"He'd get [Momoa] on his back, he'd choke him out. You put him in an armbar, the biggest guy in the world is gonna tap or cry his eyes out as his arm gets broken."

Buffer says Momoa has the size and toughness to be a decent fighter if he wanted to ... but bottom line -- don't ever confuse muscles for fighting ability.  

 

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