22.09.2022
Jon Jones, Vitor Belfort, Nick Diaz and more – how UFC’s youngest fighters fared

Raul Rosas Jr could be a name MMA fans remember for years to come, or he might crash and burn – overcome by the pressure of too much too soon.

The youngster hit the headlines this week for securing a contract with the UFC by winning on Dana White’s Contender Series at the tender age of 17 years and 348 days.

He is the youngest fighter to ever put pen to paper with the world’s leading MMA promotion and could yet become the youngest to make his full debut.

Dana White described him as ‘special’ and batted away questions over whether the starlet was already prepared for the big time.

Rosas Jr, who is unbeaten in his six professional bouts, is full of confidence too, proclaiming: ‘I know what I can do, and (White) knows what I can do. Well, he really doesn’t, but he will know what I can do out there.

‘I would fight this Saturday, but I heard there’s no event this Saturday, so I’ll fight when they have another event. I’m just ready to go out there and get the kill.

‘I know it won’t be easy, but nothing is easy in this life. I will become the youngest UFC champion. I don’t care what it takes, nobody is going to take this away from me.’

Rosas Jr will join an elite club of prodigious talents to enter the UFC at a young age. So who are the youngest fighters in history and how did their careers pan out?

The British rising star is tipped by many as a future champion. Like Rosas Jr, he is also aiming to become the youngest fighter to have the belt wrapped around their waist in history.

He is already sensationally well-rounded and an entertaining watch. The flyweight has not yet tasted defeat and submitted Cody Durden in fine style in the very first round of their clash earlier this year in London.

He followed that up by beating Charles Johnson, again on home soil, and the sky is the limit for Mokaev.

Having moved to the UK from Russia at a young age, the youngster’s story is a fascinating one. He was placed in a refugee camp upon arrival before the Home Office moved him and his father to Wigan.

After training at a youth centre, he quickly realised his talent for martial arts and the rest is history.

Heard of him? Arguably the greatest MMA fighter ever, depending on whether or not you discount him from the conversation over failed drugs tests, Jones is the standout name from this list.

He became the youngest UFC champion in history by beating Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua back in 2010.

And despite the extra-curricular controversies, of which there is a list as long as your arm, he has set the benchmark over the last decade.

Jones has won 15 fights with a title on the line and his only ever defeat was due to a questionable disqualification for illegal use of the elbow.

‘Bones’ has been out of action for more than two years now having decided to move up to heavyweight but the story is far from over.

He is likely to make his debut in the division in the coming months and who would bet against him adding to his legacy by becoming two-weight champion?

The Californian bantamweight is one of the few fighters on this list to have called it a day.

He is only 30 but decided to hang up the gloves following an impressive nine-year stint. McDonald started his amateur career at just 14-years-old so there are more miles on the clock than it seems.

McDonald won 19 of 23 professional fights, fought nine times in the UFC and then retired after two scraps for Bellator.

Hooper is a popular and recognisable face on the UFC circuit already and the featherweight has a bright future.

His results have been mixed so far with three wins and two defeats but he is gaining valuable experience at the top level at such a young age.

Hooper’s talents were spotted early and he was signed to a professional outfit with just five amateur fights to his name.

He then went on to amass an unbeaten record in 10, including a win on Dana White’s Contender Series, before the big show called him up.

One of the most popular fighters on the roster, Holloway was in the conversation among the greatest featherweights before his three defeats by Alexander Volkanovski.

He still has an enduring appeal and claims to be the best boxer in the UFC. His fight with Calvin Kattar was prime evidence supporting that claim and Holloway has seen it all already.

‘Blessed’ is at a bit of a crossroads at the moment given the champion’s dominance and he is perhaps too small for a move up to lightweight.

But the Hawaiian’s legacy is already intact having beaten the likes of Jose Aldo, Charles Oliveira and Anthony Pettis.

It will be fascinating to see where the 30-year-old goes from here with so many miles left on the clock.

The man, the myth the legend. Nick Diaz, brother of Nate and one of the UFC’s original stars, may have now run his race in the promotion.

His last performance against Robbie Lawler was creditable at least but there are major questions about whether he should still be competing at the top.

Diaz is a law unto himself at times and fans have warmed to his antics over the years.

He had his debut way back at UFC 44 before a hiatus between 2007-11 and eventual return against BJ Penn.

Losses to Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit before another decision defeat by Anderson Silva (later ruled a no contest) hardly matter as the Diaz popularity and legend appears bulletproof to losses.

Known for his constant pressure and talking to opponents during fights, Diaz has been a born entertainer and fascinating character down the years.

Another UFC legend. Lawler at his peak was among the scariest prospects in MMA, with punishing boxing skills under which opponents withered.

He won the welterweight crown against Jonny Hendricks in 2014 and defended it twice against Rory McDonald and Condit.

The McDonald fight in particular will go down in history as one of the bloodiest affairs in which both men gave absolutely everything.

His run of two wins from his last eight leave plenty to be desired and perhaps that McDonald battle took a few years off.

He is scheduled to fight Santiago Ponzinnibbio in December and another defeat could spell the end of his time fighting for the UFC.

The Brazilian terrified opponents at his peak and is tied for third in terms of most KOs in UFC history (14).

Belfort made his debut against fellow legend Chuck Liddell way back in 2004 and saw the UFC go through a rapid rise to prominence, of which he was a key part.

The southpaw won five knockout of the night bonuses and was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it fighter. He is another to make a foray into the boxing world since leaving the UFC.

He beat Evander Holyfield by first-round TKO in September last year and is now an aging gun for hire at 45.

It must be said, Belfort knocked out Michael Bisping with a head kick that led to the Brit going blind in one eye, a bout in which he was alleged to have been on performance enhancing drugs.

Back in 2006, he tested positive for 4-hydroxytestosterone, an anabolic steroid that led to him being banned for nine months.

The American looked every inch the new kid on the block when he burst onto the scene with his ridiculous athleticism, model looks and flashy techniques.

He won his first two fights in style and was portrayed as a possible future face of the organisation.

But things turned sour; he lost to Mickey Gall and Bryan Barberena before surprisingly exiting the UFC off the back of three successive wins.

He then signed for ONE Championship and lost his first encounter.

Northcutt was heralded by Dana White upon his arrival as a teenager but the UFC president later said he thought he should retire.

He said: ‘I would really like to see Sage Northcutt retire. I hope he does. Good looking, charismatic kid, smart.

‘He was [going to] college to be an engineer. He’s got a lot going on in his life. This isn’t the sport for him.

‘I don’t want to sound like I’m shitting all over the guy because I really like the kid a lot. But this isn’t the sport for him. I would love to see him retire before he seriously gets hurt.’

Lauzon and his brother Joe first became known for their backyard fights with each other online and transferred their skills into careers.

Well-rounded lightweight Dan only fought twice in the UFC, losing on both occasions before parting ways with the company.

It just goes to show, for all the prodigiously talented youngsters who go on to make it big with the promotion, there’s always the chance it might not go to plan for others.

Lauzon has not fought since 2015 but ended his professional career with an impressive record of 17 wins from 23 fights.

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    Phil Foden MUST start for England at the World Cup, says Gary Neville

    Gary Neville has suggested there will be a ‘real problem’ if England can’t find a place for Phil Foden in their starting XI at the World Cup.

    With the tournament now fewer than seven weeks away, fans and pundits alike are debating what England’s starting team should be for their first game, and who should be in the 26-man squad.

    One place up for debate seems to be in the right forward position, with many torn between Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka for the starting spot. Neville, speaking on Sky Sports, was adamant it had to be Foden.

    ‘I feel really strongly on the forward options,’ said the former England full-back.

    ‘I love a lot of those players but if we can’t find a starting position for Phil Foden in our national team I think that’s a real problem.

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    ‘A lot of clamour for the change of system is for individual players,’ Carragher said.

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    England boss Gareth Southgate is set to name his squad for the tournament later this month, with England’s first game, against Iran, set for November 21.

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  • 25 минут назад 04.10.2022Sport
    Brother of Garang Kuol secured contract for him with Premier League Newcastle while on the RUN

    The brother of rising Australian soccer sensation Garang Kuol helped broker a half-a-million dollar Premier League deal for him while on the run from Australian authorities.

    Kuol Mawien Kuol remains at large after skipping bail on July 22 in Victoria and heading to New South Wales to manage his little brother.

    Just days after making his international debut for the Socceroos, Garang Kuol last week secured a lucrative transfer to Newcastle United.

    International football sources have told Daily Mail Australia that Garang’s brother was instrumental in brokering the deal with the help of a Nigerian agent doing the leg work for him in the United Kingdom.

    Kuol is believed to have escaped the cold Melbourne winter for the coastal delights of Terrigal – about 86kms north of Sydney – but is yet to have been arrested.

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    A day later, Garang became the youngest Australian since Harry Kewell to debut for the Socceroos, coming off the bench in the side’s 2-nil win over New Zealand in Auckland.

    The Newcastle deal could not have happened without the co-operation of his current A-League side the Central Coast Mariners, which will pocket a tidy transfer fee on the back of the deal brokered by its star’s fugitive brother.

    The club has not responded to Daily Mail Australia’s repeated requests for comment.

    Kuol had an arrest warrant issued after he skipped bail on charges of ripping off elderly Australians in a $121,000 bank scam.

    Victoria Police issued it after he failed to turn up at court on August 22 over a series of fraud charges.

    The 23-year old has been on the run since July 22 when he failed to answer bail in Victoria.

    He was arrested in Sydney two days later after troublesome behaviour at the casino.

    Police sources have confirmed the Footscray man, from Melbourne’s west, appeared at NSW’s Downing Centre Local Court on July 28 where he was found guilty of four charges, including resisting arrest and handling stolen goods.

    In a bungle, Kuol was released in NSW and has not been seen by authorities since.

    Kuol has firmly hitched himself to his talented younger brother, professing to manage the ‘football affairs’ of both Garang and Alou Kuol, who last year signed a 5-year contract with German side VfB Stuttgart.

    Garang is considered one of the hottest young talents in Australia, being rewarded for his spectacular campaign with the Central Coast Mariners where he only made his professional debut in December.

    Last weekend, Garang made no mention of his criminal brother/player agent when he bragged about scoring his latest contract.

    ‘It’s unreal,” Kuol told Newcastle United.

    ‘As a young boy in Australia, the Premier League is the main thing that everyone watches but nobody actually thinks they’ll reach those heights. To be one of those people, to be in the position I am, it’s amazing.

    ‘Now that I’ve signed for Newcastle, I want to train hard, play hard, hopefully go to the World Cup and come back here.’

    And further deals are likely to secure his runaway brother agent millions of dollars.

    Kuol had been released back into the community on a $20,000 surety despite police objections.

    He had faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court in June after police charged him with eight bail offences and applied to revoke his bail.

    The former bank employee had previously fronted court accused of stealing more than $121,000 from National Australia Bank customers where he was employed in country Victoria.

    The Shepparton News reported the majority of the customers affected by Kuol’s alleged thefts were elderly and included a 95-year-old and a 76-year-old.

    Police Gang Crime Squad’s Echo Taskforce Detective Senior Constable Daniel Chapman told the court Kuol was on bail with a $20,000 surety when he allegedly got another man to sign in for him at the police station on seven occasions.

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    The alleged fraudster was also accused of using the driver’s licence of his soccer star brother Alou Kuol when pulled over by police while he was unlicensed himself.

    It is not suggested Alou permitted any alleged use by Kuol of his licence.

    Alou set the nation on fire in June when he scored an amazing ‘scorpion goal’ for Australia’s under-23 side at the Asian Cup in Uzbekistan.

    Police further allege Kuol used another person’s credit card to buy return plane tickets to the United States.

    Magistrate David Faram granted Kuol bail despite his atrocious history of failing to obey court orders.

    Mr Faram also varied Kuol’s bail conditions from daily reporting to just three days a week – a requirement he quickly ignored.

    While wanted by police, Kuol continues to spruik his younger brother’s talents on social media, where he also takes digs at supposedly ‘bogus’ reporting on Garang.

    ‘Speculations, deadline days done. Only the family really knows the true answer,’ Kuol spouted in one rant against media reports.

    ‘Never refer to ‘third’ parties, they’ve done nothing besides piggy backing the work another does on the park and in life, manipulation is at an all time high in this current era.’

    Anyone with information on Kuol’s whereabouts ought contact police or Crime Stoppers.

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  • 25 минут назад 04.10.2022Sport
    Carragher blasts ‘idiots’ scrutinising Southgate and insists he shouldbe judged on tournaments

    Jamie Carragher has blasted the people scrutinising England manager Gareth Southgate and has insisted that he should be judged on his results at tournaments.

    Southgate has come under fire recently due to England’s poor performance in the Nations League, which saw the Three Lions relegated from the top level after they finished bottom of their group.

    England failed to win a single game in the Nations League campaign as they lost games to Italy, Hungary and Germany.

    In terms of tournaments, however, Southgate has yielded much better results, as he has led the team to a World Cup semi-final and a final in the Euros.

    Carragher defended the England manager, suggesting that people talking about replacing him are ‘idiots’ and that he is not holding back the team. However the former Liverpool defender did say that if England don’t reach the semi-finals, then Southgate could walk away from the job.

    He said on Sky Sports: ‘Scrutinising him is a joke. There were a lot of idiots talking about it. What Southgate has done… an England manager should only be judged on tournaments. I don’t care about friendlies, I don’t care about the Nations League, what he’s done in tournaments is close to match Alf Ramsey.

    ‘The idea he is holding the squad back is absolute rubbish. This is a very good England squad but it is not as good as we’ve had.

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    He said: ‘I’d only say it’s the end of an era if it feels like it naturally. He deserves to go further. It’s unbelievable what he’s achieved.

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    Fikayo Tomori returns to Stamford Bridge a more rounded defender

    Fikayo Tomori believes he will return to Chelsea new and improved, a little nastier and cleverer than the defender who left.

    His ability to predict what is coming next is not bad either.

    ‘I kind of knew we would draw Chelsea before the draw came out so the fact it has happened now is really exciting,’ AC Milan defender Tomori smiled.

    ‘It was a suspicion. I just thought it would be Chelsea because I felt it would happen. When it came out I remember my friends were all saying “you knew it, you knew it!”

    ‘Coming from Chelsea, being English there is probably added motivation.

    ‘Going back to Stamford Bridge, where it all started is a chance to show myself again.’

    Thanks to his prediction coming true Tomori, 24, is looking forward to seeing some familiar faces again such as good mates from his Chelsea academy days Mason Mount, Reece James and Trevoh Chalobah.

    They might well spot the difference in Tomori quicker than most as he has immersed himself in Milan and Italy’s renowned culture of defending, as well as that of the wider city and country, since leaving them behind to join Milan in 2021 initially on loan.

    ‘In Italy they are notorious for being good defenders, tough to beat, being nasty, stuff like that. It’s definitely something I’ve picked up,’ said Tomori, who has one of the game’s very best defenders Paolo Maldini close by as Milan’s technical director.

    Training with wily forwards like Zlatan Ibrahimovic is added education.

    ‘I think I’m cleverer,’ explained Tomori who feels he is also more confident and comfortable in himself. ‘Little fouls or positioning yourself in a way that makes the striker think, those kind of things. Training with Zlatan you can’t really be too timid. You have to be a bit tougher, nasty in a sense. He has played against the world’s best so it’s going to make me better as a defender.’

    Tomori’s integral role in Milan’s first title win in 11 years last season underlines how that has happened and fuelled the clamour for his greater England involvement.

    However he did not play in England’s final pre-World Cup games against Italy – at his San Siro home – and Germany last month.

    To his credit, Tomori was honest enough to admit he has not reached the level he would want yet this season and he has work to do to suit Southgate’s style.

    He said: ‘It’s always an honour to be called up. When I am there I try to give my best and if I don’t play I have got to keep on trying to stay in the manager’s mind, whether that is in England training or in Milan on the pitch. I just have to carry on going.’

    AC Milan will host a special ‘From Milan to Many’ fan event at BOXPARK Wembley in London with Rossoneri legends Alessandro Nesta and Daniele Massaro on 4 Oct from 7pm. The event is part of the AC Milan Trophy Tour in partnership with Emirates, an initiative that sees the Club take the 2021/22 Scudetto Trophy on the road to meet Rossoneri fans around the world

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  • 25 минут назад 04.10.2022Sport
    House owned by NRL bad boy Paul Vaughan that hosted infamous Dragons Covid barbeque up for lease

    The infamous Covid pandemic party house that saw St George Illawarra prop Paul Vaughan land in hot water has hit the property market.

    The NRL star was forced to issue a public apology and copped a $50,000 fine and eight-game ban after hosting a party at his house in Shellharbour, on the New South Wales South Coast during the height of Covid and stay at home orders issued by NSW Police.

    Now, with the Bulldogs prop heading to the English Super League, his home has briefly appeared on the property market for lease and has since been snapped up in the tight rental market.

    The highly-renovated 1960s home was described as ‘one of Shellharbour Village’s most sought after locations’ and was listed for $1395 a week with six month to two year leases on offer. It is unclear who the new tenants will be, with the Vaughan family to move out in November to head to the UK.

    One thing is for sure, it is the perfect place to host a party now that Covid restrictions have been relaxed. The back patio and pool area was described as ‘encouraging year round entertaining for any sized gathering and weather conditions’.

    The home is located just a street back from the Wollongong beach and includes five bedrooms, central family room, dining and kitchen area that opens up to an alfresco overlooking the pool area. A cabana and spa complete the opulence.

    Vaughan purchased the home in 2019 for $1.382million and the property is now valued between $1.8m and $2m.

    The NRL was in a biosecurity bubble at the time of the party and the Dragons had been given five days off training, but ordered to comply with both NRL and State Government Covid protocols.

    Instead, Vaughan sent out a text message inviting his teammates around for a barbeque, resulting in 13 other players being fined $1000 and suspended by the NRL for one game. NRL fines exceeding $300,000 were also handed out.

    Forward Jack de Bellin was infamously found hiding under a bed at the property when authorities arrived to break up the party.

    NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys had described the players actions as ‘arrogant’ at the time.

    ‘It is crazy that they think, one, that they can do it, and two, that they can get away with it,’ Deputy Commissioner Worboys said.

    ‘I think there is a touch of arrogance about it.

    ‘To their credit, they were cooperative with police when police finally went to the home and made those inquiries the next day.’

    Vaughan issued a public apology on social media and also appeared on NRL 360 to say sorry for his actions as well.

    ‘Firstly I am sorry,’ he wrote in his statement.

    ‘My actions were stupid, unexplainable and irresponsible.

    ‘The events that took place on the weekend were thoughtless and disrespectful to not only the game that I love, but to all of the sponsors, members and fans as well as the broader community.

    ‘The reality is, I should have known better and I am truly sorry.

    ‘I have let a lot of people down through my actions, and I hope that this sincere apology shows how deeply sorry I am and that I realise the enormity and stupidity of what I have done.

    ‘To say that I have learnt a lesson from this is an understatement. I hope one day in the future, I can get the opportunity to showcase my remorse through better actions on and off the field.

    ‘Again, I apologise to my teammates, the NRL, the Club, its members, sponsors and fans along with all stakeholders in the game and community.’

    Former Dragons cult hero Mark ‘Piggy’ Riddell was also roped into the drama as he lived opposite the infamous Vaughan party house at the time.

    It had been reported that Riddell played down the party and was abusive toward media in the street. He then took to Twitter to claim those allegations were incorrect and has since deleted his Twitter account.

    0
  • 25 минут назад 04.10.2022Sport
    House owned by NRL bad boy Paul Vaughan that hosted infamous Dragons Covid barbeque up for lease

    The infamous Covid pandemic party house that saw St George Illawarra prop Paul Vaughan land in hot water has hit the property market.

    The NRL star was forced to issue a public apology and copped a $50,000 fine and eight-game ban after hosting a party at his house in Shellharbour, on the New South Wales South Coast during the height of Covid and stay at home orders issued by NSW Police.

    Now, with the Bulldogs prop heading to the English Super League, his home has briefly appeared on the property market for lease and has since been snapped up in the tight rental market.

    The highly-renovated 1960s home was described as ‘one of Shellharbour Village’s most sought after locations’ and was listed for $1395 a week with six month to two year leases on offer. It is unclear who the new tenants will be, with the Vaughan family to move out in November to head to the UK.

    One thing is for sure, it is the perfect place to host a party now that Covid restrictions have been relaxed. The back patio and pool area was described as ‘encouraging year round entertaining for any sized gathering and weather conditions’.

    The home is located just a street back from the Wollongong beach and includes five bedrooms, central family room, dining and kitchen area that opens up to an alfresco overlooking the pool area. A cabana and spa complete the opulence.

    Vaughan purchased the home in 2019 for $1.382million and the property is now valued between $1.8m and $2m.

    The NRL was in a biosecurity bubble at the time of the party and the Dragons had been given five days off training, but ordered to comply with both NRL and State Government Covid protocols.

    Instead, Vaughan sent out a text message inviting his teammates around for a barbeque, resulting in 13 other players being fined $1000 and suspended by the NRL for one game. NRL fines exceeding $300,000 were also handed out.

    Forward Jack de Bellin was infamously found hiding under a bed at the property when authorities arrived to break up the party.

    NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys had described the players actions as ‘arrogant’ at the time.

    ‘It is crazy that they think, one, that they can do it, and two, that they can get away with it,’ Deputy Commissioner Worboys said.

    ‘I think there is a touch of arrogance about it.

    ‘To their credit, they were cooperative with police when police finally went to the home and made those inquiries the next day.’

    Vaughan issued a public apology on social media and also appeared on NRL 360 to say sorry for his actions as well.

    ‘Firstly I am sorry,’ he wrote in his statement.

    ‘My actions were stupid, unexplainable and irresponsible.

    ‘The events that took place on the weekend were thoughtless and disrespectful to not only the game that I love, but to all of the sponsors, members and fans as well as the broader community.

    ‘The reality is, I should have known better and I am truly sorry.

    ‘I have let a lot of people down through my actions, and I hope that this sincere apology shows how deeply sorry I am and that I realise the enormity and stupidity of what I have done.

    ‘To say that I have learnt a lesson from this is an understatement. I hope one day in the future, I can get the opportunity to showcase my remorse through better actions on and off the field.

    ‘Again, I apologise to my teammates, the NRL, the Club, its members, sponsors and fans along with all stakeholders in the game and community.’

    Former Dragons cult hero Mark ‘Piggy’ Riddell was also roped into the drama as he lived opposite the infamous Vaughan party house at the time.

    It had been reported that Riddell played down the party and was abusive toward media in the street. He then took to Twitter to claim those allegations were incorrect and has since deleted his Twitter account.

    0
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Sport Jon Jones, Vitor Belfort, Nick Diaz and more - how UFC's youngest fighters fared