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Brian Ortega ‘Doing Much Better’ After Loss … Says Coach Rener Gracie

EXCLUSIVE

Great news from Brian Ortega‘s camp … the UFC star is improving by the minute after that bloody loss to Max Holloway this past weekend … TMZ Sports has learned.

Ortega suffered a broken nose and thumb during Saturday night’s fight at UFC 231 in Toronto — and his left eye was swollen shut. The doctor stopped the fight in the 4th round. 

We spoke with Ortega’s coach, Rener Gracie — who’s been coaching Brian since Ortega was 13 years old. The two are super tight and Gracie was working the corner during the Holloway fight. 

Gracie tells us T-City was initially crushed by the loss … and even apologized to his team at the hospital for letting them down.

But, Gracie says the apology was completely unnecessary — telling TMZ Sports he’s proud of the young fighter for the tremendous effort he displayed against “one of the greatest fighters.”

Now, Gracie says Ortega is “doing much better” — he’s healing up and excited to getting back to work … and tells us why the loss will ultimately be a GOOD thing for his career. 

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Baker Mayfield H.S. Coach Defends QB After Hue Beef … He Was Easy On Coaches!

EXCLUSIVE

Baker Mayfield‘s H.S. coach is going to bat for his ex-QB after the Browns superstar torched Hue Jackson … saying Baker was just doing what he thought was best for his team.

Of course … Mayfield’s been met with a lot of critics after he went scorched earth on his former head coach THREE separate times, accusing Hue of being “fake” for joining the Bengals.

Hank Carter — Baker’s old coach at Lake Travis H.S. in Texas — tells TMZ Sports Mayfield’s comments were just his way of standing up for his Cleveland teammates.

“Baker loves his team and loves that coaching staff there and they believe in one another, and I think that’s what it is — it’s showing support for the Browns is what he was trying to do.”

Guys like Jim Brown and Deion Sanders have disagreed with Baker’s response to the whole feud … but Hank says they’ve just got to get used to Mayfield’s straight-shooting approach.

“Different people maybe don’t like how that’s come out but, yeah, Baker’s never really worried about that. He’s trying to do what’s best for his football team.”

Bottom line … if Baker didn’t think Hue hurt his football team, the beef would’ve never gone down.

“I don’t think you would ever find a coach that didn’t love coaching him in anything … he was easy on coaches. If they were all like that, our job would be a lot easier.”

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FSU Coach Willie Taggart State Attorney Launches Investigation Over Racist ‘Hanging’ Pic of Coach

Breaking News

A disgusting, racist depiction of Florida State football coach Willie Taggart being hanged from a tree has triggered a state attorney investigation in Florida … officials have announced. 

The image was posted to Facebook after FSU’s 41-14 loss to Florida this weekend. It’s a photoshopped pic of Taggart’s head pasted on top of a black and white photo of an African American man being hanged. 

A caption on the image reads, “Believe In Something Even If It Means Sacrificing Your Rep.”

The person who posted the image reportedly works for Hilton Grand Vacations in Orlando — and the company has already issued a statement saying the employee has been suspended. 

Second Judicial Circuit State Attorney Jack Campbell has confirmed his office is aware of the post and they’ve connected with the FSU Police Dept. — and other law enforcement agencies — to investigate. 

Campbell issued a statement to Tallahassee.com saying. “Any threat of violence to anybody in this community – he’s a father, a husband and a member of our community – we’re going to investigate it to the fullest extent possible.”

FSU President John Thrasher also weighed in … saying, “I speak for the entire FSU community in expressing our disgust and extreme disappointment, and I am glad the state attorney is investigating.”

“Coach Taggart has our full support and as true Seminoles know, he is a respected member of the FSU family.”

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FSU Coach Willie Taggart State Attorney Launches Investigation Over Racist ‘Hanging’ Pic of Coach

Breaking News

A disgusting, racist depiction of Florida State football coach Willie Taggart being hanged from a tree has triggered a state attorney investigation in Florida … officials have announced. 

The image was posted to Facebook after FSU’s 41-14 loss to Florida this weekend. It’s a photoshopped pic of Taggart’s head pasted on top of a black and white photo of an African American man being hanged. 

A caption on the image reads, “Believe In Something Even If It Means Sacrificing Your Rep.”

The person who posted the image reportedly works for Hilton Grand Vacations in Orlando — and the company has already issued a statement saying the employee has been suspended. 

Second Judicial Circuit State Attorney Jack Campbell has confirmed his office is aware of the post and they’ve connected with the FSU Police Dept. — and other law enforcement agencies — to investigate. 

Campbell issued a statement to Tallahassee.com saying. “Any threat of violence to anybody in this community – he’s a father, a husband and a member of our community – we’re going to investigate it to the fullest extent possible.”

FSU President John Thrasher also weighed in … saying, “I speak for the entire FSU community in expressing our disgust and extreme disappointment, and I am glad the state attorney is investigating.”

“Coach Taggart has our full support and as true Seminoles know, he is a respected member of the FSU family.”

Watch TMZ Sports on FS1 Get the new TMZ Sports app!

FSU Coach Willie Taggart State Attorney Launches Investigation Over Racist ‘Hanging’ Pic of Coach

Breaking News

A disgusting, racist depiction of Florida State football coach Willie Taggart being hanged from a tree has triggered a state attorney investigation in Florida … officials have announced. 

The image was posted to Facebook after FSU’s 41-14 loss to Florida this weekend. It’s a photoshopped pic of Taggart’s head pasted on top of a black and white photo of an African American man being hanged. 

A caption on the image reads, “Believe In Something Even If It Means Sacrificing Your Rep.”

The person who posted the image reportedly works for Hilton Grand Vacations in Orlando — and the company has already issued a statement saying the employee has been suspended. 

Second Judicial Circuit State Attorney Jack Campbell has confirmed his office is aware of the post and they’ve connected with the FSU Police Dept. — and other law enforcement agencies — to investigate. 

Campbell issued a statement to Tallahassee.com saying. “Any threat of violence to anybody in this community – he’s a father, a husband and a member of our community – we’re going to investigate it to the fullest extent possible.”

FSU President John Thrasher also weighed in … saying, “I speak for the entire FSU community in expressing our disgust and extreme disappointment, and I am glad the state attorney is investigating.”

“Coach Taggart has our full support and as true Seminoles know, he is a respected member of the FSU family.”

Watch TMZ Sports on FS1 Get the new TMZ Sports app!

Blake Shelton Wants Gwen Stefani to Return as a Coach on The Voice!

Fans are coming to accept that Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton might never get married.

But these two music stars are still crazy about spending every waking moment together.

And apparently Blake wants that to include work, and wants Gwen back as a fellow coach on The Voice.

RadarOnline reports that Blake Shelton is itching to have his lady love once again be his co-star.

“Blake absolutely wants Gwen back on the show,” a source from the set of The Voice reveals.

From Blake’s perspective, the insider says, “It just isn’t the same for him without her.”

That’s true, even for those who aren’t in love with her. Gwen is a huge star.

“Gwen wants to come back, too,” the source reports.

That doesn’t mean that she will return to the show … but she does have a lot of incentive.

Apparently, Gwen would fit in just as well on the show as she did on the day she left.

“She gets along with everyone,” the insider says.

That’s no surprise. Gwen is a delight.

“And,” the source adds, Gwen “is on set frequently anyways just to be there with him.”

Lots of people go hang out at their significant other’s place of employment.

“it’s like a second home to her,” the insider characterizes.

Blake Shelton, thirsty ho that he is, has been on every single season of The Voice. It’s how a lot of people know his name.

Gwen, a pop superstar as well as a busy mother, was only on Seasons 7, 8, 9, 10, and 12.

“Gwen finally left after Season 12,” the source explains.

The insider makes it clear that Gwen only departed “because she had a lot going on.”

“But NBC stands behind her,” the source says, emphasizing that there are no secret gripes or hard feelings.

“And,” the insider says. “They absolutely adore Gwen.”

“Although it would be a dream come true to have Gwen on in the near future,” the on-set source begins.

The insider points out that “everyone also knows that they need to have a more diversified panel of judges.”

The source correctly notes that a diverse panel is needed “to represent America.”

Yeah, it’s exciting that John Legend is joining the show for Season 16.

But nobody looks at Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, and Kelly Clarkson and goes wow, this show needs more white coaches.

(Honestly, The Voice could stand to remember that Native Americans and folks of Asian descent can be coaches, too)

So Gwen might not join — but will Blake leave to spend more time with her?

Blake seems determined to remain on the show. And honestly, as strange as it may sound, he may be vital to The Voice‘s success.

We all may have dissolved into laughter when he was named Sexiest Man Alive last year, but plenty of people like him.

And after 15 seasons, Blake Shelton is part of the show’s basic premise. He and Adam Levine have been constants.

It’s hard to imagine Blake leaving any time soon, even if Gwen probably won’t be back on the roster in the near future.

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Matt Brown: Hiring a Sober Coach After Rehab

Alaskan Bush People star Matt Brown was forced into rehab following a family intervention.

After about 30 days of treatment, he reportedly feels like he has things under control and is ready to leave rehab.

But his family has serious concerns that if he halts treatment now, he could relapse again.

Matt Brown checked into rehab in September. it has now been about a month.

And RadarOnline reports that Matt is itching to leave treatment and return home, believing that he is now well enough to do so.

An insider says that Billy and Ami are talking Matt into “hiring a sober coach to work with him on the outside.

That way, Matt can continue to work on this “after he gets out of rehab.”

“His family has been visiting him,” the source reports.

“And,” the insider reveals. “He is doing great.”

Doing well in rehab does not always translate to having made a full recovery and being ready to go out into the world.

“But,” the source says. “Matt thinks that he is ready to leave after 30 days.”

His family has some serious concerns that he might be jumping the gun a little.

The Browns have their doubts, the insider shares, “and everyone is urging him to stay in.”

“He says that he is almost ready,” the source reveals. “And can handle this on his own now.”

His confidence is certainly encouraging, but sometimes staying with a program for a little longer can do a world of good.

You can love and trust someone while also encouraging them to keep getting help.

“While his father and mother are fully supportive of him,” the insider begins.

The source continues: “they are really hoping that Matt stay focused on his sobriety when he is out of rehab.”

“And,” the insider adds, Billy and Ami hope and pray “that he continues going to meetings.”

The source also says that Mat’s parents would like for Matt to keep up with meetings “and seeing a therapist.”

This is not Matt Brown’s first time in rehab.

After his previous stint getting help with his alcohol consumption in 2016, Matt was very frank with fans.

“I could see myself spiraling,” he told his fans and followers.

“I was more withdrawn,” Matt continued. “I was slower.”

He also shared that “Things did not excite me the way that they used to.”

While a lot of that may sound like depression symptoms, remember that alcohol is an intensely addictive depressant.

Alaskan Bush People - Matt Brown Hammers

Matt also spoke to People about his decision to again go to rehab.

“I struggle with substance abuse,” Matt said in a straightforward manner.

“And after a year of ups and downs,” Matt continued. “I decided to return to treatment.”

Reports say that it was during the worst moments of his mother’s cancer battle that Matt began drinking again.

“I am really grateful for everyone’s support,” he shared.

“And,” Matt concluded, he has “hope to have my life back on track soon.”

As we reported earlier this month, Alaskan Bush People was renewed for Season 9.

Apparently part of this upcoming season will focus upon Matt’s struggles with alcohol addiction and his journey back to sobriety.

It takes a lot of bravery to admit that you have a problem and to seek help with it.

Good for Matt for not only doing so, but agreeing to share his story with fans and viewers.

He may inspire others to transform their own lives.

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