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There is a lot of buzz building up for Marc Diakiese's official UFC debut in Manchester.
The 23-year-old lightweight ran roughshod through smaller promotions on the European circuit, and "The Bone Crusher's" success earned him a call to fight at UFC 204 in England on Oct. 8. Diakiese was initially set to face Reza Madadi, but the Swedish scrapper was forced to pull out of the bout due to an eye injury. The UFC immediately sought a replacement opponent, and FloCombat has confirmed with sources close to the bout Lukasz Sajewski has been tapped to step in.
With a week to go, Mirsad Bektic needs a replacement opponent – again.
On the same day Jeremy Kennedy (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) was announced as a replacement for injured featherweight Arnold Allen (11-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) at next week’s UFC 204 event, a UFC official today confirmed with MMAjunkie that Kennedy has also been forced off the card with an undisclosed injury.
Bektic (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) now awaits yet another replacement opponent.
Three months ago, Bisping found himself directly in the crosshairs of Georges St-Pierre when the welterweight legend declared Bisping his "first choice" as an opponent for St-Pierre's UFC return. The fight between two of the most well-traveled fighters in UFC history ultimately failed to come together, as the promotion instead granted Bisping a shot at revenge against Henderson. However, Bisping would be more than willing to revisit talks with St-Pierre after UFC 204.
"If GSP wants to come out of retirement," Bisping recently said, "if he's finally grown a set of balls to become a fighter again, (I could) beat Anderson Silva, beat Dan Henderson, beat Luke Rockhold, beat GSP? Yeah, why not. Of course."
Let the "legends ass kicking tour" commence.
Fight fans have been waiting for an announced opponent ever since Chael Sonnen ended his retirement by signing with Bellator MMA. The self-proclaimed "Bad Guy" wasted no time calling out the "Bad Boy" himself in Tito Ortiz.
Luckily for fight fans, the legendary mixed martial arts (MMA) trashtalkers will square off early next year, per a news break by Ortiz himself on AXS TV's Inside MMA.
At a location yet to be determined, "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" and the "American Gangster" will throw down next January in what will presumably be the main event of a "tent pole" Bellator event.
Mirsad Bektic will remain on next week’s UFC 204 lineup, after all.
Earlier this week, MMAjunkie first reported Arnold Allen (11-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) had been forced out of his bout with featherweight Bektic (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC), and undefeated Jeremy Kennedy (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has stepped in as a replacement, officials today announced.
Alexander Gustafsson's time as the headliner for UFC Fight Night 100 didn't last very long.
Gustafsson is out of the main event fight with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira due to an undisclosed injury, sources told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani. In Gustafsson's place will step fellow light heavyweight contender Ryan Bader for a rematch. UFN 100 is scheduled for Nov. 19 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
An unbeaten light heavyweight prospect will make his Octagon debut in Sao Paulo, Brazil, as Darren Stewart takes on Francimar Barroso at UFC Fight Night 100 on Nov. 19, multiple sources told MMA Fighting.
Tragic news surfaced Friday afternoon that UFC middleweight Josh Samman had been found unresponsive in a South Floridan apartment along with another man, who was pronounced dead.
I know BJpenn.com isn't always the most reliable source, but there are tweeted confirmations....story still unfolding. Crazy.
Alex Oliveira missed weight by 5.5 pounds for his lightweight bout with Will Brooks at UFC Fight Night 96 in Portland, and he can’t gain more than 20 pounds before the fight.
Brooks accepted to face Oliveira despite the weight difference and will take 20 percent of his fight purse, and the commission won’t allow the Brazilian to gain more than 20 pounds until fight night. According to the trainer, "Cowboy" usually gains 29 pounds after making weight for a lightweight bout.
"The commission imposed a limit for him, and that’s a problem," Duarte said. "‘Cowboy’ is like Wolverine, he gains weight easily, so I will have to control what he’s going to eat so he doesn’t gain weight. Everything he eats is like concrete, he gains a lot of weight, so he can’t eat that much."
Australia’s Jake Matthews was expected to be a part of the UFC’s return to his home city of Melbourne in November. Now he has his opponent.
Matthews (10-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) will meet Andrew Holbrook (11-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) in a lightweight bout at UFC Fight Night 101. UFC officials announced the new booking early today after an initial report from Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper.
The card for the UFC’s return to Northern Ireland in November continues to grow with the addition of a lightweight fight, as well a featherweight fight.
The UFC recently added a lightweight fight between Kevin Lee (13-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) and Magomed Mustafaev (14-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC).
In addition, Artem Lobov (12-12 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has been booked for a bout against Teruto Ishihara (9-2-2 MMA, 2-0-1 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 99, according to a report from the Irish Mirror newspaper.
UFC officials confirmed to The Wall Street Journal on Thursday that 23 celebrities have invested in the world’s largest MMA promotion. Included are sports stars Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Maria Sharapova, and Serena and Venus Williams, actors Ben Affleck and Mark Wahlberg, musicians Adam Levine and LL Cool J, and talk show host Conan O’Brien.
O’Brien also announced the deal on Thursday’s new episode of “Conan” on TBA, jokingly adding that he would soon be competing in the octagon.
WME-IMG co-CEO Ari Emanuel said selecting the 23 for potential investment was simple.
“They would always ask for tickets,” Emanuel told The Wall Street Journal, adding, “I think it’s a mainstream sport now.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, “Further WME-IMG plans for the UFC include more programming on the UFC’s digital subscription service, which would provide more than just fights. The company also wants to see more UFC fighters cross over to other forms of entertainment.
Unless a big offer is thrown at his direction, longtime MMA heavyweight Gabriel Gonzaga is retired from mixed martial arts.
A former UFC heavyweight title contender, Gonzaga told MMA Fighting on Wednesday that his plans for the future don’t include competing in MMA anymore. "Napao" fought the last fight of his contract with the UFC in April, losing to Derrick Lewis in Zagreb, Croatia.
"I don’t plan on coming back," Gonzaga said. "I’m taking care of my new gym, Squared BJJ. If I get an offer, it has to be a great offer, or I’ll keep competing in jiu-jitsu against people my age. I’m probably retired already. I will only fight again if there’s a good offer, financially speaking, and I don’t think any promotion wants me."
"I don’t fight for less than 100 thousand dollars," he said. "I’m 37 years old and I won’t risk my health or waste my time training and suffering for this. I don’t need it anymore. God gave me a good opportunity in life, and I don’t need this anymore. That would be my number. For less than 100 thousand, I wouldn’t step into a ring anymore."
If this is it for his mixed martial arts career, Gonzaga leaves as a happy man.
"Thank God I had a good run in this sport," "Napao" said. "I wasn’t the best in the world or became the champion in a big organization, but I was always there. I was a top 10 for almost a decade, I have the second-fastest knockout in the division, I have more than 20 fights in the biggest promotion in the world, and I believe I’m tied with Frank Mir with most finishes in the division. I had a good run. It could have been better, but it could have been worse, too."
The TUF 24 Finale in December continues to build with the addition of a pair of middleweight fights to the lineup.
Jake Collier (10-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) is set to meet Josh Stansbury (8-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) on the card, and Elvis Mutapcic (15-4-1 MMA, 0-1-1 UFC) will take on Anthony Smith (25-12 MMA, 1-2 UFC). UFC officials recently announced the two bookings.
November’s UFC Fight Night 101 fight card has its latest fight for the “Land Down Under.”
Canada’s Jonathan Meunier (7-1 MmA, 0-1 UFC) will venture into enemy territory to take on Australia’s Richard Walsh (9-4 MMA, 2-3 UFC) in Melbourne. Promotion officials today announced the new booking following an initial report from The Daily Telegraph.
With its debut event at Madison Square Garden finalized, the UFC is now turning its attention to nearby Albany, N.Y.
Gian Villante vs. Patrick Cummins is in the works for the Dec. 9 card, which will mark the first UFC show in New York's capital city, MMA Fighting has learned. The promotion has yet to officially announce the light-heavyweight fight.
Jose Aldo wants to leave the UFC, and another Brazilian star supports his battle against the promotion.
Wanderlei Silva, who returns to action on Dec. 29 against Mirko Cro Cop at Rizin Fighting Federation, asked the current UFC interim featherweight champion to sign with the Japanese promotion.
Jose Aldo's grievances with the UFC have led him to spill a few stories. One of the more interesting statements he made was that Georges St-Pierre wanted 10 million dollars to fight Conor McGregor, and the UFC turned that down.
In a phone interview with Combate (via Forbes), Aldo had quite a story. According to the interim featherweight champion, former P4P king Georges St-Pierre asked for 10 million dollars to make his comeback against McGregor. Aldo also said that Dana White turned him down, instead choosing to book McGregor in a rematch against Nate Diaz at UFC 202 (translation via Reddit user trulyskeptical):
"I think that my life and the whole featherweight division needs to keep going, not being stalled while he (McGregor) does three fights in the lightweight division. Another one that he wanted to do, make a super fight with Georges St-Pierre, which didn't work out because Georges wanted 10 million dollars and Dana didn't want to pay it. So he still put him with Nate for the second time. So for me, Dana's word is worthless."
December’s latest installment of an “Ultimate Fighter” finale card has its latest booking, and it comes in the women’s strawweight division.
Hawaii’s Kailin Curran (4-3 MMA, 1-3 UFC) will return to action when she meets UFC newcomer Jamie Moyle (3-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at the TUF 24 Finale. UFC officials confirmed the booking to KHON-TV, Hawaii’s CW affiliate. The UFC has not yet made a formal announcement of the fight.