Diego Sanchez welterweight return targeted for UFC 114 against John Hathaway
After coming up short against BJ Penn in his Dec. 12 bid for the 155-pound crown, Diego Sanchez (21-3) will make his return to the welterweight division opposite John Hathaway at the upcoming UFC 114 pay-per-view from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday, May 29.
The "Nightmare" tweeted the good news earlier today.
After capturing the first ever Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Championship in April 2005, Sanchez went on to win his next five fights in the crowded 170-pound division. Unfortunately his former TUF nemesis, Josh Koscheck, derailed his title aspirations with a unanimous decision win in a bizarre battle of striking at UFC 69: "Shootout."
Strikeforce Miami Medical Suspensions
The Florida State Boxing Commission has announced the medical suspensions from Saturday's Strikeforce Miami event. It was not good to be a loser, as all the main card losers were among 8 suspended fighters, each getting 30-60 days except for Greg Oxley, who is suspended indefinitely and must have his left ACL cleared before returning.
SF Miami Ratings: 517,000 Viewers, 52% Increase Over Evolution
The ratings for Saturday's Strikeforce Miami event have been announced: The event drew 517,000 viewers on Showtime, a 52% increase over the 341,000 for SF Evolution in December. That means roughly 4% of all households with Showtime (about 12 million) were watching. For comparative purposes, the UFC counter-programming that night-a UFC 107 replay-did 2.2 million viewers on Spike.
Five Things We Learned From Watching Strikeforce: Miami
With another Strikeforce event in the books and some time to reflect on what we saw last Saturday night, it's time for some observations based on our perfect hindsight.
What, if anything, did Nick Diaz do wrong? Does Bobby Lashley's win have any long-term significance for his career? And what in the world is Strikeforce doing with Jay Hieron?
All this and more as we look back at Strikeforce's most recent offering.
1) Promotional opportunities were missed
Here's the situation: Nick Diaz won Saturday and looked outstanding doing so, completely shutting down Marius Zaromskis' standup attack. In doing so, he becomes the first-ever welterweight champion. So who does he say he wants to fight during post-fight interviews? Jay Hieron? No. Mach Sakurai? Nope. He calls out Georges St. Pierre.
There's only one problem, of course, and that's that GSP is in the UFC, and there's no way that fight is happening between the two organizations. By voicing a desire to fight GSP, Diaz is essentially telling fans that his most worthy weight-class adversary is in another company, which while true, is not exactly going to help hype up his next fight, a fight which will most decidedly not be against Georges St. Pierre.
Diaz can't be blamed for wanting to fight another great fighter, but Strikeforce has a limited amount of time in which the eyes of the MMA world are thrust upon them, so they shouldn't be wasted highlighting their rival organization at their own expense.
All of this leads me to my second point...
Murilo 'Ninja' Rua Targeting Back-to-Back DREAM, Shine Fights
Murilo "Ninja" Rua is looking forward to a busy spring. The brother of UFC's "Shogun" and a former EliteXC middleweight champion, Rua is eyeing fights in the coming months at DREAM.13 and Shine Fights 3.
In this exclusive interview with MMA Fighting through a translator, Rua talks returning to fight in Brazil, his younger brother's rematch against Lyoto Machida and his own upcoming fights.
Ray Hui: What was your decision to sign with Shine as opposed to fighting for Strikeforce?
Murilo "Ninja" Rua: I think Shine has the potential to be one of the most exciting MMA shows in the world. They are signing some very talented fighters and have interesting plans, so why not join them? They treated me with respect and presented me a great opportunity, and I'm very happy and looking forward to fighting in Shine. I think Strikeforce is also a great promotion, but right now as far as America goes I'll be fighting for Shine Fights, and they will allow me to keep fighting in other countries like Brazil and Japan.
Hui: Are you still with DREAM?
Rua: I still have two fights left in my DREAM deal, and I'm looking forward to fighting on their next card in March.
Couture goes back to his roots for Coleman
It was 1989 when Randy Couture first ran into Mark Coleman.
At that time, the two were both competing on the wrestling circuits, and they met in a Freestyle match-up that saw Coleman get the best of Couture by points. Fast forward to 1998 and the two were set to match-up for the UFC heavyweight title, but an injury suffered by Couture in training prevented the fight from happening.
And now, in 2010, the two legendary fighters are finally set to meet each other again, this time at light heavyweight with a possible title shot on the line.
Couture has been working at his home camp at Xtreme Couture to prepare for the main event bout, and despite some turnover of coaches and fighters at the gym, the former Olympic hopeful says everything has been positive getting ready for the fight.
King of the Cage to air monthly on HDNet
HDNet on Monday announced a multi-year partnership with "Mark Burnett Presents: King of the Cage," in which, under terms of the agreement, the network will feature live "King of the Cage" events every month.
The first event will air on HDNet on Friday, Feb. 12 at 10:00 p.m. ET.
"King of the Cage and Mark Burnett are pioneers in their respective fields, and we are excited to feature 'Mark Burnett Presents: King of the Cage' on HDNet as part of our commitment to being the home of MMA," said Mark Cuban, Chairman and Co-founder of HDNet. "The award-winning story telling of Mark Burnett will bring the personalities of MMA to life in a way that has never been seen before."
Nate Diaz vs. Rory Markham welterweight fight added to UFC 111 prelims
Nate Diaz (11-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC) moves up a weight class to fight Rory Markhman (16-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) next month on the preliminary card of UFC 111.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported the likelihood of the bout last month, and UFC executives recently made it official.
UFC 111 takes place at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The fight card, which includes two title fights, will be complete once a previously reported welterweight bout of Thiago Alves vs. Jon Fitch is officially announced for the main card.
Manager: Despite antics, cage clown Wes Sims came to win at "Strikeforce: Miami"
At this past Friday's weigh-ins, Wes Sims was holding court and proudly showing off a T-shirt with a supposed strip club of a sponsor.
At Saturday's "Strikeforce: Miami" event, Sims kicked off his bout against Bobby Lashley with some pro-wrestling-inspired taunting. And even after his lopsided TKO loss, Sims joked with his opponent and the media in a post-fight press conference.
And while it may be easy to write off the veteran fighter as MMA's resident goofball, a representative for Sims said the fighter came to win and had far more riding on the line than most fans realize.
Matyushenko says recent setback beneficial for UFC on Versus 1 appearance
As UFC light heavyweight Vladimir Matyushenko (23-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) finalizes his preparation for a March 21 contest with Eliot Marshall (8-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) at UFC on Versus 1, "The Janitor" admits the potential for another last-minute cancellation exists in his head.
It's understandable. After all, Matyushenko had a UFC 108 bout with Steve Cantwell scratched the week of the fight.
"That's part of the game," Matyushenko recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "Injuries happen, and it's always frustrating, but deep inside my head, I'm always ready for that because it can always happen."
Mostapha Al Turk Off UFC 109, Rolles Gracie To Fight Jon Madsen or Joey Beltran
Previously reported visa issues will prevent Mostapha Al Turk from fighting Rolles Gracie this Saturday at UFC 109, but it’s not yet clear who the newcomer Gracie will fight at the February 6 pay-per-view event in Las Vegas.
The Ultimate Fighter 10 castmember Jon Madsen has reportedly been tapped for the bout, according to Around the Octagon citing sources close to H.I.T. Squad, while manager Manny Rodriguez says Joey Beltran, who knocked out UFC veteran Houston Alexander earlier this month, will face Gracie...
Loiseau Finally Gets Charity Fight, Headlines MFL 2
After his pleas for a charity fight initially fell on deaf ears, David Loiseau has finally secured a bout–the proceeds of which will benefit victims of the January earthquake in Haiti. He'll face Isidro Gonzales at Mixed Fight League 2: battleground on 2/27 in Montreal, Canada. In addition to Loiseau donating his entire fight purse to charity, $2 from each ticket sold will be donated to the American Red Cross to assist disaster relief efforts.
Escudero's Elbow On Mend, UFC 114 Fight "Only Talk"
UFC lightweight Efrain Escudero, who was injured in a submission loss to Evan Dunham last month, will go undergo an MRI this week to determine when he can return to the cage. After the UFC Fight Night 20 co-main-event loss, Escudero, who initially refused to tap from the obviously painful submission, said his arm wasn't broken but that he suffered tendon damage. It also means a reported UFC 114 fight with Dan Lauzon may not happen-sources close to Escudero say it's "only talk" and a possibility at this time. A Twitter message from a Boston Herald reporter said the fight was happening.
Shine Fights SIgns Braulio Estima
Shine Fights still isn't finished with their signing spree they've been on since late last year. Their newest signing is Braulio Estima, the under-88kg and Absolute division champion of the 2009 ADCC submission championships. He's expected to debut for the promotion this spring.
K-1 Strikers "Would Kick The S**t" Out Of Fedor
That's the boasting of Martijn De Jong, MMA coach for Alistair Overeem, throwing down the gauntlet when it comes to his fighter ever taking on Fedor Emelianenko. De Jong feels Fedor's striking is nowhere near the level of Overeem's and that Overeem is looking forward to fighting Fedor. If it ever happens, of course.
Agent Talks Hieron Free Agency; UFC an Option
There are no guarantees in life or in the fight game.
That's the motto that Jay Hieron has lived his life by lately due to some unfortunate timing and opponent changes that left the former IFL fighter off of the latest Showtime televised card and without an expected title shot.
Now officially a free agent able to negotiate a new contract, Hieron's agent, Ken Pavia from MMA Agents, clarified the timeline for his client's next deal.
"He has an exclusive negotiating period with Strikeforce, but beyond that he is, he has no more fights left on his deal," said Pavia in an interview with MMAWeekly.com on Sunday. "There's an exclusive negotiating period, and then there's also a right to match, which is pretty standard in the industry at this point."
Despite initial one-sided affair, Strikeforce's Robbie Lawler said he stuck to game plan
SUNRISE, Fla. – Early Sunday morning on AirTran Airways flight 68 from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Atlanta, Robbie Lawler and friend/training partner Matt Hughes slowly made their way down the aisle before takeoff.
Just hours removed from a stunning come-from-behind knockout victory over Melvin Manhoef at Saturday's "Strikeforce: Miami" event, Lawler was still feeling the effects of the fight as he slowly limped to the back of the plane.
Lawler took serious punishment and was battered nearly from head to toe by his opponent's offensive onslaught, but the former EliteXC middleweight champ said his miraculous come-from-behind win resulted from his ability to stick to a game plan.
Strikeforce champ Nick Diaz says Georges St-Pierre just fine for his next opponent
For as much praise as new Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz (21-7 MMA, 3-0 SF) receives for his grappling prowess, it's his voluminous striking attack that has led to his most recent surge in popularity.
Never was that more evident than in this past Saturday's "Strikeforce: Miami" main event, where Diaz defeated DREAM champ and vaunted striker Marius Zaromskis at his own game.
Now the question for Diaz becomes, "What's next?" And the scrappy Californian isn't afraid to ask for the best.
"I want to fight Georges St-Pierre," Diaz said. "That's the one fight I'm talking about."
Bellator adds DREAM vet Joe Warren to season-two featherweight tourney
Bellator's season-two tournaments continue to take shape, and the organization today announced another solid addition to the 145-pound field.
Three-time DREAM veteran and world-class wrestler Joe Warren (2-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) will compete in Bellator's next featherweight tournament.
Warren is best known to MMA fans as the man who knocked off former WEC champ Chase Beebe and top-ranked Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto in his first two professional contests before falling to Bibiano Fernandes in DREAM's 2009 featherweight grand prix.