Swick vs. Thiago official for UFC 109: Marquardt vs. Sonnen promoted to co-feature slot
The UFC today officially announced a recently reported contest between welterweights Mike Swick (14-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC) and Paulo Thiago (12-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) for February's "UFC 109: Relentless" event.
Swick stepped in as a replacement for Josh Koscheck when his teammate was forced off the card with an injury.
While Koscheck and Thiago were originally scheduled in the evening's co-main event, the organization has promoted a middleweight fight between top contenders Nate Marquardt (29-8-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) and Chael Sonnen (24-10-1 MMA, 3-3 UFC) to the co-feature slot.
Spencer Fisher burning to fight “Fireball Kid”, Takanori Gomi
When it was announced last weekend that former Shooto and PRIDE Champion Takanori Gomi had signed with the UFC rumors began swirling in regards to who he might debut against in the organization. Though the first name to surface as an opponent was Ken Florian, it appears as though Gomi’s presence in the company has at least one other fighter jazzed at the idea of meeting the Japanese striker at the center of the Octagon.
Since I’ve started MMA Gomi is one of the guys I looked up to and copied some of my style from him…I’ve always talked about guys diving for my shoelaces and the script might be flipped this time! (laughs) But of all the fights in the world that one excites me the most. I would have to be in tip top shape to fight someone of his caliber.
WEC 46 gets extended time slot on Versus
World Extreme Cagefighting returns to Sacramento on Jan. 10 with WEC 46: Varner vs. Henderson. It will air live on Versus, and the network has extended the timeslot to two and a half hours.
“We’ve been able to move to a two and a half hour show with this event on Versus. Versus has given us more time and we are really, really happy about that," said WEC General Manager Reed Harris on a media conference call promoting the event. “We’re going to be able to get all five of our main event fights on TV as well as possibly some other prelim fights depending on the time.”
WEC moving forward with flyweight division
In early 2009, World Extreme Cagefighting announced its intentions of adding a flyweight division. On a media conference call on Tuesday, WEC General Manager Reed Harris said to expect further announcements this year on the 125-pound weight class being incorporated into the organization.
“We’re working on it,” said Harris. “The thing that we focus on in WEC is making sure that all of our fights are meaningful and making sure our divisions are deep. Part of that is making sure your guys get fights. So right now we’re focusing on the divisions we have, getting those guys plenty of fights, keeping them busy.
“We’re working on the flyweight division and sometime, I’m sure, in 2010, we’ll announce that we’re going to be forming that and get that moving.”
Next up for Aldo: Winner of Faber vs. Assuncao
As the hours tick away, Urijah Faber and Raphael Assuncao now know that they are not only headed for a tough fight against each other on Sunday night in Sacramento, Calif., but also a fight that will likely determine the next contender to WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo.
“We’ve definitely had that discussion,” said WEC general manager Reed Harris on Tuesday. “Ultimately Sean Shelby, our matchmaker, will make that decision, and we always like to wait until after the fight. But I’ll be honest with you guys, we’ve had that discussion over the last week.”
As UFC Fight Night 20 approaches, Amir Sadollah making up for lost time
"The Ultimate Fighter 7" winner Amir Sadollah (2-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) went nearly 14 months between his first and second appearance in the UFC, but now the welterweight is making up for lost time.
Sadollah meets Brad Blackburn (15-9-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) on the broadcast-opening bout of "UFC Fight Night 20: Maynard vs. Diaz" on Jan. 11, and the contest will be the "TUF"-winner's third fight in just five months.
Spike: Record 1.5 Million Viewers For UFC 108 Prelims
Spike TV officials today announced that their one hour "UFC Prelim" special that aired before UFC 108 did a 1.0 rating and a total of 1.5 million viewers Saturday night. That's the best viewership yet for the series of pre-PPV specials, which have all done between 1.3 & 1.4 million before this one. 9 more such specials are planned this year.
UFC Announces Strikeforce: Miami Counter-Programming
New year, same old plans. Not wasting any time in taking shots at Strikeforce, UFC has announced that Spike will air an edited replay of UFC 107 on January 30 opposite Strikeforce: Miami on Showtime. The UFC broadcast will feature at least 3 107 fights: BJ Penn vs. Diego Sanchez for the UFC Lightweight Championship, Frank Mir vs. Cheick Kongo and Clay Guida vs. Kenny Florian.
KJ Noons vs. Billy Evangelista Off Strikeforce: Miami
A lightweight fight between KJ Noons and Billy Evangelista has been scrapped from the upcoming Strikeforce: Miami card. Noons confirmed the news with MMA Fighting on this week's edition of The MMA Hour, which will air on the Web site on Wednesday.
Noons (7-2) said he was recently informed by the organization that Evangelista suffered an undisclosed injury injury in training, forcing him to withdraw from the fight. The former EliteXC 160-pound champion added that he has been placed on standby for the Jan. 30 card in case someone else gets injured, but if that doesn't happen, he will make his Strikeforce debut in either March or April.
Gesias and the lessons learned in two years
Until 2007, Gesias Cavalcante’s career was amazing. With titles on K-1 Hero’s, the young talent collected 14 victories in only three years of career, but, in the end of 2007, the lightweight got in a bad phase. “It were two years, 2008 wasn’t good either”, the lightweight sorrows.
Ben Henderson's greatness lies in his humility
At the start of 2009, Ben Henderson was a young up and comer who hoped to make his way in a growing lightweight division in the WEC. By the end of the year, he was holding an interim title belt and being mentioned as a candidate for "Fighter of the Year."
On paper it may seem that 2009 will be hard to top, but Henderson is determined to do just that. It starts with his title unification bout with WEC champion Jamie Varner on Jan. 10.
Exclusive: Melvin Manhoef vs. Robbie Lawler on tap for “Strikeforce: Miami”
Incoming!! Two of the sport’s most devastating knockout artists are preparing to go to war in Miami.
FiveOuncesofPain.com has recently been able to comfirm through sources close to the situation that a middleweight slugfest between Melvin Manhoef and Robbie Lawler is currently on the table, and is expected to take place on the “Strikeforce: Miami” card set for January 30 from, you guessed it, Miami, Florida.
While nothing has been signed as of this writing, FiveOuncesofPain.com was able to confirm that the bout has been offered, and is expected to be signed by at least one of the fighters shortly.
More on this in a bit…
Vadim Finkelchtein: There Are No Talks With The UFC Whatsoever
Vadim Finkelchtein crushes any rumors of ongoing talks between M-1 and the UFC via the M-1 website:
"Today I heard the rumors of me allegedly stating on my twitter account that we are negotiating with the UFC. I want to state that there are no talks with the UFC whatsoever. Our partner in the USA is STRIKEFORCE, we are happy to cooperate with STRIKEFORCE. Fedor (Emelianenko) and Gegard (Mousasi) fight there and they are quite happy with the conditions and how they are treated with respect there. Finally, I don’t have any account on Twitter. The account that ignited the rumors is false. Our attorneys are already aware of the situation and shortly this fake account will be deleted."
Kenny Florian gunning for UFC Import Takanori Gomi, Hopeful for March Meeting
News that Takanori Gomi received his key to the octagon spread like a fireball last weekend, and faster still was word that Kenny Florian could be his first charge.
The news fanned from a posting on the official Twitter account of Florian's broadcast gig, ESPN's "MMA Live," and in a conversation with MMAjunkie.com (mmajunkie.com) Monday night, there's smoke where there's fire.
"It's a fight that I think I've been wanting to do for a long time, ever since Gomi was the best over in PRIDE, so Gomi's obviously a legend in the sport and those are the kind of guys that I want to challenge myself with," Florian said from Los Angeles, where he was working with ESPN on an undisclosed project. "The quickest road back to the title is beating great fighters like Gomi."
Bellator signs ex-soccer pro Georgi Karakhanyan for season-two featherweight tourney
With its welterweight tournament already attracting top prospects, Bellator Fighting Championships today announced a notable addition to its season-two featherweight tournament.
Former soccer pro Georgi Karakhanyan, one of the world's top 145-pound prospects, signed an exclusive deal with the promotion, which airs its events live on FOX Sports Net affiliate beginning in April, Bellator officials today announced.
Karakhanyan owns a 12-1-1 career mark, and his lone loss came via split decision.
TUF 10 Finale: 6 MIllion Total Viewers For Kimbo-Alexander
There are still 2 things in this world that, it appears, still sell: Sex and Kimbo Slice. According to a Spike TV executive, the final viewer total for the TUF 10 Finale, specifically the Kimbo Slice-Houston Alexander fight, which includes DVR/Tivo recording and replaying plus all other replays for the 7 days after the live event, is 6 million viewers. That's up from the original live figure of 5.2 million for the fight and it makes it the most-watched UFC fight of 2009. The replay window also pushed the entire Finale's final viewership to an average of 4.2 million, up from 3.7 million.
Mike Thomas Brown Re-Ups With WEC
Former WEC Featherweight Champion Mike Thomas Brown, who reigned as champion after shocking the world by defeating then-champion Urijah Faber until recently losing to Jose Aldo, has signed a new 5-fight deal with WEC. The deal comes just a week before he returns to action at WEC 46 on 1/10.
Wanderlei Silva Looking To KO Michael Bisping In Round 2 At UFC 110
During the UFC 108 Pre-Fight Q&A, Wanderlei Silva said that in his 110 fight with Michael Bisping he's going to try and finish it in round 2-by KO. "I'm doing a lot of standup because I want to knock him out. He's a man that likes to fight standup and sometimes he's a guy afraid to shoot. I've been training more boxing, Muay Thai, knees, elbows. I want to make a very interesting show for my friends." He also said he doesn't want an Anderson Silva fight. Yet. "At this moment, I don't want a fight with (Anderson Silva). He's the champion. I need to prove myself again inside the Octagon. I need to fight better. After few fights I would feel comfortable, but now, I don't want a fight with him."