After title loss, Diego Sanchez returning to UFC's welterweight division
After winning the first season of "The Ultimate Fighter" as a middleweight, emerging as a top contender at welterweight, dropping to lightweight and losing a title shot to champion B.J. Penn in December, Diego Sanchez is apparently ready for a change.
On Monday the fighter said he plans to return to the welterweight division.
In a series of Twitter messages, "Nightmare" welcomed fights with everyone from Josh Koscheck to Jon Fitch to fellow weight-class jumper Nate Diaz.
But as MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported on Monday, Diaz instead is expected to make the jump from lightweight to welterweight to fight Rory Markham at UFC 111 in New Jersey.
Still, Sanchez (21-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC), who went 7-2 in the UFC's welterweight division and 2-1 as a lightweight, stated, "Any top guy will do."
While ratting off opponents' names, Sanchez also stated Carlos Condit, Martin Kampmann and Mike Swick would be "great fights," as well.
"I'm loving my new diet," said Sanchez, citing a reason for the move back to 170 pounds
Houston Alexander Loses Again
Houston Alexander, the ex-UFC fighter who a few years ago looked like one of the sport's most promising light heavyweights, suffered a second-round TKO loss to a little-known opponent named Joey Beltran on Saturday night.
It was Alexander's fifth loss in his last six fights, and he only went the distance against one of those five opponents, Kimbo Slice.
WEC confirms Torres vs. Benavidez, Pulver vs. Vazquez for WEC 47 in March
After recently announcing Miguel Torres (37-2 MMA, 5-1 WEC) and Jens Pulver (22-12 MMA, 1-4 WEC) will return at WEC 47 in March, World Extreme Cagefighting officials today confirmed their respective opponents: Joseph Benavidez (11-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) and Javier Vazquez (13-4 MMA, 0-2 WEC).
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported both of the matchups last month.
WEC 47 takes place March 6 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, with a Versus-televised headliner of WEC bantamweight champ Brian Bowles vs. Dominick Cruz.
The event marks the WEC's debut in Ohio, which regulates more MMA shows per year than other state in the U.S.
Leonard Garcia and Diego Nunes verbally agree to WEC 47 bout
Featherweights Leonard Garcia (13-5 MMA, 3-2 WEC) and Diego Nunes (13-1 MMA, 2-1 WEC) have verbally agreed to meet at WEC 47 in March, and bout agreements should be finalized in the coming week.
Sources close to the event today confirmed the matchup with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The event takes place March 6 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The main card, including a a headliner of WEC featherweight champ Brian Bowles vs. Dominick Cruz, airs on Versus.
Cheick Kongo vs. Paul Buentello set for March 21 at UFC on Versus 1
A heavyweight bout that could have the octagon rocking is set now that strikers Cheick Kongo (14-6-1 MMA, 7-4 UFC) and Paul Buentello (27-11 MMA, 3-2 UFC) are signed to meet at UFC on Versus 1.
The Versus-televised event is set for March 21 at The Odeum Colorado in Broomfield (near Denver) with a headliner of Jon Jones vs. Brandon Vera.
Kongo and Buentello are part of the night's televised main card.
Buentello, who recently returned to the UFC after a run with rival Strikeforce and Affliction Entertainment, dropped a majority decision to Stefan Struve in December. The closely contested UFC 107 loss snapped the fighter's two-fight win streak, and it was just his second loss in his past eight fights.
Kampmann vs. Saunders set for UFC 111 main card, two bouts official for prelims
Ultimate Fighting Championship executives today made official three additional bouts for the March 27 UFC 111 event in New Jersey, and one of them is set to air on the pay-per-view main card.
A welterweight bout of Martin Kampmann (16-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) vs. Ben Saunders (8-1-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) has earned guaranteed TV time.
Additionally, a welterweight bout between Ricardo Funch (7-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and Matthew Riddle (3-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), as well as a 205-pound contest between Rodney Wallace (9-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and Jared Hamman (10-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC), are official for the night's preliminary card.
Mike Pierce vs. Rob Kimmons slated for UFC on Versus 1 on March 21
The quickly filling UFC on Versus 1 fight card has another addition now that Mike Pierce (10-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Rob Kimmons (22-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) have agreed to a welterweight fight at the March 21 event.
Sources close to both of the competitors told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) the fight is close to finalized.
UFC on Versus 1 takes place at the Odeum Colorado in Broomfield (near Denver), and the main card, including a headliner of Jon Jones vs. Brandon Vera, airs on Versus.
Pierce vs. Kimmons is expected to be part of the night's un-aired preliminary card.
Yushin Okami vs. Lucio Linhares targeted for UFC Fight Night 21 on March 31
A middleweight bout between Yushin Okami (23-5 MMA, 7-2 UFC) and recent UFC newcomer Lucio Linhares (13-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) is likely to take place on March 31 at UFC Fight Night 21.
Sources close to the bout said the fight is "a definite possibility," though it is unclear if bout agreements have been signed.
UFC Fight Night 21, which serves as a lead-in for the debut of "The Ultimate Fighter 11" on Spike TV, takes place in North Carolina, though UFC officials said as of Monday a host city and venue have not been made determined.
Canadian HW Hague Looks to Rebound at UFC 109
Edmonton heavyweight Tim (The Thrashing Machine) Hague has run the gamut of emotions in his 109-second UFC career.
Despite a broken nose, the six-foot-four 265-pounder wept with joy after finishing Pat Barry at UFC 98 in his Octagon debut. Then the big man was beaten senseless, finally staggering to his feet in bewilderment after being knocked out in a UFC-record seven seconds by Todd Duffee at UFC 102.
Hague (10-2) returns to action at UFC 109 in Las Vegas on Feb. 6 against Chris (The Crowbar) Tuchscherer.
UFC 113 scared to go head-2-head with mayweather?
Any of my fellow Canadians planning on going to MTL on May 1st to see UFC 113 may not want to make any travel/hotel/time off work plans just yet....
The wheels are turning today in boxing and it could have a significant effect on what the April or May schedule looks like in MMA. Rumors began swirling over the weekend that Floyd Mayweather may be targeting Shane Mosley for a fight on May 1 in Las Vegas
White says UFC Could Change Date of May 1 Card in Montreal
The UFC is rethinking its May 1 date in Montreal.
The calendar review is apparently due to rumblings that star boxer Floyd Mayweather may meet Shane Mosley the same day in Las Vegas.
UFC president Dana White confirmed via text Monday that the mixed martial arts organization is rethinking May 1 for UFC 113.
UFC light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, due to meet Mauricio (Shogun) Rua in the Montreal main event, also signalled a possible change.
Diaz To WW, Could Face Markham At 111
It didn't take long-Nate Diaz has already decided his future, for now, is at Welterweight. His 170 debut could come at UFC 111 in March, where he could face Rory Markham, although a few possible matchups are still being discussed.
Diego Sanchez Contemplating Return To 170
Diego "Nightmare" Sanchez has heavy things weighing on his mind.Heavy in the sense of what weight class he will next compete in. The New Mexico native on Sunday night left a somewhat cryptic message via his Facebook page stating "going back up to 170."When contacted by MMAWeekly.com, Jeff Clark, Sanchez's manager, indicated that there has been no official decision made at this time about what weight class he will compete in next.
Rich Franklin's hernia surgery successful, UFC return still targeted for spring
Former UFC middleweight champion and veteran fighter Rich Franklin underwent successful hernia surgery last week and still expects to return to the octagon this spring.J.T. Stewart, Franklin's business manager, shared the news with the Dayton Daily News, a content partner site of MMAjunkie.com.Franklin slotted the Jan. 12 surgery after a busy 2009 fight schedule continually forced him to postpone the procedure.
Mike Ricci, GSP training partner, set for Bellator's season-two lightweight tourney
With their featherweight and welterweight tournaments quickly filling with notable talent, Bellator Fighting Championships officials today revealed the first competitor for its lightweight tournament: Mike Ricci.Ricci, who trains with UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre under the famed Firas Zahabi at Montreal's TriStar gym, owns a 5-0 career mark.Ricci competes in the eight-man lightweight tournament, which commences in April with live Thursday-night events on FOX Sports Net Affiliates.
Rousimar Palhares meets Thomas Drwal at UFC 111 in New Jersey
The UFC's second trip to The Garden State has another fight to its lineup.A middleweight match-up pitting submission ace Rousimar Palhares (10-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) against the heavy-handed Thomasz Drwal (17-2-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) will be finalized shortly for UFC 111, sources close to the situation told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). Both fighters have agreed to the match-up and are expected to turn in bout agreements this week.
Not content with close UFN 20 win, Aaron Simpson already back in gym
Despite scoring a come-from-behind victory on national television, picking up a $30,000 "Fight of the Night" bonus, and improving his career mark to 7-0 (3-0 in the UFC), Aaron Simpson did little celebrating after UFC Fight Night 20 last week.Simpson edged Tom Lawlor via split decision at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va., but the Arizona Combat Sports fighter wasn't about to rest on his laurels.
Sean Sherk Is Chasing James Irvin's 'Most Cursed' Title
There are times when every fighter comes face to face with the end of the road. For Sean Sherk, withdrawing from three consecutive fights may be one of these times. As first reported by FiveOuncesofPain, the Muscle Shark has pulled out of his scheduled matchup with Clay Guida at the "UFC on Versus" event (March 21st; Broomfield, Colorado) due to lingering injuries. Sherk hasn't competed since his unanimous decision loss to Frankie Edgar at UFC 98 in May.