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UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn has another date scheduled for his Octagon return.
The former UFC welterweight and lightweight champion, whose return from an two-year retirement has been postponed on several occasions, will meet featherweight standout Yair Rodriguez in the main event of a Jan. 15 Fight Night card in Phoenix. The UFC announced the fight on their Spanish-language website on Monday.
A middleweight fight between Rashad Evans and Tim Kennedy will not take place at UFC 206, according to Evans’ manager and Kennedy.
Evans was unable to get medical clearance for a fight license at the Dec. 10 event, manager Ali Abdelaziz today told MMAjunkie.
Next month’s UFC on FOX 22 lineup has its 13th matchup.
Veteran Cole Miller (21-10 MMA, 10-8 UFC) is slated to fight Mizuto Hirota (17-7-2 MMA, 0-2-1 UFC) in a featherweight matchup, officials recently announced.
UFC on FOX 22 takes place Dec. 17 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif. The card airs on FOX following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.
Sergio Pettis became a top 15 fighter in the UFC following his win over Chris Kelades, and now he’s getting the biggest fight of his life in Arizona. The 23-year-old flyweight is set to take on Jussier Formiga at the UFC Fight Night 103 card in Phoenix, AZ, on Jan. 15, sources told MMA Fighting.
Pettis (14-2) was expected to face Louis Smolka in October, but pulled out of the contest due to an injury. Coming off back-to-back decision wins over Kelades and Chris Cariaso, the Roufusport talent looks to improve to 3-1 since cutting down to 125 pounds.
Claudia Gadelha defeated Cortney Casey via unanimous decision Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 100, and would still have won even if referee Fernando Portella had deducted a point when she threw an illegal kick in the third round.
Casey was sitting on the ground when Gadelha threw a kick at her head. The Brazilian immediately apologized to her opponent, but later that night, at the post-fight press conference at the Ibirapuera gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, that the kick actually didn’t land. Casey disagrees.
Emelianenko (36-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) will make his Bellator debut on Feb. 18 against Matt Mitrione (11-5 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) in the main event of Bellator 172 at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. The main card will air on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.
Bellator officials made the announcement during tonight’s Bellator 165 event in San Jose.
UG hero Ian ‘Uncle Creepy’ McCall had his third fight in a row canceled on the eve of the event.
At UFC 201 in July opponent Justin Scoggins failed to make his contracted weight and the fight was scrapped. At UFC 203 in September opponent Ray Borg became ill and the fight was scrapped. This time it was McCall who became ill. McCall is currently in the hospital recovering.
Roy Nelson won’t be fighting anytime soon.
The long-time UFC heavyweight was issued a nine-month suspension, as well as a $24,000 fine, by the Brazilian Superior Justice Court of MMA (STJDMMA) for assault and unethical behavior following his knockout win over Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva on Sept. 24 at UFC Fight Night 95 in Brasilia, Brazil.
Nelson kicked veteran referee "Big" John McCarthy after the bout because he thought McCarthy took too long to stop the contest, forcing Nelson to hurt Silva more than he needed to win the fight. Later that night, at the post-fight press conference, Nelson apologized to McCarthy, but added that he "wouldn't take it back."
When Yoel Romero leaped into the air and landed a flying knee that sent former middleweight champion Chris Weidman crashing the canvas at UFC 205, the Cuban punched his ticket to a title shot.
The fight was billed a top contender’s bout and Romero delivered, stunning the crowd inside Madison Square Garden.
“I’ve trained very hard. It doesn’t matter whatever has happened in my life; it doesn’t matter how many ditches I’ve had to go through in my life. I keep going forward. God has given me (a shot at) the belt,” Romero said during his post-fight interview. “There’s an opportunity for the belt.”
UFC president Dana White confirmed that Romero would face champion Michael Bisping in his next outing during the UFC 205 post-fight press conference.
Nate Diaz thinks the UFC didn't want him or his brother Nick at UFC 205 on Saturday.
Diaz, Conor McGregor's greatest rival, told ESPN in a video published Tuesday night that he believes the promotion intentionally tried to keep the two of them out of Madison Square Garden for the UFC's first card in New York City.
After watching him up close at UFC 205, Mark Henry, the striking coach for Eddie Alvarez, believes Conor McGregor is a "once in a lifetime" fighter.
"You cannot teach somebody how to swing like that," Henry told RJ Clifford on The Luke Thomas Show. "It takes hips, it takes a certain shoulder, it takes a flick of the wrist, there are so many tiny mechanics. What it takes to make an eyeball work is what it takes to make the perfect swing. Like Babe Ruth. I just compare Conor - his swing - to Babe Ruth. I always watch tape of it but to be that close and watch it was a whole other thing.
"It comes along once in a lifetime or once every hundred years or what not. I think God has just blessed him with a swing that I'll probably never see again. Before this fight, I would highly doubt him fighting Mayweather, but I think this dude can take out Mayweather. I'm not even joking."
A late injury to TUF Nations winner Chad Laprise has forced the UFC to scratch a welterweight contest between Laprise and Li Jingliang from the card of UFC 206. The UFC announced the news Wednesday.
Jingliang (11-4) is expected to be re-booked for a fight at a later date.
Lyoto Machida's sanction has finally come down.
USADA suspended the former UFC light heavyweight champion for 18 months due to a UFC anti-doping violation, it was announced Wednesday. The suspension is retroactive to April 8, 2016, so Machida will be eligible to compete again in October 2017.
Fresh from his UFC 205 defeat at the hands of Yoel Romero, Chris Weidman - accompanied by Stephen Thompson - spoke to the media backstage at Madison Square Garden.
Weidman was asked if Romero deserved to now challenge UFC middleweight champ Michael Bisping for the belt.
“He just put in a good performance against me,” said Weidman, hinting that Romero had done enough to earn the shot.
However, Weidman did expose some doubts over whether Romero, or any fighter who had been banned for PEDs, should still be allowed to compete.
“I just feel like they shouldn't be fighting anymore,” opined Weidman, siding with views previously expressed by Bisping. “A lot of guys I fought in the past have failed for steroids, a good majority of my last six fights.”
A new rivalry between Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and now multi-division title holder, Conor McGregor, seemed to be budding during this week in New York City after the two had a couple of confrontations in "The Empire State."
So when company president Dana White asked "The Chosen One" to loan him his belt for a hot minute in order to present a second title to Conor inside the Octagon after disposing of Eddie Alvarez in the main event (see it again here), Woodley put his bitterness toward Conor aside to oblige.
Though he wasn’t exactly thrilled.
Conor McGregor is now the UFC lightweight and featherweight champion, the first person to ever accomplish such a feat. Eddie Alvarez is in the rear-view mirror. So what's next for "The Notorious."
First, McGregor is going to be busy with the birth of his first child in May. After that, he said UFC and WME-IMG brass must offer him a share of the company for him to compete again.
When all is said and done and McGregor is ready to get back into the Octagon, though, there are a list of opponents lining up for him. Two possible opponents are Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tyron Woodley. McGregor got into verbal altercations with both of them before the UFC 205 ceremonial weigh-ins Friday.
UFC President Dana White doesn’t like to match-make on fight night, but he sure had a lot of ideas about potential scraps after UFC 205.
White revealed the likely direction for two UFC divisions, telling MMAjunkie a rematch between welterweight champ Tyron Woodley (16-3-1 MMA, 6-2-1 UFC) and Stephen Thompson (13-1-1 MMA, 8-1-1 UFC) should happen after the two fought to a majority draw.
“You rematch them,” White said. “It was a draw, and the fight was ridiculous. It was a ‘Fight of the Night.’ Do it again.”
Another fight that makes sense to the promoter is a middleweight title bout between champ Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) and Yoel Romero (13-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC), who knocked out ex-champ Chris Weidman (13-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) in vicious fashion on the pay-per-view main card.
"Yeah, that’s the fight that makes sense,” White said. “He beat Chris Weidman tonight. I don’t know when, but that’s the fight.”