UFC earns best afternoon ratings ever on Fox Sports 1 with UFC Fight Night 86
A heavyweight contenders battle with Junior Dos Santos beating Ben Rothwell on Sunday did 781,000 viewers, the most-watched of the four afternoon live main cards to date on FS 1, and doubling the numbers of a similar show last year.
Sunday's Junior dos Santos vs. Ben Rothwell fight scored strong numbers, setting records for a live UFC afternoon show on FS 1.
The main card averaged 781,000 viewers, airing between 2 p.m. at 5:20 p.m. Eastern time. The UFC led FS1 to first place in viewership among all the sports cable networks in the time slot.
The audience was larger than several shows in 2015 that aired in prime time, as UFC ratings continue to be significantly up from last year's levels.
It was the most-watched UFC Fight Night show that aired outside of prime time on FS1 to date. It more than doubled the previous afternoon show one year ago that did 389,000 viewers, a show headlined by Chad Mendes' win over Ricardo Lamas. UFC had done three previous afternoon shows on FS1.
UFC Statement Following Viscardi Andrade’s Potential Anti-Doping Violation
UFC on Tuesday issued a statement after being informed fighter Viscardi Andrade had been notified of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation.
UFC partners with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to oversee it’s anti-doping program. USADA was the organization notifying both the UFC and Andrade of the potential violation stemming from an out-of-competition drug test.
Viscardi AndradeThe UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Viscardi Andrade of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection on March 7, 2016. The sample was collected from Andrade in Brazil and analyzed at the WADA accredited laboratory in Rio de Janeiro, and recently reported to USADA as containing a prohibited substance.
UFC scraps planned April 25 Season 24 flyweight tryouts for 'The Ultimate Fighter'
After announcing a week ago the information for tryouts for a fall season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” the UFC today scrapped those plans.
This past week, the promotion announced “The Ultimate Fighter 24” would feature male flyweight fighters, and the show’s tournament winner will earn a title shot at the show’s live finale. Part of that announcement for “TUF 24? was a casting call for tryouts on April 25 at Palace Station Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
But today, the UFC released a statement saying those tryouts have been canceled.
UFC announced today that the open casting call for the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter originally scheduled for April 25 in Las Vegas has been canceled. UFC apologizes for any inconveniences this cancelation has caused. More information about the next season of the show will be made available in the weeks to come.”
Former UFC fighter victim of assault
Chino Valley resident and former UFC fighter Edwin Dewees was the victim of an assault on Tuesday, April 5.
Chino Valley Police Det. Mark Garcia confirmed that Ladd A. Parker, 30, of Chino Valley, has been arrested in the case. Garcia did not confirm that Dewees is the victim, but he did not deny it when provided the name.
Heavyweight MMA fighter William Penn passes away at 32
Heavyweight MMA fighter William Penn has passed away at age 32, according to multiple reports.
Penn apparently suffered a heart attack over the weekend and passed away shortly thereafter. Penn was a native of Detroit, Michigan, and competed in 17 professional MMA bouts.
He was a veteran of Bellator, King of the Cage, NAAFS, Driven MMA, Hoosier Fight Club, Inoki Genome Fight, and more.
Always willing to fight the toughest opposition possible, he competed against........
Niklas Bäckström Makes BAMMA Debut in June
Swede Niklas Bäckström has booked his next bout, and it will be with the UK based BAMMA promotion. “I am delighted to get the opportunity to sign with Europe’s leading MMA promotion. The talent within the BAMMA Featherweight division is unbelievable and there are no easy fights in this promotion. However, I believe in my abilities 100% and can’t wait to put on a show for the MMA fans across Europe.” says the Allstars Training Center fighter to the promotion upon the announcement first published by MMA Latest.
Monson reveals Taktarov match-up is a parody fight: 'This is like a WWE thing'
Jeff Monson revealed that his scheduled match-up against Oleg Taktarov is a parody bout that has been misreported by the media.
Last week, a match-up between Jeff Monson and UFC 6 tournament winner Oleg Taktarov was announced by various Russian outlets. However, the articles failed to mention that the contest was not a real MMA fight, but a "parody" fight done for entertainment purposes.
According to Monson, his match with Taktarov will resemble a professional wrestling bout with a scripted storyline.
"This is fun. This is like a WWE thing," Monson told BloodyElbow. "We're going to get there in a couple of days early and script it; get the audience involved. It is nothing more than that.
B.J. Penn vs. Dennis Siver slated for UFC 199 in Los Angeles
UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn (16-10-2 MMA, 12-9-2 UFC) will return from a two-year layoff to fight fellow vet Dennis Siver (22-11 MMA, 11-8 UFC) at UFC 199.
UFC President Dana White confirmed the fight with Yahoo! Sports.
UFC 199 takes place June 4 at The Forum in Los Angeles. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.
The latest UFC 199 lineup now includes:
Champ Luke Rockhold vs. Chris Weidman – for middleweight title
Champ Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber – for bantamweight championship
Bobby Green vs. Dustin Poirier
Evan Dunham vs. Leonardo Santos
Kevin Casey vs. Elvis Mutapcic
Luiz Henrique da Silva vs. Jonathan Wilson
“Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim vs. Polo Reyes
Tom Breese vs. Sean Strickland
John Makdessi vs. Mehdi Baghdad
B.J. Penn vs. Dennis Siver
WSOF 31 main card finalized with John Howard, Luis Palomino, Chris Barnett, others
With three new bouts in a trio of weight classes, the main card is set for June’s WSOF 31 event.
WSOF officials today confirmed the additions with MMAjunkie. They include welterweights John Howard (23-12) vs. Thiago Meller (20-7), featherweights Luis Palomino (24-12) vs. Sheymon Moraes (8-1), and heavyweights Chris Barnett (14-2) vs. Justin Willis (3-1).
WSOF 31 takes place June 17 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. The main card airs on NBCSN following prelims on MMAjunkie.
The latest WSOF 31 card now includes:
Champ Blagoi Ivanov vs. Josh Copeland – for heavyweight title
Jason High vs. Mike Ricci
John Howard vs. Thiago Meller
Sheymon Moraes vs. Luis Palomino
Chris Barnett vs. Justin Willis
Portuguese fighter Joao Carvalho dies following MMA loss
Portuguese fighter Joao Carvalho has died following a loss last weekend at an event in Dublin.
Carvalho (1-2), 28, suffered head injuries during a third-round TKO loss to Irish welterweight Charlie Ward at the Total Extreme Fighting event, which took place April 9 at National Stadium.
According to a TEF statement sent to MMAjunkie, medical personnel examined Carvalho after the fight and sent him to a local hospital for “emergency treatment,” which included brain surgery on Saturday. He ultimately died on Monday.
Rizin 1 Bout Order Announced; Prochazka vs. Fujita Gets Top Billing Over Wanderlei, Sakuraba
The fight card and bout order have been locked in for Sunday’s Rizin Fighting Federation event in Nagoya, Japan.
The main event of Rizin 1 will see New Year’s Eve grand prix runner-up Jiri Prochazka square off against Japanese veteran Kazuyuki Fujita in a 242-pound catchweight fight. The bout structure will follow the Pride FC model, with an opening round of 10 minutes followed by two five-minute rounds.
Several other fighters from Rizin’s inaugural events are featured on the main card, with tournament competitor Vadim Nemkov taking on Karl Albrektsson in the light heavyweight co-main event. Lithuanian standout Teodoras Aukstuolis will face recent Fedor Emelianenko opponent Jaideep Singh at a catchweight of 216 pounds, while Brazilian jiu-jitsu star Gabi Garcia will make her sophomore MMA appearance in an open-weight tilt against Russia’s Anna Malyukova.
Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin to Coach ‘TUF: Latin America’ Season 3
UFC Hall of Famers Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin will serve as opposing coaches on the upcoming third season of “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America,” UFC announced on Monday.
“TUF: LATAN 3” will be the first season of the reality show to film in Argentina, with production slated to begin in Buenos Aires in late spring. The season premieres in August and will be streamed via UFC Fight Pass in the U.S. Canal 5 will broadcast the show in Mexico, with “14 additional free-to-air networks” airing the series throughout Latin America.
Venator FC 3 Update: 20-Fight Card Includes 6 Title Bouts, Numerous Big-Show Veterans
Though still more than a month away, the fight card for Venator FC 3 looks to have reached capacity with an enormous 20-bout lineup.
Venator Fighting Championship on Monday released an updated bill for the event, which takes place May 21 at PalaSesto in Milan, Italy. Set to headline the show is a welterweight title fight between former World Series of Fighting titlist Rousimar Palhares and Norwegian slugger Emil Weber Meek.
UFC Fight Night 86 post-fight facts: Dos Santos lands record number of body strikes
Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos (18-4 MMA 12-3 UFC) produced a record output of strikes when he dominated Ben Rothwell (36-10 MMA, 6-4 UFC) for a decisive unanimous-decision win in UFC Fight Night 86’s headliner.
The heavyweight matchup headlined Sunday’s FOX Sports 1-televised event at Zagreb Arena, which marked the organization’s debut in Croatia. The 13-fight card had a mixed bag of results, but in terms of history-making performances, Dos Santos’ was the most significant.
To see what “Cigano” accomplished, as well as notable results from the card, check out 40 post-fight facts to come out of UFC Fight Night 86.
Kevin Souza replaces Derek Campos in Saturday's Bellator 152 headliner
Bellator has a new main event for its Saturday debut in Italy, officials today told MMAjunkie.
Derek Campos (16-6 MMA, 5-4 BMMA) has suffered an injury, and Bellator has signed recent UFC fighter Kevin Souza (15-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) as a replacement to fight Patricky Freire (15-7 MMA, 8-6 BMMA).
Bellator 152 takes place at Pala Alpitour in Turin, Italy, with the main card on Spike.
The latest Bellator 152 card now includes:
MAIN CARD (Spike, 10 p.m. ET)
Patricky Freire vs. Kevin Souza
Brian Rogers vs. Alessio Sakara
Danilo Belluardo vs. A.J. McKee
Anjela Pink vs. Anastasia Yankova
Daniele Miceli vs. Daniele Scatizzi
Manny Pacquiao retires after beating Timothy Bradley by unanimous decision
LAS VEGAS – If this was the finale of Manny Pacquiao's legendary career, he went out on top, if not in style.
The Filipino superstar has had better days in the ring during a career that saw him win world titles in eight weight classes and virtually guarantee himself a spot in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
It's fair to say, though, that the action was lacking at many points during his fight with Tim Bradley at the MGM Grand Garden before 14,665 largely Pacquiao partisans.
Buoyed by two knockdowns in what could be his final fight, Pacquiao won a unanimous decision over Bradley in a fight that was dull for long stretches.
All three judges had it 116-110 for Pacquiao.
Rafael dos Anjos Will be Ready to Fight in July, Hints Eddie Alvarez Could Be Next Foe
It was a milestone week for Rafael dos Anjos in his recovery process from the broken foot that forced him to pull out of a lightweight title defense against Conor McGregor at UFC UFC 196.
“[It was] my first week without the boot. My doctor cleared me to walk barefoot,” dos Anjos told “Inside MMA” on Friday night. “I started working a little bit, hit some bags, doing some techniques.”
With that progress comes a target date for the lightweight champion’s Octagon return.
“I will be ready by July. I want to fight in July. I’m here. Whatever UFC decides, I’ll be ready,” dos Anjos said. “In three more weeks I’ll be ready to jump, to kick. In July, I’m ready.”
If all goes as planned, that progression could lead to a spot on the UFC 200 card, an event that already features a pair of title fights as well as a welterweight headliner between Nate Diaz and McGregor. Dos Anjos was angling to fight either Diaz or welterweight champion Robbie Lawler on July 9 in Las Vegas, but he was denied by the promotion on both counts.
After Teixeira Injury, Patricio Freire Says He’s Fighting Henry Corrales at Bellator 153
It apparently didn’t take long for Bellator MMA to find a replacement opponent for Patricio Freire.
The former featherweight champion revealed on Twitter Saturday that Henry Corrales will step in for the injured John Teixeira da Conceicao and face Freire at Bellator 153. Promotion officials were not immediately available to confirm the change.
“Thank you [Henry Corrales] for stepping up,” Freire wrote. “Much respect. Everyone was saying no but you. I know you’ll come to war, and I welcome the challenge.”
After beginning his professional career with 12 consecutive wins, Corrales has faced a tough draw in Bellator MMA, dropping back-to-back fights to Daniel Straus and Emmanuel Sanchez in his first two promotional appearances.