Cub Swanson vs. Hacran Dias shifts from prelims to UFC on FOX 19 main-card opener
With an injury on Tuesday scrapping the UFC on FOX 19 headliner, the event now has a new opening fight for the main card.
Tony Ferguson was forced out of the UFC on FOX 19 lightweight headliner against Khabib Nurmagomedov next week in Florida due to fluid on his lung. The previously booked co-main event light heavyweight bout between former champion Rashad Evans and former title challenger Glover Teixeira now is the five-round main event.
But with Nurmagomedov without an opponent - the UFC has adjusted the lineup, and a pair of featherweights now will open the four-fight main card on FOX.
Cerrone offers to fight Nurmagomedov – but so, too, does UFC champ dos Anjos
For a guy who just lost his opponent a few weeks before a UFC headliner, Khabib Nurmagomedov sure seems to have plenty of options.
On Tuesday Tony Ferguson (20-3 MMA, 10-1 UFC) withdrew from his planned UFC on FOX 19 headliner with Nurmagomedov (22-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC), which was slated for April 16 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., due to “fluid” and “blood” in his lungs.
So where does that leave Nurmagomedov, a top contender who’s No. 2 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings? Well, he’s certainly got his fair share of willing opponents, including former lightweight title challenger and recent welterweight Donald Cerrone (29-7 MMA, 16-4 UFC), who’s currently slated to fight vet Patrick Cote (23-9 MMA, 10-9 UFC) on June 18 at UFC Fight Night 89 (via Twitter)
Ariel Helwani ? ?@arielhelwani
I'm told Cerrone wants assurance that if he takes this fight against Khabib that he still gets to fight @patrick_cote 6/18. He wants both.
8:27 PM - 5 Apr 2016
According to Tony Ferguson, UFC on FOX 19 withdrawal might've saved his life
"I am out of my Fight Due to Blood/Fluid in my Lung. Usually I can Power Through These things. Doc said it wasn't wise to Fight due to any more trauma could be terminal. There are more Important things to me Like Making sure I am there for my Little Man Armand Anthony & @xtfergie @darceandknucklez Family First. I will be Back, I will be Better. You haven't seen anything yet. #TeamFerguson #TeamElCucuy #TonyFergusonMMA #SnapDownCity #OGElCucuy Give me a couple weeks. Khabib pulled out Three Times. I have pulled out Once in my Whole Career... I will be Back. It's Shitty these things happen... Staying Positive for my Family. TF"
Bellator 157: Dynamite 2 heads to St. Louis in June with 'Rampage' vs. Satoshi Ishii
Bellator has set the date for its second MMA and kickboxing crossover event, and it will feature the return of Quinton Jackson to the promotion.
Bellator 157: Dynamite 2 will take place June 24 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. In the main event, “Rampage” Jackson (36-11 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) will meet Japanese Olympic judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii (14-5-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) at a 215-pound catchweight. Promotion officials today confirmed the event and fight booking to MMAjunkie after an initial report from ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.
The first “Dynamite” event took place this past September with Bellator 142 in San Jose, Calif. The card featured MMA fights in the cage and GLORY kickboxing matches in a ring right next to it, and after the main card on Spike, the two sets of events were going on simultaneously.
Former champ Douglas Lima meets Chidi Njokuani at Bellator 156 in June
Bellator’s summer return to Fresno, Calif., has its latest fight, and it will feature a former welterweight champion.
Douglas Lima (26-6 MMA, 8-2 BMMA) will fight for the first time since losing his 170-pound title this past July when he meets Chidi Njokuani (14-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at Bellator 156. Promotion officials today announced the new booking.
Bellator 156 takes place June 17 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie. In the main event, bantamweight champion Marcos Galvao puts his title on the line in a rematch with former champ Eduardo Dantas.
Miesha Tate inks new deal with UFC
It's good to be the champ.
Following her impressive fifth-round submission victory over Holly Holm to become the bantamweight champ at UFC 196, Miesha Tate has signed a new deal with the UFC.
KHI Management announced the news via Twitter:
Terms of the new deal were not released, however, MMA Fighting confirmed that Tate was not a free agent following the fight with Holm.
In that UFC 196 championship bout, Tate earned a disclosed $46,000 to show and $46,000 to win, totaling $92,000. Holm, meanwhile, took home $500,000 in defeat.
Cody East vs. Walt Harris added to UFC 197
A heavyweight match-up is the latest addition to UFC 197, with Cody East making his Octagon debut versus Walt Harris on April 23 in Las Vegas.
In the latest episode of "Lookin’ for a Fight", White signs East right after a 40-second knockout victory over Kevin Asplund at Legacy FC 51 in February (watch here). "The Freight Train" holds a 12-1 MMA record with eight knockouts and three submissions.
Harris (7-4) started his second UFC run in November, losing to Soa Palelei in Sidney. The American Top Team heavyweight looks for his first win under the UFC banner after suffering defeats to Jared Rosholt and Nikita Krylov in 2013 and 2014.
'TUF 24' tryouts slated for April 25; season champ gets flyweight title shot at finale
“The Ultimate Fighter 24” will feature male flyweight fighters, and the show’s tournament winner will earn a title shot at the show’s live finale.
UFC officials today announced the “TUF 24” plans.
Tryouts for the show take place April 25 at Palace Station Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. “TUF 24” hopefuls must be between the ages of 21 and 34, have at least three pro fights, and must possess a winning record. The fighters, who will grapple and hit pads during the open tryouts, can apply at UFC.com.
Filming begins in June, and the “TUF 24” season debut is slated for Aug. 31 on FOX Sports 1.
Unlike past season of “TUF,” which first debuted in 2015, the 16-man tournament on “TUF 24” will conclude during the regular season; past tournament finals have taken place on the show’s live finale. Instead, the “TUF 24” tournament winner will be determined on the show’s final regular-season episode, and he’ll then fight for the title at The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale in December.
Legacy FC 55 slated for May 13 with Ledet vs. Ritani-Coe, Page vs. Hollis
The lineup is set for next month’s Legacy FC 55 event, which is heavy on Houston-area talent.
Legacy FC 55 takes place May 13 at Arena Theatre in Houston. The main card airs on AXS TV following untelevised prelims.
The Legacy FC 55 lineup includes:
MAIN CARD (AXS TV, 10 p.m. ET)
Justin Ledet vs. Brice Ritani-Coe
Flyweight champ Damacio Page vs. Ryan Hollis – non-title bantamweight bout
Brandon Farran vs. Isaac Villanueva
Roberto Sanchez vs. David Waters
Jason Langellier vs. opponent TBA
Humberto DeLeon vs. Adrian Yanez
Manny Lozoya vs. Dulani Perry
PRELIMINARY CARD (Untelevised, 8 p.m. ET)
Chad Cook vs. Larry Crowe
David Armas vs. Charles Cheeks
D’Neareon Seymore vs. Mike Trinh
C.J. Hancock vs. Ryan Josey
Michael Bisping blasts Yoel Romero's 6-month suspension: 'He could have killed somebody'
Michael Bisping is one of the more outspoken critics of performance-enhancing-drug users – especially in his own division – and he had a scathing critique of fellow middleweight Yoel Romero.
On Monday the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which administers the UFC’s drug-testing program, issued Romero a six-month suspension rather than the two-year ban that was previously on the table.
Romero (11-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC), who failed an out-of-competition test shortly after his split-decision win over Ronaldo Souza (22-4 MMA, 5-1 UFC) at UFC 194, insisted the failure was caused by a workout supplement, one that listed no banned substances among its ingredients. After a lab test confirmed his theory, USADA opted for the shorter suspension.
Correia vs. Pennington now set to close out UFC on FOX 19's UFC Fight Pass prelims
This month’s UFC on FOX 19 lineup got a small shakeup, and it’s resulted in a new bout to close out the UFC Fight Pass prelims.
Although initially slated for the FOX-televised prelims, a women’s bantamweight bout between former title challenger Bethe Correia (9-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) and Raquel Pennington (6-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) instead will close out the UFC Fight Pass prelims, official today announced (via Twitter)
The full UFC on FOX 19 card includes:
MAIN CARD (FOX, 8 p.m. ET)
Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Rashad Evans vs. Glover Teixeira
Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida
Rose Namajunas vs. Tecia Torres
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX, 6 p.m. ET)
Michael Chiesa vs. Beneil Dariush
Hacran Dias vs. Cub Swanson
John Dodson vs. Manny Gamburyan
Court McGee vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 4 p.m. ET)
Bethe Correia vs. Raquel Pennington
Randy Brown vs. Michael Graves
Cezar Ferreira vs. Caio Magalhaes
Drew Dober vs. Islam Makhachev
Omari Akhmedov vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos
Chicago's UFC on FOX 20 lineup gets first 4 bouts, including LaFlare vs. Yakovlev
The fight card is starting to take shape for the UFC’s July return to network television.
UFC officials recently announced the first four matchups for UFC on FOX 20.
The event takes place July 23 at United Center in Chicago. The bulk of the lineup, including the main card, is expected to air on FOX following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
The latest UFC on FOX 20 card includes:
Ryan LaFlare vs. Alexander Yakovlev
George Sullivan vs. Hector Urbina
James Moontasri vs. Alex Oliveira
Luis Henrique vs. Dmitry Smolyakov
Julianna Pena cleared to resume UFC career following assault allegations
The UFC today announced it has completed an investigation into allegations of assault by women’s bantamweight Julianna Pena and reinstated “The Ultimate Fighter 18” winner, freeing her to resume her professional career.
The 26-year-old fighter reportedly volunteered to undergo counseling as a condition of her return.
“Pena acknowledges that her actions as a professional athlete should reflect well of her, the sport of mixed martial arts, and the UFC,” the promotion said in a prepared statement.
Mike Wilkinson announces he was released by the UFC
An exciting up-and-comer from England has been released by the UFC.
Mike Wilkinson announced Monday on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani that he was cut by the promotion following his last fight, a unanimous decision loss to Makwan Amirkhani in February. Wilkinson went 2-2 in the UFC and earned a Performance of the Night bonus with a first-round knockout of Niklas Backstrom in 2014.
After the win over Backstrom, Wilkinson (9-2) suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out for more than a year. Wilkinson, 28, hails from Manchester and was a castmate on The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes.
Wilkinson's release comes on the heels of uncharacteristic UFC cuts of solid fighters like Jared Rosholt and Norman Parke.
WSOF 30 salaries range from $130,000 to $500
David Branch continues to be one of the highest earners outside of the UFC. The two-division World Series of Fighting champion pocketed a $130,000 purse for his middleweight title defense over Clifford Starks at WSOF 30, according to information the Nevada Athletic Commission released Monday to MMA Fighting.
Main card (NBC Sports Network)
David Branch ($65,000 + $65,000 = $130,000) def. Clifford Starks ($15,000)
Jon Fitch ($35,000 + $35,000 = $70,000) def. Joao Zeferino ($15,000)
Vinny Magalhaes ($7,000 + $7,000 = $14,000) def. Jake Heun ($10,000)
Abu Azaitar ($3,000 + $3,000 = $6,000) def. Danny Davis Jr. ($3,000)
Preliminary Card (MMA Fighting)
Abubakar Nurmagomedov ($3,500 + $3,500 = $7,000) def. Matt Frincu ($4,000)
Rex Harris ($1,500 + $1,500 = $3,000) def. Clinton Williams ($4,000)
Steve Kozola ($3,000 + $3,000 = $6,000) def. Matt Church ($1,000)
Adam Acquaviva ($2,000 + $2,000 = $4,000) def. Andres Ponce ($800)
Zach Bunnell ($500 + $500 = $1,000) def. Jeff Roman ($500)
Wanderlei Silva to Partner with Kiyoshi Tamura for Rizin Tag Match Against Sakuraba, Tokoro
Former Pride FC champion Wanderlei Silva will join forces with Japanese MMA pioneer and onetime opponent Kiyoshi Tamura for a tag-team grappling match at this month’s Rizin Fighting Federation event.
Rizin officials last week announced that Silva and Tamura will go up against Kazushi Sakuraba and Hideo Tokoro in the submission-only match. Exact rules for the contest have not been revealed.
The grappling match will headline Rizin 1, the organization’s first official event following its pair of New Year’s Eve cards. The event takes place April 17 at Nippon Gaishi Hall in Nagoya, Japan, and will also feature the likes of Daron Cruickshank, Hisaki Kato and Gabi Garcia.
Yoel Romero suspended six months after USADA confirmation of tainted supplement
Yoel Romero has been handed a six-month suspension by USADA after failing a drug test after his UFC 194 split decision win over Ronaldo Souza.
USADA announced Romero (11-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC), ranked No. 3 in the MMAjunkie/USA TODAY Sports MMA middleweight rankings, accepted their sanction via a statement on their official website.
Romero, a 2000 Olympic silver-medal wrestler for Cuba, has won seven straight fights – all in the UFC – and was knocking on the door of a potential title fight after the victory at UFC 194.
Warlley Alves Ready to take out Bam Bam
When it comes to Brazilian fighters, Warlley Alves appears to be one with the talent for a long, sustainable and perhaps even championship-caliber career under the UFC banner.
At 25 Alves (10-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) has already built an undefeated record, which includes four straight wins in the octagon. He has the chance to make it five in a row when he takes on Bryan Barberena (11-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) in a welterweight bout at UFC 198.
UFC 198 takes place May 14 at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil. 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.
Alves carries plenty of momentum into the event, as will Barberena. “Bam Bam” scored a huge upset over another hyped and undefeated fighter when he submitted Sage Northcutt at UFC on FOX 18 in January. Alves plans to claim that momentum for himself.