Former UFC strawweight champ Carla Esparza 'ready to fight,' eyes UFC 199 return
Carla Esparza has mostly dropped off the radar since losing the UFC women’s strawweight title more than one year ago. Now “The Cookie Monster” wants to get back to work.
Esparza (10-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) has been largely out of sight since she was dismantled by Joanna Jedrzejczyk (11-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) to lose the UFC championship by second-round TKO at UFC 185 in March 2015.
Part of that layoff came by choice due to the fact Esparza had fought five times in less than a year between winning “The Ultimate Fighter 20,” capturing the inaugural 115-pound title and attempting to defend it. The remaining time, however, came as the result of injury.
UFC Planning to Renew ‘Fight for the Troops’ Series in 2016
For the first time in three years, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will host a “Fight for the Troops” event.
The news was revealed in a press release announcing the Las Vegas-based promotion’s renewed partnership with Harley-Davidson, an agreement that includes extensive military ties.
"As a core sponsor since 2007, Harley has played a vital role in the growth of our sport, as our audiences align perfectly with riding enthusiasts and fight fans,” UFC Executive Vice President of Global Marketing Partnerships Mike Mossholder said in a release. “Two pillar programs of our new partnership surround two passionate initiatives for both brands: A military program that provides benefits to both active and non-active military personnel, as well as first responders and Harley riders socializing at their local dealerships to watch UFC Pay-Per-View events.”
UFC Fight Night 85 medical suspensions: Frank Mir, Hector Lombard given potential 180-day suspensions
Frank Mir and Hector Lombard headlined a list of seven fighters to be given extended medical suspensions in the aftermath of the recent UFC Fight Night 85 event in Brisbane, Australia. The UFC, acting as its own sanctioning body for the international event, released its list of medical suspensions Thursday to MixedMartialArts.com, the official record keeper of the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC).
The complete list of UFC Fight Night 85's medical suspensions can be seen below.
Frank Mir: 180 days or cleared with head and neck CT scan; 45 days no fight, 30 days no contact
Hector Lombard: 180 days or cleared with head CT scan; 45 days no fight, 30 days no contact
Antonio Carlos Junior: 180 days or cleared by ENT specialist; 60 days no fight, 45 days no contact
James Te Huna: 180 days or clearance with head CT scan; 60 days no fight, 45 days no contact
Alan Jouban: 180 days or clearance with left elbow MRI
Richard Walsh: 180 days or cleared with negative right forearm x-ray
Chad Laprise: 180 days or cleared with negative right hand x-ray
Johnny Case: 45 days no fight, 30 days no contact
Neil Magny: 30 days no fight, 21 days no contact
Brendan O'Reilly: 30 days no fight, 21 days no contact
Rin Nakai: 30 days no fight, 21 days no contact
Ross Pearson: 30 days no fight, 21 days no contact
Mark Hunt: 7 days mandatory rest
Jake Matthews: 7 days mandatory rest
Daniel Kelly: 7 days mandatory rest
Steve Bosse: 7 days mandatory rest
Bec Rawlings: 7 days mandatory rest
Seohee Ham: 7 days mandatory rest
Daniel Hooker: 7 days mandatory rest
Mark Eddiva: 7 days mandatory rest
Leslie Smith: 7 days mandatory rest
Viscardi Andrade: 7 days mandatory rest
Alan Patrick: 7 days mandatory rest
Damien Brown: 7 days mandatory rest
Newcomer Luiz Henrique da Silva meets Jonathan Wilson at UFC 199
Undefeated Brazilian newcomer Luiz Henrique da Silva will make his octagon debut this summer, as he meets Jonathan Wilson.
UFC officials today announced the bout for UFC 199, which takes place June 4 at The Forum in Los Angeles and features a pair of championship matchups.
With the addition to the card, UFC 199 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
Luis Henrique vs. Jonathan Wilson
MMAWeekly.com HOT OFF THE WIRE Venator FC Adds Six Fighters to Growing Roster
After the recent signing of controversial fighters as Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares and Jason “Mayhem” Miller Venator Fighting Championship’s roster continues to grow with today’s addition of many international superstars as Cody McKenzie, Karl Amoussou, Simeon Thoresen, Peter Queally, Igor Araujo, Jack Hermansson along with the already signed Luke Barnatt, Matt Hamill, Sokoudjou, Che Mills, Karl Moore and more.
All these fighters will fight at “Venator Fighting Championship III” card scheduled for May, 21 at the Palasesto Arena in Milan, Italy.
Take a look at the official fight card below:
Welterweight Title Fight: Rousimar Palhares (18-6) vs Emil Weber Meek (7-2-1, 1 NC)
Middleweight Title Fight: Luke Barnatt (9-3) vs. Jason Miller (23-9, 1 NC)
Light Heavyweight Fight: Sokoudjou (16-14) vs Matt Hamill (11-6)
Welterweight Fight: Karl Amoussou (21-7-2) vs Simeon Thoresen (17-6-1)
Middleweight Fight: Igor Araujo (25-8, 1NC) vs Marvin Vettori (9-2)
Welterweight Fight: Peter Queally (8-2) vs Giorgio Pietrini (5-3)
Welterweight Fight: Cody McKenzie (15-8) vs Daniele Scatizzi (6-2)
Welterweight Fight: Che Mills (16-8, 2NC) vs Roberto Rigamonti (4-2-1)
Light Heavyweight Title Fight: Karl Moore (6-1) vs Pietro Cappelli (1-1)
Middleweight Fight: Jack Hermansson (11-2) vs to be announced
Lightweight Title Fight: Leonardo Zecchi (13-8-1) vs Alessandro Botti (12-5)
Bantamweight Title Fight: Cristian Binda (10-10) vs Davide Baneschi (7-3)
Featherweight Title Fight: Federico Mini (4-0-1) vs Ciro Ruotolo (4-3-1)
Middeweight Fight: Stefan Croitoru (6-1-1) vs Mattia Schiavolin (12-2-2)
Featherweight Fight: Danyel Pilò (3-1-2) vs Luca Puggioni (9-9-1, 1NC)
Light Heavyweight Fight: Matteo Minonzio (21-19) vs Franco De Martiis (2-4)
Lightweight Fight: Daniele Miceli (2-0) vs to be announced
Middleweight Fight: Cristian Magro (8-4) vs Marco Zuzolo (1-1)
Welterweight Fight: Stefano Paternò (3-1) vs Andrea Fusi (0-0)
Lightweight Fight: Manolo Zecchini (3-0) vs Dennis Coste (2-1)
Daron Cruickshank signs with Rizin FF, set to debut in April
Former UFC fighter Daron Cruickshank has found a new home.
Cruickshank has inked a new deal with Rizin Fighting Federation, MMAFighting.com has learned. "The Detroit Superstar" will meet Shinji Sasaki in a lightweight bout on the second Rizin FF card, which is scheduled to take place April 17 at the Nippon Gaishi Hall in Nagoya, Japan.
Cruickshank (16-8) was recently released by the UFC after losing his third fight in a row. The Ultimate Fighter season 15 competitor had been in the organization since 2012.
Titan FC signs Gesias Cavalcante, adds three fights to Titan 38
Titan FC is chugging along nicely.
The promotion recently signed Strikeforce and DREAM veteran Gesias Cavalcante to a deal and he will debut in June, Titan CEO Jeff Aronson told MMA Fighting on Wednesday.
Execs have also been busy putting together Titan 38, which takes place April 30 in Miami. Aronson said three new fights have been added to the card: Peter Petties vs. Caio Rocha, Jack May vs. Chase Sherman and Sid Bice vs. Pedro Nobre. The card will air on UFC Fight Pass.
Michael Page returns at Bellator 153
After pulling out of Bellator 151 for undisclosed reasons, undefeated welterweight Michael Page is set to fight again next month at Bellator 153 in Uncasville, Connecticut. MMA Fighting reports that "Venom" will fight Jeremie Holloway on April 22nd. Bellator officials have not yet confirmed the booking.
Countdown to Korean Zombie's UFC return begins now!
Once upon a time, a very long time ago, there was a land called the WEC. And in this land lived a man. But he was not just an ordinary man. No, far from it. He was a man of action. His name was Chan Sung Jung.
Of course, Chan Sung Jung made it to the UFC as well, fighting four times for the larger Zuffa platform and making his way all the way to a title fight against former divisional kingpin Jose Aldo. Chan Sung lost to Aldo, dislocating his shoulder in the process. He hasn't returned to the cage since.
Jessica Eye vs. Sara McMann set for UFC Fight Night 88 on May 29
UFC Fight Night 88 got a big addition tonight with the announcement that top 10 bantamweights Jessica Eye and Sara McMann will face off in the octagon.
The bout was announced on FOX Sports 1’s “UFC Tonight.”
UFC Fight Night 88 takes place May 29, a Sunday, at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The card airs FOX Sports 1 and streams on UFC Fight Pass.
With the addition, UFC Fight Night 88 includes:
Thomas Almeida vs. Cody Garbrandt
Renan Barao vs. Jeremy Stephens
Tarec Saffiedine vs. Rick Story
Chris Camozzi vs. Vitor Miranda
Lorenz Larkin vs. Jorge Masvidal
Josh Burkman vs. Paul Felder
Diego Ferreira vs. Abel Trujillo
Erik Koch vs. Joe Proctor
Keith Berish vs. Jake Collier
Adam Milstead vs. Chris DeLaRocha
Jessica Eye vs. Sara McMann
Marcin Held vs. Dave Jansen, Joey Beltran vs. Chase Gormley set for Bellator 155
A lightweight matchup of Marcin Held vs. Dave Jansen and a heavyweight contest of Joey Beltran vs. Chase Gormley have been added to May’s Bellator 155 event.
MMAjunkie today confirmed the two new bookings, which round out the evening’s five-fight main card, with a person with knowledge of the agreements. That person spoke in the condition of anonymity because the contests have not been officially announced by the promotion.
An official announcement is expected shortly.
The official bout order for Bellator 155 has yet to be revealed, but the lineup currently includes:
Rafael Carvalho vs. Melvin Manhoef
Pat Curran vs. Georgi Karakhanyan
Dan Charles vs. Augusto Sakai
Marcin Held vs. Dave Jansen
Joey Beltran vs. Chase Gormley
Jason High vs. Mike Ricci targeted for co-main event at June's WSOF 31
A lightweight matchup between top contenders Jason High and Mike Ricci is expected to take place at June’s WSOF 31 event.
MMAjunkie today confirmed the planned booking with a person with knowledge of the negotiations. That person spoke on the condition of anonymity because they promotion has not officially confirmed the contest.
WSOF officials declined to comment when contacted by MMAjunkie.
Rob Font vs. John Lineker added to UFC 198 in Brazil
The lineup for May’s UFC 198 event in Brazil continues to grow, and a bantamweight matchup between Rob Font and John Lineker is the latest addition to the card.
UFC officials today announced the matchup.
With the addition to the card, UFC 198 now includes:
Champ Fabricio Werdum vs. Stipe Miocic – for heavyweight title
Vitor Belfort vs. Ronaldo Souza
Corey Anderson vs. Mauricio Rua
Matt Brown vs. Demian Maia
Uriah Hall vs. Anderson Silva
Patrick Cummins vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Warlley Alves vs. Bryan Barberena
Yancy Medeiros vs. Francisco Trinaldo
Nate Marquardt vs. Thiago “Marreta” Santos
Sergio Moraes vs. Kamaru Usman
Renato Moicano vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
Rob Font vs. John Lineker
'UFC on FOX 19: Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson' lineup set with 8 bouts on FOX
The lineup for next month’s UFC on FOX 19 event is now official, and eight bouts will be part of the night’s network broadcast.
The event takes place April 16 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. The event airs on FOX following five early prelims on MMAjunkie.
The latest 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
Bethe Correia vs. Raquel Pennington
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 4 p.m. ET)
Court McGee vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
Randy Brown vs. Michael Graves
Cezar Ferreira vs. Caio Magalhaes
Drew Dober vs. Islam Makhachev
Omari Akhmedov vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos
Russian heavyweight Konstantin Erokhin suspended 12 months for anabolic steroid use
Two-time UFC veteran Konstantin Erokhin has been suspended 12 months and fined $3,300 after testing positive for drostanolone and/or drostanolone metabolites.
Nevada State Athletic Commission officials today issued the suspension and fine at the commission’s monthly meeting in Las Vegas. Drostanolone is an anabolic steroid.
Erokhin’s failed test stemmed from a pre-fight urinalysis at this past December’s The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale event, which took place on Dec. 11 at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. On that card, Erokhin lost a lackluster decision to Gabriel Gonzaga. Because Erokhin lost the bout, the result of the contest will stand.
'RFA 37: Viana vs. Clark' lineup finalized for April 15 with two title fights
The lineup is set for next month’s “RFA 37: Viana vs. Clark” event, which features a pair of title fights.
The event takes place April 15 at Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D. The main card airs on AXS TV.
The full RFA 37 lineup includes:
MAIN CARD (AXS TV, 10 p.m. ET)
Devin Clark vs. Rafael Viana – for inaugural light heavyweight title
Leandro Higo vs. Joey Miolla – for vacant bantamweight title
Brian Camozzi vs. Jordon Larson
Joseph Gigliotti vs. John Poppie
Eli Finn vs. Matthew Lopez
Scott Futrell vs. Logan Storley
PRELIMINARY CARD (Untelevised, 9 p.m. ET)
Chris Hugh vs. David Michaud
Ryan Debelak vs. Jordan Johnson
C.J. Hunter vs. Bryce Logan
UFC Fight Night 86 lineup set with 10:30 a.m. ET start time, 10 bouts on FOX Sports 1
The 13-bout lineup is official for next month’s UFC Fight Night 86 event in Croatia.
The event takes place April 10 at Zagreb Arena in Zagreb, and it marks the UFC’s debut in Croatia.
The event kicks off at 10:30 a.m. ET (7:30 a.m. PT) with three preliminary-card bouts on UFC Fight Pass. The rest of the prelims and the main card then shift to FOX Sports 1 at noon ET.
The full UFC Fight Night 86 lineup includes:
MAIN CARD (FOX Sports 1, 2 p.m. ET)
Ben Rothwell vs. Junior Dos Santos
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Derrick Lewis
Curtis Blaydes vs. Francis Ngannou
Timothy Johnson vs. Marcin Tybura
Jan Blachowicz vs. Igor Pokrajac
Maryna Moroz vs. Cristina Stanciu
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1, noon ET)
Zak Cummings vs. Nicolas Dalby
Damir Hadzovic vs. Mairbek Taisumov
Ian Entwistle vs. Alejandro Perez
Filip Pejic vs. Damian Stasiak
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 10:30 a.m. ET)
Lucas Martins vs. Robert Whiteford
Cyril Asker vs. Jared Cannonier
Alessio Di Chirico vs. Bojan Velickovic
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Neil Seery slated for UFC Fight Night 87 in Rotterdam
A flyweight bout with a top-10 fighter is the latest addition to May’s UFC Fight Night 87 event.
Officials today announced former title challenger Kyoji Horiguchi (16-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) and vet Neil Seery (16-11 MMA, 3-2 UFC) are booked to fight at the event.
The latest UFC Fight Night 87 card includes:
Andrei Arlovski vs. Alistair Overeem
Antonio Silva vs. Stefan Struve
Rustam Khabilov vs. Chris Wade
Yan Cabral vs. Reza Madadi
Magnus Cedenblad vs. Garreth McLellan
Peter Sobotta vs. Dominic Waters
Gunnar Nelson vs. Albert Tumenov
Nick Hein vs. Jon Tuck
Francimar Barroso vs. Nikita Krylov
Heather Jo Clark vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Neil Seery
With road paved for MMA in New York, Bellator looking at Barclays Center for possible event
With today’s passage of a bill legalizing MMA in New York, it’s not just the UFC ready to head to the “Empire State.”
The Viacom-owned Bellator, the UFC’s biggest competitor, today said it already has been in touch with arenas in the state and is planning to hold events there once the bill is passed into law.
“The New York Assembly’s vote to legalize MMA is a watershed moment for this incredible sport,” Bellator President Scott Coker stated. “As someone who has been promoting combat sports for more than 30 years, this is a very exciting time for mixed martial arts. We at Bellator MMA are very much looking forward to hosting an event in the ‘Crown Jewel of America,’ New York.
“… We’ve already been in contact with the great people at the Barclays Center and several other incredible venues, and we can’t wait bring our world-class athletes and action-packed shows to an arena in the ‘Empire State’ soon.”