Dana White: Nick Diaz Will Get a Title Shot if He Beats B.J. Penn at UFC 137
Maybe we'll get to see Nick Diaz vs. Georges St. Pierre after all.
Dana White confirmed to MMA Weekly that, should Diaz defeat B.J. Penn at UFC 137, he will indeed get a shot at the Welterweight title against the winner of Georges St. Pierre vs. Carlos Condit.
Diaz was of course originally set to face St. Pierre in the main event of UFC 137, but after repeatedly no showing press conferences, White pulled him from the match, giving the title shot to Condit instead. Days later, Diaz was back in for the show, but this time facing B.J. Penn in the semi-main event.
For Diaz, this is a huge break, but still a tough challenge. Penn is a former Welterweight champion who is currently ranked #7 in the division in the USA Today / SB Nation Consensus Rankings. He's 1-0-1 at 170 since his return to the division, and is always a threat to anyone in the division. Diaz is currently ranked at #4, and is undefeated since 2007. But Penn represents a real step up from the competition former Strikeforce champion Diaz has faced as of late.
Michael Bisping: I'm the number one contender, not Chael Sonnen
"Chael Sonnen had his chance, put on a great performance but lost. Got tapped out, got finished, and then after that he failed a steroids test. As far as I can see he had his chance and he blew it. I feel I deserve a shot. I have got to beat Miller, he is tough, I am not looking past him. [But] it's me, I’m the contender. Belfort has just been beat, Yushin Okami has just been beat, Sonnen got beat. What are they going to do, all they all going to keep beating each other up and then having another shot at him? No, I’m the contender."
Gable vs. Tirloni promoted to Bellator 55 main card, Steinbeiss among prelim additions
Two-time EliteXC fighter Steve Gable (5-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) and Brazilian lightweight prospect Ricardo Tirloni (13-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) have been elevated to main-card status at next week's Bellator 55 event.
Bellator brass recently announced the change while also releasing a few changes to the evening's current nine-fight lineup.
With the changes, Bellator 55 now includes:
MAIN CARD (MTV2)
Marcos Galvao vs. Alexis Vila (bantamweight tourney semifinal)
Eduardo Dantas vs. Ed West (bantamweight tourney semifinal)
Champ Christian M'Pumbu vs. Travis Wiuff (non-title light-heavyweight fight)
Ricardo Tirloni vs. Steve Gable
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com)
Carlos Flores vs. Richard Hale
Edgar Garcia vs. Jacob Ortiz
Erin Beach vs. Roscoe Jackson
Nick Piedmont vs. Jade Porter
Dano Moore vs. Steve Steinbeiss
DREAM Veteran Hong Man Choi Booked With Assaulting Female Customer
Seven-foot-two K-1 World GP in Seoul Champion and DREAM "Super Hulk" Hong Man Choi has been booked with assault following an October 8 altercation with a female customer at a bar he owns and operates in Seoul, South Korea.
The alleged assault occurred when a female customer refused to pay a tab at Choi's bar which turned out to be more expensive than she had anticipated. Following an argument, the female patron claims that Choi punched her in the face.
Champ Eddie Alvarez meets Michael Chandler at November's Bellator 58
While injury forced a short delay in Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez's planned title defense with season-four tournament winner Michael Chandler (8-0 MMA, 5-0 BFC), fans won't have to wait long for the contest.
Originally scheduled to take place at this weekend's Bellator 54 event, company brass recently announced the matchup has been moved back just five weeks and will take place at November's Bellator 58 card.
Already featuring middleweight champion Hector Lombard in a 195-pound non-title fight with Trevor Prangley, Bellator 58 takes place Nov. 19 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
UFC 140's Jon Jones knows the only way to Rashad Evans is through Lyoto Machida
Rashad Evans is still hanging over Jon Jones' head.
Today during a press conference in support of UFC 140, Jones' eyes widened at UFC president Dana White's mention of Evans and a recent proclamation of having the champ's number.
But it's Lyoto Machida (17-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) who is next, and Jones (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) said it would be unwise to take his eye off the immediate task ahead.
"I realize what I could lose in losing the fight that's in front of me now," he said of his headliner at the winter pay-per-view event, which takes place Dec. 10 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Evans was targeted for the winter pay-per-view event before a hand injury he suffered at UFC 132 forced him out of the long-anticipated fight with Jones.
K.J. Noons vs. Billy Evangelista targeted for 'Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal'
A welterweight bout originally planned for "Strikeforce: Miami" has materialized again for the promotion's next major event.
Multiple sources today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that onetime welterweight title challenger K.J. Noons (10-4 MMA, 2-2 SF) is targeted to meet Billy Evangelista (11-1 MMA, 7-1 SF) at "Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal," which takes place Dec. 17 at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego. The event's main card airs on Showtime while preliminary action is broadcast on HDNet.
Verbal agreements are in place for the bout, though contracts have yet to be signed. It's not yet known whether the bout will air as part of the event's main card or reside on the preliminary roster.
Noons and Evangelista both look to rebound from recent setbacks.
With undefeated 2011, Aaron Simpson open to another UFC fight before year's end
By the end of 2010, Aaron Simpson was stuck in a two-fight losing skid, and his UFC career was in jeopardy.
Twelve months later, he's riding a three-fight win streak and even willing to take a late-notice booking before year's end.
Welcome to the up-and-down world of a professional MMA fighter.
Simpson (11-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) defeated resilient middleweight Eric Schafer (12-6-2 MMA, 3-5 UFC) at this past Saturday's UFC 136 event. In a Facebook-streamed preliminary-card bout at Houston's Toyota Center, he beat down Schafer for three rounds en route to a 30-27 unanimous-decision victory.
Although he didn't get the finish, Simpson wasn't about to ignore the lesson he learned from a teammate who fought the jiu-jitsu ace in 2009.
Shark Fights 21 features Lashley-Schoonover, Bonello-Roberts title fights
The Texas-based Shark Fights promotion has announced a pair of championship bouts for next month's event.
Shark Fights 21 feature former WWE performer and Strikeforce vet Bobby Lashley (6-1) vs. Darrill Schoonover (11-5) for the heavyweight title and Tony Bonello (16-1-1) vs. David Roberts (5-8) for the light-heavyweight title.
Shark Fights 21 takes place Nov. 11 at Fair Park Coliseum in Lubbock, Texas.
The event airs via delay on FUEL TV on Dec. 23.
"This is going to be a huge night of fights," Shark Fights executive Wes Nolen stated. "We wanted to end the year strong with two championship fights in one night. Shark Fights is excited to be going back to Lubbock, Texas. The fans in Lubbock have always been supportive of Shark Fights, and we want to put on the biggest show possible for them."
Cage Warriors implements mandatory blood testing, steroid testing possible in future
With no regulatory body present, the U.K.-based Cage Warriors organization has implemented its own mandatory blood testing for all fighters.
Officials announced the plans on Tuesday.
Currently, the testing will be used to identify infections such as HIV and hepatitis B and C, but a Cage Warriors officials said it could be expanded to include additional testing, including steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.
The British Boxing Board of Control currently mandates blood testing, but the regulatory body oversees just boxing, not MMA. That's why the UFC regulates its own shows in the U.K. and why the organization has implemented its own blood testing.
Vinny Magalhaes eyes first M-1 Global title defense on heels of ADCC gold
The year 2011 has been a banner one for "The Ultimate Fighter 8" finalist Vinny Magalhaes.
So far he's registered four straight MMA wins (all finishes), captured the M-1 Global light-heavyweight title, and recently won a gold medal at the prestigious Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) Submission Wrestling World Championships.
The grappling tournament acted as a weekend getaway as Magalhaes finished up his training camp for his first title defense.
Magalhaes (8-5) is set to put his title on the line against Mikhail Zayats (14-5) on this Friday in the co-headliner of "M-1 Challenge 27: Garner vs. Grishin." The event takes place at the Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. and airs live on Showtime.
Is Tim Kennedy Moving Over to the UFC?
The UFC's dismantling of Strikeforce looks to have continued with Tim Kennedy. Kennedy recently added the Ultimate Fighting Championship to his employers on Facebook:
Kennedy could be referencing the fact that the UFC owns Strikeforce, and, by proxy, he's employed by the UFC. But, then again, it seems like a random thing to do seven months after Strikeforce was purchased, no?
Brock: I'll have one more match in WWE
Jon Robinson: Do you have any regrets about leaving WWE?
Brock Lesnar: I don't have any regrets. If I had any regrets, it would have been that I wish I enjoyed my time there a little bit better. I'm not a very good yes man, and I'm not very easily controlled.
Jon Robinson: Do you ever think you will go back and have one last WWE match?
Brock Lesnar: I think I will. I think under the right circumstances I will. I think if Vince McMahon and I were able to sit down at the same dinner table and break some bread that we could come up with some kind of gameplan. At the end of the day, I'm an ultimate fighter. That's who I am and that's who I'll always be. I was an entertainer but at the end of the day, I'm still as real as it gets. I think a lot of things have to fall in the right places for something like that to happen.
Jeff Curran's last chance
I am 35-13-1 and I think its still a pretty good record. When you look at the losses, aside from the Uriah Faber glitch, every fight I had was competitive. A record it just that, a record. Talk about the three decision losses I had in the WEC-Benavidez, Mizugaki and Mike Brown. Those three fights were so close that basically nine people in the world decided that I was the loser in those fights. I came out with barely a mark on me, I fell I lost the Mike Brown fight fair and square, I gave up a few things I shouldn’t have, Benavidez was what it was and I definitely feel I won the Mizugaki fight. If I was getting finished off by mid level and upper level guys and these guys were just making a fool of me then I would know my place but I am very confident in what I am capable of and very confident that I belong in the upper echelon of the division. I’m not coming back to the UFC like some washed up WEC veteran that they are squeezing a last fight out of. I feel like they are giving me three months notice, and really allowing me to step up to the plate like this they (The UFC) are saying “Ok Jeff, you wanted this you got it. Now show us what you got.” I intend on doing that.
Really good interview. I agree with him that the UFC is giving him a legitimate chance to prove his worth. All of his loses were close. He could have won any of those fights that he lost by decision. Even against Faber, he dominated the first round.
UFC Reportedly Switching PPV Start Times Back to 10 p.m. ET
Over at F4WOnline, Dave Meltzer is reporting that the UFC will be changing the start time of pay-per-view broadcasts back to 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. This will be starting with UFC 141 this December.
The UFC had long used 10 p.m. ET as the start time for PPVs but changed earlier this year. For east coasters like me it was nice to have the evening wrapped up no later than midnight, many times even earlier. But it is understandable that the one hour cut was harder on audiences on the west coast and necessitated a change back.
PPV numbers are down this year so making sure that the start times have maximum appeal to as many people as possible. It's not a "sky is falling" situation, but it's one where you need to make all the corrections big and small to straighten everything out.
'Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal' official for Dec. 17 in San Diego
Is Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez (19-2 MMA, 9-1 SF) is moving to the UFC, it won't be before a Dec. 17 title fight with top contender Jorge Masvidal (22-6 MMA, 4-0 SF) .
UFC president Dana White, whose company acquired Strikeforce earlier this year, recently said he wants Melendez in the UFC as soon as possible.
But first, he'll headline an event that officials today announced: "Strikeforce" Melendez vs. Masvidal.".
MMAPlayground Interview Series - Vol. 7 (Brian Foster)
As with any successful professional, mixed martial artists eat, sleep and breathe their craft. They put everything on the line when they wake up, hit the gym and pour their blood, sweat and tears into the sport we all love. When they enter that cage, for the fan, it's all about the entertainment, but these athletes go through the daily rigors with more in mind. For some fighters, it's a paycheck. For others, it's the glitz and glamour, but for some it's a lifestyle fueled by a deep passion and connection to the sport of mixed martial arts.
In our newest site feature, MMAPlayground would like to introduce you to some of these men and women of MMA that you may not know much about.
Our mission? To introduce. To educate. To spread the word.
Brian Foster is a mixed martial artist who is also a five time UFC veteran. He has recently recovered from some terrible setbacks in his health, and has successfully resumed his career with a victory against Jack Mason at Cage Warriors 44. Brian was granted two tune-up fights by the UFC in preparation for his return. He will be taking on Laverne Clark at CCCW 7 on Saturday October 15. He took time out of his training schedule to answer some questions.
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MMAPG: Brian, thanks for taking some time to answer a few questions. First off, congratulations on your win last weekend against Jack Mason. You’re coming off some brutal setbacks. How are you feeling, and how good did it feel to get back into the cage?
FOSTER: It felt great! It's a good feeling to get a win after overcoming some injuries. I mean it sucks it wasn't for the UFC but a win’s a win not matter the organization.
MMAPG: The UFC has granted you the opportunity, given your long lay-off, to compete in a couple “tune-up” fights. That’s not something you see a whole lot in the UFC. How did the idea come about?
FOSTER: I think it had a lot to do with my coach as well as the UFC. They wanted to make sure I was totally healthy and capable of competing at a high level without being such a liability to the UFC.
Exhausted Dana White: 'I will [expletive] die' making sure UFC gets to next level
All told, the UFC has booked 27 events this year.
In 2012, it's aiming to put on 34 shows, a 22 percent increase. In 2005, the year in which the promotion broke onto basic cable, 10 events filled the calendar.
Meanwhile, the UFC offices have spread into a new building. In about a month, the promotion arrives on network TV.
"This year was a big year for us," UFC president Dana White said. "But the next year is going to be the real big year for mixed martial arts. Next year is going to be the real big year for MMA. Next year is the one that's going to change everything and take it to the next level."
UFC on FOX 1 takes place Nov. 12 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., and features a heavyweight title fight between reigning champ Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos.
UFC 136 medical suspensions go to five fighters, Maynard gets longest with 60 days
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation issued medical suspensions of more than 10 days to just five UFC 136 fighters, and defeated main-event fighter Gray Maynard got the longest one with 60 days.
The list of medical suspensions lasting longer than the standard 10 days included:
- Frankie Edgar: Suspended until Nov. 23
- Gray Maynard: Suspended until Dec. 8
- Leonard Garcia: Suspended until Nov. 23
- Eric Schafer: Suspended until Nov. 8
- Mike Massenzio: Suspended until Nov. 23
Thiago Santos replaces injured Mike Hayes in tourney semifinals at Bellator 56
As officials feared, a broken orbital bone has forced Mike Hayes (16-4-1 MMA, 2-1 BFC) out of Bellator's current season-five heavyweight tournament.
In his place steps replacement Thiago Santos (9-1 MMA, 1-0 BFC), who now meets Blagoi Ivanov (5-0 MMA, 2-0 BFC) in a semifinal matchup later this month at Bellator 56, officials today announced.
Bellator 56 takes place Oct. 29 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan.
The night's main card, including tourney fights of Santos vs. Ivanov and Eric Prindle (8-1 MMA, 2-0 BFC) vs. Ron Sparks (8-0 MMA, 3-0 BFC), airs on MTV2 (and in high-definition on EPIX). The prelims stream on Spike.com.