Bellator inks polarizing fighter War Machine
Bellator has signed War Machine (formerly known as Jon Koppenhaver before a legal name change). Again.
The 29-year-old fighter first joined Bellator in 2009 but was released soon afterward due to disparaging political comments he posted.
Now, fresh off a victory over fellow UFC vet Roger Huerta in a regional show, he's rejoined the organization, Bellator officials today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
A debut date and opponent have not been released for the former cast member of "The Ultimate Fighter 6."
"Jon's not had an easy road," stated Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney while pointing to the fighter's family troubles and death of his fighter. "And there's no doubt he's made some poor choices, but after having had conversations with him since his release, he really seems to understand where and why things went wrong and wants to make them right. ... I hope he's able to turn this second chance into something positive."
UFC 139 drug tests for steroids come back clean
Two weeks ago, the California State Athletic Commission confirmed that all UFC 139 fighters tested clean for recreational/drugs of abuse.
Today, a CSAC rep told MMAjunkie.com that steroid tests also came back clean for this past month's event.
UFC 139 took place Nov. 19 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
Sparks fly at today's contender-heavy UFC on FOX 2 press conference
The sound bites were flying today at a press conference announcing UFC on FOX 2, and there were contenders aplenty.
All six fighters sitting on the dais at Chicago's United Center are in the hunt for a UFC title. Two of them have to fight a friend to get there.
As expected, the winner of Mark Munoz vs. Chael Sonnen fights middleweight champ Anderson Silva, and the winner of Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis is next for the light-heavyweight title.
Dustin Jacoby vs. Chris Camozzi added to UFC on FOX 2
A middleweight bout between Dustin Jacoby and Chris Camozzi has been added to next month's UFC on FOX 2 event.
Officials today announced the fight, which likely will earn the loser his UFC walking papers.
UFC on FOX 2 takes place Jan. 28 at Chicago's United Center. The night's main card, which features three bouts, airs on FOX. However, Jacoby vs. Camozzi will be part of the preliminary card.
UFC on Fox 2 to Determine Three Title Contenders
Not only is the UFC unleashing a triple-header for its second offer on Fox, the marquee fights will determine the next contenders to both the UFC light heavyweight and middleweight championships.
The UFC is going big on Jan. 28 at the United Center in Chicago. UFC on Fox 2 features Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis in the main event, with two middleweight feature fights pitting Chael Sonnen against Mark Munoz and Michael Bisping against Demian Maia.
UFC president Dana White, at Wednesday’s UFC on Fox 2 press conference in Chicago, confirmed that the winner between Evans and Davis will get a shot at the winner of the UFC 140 light heavyweight title fight between current champion Jon Jones and challenger Lyoto Machida.
“Rashad Evans looked fantastic in his last fight against Tito Ortiz and he wants to get the belt back,” said White on Wednesday. “But Phil Davis is no joke. He’s undefeated at 9-0 and has stormed through guys like Brian Stann, Alexander Gustafsson and Rogerio Nogueira. He wants the title shot just as bad as Rashad.”
White also noted that the winner of Sonnen and Munoz will get the next shot at Anderson Silva upon the middleweight champion’s return, and then the winner of Bisping and Maia will get the next title shot after that.
UFC on FX 1 adds Sandoval vs. Denis
A bantamweight bout between Joseph Sandoval and former World Victory Road/Sengoku fighter Nick Denis has been added to next month's UFC on FX 1 event.
Additionally, officials have confirmed a bout MMAjunkie.com previously reported: welterweights Charlie Brenneman vs. Daniel Roberts.
UFC on FX 1 takes place Jan. 20 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
Ramsey Nijem out, Danny Castillo in against Anthony Njoukani at UFC 141
Ramsey Nijem (5-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) has suffered an undisclosed injury, and Danny Castillo (12-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has taken his place in a UFC 141 fight with fellow lightweight Anthony Njokuani (14-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC).
UFC officials today announced the change.
UFC 141 takes place Dec. 30 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
While the main card airs on pay-per-view, Castillo vs. Njoukani is slated to air as part of Spike TV's two-bout "UFC Prelims" special.
BREAKING NEWS: GSP has blown ACL - out 10 more months. Condit/Diaz for interim WW Title on Feb 4th.
A serious injury has forced Georges St-Pierre (22-2 MMA, 16-2 UFC) out of UFC 143's main event and will sideline him for 10 months.
With the titleholder shelved due to an ACL injury, officials have booked his original opponent, Nick Diaz (26-7 MMA, 7-4 UFC), to meet Carlos Condit (27-5 MMA, 4-1 UFC) for an interim belt in the event's new headliner.
UFC president Dana White today tweeted the news.
"GSP blown acl will be out for 10 mos.," White tweeted. "Now Condit vs Diaz for the interim welterweight title on Feb 4th in Las Vegas!!"
It's not clear if Condit's original opponent at UFC 143, Josh Koscheck (16-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC), will remain on the card.
Michael Bisping vs Demian Maia fight announced for UFC on FOX 2 in Chicago
No rest for the wicked.
Fresh off a three-round beatdown of Jason Miller at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 Finale this past weekend (Dec. 3, 2011), Michael Bisping will return to the Octagon against former number one division contender, Demian Maia, at UFC on Fox 2.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) made the 185-pound showdown, which will take place at the United Center in Chicago, Ill., on Jan. 28, 2012, official earlier this morning
TUF 14 Finale medical suspensions: Miller possibly out six months with broken nose
Punches both invited and uninvited took a toll on "The Ultimate Fighter 14" coach Jason "Mayhem" Miller, and he could be suspended for up to six months unless cleared by a doctor.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission today released a list of medical suspensions following The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale, which took place this past Saturday at The Pearl and The Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The event's main card aired live on Spike TV while preliminary-card bouts streamed on Facebook.
In the event's headliner, Miller may have suffered a fractured nose before he was stopped in the third round of the five-round non-title fight by opposing "TUF 14" coach Michael Bisping, who walked away with a light suspension.
A noticeable hematoma near Bisping's eye, which likely was the result of a losing first round with Miller, netted him a term of less than a month.
In other notable suspensions, "TUF 14" winner Diego Brandao also is out for up to six months unless he can get his left hand and jaw cleared by an oral maxial-facial doctor. Dennis Bermudez, who dropped Brandao with a right hand in the first round before falling prey to an armbar, did not suffer any serious damage to his left arm despite hyperextending it prior to the fight, as he told MMAjunkie.com.
Michael Bisping vs. Demian Maia to be Announced Wednesday
There has been some buzz over the past few days that Michael Bisping would be matched up with Demian Maia at UFC on Fox in his next fight following the Brit's destruction of Jason Miller. Now it seems the pieces are falling into place for that to become a reality at the Chicago press conference on Wednesday.
First, just days ago, Dana White was hinting at Bisping getting a spot on the card (via ESPN):
...A collision, possibly with Demian Maia, is a "possibility" for the Fox card in January.
"UFC on Fox 2 will have three headliners, we just haven't announced the other one yet," White toldMMA Fighting, having already announced Rashad Evans v Phil Davis and Sonnen v Munoz.
He was then asked, 'Are you implying Bisping may be on that card as well?', to which White replied: "It's a possibility."
Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix now expected to end in March
The hand Daniel Cormier broke on Antonio Silva's skull is taking its time to heal, and Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker today said the end of the promotion's heavyweight grand prix is waiting on that paw.
"We'll take it on a week-by-week basis," Coker said.
At the moment, the finals of the eight-man tournament are expected to late place in "late first quarter," or March.
"That's the month that we're shooting for," he said.
Coker said Cormier (9-0 MMA, 6-0 SF) is soon due back at the doctor for a follow-up visit. The fighter had a protective cast removed several weeks ago. Presumably, the fighter will receive a timeframe for when he can start hitting things and prepare for Josh Barnett (31-5 MMA, 1-0 SF), who awaits him in a five-round fight for the heavyweight-grand-prix belt.
TUF 15 Coaches Announced
The Ultimate Fighting Championship® announced today that The Ultimate Fighter®, the longest-running sports reality show on television, is moving to FX this March with an exciting, new live format.
The Ultimate Fighter® LIVE debuts on Friday, March 9 as part of a two-hour season premiere beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The show will then air for one hour at 10 p.m. ET/PT every Friday for 13 weeks on FX. UFC® bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and “The California Kid” Urijah Faber will serve as coaches on the upcoming season, with lightweight and welterweight contestants competing for two, six-figure UFC contracts.
George Roop vs. Cub Swanson Set for UFC on Fox 2
A featherweight addition to the UFC on Fox 2 card in Chicago has been announced by the UFC, as George Roop will face Cub Swanson at the January 28th event:
Cub Swanson will take on the always-dangerous George Roop in the talent-packed featherweight division.
Although both men have looked impressive at times, neither has been able to string together consecutive wins since 2008. Roop, who competed on the eight season of The Ultimate Fighter, has competed as high as 155 lbs, and all the way down to 135 lbs, but seems to have found his niche at 145 lbs. Looking dangerous in knockout wins over Chan Sung Jung and Josh Grispi, Roop also seems to falter against opponents who are highly skilled in certain areas, getting oustruck by Mark Hominick and outgrappled by George Sotiropoulos. Nonetheless, Roop is looking to build off a close split decision loss to the highly-touted Hatsu Hioki at UFC 137.
UFC Debuting In Sweden In March 2012
The UFC will be adding a new country to its 2012 passport as they'll be heading to Sweden for the first time in company history for a yet-to-be announced March event, according to a Swedish MMA site.
The event is scheduled for Stockholm on Wednesday, March 28th, likely to be a Fight Night event on FX or Fuel TV. There are several options for arenas like the large AEG-run Stockholm Arena or the 16,000 seat Ericsson Globe. This will be the promotion's first trip to a Nordic country.
Dan Henderson Ready to Pull the Age Card to Get Shot at Jon Jones, Wants a UFC Title
Prior to Dan Henderson's return to the UFC it seemed that many people forgot that Hendo had won his last three UFC bouts before heading to Strikeforce. The loss in his first Strikeforce bout against Jake Shields seemed to only serve to make more people want to write off Henderson as a top level fighter.
Now riding a four fight win streak that includes names like Fedor Emelianenko and Mauricio Rua, Henderson thinks it's time for him to get a UFC title shot, an he tells Sherdog he should get the next shot and is willing to use the old man ploy to get it
'TUF 8' champ Escudero likely to return to UFC, meet Volkmann at UFC 141
After a high-profile split with the organization, "The Ultimate Fighter 8" champion Efrain Escudero (18-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is expected to return to the UFC.
Multiple sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that T.J. Grant (17-5 MMA, 4-3 UFC) has suffered an undisclosed injury and has been forced out of this month's UFC 141 event.
Now, Escudero is expected to take his place and fight fast-rising lightweight Jacob Volkmann (13-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC).
However, UFC officials have made no formal announcement about the likely UFC 141 fight, which takes place Dec. 30 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The event, which takes place on a Friday to avoid Sin City's usual New Year's Eve congestion, features a pay-per-view main card.
Escudero vs. Volkmann is slated for prelims that are expected to stream on Facebook.
TUF 14 Finale ratings: Event averages 2.5 million viewers, peaks with 3.4 million
The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale averaged 2.5 million viewers and peaked with a solid 3.5 million on Spike TV.
Spike TV officials today emailed the ratings information to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The Dec. 3 event, which crowned two new "TUF" champs, drew its peak audience for the headliner between "TUF 14" coaches Michael Bisping and Jason "Mayhem" Miller in the 10:30 p.m. slot.
Overall, the event, which took at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, scored a 1.7 household rating, and it was highest-rated finale since the TUF 10 Finale in 2009. It also was the day's No. 1 rated program on ad-supported cable among men 18-49 (2.4 rating) and men 18-34 (2.9 rating).
Strikeforce CEO on Showtime renewal: 'I'm optimistic at this point'
Despite persistent rumors, Strikeforce hasn't completed a broadcast deal to remain on Showtime.
But Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker today hinted at some progress with the premium-cable channel and suggested an announcement could be coming.
"That's something we'll just have to wait and see," Coker said. "But I think things are going well, and I think we'll have something to announce soon."
Coker today made the commitments as part of a medial call ahead of a Dec. 17 "Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal" event in San Diego. It's Strikeforce's final event of 2011, and a Jan. 7 event is slated to kick off 2012 in Las Vegas. However, the current two-year Strikeforce-Showtime deal expires in February, so barring a renewal, they could be the final ones on Showtime.