UFC returns to Las Vegas on July 7 with pay-per-view event and fan expo
The UFC is planning a return to its Las Vegas home for a traditional Fourth of July weekend event.
The weekend likely will include a major pay-per-view event on July 7 and a UFC Fan Expo from July 6-7.
MGM Grand Garden Arena likely will host the event, and its sister property, the Mandalay Bay Events Center, is expected to host the expo.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed the plans with event sources. MMAFighting.com first reported the plans.
Since the UFC hasn't set or announced its schedule past May, it's not clear what numbered event the July 7 show will be. No bouts currently are rumored for the show...
Bedford-Gagnon scratched at UFC on FOX 2, Beltran-Johnson promoted to FUEL TV
UFC officials announced today that Canadian Mitch Gagnon (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is unable to cross into the U.S. for a fight with Johnny Bedford (18-9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC), forcing the promotion to scrap the booking at UFC on FOX 2.
A heavyweight bout between Joey Beltran (13-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and newcomer Lavar Johnson (15-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has subsequently been added to the event's six-bout preliminary card broadcast, which airs on FUEL TV.
The change leaves Chris Camozzi vs. Dustin Jacoby as the evening's lone bout to stream on Facebook
UFC on FOX 3 adds John Dodson vs. Darren Uyenoyama at flyweight
The recently announced UFC on FOX 3 event has a new addition.
Following Tuesday's announcement of a Jim Miller vs. Nate Diaz bout, UFC officials announced "The Ultimate Fighter 14" winner John Dodson (12-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has agreed to meet Darren Uyenoyama (7-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at the event.
Both fighters are dropping from bantamweight to flyweight for the fight.
Old-School Vale Tudo Org IVC Returns with New Rules, Cage
The seminal fight promotion which propelled the careers of Wanderlei Silva and many others is primed to return to Brazil after a 12-year absence.
This week, in an interview with Brazilian TV channel Combate’s “Face to Face” program, International Vale Tudo Championship (IVC) Founder Sergio Batarelli discussed plans to revive the organization he started in 1997.
“I was the first one to bring the UFC to Brazil, and since then, I’ve kept an excellent relationship with the UFC people,” explained Batarelli, 51, who was instrumental in arranging “Ultimate Brazil” in 1998. “They said the UFC needs a top event in Brazil to select fighters, like I used to do in the ‘90s. After talking with them, I got together a group of top sponsors, and the IVC will be back in the middle of the year with a new name, IVC MMA, and new rules.”
Along with the new moniker and as-yet-unannounced guidelines, IVC MMA will trade its vale tudo-era net-lined ring for a cage upon its return.
Bas Rutten Picks Dos Santos to Beat Overeem
Former UFC heavyweight champion Bas Rutten believes current champ Junior dos Santos will beat Alistair Overeem if they fight this year.
In an interview with the Sherdog Radio Network’s “It’s Time!” show with Bruce Buffer, the colorful MMA personality gave his thoughts on the matchup and a variety of other topics, including his Fuel TV show “Punk Payback” and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos’ positive test for an anabolic steroid.
Rutten on telling Overeem’s camp which opponents could make for difficult matchups: “I always told them … make sure to avoid Junior dos Santos. I think him and Cain Velasquez, although with Cain, he cannot take a punch too great. But still, Cain is a monster and he should have simply shot in on Junior dos Santos, I think. I actually thought he was going to win that fight, but he didn’t. He got tagged, and that can happen to anybody. Anyway, I always said try to stay away as long as you can from Junior dos Santos. That right now could be a very big threat together, believe it or not, with Cheick Kongo. I think that would also be a great opponent for him.”
On how Overeem matches up with dos Santos: “I think Alistair, everything he does is one single shot because he knows he’s got that glass jaw as well. He’s been knocked out quite a few times in the past, even by Chuck Liddell as well. Every time when he punches, one hand is up. He throws single shots; he doesn’t throw combinations. You saw that when he fought [Fabricio] Werdum. Werdum was actually tagging him more than he did to Werdum. I think that Junior dos Santos, with his combinations, his reach, I think he’s going to tag him and he’s going to throw combos and I think that yeah, he’s going to take this fight.”
On Cristiane Santos testing positive for an anabolic steroid: “You could say it doesn’t come as a surprise. I don’t think anybody was surprised, but I always say … you’d better [be] 100-percent sure that you know something before you say it. If I say, ‘Oh, she’s on steroids’ -- I could never say that. … But yeah, she does have the looks from it. She’s unbelievably strong. For a woman she just looks very, very extreme muscular, even more so than bodybuilders.
Diego Nunes vs. Dennis Siver added to UFC on FUEL TV 2
So Dennis Siver (19-8 MMA, 8-5 UFC) will fight in Sweden, after all.
After a rumored rematch with Ross Pearson turned out to be much ado about nothing, UFC officials have instead booked Siver to face Brazilian featherweight Diego Nunes (17-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) at April's UFC on FUEL TV 2 event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the booking, which was first reported by Swedish site mmanytt.se, with sources close to the event.
Featuring a main event between light heavyweights Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Alexander Gustafsson, UFC on FUEL TV 2 takes place April 14 at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm. The main card airs on FUEL TV (live on Saturday afternoon in the U.S.), and as MMAjunkie.com first reported, some prelims are expected to stream on Facebook.
Carlo Prater believes Joe Rogan publicly humiliated him after the Eric Silva disqualification
It’s been several weeks since the fight, and Carlo Prater is finally speaking about how he felt about it in this interview with Brazil’s Sportv.globo.com.
“I think in the end I was made out as a villain. I wasn’t laying on the octagon for nothing after the fight. I want that to be clear. I had to stay in the hospital until Monday. They (UFC) asked me not to go public because, indeed, that wouldn’t do any good for me or Eric. IMO, Mario did the right thing. It’s been a long time since rules have been implemented. You are not allowed to do anything you want inside the cage. Watching the fight video I could see at least 9 blows to the back of the head. I think the way Joe Rogan behaved was completely unethical. He went with the crowd. A real professional doesn’t do that. He was acting like a fan when he should be acting as a shout caster. Mario is a million time more competent than him. He’s been living off this for 20 years. Joe Rogan is just a swagger, someone who walks amongst fighters but isn’t really a fighter himself. He doesn’t understand. Whatever… human beings make mistakes and I am not going to be holding grudges against him”
This isn’t the first time someone has criticized Joe Rogan; but it is the first time that Joe Rogan took a position on a controversial stoppage and declared that the referee was wrong inside the octagon. While that kind of personal engagement to the sport might not be something we’re used to, I feel it’s exactly what’s missing in other sports. So often we find commentators sitting monotonous in a press booths, summing up what they see and offering little to no constructive interpretation outside of a fact sheet that’s handed to them, while Rogan lets his passion for the sport transcend the broadcast. Hopefully Carlo Prater and Joe Rogan can make amends before their next event together. Maybe they too can hug it out over a bag of plantain chips.
Retired UFC vet 'Joker' Guymon relaunches career in new promotion, new weight class
Almost a year ago to the day, Mike "Joker" Guymon suffered a submission loss to DaMarques Johnson at UFC Fight Night 23 and announced his retirement from the sport.
Guymon, now 37, said well-documented mental problems manifested themselves into physical issues.
But now, in better mental health and with his competitive fire stoked, he's returning to MMA in both a new weight class and a new promotion.
"It was awkward," he told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "You'd always have something to look ahead to like fighting here or doing this or getting ready for this guy. And then all of the sudden, you realize you don't have to do any of that stuff, and there's no more pressure on you.
"It feels wonderful, but it also feels like you're missing something. Personally, I'm a competitor, and I've always been a competitor. Not having that, it definitely felt awkward."
So what changed for the fan favorite? It's complicated, of course. In fact, his situation is doubly complicated when considering his well-documented suicide attempt in 2009. With stress at home, stress with his business, and stress with his fighting career, Guymon planned to check out permanently. However, his wife and a family friend ultimately talked him out of it after a standoff with police, and Guymon underwent a psychiatric evaluation and continued to get the help he needed.
"I feel like the last couple of fights, I cheated everywhere," he said. "I cheated the UFC, I cheated fans, and I cheated my friends because I was going in their not being able to shift it into the next gear. I couldn't get that fire, couldn't get that drive.
"I regret a lot of stuff about those last two fights. I could've asked for time, and they would've given it to me, but I just wanted to get in there and fight. I've never been one to turn down any type of fight. But I just feel like I shortchanged them."
"We figured out a way to wean me off the medication," he said. "I will be right back where I was with that competitive fire and that don't-quit attitude. I feel good like this, and it just feels right.
"I had been trying to figure out the mental stuff in the medication, and that's a big reason I decided to take time off. But now I'm back."
"It's another thing to fire me up to really buckle down," he said. "At the end of fighting [in the UFC], I was cutting corners on the diet, cutting corners on the training and on the cardio, the biking and running. Actually I cut out running for a long time. But now making that decision to cut down to lightweight, I can't cut any corners.
"I have to eat perfect. I have to train correctly. I have to add in all that cardio I used to do. ... The main thing I need to focus on just keeping my head on square. I think I'm going to give a lot of people a lot of trouble it that weight."
Guymon, who's now walking around at 172 pounds, said he'll get as light to 163 to 165 pounds before he'll simply need to cut water weight on the week of the fight. He's refocused, re-energized, rejuvenated. He's happy and motivated and healthy.
'King Mo' Lawal camp narrows list to one culprit in positive steroid test
A list describing the supplements and medications that light heavyweight Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal used prior to his appearance at "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine" points to a single product as the cause of his positive steroid test.
In a letter sent this past Saturday to the Nevada attorney general's office, Lawal's rep, Mike Kogan, stated that an over-the-counter testosterone supplement, S-Mass Lean Gainer, contains a chemical precursor to Drostanolone.
That's the steroid that recently landed the fighter in hot water.
White: GSP could return this summer
Georges St-Pierre’s return may be sooner than we thought.
According to UFC president Dana White, the sidelined welterweight champion is motivated to do what it takes to get back in the cage as soon as possible, suggesting a long-awaited matchup between he and Nick Diaz could happen in "the summertime."
Of course, a couple things would first have to fall into place: Diaz needs to get by Carlos Condit next month at UFC 143; and St-Pierre would have to make significant strides in his rehab following knee surgery -- the previous prognosis had him hoping to get back in the cage only in November.
However, in an interview following Friday’s UFC on FX event in Nashville, White said the Canadian is feeling so much “hatred” for Diaz, who questioned his injured status at an event last October, that he is just itching to get in the Octagon and quiet the American with his fists.
"GSP's rehab could not be going better," White told FUEL TV’s Ariel Helwani. "I kid you not, he texts me every day. Tonight during the fight, he was texting me pictures of him kicking, of him doing things. He says, 'I am praying every night when I go to bed that Nick Diaz wins this fight'
UFC on FX 1 ratings: 1.3 million FX viewers and 148,000 FUEL TV viewers
This past weekend's four-fight UFC on FX 1 event, which was the first UFC main card to air on the FOX-owned FX, averaged 1.3 million viewers.
Additionally, the night's six-bout preliminary card averaged 148,000 viewers on FUEL TV.
The two-hour main card, which boasted four fights on FX, averaged a 1.19 rating among men 18-49 and a 1.21 among men 18-34.
The three-hour preliminary card, which featured Jorge Rivera's successful retirement fight against middleweight Eric Schafer, featured six bouts and was one of FUEL TV's most-watched programs to date.
Fedor Emelianenko To Fight Bobby Lashley In 2012
Bobby Lashley may not have gotten a fair shake from the MMA community. He entered the fight game after a career in the WWE and was viewed by almost everyone as a 'poor man's Brock Lesnar'. It's how the WWE fans viewed him when he made his wrestling debut and it's how MMA viewed him as well. During his time in Strikeforce, he was criticized for taking easy fights, with most viewing him as an expensive can-crusher. He'd deflect this accusations by saying that he is new to the business and taking his time to develop. He'd then add that if people had a problem with how he's handling his career, he'd like to fight Fedor instead. Well, it looks like Bobby Lashley will get his wish.
Mike Kyle vs. Gegard Mousasi confirmed for 'Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey'
A light-heavyweight bout between Mike Kyle (19-8-1 MMA, 3-3-1 SF) and Gegard Mousasi (32-3-2 MMA, 3-1-1 SF) will be part of March's "Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey" event.
Kyle today tweeted news of the bout, which will be part of the Ohio card.
Soon after, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed the booking with a source close to the event. Although it hasn't been decided if the fight will be for Strikeforce's vacant light-heavyweight title, it will co-headline the show.
Weapon Related Sponsers Banned From UFC
Sponsors being banned from UFC events is nothing new, but the new banning of weapon related sponsors is certainly different. It appears that the initial pressure to ban these sponsors actually came from the UFC's new network home.
The MMA Corner with the report:
The MMA Corner has learned from sources close to the situation that the latest impact is that guns and ammunition sponsors, such as The Gun Store and Ammotogo.com, have been banned from events that take place on the Fox family of networks.
*UPDATE * - The MMA Corner has learned that the ban includes companies related to guns, knives, ammunition, and hunting. It will go into effect on Jan. 23. The ban has been extended to all UFC events, not just those broadcast on the Fox family of networks.
Ray Sefo Confirms He’ll Face Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ In K-1 Rules Bout This March
Croatian heavyweight Mirko ‘Crop Cop’ Filipovic will return to his kickboxing roots this coming March when he faces New Zealander ‘Sugar’ Ray Sefo at an upcoming show in Zagreb, Croatia.
Sefo announced the matchup on Twitter (@SugarRaySefo) this past weekend.
- Some news for you all my fight with Mirko Cro-Cop has been confirmed for March 10th!!!
- The fight will be a K-1 rule fight, it’s held in Zagreb Croatia I’m told it’ll be in front of 25,000 people
- The promotion is called Fight Channel Promotions it’s a TV Network in Croatia, the fight will be K-1 rules
Bellator Announces Featherweight Tournament Match-Ups
Marlon Sandro (19-3) vs. Roberto Vargas (12-1)
The 34-year-old Sandro advanced to the featherweight summer tournament finals and was knocked out by Curran in the second round. He returned to the winner's circle with a first round submission victory over Rafael Dias in November and is 5-2 in the last two years. Vargas returns to Bellator after a near three year absence, riding a six fight win streak in regional promotions.
Ronnie Mann (20-4) vs. Wagnney Fabiano (14-3)
The 25-year-old Mann was also a victim of Curran, dropping a unanimous decision to him in the tourney semifinals. He rebounded with a first round submission win over Kenny Foster in October and has won five of his last six. In Fabiano, Mann will face someone once regarded as one of the best featherweights in the world.
The former IFL 145-pound champion won two straight after joining the WEC, but went 2-2 with defeats to Joseph Benavidez and Mackens Semerzier before being cut. When he steps into the cage, it will be his first action in 15 months.
Alexandre Bezerra (12-1) vs. Genair da Silva (11-4)
After ripping through four non-tourney opponents in 2011, Bezerra finally gets his shot in a Bellator tournament. He's a finisher with stoppages in 11 of his 12 wins and hasn't been in a fight that's gone the distance in over three years. da Silva returns to Bellator after being dispatched by Sandro last year in the summer tournament's opening round. He's coming off a first round submission win over Brian Goldsby and is 5-1 in the last two years.
Daniel Straus (17-4) vs. Jeremy Spoon (12-0)
Straus did just fine in his first 145-pound tourney, advancing to the finals of the spring tourney against Patricio Freire. The unanimous decision loss that night snapped a 12-fight winning streak, but he bounced back with an October decision win over Jason Dent in a non-Bellator fight. The undefeated Spoon gets his first crack in a tournament after two Bellator wins last year with Straus as his toughest competitor in his young career.