Rafael Natal vs. Andrew Craig slated for UFC on FUEL TV 4
A middleweight bout between Rafael Natal (14-3-1` MMA, 2-1-1 UFC) and Andrew Craig (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is slotted for July's UFC on FUEL TV 4 event.
Natal today announced the fight via Twitter.
UFC on FUEL TV 4 takes place July 11 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The event's main card airs on FUEL TV, and Facebook is expected to carry the prelims.
It's not clear where Natal vs. Craig will end up on the lineup.
UFC confirms Urijah Faber's new opponent to be revealed on Friday's edition of 'TUF: Live'
Friday's 11th episode of "The Ultimate Fighter: Live" features the season's final two quarterfinal fights, but the most newsworthy moment of the night will involve one of the season's coaches.
As expected, UFC president Dana White will on Friday announce Urijah Faber's new opponent for UFC 148, where "The California Kid" and the soon-to-be-named foe will compete for the newly minted UFC interim bantamweight title.
The replacement slot was necessitated when opposing coach and current bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz was forced to bow out of the card with a blown ACL.
"TUF: Live" features Cruz and Faber as opposing coaches. Following a two-and-a-half-hour debut episode in which an initial group of 32 was whittled down to 16, the series continues with one or two fights each week. After pre-taped content, the lightweights-only show concludes with live bouts.
The 11th episode sees Team Cruz's Vinc Pichel vs. Team Faber's Chris Saunders and a bout between teammates, as Team Faber's Al Iaquinta faces Andy Ogle. The winner advance to the season's semifinal bouts.
Leading candidates to face Faber in July include Renan Barao, who is currently scheduled to face Ivan Menjivar at UFC 148, and Michael McDonald, who recently earned an impressive knockout win over Miguel Torres.
Injury forces Sergei Kharitonov to withdraw from Tony Lopez fight on May 26 in Stockholm
Hard-hitting heavyweight striker Sergei Kharitonov injured his neck and was forced to withdraw from his upcoming mixed martial arts (MMA) fight against Tony Lopez at the "2012 Glory World Series" on May 26 in Stockholm, Sweden.
Golden Glory head coach Martijn de Jong recently confirmed the change on Twitter.
Kharitonov (18-5) was last seen disposing of Mark Miller under the United Glory banner earlier this year in Russia. It was a nice rebound win (under kickboxing rules) for the former paratrooper, who was bounced from the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix with a submission loss to Josh Barnett back in 2011.
Stepping in to take his place will be Swedish "Sledgehammer" Llir Latifi (5-2-1), who was previously booked to throw hands opposite Jeremy Horn until "Gumby" blew out his knee.
Nick Penner vs. Tom DeBlass targeted for UFC on FUEL TV 4
UFC light heavyweights Nick Penner (11-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and Tom DeBlass (7-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will meet this summer at UFC on FUEL TV 4.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed the planned matchup, which theScore.com first reported earlier today.
UFC on FUEL TV 4 takes place July 11 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. Broadcast plans for the event haven't been announced, but main-card action airs on FUEL TV, and prelims are expected to stream on Facebook.
Penner vs. DeBlass is expected to be part of the prelims.
UFC officials: Jason MacDonald not retiring following UFC on FUEL TV 3 loss
Despite his quick knockout loss to Tom Lawlor at Tuesday's UFC on FUEL TV 3 event, the 36-year-old Canadian middleweight isn't calling it quits.
"To set record straight ... [MacDonald] never said he's retiring," officials stated via the UFC Canada Twitter account. "Tough break last night. Hope to see him back soon."
In a FUEL TV-televised main card bout at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va., MacDonald suffered his third loss in four fights. Lawlor connected on a left hand to the chin and a right to the temple to drop MacDonald and pick up the TKO victory in just 50 seconds. He also earned a $40,000 "Knockout of the Night" bonus with the effort.
Prior to the fight, MacDonald hoped he could pick up a win and get booked for UFC 149, which takes place in his home country on July 21 in Calgary, Alberta. With the knockout loss, MacDonald likely faces a decent-sized medical suspension, which would make the UFC 149 plans unlikely.
UFC on FUEL TV 3 bonuses and awards: Chan Sung Jung pockets $80,000 extra
UFC on FUEL TV 3: "Korean Zombie vs. Poirier" from the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia, has officially wrapped, which means it's time for those select fighters who went above and beyond in their respective fights to get a little extra grease for their efforts.
To the tune of $40,000 each.
The promotion dished out its standard post-fight monetary bonuses to four out of the 24 fighters on the card, and it's probably no surprise who's headed home with a second sack of simoleons.
In a shocker, Tom Lawlor was awarded "Knockout of the Night" honors for unloading some heavy leather on Jason MacDonald in the opening bout of the main card on FUEL TV. Of the 12 bouts that took place this evening, only one of them ended by way of knockout.
Way to make Dana White's job easy, Lawlor.
Dana White Explains Virginia Absence, UFC Boss To Undergo Surgery On Wednesday
For the first time in eleven years, UFC president Dana White will not be cageside for a live event.
Instead of being in Fairfax, Virginia for tonight’s UFC on FUEL TV 3 event, White is instead back home as he prepares to undergo surgery on Wednesday in Las Angeles, California.
White explained his absence to fans on Twitter (@DanaWhite), later revealing in a different Tweet that he was having surgery for Meniere’s disease.
- first fight I will miss in 11 years and it is KILLING me!!! I have to have surgery in LA 2 morrow or trust me I would be
Joshua Sampo will face UFC veteran Will Campuzano in the May 19 Rumble Time Promotions headliner.
Once-beaten flyweight talent Joshua Sampo will face UFC veteran Will Campuzano in the May 19 Rumble Time Promotions headliner.
Promotion officials recently announced the booking. The event will feature five professional bouts and takes place at the Ameristar Casino in St. Charles, Mo. In addition to the flyweight headliner, the show will also see undefeated lightweight Zach Freeman lock horns with Titan Fighting Championship vet Aaron Derrow.
Local lightweight standout Eric Irvin will also be in action on Saturday night, squaring off with former Strikeforce talent Charon Spain. Additionally, featherweight Yohance Flager will also compete, as will Chris Heatherly, who makes his pro debut at welterweight. Five amateur bouts will also be contested at the event.
Jay Hieron will make his Legacy Fighting Championship debut on July 13 against Mike Bronzoulis
The welterweight contest is set for LFC 12, which takes place at Arena Theater in Houston and airs live on HDNet. The event is also expected to feature the Legacy debut of grappling ace Robert Drysdale, who will square off with Isaac Villanueva.
Hieron had a 10-fight winning streak snapped when he failed to capture Bellator’s welterweight title last year. After besting Anthony Lapsley, Brent Weedman and Rick Hawn to earn his shot at the Chicago-based promotion’s 170-pound strap, “The Thoroughbred” was outpointed by reigning champion Ben Askren at Bellator 56 in October. The former IFL champion holds over half of his career victories by either knockout or submission and has never been submitted in nearly nine years as a professional.
Braulio Estima Responds To Cesar Gracie's Statement In A Big Way
Braulio's words to Cesar:
@CesarGracieBJJ Hi César i was reading yr statement. vry interesting points..
1st- When junior approached me 2 Offer me the fight I was actually training at the blackzilians at the time so obviously I was training Mma. Junior told me abt nick not wanting 2 fight an Mma fighter. I nevr fought before so he said it was fine & y u dnt cancel the fight before if ths was really an issue..??
2nd- nobody has ever bended no rules for me. Because there was no rules set to start off with, it wasnt going to be a UFC match but a superfight on a BJJ Expo so the whole point here was for us to show a fight..has Nick signed a contract that stated the date time and weight that we both need to reach? I didn't. And since this whole thing was going to be a friendly event I really don't see any issue here even if Nick turned up 10lbs overweight.
Rest of Braulio's statement:
Still when asked I went and dropped the weight to meet the requirement. Actually to put things straight it was myself that called Junior around 10pm Friday to check if there is going to be a weigh in at all. He kept contacting you and got back to me saying I need to be 180 that time, of course I said I can't for the simple reason I was away in Irvine and it was already late at night but I said sure no problem I'll make it first thing in the morning if needed, even if it would put me in a bigger disadvantage I didnt care I just came to fight. Junior had actually called me back no later than midnight that he spoke to you and confirmed the weigh in for 10am.
Besides when did Nick actually weigh in? And who witnessed that if we are being so strict and proffessional?
3rd - you are saying Nick had left by 10am Saturday morning? Why you never said anything then? I even asked you I'd like to see him and his weight and you said he's not gonna come down because he ate already and wouldn't make the weight anymore. And Lana after speaking to you called his room and said he was actually there sleeping. Nobody at any point had mentioned he could have left. Leaving me believing we would fight till the very last minute, now youre talking about lack of proffesionalism in the organisation of the superfight and this was very professional behaviour right?
There is many more points here that I don't agree with but I am just fed up of this whole situation and don't agree for anyone to ever release the blame from Nick for whatever reason, we were there to fight and that's what should happen no excuses, we are both professional athletes and should respect one another no matter what. And this is inexcusable.
Cyrille Diabate vs. Jorgen Kruth Rescheduled For UFC Event This September
Swedish kickboxer Jörgen ‘The Last Viking’ Kruth (5-0) was to have tested his striking against French fighter Cyrille ‘The Snake’ Diabaté (18-8-1) last month at the UFC on FUEL TV 2 event in Stockholm, but Kruth was forced off the card due to a rib injury and was replaced by Tom DeBlass.
Kruth has a new date for his Octagon debut, September 29, 2012 at a yet-to-be-announced UFC event, and it will be against Diabaté in a light heavyweight matchupl.
‘The Last Viking’ broke the news to Swedish news agency Expressen.SE on Sunday.
Cesar Gracie Provides Statement On Nick Diaz No Show For Braulio Estima Match
My decision to write an account of what happened this weekend is not to answer to the detractors of myself or my team, as no explanation is owed them. It is instead based on my acknowledgement and respect to our fans and supporters. I never thought I would be answering for something that happened at a grappling tournament, however with the worldwide popularity of the sport and my team increasing, I understand that our supporters need answers.
Below is a compilation of events in chronological order. I included the behind the scenes problems we had to let you, our supporters, know how things deteriorated.
In the month of February I was contacted by a Brazilian named Junior asking me if I wanted to participate in an Expo\Jiu-jitsu tournament. The goal was to put one of our team’s stars in the event to attract sponsors and ensure it was successful. The event was not that far away and they desperately needed exposure. Junior stated that he was working with my uncle Rilion and my cousin Renzo on this project and they were in fact partners. Rilion and Renzo are 2 people that I greatly admire and respect and I was more than happy to partner up with them.
I discussed the idea with Nick Diaz and he readily agreed to enter in the black belt gi division. He did not seek any reimbursement. Junior thought it better for Nick to do a super fight as he thought this would be more of a spectacle and bring in more attention. Nick was not as enthusiastic but agreed on the condition that whoever was picked to go against him was not an mma fighter. He knew even a mediocre mma fighter would try to use a match and/or victory over him to further their career in mma. Nick believes a reputation as a fighter should only be earned in a ring or cage.I relayed this to Junior and he agreed to arrange for a strict jiu-jitsu competitor.
In March I received the disturbing news from Rilion that Junior had broken his agreement with him. Rilion stated to me that Junior was registering all World Jiu-jitsu Expo names under his name alone and was no longer taking his phone calls. When contacted by me, Junior stated that he would no longer honor his financial obligations to Rilion because “Rilion was doing nothing and treats me like one of his clerks”.
He then went on a tirade about Rilion which I interrupted and reminded him that Rilion was my family member and I would not listen to someone speaking negatively about him.
This rift left me in a dilemma. My instinct was to sever ties immediately. Rilion was my original jiu-jitsu instructor and his reputation as an honest person was impeccable. On the other hand we had already committed Diaz and Caio Terra. Our removal would destroy an event Renzo provided all of the funding for.
I consulted with Rilion who advised me to move forward with the event. He was the one that had brought Renzo into this project and convinced Renzo to fund it. He also still believed in the idea of an American tournament that paid the best BJJ guys on the planet to showcase their skills. We agreed to move forward without him since at this stage Junior had entrenched himself and his removal was impossible. Lastly Rilion warned me that Junior was not to be trusted and would undoubtedly try to cheat me and Renzo.
In early April I got the call from Junior asking what I thought of a Braulio Estima vs Nick Diaz matchup. I had heard of Braulio and knew he was a formidable jiu-jitsu practitioner. I was under the impression that Braulio competed in the close to 200lbs weight category.
When I asked Junior he assured me that Braulio could weigh in as little as 175 lbs right before the match.
I presented his information to Nick who accepted the matchup and seemed happy to go against the top BJJ player in the world at that weight. Nick started training for the match and I brought up several BJJ black belts to compliment his training.
Looking through some of Estima’s youtube videos, it was soon discovered that he had in fact been planning on entering upon a career in mma. We wondered if the match with Diaz was a way to create a buzz around him and get him signed with a prominent organization.
I called Junior who assured me Estima would not be fighting in mma and that he had spoken with him and been assured he had given up on the idea of ever fighting. Junior reiterated, “Cesar I spoke with Braulio, the guy is in his 30's, he has a family and doesn’t want to live that type of life at this stage in his life…etc”
I repeated this info to Nick. A week or so later it was all over the Internet that Braulio had joined the “Blackzillians” and was training for an mma fight. We had been lied to. Furthermore it was evident that Nick’s sole condition that he not go against a wanna be mma guy was violated and this was in fact an attempt by Braulio to ignite an mma career.Nick was to have been accurately portrayed as a fighter returning to his BJJ roots. He had even agreed to give his entire purse to charity; St Jude’s Children’s Hospital for kids with cancer. If you know the story of Ralph Gracie’s son you would understand why this charity was chosen. Nick’s name having been added to this event had saved it but now it was clear he was to be the patsy, not respected but used.
Despite all of this Nick was still going to compete. He brought up Kron Gracie and prepared himself. Around this time I was informed by Junior that Braulio wanted to weigh in the day before and not right before the match as is the custom in IBJJ competitions and Abu Dhabi. At the time Nick was about 186lbs so I consented to both guys weighing in at 180lbs the night before.
Nick boarded a plane on Friday for Long Beach having cut 6 pounds for the weigh in that night. On his way there I got a call from Junior telling me Braulio would not be making weight! ”Cesar Braulio is complaining about the weight cut. Can we have him weigh in tomorrow? He can’t make the weight tonight how about 185 in the morning?”
Nick arrives in Long Beach to the news that there will be no weigh ins that night. As a professional with over 30 fights this was the final straw. The disrespect and total lack of professionalism given him convinced him he was at a circus not a professional event.
At 3:20 in the morning I received a text from Junior that Braulio would in fact make the 180lbs weight class at 10:00AM. With no other option available I said fine I’ll check with Nick in the morning. At 10:00AM Braulio did weigh in at 180lbs but by that time Nick had already left.
As a Brazilian I love Brazil but not all things Brazilian. In the last decade I have witnessed Brazilian cronies running the IBJJF and making it impossible for Americans to get a fair shake when competing against their Brazilian countrymen. These cronies have instituted rules to where if you miss weight by even half a pound you are disqualified and not refunded your entry fee. They gladly keep your money and treat you like crap in your country because they can. One of these cronies (Junior) decided to bend all the rules for Braulio Estima and treat Nick Diaz like crap. Sorry that didn’t work out here.
As for Braulio I still respect him as a great BJJ artist. As far as calling Nick out for a mma fight, he knows that is impossible because Nick is signed with the UFC and in mma you have to make weight when they want you to. Not when you want to. If Braulio ever finds success in mma then he can mention Nick’s name for a fight. Right now he should respect the man.
Nick is not without fault by any means. His lack of communication with his team and coach was inexcusable. This will be addressed privately.
Renzo and I have spoken and we are committed to continuing with this otherwise awesome event….without the services of Junior.
It should be noted that Nick paid to St Jude’s Children’s Hospitable the sum of what would have been his entire purse.
You have my apologies and my respect
UFC 148's Chael Sonnen likely to appear on agenda for May 21 NSAC meeting
So the red carpet might not exactly roll out for Chael Sonnen.
The UFC middleweight may appear at the Nevada State Athletic Commission's next meeting – scheduled for May 21 in Las Vegas – to answer questions about a therapeutic use exemption he applied for two weeks prior.
NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer confirmed to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Sonnen's application is for doctor-prescribed testosterone.
Sonnen (27-11-1 MMA, 6-4 UFC) is expected to rematch Anderson Silva (31-4 MMA, 14-0 UFC) at UFC 148, which takes place July 7 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The event's main-card airs live on pay-per-view while preliminary-card fights air on FX.
The onetime title challenger has spoken openly about his use of testosterone following a failed drug test post-UFC 117 that led to two separate suspensions and a fine from the California State Athletic Commission.
Santiago vs. Silva headlines 'Titan Fighting 23: Fight for the Troops'
Middleweights Jorge Santiago (24-10) and Jay Silva (8-6) have been tapped headliners for next month's "Titan Fighting Championship 23: Fight for the Troops" event.
Officials announced the event on Monday.
The show takes place June 15 at Marshall Army Airfield on Fort Riley, Kan. The main card airs on HDNet.
Officials didn't specify exactly how the event will benefit any military charities. However, general-admission tickets cost $30 and are available to both military personnel and civilians.
"We have wanted to stage a Titan Fighting Championship 'Fight for the Troops' event for years, and so we are pleased that the officials at Fort Riley have made their historic Marshall Army Airfield available for this first-ever night of fights dedicated to our nation's soldiers," TFC president Joe Kelly stated. "It is an honor to give back to our troops, and I speak for everyone who is involved with Titan when I say this is definitely our proudest moment yet."
UFC's Bonnar pines for ultimate full-circle with 'TUF' coaching gig opposite Griffin
While he currently doesn't have a bout on tap, Stephan Bonnar (14-7 MMA, 8-6 UFC) said he's hoping to land another superfight with Forrest Griffin (18-7 MMA, 9-5 UFC).
"Everyone out there please harass Dana White on Twitter to let me and Forrest coach the next season (of 'The Ultimate Fighter')," Bonnar told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "If he does that, I can guarantee a barn-burning slugfest.
"I won't go for any takedowns. I won't block any punches. I'll just be moving forward. I'm serious I would just go and slug it out and try to top our first one. What the hell do I have to lose? I want to give the fans a good one."
Bonnar and Griffin's first battle royal in April 2005 at the conclusion of the first season of "TUF" has been voted the greatest fight in UFC history. White often refers to the slugfest as "the most important fight in UFC history" because it took place as part of the first UFC fight card to air live on national television and helped the promotion score its landmark deal with Spike TV.
Nick Diaz's Injunction Denied, Forcing Him to Wait Until NSAC Hearing for Career Clarity
Nick Diaz will be forced to wait at least one more week before learning about the status of his stalled mixed martial arts career.
In a Monday hearing in Clark County (Nevada) district court, judge Rob Bare denied an injunction request that would have effectively overturned his temporary suspension by the the Nevada state athletic commission, stemming from a February drug test that was positive for marijuana metabolites.
The official minutes of the hearing will not be available until Wednesday, but Judge Bare's executive assistant Tara Duenas confirmed the ruling to MMA Fighting.
NSAC executive director Keith Kizer told MMA Fighting that Diaz's hearing with his sanctioning body would be placed on the May 21 docket.
UFC on Fuel 3 Weigh In Results
Dustin Poirier (145) vs. Chan Sung Jung (145)
Jorge Lopez (171) vs. Amir Sadollah (171)
Jeremy Stephens (155) vs. Donald Cerrone (155)
Jeff Hougland (135) vs. Yves Jabouin (135)
Fabio Maldonado (205) vs. Igor Pokrajac (205)
Tom Lawlor (186) vs. Jason MacDonald (185)
Brad Tavares(185) vs. Dongi Yang (186)
Marcus LeVesseur (155) vs. Cody McKenzie (155)
T.J. Grant (155) vs. Carlo Prater (155)
Rafael Dos Anjos (156) vs. Kamal Shalorus (155)
Jeff Curran (135) vs. Johnny Eduardo (135)
Francisco Rivera (134) vs. Alex Soto (135)
Phil Davis vs. Chad Griggs added to August's UFC on FOX 4 event
Chad Griggs (11-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) is making the move to light heavyweight, and "Mr. Wonderful" will be there to meet him.
UFC officials today announced that the former heavyweight is dropping to 205 pounds, where he'll meet Phil Davis (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) at UFC on FOX 4.
UFC on FOX 4 takes place Aug. 4 at Los Angeles' Staples Center, and the main card airs on FOX.
Today's release did not detail where the Davis vs. Griggs fight will fit on the evening's fight card.
UFC veteran Din Thomas victorious in MMA return
It's been over two years, but longtime Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veteran Din Thomas finally returned to mixed martial arts (MMA) action at "Pure MMA 2" last Saturday night (May 12, 2012) in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, submitting up-and-coming featherweight prospect Cody Bollinger via first-round submission (armbar).
"Dinyero" was originally supposed to compete at "Fight Time 7" from the War Memorial Auditorium last October in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, but ended up in the hospital after totaling his car on the way to the arena.
Thomas (26-8) is currently riding a four-fight win streak, which includes a submission victory (triangle choke) over Dustin Pierkin at Headhunter Productions "The Patriot Act" back in Feb. 2009 followed by a technical knockout win (knee) over Gabe Lemley at "March Badness" just over a month later.
TUF9 winner Wilks forced to retire
TUF 9 winner James Wilks has announced his retirement from the sport.
The English welterweight, who earned a contract with the UFC after beating DaMarques Johnson in the final of 'The Ultimate Fighter: UK vs. USA', has been forced to end his career due to injury. He has not fought for 18 months.
"A few of you have been asking when my next fight is," Wilks said on Twitter. "Unfortunately, I have had to retire due to injury. Now coaching at Lightning MMA."