Charles Oliveira making transition to UFC's featherweight division
Brazilian youngster Charles Oliveira (14-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) is dropping to 145 pounds.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today learned from Oliveira's manager, Wade Hampel, that Oliveira has informed UFC brass he would like for his next fight to take place in the company's featherweight division.
"Charles hopes to return to action before the end of the year, if possible," Hampel said. "We're extremely excited to see what he can achieve at 145 pounds."
White says 'TUF: Brazil' a done deal, will hold 'as many events as possible' in country
LAS VEGAS – Canada and the Philippines' loss will apparently be Brazil's gain.
UFC president Dana White, who has long teased an international version of "The Ultimate Fighter" today said a Brazilian edition of the long-running reality series is "a done deal" and will debut in the near future.
And while White insists the company has not yet confirmed when it will return to Brazil for a live event, he said the UFC is actively working on booking "as many (events) as we possibly can."
NSAC says UFC 137 headliner Nick Diaz passed required pre-fight drug test
The shuffling deck of UFC 137 squashed the Nevada State Athletic Commission's plans for out-of-competition testing of the headliners.
However, one competitor did not and could not escape a pre-fight drug test: Nick Diaz. And as it turned out, he took headliner status.
Thankfully, the NSAC received notice on Wednesday that Diaz passed a test for drugs of abuse and is cleared to fight, NSAC executive director Keith Kizer told MMAjunkie.com.
B.J. Penn Challenges Cesar Gracie, Admits to Being 'Hookwinked' By Him
B.J. Penn is an mature adult now and doesn't want to talk smack. That's fine, and I applaud that decision. Penn is usually a pretty honest guy though, and in an interview with Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting, he aims his honesty in the direction of a guy that he thinks might have 'hoodwinked' him - Cesar Gracie, manager of Nick Diaz and a guy B.J. has trained with in the past. He even offers to go five rounds with him. Here's the telling quote:
"Dana called us...it's a funny story actually. Dana called us and said 'Cesar just called me and said they would love that they would love to fight Nick Diaz. I mean, that him and Nick Diaz would love to fight you, and that's the fight they want. So I texted Cesar. I said 'Dana just said you would love to fight us, and this and that's the fight you want'. And I guess, I don't know, maybe Cesar didn't wanna say that he said that. He texted me back and said 'Laugh out loud, Dana just told us the same thing'. So I ended up thinking Dana's trying to set me up and make it into a personal thing, but it was really Cesar. Cesar was...Cesar hoodwinked me, I guess."
UFC on FOX 1 undercard streams free on Facebook and FOX.com
The entire undercard for next month's landmark UFC on FOX 1 event will stream live and for free on Facebook and FOX.com.
UFC president Dana White today announced the plans following a pre-UFC 137 press conference.
The full UFC on FOX 1 card includes:
MAIN CARD (FOX)
Champ Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos (for heavyweight title)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook and FOX.com)
Clay Guida vs. Ben Henderson
Pablo Garza vs. Dustin Poirier
Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto vs. Darren Uyenoyama
Ricardo Lamas vs. Cub Swanson
Clay Harvsion vs. DaMarques Johnson
Robert Peralta vs. Mackens Semerzier
Paul Bradley vs. Mike Pierce
Matt Lucas vs. Aaron Rosa
Alex Caceres vs. Cole Escovedo
ESPN's Jon Anik joins UFC broadcasting team
Jon Anik has joined the UFC family.
UFC president Dana White today announced that the veteran broadcaster, who's been the longtime host and anchor of the weekly "MMA Live" show on ESPN2, has joined the UFC broadcasting team.
Anik will commentate UFC Fight Night and The Ultimate Fighter Finale events on FX, and he'll also call the action for the live "TUF" episodes that begin airing on the cable station in 2012.
"We're very happy to have Jon as part of the team," White said during today's UFC 137 pre-event press conference in Las Vegas.
Anik, 33, is taking a full-time position with the UFC. There's no word on his possible "MMA Live" replacement.
Nick Diaz Wishes He'd Stuck to Boxing Plans
Nick Diaz's chance to come to the UFC was a move made seemingly as much to provide Georges St. Pierre with a new, marketable challenger as it was to prevent him from following through on his Strikeforce contract which allowed him to take a pro boxing match. Diaz had a deal worked out with the well faded (and frankly never all that good) Jeff Lacy which was being shopped to different pay-per-view distributors but the UFC brought him in and gave him the shot at GSP's title.
Diaz no-showed press events and got bumped down to the co-main event to fight B.J. Penn.
Nick is now telling MMA Fighting that he regrets his decision to skip out on his boxing opportunity:
"I would have gone back to boxing," Diaz said. "If I had my chance to do it over again, I would go back to the boxing contract. It would have paid me more money, and I would have took my punches win or lose, and just do my job, fight and get paid."
Illinois commission reverses decision, clears Andreas Kraniotakes for ProElite 2
Andreas Kraniotakes (12-4) will fight in next month's ProElite 2 headliner against Tim Sylvia (29-7), after all.
Hours after MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) passed along news that the Illinois State Professional Athletic Commission denied the heavyweight's participation because of a lack of sanctioned fights, the decision has been reversed.
HDNet Fights CEO Andrew Simon first tweeted the news, though MMAjunkie.com currently awaits confirmation from commission officials.
ProElite 2 takes place Nov. 5 at iWireless Center in Moline, Ill. The main card airs on HDNet.
Though content with career, UFC 137's 'Cro Cop' says another loss would be a 'disaster'
A softer side – in fact, a jovial and even comedic side – has come out of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic ahead of Saturday's UFC 137 fight with Roy Nelson.
The heavyweight fighter's UFC career long has been identified by unrivaled stoicism, but lately, the dangerous Croatian striker has loosened up.
Even with a two-fight losing streak staring him in the face, Filipovic told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he's got every reason be proud of his once-illustrious career. But admittedly, another loss would be a personal disaster, he said.
Filipovic (27-9-2 MMA, 4-5 UFC) and Nelson (15-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC) clash on Saturday's pay-per-view main card at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Events Center. Both notables are stuck in two-fight losing skids, and Saturday's loser could be forced to pack his bags.
Jay Silva replaces injured Elvis Mutapcic in SCC 3 middleweight title fight
Jay Silva (7-4) has replaced injured Elvis Mutapcic (9-2) in a Super Cage Combat 3 middleweight title fight with Bristol Marunde (14-6).
Sources close to the event today confirmed the change with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) and said Mutapcic suffered a knee injury.
SCC 3 takes place Nov. 4 event at Las Vegas' Orleans Arena.
The evening's full lineup includes:
John Alessio vs. Luiz Firmino
Bristol Marunde vs. Jay Silva (for first-ever SCC middleweight title)
James McSweeney vs. Emanuel Newton
Steve Lopez vs. William Sriyapai
Shane Nelson vs. Lance Wipf
Dave Terrel vs. Phil Dace
Cameron Diffley vs. Sidney Silva
Shawn Fitzsimmons vs. Blas Avena
Kui Gonsalves vs. Shorty Weikel
With cast removed, UFC's Diego Sanchez cleared to resume training
Diego Sanchez has been cleared to resume training.
The UFC veteran recently scratched from a UFC 135 fight with Matt Hughes earlier this month when he was sidelined by a broken right hand.
Doctors, though, have removed his cast and cleared the lightweight fighter to resume training, though no return bout has been booked.
"I feel great," Sanchez stated in a release. "In some senses, this injury has been a blessing because I've been forced to train in ways and on things that I never before had thought of or considered. I truly feel as going though this injury is going to make me a better fighter in the long run.
ONE FC Unveils Network; 'Very Close' to Deal With DREAM
As reported here earlier, ONE FC has partnerships with a few top promotions around Asia such as the URCC, Road FC, and DARE. Today, the promotion officially announced these deals in addition to a partnership with an Australian MMA promotion. From the press release:
ONE Fighting Championship™ has formed exclusive partnerships with the following organizations:
-Cage Fighting Championship (Australia)
-ROAD Fighting Championship (Korea)
-DARE Fightsports (Thailand)
They also announced partnerships with several of the top MMA camps in the region: Team Lakay Wushu (Philippines), Tiger Muay Thai (Thailand), Tigers Gym (India), Evolve MMA (Singapore), Legacy Gym (Thailand), Tough MMA (Taiwan), Synergy Jiu-Jitsu (Indonesia), Juggernaut FC (Singapore), Fightworks Asia (Singapore), PAK MMA (Pakistan), Team Force (Korea), MuayFit (Malaysia), Leverage MMA (Malaysia).
Aside from that laundry list of camps and promotions, the release also had this interesting statement from their CEO, Victor Cui, "Given our current discussions with various parties, we will be announcing another 23 additional MMA organizations and gyms to the ONE FC Network in the coming days and weeks."
BloodyElbow.com has been informed that among those deals in the works, is a partnership with Japanese promotion, DREAM. A high ranking official from the promotion has told us that ONE FC is currently in discussions with a few organizations from Japan, and that the deal with DREAM is 'very close' to being finalized.
Eric Reynolds vs. Jonatas Novaes headlines HDNet's XFC 15 on Dec. 2
Xtreme Fighting Championships has tapped a headliner for its next event.
"XFC 15: Tribute" takes place Dec. 2 at St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Fla., and the headliner features lightweights Eric Reynolds (13-5) vs. Jonatas Novaes (9-3), officials recently announced.
The night's main card airs live on HDNet.
"I’m really excited for the big lightweight showdown in Tampa," XFC president John Prisco stated. "This could be the fight of the night, or it could be a very quick fight with a memorable finish. Either way the fans are going to be treated to an exciting main event."
Illinois commission nixes Andreas Kraniotakes' participation in ProElite 2 main event
The same day Andreas Kraniotakes took to MMAjunkie.com Radio and discussed his long-awaited big-show opportunity at next month's ProElite 2 event, the heavyweight was scratched from the event.
On Wednesday, Kraniotakes (12-4) posted a video message saying he was forced out of his headliner with ex-UFC heavyweight champ Tim Sylvia (29-7).
According to a report from MMAFighting.com, an unidentified replacement fighter has been selected and awaits commission approval. MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) could not immediately reach commission or ProElite officials for comment.
In fact, it was the Illinois State Professional Athletic Commission that halted Kraniotakes' participation in the event. Officials denied the fighter a license due to the German's lack of sanctioned fights on his pro record.
ProElite 2 takes place Nov. 5 at iWireless Center in Moline, Ill. The main card airs on HDNet.
With UFC 137 main event looming, Nick Diaz laments choice not to box
Nick Diaz (25-7 MMA, 6-4 UFC) now says he regrets his decision to pass up a boxing contract for a return to the UFC.
Three days before his UFC 137 headliner opposite B.J. Penn (16-7-2 MMA, 12-6-2 UFC), Diaz said a trip to the square circle would have benefitted him more in the long term than the continuation of his MMA career.
"If I had my chance to do it over again, I would have gone back to the boxing contract," the former Strikeforce champion said today.
UFC 137's Donald Cerrone: After 'one-trick pony,' I want Nam Phan at 145 pounds
LAS VEGAS – UFC lightweight contender Donald Cerrone (16-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC) currently has his hands full with German striker Dennis Siver (19-7 MMA, 8-4 UFC), but that doesn't mean "Cowboy" isn't already planning out his next move.
He's giving up Milk Duds and Hot Tamales.
Cerrone said after his bout with Siver at this weekend's UFC 137 event in Las Vegas, he's making a drop down to 145 pounds for one specific reason: to silence Nam Phan.
"I'm about to go to 145 (pounds) after this fight," Cerrone today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I'm going to go after Nam Phan. He's talking [expletive], and now I'm pissed off."
Cesar Gracie Says Gilbert Melendez is UFC-Bound After December Strikeforce Fight
Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez has recently been the subject of much speculation regarding how much longer he would remain with that organization. UFC president Dana White recently said that he wanted to bring him over to the UFC, but he was still booked in a title defense against Jorge Masvidal at a Strikeforce event on December 17th in San Diego. Gil's coach Cesar Gracie made it clear to Tatame that he's going to the UFC after that fight though:
"Absolutely it’ll be his last fight (in Strikeforce)", assures the coach, who didn’t have any doubts about Melendez’s situation on the lightweight division of Ultimate, which title holder is Frankie Edgar. "I believe Melendez is the best of the world in this division".
Caros Fodor vs. Justin Wilcox slated for 'Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal'
A lightweight bout between Strikeforce Challengers regulars Caros Fodor (6-1 MMA, 4-0 SF) and Justin Wilcox (11-3 MMA, 5-1 SF) will be part of December's "Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal" event.
Fodor today revealed the fight on "The MMA Show" with Mauro Ranallo.
The event takes place Dec. 17 at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego. The event's main card airs on Showtime.
It's not clear if Fodor vs. Wilcox will be part of the broadcast.
Legacy Fighting Championships signs 'TUF 14' prospect Carson Beebe
Legacy Fighting Championships has secured another solid prospect.
Company officials today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the Texas-based promotion has signed "The Ultimate Fighter 14" fighter and top bantamweight prospect Carson Beebe to a multi-fight deal.
He's expected to debut in 2012 on an HDNet-televised card.
Beebe (8-1), who recently turned 23, made his pro debut in early 2010 and has suffered just one loss to date. The former Purdue University wrestler briefly appeared on the current season of "TUF" on Spike TV, but Johnny Bedford upset him with a submission victory and knocked him out of the competition in the 32-man elimination round.
Viacom buys Bellator, plans 2013 start on Spike
MTV Networks' Spike TV channel is getting out of the Ultimate Fighting Championship's business, but the broadcaster has increased its ties to mixed martial arts.
Viacom, parent of MTV Networks, bought a majority stake in Bellator Fighting Championships and will start airing the promotion's bouts on Spike in 2013, the companies told USA TODAY this week. They've had ongoing talks for about a year as they finished up various deals, and over the past month finally reached the point where they could announce the news, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said.
Selling to Viacom's entertainment conglomerate guarantees a stable future for Bellator, said Rebney, who will remain in charge of the MMA organization.
"It puts all of those cornerstones of ownership in place for us," he said. "Which is something that's been so seriously lacking in the MMA space with so many different companies, including Strikeforce and the IFL and Affliction and all the different failures that have occurred. … It alleviates those issues."
Bellator is the No. 2 promotion in mixed martial arts behind market leader Zuffa, owner of UFC and Strikeforce...