Bantamweight shakeup: Easton out, Hougland meets Jabouin and Menjivar fights Barao
An injury to Mike Easton (12-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has shuffled the bantamweight deck.
Now meeting Yves Jabouin (17-7 MMA, 2-1 UFC) at UFC on FUEL TV 3 is Jeff Hougland (10-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC), whose originally scheduled opponent, Renan Barao (28-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), is now set to meet Ivan Menjivar (24-8 MMA, 3-0 UFC) in a possible No. 1 contender bout at UFC 148.
Sources close to the event today confirmed the news to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) following a tweet from reporter Joe Ferraro, host of Sportsnet's "UFC Central."
Reached today for comment, Easton declined to confirm he was out of the fight but admitted to dealing with injuries in training. His reps were unavailable for comment.
"I really want this fight, but it's no good going into a fight realy, really banged up," he said. "It makes for not a good night."
"UFC on FUEL TV 3: Korean Zombie vs. Poirer" takes place May 15 at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. Main-card fights air live on FUEL TV while preliminary-card fights stream on Facebook.
UFC 148 takes place July 7 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. It's main card airs live on pay-per-view while preliminary-card fights air on FX.
Featherweights Jimy Hettes and Steven Siler meet at UFC on FX 4 in June
Two featherweight prospects will square off in Atlantic City this June, as the UFC announced on Friday that Jimy Hettes and Steven Siler will square off at UFC on FX 4 on June 22.
Hettes made a splash in his last bout, looking immensely impressive in a decision win over Nam Phan. That followed up a submission win over Alex "Bruce Leroy" Caceres, and brought the 24-year-old's career record to a perfect 10-0.
Fox TV UFC Producers Told Joe Rogan To Tone It Down
UFC announcer Joe Rogan took to his podcast to vent some frustration with the Fox TV brass who produce the UFC. Apparently the execs told Rogan to "tone it down." This didn't sit well with the enthusiastic announcer who's been working the mic for the UFC since 1997.
Here's what he had to say on his podcast:
Jose Aldo Headlines UFC 149 in Calgary, Dana White Promises ‘Sick’ Card
UFC president Dana White announced that featherweight champion Jose Aldo will headline UFC 149 in Calgary on July 21.
“The headliner here will be Jose Aldo. He’ll be defending his title here,” said White during a press conference in Calgary on Wednesday.
One side of the UFC 149 main event is in place, but Aldo’s opponent will be named at a later date.
“We don’t know that. This card is still so far away, we’re working on it,” answered White when asked who Aldo will face.
Joseph Benavidez: Waiting Will Just Make Winning the Title That Much Sweeter
Joseph Benavidez‘s trip to Australia for UFC on FX 2 started out pretty good.
The former bantamweight title contender made an easy cut to 125 pounds for the first time, and then proceeded to knock out former Shooto star Yasuhiro Urushitani to advance to the finals of the first ever UFC flyweight title tournament.
That’s when the night took a turn into a strange series of events.
Fight Path: With help from ESPN and Edgar, Bellator 62's Rad Martinez getting noticed
Physically, Rad Martinez's father is doing well.
He may still be in a vegetative state – the one that has engulfed his life since a 1991 car accident – but after doctor check-ups, Martinez hears the same joke. As a caregiver who also happens to be an MMA fighter and splits his time between the duties, Martinez doesn't get tired of them.
"They say, 'Your dad is healthier than you are,'" Martinez told MMAjunkie.com.
Martinez gives plenty of attention to keep his father that way. And when he gets to spend time on his own career, that works out pretty well, too.
With newfound fame following an ESPN "Outside the Lines" piece on him and his father that aired this past summer, Martinez (11-2 MMA, 1-0 BFC) will take on Douglas Frey (10-7 MMA, 0-0 BFC) in a featherweight fight at Bellator 62 on Friday in Laredo, Texas. The West Jordan, Utah resident hopes that it's the next step to entering a Bellator tournament and growing as a fighter, even if he started his career later than some.
Following surprise fight booking, Rich Franklin hoping for UFC Cinderella story
Rich Franklin had wowed doctors with the speed of his recovery from shoulder surgery and recently returned to near-full speed training in the gym.
All the while, he kept the UFC updated on his progress and talked about a return to the cage. But even he was surprised at the speed with which he went from disabled to active after his doctor cleared him this past Friday.
"I'm sitting there, my phone goes off on Sunday night and I found out via Twitter that my fight was signed," Franklin (28-6 MMA, 13-5 UFC) today told MMAjunkie.com Radio.
The fight, in this case, is a middleweight bout against Cung Le (7-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at UFC 148, which takes place July 7 at MGM Grand Garden Arena and airs live on pay-per-view. (Preliminary-card fights air on FX.)
Eric Prindle Vs. Thiago Santos Appears Off Bellator 62 Card Following Santos Missing Weight
After a confusing bit of nonsense last week before their Bellator 61 rematch, tomorrow's scheduled heavyweight tournament final between Eric Prindle and Thiago Santos now appears to be off. The bout was a rematch of the season 5 bout that ended when Santos landed a hard kick to the groin that left Prindle unable to continue and the bout a no contest.
Mauro Ranallo's Twitter was the first place I saw the bout canceled:
Just learned Thiago Santos is out of the Bellator Heavyweight tournament final against Eric Prindle.Trying to find out what now?
Mar 23 via Twitter for Android Favorite Retweet Reply
The two were supposed to fight last week but the fight was postponed a week when Bellator said Prindle was ill. Prindle went on The MMA Show and said that he was fine but that Santos was way over weight. It then was re-confirmed that Prindle was in fact ill and Bjorn Rebney said that Santos was only slightly overweight and could have made the weight.
Word is that Santos is 11 pounds over and won't be able to hit the 265 pound limit forcing a cancellation.
Bernardo Magalhaes says he's fighting Henry Martinez at UFC on FX 3
Brazilian-born Bernardo Magalhaes (11-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) says his second opportunity at a UFC win is coming on June 8.
The Australian resident recently revealed on Twitter that he's booked to face Henry Martinez (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at UFC on FX 3.
UFC executives have yet to make an official announcement for the lightweight fight.
UFC on FX 3 takes place June 8. While the main card airs on FX, officials haven't finalized a venue for the event.
Mike Pyle: I'm fighting Josh Neer at UFC on FX 3 on June 8
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) might be doing some matchmaking on the sneak -- either that or Mike Pyle is issuing some forward-looking statements regarding his participation at the UFC on FX 3 fight card, booked for June 8 at a location to be determined.
That's where "Quicksand" says he'll be fighting Josh Neer and looking to make it two in a row after stopping Ricardo Funch at the UFC 142: "Aldo vs. Mendes" pay-per-view (PPV) event back in January. Pyle (22-8) is 4-1 over his last five fights, his only blemish a technical knockout loss to division upstart Rory MacDonald back at UFC 133.
Bellator's Brian Foster not medically cleared, replaced by newcomer Jordan Smith
Promotional newcomer Jordan Smith (17-2 MMA, 0-0 BFC) has replaced Brian Foster (18-5 MMA, 0-0 BFC) in Bellator Fighting Championships' season-six welterweight tournament.
Smith now faces undefeated prospect David Rickels (8-0 MMA, 3-0 BFC) in an opening-round matchup.
According to Bellator officials, the Mohegan Sun Commission – which oversees MMA at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., site of Bellator 63 – Foster "will need to be screened for additional testing before he is medically cleared to fight."
A UFC veteran, Foster was released from the promotion after a pre-UFC 129 medical examination revealed a brain hemorrhage. Foster was cleared shortly after, but the UFC didn't re-sign him. Since his UFC release, Foster has picked up a pair of wins outside the organization.
Ferguson vs. Tavares official, UFC on FOX 3 again complete with 12 bouts
A previously reported lightweight contest between Tony Ferguson (13-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Thiago Tavares (17-4-1 MMA, 7-4-1 UFC) is now officials, and May's UFC on FOX 3 event is again complete with 12 bouts.
Tavares replaced an injured Dennis Hallman in the preliminary matchup.
MAIN CARD (FOX)
Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller
Johny Hendricks vs. Josh Koscheck
Alan Belcher vs. Rousimar Palhares
Pat Barry vs. Lavar Johnson
PRELIMINARY CARD (FUEL TV)
Tony Ferguson vs. Thiago Tavares
John Dodson vs. Darren Uyenoyama
John Hathaway vs. Pascal Krauss
Louis Gaudinot vs. John Lineker
Danny Castillo vs. John Cholish
Dennis Bermudez vs. Pablo Garza
Johnny Bedford vs. Nick Denis
Mike Massenzio vs. Karlos Vemola
UFC on FX 4 adds Miller-Funch, Story-Attonito, Riddle-Ramos, Ebersole-Waldburger
UFC on FX 4's dance card is quickly filling.
The promotion announced a quartet of new welterweight bouts for the event, which takes place June 22 at Revel Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.
Additions for the card include Dan Miller (13-6 MMA, 5-5 UFC) vs. Ricardo Funch (8-3 MMA, 0-3 UFC), Rick Story (13-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC) vs. Rich Attonito (10-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC), Matt Riddle (6-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) vs. Luis Ramos (19-7 MMA, 0-1 UFC), and Brian Ebersole (49-14-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) vs. T.J. Waldburger (15-6 MMA, 3-1 UFC).
The event's main card airs live on FX while preliminary-card fights air on FUEL TV. It's not clear where the above fights will be placed on the lineup.
UFC on FX 4 is the promotion's first trip to Atlantic City in seven years after UFC 53 took place at Boardwalk Hall
Rich Franklin returns to his rightful home
Before guys like Joseph Benavidez and Jon Fitch knew limbo, Rich Franklin was the original purgatory in the UFC. He was the middleweight champion for 16 months in the mid-aughts, beginning with a declarative victory over Evan Tanner and ending three fights later where things for all men come to an end ... with Anderson Silva.
Back in the day when immediate rematches were hard to come by, Franklin had to beat Jason MacDonald and Yushin Okami to get a chance at reclaiming his belt. “Ace” finally stepped in with Anderson Silva again at UFC 77, in a conflict that was dubiously dubbed “Hostile Territory.” That is, at least for Silva. Franklin was in the friendly confines of his native Cincinnati, eschewing his trademark Neapolitan trunks for those sporting Bengals colors. It was a homecoming full of furnace warmth.
Until he was being fetched back into consciousness with smelling salts.
Bisping's good, but Silva would outclass him - Hendo
Dan Henderson believes Michael Bisping deserves a future shot at the UFC middleweight title, but he warned that the Brit will be in big trouble if he does ever face champion Anderson Silva.
Bisping was named to fight Tim Boetsch on Monday, in a bout that will take place at UFC 148. With Silva set to face Chael Sonnen this summer, victory for Bisping may be enough to secure him the next shot at the belt.
Henderson knows the Briton well from their time as rival coaches on The Ultimate Fighter, which culminated in Hendo delivering one of the all-time great knockouts.
Brian Ebersole Responds To Josh Koscheck's Anti-AKA Statements
UFC welterweight Brian Ebersole is a former member of American Kickboxing Academy, and he wasn't a big fan of some recent comments made by former AKA member Josh Koscheck. Kos, who has never been known to keep quiet about things, had some harsh words for Javier Mendez and his training camps at AKA, and has since moved to his own gym in Fresno full-time. In an interview with Vigilante MMA, Ebersole fired back at Kos in regards to the camp issue:
"He couldn't get good work in? It was there to be had. He mentioned that Javier coached him but that he didn't learn anything. Really? I learn from BJJ blue belts whilst I travel the globe teaching and training. And you can't learn from a former World Champion? That's a curious comment, if you ask me, which you did."
UFC on FOX 3's Belcher on Palhares: 'If he beats me, he's going to injure me'
Rousimar Palhares is a simple man with a penchant for rearranging limbs.
Alan Belcher, on the other hand, happens to be content with the current aesthetics of his anatomy, thank you very much.
Belcher (17-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC) will attempt to maintain the status quo when he meets the submission specialist Palhares (14-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) on the FOX-televised main card of UFC on FOX 3. The event takes place May 5 at IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., and features a Jim Miller vs. Nate Diaz headliner.
"If he beats me, he's going to injure me," Belcher told MMAjunkie.com Radio. "So I think it's a little extra nerves going into it about actually damaging your health or something.