Chidi Njokuani now meets Thiago Goncalves in Bellator 156 co-headliner
Originally scheduled to face former welterweight champion Douglas Lima at Bellator 156, Chidi Njokuani will now meet The Ultimate Fighter Brazil veteran Thiago Goncalves in the co-main event spot on June 17, MMA Fighting has learned with sources close to the situation. Lima takes on Paul Daley at Bellator 158.
Goncalves (18-4) makes his promotional debut a year after defeating Matt Baker at WSOF 21. "Jambo", who won six of his last seven fights, was originally booked against Ricky Rainey in the Bellator 156 prelims.
UFC 199 prelims were second-most watched sports event on Saturday night
Saturday's UFC 199 prelims did normal numbers, but they had a unique makeup.
The show leading up to the Luke Rockhold title loss to Michael Bisping did 798,000 viewers, making it the second-most watched sports event of the night, trailing the 2,789,000 viewers of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The number was slightly up from UFC 198, the showfrom Brazil with a Stipe Miocic vs. Fabricio Werdum main event, which did 786,000 viewers. But that show went head-to-head with a Bellator show, dividing the audience. UFC 197, the show headlined by Jon Jones vs. Ovince Saint Preux saw the prelims average 835,000 viewers.
Lineup set for next week's UFC Fight Night 89 in Ottawa with wicked-good welterweights atop the card
Four of the most exciting welterweights in the world top the bill for the UFC’s return to Canada next week.
The bout order for the 13-fight UFC Fight Night 89 event now is set. In the main event, former title challenger Rory MacDonald (18-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) fights on his home Canadian soil against Stephen Thompson (12-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC). The pecking order for a title shot likely is at stake. MacDonald is ranked No. 2 behind champ Robbie Lawler in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings; Thompson is No. 5.
UFC Fight Night 92 heads to Salt Lake City on August 6
Salt Lake City, Utah will host a UFC event for the first time with UFC Fight Night 92.
The promotion announced the event on the official UFC website.
The event takes place Aug. 6 from Vivint Smart Home Arena – home of the NBA’s Utah Jazz. Tickets for the FOX Sports 1-televised event go on sale June 24.
The UFC previously tried to hold UFC on Versus 2 at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City but was forced to move the event to San Diego, Calif., due to poor ticket sales. The Aug. 1, 2010 card was anchored by a fight between Jon Jones and Vladimir Matyushenko.
Michael Page to Face Evangelista Santos at Bellator 158 in London
Michael Page has a new opponent for Bellator 158, as he will face Brazilian veteran Evangelista Santos in a featured welterweight bout on July 16 in London.
Promotion officials announced the new matchup on Thursday. Santos replaces Fernando Gonzalez, who was forced to withdraw from the contest due to visa issues. Bellator also confirmed that a previously reported 170-pound clash between Paul Daley and Douglas Lima will headline the card following the death of Kimbo Slice, who was scheduled to face James Thompson in the original main event, earlier this week.
Thiago Meller scratched from WSOF 31, replacement sought for John Howard
A little more than a week out, WSOF is looking for a new opponent for John Howard at WSOF 31.
A torn calf muscle has forced Thiago Meller (20-7) to withdraw from his bout against UFC vet Howard (23-12). The Brazilian fighter announced his withdrawal today on Facebook, and WSOF spokesperson Mike Afromowitz confirmed to MMAjunkie the nature of the injury. The promotion currently is seeking a replacement.
Belal Muhammad says he's in for injured Nordine Taleb vs. Alan Jouban at UFC Fight Night 90
It appears the UFC has landed a replacement to face Alan Jouban at UFC Fight Night 90.
According to an Instagram post from Belal Muhammad, the undefeated welterweight will step in for the injured Nordine Taleb at the event.
The UFC Fight Night 90 lineup now includes:
Champ Rafael dos Anjos vs. Eddie Alvarez – for lightweight title
Derrick Lewis vs. Roy Nelson
Alan Jouban vs. Belal Muhammad
Mitch Clarke vs. Joseph Duffy
Alberto Mina vs. Mike Pyle
Mehdi Baghdad vs. John Makdessi
Anthony Birchak vs. Dileno Lopes
Gilbert Burns vs. Lukasz Sajewski
Marco Beltran vs. Reginaldo Vieira
Alvaro Herrera vs. Vicente Luque
Russell Doane vs. Pedro Munhoz
Felipe Arantes vs. Jerrod Sanders
Arielgate: The Whole Story of Helwani vs. the UFC (Article)
Ariel Helwani is the most prominent mixed martial arts (MMA) reporter in the sport’s short history. How paradoxical it was then that reporting is what (temporarily) ended his career covering the top MMA organization in the world: the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Helwani and his colleagues from MMAFighting.com (which included renowned photographer, Esther Lin, and videographer, E. Casey Leydon) were banned from ever covering the UFC again at the UFC 199 event on June 4, 2016, right before Michael Bisping realized a lifelong dream of winning the UFC Middleweight Championship. Earlier in the show, UFC aired two big announcements in video package form: the long-anticipated rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz was officially announced for UFC 202, and Brock Lesnar was making his surprising comeback for a one-off at UFC 200. But in the UFC’s eyes, there was a problem. Helwani had beaten them to the punch, and reported that both bookings were “close to being finalized” in the hours prior to the event.
Josh Koscheck out of fight with Paul Daley at Bellator 158
It's the rivalry rematch that just can't come together.
Josh Koscheck is injured and out of his fight with Paul Daley at Bellator 158 on July 16 in London, MMA Fighting confirmed with Bellator officials Monday. Daley will now face former Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima instead. ESPN was the first to report the news.
Koscheck and Daley were supposed to fight on the same card in January in Koscheck's adopted hometown of Fresno, Calif., to set up a future bout. Koscheck was slated to face Matt Secor in the main event of his Bellator debut, but got injured in training and had to withdraw. Daley took over the main event spot, defeating Andy Uhrich. Afterward, Daley slammed Koscheck in the post-fight interview.
Sparring partner: Sage Northcutt's dad 'is probably the worst coach I've seen'
UFC lightweight prospect Sage Northcutt is looking to rebound from his first professional loss, as he draws nearer to his return at UFC 200. Northcutt saw his undefeated record come to an end back in January, when he was submitted by Bryan Barberena in a welterweight matchup at UFC on FOX 18.
Northcutt is getting in in his final training sessions before fight night, but his last one apparently was "a disaster" according to his sparring partner. In an Instagram post published on Tuesday, Israeli Muay Thai champion Ilya Grad pointed the finger at the 20-year-old's father as the root cause of yesterday's problems:
@supersagenorthcutt came in for sparring today preparing for UFC 200. I want to say something nice about the kid but oh my what a disaster it was. His dad is probably the worst coach I've seen in my life. He walks around talking shit from the start like we owe him something, then he interrupting his real coach during the rounds and gives poor Sage negative pet talk in between! Then at the 3rd round when I was just warming up and started pushing the pace they accused me of trying to hurt him and retired him from sparring! ?? - When I train someone for a fight I want to put them in difficult situations, as you would in a real fight but these clowns just want him to do well and when he doesn't they accused me of some shit and made a scene! Never have I seen such bad coaching in my life! You have great potential kid, If you smart tell your dad to stay away from your fight camp so you could actually get some training done! Good luck for 200 ??
Victory FC 51 headlined by pair of title fights on June 24
A pair of belts will be up for grabs when Victory FC 51 heads to Idaho.
The promotion announced three featured bouts, including a pair of title fights.
Victory FC 51 takes place June 24 from Bucs Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. The card streams live on UFC Fight Pass.
The main event features a bout for the vacant bantamweight title when UFC veteran Rob Emerson (16-11) takes on Shawn West (12-6). In the co-main event, Rakim Cleveland (14-7-1) battles Mike Rhodes (9-4) for the vacant middleweight belt.
The Victory FC 51 card includes:
Rob Emerson vs. Shawn West – for vacant bantamweight title
Rakim Cleveland vs. Mike Rhodes – for vacant middleweight title
Rick Glenn vs. Ramiro Hernandez
Nick Hein gets home bout in Germany, meets Tae Hyun Bang at UFC Fight Night in Hamburg
Nick Hein will return from what will be nearly a year layoff for a fight in front of his home German fans this fall.
Hein (13-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is set to meet Tae Hyun Bang (18-9 MMA, 2-2 UFC) in a lightweight bout at the UFC’s “Fight Night” event in Hamburg, Germany. Promotion officials announced the new booking today.
UFC Fight Night in Hamburg takes place Sept. 3 at Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany. The entire event streams on UFC Fight Pass.
The latest UFC Fight Night in Hamburg lineup now includes:
Andrei Arlovski vs. Josh Barnett
Ryan Bader vs. Ilir Latifi
Scott Askham vs. Jack Hermansson
Jessin Ayari vs. Emil Meek
Nicolas Dalby vs. Peter Sobotta
Tae Hyun Bang vs. Nick Hein
UFC 199 draws announced 15,587 fans for sell-out at The Forum, $2.17 million gate
Saturday’s UFC 199 event drew an announced attendance of 15,587, which was a sell-out, and a live gate of $2,168,675.
UFC PR head Dave Sholler announced the figures at the post-event news conference, which MMAjunkie attended.
UFC 199 took place at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.
The card featured a number of California-based fighters. In fact, three of the four headliners and co-headliners are California natives, and the other (Michael Bisping) lives part-time in the state.