Strikeforce Heavyweight Division to be Eliminated Following Grand Prix Finals and 'One More Fight'
Moments ago on the Strikeforce media call to announce the new Showtime deal, it was announced that Strikeforce will be doing away with the heavyweight division in the near future. The way that the set-up is sounds as though Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier will meet in the Strikeforce Grand Prix finals and the winner will fight one more time against a (as it was put) "top heavyweight contender." After that fight, the heavyweight division will be eliminated in the promotion with fighters presumably moving to the UFC based on the promotion's desire.
UFC president Dana White said on the call that the division just is not deep enough to have it in both promotions and they will instead focus on the other classes and women's MMA.
Strikeforce and Showtime announce new deal with eight events and televised prelims
As expected Strikeforce and Showtime have inked a new deal that will keep the Zuffa-owned fight promotion on the premium-cable station.
Officials today the deal, which calls for up to eight events, though no timeframe was disclosed for the shows.
As part of the deal, main-card bouts will continue to air on Showtime, and preliminary-card fights now will be broadcast on sister channel Showtime Extreme.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Officials suggested that events no longer will be held under the Strikeforce Challengers brand.
The deal kicks off with the Jan. 7 "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine" event in Las Vegas, so all fights (prelims and main card) from the card will be televised in some form. Additionally, the event takes place during one of Showtime's free-preview weekends, which makes the channel available for free to more than 60 million households.
As part of the announcement, officials stated that current Strikeforce fighters – including champions Gilbert Melendez, Luke Rochhold, Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos and Miesha Tate – will remain in Strikeforce. (Recently, some champions such as Nick Diaz, Dan Henderson and Alistair Overeem had been folded into the Zuffa-owned UFC.)
MMA - An Acquired Taste
this is a very well written, objective, article about experiencing a live UFC event for the first time...maybe the first MMA event he ever watched. this is written by Michael Grange from Sportsnet, who is slowly becoming one of my favourite sports journalists to read. its a little long but well worth the read. Grange may still not be a fan of the sport afterwards, but this may be one of the most unbiased and objective articles from a non-MMA fan you will ever read.
If not Lesnar, Mir wants Cain
It appears Frank Mir will have to wait for a third meeting with UFC superstar Brock Lesnar.
With rumours swirling about Alistair Overeem’s potential withdrawal from UFC 141, former title-holder Frank Mir said Saturday after submitting Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira -- and breaking his arm in the process -- in the first round of the co-main event rematch at UFC 140 in Toronto that he wouldn’t mind stepping in as a replacement and fighting Lesnar in what would be a rubber match between the two.
"I’m pretty healthy, and three weeks is enough time," Mir said. "I feel pretty good. I only fought a three-minute fight. My wife will want me around at Christmastime, but she can deal with it."
"I don’t want to wait around just to fight for the title," Mir said. "I think Cain is still the real deal, he just got caught (against Dos Santos) like I did tonight. I recovered, he didn’t and (Dos Santos) jumped on him."
No surgery for Big Nog
Heavyweight Antonio Rodrigo (Minotauro) Nogueira was also in Los Angeles on Monday, seeing a specialist after suffering a broken arm in a loss to Frank Mir at UFC 140 at Toronto's Air Canada Centre on Saturday night.
The doctor's visit produced some good news for Big Nog.
The UFC tweeted that surgery won't be needed. Instead he'll wear an adjustable plastic brace using an ultrasound device twice a day for 20 minutes. He's expected back in the cage in no more than nine months.
Bellator season-six bantamweight tourney includes Galvao, Nogueira, Lima, West, Ueda
The field is taking shape for Bellator's newly organized season-six bantamweight tournament.
Although the 135-pound tournament is the fifth and final addition to the early-2012 calendar, some notable names have been booked for it.
Officials told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Marcos Galvao (10-5-1 MMA, 1-2 BFC), Luis "Betao" Nogueira (12-2 MMA, 2-1 BFC), Rodrigo "Ratinho" Lima (9-0 MMA, 0-0 BFC) and Ed West (17-6 MMA, 3-2 BFC) are all slotted for the eight-man field.
Additionally, as MMAjunkie.com reported earlier today, Masakatsu Ueda (14-1-2 MMA, 0-0 BFC) also has signed with the organization and will be part of the field.
Officials will announce the complete field in the coming weeks.
UFC on FUEL TV 1 adds Simpson vs. Markes, Brookins vs. Yahya
Two more bouts are slotted for February's UFC on FUEL TV 1 event, officials today announced.
They include middleweights Aaron Simpson (11-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) vs. Ronny Markes (12-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and featherweights Jonathan Brookins (12-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) vs. Rani Yahya (16-7 MMA, 1-1 UFC).
UFC on FUEL TV 1, which is the first UFC event to air on the FOX-owned cable station, takes place Feb. 15 in Omaha, Neb. The 18,000-seat CenturyLink Arena is likely to host.
It's not clear if Simpson vs. Markes and Brookins vs. Yahya will be part of the FUEL TV-televised main card.
Jungle Fight Bantamweight Champion John Lineker signed by the UFC, set to compete at flyweight
The UFC is going all-out in establishing their newly-announced flyweight division.
That's because Tatame.com reports that Brazilian bruiser John "Mão de Pedra" Lineker (19-5), who captured the Jungle Fight 61 kg. title in September with a split decision over Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Brazil hopeful Ilarde Sabino Belo dos Santos, has been signed by the world's largest fight promotion and will compete at 125-pounds.
Lineker, 20, joins the UFC in the midst of a fantastic 13-fight winning streak. Seven of those have come in in 2011 alone.
Roy Nelson vs. Fabricio Werdum slotted for UFC 143 in February
A heavyweight bout between Roy Nelson (16-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and the returning Fabricio Werdum (14-5-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has been slotted for February's UFC 143 event.
Werdum will jump from Strikeforce to the UFC, where he fought from 2007 to 2008, as part of the long-rumored move.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the bout with event sources. MMAWeekly.com first reported it.
UFC 143 takes place on the eve of the NFL's Super Bowl, Feb. 4, at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The night's main card airs on pay-per-view, and Nelson vs. Werdum is expected to be part of the broadcast.
UFC 142 prelims to air on FX
UFC will make its debut on FX on Jan. 14 when the network airs the UFC 142 prelims, a FUEL TV official confirmed with MMAFighting.com on Tuesday.
FUEL TV, who shares the same parent company, FOX, as FX, will broadcast the majority of UFC prelim bouts in 2012, however, the UFC 142 undercard will air on the network's sister channel, FX.
FUEL TV will air the weigh-ins live and a post-fight show immediately following the event.
Bellator signs world-ranked bantamweight Masakatsu Ueda
Former Shooto champion Masakatsu Ueda (14-1-2 MMA, 0-0 BFC) is Bellator bound.
Sources close to the world-ranked bantamweight told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) the Japanese veteran has agreed to a multi-fight deal with the organization.
Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
A debut date and opponent have not been determined, but Ueda is considered a likely participant in a season-six bantamweight tournament that kicks off in March. Bellator also hosts eight-man tournaments in the featherweight, lightweight, welterweight and middleweights divisions that air on MTV2.
UFC champ Georges St-Pierre's knee surgery deemed a success
UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has cleared one hurdle on his comeback trail.
The injured fighter had successful knee surgery on Tuesday in Los Angeles, he recently tweeted.
A torn ACL and damaged meniscus recently forced St-Pierre (22-2 MMA, 16-2 UFC) out of a February UFC 143 title fight with Nick Diaz. Carlos Condit and Diaz now will fight for an interim title while St-Pierre's on the sidelines for six to 10 months.
St-Pierre's surgery was performed by Dr. Neal S. ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic.
St-Pierre's torn ACL marked the second time St-Pierre had injured his knee in two months. The champ sprained his knee in preparation for a planned UFC 137 title fight with Condit back in October.
'TUF 14' fighter Johnny Bedford takes UFC on FOX 2 slot against Eddie Wineland
"The Ultimate Fighter 14" semifinalist Johnny Bedford will look to make it 2-0 in official UFC competition.
With Demetrious Johnson scratched from the card so he could compete in the inaugural UFC flyweight tournament in March, Bedford has taken his spot on next month's UFC on FOX 2 card.
Bedford (18-9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) takes on fellow bantamweight Eddie Wineland (18-8-1 MMA, 0-2 UFC) on the night's preliminary card.
CSAC changes UFC on FOX 1's Peralta vs. Semerzier result to no contest
It's almost as if it never happened.
The California State Athletic Commission today changed the result of a Nov. 12 bout between Mackens Semerzier and Robert Peralta after it was determined an inadvertent headbutt was responsible for ending the UFC on FOX contest in Anaheim, Calif.
Semerzier's manager, Brian Butler-Au of SuckerPunch Entertainment, first announced the change via Twitter.
UFC on Fuel TV Kicks Off with 24-Hour Marathon
Fox Sports Media Group’s dynamic entertainment and sports network for males, officially kicks off the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) on FUEL TV January 1 with a 24-hour marathon of UFC programming featuring five show premieres. In 2012, FUEL TV telecasts more than 2,000 hours of UFC programming, with more than 100 hours of live fights, weigh-ins, preliminary bouts, and pre- and post-fight shows. In the New Year, FUEL TV offers more UFC programming than any network has ever offered.
“We’re beyond excited for the monster launch of the UFC on FUEL TV and can’t wait for the ball to drop on New Year’s so we can finally unveil all this incredible programming,” says George Greenberg, FUEL TV Executive Vice President and General Manager. “On January 1, FUEL TV becomes the number-one television destination for UFC fans. We’re going to deliver amazing live fights, FOX-style pre- and post-fight shows with expert commentary, insightful news shows with exclusive material and powerful documentaries that followers of the UFC have never seen before.”
Check article for full Fuel TV/UFC launch schedule and Fuel's 2011 schedule.
Vitor Belfor and Wanderlei Silva named coaches of TUF: Brazil
Brazilian sluggers Vitor Belfort (20-9 MMA, 9-5 UFC) and Wanderlei Silva (34-11-1 MMA, 4-6 UFC) will serve as opposing coaches on "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil."
UFC president Dana White today announced the selections during a pre-UFC 142 press conference in Rio de Janeiro.
The two will coach opposing teams on the first-ever international edition of "TUF," which in March debuts on Globo, and will oppose each other following the conclusion of the series.
Belfort will still face Anthony Johnson at January's UFC 134 event.
"The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil" will be produced by Brazilian firm Floresta and air as part of the UFC's broadcast deal with Globo. The series is expected to feature 12 taped episodes in addition to a live finale.
While FUEL TV is expected to air the show in the U.S., UFC president Dana White has yet to officially announce a stateside broadcast partner.
Fuel TV to air 'UFC Tonight' weekly show
Fuel TV's package of content for the Ultimate Fighting Championship will include once-a-week news show.
UFC Tonight will start Jan. 3 as a weekly 30-minute program, said George Greenberg, executive vice president and general manager of Fuel. Todd Harris will be the host, with lightweight fighter and Kenny Florian as the co-host.
Jay Glazer will contribute weekly features. Ariel Helwani will have an "Insider" role similar to that of Glazer on Fox's NFL pregame show, reporting news and acting as UFC Tonight's man on the scene at UFC events.
Harris was the play-by-play announcer for World Extreme Cagefighting. Florian has been a studio analyst for ESPN's MMA Live program since its inception in 2008.
Glazer was part of the team on Fox Sports Net's highlight shows for Pride Fighting Championships and took part in the pre-fight coverage for last month's UFC on Fox premiere. He also was on the broadcast crew for an Affliction Entertainment's show in July 2008.
Helwani started covering MMA as an online journalist in 2006 and has been with the MMA Fighting site since 2009. He has become the sport's most popular reporter, winning "Journalist of the Year" for the last two years in the World MMA Awards, which are decided by online voting.
Content for UFC Tonight will include interviews, more access to fighters and exclusive angles for fight footage, said Greenberg, who described the program as the "official vessel" for UFC news and information.
The show will be weekly for the first six months. "If we like what we see, it could go a couple of nights a week to possibly every night of the week, depending on performance," Greenberg said...
Alistair Overeem granted conditional license for UFC 141, facing four drug tests
For now, at least, former Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem (35-11 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will face Brock Lesnar (5-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) in the main event of December's UFC 141 event.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission today granted Overeem a conditional license to face Lesnar on Dec. 30, subject to a pre-fight drug test to be submitted in Europe within the next 72 hours, as well as an additional screen submitted in the U.S. when the Dutch heavyweight arrives for the contest.
Overeem's conditional license also includes two post-fight drug screen orders, to be completed less than six months after the bout.
The decision was made during Monday's Nevada State Athletic Commission monthly meeting, which took place at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building in Las Vegas.
Overeem's status for the bout was in doubt after he failed to comply with out-of-competition testing ordered by the NSAC on Nov. 17...
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Satoshi Ishii headlines 'DREAM: New Year! 2011'
Fedor Emelianenko (32-4) is returning to Japan.
A long-rumored bout between the former PRIDE heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medalist Satoshi Ishii (4-1-1) is expected to headline a New Year's Eve event in Japan featuring two DREAM title bouts and the completion of the DREAM bantamweight tournament.
The full card for "DREAM: Fight for Japan: Genkidesuka!! Oomisoka!! 2011!" includes:
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Satoshi Ishii
Champ Shinya Aoki vs. Satoru Kitaoka (for lightweight title)
Champ Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Takeshi "Lion" Inoue (for featherweight title)
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Kazuyuki Miyata
Yuichiro Nagashima vs. Katsunori Kikuno (mixed-rules bout)
Rodolfo Marques Diniz vs. Bibiano Fernandes (bantamweight grand-prix semifinal)
Antonio Banuelos vs. Masakazu Imanari (bantamweight grand-prix semifinal)
Hideo Tokoro vs. Yusup Saadulaev (bantamweight grand-prix reserve match)
Ryo Chonan vs. Hayato Sakurai
Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Peter Aerts (pro-wrestling match)