UFC boss still expects Daniel Cormier to move to light heavyweight
While the UFC's featherweight division has been the focus of fighters dropping weight classes, UFC President Dana White believes the light-heavyweight division could soon have a new addition.
Most notably, he's optimistic recent Strikeforce import Daniel Cormier (10-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) could soon make the drop from heavyweight.
"I think he's awesome," White said. "But at 205 (pounds), I think he'd be a beast."
Up first, of course, is Cormier's co-headliner with fellow heavyweight contender Frank Mir (16-6 MMA, 14-6 UFC) at April's UFC on FOX 7 event. If victorious, it could put the Olympian and Strikeforce world heavyweight grand-prix champion on a collision course with UFC heavyweight titleholder and current training partner Cain Velasquez (11-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC), who meets Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva (18-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) in May at UFC 160.
Injury again delays Held-Jansen lightweight final to Bellator 93
An undisclosed injury to Marcin Held has forced Bellator to again delay the finals of its Season 7 lightweight tournament, which was set to take place next month at Bellator 92.
Multiple sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Held (15-2 MMA, 4-1 BFC) now will square off with Dave Jansen (19-2 MMA, 5-0 BFC) at Bellator 93, which takes place March 21 at Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.
A replacement for Bellator 92's headliner isn't set.
UFC on Fuel TV 7 - Post fight quotes
Renan Barao vs Michael McDonald
Renan Barao: "The fight was great. McDonald is a good fighter and I'm pleased with the result. I knew he would be a tough opponent. I felt great coming into the fight, very confident with myself and with my team and I had great expectations.
"In the run up to the fight I kept my normal work outs and training but I have improved my physical condition a lot which has helped. I also worked on my boxing and ju jitsu. The crowd were excited, they cheered me on. I'm going home to Brazil to relax for a bit, see my friends and spend some time on the beach now after the win."
Michael McDonald: "I feel like I have to go study a little bit, everything I do is about learning and I know how much my first defeat helped me. I know how much a better fighter it made me so i'll just have to go back to the drawing board.
"Before the fight I worked on everything, it's one thing i'm particular on. Now I'll just go back and keep working hard."
Despite Strong UFC 158 Promotional Start, Dana White Says Nick Diaz Blowing Off Countdown
UFC president Dana White knew what he was in for when he signed Nick Diaz to fight Georges St-Pierre at UFC 158 on March 16 in Montreal.
In a perfect world, the Stocktonian bad boy, returning from a yearlong suspension after testing positive for marijuana metabolites, would meet his promotional obligations with at least half the vigor with which he trains and fights. But White knew that wasn’t even a remote possibility.
UFC on Fuel 7 results: Wineland wants next shot
Renan Barao successfully defended the UFC interim bantamweight title today, submitting Michael McDonald in the 4th round with an arm-triangle choke. It's likely that Barao will have to defend his belt at least once while Dominick Cruz continues to recover from his knee injury. Immediately following the Barao/McDonald fight, Eddie Wineland made it clear on Twitter that he wants the next title shot.
Eddie Wineland ? @EddieWineland
I WANT TO FIGHT BARAO!!! Please?? =)
11:17 PM - 16 Feb 13
53 RETWEETS 16 FAVORITES Reply
'RFA 7: Thatch vs. Silva' set for March 22 with Njokuani, Pettis, NFL vet Veal
The main card is set for RFA Fighting's next event as "RFA 7: Thatch vs. Silva" takes place March 22 at 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colo.
Following the announcement of an extended broadcast deal, RFA 7 airs live on AXS TV.
The latest RFA 7 card includes:
Leandro "Bata" Silva vs. Brandon Thatch
Jeremy Kimball vs. Chidi Njokuani
Matt Manzanares vs. Sergio Pettis
Mirsad Bektic vs. Nick Macias
Alex Huddleston vs. Leandro Veal
TUF 17 Finale Adds Maximo Blanco vs. Sam Sicilia
Just a few days removed from announcing that Demetrious Johnson would make the next defense of his UFC flyweight title in the headlining bout of the TUF 17 Finale on April 13, the fight card continues to grow.
Maximo Blanco and Sam Sicilia have agreed to a featherweight bout, according to MMAWeekly.com sources close to the fight.
Cris "Cyborg" Justino signs with Invicta
Cris "Cyborg" Justino, the former Strikeforce women's 145-pound champion who was just released this week by the UFC, has signed with the Invicta Fighting Championships and will debut on their next show on April 5.
Cyborg (10-1, 1 no-contest) hasn't fought since her Dec. 17, 2011 title defense against Hiroko Yamanaka, which she originally won via TKO in just 16 seconds. That win was overturned when the muscular Brazilian tested positive for the veterinary steroid Stanozolol.
Cyborg's manager, Tito Ortiz, made the official announcement Friday night at a press conference in Huntington Beach, Calif. Ortiz unveiled a poster for the Invicta show, which listed Cyborg as facing Ediane Gomes (10-2), a Brazilian who now lives in Coconut Creek, Fla. At the press conference, neither Ortiz nor Cyborg ever mentioned Gomes' name. The poster stated "live on pay-per-view" at the bottom, although neither Ortiz, nor Invicta in its release, made any mention of pay-per-view.
Johny Hedricks: GSP lit a fire underneath me
Johny Hendricks chats with Ray and Patrick about the UFC welterweight division. He talks about his toughest fights to date, clearing out the division and preparing for Jake Ellenberger. Surely if Johny wins this fight his next fight has to be for the welterweight title.
Josh Thomson Feels He Can Beat Nate Diaz Anywhere the Fight Goes
Now that Strikeforce is over and done with, their roster of fighters can look forward to competing inside the Octagon and enjoying all the perks that come with it. The UFC is not wasting any time matching many of them up against some of the best fighters that they have to offer. One of those fighters is Josh Thomson who will be welcomed back to the organiation with a fight against a former number one contender.
Thomson will be facing former UFC lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz in San Jose on UFC on Fox 7 this May. It will be like old times as the event will be held in San Jose, the site of so many Strikeforce cards. Taking on a quality opponent like Diaz is something that Thomson asked for. As the old saying goes, ask and you shall receive.
Vinny Magalhaes picks Sonnen to beat Jones by decision
In order to accomplish goals you have to be willing to call shots and make things happen. Rarely will anyone just give you what you want, sometimes you have to step up and grab the bull by the horns. That is exactly what UFC light heavyweight Vinny Magalhaes did when he called out top ranked contender Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis and got his wish granted for a fight with the former Penn State Nittany Lion at UFC 159 in New Jersey.
A finalist on TUF season 8, Magalhaes recently returned to the UFC with a submission win over Igor Pokrajac at UFC 152 after being released from the organization in 2009 following consecutive losses. Magalhaes is currently riding a six fight win-streak but Davis believes that the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace is not worthy of fighting him. Words have been exchanged between the two and things are certainly heating up.
We recently spoke with Magalhaes on BJPenn.com Radio about the matchup. We also got his thoughts on the main event of that card between light heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones and close friend and training partner Chael Sonnen.
Renan Barao: The Best is Yet to Come
Monday, February 11th - while the majority of the people living in Brazil are partying for the popular Carnival, one man is hitting pads in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro in preparation to defend his interim bantamweight title on Saturday in London. That man is Renan Barão.
Of course, Barão is a UFC fighter who is aware of his responsibilities, and he doesn't complain about that fact. He knows the job he needs to do against number one contender Michael McDonald in the main event of UFC on FUEL TV 7 at Wembley Arena. Seeing his teammates celebrating during the popular Brazilian party was a bit tough to deal with though.
"It’s hard to explain to outsiders what Carnival is here in Brazil," he says. "The party is great and is such a national party. I'm okay with the fact that I'm not involved, but seeing my friends and teammates leaving the training sessions and going straight to these parties around Rio de Janeiro is funny. I hope my party will be after I defend my belt successfully against McDonald."
Even though Barão is 100% focused on his job, it seems that with his Nova União peers enjoying the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, his training can't be explored to its maximum. But Barão says he's not alone on his quest, and the friends that are partying are just a small part of the crew.
"The great part of being a Nova União member is that you've got several of the guys preparing themselves for MMA shows," he said, assuring his fans that he will be ready for battle. "So while there can be one guy who doesn’t have a fight scheduled, so his routine is less tough, we've got six or seven guys ready to give you a full hand at training sessions because they're going to fight soon and can't take it easy.
Michael McDonald: Man on a Mission
If Michael McDonald defeats interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao this Saturday in London and becomes the youngest titleholder in UFC history, many people may ask to see the Californian’s birth certificate, because it’s hard to believe that he’s only 22 years old.
And that’s not just a reflection on his fighting ability, which has resulted in 15 wins out of 16 pro fights, four of them coming in the UFC, but on his maturity outside the Octagon and his approach to the sport. Truth be told though, while he’s just 22 chronologically, in fight years, he’s a grizzled vet.
“I think now I have about 10-12 years invested into this sport,” said McDonald, who turned pro in 2007 at the age of 16. “A lot of people ask me about my age, and it’s not really a factor. It’s more of a factor when you’re 16 or something like that. But once you reach around 18 to 20, all it is is how much time your mind has had to progress in martial arts and just whether your body can carry out your knowledge. And my knowledge of martial arts is vast, and now at 22, my body is as capable as anybody else’s is, whether they’re 25, 30, or 35, or whatever. My body is just as capable as theirs, and my knowledge is just as much as theirs as well.”
Setting The Record Straight: Dana White on the removal of wrestling from the Olympics
Earlier today, BJPenn.com posted a quote from UFC president Dana White, in regards to wrestling being removed from the Olympics starting in 2020. The quote from White stated, “this sport draws, wrestling doesn’t”. While he did in fact say those words, it’s important to see all of what he said in the way it was intended. Besides immediately calling it’s removal “crazy”, he talked about how great the sport is, skill wise for MMA, and how life changing it’s been for many wrestlers. He also spoke about how this could be the natural evolution of MMA, and that it could be the beginning of MMA in the Olympics. All of this was in regards to being television friendly, selling tickets, and from an entertainment perspective. How the whole statement actually reads is, ”The problem is nobody wants to watch it. Any sport especially these days, it’s about selling tickets, and eyeballs, and viewers and all these other things.” ”What this could be is the evolution of mixed martial arts becoming an Olympic sport,” White said. “We bring spectators, eyeballs, whether it’s on TV or whatever it is this sport draws, wrestling doesn’t.”
Sonnen tips McDonald to cause upset in London
Chael Sonnen has made his picks for Saturday's UFC London event, and he is backing Michael McDonald to stun Renan Barao in the main event.
McDonald, at 22 years of age, steps into the Octagon at Wembley Arena hoping to become the UFC's youngest champion by snatching Barao's interim bantamweight belt.
Barao is the favourite and boasts slick striking skills allied to a dangerous ground game. He has won his last 29 fights and recently told ESPN he will finish McDonald via submission.
However, Sonnen is backing the challenger who arguably has greater knockout power. McDonald is utterly unpredictable inside the Octagon, telling ESPN he has "no strategy whatsoever", and is yet to lose in the UFC.