Roy Nelson vs. Stipe Miocic added to UFC 161
With the loss of UFC 161's planned headliner between Renan Barao (30-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) and Eddie Wineland (20-8-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC), Ultimate Fighting Championship officials looked to add some firepower to the event's lineup. Roy Nelson (19-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC) and Stipe Miocic (9-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) answered the call.
USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed with UFC President Dana White that Nelson and Miocic have agreed to meet on the main card of the event, which takes place June 15 at MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Rashad Evans (17-3-1 MMA, 12-3-1 UFC) vs. Dan Henderson (29-9 MMA, 6-3 UFC) now headlines the card.
Gegard Mousasi leaning heavily towards middleweight, wants Vitor Belfort or other top contender
Gegard Mousasi is currently rehabbing his injured knee, but when he returns, the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion may very well be fighting in a brand new division.
"There's a big chance that I will go to middleweight," Mousasi revealed to MMAFighting.com "It all depends on the fights that I'm going to get. If I'm going to get a big name at middleweight, I'll probably go down.
"It's all about matchups. Let's say they're going to give me somebody like Vitor Belfort that's maybe a contender. That's the kind of fight I want."
Mousasi fought much of his early career in Japan at middleweight, and easily tipped the scales at 204 pounds without cutting weight for his UFC debut.
In the past, the 27-year-old believed dropping back down would've been a dicey proposition, but after considering the way he's recently trained and the ease with which he's lost weight, he's now confident it won't be a problem.
"To be honest, I believe middleweight will be much better for me," Mousasi said. "I will give my opponent less advantages. But at the end of the day it's all about skills. That doesn't mean that size advantages always win, but like I've said, in the highest level, you don't want to give the slightest edge to your opponent. Everyone is skilled, everyone has abilities. So that's why I think middleweight will be much more suitable to my body frame.
"It's all about the opportunity," he continued. "I really want to go for this belt. I believe that style-wise, matchup-wise, I matchup much better against Anderson Silva than Jon Jones, but it doesn't mean that I'm scared to fight at 205. Jon Jones is skilled and so is Anderson Silva, but at the highest levels, when you're competing against the top levels, you don't want to give anybody an advantage. So I don't want to give a weight and size difference advantage also. That's why I said middleweight."
Mousasi is currently ahead of schedule in his recovery from injury and is targeting a late-2013 comeback to the Octagon. When he returns, the Dutch-Armenian fighter hopes to immediately make up for lost time.
"My focus is to get to the belt as soon as possible," said Mousasi. "I‘ve done the route of [waiting]. I don't have those things that other fighters complain about, jetlag and days off. I don't have those issues. I never have. So I'm just looking for big fights.
"The fight I had last (Ilir Latifi), the guy wasn't known, he wasn't ranked. It doesn't mean anything. But I have a history. I only haven't fought in UFC, but I have a history. People come and get immediate title shots. I don't think that's going to be the case for me, but I've beaten champions, ex-champions. So it's all about one, maybe two big names and then I hope to get a title shot."
With Renan Barao hurt, Rashad Evans vs. Dan Henderson headlines UFC 161
As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) previously reported, UFC interim champ Renan Barao is injured and out of next month's UFC 161 event. With little time to find a suitable replacement, the night's co-feature between Rashad Evans (17-3-1 MMA, 12-3-1 UFC) and Dan Henderson (29-9 MMA, 6-3 UFC) has been promoted to headlining status.
UFC officials today made the change. Evans vs. Henderson remains a three-round bout.
Bellator champ Ben Askren faces Andrey Koreshkov on July 31 in New Mexico
Bellator welterweight champ Ben Askren (11-0 MMA, 8-0 BFC) puts his title on the line against Andrey Koreshkov (13-0 MMA, 5-0 BFC) on Wednesday, July 31 as the promotion visits Albuquerque's Santa Ana Center.
The event, which is expected to serve as "Bellator 97: Askren vs. Koreshkov," is the second announced card for the company's upcoming Summer Series.
Chael dishes on Couture, Silva and Wrestling...
MMA H.E.A.T.'s Karyn Bryant caught up with UFC superstar light heavyweight Chael Sonnen at the United 4 Wrestling event in Los Angeles and talked to him about his desire to see wrestling continue as an Olympic sport. Chael also talks about how wrestling builds character, the celebrity match he was hoping to have against UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture and the possibility of fighting Wanderlei Silva in Boston on the 1st UFC on FOX Sports 1 show.
- - Another gem from yours truly....you are welcome - -
Sergio Moraes faces Neil Magny at UFC 163: Aldo vs. Pettis
Another 'American vs. Brazilian' matchup looks set for UFC 163: Aldo vs. Pettis as Sergio Moraes faces Neil Magny in a welterweight scrap. Headlined by a featherweight title fight between UFC champion Jose Aldo and Anthony Pettis, UFC 163 also boasts an exciting bout between welterweights Demian Maia and Josh Koscheck. UFC 163 takes place Aug. 3, 2013 from HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.