Burrell-Villefort added to UFC 157; McGee-Neer moves to main card
With the Chad Mendes-Manny Gamburyan fight off UFC 157, a new welterweight bout has stepped up to fill the gap.
Strikeforce imports Nah-Shon Burrell (8-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Yuri Villefort (6-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will meet later this month. UFC officials on Monday announced the new booking.
In addition, with the loss of Mendes-Gamburyan opening up a spot on the main card, a middleweight bout between Court McGee (14-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Josh Neer (33-12-1 MMA, 6-8 UFC) has moved up from the preliminary card to the pay-per-view.
Sarnavskiy out of lightweight semis; Fischer gets Rickels rematch at Bellator 91
A broken hand will keep Alexander "Tiger" Sarnavskiy from the Bellator Season 8 lightweight tournament semifinals, and Jason Fischer will get a shot at redemption for the lone loss of his career.
Sarnavskiy (22-1 MMA, 2-1 BFC) was scheduled to face David Rickels (12-1 MMA, 6-1) at Bellator 91 later this month, with the winner advancing to the tournament finals. Instead, Fischer (6-1 MMA, 3-1 BFC) steps in to take his place in what will be a rematch from this past November.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney announced the news on Monday.
Bellator 91 takes place Feb. 28 at Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, N.M. The main card airs on Spike TV following prelims on Spike.com. The card features a light heavyweight title fight between champion Christian M'Pumbu (18-4-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) and recent tournament winner Attila Vegh (28-4-2 MMA, 4-0 BFC).
Manager says Chad Mendes will be back in April, may get bigger UFC fight
Mike Roberts on Monday said Chad Mendes (13-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is likely to reappear in April following the cancellation of his fight with Manny Gamburyan (12-7 MMA, 1-2 UFC) at UFC 157.
The manager also disputed a rumor that the onetime title challenger had turned down an offer to fight former Strikeforce lightweight Justin Wilcox (11-5).
"Any rumor that's out there saying that me or Chad turned down any fight is completely, 100 percent false," Roberts told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "There's not a huge line of people that want to fight Chad, especially on two weeks' (notice)."
Demetrious Johnson defends UFC flyweight title vs. John Moraga at TUF 17 Finale
Just about two weeks after his successful first title defense, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson has his next assignment.
Johnson (17-2-1 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC) will face John Moraga (12-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) in April at the TUF 17 Finale in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Review-Journal on Monday first reported the news, and UFC officials later confirmed the matchup.
Sources close to the Johnson camp also confirmed the fight to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). The event takes place at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and airs on FX, FUEL TV and Facebook.
Second UFC women's fight set: Miesha Tate meets Cat Zingano at TUF 17 Finale
At long last, the UFC has booked its second women's fight.
Former Strikeforce bantamweight champion Miesha Tate (13-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will face Cat Zingano (7-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in April at the TUF 17 Finale. UFC officials on Monday announced the matchup.
The TUF 17 Finale takes place April 13 at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The event is expected to have a main card on FX following prelims on FUEL TV.
UFC 160 slated for May 25 in Las Vegas on Memorial Day weekend
The UFC has requested a May 25 fight date for its annual Memorial Day weekend card in Las Vegas, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned.
UFC officials have requested the date with the Nevada State Athletic Commission for a pay-per-view event at MGM Grand Garden Arena. The event would be targeted as UFC 160 and would be expected to feature 12 fights on the card.
NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer confirmed to MMAjunkie.com via email that the UFC has put in for that date and location.
Though the event has not been formally approved by the NSAC, based on the UFC's history in Las Vegas it is not likely to be turned down.
No fights have been announced or rumored for the event, though four of the UFC's past six Memorial Day weekend shows in Las Vegas have featured a title fight.
UFC on FUEL TV 7's Danny Castillo calls on Nate Diaz for triangle-choke help
When you want to learn how to escape a triangle choke, it's best to contact someone who specializes in putting people in them.
For UFC lightweight Danny Castillo (14-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC), that was Nate Diaz, who helped him prepare for Paul Sass (13-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) ahead of Saturday's UFC on FUEL TV 7 event, which takes place at Wembley Arena in London.
"He pretty much just ran me through a seminar on technique," Castillo told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
Castillo vs. Sass is part on the Facebook-streamed preliminary card before main-card fights on FUEL TV.
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Travis Browne booked for The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale
A heavyweight bout between Gabriel Gonzaga (14-6 MMA, 9-5 UFC) and Travis Browne (13-1-1 MMA, 4-1-1 UFC) will take place in April at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale.
UFC President Dana White today announced that verbal agreements are in place for the bout.
As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported, The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas hosts the April 13 event, which includes a main card on FX and prelims on FUEL TV and Facebook.
Gonzaga vs. Browne likely will be part of the main card.
UFC on FUEL TV 7's fight card and start time for Saturday
The UFC returns this week with an overseas title fight with Saturday's UFC on FUEL TV 7 event.
The event takes place at the 12,500-seat Wembley Arena in London, and UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao (29-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) meets Michael McDonald (19-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) in the headliner.
Saturday's card kicks off with Facebook prelims at 12:15 p.m. ET (9:15 a.m. ET), and the main card follows on FUEL TV at 3 p.m. ET.
MAIN (FUEL TV, 3 p.m. ET)
Champ Renan Barao vs. Michael McDonald - for interim bantamweight title
Dustin Poirier vs. Cub Swanson
Cyrille Diabate vs. Jimi Manuwa
Gunnar Nelson vs. Jorge Santiago
Ryan Jimmo vs. James Te Huna
Che Mills vs. Matthew Riddle
PRELIMINARY (Facebook, 12:15 p.m. ET)
Terry Etim vs. Renee Forte
Danny Castillo vs. Paul Sass
Josh Grispi vs. Andy Ogle
Stanislav Nedkov vs. Tom Watson
Vaughan Lee vs. Motonobu Tezuka
Ulysses Gomez vs. Phil Harris
Top free agent Georgi Karakhanyan ready to hear more offers, including UFC's
With a sterling 20-3-1 record, a six-fight win streak and a recent high-profile victory over DREAM champion Hiroyuki Takaya, featherweight Georgi Karakhanyan is ready to hear some offers.
The 27-year-old Armenian-American fighter has never looked so good to potential suitors. And though he's talking to a few organizations – including Bellator MMA, as well as GLORY for both MMA and kickboxing bouts – he's certainly open to a UFC deal, as well.
The spike in interest is largely due to the Takaya win, which followed Karakhanyan's Tachi Palace Fights title victory over Isaac DeJesus and a successful defense over Micah Miller.
Sonnen: Big gap between Jon Jones & Anderson Silva
Chael Sonnen has highlighted the almighty task facing him at UFC 159, insisting light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones is "considerably better" than Anderson Silva.
Silva is widely regarded as the greatest fighter on the planet, having set all manner of records as the promotion's middleweight champion, beating several 205-pounders along the way. He holds the most wins and title defences during a UFC career spanning seven years.
The Brazilian is frequently linked to a superfight with Jones, who looks equally as untouchable at light-heavyweight having beaten former champions in Mauricio Shogun Rua, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Rampage Jackson and Vitor Belfort.