Strikeforce import Lavar Johnson meets Joey Beltran at UFC on FOX 2
The Strikeforce heavyweights are coming.
Less than one week after UFC president Dana White announced that Strikeforce would no longer be promoting heavyweight contests, UFC executives today announced Lavar Johnson (15-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has been imported to the UFC and will meet Joey Beltran (13-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC).
The two heavyweights will clash at UFC on FOX 2, which takes place Jan. 28 at Chicago's United Center.
The night's main card airs on FOX, but Beltran vs. Johnson is expected to take place on the evening's preliminary card.
Koch Out of UFC 143 Showdown with Poirier Due to Injury
Erik Koch has suffered an unspecified injury and will be unable to compete at UFC 143, promotion officials announced Tuesday.
Koch was scheduled to lock horns with fellow featherweight prospect Dustin Poirier at the Feb. 4 event, which will be headlined by an interim welterweight title bout between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit. The search for Koch’s replacement is currently underway.
UFC 141's Alistair Overeem passes drug test, cleared for PPV headliner
Next week's UFC 141 main event will remain intact.
After issues with a recent Nevada State Athletic Commission-mandated drug test, Alistair Overeem (35-11 MMA, 0-0 UFC) finally has taken and passed a test and been cleared to compete against Brock Lesnar (5-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC).
UFC president Dana White first hinted at the news today via Twitter, and an official later confirmed the passed test with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"Overeem is ready to go!!!" White tweeted. "Lesnar vs Overeem is on!"
Ronnie Mann joins Bellator's season-six featherweight tourney
Ronnie Mann (21-4-1 MMA, 3-1 BFC) is joining a second Bellator tournament.
The English fighter, who posted a semifinal finish during the "Summer Series" tournament earlier this year, has joined the season-six featherweight tourney.
Bellator officials recently announced his participation in the eight-man field, which kicks off in March on MTV2.
As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) reported Monday, WEC and IFL veteran Wagnney Fabiano (14-3 MMA, 0-0 BFC) also is slated for the field.
Mann, a former Cage Rage and World Victory Road/Sengoku fighter, joined Bellator earlier this year. After knocking out Adam Schindler in the opening round of the "Summer Series" tourney, he suffered a decision loss to Pat Curran in the semifinals and was bounced from the tournament.
Brock: I've had the same PED accusations as Overeem my whole life
As a massive heavyweight who cuts weight to make the 265-pound heavyweight limit, Brock Lesnar is no stranger to questions regarding performance-enhancing substance use.
But as he prepares for his UFC 141 contest with former Strikeforce titleholder Alistair Overeem, all the question marks have been centered around his chiseled Dutch opponent.
"I've been dealing with the same accusations my whole life," Lesnar said. "Being part of the spotlight and being I guess with the Internet and everything these days – and being social media and everybody knows everything – it's part of the lifestyle. It comes with the territory. I've been used to it for many years now."
"Obviously, it's kind of hard to get away, but I've pretty much centralized myself with pretty much just my family on my ranch, and so I really don't know what's going on in the outside scheme of things. Right now, I'm focused on the fight and my family and the holidays and trying to live a somewhat normal life, you know, other than being a UFC fighter. You've got to be able to manage everything and stay on top of what's most important, and that's the fight and my family and the holiday right now.
Herb Dean hoped Nogueira would submit before break
In professional mixed martial arts a referee is only trained to react after damage has been done, not to prevent it when a submission is being applied. The thought being that these two professionals are being paid a lot of money sometimes and can make their own decision on whether or not to submit.
That said, referees can still have opinions and thoughts on what they hope happens, and more often than not would prefer to see each combatant make it through a fight without serious injury.
UFC 141's Lesnar relates to Overeem's plight but unconcerned with potential distractions.
As a massive 6-foot-3 heavyweight who cuts weight to make the 265-pound heavyweight limit, former UFC champion Brock Lesnar (5-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) is no stranger to questions regarding performance-enhancing substance use.
But as he prepares for his UFC 141 contest with former Strikeforce titleholder Alistair Overeem (35-11 MMA, 0-0 UFC), all the question marks have been centered around his chiseled Dutch opponent.
Pay no mind, says Lesnar. When you're in the spotlight, you can expect some scrutiny. A shot at UFC heavyweight champ Junior Dos Santos hangs in the balance, and there's simply no time for distractions.
Overeem ready for UFC 141 'dream fight,' looks forward to future bout with Dos Santos
While much of the buildup for next week's year-end UFC 141 event has focused on the health of Brock Lesnar (5-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) and the licensing difficulties of Alistair Overeem (35-11 MMA, 0-0 UFC), the two massive heavyweights aren't really interested in addressing those topics.
Instead, both fighters insist their focus is entirely on what will happen when the cage door closes behind them
The intriguing clash of superstars is sure to have Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena abuzz, and Overeem promises to deliver a show. After all, he's happy to take part in this "dream fight," and he looks forward to meeting the champion, as well.
"I'm very happy with the opportunity I got fighting Brock," Overeem today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on a conference call promoting the event. "I think it's a dream match for not only myself but for the fans, as well."
Kenny Florian eager to make lightweight return in 2012, eyes one more run at UFC gold
"Dropping to the featherweight division was way too much for my body to handle. The Diego Nunes fight was the worst I've ever felt on a weigh-in day. Luckily, I felt better on fight day and was able to pull out a victory. But, against Aldo it was a brutal weight cut, and I really didn't feel too great heading into the fight. In result, I had some medical issues I had to deal with. I had a thyroid issue that was based on the drastic weight loss. Those are the things you kind of ignore as a fighter, but it became very real to me after the fight. I'll now be moving and staying at lightweight. I feel that I have all the skills to get it done. I've had different issues over the course of my career, but I'm capable of doing it. It's just going out there and getting it done. I have some injuries I'm going to let heal for the next two months. Once those things clear up, I'm looking forward to getting back on the race to the title. I'm hoping it would be a well-respected, top guy in the lightweight division. But, right now I don't have anyone in mind. I have a back injury that I'm letting heal up. As soon as that's cleared, I'll start talking to the UFC about possible opponents. I think my career has a few more great years and fights left."
- Kenny Florian
UFC Cuts Cole Escovedo
Lost amidst the Strikeforce/Showtime extension and busy weekend in combat sports was the news the UFC has cut bantamweight Cole Escovedo, confirmed by the fighter via Twitter.
He made his UFC debut in May, losing a unanimous decision to Renan Barao at UFC 130. He followed that up with a second round TKO loss to Takeya Mizugaki at September's UFC 135 and a unanimous decision defeat to Alex Caceres at November's UFC on Fox 1.
The 30-year-old is the answer to a minor MMA trivia question as he was the WEC's first featherweight champion, winning the belt back in October 2002 with a first round submission win over Philip Perez. He defended the title successfully once before losing the belt to some guy named Urijah Faber nearly four years later, the first WEC title reign for the "California Kid".
Gilbert Melendez Says He has Done More Than Ben Henderson to Earn Title Shot
"I don't feel like I shouldn't be in this position, I'm not crying about my position but I think I've done more than Ben Henderson," told Fighting Famous TV. "You know, these guys were on The Ultimate Fighter - I was already fighting in PRIDE and ranked top three in the world but some people just don't understand that.
"I'm not trying to be a cry baby again, but I just know my history and I've been there. I've already hit these bumps in the road and come back. Some of these guys haven't hit that bump in the road where they have to reinvent themselves and I've already hit that and they're still going to hit that."
- Gilbert Melendez
Frank Mir: Strikeforce heavyweights add much needed depth to UFC roster
Mir talks to ESPN 1100/98.9 FM's "MMA Insiders" show (via Yahoo Sports):
"We don't have the type of depth that the other weight classes have and I think it's only a benefit to move them (Strikeforce heavyweights) over to us. I guess I have a bad taste in my mouth because of what happened when I first started my career. I had to always hear about, 'Oh, you guys are good, but the PRIDE guys would kick your butt.' There is no comparison and then that frustration of not being able to get to them. And then when Nogueira came over and Mirko, ( I ) got a hold of them. 'Yeah, but there is still Fedor.' I don't want to hear that. I want to know that anybody that is in the division, it's like if you think you can beat me, 'Hey Joe Silva, is he clear?' Okay, cool, let's fight. Now we can solve it you know? That whole unattainable thing just drives me insane."
I Take On Bloody Elbow's Shoddy Journalism About Miesha Tate In An Article Of My Own
You have to love a journalist that fails to do their due diligence. Bloody Elbow’s Brent Brookhouse recently wrote an article about Gilbert Melendez and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos being the new “face” of Strikeforce, but in his article he “quoted,” and I use the term loosely, Miesha Tate.
Brookhouse asserts “Tate said something that made no sense to me when she insisted that if women's MMA needs a ‘face’ that it means that the sport will never make it. That's an incredible detachment from the reality of combat sports.” The entire article can be found below.
UFC 141: Brock Lesnar promises fans 'the same guy who beat Frank Mir to a pulp' against Alistair Overeem
Look, I've had a great camp. This is the best I have felt in years and lardy-lardy-da... I could go through all the clichés about how in shape I am but the fact is, I know myself and my own body and I know that I am back. I am 100%. I am as fast, as strong and as explosive as I've ever been and you're going to see the same guy who beat Frank Mir to a pulp at UFC 100. If I go in and execute my game-plan, then I am winning this fight. That’s the bottom line here. Overeem says he is knocking me out in two rounds. Well, I am glad he has the ability to see the future. That’s his dream. I have my own dreams of winning this fight and going on to get my belt back. And on Friday December 30 his dream will be over.The surgically repaired Lesnar (5-2) is coming off a first round shellacking at the hands of former division champion Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 back in October 2010. It was Brock's first loss inside the Octagon since serving up a ham-hock to Mir in his Octagon debut at UFC 81 way back in February 2008."
M-1 Global doesn't want Fedor Emelianenko to fight mediocre fighters ...
"At this moment, for us, the key thing is the level of the opponent, and not how much we get paid. I can say that if we were unable to agree with Ishii, we wouldn't participate in this tournament. We had concurrent offers with other DREAM fighters, but this is not for Fedor's level, and we didn't want to have a fight with mediocre fighters, taking a step backwards. We want to be taking steps forward and we will follow this in the future. We want to have three fights. One in Russia, one in Europe, and one in the USA. We really want to get a rematch with Werdum, but he is locked up in the prison called UFC, and because of that arranging for him to fight Fedor would be very difficult. Dana White is like a dog on hay -- he neither eats it himself, nor lets the others eat it. There are many other good fighters, whom we are considering. For instance, Josh Barnett. We need to wait for the Strikeforce heavyweight tournament to end and then we can see how likely it is that we can arrange a fight."
Replacement Caio Magalhaes meets Fabio Maldonado at UFC 142 in Brazil
UFC newcomer and replacement fighter Caio Magalhaes had been added to next month's UFC 142 event, UFC officials today announced.
Magalhaes (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) replaces previously scratched Stanislov Nedkov (12-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and now meets light heavyweight Fabio Maldonado (18-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) at the show.
Featuring a featherweight title fight between current champion Jose Aldo and undefeated contender Chad Mendes, UFC 142 takes place Jan. 14 at Rio de Janeiro's HSBC Arena.
UFC 142's main card airs on pay-per-view, and the prelims, including Magalhaes vs. Maldonado, air on FX.
Travis Marx is final entrant in Bellator's Season 6 Bantamweight tourney
Veteran fighter Travis Marx is the eighth and final addition to Bellator's season-six bantamweight tournament.
Marx (18-3 MMA, 0-0 BFC), a veteran of the Jackson's MMA Series and Jeremy Horn's Elite Fight Night organizations, is one of the field's most experienced competitors.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed his tourney participation with sources close to the fight.
The Bellator tourney kicks off in March on MTV2.
Marx, a former member of the Utah Highway Patrol, now lives in New Mexico and is part of Team Jackson-Winkeljohn in Albuquerque. The 33-year-old is a three-time Utah high-school state wrestling champion who later wrestled at Ricks College, where he finished third in the 2001 NJCAA national tournament. MMA fans may remember as a featured fighter in the TapouT TV series.
White hints at GSP or Jones farewell for Anderson Silva.
Dana White has hinted that he would like Anderson Silva's final fight to be against either Jon Jones or Georges St-Pierre.
Silva is widely recognised to be heading into the final fights of his career, with speculation over whether he has two, four or even more bouts left in his tank.
EXCLUSIVE: Junie Browning Says He is in Hiding, Seeks U.S. Embassy Help
Former UFC lightweight Junie Browning is in hiding in fear for his life after an altercation in Thailand that left the 26-year-old fighter with multiple injuries. Injured and scared overseas, Browning is in seclusion, calling for help from the U.S. Embassy to get him back home.
Browning was involved in a bar fight on Dec. 12 in Phuket, Thailand. Reports quickly surfaced that Browning was a fugitive on the run being sought after by local authorities. Browning challenged those claims to MMAWeekly.com on Sunday.
“I was in fact the victim in this case, and it is important I am able to tell my side of the story and provide you with pictures and evidence to support it. There was an attempt to end my life and I am begging for help from the U.S. Embassy.”
Jamie Varner signs multi-fight deal with the XFC
(Tampa, FL) Xtreme Fighting Championships (XFC), the Southeast’s largest Mixed Martial Arts promotion is proud to announce the signing of Jamie Varner. The former WEC lightweight champion has signed a new, multi-fight agreement with the promotion and will make his next appearance at XFC 16:High Stakes, live on HDNet on Feb. 10th at the Civic Coliseum in Knoxville, TN .
Universally recognized as one of the top lightweights in the world, Varner (18-6-1) is not only a dynamic striker, but has slick submission skills as well. Varner has built a reputation for finishing fights throughout his career. In 18 victories, ‘C-4' has finished 12 opponents in the first round. Only two of his wins came from the judge’s scorecards.