K.J. Noons vs. Billy Evangelista targeted for 'Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal'
A welterweight bout originally planned for "Strikeforce: Miami" has materialized again for the promotion's next major event.
Multiple sources today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that onetime welterweight title challenger K.J. Noons (10-4 MMA, 2-2 SF) is targeted to meet Billy Evangelista (11-1 MMA, 7-1 SF) at "Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal," which takes place Dec. 17 at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego. The event's main card airs on Showtime while preliminary action is broadcast on HDNet.
Verbal agreements are in place for the bout, though contracts have yet to be signed. It's not yet known whether the bout will air as part of the event's main card or reside on the preliminary roster.
Noons and Evangelista both look to rebound from recent setbacks.
With undefeated 2011, Aaron Simpson open to another UFC fight before year's end
By the end of 2010, Aaron Simpson was stuck in a two-fight losing skid, and his UFC career was in jeopardy.
Twelve months later, he's riding a three-fight win streak and even willing to take a late-notice booking before year's end.
Welcome to the up-and-down world of a professional MMA fighter.
Simpson (11-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) defeated resilient middleweight Eric Schafer (12-6-2 MMA, 3-5 UFC) at this past Saturday's UFC 136 event. In a Facebook-streamed preliminary-card bout at Houston's Toyota Center, he beat down Schafer for three rounds en route to a 30-27 unanimous-decision victory.
Although he didn't get the finish, Simpson wasn't about to ignore the lesson he learned from a teammate who fought the jiu-jitsu ace in 2009.
Shark Fights 21 features Lashley-Schoonover, Bonello-Roberts title fights
The Texas-based Shark Fights promotion has announced a pair of championship bouts for next month's event.
Shark Fights 21 feature former WWE performer and Strikeforce vet Bobby Lashley (6-1) vs. Darrill Schoonover (11-5) for the heavyweight title and Tony Bonello (16-1-1) vs. David Roberts (5-8) for the light-heavyweight title.
Shark Fights 21 takes place Nov. 11 at Fair Park Coliseum in Lubbock, Texas.
The event airs via delay on FUEL TV on Dec. 23.
"This is going to be a huge night of fights," Shark Fights executive Wes Nolen stated. "We wanted to end the year strong with two championship fights in one night. Shark Fights is excited to be going back to Lubbock, Texas. The fans in Lubbock have always been supportive of Shark Fights, and we want to put on the biggest show possible for them."
Cage Warriors implements mandatory blood testing, steroid testing possible in future
With no regulatory body present, the U.K.-based Cage Warriors organization has implemented its own mandatory blood testing for all fighters.
Officials announced the plans on Tuesday.
Currently, the testing will be used to identify infections such as HIV and hepatitis B and C, but a Cage Warriors officials said it could be expanded to include additional testing, including steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.
The British Boxing Board of Control currently mandates blood testing, but the regulatory body oversees just boxing, not MMA. That's why the UFC regulates its own shows in the U.K. and why the organization has implemented its own blood testing.
Vinny Magalhaes eyes first M-1 Global title defense on heels of ADCC gold
The year 2011 has been a banner one for "The Ultimate Fighter 8" finalist Vinny Magalhaes.
So far he's registered four straight MMA wins (all finishes), captured the M-1 Global light-heavyweight title, and recently won a gold medal at the prestigious Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) Submission Wrestling World Championships.
The grappling tournament acted as a weekend getaway as Magalhaes finished up his training camp for his first title defense.
Magalhaes (8-5) is set to put his title on the line against Mikhail Zayats (14-5) on this Friday in the co-headliner of "M-1 Challenge 27: Garner vs. Grishin." The event takes place at the Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. and airs live on Showtime.
Is Tim Kennedy Moving Over to the UFC?
The UFC's dismantling of Strikeforce looks to have continued with Tim Kennedy. Kennedy recently added the Ultimate Fighting Championship to his employers on Facebook:
Kennedy could be referencing the fact that the UFC owns Strikeforce, and, by proxy, he's employed by the UFC. But, then again, it seems like a random thing to do seven months after Strikeforce was purchased, no?
Brock: I'll have one more match in WWE
Jon Robinson: Do you have any regrets about leaving WWE?
Brock Lesnar: I don't have any regrets. If I had any regrets, it would have been that I wish I enjoyed my time there a little bit better. I'm not a very good yes man, and I'm not very easily controlled.
Jon Robinson: Do you ever think you will go back and have one last WWE match?
Brock Lesnar: I think I will. I think under the right circumstances I will. I think if Vince McMahon and I were able to sit down at the same dinner table and break some bread that we could come up with some kind of gameplan. At the end of the day, I'm an ultimate fighter. That's who I am and that's who I'll always be. I was an entertainer but at the end of the day, I'm still as real as it gets. I think a lot of things have to fall in the right places for something like that to happen.
Jeff Curran's last chance
I am 35-13-1 and I think its still a pretty good record. When you look at the losses, aside from the Uriah Faber glitch, every fight I had was competitive. A record it just that, a record. Talk about the three decision losses I had in the WEC-Benavidez, Mizugaki and Mike Brown. Those three fights were so close that basically nine people in the world decided that I was the loser in those fights. I came out with barely a mark on me, I fell I lost the Mike Brown fight fair and square, I gave up a few things I shouldn’t have, Benavidez was what it was and I definitely feel I won the Mizugaki fight. If I was getting finished off by mid level and upper level guys and these guys were just making a fool of me then I would know my place but I am very confident in what I am capable of and very confident that I belong in the upper echelon of the division. I’m not coming back to the UFC like some washed up WEC veteran that they are squeezing a last fight out of. I feel like they are giving me three months notice, and really allowing me to step up to the plate like this they (The UFC) are saying “Ok Jeff, you wanted this you got it. Now show us what you got.” I intend on doing that.
Really good interview. I agree with him that the UFC is giving him a legitimate chance to prove his worth. All of his loses were close. He could have won any of those fights that he lost by decision. Even against Faber, he dominated the first round.
UFC Reportedly Switching PPV Start Times Back to 10 p.m. ET
Over at F4WOnline, Dave Meltzer is reporting that the UFC will be changing the start time of pay-per-view broadcasts back to 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. This will be starting with UFC 141 this December.
The UFC had long used 10 p.m. ET as the start time for PPVs but changed earlier this year. For east coasters like me it was nice to have the evening wrapped up no later than midnight, many times even earlier. But it is understandable that the one hour cut was harder on audiences on the west coast and necessitated a change back.
PPV numbers are down this year so making sure that the start times have maximum appeal to as many people as possible. It's not a "sky is falling" situation, but it's one where you need to make all the corrections big and small to straighten everything out.
'Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal' official for Dec. 17 in San Diego
Is Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez (19-2 MMA, 9-1 SF) is moving to the UFC, it won't be before a Dec. 17 title fight with top contender Jorge Masvidal (22-6 MMA, 4-0 SF) .
UFC president Dana White, whose company acquired Strikeforce earlier this year, recently said he wants Melendez in the UFC as soon as possible.
But first, he'll headline an event that officials today announced: "Strikeforce" Melendez vs. Masvidal.".
MMAPlayground Interview Series - Vol. 7 (Brian Foster)
As with any successful professional, mixed martial artists eat, sleep and breathe their craft. They put everything on the line when they wake up, hit the gym and pour their blood, sweat and tears into the sport we all love. When they enter that cage, for the fan, it's all about the entertainment, but these athletes go through the daily rigors with more in mind. For some fighters, it's a paycheck. For others, it's the glitz and glamour, but for some it's a lifestyle fueled by a deep passion and connection to the sport of mixed martial arts.
In our newest site feature, MMAPlayground would like to introduce you to some of these men and women of MMA that you may not know much about.
Our mission? To introduce. To educate. To spread the word.
Brian Foster is a mixed martial artist who is also a five time UFC veteran. He has recently recovered from some terrible setbacks in his health, and has successfully resumed his career with a victory against Jack Mason at Cage Warriors 44. Brian was granted two tune-up fights by the UFC in preparation for his return. He will be taking on Laverne Clark at CCCW 7 on Saturday October 15. He took time out of his training schedule to answer some questions.
* * * * *
MMAPG: Brian, thanks for taking some time to answer a few questions. First off, congratulations on your win last weekend against Jack Mason. You’re coming off some brutal setbacks. How are you feeling, and how good did it feel to get back into the cage?
FOSTER: It felt great! It's a good feeling to get a win after overcoming some injuries. I mean it sucks it wasn't for the UFC but a win’s a win not matter the organization.
MMAPG: The UFC has granted you the opportunity, given your long lay-off, to compete in a couple “tune-up” fights. That’s not something you see a whole lot in the UFC. How did the idea come about?
FOSTER: I think it had a lot to do with my coach as well as the UFC. They wanted to make sure I was totally healthy and capable of competing at a high level without being such a liability to the UFC.
Exhausted Dana White: 'I will [expletive] die' making sure UFC gets to next level
All told, the UFC has booked 27 events this year.
In 2012, it's aiming to put on 34 shows, a 22 percent increase. In 2005, the year in which the promotion broke onto basic cable, 10 events filled the calendar.
Meanwhile, the UFC offices have spread into a new building. In about a month, the promotion arrives on network TV.
"This year was a big year for us," UFC president Dana White said. "But the next year is going to be the real big year for mixed martial arts. Next year is going to be the real big year for MMA. Next year is the one that's going to change everything and take it to the next level."
UFC on FOX 1 takes place Nov. 12 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., and features a heavyweight title fight between reigning champ Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos.
UFC 136 medical suspensions go to five fighters, Maynard gets longest with 60 days
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation issued medical suspensions of more than 10 days to just five UFC 136 fighters, and defeated main-event fighter Gray Maynard got the longest one with 60 days.
The list of medical suspensions lasting longer than the standard 10 days included:
- Frankie Edgar: Suspended until Nov. 23
- Gray Maynard: Suspended until Dec. 8
- Leonard Garcia: Suspended until Nov. 23
- Eric Schafer: Suspended until Nov. 8
- Mike Massenzio: Suspended until Nov. 23
Thiago Santos replaces injured Mike Hayes in tourney semifinals at Bellator 56
As officials feared, a broken orbital bone has forced Mike Hayes (16-4-1 MMA, 2-1 BFC) out of Bellator's current season-five heavyweight tournament.
In his place steps replacement Thiago Santos (9-1 MMA, 1-0 BFC), who now meets Blagoi Ivanov (5-0 MMA, 2-0 BFC) in a semifinal matchup later this month at Bellator 56, officials today announced.
Bellator 56 takes place Oct. 29 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan.
The night's main card, including tourney fights of Santos vs. Ivanov and Eric Prindle (8-1 MMA, 2-0 BFC) vs. Ron Sparks (8-0 MMA, 3-0 BFC), airs on MTV2 (and in high-definition on EPIX). The prelims stream on Spike.com.
After UFC 136 loss, Kenny Florian undecided on fighting future, taking 'some time' off
After a UFC 136 loss and an unsuccessful third bid at a UFC title, Kenny Florian isn't sure what's next.
In a statement released today, the 35-year-old said he's taking some time away from the sport, though he's not sure if that could lead to a retirement.
Florian, who suffered a unanimous-decision loss to featherweight champ Jose Aldo at this past weekend's pay-per-view event in Houston, said that decision will come at a later time.
"First, I'd like to thank Jose Aldo for giving me the opportunity to compete for the featherweight title last Saturday," Florian stated. "I gave the fight my all, but Jose won that night. I would also like to thank the UFC, Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta for their continued support.
"I am passionate about mixed martial arts, and I love being involved in this sport. It is incredible to see how much MMA has grown and that, today, there are millions of people who enjoy the UFC as much as I do.
"Second, everyone is asking what is next for me. The only response I can give right now is that I'm going to take some time. I want to rest, spend some time with my family and friends, and then evaluate all of my options. I'll speak with Dana, and my manager, Glenn Robinson, and we will figure out my next move. When I make that decision, my fans will be the first to know. One way or another, you haven’t seen the last of Ken-Flo!"
Silva's camp: Sonnen crossed a line, not in position to determine champ's return date
Chael Sonnen is funny, sure. But he's crossed the line, manager Ed Soares today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"First the guy gets in trouble for fraud, then he tests positive for steroids, and now he wants to kick in someone's door and slap their wife in the ass? This guy should be in jail; he shouldn't be fighting," the Anderson Silva rep said.
Sonnen called out the middleweight champ in a post-fight interview following his victory over Brian Stann at this past weekend's UFC 136 event. But the fighter's comments a week prior set things off, Soares said.
During his pre-fight media duties for the pay-per-view event, Sonnen gave a racy provocation to MMA broadcaster Mauro Renallo.
"You tell Anderson Silva I'm coming over and I'm kicking down his backdoor and patting his little lady on the ass, and I'm telling her to make me a steak, medium-rare, just how I like it," the trash-talking champ said.
Cameras showed Silva smiling and feigning concern during Sonnen's brief post-fight speech. Afterward, though, UFC president Dana White said the champ's true feelings were hidden.
"Those guys really don't like each other," White said. "I don't know if Chael really hates Anderson, but Anderson – I don't know if any of you saw his face when [Chael] won, but he wasn't doing the whole joking around thing. He was pissed. He's really upset bout the smack-his-wife-on-the-butt thing."
Soares said Silva doesn't hate Sonnen, but "he definitely doesn't respect him for the things that he's saying. Hyping up the fight is one thing, but I think you cross the line when you start talking about people's family."
In addition to tourney semifinals, Bellator 55 adds M'Pumbu-Wiuff non-title fight
In addition to the semifinal round of Bellator's season-five bantamweight tournament, this month's Bellator 55 event also will feature a non-title fight between light-heavyweight champion Christian M'Pumbu (18-3-1 MMA, 3-0 BFC) and veteran Travis Wiuff (65-14 MMA, 0-0 BFC).
Bellator officials today announced additions to the card.
Bellator 55 takes Oct. 22 at Cocopah Resort and Casino in Yuma, Ariz. The main card airs on MTV2 (and in high-definition on EPIX), and Spike.com streams the preliminary card.
The previously announced bantamweight-tourney bouts include Alexis Vila (10-0 MMA, 1-0 BFC) vs. Marcos Galvao (10-4-1 MMA, 1-1 BFC) and Eduardo Dantas (10-2 MMA, 1-0 BFC) vs. Ed West (17-5 MMA, 3-1 BFC).
M'Pumbu won the Bellator title with clean sweep of TKO victories over Chris Davis, Chris Carpenter and Richard Hale in the eight-man season-four tourney. He's now 8-1-1 over his past 10 fights, which included a run with the M-1 organization.
Women's MMA Report: Honchak submits Modafferi, Young stops Carreiro
Missouri native Barb "Little Warrior" Honchak (5-1) picked up the biggest win of her pro career in the main event of "BlackEye Promotions 5: Breast Cancer Beatdown" in Fletcher, N.C. Honchak submitted former Strikeforce title challenger Roxanne "The Happy Warrior" Modafferi (15-9) with a rear-naked choke at the 1:46 mark of round three.
Modafferi looked to close the distance early and often in the 125-pound bout, but Honchak's strength advantage was evident as she countered a takedown and took Modafferi's back in round one. Modafferi managed to turn into Honchak's guard, but Honchak swept into mount and threatened with an armbar before the bell.
In round two, Modafferi tried to pull guard with a guillotine choke, but Honchak remained on her feet. She reversed a takedown and threw punches and hammerfists from Modafferi's guard for much of the round. With Modafferi needing a finish in round three, she tried again to take down Honchak. Honchak wound up on top in mount and then took Modafferi's back and secured the choke for the tap-out victory.
Dana White Says if NSAC Licenses Floyd Mayweather, They Should License Chael Sonnen
It's possible that the biggest fight the UFC can put on right now (that doesn't involve weight class jumping) doesn't involve Brock Lesnar or Georges St. Pierre. It just might be the rematch between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen. After Sonnen demolished Brian Stann at UFC 136 he got on the mic to announce that Anderson Silva "absolutely sucks" and challenged the long time middleweight champ to a WWE style stipulation match on Super Bowl weekend.
Of course, Chael's status in Nevada may present a little bit of a snag when it comes to making that fight. The Super Bowl weekend card is always held in Vegas to capitalize on the high rollers that flock to the city and they're not likely to change that any time soon.
But should Chael's prior suspension for elevated testosterone levels stand in the way of him getting a new license to compete in the state?
Dana White doesn't think so, and he's bringing a boxing superstar's name into the mix. Via MMA Weekly (ht: MMA Mania):
Chael Sonnen has paid his dues (and) has done his thing, has done whatever. Floyd Mayweather fights in Nevada. This guy's been arrested. He's got 50 lawyers defending him right now and all that crazy stuff and he's fighting in Nevada. Don't even get me going on that one. There's no reason why they shouldn't license Chael. It shouldn't even cross my mind. The thought of whether Chael could get licensed in Nevada or California or anywhere else should be the least of my worries. The guy did everything that he was told to do. When guys like Floyd are getting licensed in Nevada, why should I have to worry about Chael?
Maia: Sonnen obviously training BJJ
Guilherme Cruz: I’ve heard you and Sonnen were on the same locker room (at UFC 136). How was it like?
Demian Maia: Yeah, we did... I met him many times before and it wasn’t any different, he was respectful. I have no troubles with him. I know it’s all a marketing plan, he’s trying to sell his fights. Each one of us was warming-up, with our minds on our bouts.
GC: And he applied a submission. What are your thoughts about his Jiu-Jitsu skills?
DM: He’s training Jiu-Jitsu, it’s obvious. He went for his back, tried to fit a punch not only to hit him, but to grab him, and got him.
GC: There was a joke about you training together and he said he would like that...
DM: It was a joke, it ain’t serious (laughs). We fight on the same division, we could fight each other, so there’s no reason why. He’s a really tough guy, a guy to be defeated on this weight division. He likes talking a lot, but he’s tough. Anyone in this division would have a tough fight against him.
GC: The next on the line can be Anderson... How do you see this rematch?
DM: I guess Anderson would be harder to submit on the ground than Stann, because Anderson trains with experts, but Chael doesn’t depend on the submission, he can work on the ground and pound. He’ll be training his takedown defenses so he doesn’t get in trouble like it happened to him before.