After "Rampage" Jackson declined, Jon Jones got UFC 128 title fight
Before Jon Jones ultimately got a UFC 128 title with Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson was offered the bout but turned it down.
A UFC official today confirmed the turn of events with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). Rua first mentioned the possibility in an interview with Tatame.com.
The March 19 slot opened this past weekend when Rashad Evans's knee injury forced him out of the upcoming title fight, which takes place in Newark, N.J. as a pay-per-view headliner.
With Jackson turning down the title fight, he still officially is scheduled to fight Thiago Silva in the co-headliner of May's UFC 130 event. Soon after that fight's announcement, UFC president Dana White hinted that Jackson could be in line for a title shot with a victory.
The reason Jackson turned down the title fight wasn't immediately clear. The UFC official declined to comment, and the fighter's representatives couldn't be reached.
Rep: If Jones beats "Shogun," Evans could move to middleweight or heavyweight
It's no secret that the course of Rashad Evans' UFC career will be determined by what happens on March 19.
That's when his training partner, Jon Jones, meets champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in a UFC 128 light-heavyweight title bout originally designated for Evans.
But if Jones (12-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) is victorious, Evans (15-1 MMA, 10-1-1 UFC) has plenty of options that include trips to middleweight or even heavyweight, his co-manager, Malki Kawa, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Evans sprained his MCL in training this past week and was forced to withdraw from the bout with Rua (19-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC). In a lousy twist of irony, he had chosen to stay out of the cage while waiting for the light-heavyweight champ to recover from a knee injury of his own. Evans, who previously held the title, earned his latest title shot with a decision win over Quinton "Rampage" Jackson this past May at UFC 114.
Chael Sonnen: 'Anderson Silva revealed yet another weakness for me to exploit in our rematch'
"Thank you, Anderson, for revealing yet another weakness for me to exploit in our rematch. Beating that poor punching bag doesn't impress Uncle Chael, guy. You tipped your hand like a chump poker player at a $5 table in Atlantic City. You may have beaten Vitor, but in the process, you LOST your edge. By beating that husk, you gave me the last page of your playbook. Revel in your time, [because] it ENDS the night you face me. I will mow you down like autumn wheat, AGAIN."
Dana White says Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann still on for UFC 130
Despite conflicting reports, UFC president Dana White insists Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1 MMA, 3-5 UFC) will indeed meet Brian Stann (10-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) at UFC 130.
The UFC boss told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that while Silva has shown some resistance to the matchup, the two middleweight sluggers will indeed meet in May.
"It's on," White said flatly of the matchup. "It's on."
Japan, Sweden on deck for UFC events in 2011
The Ultimate Fighting Championship will blaze a new international trail in 2011, as well as revist a long-lost friend.
Following Saturday's successful UFC 126 event in Las Vegas, UFC president Dana White confirmed that the UFC is planning to host live events in both Sweden and Japan before the end of the calendar year.
The UFC never has held an event in Sweden; the company hasn't visited Japan since December 2000.
White revealed the plans for Sweden earlier this week in an interview with Swedish MMA news website MMANytt.se, and he confirmed the UFC's intentions with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
While the news certainly will be well-received by Swedish fans, it unquestionably is less shocking that White's revelation that a Japanese event likely will take place before the end of the year.
"We think we're going to get it done," White said. "Everything that needs to happen to go to Japan has fallen into place so far, so it's looking good. It's on our calendar this year."
Jon Jones: I'm Going To Win This Fight Against Mauricio Rua At UFC 128
That's what he told Ariel Helwani last night. "You know what, I thought Shogun was cool when I was younger because he was a 23-year old Pride champ, and I love Jose Aldo because he's a 23-year old UFC champion. I'm definitely not afraid of it, I know it's very possible. Right now, I just need to keep the people close to me that's always been there and realize that there's going to be a lot more distractions coming my way but I'm prepared for it mentally. And I promise myself that I won't allow myself to fall by the wayside. I'm way too close to my dreams to slow down or start doing anything dumb and I won't do anything dumb. I'm gonna win this fight."
UFC lightweight Tyson Griffin headed to featherweight division
Although currently sidelined by a knee injury, former UFC lightweight contender Tyson Griffin has some big plans for his return to the cage: a drop in weight class.
The move to featherweight likely will come later this year.
Griffin recently announced the plans, which he hopes lead to a title shot, in a video update on his official website.
Alistair Overeem: 'Cain Velasquez is number one because I haven't competed against the names'
Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem admits that UFC champion Cain Velasquez is the No. 1 heavyweight in mixed martial arts.
But Overeem says that won't be the case by the end of the year.
"Cain Velasquez is No. 1 now because I haven't competed against the names," Overeem told MMAFighting.com. "So there is that argument, that I haven't fought the caliber opponents I should -- I wanted to, but either they wouldn't fight me, or the schedule didn't work out. But that's what this tournament is about."
Report: Silva-Stann Not Happening At UFC 130
Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann is not official for UFC 130 after all. In fact, it appears as though the fight won't be happening any time soon. Earlier this week, UFC.com's Ultimate Insider reported that the middleweight clash was signed for Memorial Day weekend. However, a UFC source with knowledge of the situation told MMA Fighting on Friday that the fight was never signed and that Silva has informed the organization that he won't be healthy enough to compete on the card. No opponents have been signed for either Stann or Silva. There is still a chance Stann, the former WEC light heavyweight champion, will compete on the May 28 card against someone else.
Driver In "Mask" Crash Gets 9 Years In Jail
An Orange County, Calif. man involved in a 2009 car crash that killed TapouT co-founder Charles "Mask" Lewis today was sentenced to nine years in prison. Jeffrey David Kirby, 53, was in December found guilty of one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act with gross negligence while intoxicated. He faced sentencing enhancements for causing great bodily injury. According to a report from "OC Weekly," Superior Court Judge Richard F. Toohey heard victim-impact statements from Lewis' siblings, as well as TapouT co-founder Dan "Punkass" Caldwell and Lewis' girlfriend, Lacy Lynn White, before handing down the sentence. White was riding with Lewis in his 2004 Ferrari at the time of the accident and suffered serious injuries when she was ejected from the car. Lewis died instantly. Kirby faced a maximum of 13 years in prison. It was his second drunk-driving conviction.
MMA Fighter passes away from cancer
Wrestling has lost one of their own. Jose Cortez, 25, father, son, brother and friend passed away on January 29, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Jose, an accomplished wrestler and mixed martial arts fighter, died last weekend after a two-year battle with germ cell cancer. His six-year old daughter, mother and father, two brothers, a sister and countless friends and supporters survive him.
Jose was a graduate of Maryvale High School in Phoenix where he placed 4th in the state in 2002, 3rd in 2003 and won the state championship during his senior year in 2004. In addition, he was a three-time All American in freestyle and Greco-Roman and an Honorable Mention All-American in Wrestling USA Magazine.
After high school, Jose began a successful career in mixed martial arts. He won his last fight in November 2008 by unanimous decision over Drew Ficket that yielded a pro record of 6-1. Shortly after defeating the decorated UFC veteran, Jose began his fight against germ cell cancer.
Angel and Henry Cejudo, both graduates of Maryvale High School, were close friends with Jose Cortez. Jose and Angel shared a mat while in high school; the two families have been close for many years. The Cejudos are among the many friends and teammates who will miss Jose Cortez, cherish his memory and carry him in their hearts forever.
For more information on Jose Cortez and how to donate to his family, please visit www.fightyourwayout.org
Report: Milwaukee To Host UFC On Versus 5 On August 14
One year after officially sanctioning mixed martial arts, Wisconsin looks poised to host its first major event. According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the Bradley Center in Milwaukee will be the host venue for a UFC on Versus event to be held on Sunday, August 14. UFC president Dana White did not confirm the booking but told MMA Fighting the promotion was "looking at" Milwaukee. According to a source, the deal is not yet final but very likely to happen. If booked, it would make for quite a busy month for the UFC, which will host pay-per-view events in Philadelphia on the 6th and Rio de Janeiro on the 27th. The August event would likely be UFC on Versus 5. A prior Versus event is expected for June, though it has not yet been officially announced.
Rockhold Injured; Manhoef-Kennedy Likely for March 5
American Kickboxing Academy prospect Luke Rockhold has been forced to withdraw from his upcoming middleweight clash with Tim Kennedy at Strikeforce “Feijao vs. Henderson” due to a leg injury sustained during training.
A source close to the fighter informed Sherdog.com Thursday afternoon of Rockhold's injury, asserting that it would take two to three weeks to heal. Rockhold has posted pictures of his bruised leg and foot on Twitter.
Sherdog.com also learned Thursday from an additional source that Strikeforce is hoping to fill the void left by Rockhold with Dutch striker Melvin Manhoef. This marks the third opponent Kennedy has been speculated to face on March 5. It is currently unknown if bout agreements are in place for the matchup.
Saunders Signs with Bellator
Former UFC welterweight competitor Ben Saunders has signed with Bellator Fighting Championships and will make his debut with the promotion during its upcoming fourth season.
“Ben Saunders is an exciting, powerful welterweight with explosive knockout power. Ben is dangerous and always shows up to fight. I’m excited to see his first fight under the Bellator banner on MTV2 in April.” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney in an official press release.
Saunders enters the circular cage of Bellator coming off a win in a local Florida promotion in November. Prior to that victory, however, “Killa B” had lost three of four fights in the Octagon before being released by the UFC.
UFC 133 Targeted For August 6 In Philadelphia
The UFC is likely to return to The City of Brotherly Love for an August 6 pay-per-view event, a source close to the situation told MMA Fighting. UFC president Dana White confirmed to MMA Fighting on Wednesday that the event was in the works. The event would be UFC 133 and take place at Wells Fargo Center.
Stefan Struve vs. Travis Browne Official For UFC 130
Following the announcement of UFC 130's pay-per-view main card, one bout is now official for the night's preliminary card: Stefan Struve vs. Travis Browne. Officials today announced the May 28 card, "UFC 130: Edgar vs. Maynard 3," during its UFC.com "UFC Ultimate Insider" episode.
James Irvin Talks Pills, Curses, the UFC, and Getting Robbed by Ken Shamrock
By CagePotato contributor Jason Moles
Coming off a loss to Jorge Oliveira in December, James Irvin returned to action last weekend at Gladiator Challenge: Young Guns 4 — and he would have gotten his much-needed rebound victory, if it wasn't for the meddling of celebrity referee Ken Shamrock. (Seriously. You can't make this stuff up.) Freak occurrences have plagued Irvin's career from the beginning, and that night was no different. "The Sandman" recently gave us on opportunity to chat with him about his anti-climactic match against Mike Crisman, his battle with painkiller addiction, and his plan to make another run in the UFC.
CAGEPOTATO.COM: First and foremost, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to talk with us at CagePotato. Tell me a little about the physical toll your body has taken after fighting three times in the past four months.
JAMES IRVIN: It's been good for me. It's tough, but I've been doing this for ten years. In shape, out of shape, and back into shape again. Kinda like what Chris Leben said — it keeps me sharp. I fight again on February 20th and have two fights in March, one in May. I train best when it's intense and there's nothing more intense than training for a fight.