UFC on FOX 5 gets Henderson-Diaz title fight, Gustafsson-Rua, Penn-MacDonald
(This story appeared in Wednesday's edition of USA TODAY.)
Ultimate Fighting Championship's lightweight title will be defended on network television.
USA TODAY Sports and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed with UFC officials that current lightweight champion Benson Henderson (17-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC) will face Nate Diaz (16-7, 11-5) at UFC on FOX 5, which takes place Dec. 8 at a host site to be announced.
A light-heavyweight matchup between former champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (21-6, 5-4) and Alexander Gustafsson (14-1, 6-1) serves as the night's co-feature, and a B.J. Penn (16-8-2, 12-7-2) vs. Rory MacDonald (13-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) fight also has been rebooked for the card.
A fourth main-card fight is expected to be added to the FOX broadcast in the coming weeks.
Chael Sonnen moves to 205, gets rematch with Forrest Griffin at UFC's year-end show
After hinting that he might move up from middleweight to light heavyweight following his loss to Anderson Silva in July, Chael Sonnen has announced the move – and his opponent.
Sonnen will make the climb to 205 pounds and will face former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin at the promotion's year-end show on Dec. 29 in Las Vegas. Griffin beat Sonnen with a first-round submission nearly nine years ago in a regional promotion. Sonnen made the announcement on Tuesday's edition of "UFC Tonight" on FUEL TV.
The UFC's Dec. 29 show, though not yet announced by the promotion, is likely to be UFC 155. It will be headlined by a heavyweight title fight between champion Junior Dos Santos and former champ Cain Velasquez.
Though a venue for the card is not yet known, it will take place either at the MGM Grand Garden Arena or Mandalay Bay Events Center. The Sonnen-Griffin fight is likely to serve as the pay-per-view's co-main event.
Shlemenko Confirms With 100% Certainty That Fighters Fake Injuries To Avoid Bad Match Ups
“I can tell you for sure, 100%, I know why there are so many injuries. I personally find UFC fights not as exciting because of all those injuries. There are a lot of background tactics around who’s fighting who; fighters are trying really hard to have a good record in the UFC. If you’ve been offered to fight someone who’s considered a bad match-up, then it’s pretty easy to say ‘hey, I’m injured’.
For example, they offered Brian Stann to fight Hector Lombard. He got injured, and then the next thing you know – he’s fighting Michael Bisping. I can see the logic – for Brian Stann it makes more sense to fight Bisping, he’s simply more popular in the UFC than Hector Lombard. That’s why beating Bisping means more than beating Lombard, who’s a risky opponent.
You can fake every injury. Just tell [UFC doctors] about the symptoms and that’s it.”
In an interview with a ValeTudo.ru, Bellator middleweight stand-out, Alexander Shlemenko tries to blow the whistle on a number of fighters who pull out of scheduled fights due to injury.
Pat Curran forced out of Bellator 73 title fight vs. Patricio Freire with broken orbital bone
A sparring injury has forced Pat Curran (17-4 MMA, 7-1 BFC) to withdraw from his first scheduled title defense against Patricio "Pitbull" Freire (17-1 MMA, 5-1 BFC) at Bellator 73.
A Bellator official on Tuesday told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that it hasn't been decided whether Freire will remain on the card, and at this time, a search for a replacement is underway. ESPN.com first reported the injury withdrawal.
Bellator 73 takes place Aug. 24 at Harrah's Tunica Hotel and Casino in Mississippi. The night's main card airs on MTV2 (and in high-definition on EPIX) following prelims on Spike.com.
Curran's cousin and trainer, Jeff Curran, said the Bellator champ was suffering from a knee problem and had decided to focus on boxing rather than muay Thai in the final week of training camp. During a sparring session at his training home near Chicago with a boxer he'd worked with for the past eight weeks, he "ducked into a punch" and suffered a broken orbital.
Jeff Curran estimated it would be approximately three months before his cousin is ready to fight. He said the knee problem did not require surgery and was the result of the typical "wear and tear" during a fight camp.
Pat Curran Injured, Out of Bellator 73
The summer of injuries has now touched Bellator Fighting Championships as well.
Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran has been forced out of his scheduled title fight against Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire for next weekend’s Bellator 73 show.
Curran suffered a broken orbital bone while sparring for the fight, and the injury will likely sideline him for several months.
According to the report from ESPN, Bellator will now bump up the bantamweight tournament finals between Marcos Galvao and Luis Nogueira to the main event slot.
Ed Soares Named President of Resurrection Fighting Alliance
MMA Manager Ed Soares has been named the new president of Resurrection Fighting Alliance. Soares confirmed the news with MMAFighting.com on Tuesday.
Soares, who manages the likes of Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida and the Nogueira brothers, will continue to manage his stable of fighters, along with his partner Jorge Guimaraes.
"We still have a management business," Soares said. "This announcement has no bearing on anything.
"I'm not relieving any of my responsibilities as a manager, I'm just taking on a little more responsibility elsewhere."
Soares noted that if a fighter he represents would be courted by RFA in the future Guimaraes will negotiate the deal with the promotion and he will remove himself from the equation.
"I'm really excited to step into another chapter of a my life," Soares said. "I come from a promotional background from running various promotions, and I'm excited to get back in there."
UFC 150 ratings: FX prelims fall below 1 million viewers
The roller-coaster ratings for FX's UFC preliminary-card broadcasts continue.
The most recent two-hour broadcast, which coincided with this past weekend's UFC 150 event, fell below 1 million viewers.
Of FX's nine preliminary-card broadcasts to date, it ranked seventh.
Overall, the Aug. 11 broadcast averaged 974,000 viewers, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed with event sources.
UFC 150 took place at Denver's Pepsi Center. The night's main card, including lightweight champion Benson Henderson's narrow split-decision victory over Frankie Edgar, aired on pay-per-view. Dennis Bermudez, Michael Kuiper, Erik Perez and Chico Camus picked up victories on the FX broadcast, which followed a one-bout stream on Facebook.
The most-recent UFC-FX prelims broadcast, UFC 149, averaged 1 million viewers. Prior to that, UFC 148 set a new high watermark with 1.8 million viewers...
Ellenberger vs. Hieron official as UFC 151 co-headliner, broadcast schedule set
The full UFC 151 card includes:
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
-Champ Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson (for light-heavyweight title)
-Jake Ellenberger vs. Jay Hieron
-Dennis Siver vs. Eddie Yagin
-Dennis Hallman vs. Thiago Tavares
-John Lineker vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani
PRELIMINARY CARD (FX, 8 p.m. ET)
-Danny Castillo vs. Michael Johnson
-Jeff Hougland vs. Takeya Mizugaki
-Tim Means vs. Abel Trujillo
-Daron Cruickshank vs. Henry Martinez
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 7 p.m. ET)
-Shane Roller vs. Jacob Volkmann
-Charlie Brenneman vs. Kyle Noke
Sarah Kaufman: No nerves for Ronda Rousey armbar ahead of Strikeforce title fight
Sarah Kaufman has a pretty good idea of how Ronda Rousey would like their Saturday fight to go.
Including three amateur fights, Rousey (5-0 MMA, 3-0 SF) has finished all eight of her MMA opponents with first-round armbars. That little bit of MMA math (Rousey + Fight = 100 percent armbar finish) is one of the sport's easiest equations.
It's certainly not lost on Kaufman (15-1 MMA, 6-1 SF). But she has a way around what has arguably become the most feared finish in the sport these days – just snap the streak.
Kaufman, a former champion, challenges Rousey for her Strikeforce bantamweight title in the main event of "Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman," which takes place Saturday at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego. The main card airs on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET. Prelims air on Showtime Extreme at 8 p.m.
"I don’t think that it’s unstoppable," Kaufman said of Rousey's armbar on a recent call with media members. "… It doesn’t make me nervous. It’s something that could happen. It’s also something that I’m prepared for. It’s an armbar and people can have a mystique behind someone because they’ve had the same submission over and over and over again. And it does create kind of an aura of, 'Whoa, she’s won every fight by the same thing.' I did the same thing when I had eight knockouts in a row...
Cris Cyborg wants Ronda Rousey fight, requests 140-pound catchweight
Previously, Gina Carano and Cristiane Santos laid claim to the first ever women's super fight, for lack of a better term, when the two tangled way back in Aug. 2009 at Strikeforce: "Carano vs. Cyborg."
To that end, there aren't too many bouts that many would consider a "dream fight" or "super fight." There is, however, one that many would label as such: A match up between current Strikeforce Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and the aforementioned former Strikeforce Featherweight title holder, Cris Cyborg.
For her part, "Cyborg" says she wants the bout with "Rowdy," however, she says she doesn't see the need for her to have to drop down to 135, but is more than willing to meet the Rousey in the middle at a catchweight of 140 pounds.
"I really wanna fight Ronda. I really want to. She says bad things about me. I never say bad things about my opponent. I want to do my best in the octagon, and if she says she wants to fight me, she can come to my weight or at 140. She started at 145. And she's running to 135. She's running to not fight me. And after, she speaks a lot of shit about me. I want to fight her soon. I'm very excited to fight her. And when we're in the octagon, we'll see if she says anything. And if she says anything, I can punch her."
Cyborg" went to not say that unlike most female fighters, the way she fights and trains is nothing like her colleagues, which is what separates her from the competition:
"I'm a women but I want to fight the same as a man. I like training hard, I like to punch the face. I like getting punched in the face. I fight the same as a man. I train the same as a man. I think this is different from other girls."
Ronda Rousey is the One Girl Dana White Could See Fighting in the UFC
UFC president Dana White has long said that the women’s side of mixed martial arts is still lagging too far behind to include women’s weight classes in the UFC Octagon.
He’s still of that same mind, although his stance has softened quite a bit with the emergence of Strikeforce women’s bantamweight Ronda Rousey.
There’s no question that Rousey has both the ability to dominate in the cage and the personality that translates such talent into star power outside of the cage. That’s something White is keenly aware of.
Dana White Regrets Mayhem Miller Twitter War
Neither UFC president Dana White nor former UFC fighter Jason “Mayhem” Miller is known for holding his tongue when it comes to a war of words.
The two recently went head to head on Twitter in an exchange that White thought started out as a joke, but later expressed regret when he saw how seriously Mayhem was taking their exchange.
Check out what Dana White had to say to MMAWeekly.com following UFC 150 about his war of words with Mayhem Miller.
Initial autopsy results inconclusive on South Carolina amateur fighter
The official cause of death for Tyrone Mims is yet undetermined. An initial autopsy on the fighter was inconclusive, said Charleston (S.C.) County Coroner Rae Wooten.
"Our findings don't reveal any immediate cause of death," Wooten today told MMAjunkie.com.
An "internal review" into Mims' death is underway, according to a statement released today by the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Registration, which oversees the South Carolina Athletic Commission.
Jason "Mayhem" Miller Arrested Inside Church BUCK NAKED
Recently-axed UFC fighter Jason "Mayhem" Miller was arrested today in Orange County, TMZ has learned -- after allegedly breaking into a church, spraying a fire extinguisher all over the place, and getting buck naked.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ, the O.C. Sheriff's Office received a call early this morning from the Mission Hills Church in Mission Viejo about a possible burglary in progress.
When the deputies arrived, we're told they found the first and second floors covered in white fire extinguisher spray. Cops say the place was also trashed -- scattered CDs, books, and broken pictures.
When officers reached the second floor, we're told they found Miller naked on some couch -- totally awake and coherent...
South Carolina fighter Tyrone Mims dies after amateur debut
Last night at Conflict MMA Promotions: Fight Night @ The Point VI, in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, Tyrone Mimms made his amateur debut vs. Blake Poore, at a catch weight of 180, on the second fight of what was scheduled to be a 14-fight card.
According to fans in attendance, the 30-year-old, Augusta, Georgia based Mimms came out strong in the first, but gassed out in the second round. The referee stopped the fight. Mimms went backstage where he was stricken, apparently of a heart attack.
Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at the hospital at 9:27 P.M. according to Charleston County Deputy Coroner Dottie Lindsay.
When the event organizers became aware of what happened, they scrapped the rest of the card and webcast.
Mimms was a member of an online MMA reality series titled Georgia Boy's Grits n Glory, where he was went by the nickname "Teesta." He fought out of the August Fight Club, under coach Chris Hauser.
UFC 150 results, analysis, bonuses: Champ Henderson ekes out split decision vs. Edgar
At least on the scorecards, Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar II was closer than the first.
But in the end, two of three judges scored the bout in favor of champ Henderson, who defended his title for the first time in another close fight with Edgar.
The bout served as the main event of Saturday's UFC 150 event at Pepsi Center in Denver. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.
The audience erupted in boos at the announcement of the decision, which was read 49-46 in favor of Edgar and 48-47 twice for Henderson.
"Of course, you're always concerned whenever it goes to the judges," the champ defended as the audience voiced its displeasure. "I fight for all MMA and UFC fans. I come here and bring it! I try to finish fights!"
Disgust turned to dejection for Edgar as he was asked for his reaction to the score.
"It don't matter," Edgar said after an ovation from the crowd. "I thought I brought it to him."
Dana White Confirms Nate Diaz To Get Next Shot At Lightweight Title
Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar will fight once again for the Lightweight title in the main event of UFC 150. The two first met at UFC 144 in Japan where Henderson was able to win the title with a decision victory. However, because the fight was so close, Dana White granted Frankie Edgar a rematch for the chance to regain his title. This will be Edgar's third rematch since winning the title from B.J. Penn at UFC 112. Henderson will attempt to solidify his title claim tonight at the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO. The main card starts at 10 PM EST (7 PM PST) on Pay-Per-View.
This will be Edgar's third rematch since winning the title from B.J. Penn at UFC 112. In fact, Ben Henderson is only his third new opponent in the last two and a half years. This became a source of controversy when the tonight's rematch was announced. Many wanted a fresh opponent for Henderson simply to keep the division progressing and didn't want to risk and Edgar win leading to a subsequent rubber match.
Last night, Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting caught up with Dana White after the UFC 150 weigh-ins. Dana White assured that, regardless of the outcome tonight, there would be no immediate third fight between the two. Instead, the UFC will fulfill their promise to Nate Diaz.
Massachusetts commission reviews controversial bout, will discuss rule changes
The Massachusetts State Athletic Commission said it will look into modifying its rules following a controversial amateur bout that took place in April.
"The commission agreed it deserves careful examination," Terrel Harris, a spokesperson for the MSAC, on Friday wrote in an email to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
At a meeting planned for October, the commission's medical advisory board is expected to offer an opinion on whether a "per se rule" is needed to immediately end matches in which a fighter loses consciousness from a submission hold.
A per se rule is defined as a generalized rule applied without consideration for specific circumstances.
The commission addressed the amateur fight during a meeting on Thursday and decided that further review was necessary.
The bout at the center of the debate took place April 20 at a commission-sanctioned event held in Chicopee, Mass., called "Warrior Nation Xtreme Fighters Alliance: Warrior Nation III." The bantamweight contest took a bizarre turn after one combatant, Justin Kristie, applied a triangle choke that caused his opponent, David Baxter, to perform what appeared to be a tapping motion and then go unconscious at the end of the first round...