UFC's Cub Swanson sidelined by tooth infection, hoping for quick return
Former WEC competitor Cub Swanson's UFC debut was put on ice this past week.
The veteran fighter was forced out of a scheduled UFC on Versus 3 bout with Erik Koch, who now meets fellow featherweight Raphael Assuncao next month UFC 128.
Swanson today told MMAjunkie.com Radio about the reason for his scratch from the card, and it was a mouthful.
Tito Ortiz Talks About His Injury, Calls Out Forrest Griffin
"I did it about three and a half months into training, I was at Rafael Cordeiro’s training doing my Muay Thai, I think we went into the 10th round about 10 seconds left in the 10th round and one of my training partners went to go throw a right hand (and) he was southpaw, I was orthodox, I was throwing a right hand at the same time. His head was a little lower than mine and it caught me right above the bridge of my eyebrow and went straight to the bone in my skull and gave me 22 stitches."
Vitor Belfort campaigns for fight with UFC 127 winner Michael Bisping
With a controversial victory over Jorge Rivera at this past weekend's UFC 127 event, co-headliner Michael Bisping owns three consecutive wins and a 4-1 record over his past five fights.
Contenders such as Chael Sonnen, Yushin Okami and Alan Belcher seem logical next opponents for the Brit, but another notable has throw his hat into the ring.
And it's recent title challenger Vitor Belfort.
Thursday's UFC on Versus 3 event airs in 3D, Harris and Florian to commentate
Thursday's UFC on Versus 3 event will be the organization's first to air in 3D, officials today announced.
The event takes place March 3 at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville with a Diego Sanchez vs. Martin Kampmann headliner.
The 3D telecast will be made available live to those with 3D-capable TV sets through dedicated 3D channels on affiliates across the country, including Comcast XFINITY.
The event also airs in its normal 2D format on Versus and Versus HD (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) with UFC commentators Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg.
"The Ultimate Fighter 13" cast unveiled with 14 welterweight fighters
Spike TV officials today unveiled the official 14-person welterweight cast for "The Ultimate Fighter 13."
The long-running competition-reality series debuts March 30 on Spike TV with heavyweight contenders Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos as coaches.
As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported earlier this month, UFC officials eliminated the "elimination round" from this season of the show, so the fighters won't have to win an opening-round matchup to secure their spot on the cast.
The cast includes notables such as Nordin Asrih, Shamar Bailey, Myles Jury and Charlie Rader, who all have at least nine professional fights. The fighters come from the U.S., England, Germany and Canada. (See the full list and biographical information below.)
Jorge Rivera Says 'Classless' Bisping Hit Him with Intentional Illegal Knee
There are moments from his UFC 127 bout with Michael Bisping in Sydney, Australia that are still fuzzy to Jorge Rivera, but there is at least one thing he knows for sure.
The illegal knee that Bisping hit him with in the first round? No matter what Bisping said later, that was no accident, Rivera told MMA Fighting on Sunday.
"That knee was deliberate, and I'll tell you exactly how I know this," Rivera said.
Spike TV offers UFC 129 "UFC Prelims" special with Toronto show
Spike TV will air a "UFC Prelims" special as part of April's UFC 129 event in Toronto.
UFC officials confirmed the plans during Saturday's live broadcast of UFC 127.
Although not officially announced, sources told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that welterweight bouts of Nate Diaz (13-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC) vs. Rory MacDonald (10-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Brian Foster (15-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) vs. Sean Pierson (11-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) are the leading candidates for the cable broadcast.
UFC 129 takes place April 30 at Toronto's Rogers Centre, and the pay-per-view main card features welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre vs. top contender Jake Shields.
Additional UFC 129 fights are likely to stream on Facebook prior to Spike TV's "UFC Prelims" broadcast.
Fight Metric report for BJ Penn vs Jon Fitch draw
The official report from Fight Metric shows that Fitch outlanded Penn a staggering 149-2 in round three and 231-48 overall. After the jump you can see the grappling chart and who they scored the fight in favor of. Here's a hint: his name rhymes with Bon-dage.
UFC on Versus 3 to Be Broadcast in 3D
he growing trend of 3D television is finally ready to marry itself to the growing sport of mixed martial arts.
The UFC's upcoming UFC on Versus 3 event will be broadcast in 3D on select cable outlets, sport trade journal Sports Business Daily reported on Friday. It will mark the first time a UFC event is telecast in the format, though the UFC has privately tried out the technology in the past.
According to the report, the 3D telecast will have a different production crew from Versus' regular HD setup. Versus is also planning to occasionally utilize a split-screen presentation that will air live arena content like locker room views alongside commercials.
The report notes that among cable distributors, Comcast, Cox, Verizon, Massillon Cable, Blue Ridge and Armstrong have signed on.
With Opponents Injured, Koch-Assuncao Tabbed for UFC 128
Erik Koch and Raphael Assuncao were both left without opponents this week when Cub Swanson and Manny Gamburyan pulled out of their respective bouts. Now, it appears Koch and Assuncao will instead square off against one another in their Octagon debuts at UFC 128 “Shogun vs. Jones.”
While not yet finalized, a source close to the matchup tells Sherdog.com that the featherweights have verbally agreed to meet at the event, which takes place March 19 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The change in matchmaking was first reported on Saturday by MMAWeekly.com.
Opponent aside, there will be no change for Assuncao, who was to face Gamburyan on the undercard of UFC 128 before Gamburyan sustained a back injury in training. Koch will have his fight pushed back two weeks, as the Roufusport product was slated to meet Swanson, who suffered an undisclosed impairment, at UFC Live 3 on March 3.
Former SF Champ Muhammad Lawal Returns June 18
Former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Lawal announced via his Twitter that he will return to action in Strikeforce on June 18 in Dallas. Although not officially announced by the organization, the event is expected to take place at American Airlines Center in Dallas with the second part of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix's opening round. No opponent has been set for Lawal. Lawal returns to the cage for the first time since knee surgery put the former titleholder on the sidelines. The procedure came a few months after the former NCAA Division I All-American wrestler lost his title to Rafael Cavalcante (Feijao) in August.
Melendez-Kawajiri Expected For 4/9 SF, HWGP Likely Pushed Back To June
Although the second part of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix's opening round likely will be delayed until June, some other participants are being slotted for the organization's April show. A lightweight title fight between champion Gilbert Melendez and Tatsuya Kawajiri is expected to be a featured bout at the April 9 event. According to ESPN.com's Josh Gross, the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix likely will conclude on June 18 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, not on April 9 as first planned. No host city or venue have been finalized for the April show, but Oakland's Oracle Arena is a leading candidate.
Paul Daley Apologizes for Missing Weight, Promises To Redeem Himself on Saturday
As BAMMA 5 approaches tomorrow, the main event hit a bump in the road when main event fighter Paul Daley missed weight turning his 5 round title fight against Yuya Shirai into a 3 round non-title fight.
The British heavy hitter was not happy with missing weight and issued the following statement following the BAMMA events on Friday. He also included a special message to Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz as well.
“I apologize to Shirai and the fans for missing weight,” Daley said. “Although the fight is 3 rounds now I only need 1 round to knock him out. The fans come to see me win the title but I promise them, title or not, I’ll win this fight and win it in style.
“Then I’m going after Diaz and I want to send him out the message that I mean business with my performance tomorrow night.”
The weight cutting bug also bit former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez, who failed to cut to the 215lb catchweight limit agreed to with his opponent James McSweeney.
NSAC budget cuts eliminate out-of-competition drug testing; Kizer seeks alternatives
A budget crunch has left the Nevada State Athletic Commission unable to employ one of the most significant deterrents to the use of performance enhancing drugs in professional competition.
Two years after the influential regulatory body announced it would conduct out-of-competition drug testing, legislators completely withdrew funding for the program.
The NSAC will soon decide whether to press legislators on a proposal to reinstate testing, possibly by diverting funds within the commission's budget.
"What we're trying to do is find alternative sources of revenue," NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The NSAC began out-of-competition in the summer of 2008 after successfully petitioning the legislature to set aside money from the state's general fund. The commission received $18,000 for the 2008-2009 fiscal year (July 2008 to June 2009) and conducted between 40 and 50 tests, according to Kizer.
UFC 84 main-event fighters B.J. Penn and Sean Sherk, as well as co-main event fighters Lyoto Machida and Tito Ortiz, were among the first to be tested in the new program. Machida and Rashad Evans were the last MMA headliners to be tested out of competition at UFC 98. None of the out-of-competition tests came back positive for performance enhancers or drugs of abuse.
With state governments around the country tightening their belts amid a widening recession, the NSAC's budget for out-of-competition testing was reduced to $12,000 in fiscal year 2009-2010. Regulators then asked the commission to give back all of the money before the year's end, Kizer said.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Roger Gracie In Talks for April 9 Strikeforce Card
While the April 9 Strikeforce fight card is still up in the air in many ways, fighters are being contacted about appearing on the show.
The latest fight in talks for the card pits former light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi against multiple time grappling champion Roger Gracie.
While no bout agreements have been issued, sources have indicated to MMAWeekly.com that the fighters have at least verbally agreed to the match-up at this point.
Alan Jouban vs. Jamie Yager set for Tachi Palace Fights 9 on May 6
After a stunning 15-second knockout in his professional debut over prospect Kyle Griffin, 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu disciple Alan Jouban (1-0) now meets "The Ultimate Fighter 11" cast member Jamie Yager (3-2) in a welterweight contest.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from Tachi Palace Fights officials that Jouban and Yager have agreed to meet at Tachi Palace Fights 9.
Featuring a lightweight matchup between UFC veterans Fabricio Camoes and Efrain Escudero, Tachi Palace Fights 9 takes place May 6 at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, Calif.
UFC On Versus 3 Official With 11 Fights, Koch Now Off
UFC today announced that UFC On Versus 3 is again official, but this time with only 11 fights. With UFC unable to find a short-notice replacement for injured Cub Swanson, original opponent Erik Koch is now off as a result. Koch is expected to be added to an upcoming card.
UFC fighter Te Huna donates to Earthquake Appeal
Sydney based New Zealander James Te Huna will return to the cage this weekend and has generously offered all of his match earnings to go to victims of the New Zealand earthquake.
At UFC 110, Te Huna made his octagon debut in front of a parochial hometown crowd. After breaking his arm in the first round, blocking a head kick by opponent Igor Pokrajac, Te Huna powered on to win via TKO in the third round. That brave performance was followed by 12 months of arduous rehabilitation and this weekend he finally returns to the cage.
Outside of his generous sponsors that include PC Group and Boost Mobile, his fight against dangerous striker Alexander Gustaffson at UFC 127 also presents his first pay cheque for fighting in a year. Te Huna did not need to look to far on where to spend it.
Vinny Magalhaes vs. Jake Doerr in the works for M-1 Challenge on Showtime
Two-time UFC veteran Vinny Magalhaes has already been announced as a participant at March's "M-1 Challenge: Damkovsky vs. Figueroa," and now his opponent is all but official.
MMAjunkie.com has learned from sources close to the organization that Magalhaes and undefeated Wisconsin native Jake Doerr have verbally agreed to meet in the evening's co-main event, though bout agreements have yet to be finalized.
Shark Fights Partners with HDNet, Debuts March 11
Texas-based MMA promotion Shark Fights has signed a broadcast deal with HDNet and will make its network debut on March 11. The network confirmed rumors of the HDNet-Shark Fights partnership via Twitter on Friday. Terms of the deal were not immediately known.