Brian Stann vs. Alessio Sakara slated for UFC on FUEL TV 2 in Sweden
Two top middleweights looking to gain some momentum in the division will meet in April.
Fresh off pivotal losses, contenders Brian Stann (11-4 MMA, 5-3 UFC) and Alessio Sakara (15-8 MMA, 6-5 UFC) look to regroup when they meet in the headliner of UFC on FUEL TV 2.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed with event sources that verbal agreements are in place for the fight, which takes place in Sweden.
The bout, which UFC officials first confirmed with Swedish site mmanytt.se, takes place April 14 at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm. The entire card is expected to air on the FOX-owned FUEL TV...
Newcomer Max Holloway In To Face Dustin Poirier at UFC 143
Max Holloway comes to the UFC with an unblemished 4-0 record and at only 20 years of age, already one of the youngest competitors in the Octagon
Holloway becomes Poirier’s third opponent over just a matter of weeks. Erik Koch was originally slated to face Poirier, and after injury struck it was Ricardo Lamas.
Magnus Cedenblad vs. Francis Carmont slated for UFC on FUEL TV 2
Swedish middleweight Magnus Cedenblad (10-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has signed with the UFC and will make his promotional debut on home soil.
The fighter recently announced via Twitter that he's signed with the UFC.
Now, he's expected to meet French fighter and Francis Carmont (17-7 MMA, 1-0 UFC) in April at the newly announced UFC on FUEL TV 2 event, which takes place in Sweden.
With limbless opponent unavailable, Strikeforce's Lawler settles for Amagov
LAS VEGAS – With veteran slugger Robbie Lawler (18-8 MMA, 2-4 SF) struggling through a 2-4 stretch in his past six fights – a run largely contested against grappling-first opponents – you might think he'd welcome a bout with a fellow slugger as a sort of dream matchup.
Not the case.
While Lawler is complimentary of his "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine" opponent, Adlan Amagov (9-1-1 MMA, 2-0 SF), he said it's not an ideal booking. No, the perfect opponent would actually be a lot more defenseless.
"I would rather fight someone with no arms and no legs," Lawler jokingly told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "That would probably be the best matchup for me.
"I would look amazing."
WWE Champion CM Punk To Walk Out With Chael Sonnen At UFC On Fox 2
A good segment of the MMA universe hates professional wrestling to no end. Any links between the two (see Brock Lesnar) are dismissed and disregarded by this segment quickly and with vitriol. One of the founders of this very site has gone on record with how much he dislikes the use of wrestling terms when discussing MMA.
Those people will then hate the news that came out Wednesday that WWE Champion and MMA enthusiast CM Punk will walk out with Chael Sonnen in his UFC On Fox 2 middleweight contender's match against Mark Munoz on Saturday, January 28.
The rumor was posted on the UG by FrontRowBrian and Sonnen confirmed the news Tuesday, according to MMA/pro wrestling expert Dave Meltzer. MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani confirmed that Punk will not corner Sonnen during the fight.
Champ Aldo says lifelong wrestler Maynard has him well-prepared for UFC 142
The UFC featherweight champion believes he's found areas where opponent Chad Mendes is exposed to his brand of violence, and he admits there are places – one, really – where he'd like to avoid.
"But really what it comes down to being well-trained and seeing if the training was well worth it, and if what I saw was really going to (help me) impose my game," Aldo today said through translator Derek Lee.
"We've been training wrestling for some time, but I needed a guy well-versed guy who's been training wrestling his whole life to kind of clear up things," Aldo said. "I felt like Gray coming down in these past few weeks really gave me a lot of pointers and helped me out for this fight, where I am facing a wrestler.
"And Gray's a great guy. He talks his pointers before and after training, and he's really helped everyone in the gym."
Still, Aldo's weaker point is in grappling. Despite that, he isn't worried about being able to subdue Mendes with striking.
"I feel I've been able to find a few things, and I'm working on that," he said. "We'll have to see on the 14th."
Moving to lightweight is still a consideration for the champ, but he's still undecided when he'll throw in the towel at featherweight.
"That's something I've considered a lot," Aldo said. "But really, the right time is going to come, and I'm going to trust my coach, Andre Pederneiras, and my managers, who are looking at it from it from a different point of view of knowing when to make that move, if ever.
"It's something I've considered, but I trust their judgement. I feel I'm a young guy and have a lot to learn, so I've got to trust the people around me."
Injured McKenzie out at UFC on FOX 2; Roller steps in to face Johnson
Lightweight Cody McKenzie (12-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has been forced off the preliminary card of UFC on FOX 2 with an undisclosed injury.
Stepping in for the guillotine specialist is Shane Roller (10-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC), who meets Michael Johnson (9-6 MMA, 1-2 UFC) at the FOX-televised event, which takes place Jan. 28 at United Center in Chicago.
James Head vs Papy Abedi Slated for UFC's Debut in Sweden
Papy Abedi is scheduled to meet James Head in a welterweight bout at the UFC's debut in Sweden on April 14, MMAFighting.com has confirmed with sources close to the fight.
Abedi's involvement on the card is an obvious one, considering he currently fights out of Stockholm, Sweden. Abedi grew up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, France and Belgium before moving to Sweden in 1997. The 33-year-old lost his Octagon debut to Thiago Alves via first-round rear-naked choke at UFC 138 in November. The loss marked Abedi's first in nine professional MMA bouts (8-1).
The fight will mark Head's first at 170 pounds since signing with the UFC last year. The 7-2 Head dropped his Octagon debut to Nick Ring at UFC 131. He was supposed to fight John Maguire at UFC 138 but an injury forced him to pull out of the bout.
Europe, James Head, Sweden, James Head, UFC, James Head, April... I know one playgrounder who is gunna change his birthday plans! YEEESSSSSS!!!!
Ludwig Elated That UFC Acknowledges Fastest KO Record
On Jan. 16, 2006, Duane Ludwig knocked out Jonathan Goulet very quickly. Just how quickly, though, is a matter of debate.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission recorded the finish for the UFC Fight Night 3 bout at 11 seconds. Pretty much everyone else could agree the fight was over sooner, but the NSAC’s time has long been accepted as official. For that reason, Ludwig’s lightning-quick knockout has been kept out of the record books.
On Dec. 24, though, UFC President Dana White announced on Twitter that Ludwig’s KO was the fastest in UFC history. White then followed up with a video blog that showed footage to prove it.
“It was very cool,” Ludwig told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “Definitely a little bit unexpected. It’s been about five years. It’s definitely cool to have it credited to me finally.”
Of course, at this point the NSAC is not going to change its record books. Ludwig prefers the UFC’s version of history anyway.
UFC 142's Mendes more than ready for champ Aldo, no matter what Maynard says
Two-time lightweight title challenger Gray Maynard thinks featherweight Chad Mendes isn't ready for a title shot.
Mendes, who's four years into pro MMA with 11 fights to his name, strongly disagrees.
"Maynard saying that he doesn't think that I'm ready for a title shot – I don't know why Maynard's saying anything about anyone," Mendes (11-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) said today during a media call in support of UFC 142, which he headlines opposite featherweight champ Jose Aldo (20-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC).
UFC 142's Anthony Johnson done for now with welterweight division
After years of cutting in excess of 30 pounds – and sometimes as much as 50 – to fight in the welterweight division, Anthony Johnson likes the idea of fighting at middleweight.
So much so, in fact, that he's "so far" done with his former weight class.
"This is easy," he said. "This is going to be a lot of fun for me."
Johnson (10-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) is now 215 pounds in advance of his debut at middleweight, which comes Jan. 14 at UFC 142 against former champ Vitor Belfort (20-9 MMA, 9-4 UFC). Johnson vs. Belfort is part of the main card of the pay-per-view event. Preliminary-card bouts air live on FX.
"Everything has come to where it needs to be right now," Johnson said. "I'm peaking at the right time."
Previously, Johnson struggled just to make weight in the 170-pound divisions. On two occasions the 27-year-old failed to get down to 171 pounds, which is the minimum weight required for non-title welterweight bouts. At UFC 104, he was so weak he was carried to and from the weigh-ins, and he was fined 20 percent of his purse for the miss.
UFC on Fuel TV 2 confirmed for April 14 in Stockholm, Sweden
As expected the UFC will makes its debut in Sweden on April 14.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) recently passed along news of the debut, and UFC officials today confirmed that UFC on FUEL TV 2 will take place April 14 at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.
No fights have been officially announced for the FUEL TV-televised show.
However, welterweights DaMarques Johnson (15-9 MMA, 4-3 UFC) and John Maguire (17-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) are expected to clash during the landmark show, as previously reported.
Additionally, top Swedish fighter Alexander Gustafsson recently told MMAjunkie.com he hopes his UFC 141 victory will earn him a spot on the UFC on FUEL TV 2 card.
Estevan Payan replaces Bobby Green, completes 'Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine'
Bellator season-one veteran Estevan Payan (12-3 MMA, 0-0 SF) has replaced an injured Bobby Green (17-5 MMA, 2-1 SF) and now faces Alonzo Martinez (35-15-1 MMA, 0-0 SF) in a lightweight contest at this weekend's "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine" event.
Strikeforce officials recently announced the change.
Featuring a middleweight title fight between current champ Luke Rockhold and longtime UFC vet Keith Jardine, "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine" takes place Jan. 7 at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
The night's main card airs on Showtime, and Martinez vs. Payan is one of four preliminary-card fights slated to air on Showtime Extreme.
ONE FC 2: Eric Kelly vs. Bae Young Kwon Round Out the Main Card
ONE Fighting Championship just officially announced the main card for their 2nd event this February. Most of the bouts listed were already mentioned on my last report on the fight card, but there's one match that slipped through the cracks.
That bout, a co-headliner between URCC Champion, Eric Kelly (6-0), and Bae Young Kwon (6-2) of Korea.
The Filipino fighter in Kelly, is considered as one of the best featherweights in the region. He is coming off a very impressive win over Mitch Chilson on the inaugural ONE FC event, and while also dangerous on his feet, he has finished all six of his fights by submission. He will be taking on the very dangerous Kwon, a Road FC contender who defeated Brian Choi of Evolve MMA last month
UFC vet Gerald Harris joins HDNet's Legacy Fighting 10 lineup
Next month's Legacy Fighting Championships 10 lineup has undergone a few changes.
Chief among them? UFC vet Gerald Harris, who's fresh off a pair of Tachi Palace Fights and DREAM victories, has joined the Feb. 24 lineup.
Harris (19-4) now fights fellow middleweight Artenas Young (7-4) on the night's HDNet-televised main card, Legacy officials confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Young's original opponent, William "Bubba" Bush (3-1), remains on the card. However, an opponent hasn't been determined.
Legacy Fighting 10 takes place at Houston's Arena Theater. At least six fights are expected to be part of the night's live HDNet-televised main card.
UFC targeting summer for Junior Dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem title fight
The UFC's first heavyweight title fight of 2012 is likely to take place mid-year.
While on Tuesday's debut episode of "UFC Today" on FUEL TV, UFC president Dana White said he's tentatively scheduling a bout between heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos (14-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) and recent UFC 141 winner Alistair Overeem (36-11 MMA, 1-0 UFC) for the summer.
However, no specific date has been determined.
"Hopefully this summer," White said when asked about the heavyweight tilt. "This summer is probably when it's going to go down.
"Alistair wants to take some time off. Dos Santos is ready but needs to get some training in. So hopefully, this summer."
Anthony Perosh vs. Nick Penner slated for UFC on FX 2 in Sydney
A light-heavyweight bout between Anthony Perosh (12-6 MMA, 2-3 UFC) and promotional newcomer Nick Penner (11-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has been added to March's UFC on FX 2 event.
UFC officials announced the fight overnight.
UFC on FX 2, which marks the UFC's return to Australia, takes place March 3 at Allphones Arena in Sydney.
Gina Carano Speaks on MMA Hiatus and Future Plans
MMA Fighting recently caught up with the elusive Gina Carano to discuss why she disappeared from the MMA landscape for the last two and a half years, her upcoming film, "Haywire," which opens in theatres nationwide on Jan. 20, how she landed the starring role in the film, whether she will ever fight again, and the emergence of Ronda Rousey as perhaps the new face of women's MMA.