UFC boss says Renan Barao to defend interim belt, possibly against Michael McDonald
MONTREAL – And then there was one.
Prior to Saturday night's UFC 154 event in Montreal, the UFC roster boasted two interim title holders. But after welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre downed interim title holder Carlos Condit to unify the belts in the 170-pound division, bantamweight Renan Barao (29-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) was left as the lone interim champ on the roster.
Barao recently said he was happy to wait for champion Dominick Cruz to return to action before he fought again, but UFC President Dana White isn't so sure. Instead, he said Barao will soon defend his interim belt, and Michael McDonald (15-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) could very well be the challenger.
"We were talking about Barao defending his title now," White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) following Saturday's post-UFC 154 press conference. "So whether he wants to wait or not, we're going to go back to him soon probably here and have him defend it."
UFC 154 results & analysis - Champ St-Pierre downs Condit in thriller
MONTREAL – After 19 months away from the sport, after battling through reconstructive knee surgery and while facing one of the sternest tests of his career, Georges St-Pierre proved once again why he has long been considered one of the greatest fighters in the history of MMA.
A battered and bloodied St-Pierre defended his UFC welterweight title in grand fashion as he took a unanimous-decision win over interim champ Carlos Condit.
The Georges St-Pierre business is booming despite layoff
According to industry sources, St-Pierre has 14 endorsement deals, with each paying him in the six-figure range. If you tally up the numbers from past and present deals, his income outside the cage is well into eight figures, sources say, with much of it coming in the past year.
The question is, how does a fighter who hasn't fought in more than a year and a half become such a magnet for blue-chip sponsors while sitting on the sidelines? The answer, according to those who know him best, has to do with St-Pierre's squeaky-clean image outside the cage and the team of high-powered agents in his corner...
Ring-Philippou pulled from tonight's UFC 154, Bocek-dos Anjos moves to PPV
Nick Ring (13-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is out of tonight's UFC 154 event, and his fight with fellow middleweight Constantinos Philippou (11-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) has been canceled.
UFC officials today announced Ring fell ill and wasn't cleared to compete.
Officials subsequently announced lightweight grapplers Rafael dos Anjos (17-6 MMA, 6-4 UFC) and Mark Bocek (11-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC) have taken their spot on the pay-per-view main card.
Bellator reality show soon enters production with 'wickedly' good cast of fighters
Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney still isn't ready to divulge all the details about his company's new reality show, which begins filming in late January or early February, but he's dropping some big hints.
On Friday MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) caught up with the fight executive to discuss the new venture.
While he said the show will include plenty of storytelling, he said it'll also involve a group of fighters who surpass the talent level of any previous MMA-related reality series.
"There are some wickedly good pros on this show," he told MMAjunkie.com. "I think we have the greatest collection of talent that's ever been on a reality show in this genre."
The "genre," of course, includes "The Ultimate Fighter," the UFC's long-running and ground-breaking reality series. The show, currently in its 16th season, began on Spike TV in 2005 before a move to FX this year as part of the mega UFC-FOX deal...
UFC on FOX 5's MacDonald remains against St-Pierre fight but asks for Condit rematch
Rory MacDonald (13-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) again made it clear that he has no intention of vying for the welterweight title as long as his teammate Georges St-Pierre is champ.
But he has a keen interest in the man St-Pierre is scheduled to fight tonight – interim champ Carlos Condit, who beat him in his second UFC fight.
"I'm fighting B.J. Penn, and I plan on beating him," MacDonald said Friday. "We'll see how the fight with Georges and Carlos goes. Either way, I plan on hopefully getting my rematch with Carlos in 2013."
UFC 154 official weigh-in results: Champ St-Pierre, interim titleholder Condit on mark
New City Gas in Montreal plays host to the festivities, where all 26 competitors successfully made weight.
Among those weighing in were UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre (170 pounds) and interim titleholder Carlos Condit (169), whose title-unification bout headlines Saturday's pay-per-view event at Montreal's Bell Centre.
"Just to come back, I missed this so much," said St-Pierre, a French-Canadian fighter who competes for the first time in 19 months. "You guys can't believe it. I'm going to give you a great show. Don't miss it."
Welterweight contenders Johny Hendricks and Martin Kampmann, who meet in the co-headliner, also hit the scale and each weighed 171 pounds.
The full weigh-in results included:
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
Champ Georges St-Pierre (170) vs. interim champ Carlos Condit (169)
Johny Hendricks (171) vs. Martin Kampmann (171)
Tom Lawlor (184) vs. Francis Carmont (185)
Constantinos Philippou (185) vs. Nick Ring (184)
Mark Hominick (145) vs. Pablo Garza (145)
PRELIMINARY CARD (FX, 8 p.m. ET)
Patrick Cote (185) vs. Alessio Sakara (186)
Cyrille Diabate (206) vs. Chad Griggs (205)
Mark Bocek (156) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (155)
John Makdessi (155) vs. Sam Stout (154)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 6:20 p.m. ET)
Antonio Carvalho (145) vs. Rodrigo Damm (145)
John Maguire (171) vs. Matt Riddle (170)
Azamat Gashimov (135) vs. Ivan Menjivar (135)
Darren Elkins (145) vs. Steven Siler (145)
Eddie Mendez vs. Nick Penner slated for UFC on FX 6 in Australia
A light-heavyweight bout between Eddie Mendez (7-0-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Nick Penner (11-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) is the latest addition to next month's UFC on FX 6 event in Australia.
Mendez replaces injured Ednaldo Oliveira (13-1-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC), and Penner evidently replaces Krzysztof Soszynski (26-12-1 MMA, 6-3 UFC), though no reason was given for his withdrawal.
UFC officials announced the new bout overnight.
UFC on FX 6, which also served as the final of "The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes," takes place Dec. 15 at Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Broadbeach, Gold Coast, Australia. The event's main card airs live on FX (on Dec. 14 in the U.S. due to the time difference) following prelims on FUEL TV.
Mendez vs. Penner likely will be part of the prelims.
Jon Fitch vs. Demian Maia added to February's UFC 156 event
A welterweight matchup between perennial contender Jon Fitch (24-4-1 MMA, 14-2-1 UFC) and Brazilian submission ace Demian Maia (17-4 MMA, 8-4 UFC) is the latest addition to February's UFC 156 event.
UFC officials today announced the new contest.
Featuring a featherweight title fight between current champ Jose Aldo and former lightweight title holder Frankie Edgar, UFC 156 takes place Feb. 2 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The evening's main card airs on pay-per-view.
Maia currently boasts a two-fight win streak after downing Rick Story at this past month's UFC 153 event in Rio de Janeiro and earning a bizarre TKO victory over Dong Hyun Kim at July's UFC 148 fight card in Las Vegas. The two victories came after a disappointing 1-2 run that included losses to Chris Weidman and Mark Munoz.
Maia is a Fabio Gurgel black belt and former world champion jiu-jitsu player who one ea. However, his recent win over Story marked Maia's first submission win since a 2009 tapout victory over Chael Sonnen.
UFC 154's Patrick Cote says durable chin will make impression against Alessio Sakara
Patrick Cote took a fight against Cung Le on four weeks' notice, but unlike some who step up in the UFC, he was given no guarantees he'd be back.
"If I had a bad performance, they wouldn't give me another fight, for sure," Cote told MMAjunkie.com.
Cote lost, but was the first to take Le the distance. And with a full training camp, he said he's better prepared for his next opponent, Alessio Sakara.
UFC on FOX 6 official for Chicago with flyweight title bout, 'Rampage'-Teixeira co-main
The UFC returns for another mid-winter fight card in the Windy City in January, and tickets for the event go on sale later this month.
"UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Dodson" is official for Chicago's United Center on Jan. 26. The main event features the first flyweight title defense of Demetrious Johnson against top contender John Dodson.
UFC officials on Thursday announced the card, with tickets for the event on sale to the general public Nov. 30 with pre-sale dates on Nov. 28 and Nov. 29.
Team BombSquad offered Dez Green a second chance and new career
Dez Green was finishing up his studies at the University at Buffalo, though no longer a member of the wrestling team, when a friend called with an offer.
They friend was taking part in a small amateur MMA show that weekend. The organizers needed another fighter, and the friend knew Green was a skilled wrestler at Buffalo before several failed marijuana drug tests ended his career.
He thought MMA could be a good fit for Green.
Roy Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione slated for TUF 16 Finale in December
In a battle of former TUF 10 cast members, Roy Nelson will now meet Matt Mitrione at The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale on Dec. 15 in Las Vegas, MMAFighting.com learned from sources close to the event.
When contacted by MMAFighting.com, both Mitrione, as well as Nelson's camp declined to comment on the pending fight. According to sources, though, both fighters have verbally agreed to meet next month.
The news comes just a day after Shane Carwin pulled out of the Nelson bout due to an injured knee.
Bellator Targets Thursday, Jan. 10, For Season 8 Debut Event On Spike TV
With MMA's big 2013 television-schedule shuffle rapidly approaching, Bellator Fighting Championships has apparently played its first card.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed with the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board that Bellator has reserved Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall for Thursday, Jan. 10.
Bellator officials were not immediately available for comment, but sources close to the promotion suggested that event will serve as Bellator 85 and mark the company's debut on Spike TV.
"The Jan. 10 has already been formally requested and officially reserved for Bellator in Atlantic City," NJSACB Counsel Nick Lembo told MMAjunkie.com.
Officials have already been assigned for the evening, and as an interesting side note, recently retired UFC veteran Tom DeBlass is expected to serve as a shadow judge.
Spike TV officials would not confirm the plans and would only suggest that the network is "exploring many different options right now." However, additional sources indicated the network is leaning toward a 10 p.m. ET slot, which would allow Spike TV to use TNA Impact Wrestling (which also employs Bellator light heavyweight contender Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal) as lead-in programming for the MMA promotion's weekly events.
Bellator is currently in the middle of its seventh season, the final one on MTV2 before the organization moves to the higher-rated Spike TV, the former home of the UFC, next year. The promotion is currently earning an average of 168,700 viewers per Season 7 event, but that figure is expected to rise when the promotion moved to Spike TV, which has been a primary destination for MMA fans since the 2006 debut of "The Ultimate Fighter
GSP-Anderson Silva Super-Fight Being Targeted For May
Despite nothing being official from either side, a potential super-fight between Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre has a time frame set up. UFC president Dana White told ESPN's SportsCenter on Thursday that the promotion is looking at May for Silva-GSP.
"Anderson Silva will be there Saturday watching, and if (GSP) wins, it'll be a huge fight for us," White said (thanks to MMAjunkie.com for transcribing). "It'll probably be the biggest fight in UFC history."
White reiterated that the bout would take place in either a "soccer stadium in Brazil, Dallas' Texas Stadium, or we'd do Toronto again."
BJ Penn Serious About His UFC Comeback with Stacked Team of Training Partners
No one has ever questioned that B.J. Penn wants to go down in the annals of UFC history as one of the best fighters of all time, but there have been moments when his motivation to train and prepare have come into doubt.
Returning from a short-lived retirement to face Rory MacDonald at UFC on Fox 5 on Dec. 8 in Seattle, however, Penn appears to be at the top of his game, even in the training room.
At least, if the training partners he’s hired for this fight are any indication, it appears that Penn couldn’t be any more serious about his Octagon comeback...
Gray Maynard Headed For Surgery With Torn Ligaments
Gray Maynard's manager, David Martin, informed MMAWeekly.com that "The Bully" has torn his medial and lateral meniscus in his knee and will need surgery. Maynard was forced out of a planned UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez II fight with Joe Lauzon due to the injury on Wednesday.
Following a victory over Clay Guida earlier this year, Maynard was looking to finish 2012 on the right note. Instead, he'll be headed for an operating table. Martin confirmed Maynard will have surgery next week and is expected to be away from training for three-to-five weeks.
The UFC has already announced a replacement for Maynard, as Jim Miller has stepped in to face Lauzon on December 29 from Las Vegas.