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.
BAMMA 5: Paul Daley Misses Weight, Loses Title Shot
400 grams. That's the margin – 0.881849 pounds for you non-metric people – by which Paul Daley missed weight for his welterweight title fight against Yuya Shirai at BAMMA 5, according to manager Wad Alameddine. As a result, the fight is now a 3-round NON-TITLE fight and Daley will be fined an undisclosed percentage of his fight purse, which will go to Shirai. Daley was 2 pounds overweight on his first try.
Charlie Sheen Rants Leads Dana White To Invite Him To Fight Chuck Lorre At UFC 127
Seriously. "BJ Penn is fighting Jon Fitch on Saturday ... [Charlie and Chuck] are more than welcome to be the co-main event. I have Charlie Sheen by brutal knockout." For those who haven't heard yet, after Sheen's recent defamatory radio rant production on his top-rated sitcom "Two And A Half Men" was cancelled for the rest of the season. Supposedly there was a threat from one towards the other involving beating the guy up in the Octagon.
UFC 127: Kenny Florian Says Jon Fitch's New Vegan Diet Removed His Size Advantage Against BJ Penn
"I know you mentioned him walking around at 200lbs, that is definitely the case. However, I just was with him at the last UFC in Vegas [UFC 126] he's actually walking around at 176lbs," Florian stated. "He's a vegan now. He's 100 percent vegan. He's changed his whole lifestlye. And the first thing I said to him 'Man, you're looking pretty darn skinny' and he said, 'yeah, I'm a vegan now and I'm 176lbs right now'. That is actually I hear maybe even a concern with people in his own camp."
"Listen, I think B.J. Penn always has a chance. The guy's extremely dangerous on his feet. He's going to be a little bit tougher to take down than Jon Fitch thinks. I would give even more of a chance to Jon Fitch if it was a five-rounder. At three rounds, I give a little bit more of a chance to B.J [Penn] because I think a three-round B.J. [Penn] is different than a five-round B.J. [Penn]. A three-round B.J. [Penn] will go for it right from the outset. He'll be very aggressive. He'll kind of just let it loose for every single round. As soon as that bell starts. I noticed a five-round B.J. [Penn], he really paces himself, he's really unsure of the pace he needs to go at."
Featherweight Manny Gamburyan out at UFC 128 in New Jersey
Top featherweight contender Manny Gamburyan will have to wait a little longer to make his return to the octagon.
MMAjunkie.com has confirmed that a back injury has forced Gamburyan out of a planned UFC 128 contest with Raphael Assuncao.
Featuring a light heavyweight title fight between champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and rising star Jon Jones, UFC 128 takes place March 19 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
New Jersey commission: Emelianenko will honor suspension, not fight in sambo tourney
Fedor Emelianenko (31-3 MMA, 1-2 SF) will pass on competing in combat sambo to honor a medical suspension issued to him by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board.
NJSACB legal counsel Nick Lembo today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Emelianenko's camp has assured him the heavyweight won't participate in a national sambo tournament to be held this weekend in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Sambo is a martial art system originally developed for the Russian military and bears many similarities to MMA in its emphasis on both striking and grappling. It's considered a national sport in Russia, and many competitions are held worldwide.
Emelianenko, a longtime sambo devotee, received two medical suspensions following a TKO loss to Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva in the quarterfinals of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix, which was held Feb. 12 at IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J. He was suspended indefinitely pending a clear CT scan of his head and facial bones and also suspended 90 days for strikes to the head, as MMAjunkie.com previously reported.
Alexander-Irvin Rematch Ticketed for Shark Fights 14
Their first encounter lasted all of eight seconds.
UFC exiles Houston Alexander and James Irvin will meet for a second time in a featured light heavyweight tilt at Shark Fights 14 on March 11 at the Fair Park Coliseum in Lubbock, Texas. Alexander on Thursday announced the rematch via Twitter. Irvin knocked out “The Assassin” with a Superman punch at UFC Fight Night 13 in April 2008.
Alexander (Pictured), who turns 39 next month, will carry a two-fight winning streak into the rematch. He last appeared at Shark Fights 13 in September, when he stopped Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou on second-round punches at the Amarillo Civic Center in Amarillo, Texas. An East St. Louis, Ill., native, Alexander burst on the scene in 2007 with consecutive first-round finishes over Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts representative Keith Jardine and American Top Team’s Alessio Sakara. However, he lost each of his next four UFC fights and was cut by the promotion following his unanimous decision defeat to Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson at “The Ultimate Fighter 10” Finale in December 2009.