Thiago Silva vs. Brandon Vera rematch set for May 15 in Virginia
Don't think for a moment this one won't be personal.
Thiago Silva (14-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and Brandon Vera (12-5 MMA, 8-5 UFC), who first met in a UFC 125 bout that was eventually ruled a "no contest," will fight again on May 15 in Fairfax, Va.
As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported, the UFC is expected to hold an event at this city's Patriot Center, though UFC executives have yet to reveal the venue for the card or where the action will be broadcast.
Nevertheless, the UFC announced the matchup early Thursday morning.
Diaz vs. Miller set as UFC on FOX 3 main event; Barry vs. Johnson added to card
An intriguing lightweight matchup between Nate Diaz (15-7 MMA, 9-5 UFC) and Jim Miller (21-3 MMA, 12-2 UFC) will serve as the main event of UFC on FOX 3.
The matchup, which was announced in January, will now be contested as a five-round affair.
Additionally, a heavyweight bout featuring sluggers Pat Barry (7-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) and Lavar Johnson (16-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has also been added to the evening's main card.
UFC officials announced the changes late Wednesday night.
Former MFC Champ McKee disputes decision to drop Contract, Claims Health Issues Prevented Him From Making Wieght
The Maximum Fighting Championship recently announced that lightweights Antonio McKee and Brian Cobb were released by the Canadian promotion for missing weight prior to their MFC 32 title bout.
McKee officially tipped the scales seven pounds over the contracted 155-pound limit. As a result, his planned lightweight title defense was downgraded to a non-title catchweight affair, and he was stripped of the belt by the organization prior to the contest.
“I was thoroughly disgusted by the lack of professionalism that Antonio McKee showed towards the belt he was scheduled to defend as well as the Maximum Fighting Championship as an organization,” said MFC President Mark Pavelich in an official statement released Tuesday.
McKee earned a unanimous decision victory over Cobb at the Jan. 27 event, which aired live on HDNet from the Mayfield Inn Trade and Convention Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
“It was unacceptable behavior for a champion to demonstrate. On top of that, Antonio never really apologized for missing weight that badly. That was the end of things for him with the MFC,” Pavelich continued. “That’s why he was stripped of his belt immediately and told that he would never fight in the MFC again. I hope it’s a message to all the other fighters in the MFC.”
McKee, however, sees the situation differently. According to the former champion, both Pavelich and Cobb knew McKee would miss weight due to illness. McKee says he and his camp made the conscious decision to “not push the envelope” and try to make weight, as the fighter was experiencing severe lightheadedness and stomach pains.
“[Pavelich] knew I wasn’t going to make weight before the fight because I told him I wasn’t going to make weight. I was sick. I had f---ing kidney issues. My stomach was messed up. They already knew that,” McKee told Sherdog.com on Wednesday.
In my opinion this calls into question the whole practice of cutting weight.
I have no sympathy for guys who miss weight due to "health issues." If you can't consistently make a weight cut in good health, you need to be fighting at a higher weight class.
I think they should institute a policy of multiple weigh ins to prevent this sort of drastic cutting. It isn't good for fighters. What happened to safety first?
Bellator extends it programming partnership with theScore Television Network
For my fellow Canadian Playground members.
Bellator Fighting Championships today announces that it has extended its programming partnership with Score Media Inc. (TSX: SCR) through its upcoming sixth season, starting on March 9, it's Summer Season as well as its seventh later in the year.
The extension gives Canadian mixed martial arts fans access to another year of Bellator fights across theScore's multiplatform assets including theScore Television Network, theScore.com and its industry-leading application, ScoreMobile.
"The Score is Bellator's longest running TV partner worldwide, having broadcast each of our first five seasons," said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. "As the place where Canadian fans go for MMA programming, news and information, theScore is the perfect partner to help us connect with our fans in a place where MMA and Bellator have thrived."
"We are extremely pleased to announce the continuation of our partnership with Bellator," says Benjie Levy, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Score Media Inc. "Bellator has developed a reputation for being one of the world's elite MMA promotions and its programming is a perfect fit for our young audience."
Joey Beltran Released From The UFC
As told to FightersOnly magazine by none other than Joey Beltran himself, it appears that the UFC has released “The Mexicutioner” following his first round “kickstand KO” (Props to Stak40 for coining the term) loss to Lavar Johnson at UFC on Fox 2. The loss was Beltran’s fourth in his last five outings.
FTC ends probe of UFC/Strikeforce deal
The Federal Trade Commission closed a non-public investigation into the Ultimate Fighting Championship's purchase of Strikeforce last week and will take no further action in the case.
Documents published on the FTC website dated January 25, confirm the FTC's Bureau of Competition conducted an investigation to determine whether the $34 million acquisition of Explosion Entertainment, LLC, by UFC's parent company, Zuffa LLC, violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act or Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
In closing letters issued to counsel for Zuffa and Explosion Entertainment, FTC secretary Donald S. Clark stated, "Upon further review of this matter, it now appears that no further action is warranted by the Commission at this time. Accordingly, the investigation has been closed."
UFC on FOX 2 medical suspensions: Davis, Weidman among eight suspensions
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation issued mandatory medical suspensions to eight fighters from this past weekend's UFC on FOX 2 event.
Main-card fighters Phil Davis and Chris Weidman were among the group, though no suspension lasts more than two months.
MMAjunkie.com today obtained the suspensions from state officials.
UFC fighter Jacob Volkmann's latest suspension lifted, though rules now stricter
UFC lightweight Jacob Volkmann said he followed the rules – to the letter – when he said President Barack Obama needed a "glassectomy," even after being placed on paid administrative leave a second time by the high school that employs him as a part-time wrestling coach.
Now, the rules are a little bit stricter.
Volkmann was taken off administrative leave from White Bear Lake High School today after a meeting with school administrators.
Despite UFC on FOX 2 loss, bonus-winner Nik Lentz told his job is safe
After four consecutive wins in the octagon, UFC lightweight Nik Lentz has hit the skids.
But he also believes he's turned a corner in delivering the kind of performances fans want to see, and despite dropping back-to-back fights, he'll live to fight another day in the UFC.
"(UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva said I wouldn't get cut," he today told MMAjunkie.com following a weekend loss to Evan Dunham at UFC on FOX 2.
XFC 16: Julio Gallegos vs Amaechi Oselukwue booked for 'High Stakes' on Feb. 10 via HDNet
XFC veteran Julio Gallegos returns to the cage on Feb. 10th live on HDNet when he takes on Amaechi Oselukwue at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum at XFC 16: ‘High Stakes.' The heavy handed middleweight is a fan favorite not just for his fighting ability but his charity work as well.
Overcoming tragedy at an early age, that saw the loss of both of Gallegos' parents, the Kentucky native has turned the negative into a positive by focusing his energy on helping sick children. Gallegos works tirelessly promoting cancer awareness and spends his time visiting sick children at St. Jude and Kosair Children's Hospital in Kentucky. Last year Gallegos even started his own charity, the GJG Foundation, which benefits kids in Lexington, KY. Last year the fighter raised several thousand dollars that went into helping children in his hometown.
After 62 Straight Kickboxing and MMA Wins, Stephen Thompson Makes UFC Debut
Jan 31, 2012 - The numbers are something out of a video game or a movie or someone's imagination. In amateur kickboxing, Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson was 37-0. As a pro kickboxer, 20-0. As a professional mixed martial artist, he's 5-0 so far. That's 62 straight fights without a loss.
But it's no facade, and his record is no product of fishy matchmaking. In fact, despite his newness on the MMA scene, he's already wowed some of this sports' brightest minds.Georges St-Pierre's trainer Firas Zahabi recently called Thompson "definitely the best karate guy, the best striker I've ever seen, all around in any sport."
The welterweight brings his exceptional record to this weekend's UFC 143, where he faces fellow octagon rookie Daniel Stittgen, hoping to extend his ridiculous streak.
GSP doesn't see himself as champ anymore
UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre doesn't like Nick Diaz. But that won't stop him from cheering on the Stockton, Calif., native on Saturday at UFC 143 as the latter takes on Carlos Condit in the main event for the interim welterweight title.
GSP will be cageside for the fight and says he will feel conflicted while watching Diaz and Condit compete.
"I respect Carlos Condit, but I want Diaz to win. It will be a weird feeling, sitting at the Mandalay Bay wanting Nick Diaz to win," St-Pierre told the UFC.
"I am very nervous that Carlos Condit will win on Saturday night, and that I won't be able to fight Nick Diaz this summer," St-Pierre said.
"Carlos Condit is a very good fighter, he can strike, he is aggressive and he has submissions. He has been very impressive and is the type of fighter who gets better and better the more confident he gets … I am not personal friends with him but I know him a little and he's a great person.
"All that has done though is make me determined to beat him up. He will bring out the best in me, I will be 100 per cent focused, like a bomb-expert defusing a time bomb. When my back is against the wall and I have no choice but to win … that is when I am most dangerous.
Despite the fact most people don't give much thought to interim titles, St-Pierre feels the opposite.
"The way I see it, I am not the champion anymore on Saturday night," St-Pierre said. "I have not fought since April, against my will, but I understand the champion must fight. You have to put the belt on the line in order to call yourself champion, the best in the world. Right now I am not the best in the world, I am injured.
“The winner of this fight on Saturday will be more than just the new No. 1 contender, but he won't be the new champion either. The winner of this fight will have to beat me to become the true world champion and I will have to beat the winner of this fight in order to call myself the best in the world again."
MFC Pavelich on farewell of fighters, ring
The Maximum Fighting Championship announced the release of three fighters on Tuesday, including former lightweight champion Antonio McKee, who was officially cut after missing weight by seven pounds for his title defence last Friday in Edmonton.
Also let go by the Edmonton-based organization was his opponent Brian Cobb, who lost to McKee in what ended up being a three-round, non-title catchweight bout in the co-main event of MFC 32: Bitter Rivals, as well as James Haddad, who were the other fighters to miss weight but by smaller margins.
McKee was set to defend his belt before coming in well over the 155-pound target at the weigh-ins last Thursday. He was immediately stripped of his belt and MFC owner/president Mark Pavelich said after his "farewell fight" the following day he would never fight in the MFC again, "even if he wins by flying armbar or knockout."
"And I’m not like Dana White," added Pavelich, referring to the UFC president as having given second chances to fighters he’s said would never fight for him again. "When I say 'never,' I mean never. My never is forever."
"I was thoroughly disgusted by the lack of professionalism that Antonio McKee showed towards the belt he was scheduled to defend as well as the (MFC as an organization)," Pavelich said."It was unacceptable behaviour for a champion to demonstrate. On top of that, Antonio never really apologized for missing weight that badly. That was the end of things for him with the MFC."
Also bidding farewell to the MFC on Friday was the ring itself -- the promotion will be switching to a cage on a full-time basis.
The circular cage -- ironically nicknamed "The Ring" -- that will be in use for all future events was first employed at MFC 29 last April for their first show in Ontario, whose province’s athletic commission requires all MMA fights to take place in the cage.
The MFC, which continued to use the ring for its shows in Edmonton as it had for all of its existence, did so for the last time on Friday. Pavelich, who has always maintained that the ring is better especially for the live spectators because it’s better for viewing the action, says their permanent move to the fenced enclosure is a good sign for fans, especially those in Ontario.
"People should be excited in Ontario, because if I’m switching after 12 years of being the biggest advocator on the planet to be inside a ring ... it’s your province that doesn’t allow us to fight in a ring, so that must mean I’m making plans to come back to Ontario if I’m ready to abandon the best apparatus possible to fight on."
Fights in the MFC are now also being scored with the much-talked-about half-point system that was put into place by Edmonton’s athletic commission, where judges can award scores with half-points. Pavelich said he’s not opposed to it, but is not sure it will make a big difference. ...
Pavelich said the commission was looking at other new ideas, such as letting fans and fighters know how judges scored a round after each one is completed. He said he was in favour of that change.
UFC makes official UFC 143 program available for free viewing
For the first time, UFC officials are offering a free version of its event-night program.
An e-version of this weekend's UFC 143 program, which feature headliners and interim-title fighters Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit, is now available online.
Check it out at ufc.com/program.
The UFC 143 program is 35 pages long and features full-color photography of fighters, officials and ring girls. UFC president Dana White penned the welcome letter.
Shinya Aoki And Eddie Alvarez To Rematch In Bellator This April
After losing his Bellator title in a fight of the year candidate against Michael Chandler, Eddie Alvarez decided to skip this season's lightweight tournament so he could negotiate for a chance to redeem another loss - one against the popular Japanese champion, Shinya Aoki.
Alvarez will finally be getting his wish on April 21st, but this time, he'll be taking on the DREAM champion inside the Bellator cage. Sources close to the situation have informed BloodyElbow.com that bout agreements have been sent and Aoki has already put pen to paper, with Bellator expected to make the official announcement soon.
Champ Georges St-Pierre wants Nick Diaz fight as much as he wanted a title shot
"I want this fight with Diaz so badly – as badly as I wanted the title shot when I got down on my knees," St-Pierre today told the UFC.
That was seven years ago at UFC 56, when his career looked a whole lot different than it does today. Of all the punches he's slipped on his current path, this one has hit hardest.
What's more, he can't do anything but sit and wait to settle the rivalry.
"I was (crushed) when I had to pull out of this weekend's fight hurt, but I am determined to get back to the octagon as soon as possible to fight this guy," St-Pierre said of Diaz. "He needs to hold up his part and beat (Carlos) Condit on Saturday to make this fight happen."
"Condit is a very good fighter," he said. "He can strike, he is aggressive, and he has submissions. He has been very impressive and is the type of fighter who gets better and better the more confident he gets.
"I am not personal friends with him, but I know him a little, and he's a great person. I know a lot of people who know him well because we train with the same people, but I have only spoken with him a few times. I feel bad. It is weird that I want him to lose, but I have never wanted to fight anyone as much as I want to fight Diaz."
"I don't truly hate him as a person," St-Pierre said. "I don't know that he is a bad guy, but I hate what he brings to the sport with the disrespect and the unprofessional things he says and does. It is sort of a professional hatred. He has been nothing but disrespectful and arrogant toward me.
"During UFC 137 (week), I felt like I had to walk around Las Vegas with my fists ready because every time I came across him, he wanted to fight there and then. Every time the elevator opened (in the hotel), I needed to be ready to fight in case he stepped in. I was on edge all week. This guy is crazy.
"I am used to hearing (smack) talk from opponents. Matt Serra did it, Dan Hardy did it, and Josh Koscheck did it. But with Diaz, he has taken it to another level. He and his coach have called me a coward and tried to disrespect my accomplishments.
On the Knee
"I am ahead of schedule," he said of his recovery. "I can already train and even kick, but I am remaining calm and not rushing. I won't train properly until July, it is a matter of discipline not to force my knee to go harder than it can heal."
UFC on FOX 2 ratings: Event averages 4.7 million viewers, second-best all-time
This past weekend's UFC on FOX 2 event, which featured three main-card bouts, averaged 4.7 million viewers.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the figures with industry sources.
Overall, the Jan. 28 event – which ran two hours and 19 minutes – scored a 3.21 rating among men 18-49 and a 3.21 among men 18-34. It's tied for the second-highest-rated MMA event in U.S. television history.
All of the numbers are down from November's record-setting UFC on FOX 1 event. The FOX-televised broadcast, which featured just one bout with Junior Dos Santos claiming the heavyweight title from Cain Velasquez, averaged 5.7 million viewers. The event also scored a 4.0 household rating among men 18-49 and 4.3 among men 18-34.
The second event – and the first official show that is part of a seven-year UFC-FOX deal that formally began this month – took place at Chicago's sold-out United Center. Rashad Evans claimed a light-heavyweight title shot with a decision victory over Phil Davis in the headliner. In other FOX-televised bouts, which followed prelims on FUEL TV and Facebook, Chael Sonnen edged Michael Bisping to claim a middleweight title shot, and middleweight Chris Weidman kept his perfect record intact with a decision win over Demian Maia.
On Monday, FOX officials announced that – according to overnight-ratings information – UFC on FOX 2 ratings were up 42 percent compared to the network's previous four weeks of Saturday-night programming.
In counter-programming efforts, Spike TV averaged 828,000 viewers for a UFC Fight Night replay and "UFC Unleashed" episodes that aired from 7-11 p.m. ET/PT. The UFC Fight Night replay kicked off the counter-programming strong and averaged 960,000 viewers...