Vitor Belfor and Wanderlei Silva named coaches of TUF: Brazil
Brazilian sluggers Vitor Belfort (20-9 MMA, 9-5 UFC) and Wanderlei Silva (34-11-1 MMA, 4-6 UFC) will serve as opposing coaches on "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil."
UFC president Dana White today announced the selections during a pre-UFC 142 press conference in Rio de Janeiro.
The two will coach opposing teams on the first-ever international edition of "TUF," which in March debuts on Globo, and will oppose each other following the conclusion of the series.
Belfort will still face Anthony Johnson at January's UFC 134 event.
"The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil" will be produced by Brazilian firm Floresta and air as part of the UFC's broadcast deal with Globo. The series is expected to feature 12 taped episodes in addition to a live finale.
While FUEL TV is expected to air the show in the U.S., UFC president Dana White has yet to officially announce a stateside broadcast partner.
Fuel TV to air 'UFC Tonight' weekly show
Fuel TV's package of content for the Ultimate Fighting Championship will include once-a-week news show.
UFC Tonight will start Jan. 3 as a weekly 30-minute program, said George Greenberg, executive vice president and general manager of Fuel. Todd Harris will be the host, with lightweight fighter and Kenny Florian as the co-host.
Jay Glazer will contribute weekly features. Ariel Helwani will have an "Insider" role similar to that of Glazer on Fox's NFL pregame show, reporting news and acting as UFC Tonight's man on the scene at UFC events.
Harris was the play-by-play announcer for World Extreme Cagefighting. Florian has been a studio analyst for ESPN's MMA Live program since its inception in 2008.
Glazer was part of the team on Fox Sports Net's highlight shows for Pride Fighting Championships and took part in the pre-fight coverage for last month's UFC on Fox premiere. He also was on the broadcast crew for an Affliction Entertainment's show in July 2008.
Helwani started covering MMA as an online journalist in 2006 and has been with the MMA Fighting site since 2009. He has become the sport's most popular reporter, winning "Journalist of the Year" for the last two years in the World MMA Awards, which are decided by online voting.
Content for UFC Tonight will include interviews, more access to fighters and exclusive angles for fight footage, said Greenberg, who described the program as the "official vessel" for UFC news and information.
The show will be weekly for the first six months. "If we like what we see, it could go a couple of nights a week to possibly every night of the week, depending on performance," Greenberg said...
Alistair Overeem granted conditional license for UFC 141, facing four drug tests
For now, at least, former Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem (35-11 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will face Brock Lesnar (5-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) in the main event of December's UFC 141 event.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission today granted Overeem a conditional license to face Lesnar on Dec. 30, subject to a pre-fight drug test to be submitted in Europe within the next 72 hours, as well as an additional screen submitted in the U.S. when the Dutch heavyweight arrives for the contest.
Overeem's conditional license also includes two post-fight drug screen orders, to be completed less than six months after the bout.
The decision was made during Monday's Nevada State Athletic Commission monthly meeting, which took place at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building in Las Vegas.
Overeem's status for the bout was in doubt after he failed to comply with out-of-competition testing ordered by the NSAC on Nov. 17...
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Satoshi Ishii headlines 'DREAM: New Year! 2011'
Fedor Emelianenko (32-4) is returning to Japan.
A long-rumored bout between the former PRIDE heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medalist Satoshi Ishii (4-1-1) is expected to headline a New Year's Eve event in Japan featuring two DREAM title bouts and the completion of the DREAM bantamweight tournament.
The full card for "DREAM: Fight for Japan: Genkidesuka!! Oomisoka!! 2011!" includes:
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Satoshi Ishii
Champ Shinya Aoki vs. Satoru Kitaoka (for lightweight title)
Champ Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Takeshi "Lion" Inoue (for featherweight title)
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Kazuyuki Miyata
Yuichiro Nagashima vs. Katsunori Kikuno (mixed-rules bout)
Rodolfo Marques Diniz vs. Bibiano Fernandes (bantamweight grand-prix semifinal)
Antonio Banuelos vs. Masakazu Imanari (bantamweight grand-prix semifinal)
Hideo Tokoro vs. Yusup Saadulaev (bantamweight grand-prix reserve match)
Ryo Chonan vs. Hayato Sakurai
Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Peter Aerts (pro-wrestling match)
UFC 142's Rousimar Palhares seeing sports psychologist following bizarre incidents
Rousimar Palhares' manager, Alex Davis, thought it might be slightly more prudent to seek out the expertise of an actual, licensed clinical sports psychologist following a series of head-scratching episodes involving his client.
Currently, there are only questions surrounding the Brazilian fighter's recent behavior, which has included blatantly ignoring referee instructions, wrongfully accusing opponents of cheating, and just about everything in between.
Why does it always seem like he's trying to bend the rules? Does he simply lose focus under pressure? Is he a dirty fighter? Could there be something more serious going on regarding his mental fitness?
Dan Henderson Calls Out Jon Jones, Wants to Test His Chin
Shortly after UFC 140 ended, former Strikeforce and PRIDE champion, Dan Henderson campaigned for a shot at Jon Jones. He turned to twitter to make the case for a title shot:
Congrats to @jonnybones -- great win. Hey @danawhite, I'd like to see if his chin is as good as he thinks & I'm ready to go.
Dec 11 via SeesmicFavoriteRetweetReply
Aside from the winner of Phil Davis vs. Rashad Evans, Henderson is probably the only light heavyweight that can draw a ton of interest in a match against Jones.
He has the wrestling, and that bomb of a right hand that can cause stylistic problems, plus he's riding high coming off a very impressive run in 2011. That hot-streak has seen him win the Strikeforce light heavyweight title, KO the greatest heavyweight of all-time in Fedor Emeliananko, and defeat Shogun Rua in a fight of the year candidate.
While it is a very interesting match up, there could be issues with timing, as Jones said during the post-fight press conference that he wanted to take a few months off. (Transcribed by MMA Mania):
"I would like to take up to four months of, maybe even five. Come on Dana, give me a break, give me a break please. Yeah, fighting maybe three times in 2012 would be nice, but you know a break sounds nice, too. So, it's really up to the UFC, one of my goals is to be a company guy, so if the UFC asks me to do something, I probably won't put up much of a fight. So it's really up to Dana."
Travis Wiuff signs with Bellator, likely to join future light-heavyweight tournament
After knocking off a Bellator champion in a recent non-title fight, Travis Wiuff may get a chance to do the real thing.
The veteran fighter has signed a long-term deal with Bellator and is expected to compete in a future Bellator light-heavyweight tournament.
Sources close to the fighter confirmed the plans with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Terms of Wiuff's deal were not disclosed.
Wiuff (65-14 MMA, 1-0 BFC), who scored a unanimous-decision victory over light-heavyweight champion Christian M'Pumbu in October at Bellator 55, didn't get the belt since the bout was a non-title "super fight." (Bellator only awards titles and title shots to fighters who win the organization's eight-man tourneys, and the M'Pumbu bout marked Wiuff's promotional debut.)
Following hospital visits, UFC futures of 'Big Nog' and Tito Ortiz uncertain
Former UFC champions and MMA legends Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (33-7-1 MMA, 4-3 UFC) and Tito Ortiz (16-10-1 MMA, 15-10-1 UFC) may have reached the end of the line.
Nogueira and Ortiz were each transferred to a Toronto-area hospital following losses to Frank Mir and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, respectively, on the main card of Saturday night's UFC 140 event, and UFC president Dana White admitted each of them may have fought for the final time in the octagon.
Following the evening's post-event press conference, which took place at Air Canada Centre, White said he would have to talk with each fighter individually, but he wasn't willing to guarantee a UFC return for either athlete.
BAMMA 8: Manuwa vs. Rea – ‘Quick Results’
The British Association of Mixed Martial Arts held their latest event with BAMMA 8 on Saturday, Dec. 10, from the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham, England.
The main card was supposed to have aired live in North America on HDNet on Saturday afternoon, but issues with the broadcast forced the network to cancel the live telecast.
The event included the appearance of former TUF 9 finalist Andre Winner as he earned a solid unanimous decision over Diego Gonzalez. While Bellator Season Four welterweight tournament fighter Jim ‘Judo’ Wallhead ended his night with a quick first round TKO victory against Joey Villasenor in just 48-seconds
Brittney Palmer Lands Playboy Cover
Popular UFC octagon girl Brittney Palmer, who just returned to the fold after a few months away, will appear in the March issue of Playboy, MMA Fighting has learned.
Sources close to Playboy Magazine confirmed the pictorial to Ariel Helwani.
Palmer had last been seen in the UFC at July's UFC 132, but took some time off to move to California and attend art school.
After her sabbatical, in November, UFC president Dana White announced she would be back walking around the cage soon, and she returned at Saturday night's UFC 140.
Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills Planned for UFC 145 in Montreal
Welterweight prospect Rory MacDonald will make his return to the UFC in March against Che Mills, MMAFighting.com has confirmed with sources close to the fight.
The Canadian MacDonald, who pulled out of his UFC 140 fight against Brian Ebersole last month due to an injury, will meet Mills at UFC 145 on March 24 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Frank Mir - A myriad of threats
Fight day is here! As I get set for my fight at UFC 140 Saturday night, I take great confidence from the belief that I have more ways to win than my opponent Antonio (Minotauro) Nogueira. Although a great fighter in his own right, I truly don't think "Big Nog" has the same options as me going into this fight.
Let me explain. If I'm not happy with the way the fight is going on my feet, I have the option of taking it to the floor and maintaining control there, and the same applies if I'm unhappy with how my grappling is working out. Nogueira will have to be resigned to do whatever I want him to do in this fight.
Sure, he can fight me jiu-jitsu versus jiu-jitsu, but if there comes a point where he doesn't like what's going on down there, he's not going to be able to change that. I can change where this fight takes place, he can't. If he starts getting hurt on his feet in a striking battle, I really don't see how he is going to take me down and take me away from what I was doing with punches and kicks.
Dan Miller schedules surgery for son, camp thanks UFC for financial support
With Dan Miller facing medical bills in the neighborhood of $100,000, things weren't exactly heading in the right direction for the UFC middleweight contender.
Now, thanks to a little help from his employers, Miller is in much better shape.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) recently learned from Miller's camp at AMA Fight Club that UFC co-owners Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White each made significant private donations to the Daniel James Miller Foundation, which was created to assist in the funding of a kidney transplant for Miller's son, Daniel Jr.
"Zuffa went above and beyond to make sure that Daniel James Miller and his aunt Kathy, who will be the living donor, will have the absolute best health care and the funding possible to make the surgery happen," AMA trainer Mike Constantino told MMAjunkie.com. "In addition to that, Dana and Lorenzo also made a substantial donation to the Daniel James Miller Foundation."
Frank Mir - Beware the Rematch
When you get offered a fight by the UFC, you have a choice: either embrace it, get ready for it and win it, or sulk and question whether you are even a fighter in the first place.
I was offered a fight against Antonio (Minotauro) Nogueira on Dec. 10 at UFC 140 and, although I already held a win over the man, I jumped at the chance. It was another big fight in my career, against a legend, and one that will move me a step closer to another UFC heavyweight title shot. What is there not to like about that?
Naturally, some people look at this weekend's fight and think to themselves, 'Damn, Frank already holds a win over that guy -- isn't he going over old ground,' and, in a sense, I guess they are right. I beat Nogueira inside two rounds back in December 2008 and, three years on, it does kind of feel as if I'm going through it all again, especially as I personally believe this rematch will bear an uncanny resemblance to the first fight.
I am a fighter, though, and fighters can't afford to ever think like that. I knew this was a fight I had to take seriously, despite the fact I had already beaten the man. Nogueira is someone I have a victory over, but, right now, that only means he is hungry for revenge and will be much better in this rematch than he was in the first fight.
After camping with Tristar, Mark Bocek wiping the slate clean at UFC 140
UFC lightweight Mark Bocek (9-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) spent 15 minutes in the cage with current No. 1 contender Ben Henderson and knew something had to change.
Fighting in front of the largest crowd in North American MMA history at this past April's UFC 129 event, Bocek knew he had been defeated, and it was a feeling he didn't like.
So Bocek promptly relocated his camp to Montreal's famed Tristar Gym and reinvented himself. Wipe the slate clean, says Bocek. The real work starts Saturday night.
"I changed the camp up a little bit," Bocek told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I did my camp in Montreal at Tristar with Firas Zahabi and all the guys down there. They have a bunch of different gyms. The way they train, it's not all in one place. It's kind of decentralized, so I've got a new look on things. I felt like my learning curve was getting a little flat, but I feel ready.
"I wasn't happy about the Henderson fight, but I've changed things around. I'm 30 years old now. I think things, now, are starting to come together nicely for me in my game. I feel good."
Bocek gets a chance to display his new skills Saturday night, when he faces Nik Lentz (21-3-2 MMA, 5-0-1 UFC) on the preliminary card of UFC 140, which takes place at Toronto's Air Canada Centre.
Rick Hawn dropping to lightweight, joining season-six Bellator tournament
Bellator season-four welterweight-tournament runner-up Rick Hawn is dropping a weight class for the organization's season-six lightweight tournament.
Officials today confirmed the U.S. Olympian's plans with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
As part of the tourney entry, Hawn (11-1 MMA, 3-1 BFC) has signed a new extension with the organization, though terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Hawn, a judoka who finished ninth in the 2004 Summer Olympics, moved his MMA record to 11-0 with a split-decision victory Lyman Good earlier this year in Bellator's season-four welterweight-tourney semifinals. However, he fell short of a guaranteed title shot and suffered his first career loss when he dropped a close split decision to notable Jay Hieron in the finals.
The 5-foot-9 fighter will join another Bellator tournament, but this time he'll do so in a lighter weight class when the eight-man tourney kicks off in March.