Jose Aldo vs Anthony Pettis? 'Showtime' considering a drop to featherweight
The last man to hold the World Extreme Championship (WEC) lightweight title, Anthony Pettis, wanted to prove that beating Ben Henderson to earn that distinction was not a fluke.
In order to do that, he required a "Smooth" rematch against "Bendo," who took over the 155-pound throne under the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) banner by outpointing Frankie Edgar last month in Japan.
"Showtime" held up his end of the bargain by cleaning the clock of Boston grappler Joe Lauzon, also at UFC 144, and put himself in prime position to make it two in a row against Henderson.
Unfortunately nobody cleared it with Edgar.
His "Answer" to UFC President Dana White, who urged the Jersey Shore native to drop a few pounds and challenge Jose Aldo for the featherweight crown in the promotion's desolate 145-pound division, was an emphatic "No." Edgar instead wanted a Henderson rematch based on the (mildly) controversial finish from their championship tilt at the Saitama Super Arena.
That means Pettis will have to fend off another round of lightweight hopefuls to keep his spot in line. Or he can do what Edgar wouldn't, and shed some skin to give "Junior" the fits in a featherweight title fight. A move his manager tells Ariel Helwani (via UFC Tonight) is currently under consideration.
After Strained Relationship, M-1 Champ Vinny Magalhaes Declares Free Agency
Mar 13, 2012 - Champions generally don't leave their promotions while in the midst of a title reign, but that's exactly the route that Vinny Magalhaes is planning to take. As he tells it, the decision to part ways with M-1 has been a foregone conclusion for months, and the impetus came smack in the middle of his last match.
Last October, Magalhaes was in the midst of successfully defending his light-heavyweight championship against Mikhail Zayats at an M-1 show in Phoenix when his manager Juan Sanchez heard M-1's director of operations Evgeni Kogan openly rooting for and instructing Zayats.
"Once that happens, I don't know how you can trust somebody," Magalhaes told MMA Fighting.
As it turns out, he can't. And so on Tuesday, Magalhaes (9-5-1) declared his free agency, saying he's lived out the terms of his contract. While Sanchez told MMA Fighting that M-1 has a matching period, he doesn't expect them to equal any new deal. There's little doubt he'll be a hot commodity, as the 27-year-old has gone 7-1 since ending his first UFC run in April 2009.
Fabio Maldonado vs. Igor Pokrajac slated for UFC on FUEL TV 3
After losing opponent Thiago Silva (14-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) to a rescheduling, light heavyweight Igor Pokrajac (24-8 MMA, 3-3 UFC) now will fight replacement Fabio Maldonado (18-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) at May's UFC on FUEL TV 3 event.
Maldonado recently announced the fight.
UFC on FUEL TV 3 takes play May 15 at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va., and features a No. 1 contender's bout between featherweights Dustin Poirier and Chan Sung Jung.
The event's main card airs live on FUEL TV, and Facebook is expected to stream the preliminary card. It's not clear where Pokrajac vs. Maldonado will end up on the card.
Rousey: Tate just sounds kind of dumb
SD: Miesha stated that she felt she was winning until you caught her with the second armbar. What's your take on this?
RR: I don't think there's any way she could argue that she was winning that fight at all. If you just look at the striking stats, I landed 43 strikes and she landed 11. If you look at the actual damage, she was bruised up on her leg and her face, not to mention her arm. The only point in the fight where she could say she was being the least bit dominant, is the part where she had my back, but she definitely landed fewer strikes from the back, and had zero submission attempts. The one time she tried to do something, she lost her position immediately. That wasn't a dominant position for her, that was pretty much her holding on for dear life. Every single takedown was me, I had the majority of the strikes, and I got the win. This all happened in four minutes, and if she assumes that the few seconds that she had my back, that she was the winner...well she wasn't doing anything productive there anyway, except prolonging the inevitable.
SD: Miesha said during her interview that you didn't really prove much during your fight. How do you feel about that statement?
RR: It just kind of makes her sound dumb. Everyone knows that I wanted to armbar her, and there was nothing she could do to stop me, even with months of preparation. I think that proves a lot. It's like she's not even looking at the actual situation. I don't know what match she was watching, to really think that. One of those pieces of advice that my mom tells me all the time is, 'Never listen to your own press.' The second I got out of that cage, my coach was already telling me a million things I did wrong. It just seems tome like she must be surrounded by a bunch of "yes men" all the time, saying stuff like, 'Oh yeah, you were winning. You were totally dominating.' If I was her, I would look at that match, look at what I did wrong, and try to fix it next time, and not be like 'I was totally winning before I lost.'
Fedor Emelianenko: I have to go to the UFC to face the strongest opponents
Stop me if you've heard this one before.
Former Strikeforce heavyweight attraction and longtime PRIDE FC champion Fedor Emelianenko is still yapping about a return to the United States, under the UFC banner, no less, despite persistent rumors from the M-1 camp that he's slated to compete later this year in Monaco.
"The Last Emperor" snapped a three-fight losing skid with a unanimous decision win over Jeff Monson last November, before making it two in a row with a first round knockout finish of judo expert Satoshi Ishii in the DREAM: "Genki Desu Ka Omisoka" year-end MMA extravaganza in Japan.
But was it good enough to warrant an appearance inside the Octagon?
Miesha Tate requests Ronda Rousey rematch, feels she was winning before 'mistake'
On any given Sunday, any NFL football team can beat any other squad. And as the iconic John Madden would bark, "it's why they play the game."
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is apparently no different, especially at the highest level of the sport. At least that's how former Strikeforce 135-pound champion Miesha Tate now feels after her tendon-tearing armbar submission loss to Ronda Rousey at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, earlier this month.
With about 10 days to reflect on the jaw-dropping, arm-snapping loss, "Takedown" today (March 12, 2012) talked to MMAFighting.com about her current physical condition (her arm is still not broken, but could require surgery) and her desire to run it back against "Rowdy" in the near future.
TUF Live Premiere TV Ratings Lower Than Past Premieres
The ratings are in and the first episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Live debuted on FX on Friday night to an average audience of 1.3 million viewers, according to industry sources.
The Ultimate Fighter: Live kicked off season 15 with 16 one-round fights, aired live on FX. Each episode for the rest of the season will feature footage filmed and edited within a few days of each Friday night episode, culminating in at least one live fight each week.
Rampage Doesn’t Want to be a Part of the UFC
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has been the talk of the town since losing to Ryan Bader at UFC 144 in Japan. He’s brought up TRT usage, a knee injury leading up to his fight with Bader, and wanting to be done with the UFC.
Rampage on Monday did an extensive phone interview with Inside MMA’s Bas Rutten.
Tyron Woodley anxiously awaits call for Strikeforce title fight
Tyron Woodley said he's had an average of three to five weeks to prepare for a fight.
For his next one, he'll get 12 – if he can get official word from his promoter that May 19 is indeed the date that he gets the biggest opportunity of his career against Nate Marquardt.
"I want them to give me a bout agreement and confirm that we are going to do this on that day," Woodley told MMAjunkie.com. "Because I've already started training."
Chris Leben Calls Positive Drug Test 'Best Thing to Ever Happen to Me'
Mar 12, 2012 - Speaking publicly for the first time since the UFC suspended him for testing positive for painkillers at UFC 138, Chris Leben said that the suspension forced him into rehab and forced him to turn his life around.
"I've battled drugs and alcohol," Leben said on The MMA Hour. "I've battled with those for my entire life. I've had an issue with being addicted to painkillers for years now. I had some issues with my camp and it was almost a cry for help. I knew I was going to get caught and I just didn't care at the time. I'm extremely embarrassed, I feel like I let down the UFC, but at the same time I think getting caught is probably the best thing to ever happen to me. The UFC has been unbelievable, they sent me to a rehab facility and they really took care of me."
Titan FC Signs UFC Veteran Anthony "Rumble" Johnson
UFC castoff Anthony Johnson has signed with Titan Fighting Championships.
Titan Fighting CEO Joe Kelly today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he received Johnson's contract this morning. The fighter initially broke the news on "The MMA Hour."
Johnson is slated to fight on May 25 at Titan Fighting 22, though no opponent has been finalized, Kelly said.
Terms of his deal were not disclosed, though Johnson will compete at middleweight.
Strikeforce champ Melendez fights May 19, coach stumps for Penn or Pettis
Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez (20-2 MMA, 10-1 SF) will fight at the organization's recently announced May 19 event.
Against whom? That's a good question.
However, one of Melendez's coaches, Cesar Gracie, has two suggestions: current UFC fighters B.J. Penn or Anthony Pettis.
However, multiple sources told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) no opponent has been determined as of yet. Additionally, the champ's manager, Gil Melendez Sr., declined comment. But today on Twitter, Gracie stated, "I hope (it's) Penn or Pettis."
Dana White Says UFC May Move Away From PPV
Since its inception nearly 20 years ago, the UFC has been primarily a Pay Per View based company. While live gates, merchandising, and ratings matter, the PPV model has always been the staple of UFC programming. Over time, we've seen a gradual shift away from this model - first with The Ultimate Fighter, then the Spike TV fight nights and Live on Versus shows. In recent months, there's been more of a shift away, with major PPV-quality shows on Fox, and an increase in content on FX and Fuel.
Now, hot on the heels of the UFC taking The Ultimate Fighter to its new live format on FX, Dana White has made an intersting statement on the future of this PPV model. White told MMA Weekly:
"I do believe there will be a day when there probably isn't pay-per-view."
White went on to explain that he, like many media analysts, sees the future of television and cable changing drastically in coming years and anticipates the UFC being on the front edge of that change. And one of those changes could very likely be the death of the UFC on PPV.
'The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil' cast unveiled with 32 featherweights and middleweights
The fighters competing in the first-ever international edition of "The Ultimate Fighter" have been revealed.
"TUF: Brazil," which features UFC notables Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva as coaches, streams in the U.S. on UFC.com (simultaneously as it debuts March 25 in Brazil on Globo) and airs on FUEL TV (air times TBA).
A total of 32 featherweights and middleweights take part in the competition-reality series, the winners of which earn UFC contracts.
As with the recently debuted 15th U.S. edition of the reality show – "TUF: Live," which debuted this past Friday on U.S. – "TUF: Brazil" features an elimination round of fights. All winners of the those fights become official cast members. They then compete in the two tournaments, which are the focus of the reality show's regular-season run.
While most of the fighters are veterans of the Brazilian scene and largely undiscovered talent (in North America), there are a few notables, including featherweight Rodrigo Damm, a former Strikeforce and World Victory Road/Sengoku fighter, and 10-time IFL veteran Delson Heleno. However, notable Hacran Dias (20-1), one of the country's top prospects, isn't on the list.
The full list of "TUF: Brazil" fighters (courtesy globoesporte.com) includes:
Alexandre Ramos (5-0)
Rodrigo Damm (9-5)
Rony Mariano Bezerra (10-3)
Godofredo Pepey (8-0)
Marcos Vinicius Borges Pancini (19-3-1)
Medeiros Anistavio (12-7)
Johnny Goncalves (4-0)
Medeiros Anistavio (5-0)
Fernando Duarte Guerra (10-1)
John Teixeira (13-0-1)
Rafael Bueno (7-1)
Wagner Campos (11-3)
Pedro Nobre (10-0-1)
Fabricio de Assis Costa da Silva (14-1)
Dileno Lopes (8-0)
Giovanni da Silva Santos Jr. (10-1)
Sergio Moraes (6-1)
Cezar Ferreira (4-2)
Leonardo Mafra Teixeira (5-0)
Daniel Sarafian (7-2)
Gustavo Sampaio (5-1)
Richardson Moreira (3-0)
Fabio Luiz Vital da Costa (9-0-1)
Renee Forte (7-1)
Joao Paulo de Souza (8-4)
Francisco Drinaldo (10-1)
Thiago Rela (3-1)
Charles Maicon (8-1)
Gilberto Galvao (19-4-1)
Thiago de Oliveira Perpetuo (8-1-1)
Samuel Trindade (6-1)
Delson Heleno (23-6)
Wyoming becomes state No. 46 to regulate MMA
Wyoming is getting in the business of regulated MMA.
Governor Matt Mead recently signed into law House Bill 87, which calls for the creation of an MMA board to oversee and regulate the sport.
Although the country's least populous U.S. state, Wyoming is now the 46th to regulate MMA.
Only three state athletic commissions (in New York, Connecticut and Vermont) currently don't regulate MMA, and one (Alaska) lacks a regulatory body to do so. Wyoming joins other recent adopters, including West Virginia, Wisconsin and Alabama.
Wyoming officially joined the list this past Thursday, March 8.
UFC Primetime returns for 'Jones vs Evans' and 'Dos Santos vs Overeem'
Good news, "Primetime" fans. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is rolling out its real-time documentary style series for two upcoming title fights.
And neither of them feature Georges St. Pierre!
Indeed, the promotion has announced it will bring "Primetime" back to the FX channel for the Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans light heavyweight championship showdown slotted for UFC 145 on April 21, 2012, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Air dates and times on FX are as follows:
Rampage quit threats don't concern Dana White
UFC president Dana White plans to do little in response to Quinton Rampage Jackson's threat to quit the UFC, insisting the light-heavyweight is merely an emotional character.
Not for the first time in his career, Jackson threatened to walk away from the UFC on Monday when he claimed his next fight will be his last.
Rampage previously stated after defeat to Jon Jones that he would pursue a career in boxing, but returned to the Octagon to fight Ryan Bader - a bout he lost via unanimous decision.