'Mighty Mouse' Replaces Pickett Against Torres at UFC 130
British bantamweight Brad Pickett has suffered an injury and has been forced to withdraw from his UFC 130 bout with Miguel Torres. Stepping in to face the former WEC champion in Pickett's stead will be Demetrious Johnson, the promotion announced Wednesday evening.
"The fastest man in the division has answered the call, and Demetrious Johnson will move into Pickett’s spot to face the former divisional kingpin," said UFC president Dana White. "Both men have verbally agreed to the fight."
Ben Henderson Isn't Afraid of Canadians, Wants Rematch With Anthony Pettis
Former WEC Lightweight Champion Ben Henderson could be forgiven if he was bitter about his last fight: a tight decision loss to Anthony Pettis that will forever be remembered more for "The Kick" than any of the action leading up to it.
But the 27-year-old isn't looking back and is ready to travel to hostile territory when he faces Canadian Mark Bocek to open the PPV portion of UFC 129 in Toronto, Canada. He isn't concerned in the least with the task of battling Bocek in front of a raucous pro-Canadian crowd of 55,000.
Michael Chandler vs Pitbull Freire tourney final official for Bellator 44
Michael Chandler (7-0 MMA, 4-0 BFC) and Patricky "Pitbull" Freire (9-1 MMA, 2-0 BFC) will determine Bellator Fighting Championships' season-four lightweight tourney champion at Bellator 44.
Bellator brass officially announced the two lightweight prospects will square off at the May 14 event, which takes place at New Jersey's Caesars Atlantic City and airs on MTV2.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported the planned date this past week.
Chris Guillen vs. Mark Holata finalizes eight bout Bellator 42 lineup
A heavyweight affair featuring 14-year veteran Chris Guillen (13-12 MMA, 0-0 BFC) and one-time Bellator veteran Mark Holata (10-2 MMA, 1-0 BFC) is the final piece to the Bellator 42 puzzle.
Bellator Fighting Championships officials recently announced that Guillen vs. Holata would serve as the eighth and final bout at the event.
Featuring the organization's two season-four light heavyweight tournament semifinal bouts, Bellator 42 takes place Saturday at the Lucky Star Casino in Concho, Okla. The main card airs on MTV2.
Cartwheeling Bellator Champ Zach Makovsky says bring on Joe Warren
With three-straight outdoor fights to his Bellator Fighting Championships record, Bellator bantamweight champ Zach Makovsky (13-2 MMA, 5-0 BFC) is no stranger to fighting under the sun.
That said, even "Fun Size" admits the glaring afternoon heat of Yuma, Ariz., had him a bit worried a this past week's Bellator 41 event.
"When I went out to the cage earlier in the day, it was really hot," Makovsky recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "If I sat in one place on the canvas, my feet were kind of burning. I was a little nervous, but the temperature went down by the time the fight started, and it was really enjoyable."
UFC 129: Patrick-Roberts, Menjivar-Valencia Free Fights on Facebook
MMA Fighting reports that the UFC is planning on airing prelim fights on Facebook for UFC 129 in Toronto. Claude Patrick vs. Daniel Roberts and Ivan Menjivar vs. Charlie Valencia are expected to be featured, but more fights may be added. The Spike TV prelims broadcast will air Nate Diaz vs. Rory Macdonald, and Jake Ellenberger vs. Sean Pierson.
Dana White Shoots Down Royce Gracie UFC 134 Return Rumors
UFC president Dana White has indicated to MMA Fighting that the promotion has no interest in offering a fight to Brazilian pioneer Royce Gracie for the UFC's upcoming August event in Rio de Janeiro, refuting previous reports that talks between the two sides could result in a Gracie return.
Just last week, Gracie told Brazilian news site Esporte.UOL.com that negotiations for his return were ongoing.
Gilbert Melendez’s Next Opponent Will Be from Strikeforce, Not UFC
Gilbert Melendez impressed everybody last weekend with his first-round drubbing of former Pride and Dream fighter Tatsuya Kawajiri to solidify his place among the best lightweights in the world.
Following a year layoff, Melendez came back guns blazing and didn’t stop until Kawajiri was finished. In the end, he laid claim to the top of the lightweight mountain.
Now comes the interesting part of finding the next opponent for Melendez.
Rumors started circling right after his fight with Kawajiri that the UFC was thinking about bringing in a title contender to face Melendez next. Names like Jim Miller started popping up right away, but it appears that fight or any cross-promotional fight won’t be Melendez’s next title defense.
Mark Pavelich Attacks Referee Pay, 'Big' John McCarthy Responds
The always outspoken MFC promoter Mark Pavelich made a minor splash with his most recent newsletter. In it he claimed that certain referees have become "celebrity referees" who charge upwards of $10,000 to work an event. From the newsletter:
It’s outrageous and absolutely inappropriate. These certain referees are charging anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 just to show up, bark out a catchphrase, and supervise a fight. But these fees aren’t being paid by any commission. They are paid by a show owner or promoter. And quite frankly it’s sad that some promoters feel obliged to pay them and put them front and center on a poster.
Why would they do that? Honestly, for most of them, it’s because they don’t have any talent pool to draw from so the biggest ovation of the night for anybody in the ring is for the referee. That’s a terrible statement for the sport of mixed martial arts. You don’t have much of a show if you’re paying your referee five times what you’re paying the two guys in the main event.
And how can you not call into question the ethics of these referees. Would you not expect their loyalties to be torn when some promoter is willing to pay them 10K, and that same referee is then calling the action when the promoter’s top fighters are in action.
It’s time for the commissions governing MMA to put a pay structure in place for all referees. They would be paid according to their experience, the level of competition they have overseen, and even feedback from notable fighters and insiders. There are a number of very good referees out there, including those that have worked recent MFC events. But even they shouldn’t be allowed to just toss out a price tag, or have a commission toss out one for them. There should be a pay scale in place – here’s what you get paid (plus reasonable expenses) … take it or leave it.
UFC 129: St. Pierre vs. Shields Conference Call
Jose Aldo: In my mind, this is just another fight. This is my job. Training camp went great.
- Aldo: There's no frustration because I knew I was in the UFC, fighting soon.
- Aldo: C5-C6 bothering him in his neck. Right shoulder bothering him from Mike Brown fight. Shoulder felt stress against Faber, Gamburyan.
- Aldo: No surgery, just rehab.
Mark Hominick: My life's flipped upside down with this fight. I've been in the fight game for 10 years. I feel like an overnight success.
- Hominick: People are intimidated when they step in with Jose. I'm going to come in and step forward against him.
- Hominick: How can you prepare for something you haven't seen before? (Re: fighting in Rogers Centre)
- Hominick: I'm excited for the fans. Every time you get the lighter guys, you're getting a great fight.
Randy Couture: Nothing changed. It's been an on-going transition for me. I want to go out on my own terms. I think that time has come.
- Couture: I've thought about it the last couple camps, and I made the decision this time.
- Couture: (biggest UFC show ever) played no factor in my decision, but being a part of a show of this magnitude is fun.
- Couture: The UFC offered me a couple of other guys, and I turned them down. Lyoto has such a unique style. That's intriguing to me.
- Couture: Representing mixed martial arts against Toney was an honor to me.
- Couture: It's been an interesting camp; I've had to learn some new things. Been fun studying Machida, trying to figure out what will work.
- Couture: I still have the health, ability to compete at this level. I don't want to get to the point where I don't. Go out on my terms.
- Couture: I want to be healthy and enjoy the rest of my life.
- Couture: I'm sure the UFC will have ideas for fights, try to entice me to come back. I see myself being with Zuffa in some other way.
- Couture: Lots to do politically with New York state. I also enjoyed commentating in the booth.
Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo official as UFC on Versus 4 co-headliner
A long-rumored bout between heavyweight fighters Pat Barry (6-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Cheick Kongo (15-6-2 MMA, 8-4-1 UFC) is now official for UFC on Versus 4.
UFC officials today announced the fight, which serves as the night's co-main event.
The latest UFC on Versus 4 card now includes:
Anthony Johnson vs. Nate Marquardt
Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo
Matt Mitrione vs. Christian Morecraft
John Howard vs. Martin Kampmann
Rich Attonito vs. Matt Brown
Manny Gamburyan vs. Tyson Griffin
Joe Lauzon vs. Curt Warburton
Joe Stevenson vs. Javier Vazquez
Matt Grice vs. Ricardo Lamas
Edward Faaloloto vs. Michael Johnson
Pretty decent free night of fights.
Chael Sonnen to appear before Nevada commission at April 27 meeting
Chael Sonnen will get a formal chance to clear the air with the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The onetime UFC middleweight contender is expected to be placed on the agenda for the commission's next meeting, which takes place April 27 in Las Vegas, NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The five members of the NSAC will decide whether or not to grant Sonnen both a fighter's license and a second's (cornerman's) license.
Joe Warren on controversial Bellator 41 win: "I have to leave it up to the judges"
If you have a problem with Joe Warren's controversial victory over Marcos Galvao at this past weekend's Bellator 41 event, take your complaints elsewhere.
Sure, he knows many fans are up in arms over the judges' controversial decision.
But at this point, it's out of his hands, and he'd rather focus on the positives of his performance.
Warren, a season-two tournament winner who defeated then-champ Joe Soto with his guaranteed title shot in September, topped Galvao via 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 scores.
Following questionable loss, Marcos Galvao granted Bellator tourney spot
There is a silver lining to the highly controversial decision loss Marcos Galvao suffered to Joe Warren this past Saturday at Bellator 41. And it's more work.
The Brazilian bantamweight has secured a spot in the promotion's next 135-pound tournament, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
If all goes well for Galvao in the tournament, Rebney said, a rematch with Warren is an "absolute consideration" down the line.
Bellator 41 ratings: Event draws season-low 132,000 viewers on MTV2
This past weekend's Bellator 41 event drew a season-low 132,000 viewers on MTV2, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed with an event source.
That marks a 39 percent ratings drop from Bellator 40. It's also 18,000 fewer viewers than Bellator 37, which previously held the season low with an audience of 150,000.
The April 16 event took place at Cocopah Resort and Casino in Yuma, Ariz.
Coker: No Discussion of Miller-Melendez Title Fight
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said Monday that a rumored matchup between Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez and UFC contender Jim Miller is just that: a rumor.
“There’s going to be a lot of rumors flying back and forth, around fights and what’s going to happen, but they’re not based on fact,” Coker said during a “Savage Dog Show” interview. “They’re just based on rumors and people just trying to start a story or keep legs on the story. The truth is there has not been any dialogue on that.”
However, Coker does believe his champion will eventually meet opposition from the UFC.