UFC 146 latest: 'Hendo' interested in Dos Santos title fight, Mir-Velasquez 'will happen'
A few days after Alistair Overeem failed a drug test and likely cost himself a title shot, UFC officials have announced no replacement for his UFC 146 bout with heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos.
However, there have been some interesting developments.
Veteran middleweight and light heavyweight Dan Henderson has expressed his interest in the bout, and UFC president Dana White seemingly has ruled out the possibility of Frank Mir stepping in.
UFC 146, of course, takes place May 26, and the pay-per-view main card airs from Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena. Overeem (36-11 MMA, 1-0 UFC) was expected to take on Dos Santos (14-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) in the championship headliner, but the former Strikeforce and DREAM champ recently failed a surprise drug test (his T/E ratio was 14:1, well over the 6:1 cutoff), and the Nevada State Athletic Commission is now unlikely to license him for the fight.
In recent days, fans have launched campaigns to push for everyone from Mark Hunt (8-7 MMA, 3-1 UFC) to Fedor Emelianenko (33-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) to Fabricio Werdum (15-5-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) to be the replacement. However, many considered Mir (16-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC), who's currently slated to fight ex-champ Cain Velasquez (9-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) on the UFC 146 main card, the leading candidate.
But UFC president Dana White seemed to discount that possibility in a recent tweet when responding to a fan.
"Mir vs. Cain will happen," he tweeted early this morning, suggesting he won't break up that matchup.
Charles Oliveira Vs. Jonathan Brookins Booked For TUF: Live Finale
Two of the UFC's most promising young featherweights have agreed to face off at the June 1st finale event for the 15th season of The Ultimate Fighter, with UFC.com announcing the addition of Charles Oliveira vs. Jonathan Brookins to the card, earlier this evening
TUF 12 champ Jonathan Brookins will take on submission specialist Charles Oliveira. Brookins looked as good as ever in his last outing, as he knocked out his opponent in the first round. And in Olivera's recent featherweight debut, he took only a few seconds longer to dispatch his opponent to earn a stunning submission win via the rarely-seen calf-crusher.
Sean Pierson vs. Jake Hecht added to UFC on FX 3 in Florida
A welterweight matchup between Sean Pierson (11-6 MMA, 1-2 UFC) and Jake Hecht (11-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC) has been added to UFC on FX 3.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed the bout with sources close to the event after an initial report from Sportsnet "UFC Central" host Joe Ferraro. Pierson subsequently confirmed the bout via Twitter.
UFC on FX 3 takes place June 8 at BankAtlantic Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The event's main card airs live on FX while preliminary-card fights air on FUEL TV.
Pierson vs. Hecht is likely to be part of the prelims.
Fedor Emelianenko Returns to Action in June
Fedor Emelianenko will return to action in June, but it won't be in the UFC.
Following a week of speculation about where "The Last Emperor" will end up next, Evgeni Kogan, M-1 Gloval director of operations, announced Friday afternoon that Emelianenko will fight on June 21 at the Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. Emelianenko's opponent will be announced at a later date.
Mitch Clarke vs. Anton Kuivanen added to UFC 149 in Calgary
A lightweight fight between Mitch Clarke (9-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and Anton Kuivanen (16-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has been added to this summer's UFC 149 fight card.
UFC officials today announced the matchup.
UFC 149 takes place July 21 at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo headlines against an opponent to be announced.
UFC 149's main card airs on pay-per-view, and FX and Facebook are expected to carry the prelims. Clarke vs. Kuivanen likely will be part of the preliminary card
Will Free Agency Take Both Eddie Alvarez and Hector Lombard from Bellator?
In the realm of baseball names like Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Willie Mays are synonymous with most sports fans, but if you’ve ever heard the name Curt Flood, he’s a player that helped change baseball forever.
In 1969, Flood challenged the status quo of the contracts in Major League Baseball, and although it took a few years, the ultimately decision led to free agency in the national pastime.
Free agency has become commonplace in every sport from football to baseball to basketball and even mixed martial arts.
For Bellator Fighting Championships, they are about to feel the real bite of free agency for the first time in their 4 years of existence.
Former Bellator lightweight champion and arguably the face of Bellator Eddie Alvarez, along with middleweight champion Hector Lombard are both coming up to the end of their respective deals and now the organization has to get into the business of negotiating to keep two of their biggest and most popular stars...
Frankie Edgar expects late-summer title fight, never seriously considered 145 pounds
Frankie Edgar wasn't even close to dropping to featherweight.
Despite UFC boss Dana White's wish to see Edgar (14-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC) move down and challenge Jose Aldo for the featherweight strap, the former lightweight champ today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that he was holding out for a rematch with the man who took his belt, Benson Henderson (16-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC).
"I don't think going out on a loss, especially one that close – it's just not my style, I guess you could say," Edgar said.
Edgar lost a unanimous decision to Henderson at UFC 144 in February, but it was the kind of call that had some fans (or maybe just Edgar people) up in arms about MMA scoring.
Of course, "The Answer" thought he won the fight. But he's moving on.
UFC 146's Mark Hunt flattered, but thinks Frank Mir is getting title shot
Mark Hunt is flattered there's a Twitter campaign to get him a title fight with Junior Dos Santos at UFC 146.
To clear things up, he hasn't been asked and is pretty sure he won't get the opportunity. But hey, it's a nice idea.
"Yeah, I don't think I'll get that call," he today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the possible vacancy on the May 26 pay-per-view card. "But there's a good rally. I've got about 300 followers now on Twitter, which is pretty cool."
Hunt's name has been bounced around the social-media site – complete with the #RallyForMarkHunt hash tag – since Alistair Overeem failed a pre-fight drug test put a headliner with champ Dos Santos in the lurch. (The Nevada State Athletic Commission wants him to explain why his testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio came in at 14:1, well over the 6:1 limit allowed. As of yet, Overeem has not contacted the NSAC or commented publicly.)
"The Super Samoan" wasn't necessarily surprised at news that Overeem had been flagged.
"I didn't think it was horsemeat he was eating," Hunt said. "I think Alistair really [expletive] that [expletive] up. Just like (Josh) Barnett when he [expletive] that [expletive] up.
"But they always come back. I'm sure there's a lot of people using stuff to get ahead. It's a cutthroat business."
To aid title quest, UFC 148's Michael Bisping chose Tim Boetsch over Cung Le
When it comes to his immediate fighting future, Michael Bisping has an admittedly one-track mind.
After winning "The Ultimate Fighter 3," picking up a dozen UFC victories over the past six years, and recently falling just short to now-top contender Chael Sonnen in his most recent bout, Bisping is focused on getting a title shot – and little else.
That's why he chose Tim Boetsch instead of Cung Le as his next opponent.
Bisping (22-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) recently spoke to UFC matchmaker Joe Silva about his next fight, and he got two offers. One was Boetsch (15-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC), who recently staged a shocking comeback to defeat former UFC title challenger Yushin Okami, and the other was Cung Le (7-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC), who fights for the first time since a late-2011 loss to Wanderlei Silva.
"Because Tim Boetsch is coming off a great win over Yushin Okami, it just made more sense and was the more appealing matchup," Bisping today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "It's also a tougher matchup for me, but I want to win that next fight and stake a claim to that title shot.
"I think beating Tim Boetsch rather than Cung Le gives me more grounds to do that."
Champ Gael Grimaud vs. Jesse Taylor headlines Cage Warriors Fight Night 6
Cage Warriors has signed big-show vet Jesse Taylor and granted him an immediate title shot.
Officials today announced Taylor (20-8) will meet welterweight champion Gael Grimaud (14-5) in the headliner of next month's Cage Warriors Fight Night 6 event.
The event takes place May 3 in Bahrain at a city and venue to be announced. The night's main card streams on MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Terms of Taylor's new deal were not disclosed.
Marius Zaromskis vs. Waachiim Spiritwolf rematch added to Bellator 68
A welterweight rematch between DREAM champion Marius Zaromskis (16-6 MMA, 0-0 BFC) and Waachiim Spiritwolf (9-9-1 MMA, 1-0 BFC) will be part of next month's Bellator 68 event.
The fight marks the promotional debut of Zaromskis, who signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator earlier this year.
Bellator 68 takes place May 11 at Palladium Ballroom in Caesars Atlantic City in New Jersey. The night's main card airs on MTV2, and Spike.com carries the prelims.
Zaromskis vs. Spiritwolf likely will be part of the televised lineup. The fighters first met in late 2010 at Strikeforce Challengers 12, where the bout ended after just six seconds when Spiritwolf suffered an accidental eye poke and couldn't continue.
Marcus Aurelio vs. Mike Bronzoulis added to Legacy Fighting 11 on HDNet
A welterweight bout between PRIDE and UFC vet Marcus Aurelio (21-9) and recent Strikeforce fighter Mike Bronzoulis (13-4-1) is a late addition to next month's Legacy Fighting Championships 11 event.
Legacy promoter Mick Maynard told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) the bout has taken the main-card slot previously reserved for middleweights Robert Drysdale (3-0) and Isaac "Ike" Villanueva (8-6).
As MMAjunkie.com reported Tuesday, Drysdale vs. Villanueva was pushed back to July's Legacy Fighting 12 card because of an undisclosed injury suffered by Drysdale.
Legacy Fighting Championship 11 takes place May 11 at Houston's Arena Theater, and the main card airs on HDNet.
JZ Cavalcante will face Issac Vallie-Flagg at Strikeforce’s May 19 event in San Jose, Calif.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker announced Wednesday that Gesias Cavalcante will face Issac Vallie-Flagg at Strikeforce’s May 19 event in San Jose, Calif.
The lightweight contest will likely take place on the Showtime Extreme undercard broadcast, though the event’s bout order has yet to be officially revealed.
Showcasing a lightweight championship rematch between Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thomson, the event takes place at the HP Pavilion. The main card airs live on Showtime and will feature a heavyweight confrontation pitting Josh Barnett against Daniel Cormier to decide the promotion’s grand prix champion.
Bantamweights Edwin Figueroa And Ken Stone Have Agreed To Meet At UFC on FX 4
On Tuesday, Officials with the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced a couple of bouts for the upcoming UFC on FX 4 event in June. The promotion confirmed a previously announced lightweight match between Spencer Fisher vs. Sam Stone and revealed a bantamweight contest between Edwin ‘El Forez’ Figueroa (9-1) vs. Ken Stone (10-3).
According to the announcement Figueroa and Stone have verbally agreed to the June bout.
UFC on FX 4 is expected to take place on June 22, 2012 at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Fans can expect the Figueroa vs. Stone bout to appear on the nights prelim card, likely streaming live on Facebook.
Frank Mir Issues Statement Regarding Overeem's Failed Test
Heavyweight contender Frank Mir comments on reports of Alistair Overeem’s failed drug test
Las Vegas, Nev. - With the news today that Alistair Overeem failed his “A” sample pre-fight drug test for UFC 146, heavyweight contender Frank Mir has commented on the rumors swirling regarding the UFC’s next steps regarding UFC 146.
“I would be excited if given the opportunity to compete for the UFC's heavyweight title at UFC 146 if the reports released earlier today regarding Alistair Overeem failing his 'A' sample drug test are true.”
“I have been fortunate to be able to fight in the UFC for more than a decade, and it is a dream of mine to become the first three-time heavyweight champion in the UFC. Being able to fight Junior Dos Santos would put me one step closer to that dream,” Mir added.
Mir’s next fight is scheduled for May 26 at UFC 146 against former heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.
Mir is 16-5 in his MMA career, with 14 of those wins coming in the UFC. Known for his ability to submit his opponents, power and athletic ability, Mir has only had three fights decided by a decision, all of which he won.
He has won four of his last five fights and seven of his last nine. In his last fight on December 10, he submitted Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in the first round.
The 32 year-old Las Vegas native trains in his hometown at Xtreme Couture. He began training in martial arts under his father, Frank, Sr.. who was a police officer and Kenpo Karate master. He currently holds black belts in both Kenpo Karate and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
While attending Bonanza High School in Las Vegas, Mir won a state wrestling title as a senior, starred in football and still holds regional track and field records in discus.
Fans can follow Mir through his web site at www.FrankMir.com or through his Twitter handle @TheFrankMir.
Josh Gross tweeted about this press release. I received the same one, so here it is.
Alistair Overeem fails pre-fight drug test, likely out of UFC 146 title fight
Alistair Overeem (36-11 MMA, 1-0 UFC) us unlikely to fight champion Junior Dos Santos (14-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) for the UFC heavyweight title this summer at UFC 146.
Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) the No. 1 heavyweight contender failed a pre-fight drug test conducted this past Tuesday following a press conference for UFC 146.
Overeem's "A" sample was flagged for an elevated T/E ratio that exeeded 10-to-1, well over the 6-to-1 limit. Kizer said the heavyweight has the right to request the test's "B" sample, which, if negative, would make him eligible to receive a fight license.
The former Strikeforce champion was among six top-billed fighters who were tested for the all-heavyweight pay-per-view event, which takes place May 26 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. All were tested for diuretics, masking agents, anabolic steroids and T/E ratios in addition to drugs of abuse.
Dos Santos, Frank Mir, Cain Velasquez, Roy Nelson and Antonio Silva all passed their tests.
Chael Sonnen enlists jiu-jitsu world champion Vinny Magalhaes to help train for Anderson Silva rematch
If you think Vinny Magalhaes is "that guy who got knocked out by Ryan Bader" in The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 8 Finale, then you better ask somebody.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) black belt is the winner of five straight, finishing all five of his opponents in the process en route to capturing the M-1 Global Light Heavyweight Championship. And in his spare time, he packed on a few pounds to win the 99 kilogram division of the 2011 Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) submission grappling world championships by defeating Fabricio Werdum.
Not too shabby.
Those are the kind of credentials that keep you employed, and Magalhaes' next paying gig will take place in Oregon, where he'll lend his grappling expertise to current UFC middleweight number one contender Chael Sonnen, who unfortunately has a long history of tapping to Brazilians.
That includes a heartbreaking loss he suffered to Anderson Silva in the main event of UFC 117 back in 2010, where he brutalized "The Spider" for four-and-a-half rounds prior to getting caught in a fight-ending triangle choke.
Will history repeat itself in their UFC 147 rematch on June 23 in Brazil? Not if Magalhaes, who Renzo Gracie says has the best jiu-jitsu in the heavyweight division, has anything to say about it.
James Terry vs. Billy Evangelista added to 'Strikeforce: Heavyweight Grand Prix Finale'
A lightweight bout between James Terry (11-4 MMA, 6-3 SF) and Billy Evangelista (11-2 MMA, 7-2 SF) is the latest addition to the "Strikeforce: Heavyweight Grand Prix Final" event.
Strikeforce officials today announced the fight.
"Strikeforce: Heavyweight Grand Prix Final," which features a tournament finale between Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier, takes place May 19 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
The main card airs on Showtime, and Showtime Extreme carries the prelims. Terry vs. Evangelista will be part of the prelims.
Both fighters are vets of the local fight scene.
UFC Veteran John Olav Einemo Retires
John Olav Einemo has elected to retire from mixed martial arts after recently being cut from the UFC, the heavyweight told Norwegian news outlet VG Nett on Tuesday.
Einemo fought just twice in the octagon, making his debut at the age of 35 at UFC 131. He lost the match against Dave Herman by TKO, but the bout was awarded the Fight of the Night bonus. He came back at UFC on FOX 2, but was mostly smothered by Mike Russow en route to a unanimous decision loss.
Einemo told the paper that he could have returned to the UFC with a few wins, but decided against trying because it would require spending time away from his family. He said he would continue to stay involved in the sport as a coach and to help the sport grow in his native Norway.
David Rickels: From Suburban Kimbo to Bellator Contender
For David Rickels, a career in fighting started in his hometown of Derby, Kansas, where he was something of a suburban Kimbo Slice, hosting boxing scraps in his backyard. The fights gained enough renown or perhaps infamy there that he once got arrested for providing the venue, and the fights soon after stopped.
As it turns out, that was a good thing, because it led Rickels to kickboxing, and eventually mixed martial arts, where he's currently unbeaten at 10-0 after a 22-second knockout of Jordan Smith in the first round of the Bellator welterweight tournament.
Unlike Kimbo, Rickels didn't gain any underground fame for his backyard fighting exploits, and no video of him exists on the internet, but he still recognizes the time as a springboard to his current success.
"I’ve always been into the whole fighting thing," he told MMA Fighting. "We did it for fun. We used to just brawl in the backyard and see who was the toughest that day. It was the thing to do back in the day. Then I eventually started training for real. I had wrestled for a couple years but I really wasn’t into it that much. I was more into the party scene at the time, unfortunately. But I ended up joining a gym, working hard, and now I’m here."