If UFC champ Jose Aldo moves up in weight, teammate Renan Barao could follow
If UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo does indeed make a move to lightweight, current interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao (29-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) could also move up a division.
"I feel very good in this weight division, but I feel in two or three years, if Aldo decides to move up a weight division, I might do that, too," Barao recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The 5-foot-7 Barao, best known for his incredible 29-fight win streak, actually debuted for the WEC in June 2010 in a 142-pound catchweight bout. That mark was requested by his opponent, Anthony Leone, who took the fight on short notice. His five fights since have all been at 135 pounds.
But before his time under the Zuffa banner, Barao competed at 145 pounds, and he admits he wouldn't mind doing it again someday in the future.
"I used to fight at 66 kilos (145 pounds), but when we closed the deal with the WEC, our trainer decided that I needed to fight at bantamweight because I would never be champion since Aldo had been there forever," Barao said. "He wanted another champion on the team."
Ovince St. Preux meets Gian Villante in battle of Strikeforce vets at UFC 159
A pair of Strikeforce vets will make their UFC debuts in April at UFC 159.
Ovince St. Preux (12-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will meet Gian Villante (10-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in a light heavyweight bout when the UFC returns to New Jersey. UFC officials passed on word of the fight overnight, citing news first reported by Newsday.
UFC 159 takes place April 27 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The main card, including a headliner between light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.
The latest UFC 159 lineup includes:
Champ Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen - for light heavyweight title
Alan Belcher vs. Michael Bisping
Phil Davis vs. Vinny Magalhaes
Pat Healy vs. Jim Miller
Cheick Kongo vs. Roy Nelson
Nick Catone vs. James Head
Al Iaquinta vs. Joe Proctor
Rustam Khabilov vs. Yancy Medeiros
Ovince St. Preux vs. Gian Villante
Anthony Pettis: “I Was Wrecking Things At 55? No Need To Drop Down Until Now
26-year-old Anthony Pettis has accomplished quite a lot in his short time in mixed martial arts. The 3rd degree Taekwondo blackbelt holds an impressive 16-2 record with seven wins coming by way of knockout and six by submission. He was the last reigning WEC Lightweight Champion having defeated current UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson for that distinction.
Since coming over to the UFC in June of 2011, Showtime is 3-1 with wins over Jeremy Stephens, Joe Lauzon and Donald Cerrone. His lone loss came via decision to Clay Guida in his Octagon debut at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale.
Pettis’ performances continue to be more impressive with each passing fight. It seems the more he fights inside the Octagon the more comfortable he becomes. His confidence is growing by leaps and bounds inside the cage and out. Pettis has never been known to be shy and has no problem going after things he wants. After defeating Lauzon via headkick knockout in the first round at UFC 144, Pettis asked for a shot at Henderson and the UFC lightweight crown.
Unfortunately for Pettis he was on the shelf for the rest of 2012, but made a huge statement upon his return. After being called out and having his manhood questioned by Cerrone, the two met on Saturday January 26 in Chicago on the UFC on Fox 6 card. It took all of 2:35 for Pettis to dispatch of Cowboy via TKO. Afterwards UFC President Dana White announced that Pettis would meet the winner of the upcoming UFC lightweight title bout between Henderson, the reigning champion and Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez. Those two will meet on April 20 in San Jose at UFC on Fox 7.
Silva wants second shot at Velasquez
Antonio Silva has thrown down the gauntlet to Cain Velasquez, insisting he wants a second crack at the UFC heavyweight champion.
Silva put himself firmly in the mix for a title shot with a dominant win over Alistair Overeem at UFC 156 last weekend, but the memories of his crushing loss to Velasquez last year sit prominent in the memory bank.
The UFC will have the final say on who Velasquez will face, but Silva does not believe he did justice to himself in their previous meeting on account of a nasty cut he picked up early in the fight.
Zoila Frausto Gurgel Signs Multi-Fight Deal With Invicta FC
Flyweight (125 pounds) superstar Zoila Frausto Gurgel (12-2) of Cincinnati, Ohio has signed a multi-fight contract with Invicta Fighting Championships and will make her debut for the women’s world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion at its next event on an April date to be announced soon.
Frausto Gurgel will square off with submission expert Jennifer Maia (6-2) of Curitiba, Parana Brazil.
“We are thrilled to welcome Zoila, an established superstar in the sport, to the Invicta FC roster and are looking forward! to seeing her compete in our rapidly growing flyweight division,” said Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp. “Zoila has turned in a number of thrilling performances while rising through the ranks of fighters over the last few years, and we are confident that she will help raise the bar of competition even further in the Invicta FC cage.”
Tickets For UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Melendez On Sale Next Week
UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson will defend his title in a long-awaited showdown with Gilbert Melendez, the last man to hold the Strikeforce® lightweight title, on Saturday, April 20 when the Ultimate Fighting Championship brings the Octagon back to HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
The 29-year-old Henderson is 6-0 in the UFC, including two consecutive title defenses over Nate Diaz and Frankie Edgar. He’ll look to cement his status as the world’s best 155-pounder when he meets Melendez, a San Francisco resident riding a seven-fight winning streak.
“Benson Henderson wants to beat Gilbert Melendez to prove once and for all that he’s the best lightweight in the world,” UFC President Dana White said. “Gilbert was a champion in Strikeforce and he’s been on an incredible tear. Benson wants this fight badly and I’m excited that it’s headlining such a stacked card.”
Robert Drysdale vs. D.J. Linderman added to April's Legacy FC 19 event in Texas
A light heavyweight matchup between submission ace Robert Drysdale (5-0) and multi-division contender D.J. Linderman (13-4) will serve as the co-main event of April's Legacy FC 19 event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the new bout with promotion officials.
Additionally, Rey Trujillo (13-10) steps in for an injured Junior Assuncao and will now face Chris Jones (7-1) in a featherweight matchup. Assuncao is expected to be booked for a future Legacy FC event.
Featuring champion Will Campuzano vs. Alan Nascimento for the promotion's flyweight title, Legacy FC 19 takes place April 12 at Allen Event Center in Allen, Texas, and the main card airs on AXS TV.
UFC 158 lineup finalized with Ricci-Fletcher on PPV, Cote-Voelker on FX
The lineup, including the division of the main and preliminary cards, is set for March's big "UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz" event.
The event takes place March 16 at Montreal's Bell Centre, and UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre (23-2 MMA, 17-2 UFC) meets Nick Diaz (26-8 MMA, 7-5 UFC) in the headliner.
In addition to the pay-per-view main card, FX and Facebook carry the prelims.
UFC on FOX 7 adds Jury-Nijem, Parke-Tuck, Masvidal-Means, Njokuani-Bowling
Four lightweight fights have been added to the next UFC on FOX event, including fights featuring another pair of Strikeforce imports.
The unbeaten Myles Jury (11-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) takes on "TUF 13" winner Ramsey Nijem (7-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC); "TUF Smashes" lightweight winner Norman Parke (17-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) meets Jon Tuck (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC); Strikeforce vet Jorge Masvidal (23-7 MMA, 0-0 UFC) faces Tim Means (18-3-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC); and fellow Strikeforce crossover Roger Bowling (11-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) fights Anthony Njokuani (15-7 MMA, 2-3 UFC). UFC officials announced the four match ups late Wednesday.
UFC on FOX 7 takes place April 20 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The main card airs on FOX following prelims on FX. The main event is a lightweight title fight between champion Benson Henderson and former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez. Tickets for the show go on sale next week.
UFC on FUEL TV 9: Brad Pickett vs. Mike Easton in the works for April 6 in Sweden
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is adding some bantamweight flavor to its Swedish menu, as Brad Pickett has verbally agreed to lock horns with Mike Easton at UFC on FUEL TV 9, which is slated for April 6, 2013 at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.
Kimura.se brought word of the pending match-up earlier today.
Easton (13-2) saw his eight-fight win streak snapped at the hands of Raphael Assuncao at UFC on FOX 5 back in December, while Pickett (22-7) was edged out by Eddie Wineland in a close split decision at UFC 155, just a few short weeks after "The Hulk" came up short in Seattle.
Will this contest be decided by "One Punch?"
Conor McGregor Signs For UFC; Debuts In Sweden against Marcus Brimmage
Conor McGregor was already seen as a potential UFC signee even before his huge knockout win over Ivan Buchinger on New Year's Eve, but the world was really opened up to 'The Notorious' as he became a two-weight world champion under the Cage Warriors banner,
With acclaim coming from all sides, the UFC's attention was obviously zoned in on Irishman McGregor, and mmanytt.se have now revealed he is set to debut for the promotion at their Stockholm event in April.
SBG Ireland's McGregor (12-2) will take on Marcus Brimage in a featherweight clash at UFC Stockholm 2013.
Rich Franklin Talks: Loss Lit A Fire Under Him, Looking For Summer Return
Rich Franklin is highly regarded in the MMA community. He has held the UFC Middleweight Championship, put out fight of the night performances, knocked out Chuck Liddell with a broken arm, and the list goes on. He is respected by hardcore fans and casual fans alike.
After a knockout loss to Cung Le at the UFC on Fuel TV 6 event Rich has decided to take some time off.
“I haven’t decided how long of a break I am going to take”, Franklin said. “I hate training in the winter, so I figure summer sometime”.
Rich is one of those fighters who appears to use a loss to motivate himself. After his loss to Lyoto Machida Franklin went on an 8 fight win streak. Unsure of what’s next in the Octagon he did give his thoughts on the effect of a loss.
“It varies from fight to fight. I think a loss always lights a fire in me”, Rich stated. “I seem to do well after my losses”
In the meantime, Franklin has other things to keep him busy.
Josh Barnett Turns Down UFC Offer
Josh Barnett may not be coming back to the UFC after all.
According to Barnett's manager Leland LaBarre, Barnett has officially declined the promotion's latest contract offer.
"We agreed on guaranteed compensation," LaBarre said. "In fact, we never even countered. We accepted their original offer.
"However, there are some outlying issues -- one in particular -- that as of this point we were unable to agree on."
UFC reveals Vitor Belfort used testosterone replacement therapy for UFC on FX 7
UFC officials today answered the question Vitor Belfort refused to address: Yes, "The Phenom" did use testosterone replacement therapy in advance of his UFC on FX 7 win over Michael Bisping.
UFC officials today revealed Belfort was granted a therapeutic-use exemption for testosterone replacement therapy prior to the bout and that his post-fight drug screen "did not indicate the presence of any prohibited substance for increasing performance improvement."
Belfort and Bisping headlined the Jan. 19 event, which took place at Sao Paulo's Ibirapuera Gymnasium. The Brazilian scored a second-round TKO over the Brit and then proceeded to call for a rematch with current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
All 22 fighters who competed on the card were tested for performance-enhancing drugs and drugs of abuse, and the UFC this past week confirmed one test result in an "irregular" finding, which led to speculation that Belfort – who in 2006 was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after testing positive for the anabolic steroid 4-Hydroxytestosterone – was the culprit.
Bellator season eight finale set with featherweight title fight between Pat Curran and Daniel Straus
Newport Beach, CA. (February 6, 2013) - After nearly five years in the making, Bellator MMA made its long awaited debut on Spike TV in January as Bellator Featherweight Champion Pat Curran opened the night with a dominant win over star Brazilian striker Patricio Pitbull, reaching over 1.2 million viewers in the process. On April 4th, Bellator will close out its eighth season from Ovation Hall at Revel in Atlantic City, NJ as Curran once again puts his Bellator Featherweight Title on the line against relentless Daniel Straus live on Spike TV. The night will also feature the return of Tiger Schulmann products Lyman Good and Munah Holland, as well as the Bellator debut of New Jersey fan favorite Tom DeBlass.
Tickets go on sale Friday, February 8th at 10 a.m. at all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com and by calling 800-745-3000. The Main Card will broadcast LIVE starting at 10 p.m. EST on Spike, as well as in Spanish language on mun2. The preliminary card will be streamed LIVE and FREE on Spike.com, with doors to event opening at 6:30pm EST.
Widely regarded as one of the top two featherweights in the world, Curran brings a dominating 18-4 record into his latest title defense, including victories over Marlon Sandro, Roger Huerta, Mike Ricci, and Straus himself, as Curran collected a knock out win over Straus early in both of their careers. Even with the victory over Straus in his back pocket, Curran is well aware both fighters have grown tremendously over the last four years.
"This may end up being the most challenging fight I've faced up this point," Curran said. "Daniel is going to make for a very tough challenge, but I know what I'm capable of. I feel like I'm always growing as a fighter, and the sky is really the limit for me. I've got the belt, and I'm not letting anyone take it away from me."
Etim: Renee Forte gets punished at Wembley Arena
Terry Etim has warned Renee Forte that February 16 is going to be a very bad night for him when the pair meet at UFC London.
Etim will return to action in front of his home crowd at Wembley Arena fuelled by frustration after spending a year on the sidelines due to injury.
His opponent Forte enters the bout potentially fighting for his UFC career following an opening loss to Sergio Moraes. Etim admits he has limited information on the Brazilian, but that will not matter come February 16.
"I've only seen a couple of his fights so it's hard to make too much of him, but come fight night, he's going to be in deep water - he's definitely in for a long night," Etim told ESPN.
White tells Edgar: Don't go back to 155lbs
UFC president Dana White has urged Frankie Edgar to give up on any hopes he has of regaining the lightweight title after his latest defeat at featherweight at UFC 156.
Edgar claimed a unanimous decision over BJ Penn in 2010 to take his lightweight championship belt before losing it to Ben Henderson two years later at UFC 144. Henderson defeated Edgar once more at UFC 150, prompting 'The Answer' to step down to featherweight division.
But after his points defeat to reigning featherweight champion Jose Aldo in Las Vegas, White insisted Edgar would not be stepping back up to the 155lb flyweight division.
UFC 156 prelims score all-time best ratings for FX with almost 1.9 viewers
Dave Meltzer at MMA Fighting is reporting some more good news for the UFC:
Saturday's UFC 156 prelims drew 1,897,000 viewers, topping the previous UFC on FX record of 1,860,000 viewers set two weeks earlier for the Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping card from Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The number was a huge increase from the prelims on FX on Jan. 26 before the FOX network special from Chicago's United Center which did 1,208,000 viewers.
The largest previous audience on FX for prelims before a big show came on July 7 when the UFC 148 prelims did 1.8 million viewers. But that was to be expected, since there was more interest in UFC on that day with the Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen middleweight title rematch than any day over the past two years.