EXCLUSIVE: Ronda Rousey -- Becomes 1st Female Fighter to Join UFC
Roda Rousey just made MMA history ... becoming the very first female fighter to join the UFC ... TMZ has learned. Rousey -- a former U.S. Olympian -- has officially joined Dana White's MMA organization ... and automatically becomes the 135 lb women's champion. We're told 25-year-old Ronda will defend her title in 2013 -- possible opponents include Sara McMann, Cris Cyborg and rival Miesha Tate.Rousey has been fighting in Strikeforce since last year and emerged as a superstar ... beating the living crap out of just about everybody she's faced. In fact, she's undefeated. And there's more ... sources say Strikeforce, which airs on Showtime, will be running its last event in January before folding up shop for good. A rep for Strikeforce had no comment.It's a pretty crazy turn of events -- considering last year, Dana told TMZ women would "NEVER" fight in the UFC
Dave Herman’s UFC 153 Marijuana Suspension Includes Rehab Requirement
Stephan Bonnar and Dave Herman failed their drug tests following their respective bouts at UFC 153 on Oct. 13 in Brazil. Now, each has been handed down his suspension by UFC officials.
Since Brazil does not have a sanctioning body to oversee mixed martial arts, the UFC policed itself at UFC 153, hiring a third party company to administer drug testing. UFC 153 was held at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro.
Herman – who test positive for marijuana – did not receive his suspension until Thursday.
Herman has been suspended for “six months from the day of the fight and must undergo and participate in an approved rehabilitation program, and have a clean drug test when the suspension is over, UFC vice president of regulatory affairs Marc Ratner told MMAWeekly.com.
While the UFC is forced to police itself in jurisdictions without a commission, such as Brazil, they did take Herman’s case a step further than most athletic commissions. Most commissions would likely have suspended Herman, but not necessarily added the requirement that he attend an approved rehab program.
Herman will be eligible to return from suspension, granted he meets all of the necessary requirements, on April 13, 2013.
Gilbert Melendez vs. Pat Healy Latest Addition To January Strikeforce Card
A third Strikeforce championship match has been added to the January event, as Gilbert Melendez will face Pat Healy. The bout was reported by MMAjunkie.com on Thursday.
Two other championship matches are scheduled for the January 12 card, as Nate Marquardt defends his Strikeforce welterweight crown against Tarec Saffiedine, and Luke Rockhold meets Lorenz Larkin for his Strikeforce middleweight title.
Melendez and Healy were originally set to collide at an event earlier this year, but an injury to "El Nino" took him out of the contest. The entire card was eventually cancelled.
Daniel Cormier Slated For January Return, Dion Staring Named As Opponent
MMAjunkie.com is reporting that Daniel Cormier will be part of the January Strikeforce event. The Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion will face
Dion Staring on the card, which is slated to feature three championship matches.
Cormier (10-0) was originally set to square off with former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir this month, but after Mir was forced out, no suitable replacement was ever made. The entire event was eventually scrapped by the promotion.
Staring (28-7) is a training partner of Alistair Overeem and has won each of his last six fights. Fourteen of his career wins have come by way of knockout, while another eight are submission victories.
Fabricio Werdum surprised by 'TUF: Brazil' slot after offer to save Strikeforce event
UFC heavyweight Fabricio Werdum today told MMAjunkie.com that he volunteered to fight Daniel Cormier at a Nov. 3 Strikeforce event, but the promotion's parent company never offered the matchup.
A subsequent opportunity to coach "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2" opposite Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira came as a surprise.
"I didn't think I was as known in Brazil as Nogueira and (Mauricio) 'Shogun' (Rua) and Lyoto (Machida)," Werdum said.
'Big Nog' says he won't fight for the belt unless Junior Dos Santos loses UFC title
A longstanding relationship with UFC heavyweight champ Junior Dos Santos makes Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira uncomfortable with a title shot.
Nogueira, who will coach "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2" opposite Fabricio Werdum, said there's "no chance" he'll take a title shot unless Dos Santos is no longer champ.
"If there's any chance he doesn't have the title any more, for sure, I would love to fight for the belt," Nogueira said Thursday.
Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine targeted for Strikeforce's return in January
According to sources close to the event, Nate Marquardt will defend his Strikeforce welterweight title against Tarec Saffiedine at a planned Jan. 12 event. A host city and venue is still unknown at this time. The fight is expected to be televised on Showtime.
Strikeforce has yet to officially announce the fight, which has been verbally agreed to by all parties involved.
Marquardt (32-10-2) won the Strikeforce belt in his promotional debut when he knocked out Tyron Woodley in July. Meanwhile, Saffiedine (13-3) has won his last three fights in a row, most recently defeating Roger Bowling via unanimous decision in August.
Former Strikeforce fighter Eddie Mendez signs with UFC
The UFC's middleweight division has a new addition.
Eddie Mendez, a California-based fighter and onetime Strikeforce competitor, has signed with the world's biggest MMA promotion.
Mendez and his management team at Iridium Sports today announced the signing via Twitter, though terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Luke Rockhold vs. Lorenz Larkin Middleweight Title Fight Targeted For Jan. 12 Strikeforce Event
A month after their title fight was shut down due to injury, and then card cancellation, it appears Luke Rockhold and Lorenz Larkin have a new dance date.
Rockhold (10-1 MMA, 9-0 SF), the Strikeforce middleweight champion, and Larkin (13-0 MMA, 4-0 SF) are being targeted for an as yet unannounced Strikeforce card on Jan. 12. Sources close to the promotion on Wednesday told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the fight booking is in the process of being finalized.
Rockhold and Larkin were scheduled to meet in the co-main event of Strikeforce's Nov. 3 show in Oklahoma City, but that card was scrapped not long after Rockhold pulled out with a wrist injury.
Strikeforce's Jorge Masvidal Eyes Japan If He's Unable To Fight For Strikeforce
Standing in a queue of fighters hoping to work on a possible Jan. 12 Strikeforce card, Jorge Masvidal (23-7 MMA, 5-1 SF) has a contingency plan if the promotion can't find space or the event is canceled.
He plans to take an offer from the recently revived Japanese promotion DREAM to fight Hayato Sakurai or Satoru Kitaoka at "DREAM.18: Special NYE 2012."
"I'd much rather fight here in America because I'd get more money ... but if I have to, (I'll fight on) Dec. 31," Masvidal recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "I'll be kicking ass in Japan."
Kitaoka is one of three Japanese vets expected to compete at the DREAM event, which takes place Dec. 31 event at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, with a broadcast partner to be announced. The January Strikeforce event was announced following the cancellation of a Nov. 3 event that was scrapped following injuries to two of its headliners.
Video in the link.
UFC Heavyweights Shawn Jordan-Mike Russow To Square Off In January
Heavyweights Shawn Jordan and Mike Russow have agreed to meet in January, according to the Chicago Sun Times. The two will be part of UFC On Fox: Johnson Vs. Dodson from the United Center in Chicago.
Jordan (13-4) is coming off a decision loss to Chieck Kongo. He is a former LSU football standout who had won two straight prior to the loss.
Russow (15-2) had his 11-fight win streak snapped in Brazil earlier this year by Fabricio Werdum. The bout will give Russow, a Chicago police officer, the chance to compete in his hometown.
Clay Guida vs. Hatsu Hioki Targeted For UFC On Fox 6
According to a report by the Chicago Sun Times, Clay Guida will be debuting at featherweight vs. Hatsu Hioki in January at UFC On Fox: Johnson Vs. Dodson. The bout will serve as a Homecoming fight for Guida, who hails from Illinois.
Guida (29-13) decided to move down to featherweight after a pair of losses to Gray Maynard and current UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson. He had won four straight fights prior to the losing skid.
The UFC on Fox 6 lineup is quickly filling up, as the main event features UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson facing John Dodson. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Glover Teixeira and Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone are also scheduled.
Erik Koch vs. Ricardo Lamas featherweight tilt shifts to UFC on FOX 6 in Chicago
It'll be a home fight for one and a quick trip down Interstate 94 for the other.
Featherweights Erik Koch and Ricardo Lamas will meet when the UFC returns to Chicago in January for UFC on FOX 6. Sources with knowledge of the fight on Wednesday confirmed its new date to MMAjunkie.com.
The bout originally was targeted for the year-end UFC 155 pay-per-view in Las Vegas, but now finds a home in the Windy City.
Will Romero Vs Tristan Johnson Officially Announced; Josh Hill Off Score Nov 23 Card
Two familiar faces from The Score Fighting Series (SFS) are set to renew acquaintances on Friday, November 23rd in Hamilton, Ontario. Top ranked Canadian featherweights Tristan Johnson and Will Romero have agreed to a highly-anticipated rematch which will be aired live as part of the main card on The Score Television Network in Canada and on AXS TV in the U.S.
Meanwhile, undefeated bantamweight prospect Josh Hill has been forced to pull-out of his match-up with WEC veteran Rafael Rebello due to an ankle injury sustained in training. The injury will prevent Hill from working-out for about four weeks with a return to the SFS cage planned for early in the new year.
White: 'No idea' if UFC 154's Hendricks-Kampmann winner up next for title
That upcoming No. 1 contender's bout may not be one after all.
Today, UFC President Dana White said he's not sure if UFC 154's co-headliner between Johny Hendricks (13-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) and Martin Kampmann (20-5 MMA, 11-4 UFC) will earn the winner a welterweight title shot, as the organization previously announced.
That's because UFC 154's headliner, welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, could temporarily leave the division for a blockbuster matchup.
With the uncertainty of those plans, White isn't sure if Hendricks-Kampmann is a true No. 1 contender's bout.
"I have no idea," he said. "I have no idea. We have to see how this thing plays out.
"Like I tell everybody, people are asking me, 'Is the Anderson Silva fight happening next?' Well, [St-Pierre] needs to beat Carlos Condit first. And like I said earlier, people are overlooking Carlos Condit, and that's a bad idea."
White said even with a win over St-Pierre, Condit wouldn't be on that same level. And that could be a good thing for Hendricks and Kampmann, who, barring an immediate rematch between Condit and St-Pierre, could be up next for a shot at Condit's belt.
"Carlos Condit ... will defend the title against who's next (if he beats St-Pierre)," White said.
Shannon Lee thrilled father Bruce Lee's legacy continues to be honored by MMA
At Saturday night's UFC on FUEL 6, which marks the fight promotion's debut in China, the company took the unprecedented step of featuring Lee's image on the fight poster, emphasizing his role as a forebear of current-day fighters with the quote, "Bruce Lee is the father of mixed martial arts."
It was done with the permission of his estate, which is run by his daughter Shannon Lee through the Bruce Lee Foundation.
"I always make the distinction between Jeet Kune Do and MMA," Shannon Lee said on Wednesday's edition of The MMA Hour. "I don't see Jeet Kune Do as being the same thing as MMA, but I think when you start talking about my father's philosophical notion that in order to be a well-rounded fighter, you have to be able to defend an attack in any situation you find yourself, he was very much about needing to have a very precise and well-rounded arsenal when it came to real fighting. Of course, UFC is a sport, it's not street fighting but it's about as close as you can get in a controlled environment to a no-holds-barred fight, and I think my dad’s philosophies about needing to be a well-rounded fighter have been proven out in the sport."
Dana White: UFC 154 already has registered a $3.1 million live gate
UFC President Dana White has no doubts next week's UFC 154 event will be a hit at the box office.
He said the Nov. 17 event, which takes place at Montreal's Bell Centre, has already registered a live-gate total of $3.1 million gate.
Additionally, with week-of-event sales and a late push, he thinks the pay-per-view event could approach the organization's previous numbers in Montreal. Even if the organization may have overpriced the tickets.
"We're still a week and a half out," White said today during a UFC 154 media call. "I heard rumblings about this gate not doing well and Georges St-Pierre not selling out (the event). We're at $3.1 million right now.
"I wouldn't say the gate sucks. The biggest gate you can do there is $4 million, which is what we did last time with Georges St-Pierre."
Bellator signs Fabricio Guerreiro, expects Brazilian to be in next 145-pound tournament
Bellator Fighting Championships has added to the ranks of one of its most competitive divisions.
Fabricio Guerreiro (16-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) has signed with the promotion and is expected to make his debut with Bellator in 2013. Sources close to the promotion told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the signing.
Though a debut fight is not set, sources said Guerreiro likely would be tapped as one of the eight competitors in Bellator's Season 8 featherweight tournament.
All told, 12 of Guerreiro's 16 career wins have come by submission, with two others by TKO. And half of his wins have come in the first round.
After defeat in Rio, Erick Silva returns to the Octagon at UFC 156 in February
After defeat in Rio, Erick Silva returns to the Octagon at UFC 156 in February
Erick Silva is another Brazilian on the card of UFC 156, which will be held in Las Vegas on Feb. 2. As the magazine's website published the "tatami", the welterweight capixaba is confirmed at the event, but still has no opponent set. The other names that will represent the country are the featherweight champion, Jose Aldo, who will try to defend his belt against Frankie Edgar in the main event, and Rogerio Nogueira, who faces Rashad Evans.
After a fulminant start in Ultimate, Erick lost his last fight to American Jon Fitch at UFC Rio III, on October 13, by unanimous decision. The duel was awarded as the best of the night, and each took home the equivalent of $ 140 thousand.