UFC axes typical tryout format for 'The Ultimate Fighter 16'
A flurry of calls from UFC officials to MMA managers this week has brought a bevy of welterweights to Las Vegas to try out for the 16th installment of "The Ultimate Fighter."
For the next season officials have scrapped open auditions and opted instead to interview potential contestants directly.
"I've never seen them skip the tryout process and fly guys straight in," one manager told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Newcomer Hacran Dias looks for better life with UFC 147 debut
Featherweight Hacran Dias is the latest prospect to emerge from the celebrated Nova Uniao camp in Brazil, and like many of the team's fighters, he's endured a hard road on the way to the big show.
Now on the cusp of his UFC debut against fellow Brazilian fighter Yuri Alcantara (27-3 MMA, 2-0 UFC), Dias (20-1-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) wants to give his family a better life with success in the octagon.
"Everything I do, I do with my daughter in mind," Dias told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I don't want to stay here on the hill (in a favela) around drug trafficking. I want her to go to college, maybe even study overseas."
Dias hopes to make a deposit on that dream when he meets Alcantara on the pay-per-view main card of UFC 147, which takes place Saturday at Estádio Jornalista Felipe Drumond in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
"I think God does everything at the right time," he said. "If I hadn't managed to get in (to the UFC) before, it's because it wasn't my time yet. I was very happy to get in. It's the opportunity of my life."
UFC on FX 4's Spencer Fisher to Sam Stout: 'You lost the first two fights'
It's called a rubber match, but as far as Spencer Fisher is concerned, he's going for a clean sweep against fellow lightweight Sam Stout.
After Stout won their first meeting via split decision and Fisher the second one via unanimous decision, they settle the score in the co-headliner of Friday's UFC on FX 4 event.
"I want this win," Fisher told MMAjunkie.com. "I think he knows in the back of his mind I beat him twice already.
Five years have passed since their most recent clash. Despite Stout's apparent short memory, many fans do, in fact, remember their first two meetings, which have been lauded as some of the greatest in recent MMA history. (In 2009, the UFC named their first meeting as the 16th best fight in the promotion's history; the second ranked 65th.)
UFC on FX 4's Sam Stout has finish of Fisher, eventual title contention on his mind
Sam Stout is realistic about his standing in the UFC's lightweight division.
That doesn't mean he can't have goals. Stout, who on Friday tops off his trilogy against Spencer Fisher at UFC on FX 4, believes he could contend for the 155-pound title.
"I don't like to mark a date on my calendar when I'm going to be in title contention," Stout told MMAjunkie.com. "... If things go well, if I get a couple impressive wins, within a year or two I could be fighting for that title."
Kendall Grove Back With Tito Ortiz To Improve His Wrestling Game
Grove the winner of The Ultimate Fighter Season 3 was cut from the UFC after back to back losses to Demian Maia and Tim Boetsch, since leaving the UFC Grove has gone (3-1) most recently defeating Derek Brunson via split-decision.
I was training for a five-foot-nine stand-up boxer (in Terry Martin) and then four days before the fight I found out I had to fight six-foot-one wrestler Derek Brunson and had to switch it up last minute.
He also comments on travelling to Big Bear from his native Hawaii to train with his former Ultimate Fighter 3 coach Tito Ortiz.
I’m actually headed out to Big Bear to help Tito train for his upcoming fight (at UFC 148),” said Grove. “Definitely training with Tito is going fill a loss in my game, which is my wrestling. I’d like to get back into that, the high-caliber wrestling, that I lack that here in Maui.
Dominick Cruz Could Be Out For Up To Eighteen Months Rehabbing Injury
“UFC Tonight’s” Ariel Helwani spoke with Dominick Cruz about his recovery from surgery.
He’s actually feeling great. You know, he had the surgery on June 6th, a total reconstruction of his ACL and MCL in his left leg. He’s feeling great. He’s saying he’s ahead of schedule right now. Right now, it’s a little too early to say just when he’ll be ready to return. He’s doing the normal physical therapy, right now. This is an injury that could take an athlete nine to maybe 18 months to return to his previous form. So right now, his spirits are high, but he doesn’t want to put any kind of date out as far as when he could return to the Octagon.
Countdown to UFC 147 full video
Former champions Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva went an unbelievable fifteen minutes in the UFC 99 Fight of the Night. Will they last the full five rounds Saturday night in Brazil?
Two heavyweights, two hometown heroes, two men looking to stay on their win streaks... whose will end when Fabricio Werdum fights Mike Russow at UFC 147?
See the TUF Brasil final matchups between featherweights GodoFredo Pepey and Rony "Jason" Mariano Bezerra and middleweights and Sergio "Serginho" Moraes. Sarafian was injured and will be replaced at UFC 147 by Cezar "Mutante" Ferreira.
Jason Young vs. Robert Peralta added to UFC on FUEL TV 5 in Nottingham
After ending a two-fight skid and likely saving his UFC job, Jason Young (9-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC) next will fight in his home country.
The English fighter is scheduled to meet fellow 145-pounder Robert Peralta (15-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) in September at UFC on FUEL TV 5.
Young today announced the fight via Twitter.
UFC on FUEL TV 5 takes place Sept. 29 at Capital FM Arena in Nottingham, England. The main card airs live on FUEL TV (Saturday afternoon in the U.S.) following prelims on Facebook. Young vs. Peralta likely will be part of the preliminary card.
Young signed with the UFC a year ago but then suffered decisions losses to Dustin Poirier and Michihiro Omigawa in his first two outings. Despite the defeats, he got a third UFC fight and made the most of it while defeating Eric Wisely via unanimous decision at UFC on FUEL TV 2.
Corey Hill Signs New Deal with XFC
Just months after making his XFC debut, Corey Hill has come to terms with the East Coast MMA promotion on a long-term contract. It’s a deal that could possibly give Hill a future title shot with the Xtreme Fighting Championships. John Prisco, XFC President & matchmaker, who has added numerous fighters to the roster already in 2012, disclosed the signing early this morning.
Hill, who is best known for his appearance on TUF 5 & stellar showings in the UFC, suffered one of the most gruesome leg breaks in MMA history, back in 2008. Almost 13 months later he was back to full strength, in even better condition, and made his debut at XFC 15 with a win over fellow TUF contestant Charlie Rader. It took Corey Hill only minutes to finish off Rader with a Brabo choke, to successfully complete the comeback just before the end of round 1. The performance proved Hill, now 33 years old, is still one of the top competitors in the welterweight division.
Bart Palaszewski Now Fighting Out of Jackson's
We spoke with Bart Palaszewski tonight, and he informed us that he is going to change things up and fight out of Jackson's from now on.
This is news to the MMA landscape, as he had not announced it formally.
(Interview about 55 minutes in)
We'll see if this boosts him up the ranks to be able to eventually fight for the 135-lb. crown!
UFC 148: Melvin Guillard Wants A 16 Man Lightweight Tournament
UFC 148 may be the biggest card of the summer, and knock on wood, it hasn't been completely turned upside down due to injuries, despite the fact that injury riddled cards are quickly becoming the standard. On a card filled with compelling match-ups, one of the standouts is Melvin Guillard vs. Fabricio Camoes. Guillard has had a rough patch in his last two bouts, but considers them effective learning tools in his continuing evolution as a fighter. In a recent TapouT Radio interview, Melvin discusses his transition from being a young knucklead (his own words) to a mature, yet still ambitious competitor.
UFC 152: Rory MacDonald Early Favorite Over B.J. Penn
The betting line for the UFC 152 bout between Canadian welterweight uber-prospect Rory MacDonald and future Hall of Famer B.J. Penn opened on the weekend, and Rory was a healthy favorite at -288. Penn sat at +232. Other than a brief blip it basically sat like that until last night, when a bunch of money apparently came in on Penn and the line shifted accordingly. Here's how it looks at the moment:
B.J. Penn +192
Rory MacDonald -248
Rampage Jackson 'Wouldn't Care' If The UFC Buried Him In His Final Fight
Quinton Rampage Jackson is a former UFC Light Heavyweight champion, a Pride standout, and one of MMA's biggest stars. But in recent years, he's shown an increasing level of frustration with MMA. From his "retirement" in 2009 to today, Rampage has, at times, looked more focused on his numerous non-MMA projects than his fighting career.
After his UFC 144 upset loss to Ryan Bader, Rampage was very vocal in how he felt he had been mistreated by the UFC, letting a lot of allegations fly against Dana White and Joe Silva and clearly stating: "I don't wanna fight for the UFC no more." With one fight left on his contract, it's very possible the former champion may have just one more Octagon appearance before walking away.
Our SBN colleagues at MMA Mania spoke to Rampage about that final fight, and his comments showed his continued frustration:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): This is the last fight in your contract. Are you concerned at all that [the UFC] might try to bury you like they did with Arlovski in the last fight of his contract?
Quinton Jackson: Actually, I wouldn't care if they did that. I don't care. They can do whatever they want to do. The reasons I made the decision to leave the UFC are the same reasons I left Pride. They can do what they want. I don't care.
UFC 147 Main Card Betting Lines
The betting lines for the UFC 147 main card are out, and there are some fairly large differences from site to site. The main event fight rematch between Wanderlei Silva and Rich Franklin has different lines at almost every major site, and you can get Silva anywhere from +125 to +155, which is a bit unusual. Here's a rundown of the best lines you'll get from any major site, courtesy of BestFightOdds:
Alexander Sarnavskiy signs with Bellator, No. 1 seed for season-seven tourney
Russian fighter Alexander Sarnavskiy has signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator, officials today announced.
As part of the announcement, officials dubbed him the No. 1 seed for the upcoming season-seven lightweight tournament, which is expected to kick off in September.
Sarnavskiy, who trains with some current Bellator fighters at RusFighters Sport Club, enters the organization with a perfect 20-0 record and 17 stoppage wins.
If victorious in the season-seven tourney, which will include eight fighters and run 12 weeks, Sarnavskiy would get a guaranteed title shot.
"Alexander Shlemenko has put a high standard of Russian dominance in Bellator by winning two middleweight tournaments," Sarnavskiy stated. "Now my teammate Andrey Koreshkov fights for Bellator as well, and he recently won two fights by spectacular KOs. Vitaly Minakov also just signed with Bellator, and I expect him to become Bellator's next heavyweight champion.
"I want to follow in the footsteps of those men, and make Bellator proud."
Ricardo Funch hoping for 'fast, hard, violent' fight against Dan Miller at UFC on FX 4
Ricardo Funch (8-3 MMA, 0-3 UFC) has felt the pressure before. But this time, it's greater than ever.
Funch, in his second stint with the UFC, still is in search of his first win with the promotion. Friday, he meets Dan Miller (13-6 MMA, 5-5 UFC) at UFC on FX 4 and knows what is at stake.
"This is the fight of my life and it's the only thing I'm thinking about," Funch recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Funch got a second chance with the UFC when he took a short-notice fight against Mike Pyle in his native Brazil this past January at UFC 142. But the Massachusetts-based welterweight didn't find any more success in Brazil than he had in his UFC fights in the States and Canada. Pyle stopped him in just 82 seconds.
Funch realizes that because he helped the UFC out when Paulo Thiago dropped out of the fight against Pyle, he has one more shot Friday in Miller's home state of New Jersey.
UFC 147's Wanderlei Silva disappointed in Belfort injury, but excited to fight in Brazil
The rematch more than 13 years in the making has to wait a little longer, but when Wanderlei Silva heard the news his worries were bigger than that.
Silva, who was booked to face Brazilian rival Vitor Belfort in the main event of UFC 147 this Saturday, was simply concerned that he might not be able to stay on the card.
"I was scared because I didn't know if I'd have another opponent," Silva on Tuesday told MMAjunkie.com. "It was bad for me. I had trained hard, and I was ready for the fight."
In hostile territory, UFC 147's Mike Russow says all pressure on Fabricio Werdum
UFC 147 takes place in Werdum's native Brazil. When the two tangle at Estadio Jornalista Felipe Drumond (also known as "Mineirinho"), a 25,000-seat arena in Belo Horizonte, Russow said he'll go into cruise control.
"Honestly, (fighting in hostile territory) really doesn't bother me," he said today. "I'm the underdog and glad all the pressure is on him. It doesn't bother me what the fans are doing. I really don't even hear my coaches after the ref says go, so that's not going to bother me at all."