Bellator Signs Exclusive Russian TV Deal
Already airing in over 80 countries worldwide, Bellator Fighting Championships continues to expand its reach as the promotion has partnered with Russian broadcasting giant Russia 2, for the largest MMA broadcast alliance in Russian history. Beginning Sept. 28, Bellator will be aired exclusively on Russia 2 throughout the country, introducing over 83 million Russian sports fans to the largest tournament based MMA promotion in the world.
“Over the last year, as the Bellator brand has experienced enormous growth and our talent team has signed the greatest Russian Mixed Martial Artists in the world, the timing was perfect to align Bellator with Russia’s leading sports network,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “R2 carries the world’s greatest sports to Russian viewers. So, aligning Bellator with this industry giant is another very exciting step forward in the evolution of the Bellator brand worldwide.”
UFC champ Jon Jones fined $1,000 and license suspended at DWI sentencing
As expected Jon Jones has avoided jail time following his May 19 arrest on a misdemeanor DWI charge.
The UFC light-heavyweight champion today was issued a $1,000 fine and six-month license suspension. He also will have ignition interlocks installed on his vehicles, and he needs to complete a victim-impact panel.
"Blessed to still have the full support of Broom County/all my fans and my DWI case officially behind me," Jones tweeted soon after the sentencing. "Moving forward."
Binghamton (N.Y.) City Court Judge Daniel L. Seiden sentenced Jones, according to pressconnects.com.
On July 3, Jones appeared in Binghamton (N.Y.) City Court to ask for more time to complete a drug and alcohol abuse program, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) recently reported. The sentencing then was pushed back to today...
UFC changes tune, UFC on FOX 4's Bader-Machida winner also possible for title shot
LAS VEGAS – On Monday Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White announced that UFC on FOX 4 headliners Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (20-6 MMA, 4-4 UFC) and Brandon Vera (12-5 MMA, 8-5 UFC) are competing this weekend for a shot at the promotion's light-heavyweight title.
He later told USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that co-headliners Ryan Bader (14-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) and Lyoto Machida (17-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) also will have that opportunity.
"Whoever wins the most impressively on Saturday night gets the shot at the title," White said.
White's decision comes after a rash of fan backlash following his original announcement. UFC's social-media-savvy fanbase immediately took to Twitter to protest the decision while citing Rua's recent losses to both current champion Jon Jones and the champ's UFC 151 opponent, Dan Henderson – as well as Vera's current run of just one win in four appearances – as reasons why the bout did not deserve to be considered a No. 1 contender's contest.
White said he listened to the complaints, and he's making a change.
"I put together the fights that fans want to see," White said. "The fans didn't like the Rua and Vera choice, so here it is: The guy that wins most impressively on Saturday night out of the co-main event and the main event will get the shot at the winner of Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson."
Travis Browne Happy to Trade FOX Exposure for UFC on FX 5 Main Event Role
Travis Browne is an undefeated heavyweight with 11 finishes among his 13 career wins. He's also mammoth, at 6-foot-7 and 250 pounds. Given his success and size, it would seem Browne would be a lock to be one of the most talked-about fighters on the UFC roster, yet he sometimes seems to remain in the shadows of other big men.
At UFC 145, he earned a submission win, only to see Ben Rothwell upstage him with a 61-second knockout of Brendan Schaub. At UFC 135, he outlasted the durable Rob Broughton, but Mark Hunt earned the spotlight by continuing his career resurgence. And at UFC 130, he flattened prospect Stefan Struve, a result that was at least slightly overshadowed by the high-profile beating Frank Mir laid on Roy Nelson.
August 4's UFC on FOX 4 was supposed to be Browne's turn, matched against Rothwell in the key heavyweight fight of the night, on network TV. Browne was set to have his showcase in front of an audience of millions. Unfortunately for him, Rothwell injured his ankle and was removed from the fight. Instead, he's been relocated to the October UFC on FX 5 main event with Antonio Silva, and despite the lost opportunity, Browne sees the change as a net positive.
Nam Phan Fires Back at Steven Seagal
If Steven Seagal watches TV on Aug. 4, he just might find out who Nam Phan is.
On a recent edition of The MMA Hour, Seagal heard about critical remarks from Phan, who will fight Cole Miller on the Fuel TV portion of the UFC on FOX card at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
"Never heard of him," Seagal told MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani. "Nam Fran? Is he an American guy? I don't know who this guy is and I don't really care."
On Monday's MMA Hour, the Vietnamese-American fighter who already has made a name for himself with MMA fans had a reply for the past-his-prime actor.
"You know what, I'm not the most famous fighter," Phan said. "But, whatever, I still think he's a douche."
Title Shot Within His Grasp, Brandon Vera No Longer Considers Jon Jones a “Punk”
UFC president Dana White recently stated that Saturday’s UFC on Fox 4 in Los Angeles would determine the next light heavyweight contender, but on Monday, he narrowed the field down to just Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and, somewhat surprisingly, Brandon Vera.
Rua and Vera are the headliners of Saturday’s event at the Staples Center.
Initially, co-main event fighters Lyoto Machida and Ryan Bader were part of the equation, but that is no longer the case.
“The winner of Vera and Rua gets the shot,” White stated on Monday’s UFC on Fox 4 conference call with the media.
With Rua, Machida and Bader all entrenched amongst the Top 10 light heavyweights in the world, none would be a surprise when considering who gets the winner of Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson at UFC 151 in September, but Vera’s name came as a tremendous surprise to fans and pundits alike.
UFC on FOX 4's Machida not upset with headliner's title stakes, open to 'TUF' coaching
Ex-champ Lyoto Machida is keeping an open mind about where he is in the UFC's light-heavyweight division.
And after hearing that the winner of Saturday's UFC on FOX 4 headliner – Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. Brandon Vera – will get the next shot at the UFC light-heavyweight title, can you blame him?
"Really, anything can happen," Machida told MMAjunkie.com. "Obviously, I'm trying to train as hard as I can and put on a good fight, and I try to trace a way back to the title. But that's not really what I'm focused on right now."
IMMAF representatives take part in International Olympic Committee seminars
MMA is still years away from serious consideration as an Olympic sport, but the recently formed IMMAF is already beginning to make its presence known with the International Olympic Committee.
IMMAF officials today took part in the first of several planned seminars aimed at studying martial arts and sports not currently included in the Olympics, and the group hopes to educate IOC officials during the meetings.
"We are very grateful for this opportunity to promote MMA in front of the IOC and other fellow sports federations," IMMAF official Erika Mattsson told MMAjunkie.com.
League president considering Invicta FC 3 elimination tourney for title shot
There were many surprises for Invicta FC president Shannon Knapp before, during and after the promotion's second event, Invicta FC 2, this past weekend.
There were 100,000 people waiting in the queue to watch the live Internet stream 30 minutes before the fights got underway. There was a server crash that forced her backstage in a panic mid-event. There was the Invicta name trending on Twitter long after the last punch was thrown.
But a surprise as welcome as any was how the fights turned out.
Dana White: UFC's Alexander Gustafsson on deck for 'big fight'
It'd be easy to consider Alexander Gustafsson the odd man out.
Especially after UFC president Dana White today surprisingly confirmed the winner of Saturday's UFC on FOX 4 headliner between Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Brandon Vera is next in line for a light-heavyweight title shot.
But that doesn't mean Gustafsson is the forgotten contender of the division.
Jon Fitch vs. Erick Silva Set for UFC 153
Jon Fitch will draw one of the UFC's top young guns in his next outing.
The longtime welterweight contender is set to square off with Brazilian Erick Silva at UFC 153, MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani has learned. Sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed the two had verbally agreed to the pairing.
Fitch was supposed to face Aaron Simpson in July, only to be forced out after suffering a knee injury. The setback apparently won't keep him on the shelf long. Upon returning, Fitch will be attempting to win for the first time in three fights. At UFC 127, he fought to a draw with B.J. Penn, and in his follow-up match at UFC 141, he was knocked out by Johny Hendricks, marking the first time he had been finished since 2002.
Francisco "Massaranduba" Drinaldo drops to LW
UF: Brazil competitor and former Jungle Fights champion Francisco Drinaldo is making a return to his natural weight class. The man they call "Massaranduba" fought on the show as a middleweight, including in the season finale at UFC 147, is dropping back to lightweight for a scheduled fight at UFC 153 against an opponent TBA
Remember how he ragdolled Delson Heleno at MW? Hell yeah.
Report: Jussier Da Silva Debuts Against John Dodson At UFC On FX 5
MMA fans were buzzing a few weeks ago when news broke that the UFC had signed one the top flyweight prospects in the world: Jussier da Silva. Now, it appears that he has a date and opponent for his Octagon debut as Tatame is reporting that he'll face TUF 14 winner, John Dodson:
Jussier ‘Formiga’ da Silva will make his UFC debut on October. The former Shooto champion, fighter, who was considered the best flyweight in the world years ago, will have his chance on the show against John Dodson at October 5th, for UFC on FX 5.
Eddie Alvarez to Face Patricky Pitbull In Possible Bellator Finale
Eddie Alvarez's Bellator tenure could be winding down. The former lightweight champion has just one fight left on his deal, and then, free agency looms. But first things first, Alvarez has the final fight to get over with, and now he has a date and opponent.
Alvarez will face Patricky "Pitbull" Freire at a season seven event on October 12, the promotion's CEO Bjorn Rebney announced on Monday.
UFC on FOX 4's 'Shogun' Rua vs. Brandon Vera winner gets title shot
The winner of Saturday's UFC on FOX 4 headliner will get a title shot.
Despite both fighters having already suffered losses to reigning light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones – the winner of Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (20-6 MMA, 4-4 UFC) vs. Brandon Vera (12-5 MMA, 8-5 UFC) will get a shot at the belt.
UFC president Dana White today confirmed the plans. "Yes," White said flatly when asked about the title stakes.
With Mike Van Arsdale's Departure, Mario Sperry in as New Blackzilians Head Coach
One of MMA's powerhouse teams has a new head coach. Mike Van Arsdale, who has been the man running the show since the group's inception, has decided to relocate to Arizona to be closer to his family and start his own gym. In as his replacement is grappling legend Mario Sperry, who has been coaching at the gym since earlier this year.
Authentic Sports Management CEO Glenn Robinson confirmed the changes to MMA Fighting on Monday, saying they had been in the works.
The news first trickled out through social media, with Van Arsdale soon confirming his departure through Twitter. But, Robinson said, Van Arsdale's westward move does not mean the end of the relationship between the two sides.
"Mike is a good friend and always will be," he told MMA Fighting via e-mail. "His kids missed him as they lived in Arizona and he lived here and went back and forth. He went home to be more with his wife and five kids. He will come back here whenever we need him for a camp and is always part of our family and will be back a lot."
With win Saturday, manager likes Machida vs. Rua at 'TUF: Brazil 2'
First, a disclaimer: Lyoto Machida is 100 percent focused on his upcoming fight with Ryan Bader.
But should Machida be victorious, Machida's manager, Ed Soares, has an idea about the ex-champ's next step.
"If Lyoto wins and (Mauricio) 'Shogun' (Rua) wins, maybe make them the coaches of the next Brazilian 'TUF,' and have them fight the rubber match," Soares told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Ex-champs Machida and Rua fight alongside each other on the FOX-televised main card of UFC on FOX 4, which takes place Saturday at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Rua fights veteran Brandon Vera in the main event while Machida vs. Bader serves as the co-main.
Diego Brandao vs Joey Gambino set for UFC 153
Diego Brandao (14-8 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is coming home for his next fight.
The winner of "The Ultimate Fighter 14" today tweeted that he's set to fight at UFC 153, and that Joey Gambino (9-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will be his opponent.
UFC 153 takes place Oct. 13 at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro and airs live on pay-per-view and FX. Featherweight champion Jose Aldo meets challenger Erik Koch in the evening's main event.
Oct 13, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Jose Aldo vs. Erik Koch [fw title]
- Vitor Belfort vs. Alan Belcher
- Glover Teixeira vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
- Rony "Jason" Mariano Bezerra vs. Sam Sicilia
- Cezar "Mutante" Ferreira vs. TBA
- Sergio Moraes vs. Renee Forte
- Cristiano Marcello vs. Reza Madadi
- Diego Brandao vs. Joey Gambino
With UFC 149 Behind Him Court McGee Believes It’s Hard to Find Good Judges
As the saying mixed martial arts goes, “Don’t leave it in the hands of the judges.”
The judging in MMA is always subject for great scrutiny, and it’s well deserved.
With incompetent officiating, some fighters exit the Octagon holding their heads low because they left it in the judges hands. And at UFC 149 against Nick Ring, Court McGee was another unfortunate fighter that was given a bad call.
All three judges Octagon side scored the fight 29-28 in favor of Nick Ring, but McGee wasn’t at all fazed by the decision. The TUF 11 winner knew that he left it all in the practice room and in the fight and harbors no resentment for the outcome.
“I’m not the judges and I’m not the counter punch guy,” McGee told MMAWeekly Radio.
“I don’t count every little punch, every kick and strike. I’m just the guy who shows up to practice every day and comes out to fight and win. I had an overwhelming amount of people who thought that I had won. People like Dana and stuff had me winning the fight, but I’m just the guy who goes out and fights man.
Matt Serra backs Chris Weidman's UFC middleweight title shot call for Anderson Silva
Former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra sees a future champion in 185-pound pupil Chris Weidman.
Of course, the New Yorker is biased toward Weidman. But as the only fighter to defeat Georges St-Pierre – despite 10-to-1 odds – in the last eight years, Serra’s ability to spot long shots isn’t something to be taken lightly.
He believes Weidman has what it takes to snap Anderson Silva’s historic streak of 10 straight title defenses and 15 straight UFC wins.