Belcher-Okami rounds out UFC 155 main card; Leben-Vemola, Pickett-Wineland to prelims
A middleweight rematch more than six years in the making between Alan Belcher and Yushin Okami will fill out the main card for the UFC's year-end event.
The fight, which was announced by UFC officials two months ago, remained a strong candidate for placement on the UFC 155 main card, but also had competition from other bouts at the event.
But sources close to the card on Monday told MMAjunkie.com that the middleweights will fill out the top portion of the bill.
Why UFC on FUEL events might be the most difficult UFC events to do correctly
It may appear as if the UFC's smallest event series carries the fewest challenges to successfully stage or leverage, but a closer reveals precisely the opposite. Luckily, despite a few early hiccups, UFC leadership are getting better and better at getting all of the details right.
After Saturday's UFC on FUEL TV 6, the UFC completed its first year of contractual obligations to that FOX family channel in terms of live event programming. What we've witnessed in the last year is that while these shows are often wildly entertaining with meaningful bouts, they are much more difficult to plan and construct than their size and scope would indicate.
The following are four of the key challenges the UFC faces with this franchise. None of the problems have been perfectly solved for and some of these solutions the UFC has proposed work better than others. Nevertheless, it's important to understand why the most minor of the UFC's branded series may be some of the more difficult shows for the UFC to properly promote and leverage.
Finally back in win column, UFC on FUEL TV 6's Thiago Silva wants more frequency
When Thiago Silva got up off the canvas on Saturday in Macau, the scorecards didn't matter. Not in the least.
The Brazilian took advantage of either his opponent's waning energy or lack of attention, took him to the canvas, mounted him, then transitioned to an arm-triangle choke that he cranked until Stanislav Nedkov tapped.
What may come as a surprise to some is, had the fight gone the distance, Silva already was in line to win with the judges.
UFC on FUEL TV 6's 'Fight of the Night'? Cung Le thinks it was Jon Tuck-Tiequan Zhang
Takanori Gomi and Mac Danzig each pocketed an extra $40,000 on Saturday night as "Fight of the Night" winners at UFC on FUEL TV 6.
Gomi took home the win with a split decision, one of two split calls out of seven decisions on the card, which took place at CotaiArena in Venetian Macau Resort Hotel as the UFC's first event in China. But they had some competition.
And main event "Knockout of the Night" winner Cung Le might have gone in a different direction had he been passing out bonus checks.
UFC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz first in MMA to win speedway sponsorship
While Dominick Cruz's mixed martial arts career has braked for a pit stop, he'll be getting help from the racing world to get back on track.
Cruz, the UFC's bantamweight champion, is being sponsored by the Phoenix International Raceway for his next fight, which is expected to take place in early 2013. The 27-year-old will wear the track's logo on his shirt and shorts.
A torn ACL has sidelined Cruz since May, but that didn't stop him from getting behind the wheel of a pace car.
Bellator Removes Dan McGuane From Card Due To Manslaughter Arrest
Bellator has decided to cut Dan McGuane (3-0) from their upcoming show after it was revealed that the fighter was convicted of manslaughter when he was a young man. Yesterday evening, Bellator released the following statement via Twitter.
@BellatorMMA Dan McGuane has been removed from the Bellator 81 fight card stemming from a previous incident.A replacement fight will be announced shortly
In 2005, McGuane and his twin brother got into an argument with an 18-year-old man who they beat to death. The argument allegedly started over name calling.
McGuane was scheduled to fight on the upcoming Bellator 81 card which takes place this Friday, November 16. A replacement name is being sought out.
Bellator 81 airs this Friday on MTV2. Check back at FightLine.com for results.
Observations from UFC on FUEL 6 you may have missed
UFC Macau is in the books and Zuffa's first trip to China ended up as a success. Apart from having that arena feel, commercials may have cut out several minutes of your viewing experience. To make up for that, here are several tidbits from being live at the Cotai Arena that you may have missed out on during the FUEL TV broadcast:
- Macau is a popular tourist spot which is just a few short hours away from several countries in Asia. This was one of the primary reasons the UFC chose this location to start with their Asian expansion, as they knew a lot of people would fly in to see the event while also catering to a very young Chinese market at the same time.
They were right on the money with this one, as a huge percentage of the crowd were indeed from several different nations. This led to the crowd being split during several bouts with huge contingents from countries like the U.S., China, Brazil, and South Korea cheering on their countrymen.
- Like a lot of events in the U.S., the judges in Macau all had monitors they can use cageside...
Cung Le Unsure About His Future: “I Know My Clock Is Ticking”
Once upon a time, Cung Le said his dream was just to get the chance to compete inside the UFC Octagon.
Now with a 2-1 record including Saturday’s one-punch knockout of former middleweight champion Rich Franklin, Le has done more than just “compete” – he’s winning fights in a big way.
“It’s like a dream, I feel like I’m in a dream right now,” Le said to Fuel TV after the knockout victory.
Explaining the set up for Franklin’s inevitable doom, Le says it all came down to timing, and knowing what his opponent was looking for and how to land the perfect counter strike.
UFC on FUEL TV 6 draws a reported 8,415 attendance for $1.3 million live gate
Saturday's UFC on FUEL TV 6 card drew an announced attendance of 8,415 fans for a live gate in excess of $1.3 million.
UFC officials announced the figures at the card's post-event news conference, which MMAjunkie.com attended.
"UFC on FUEL TV: Franklin vs. Le" took place at CotaiArena in Venetian Macau Resort Hotel. It was the UFC's first event in China. The main card aired on FUEL TV following prelims on Facebook.
UFC announces partnership with MNC Media in Indonesia, plans future events
The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday continued its global expansion, particularly in Asia, with its first event in China.
And after the fight card, the company announced plans to break further into the Asian market, this time in Indonesia with a partnership with the Jakarta-based MNC Media.
And with that partnership, the UFC also expects eventually to hold events in Indonesia, likely first in the capital city of Jakarta. Indonesia is home to roughly 238 million people.
UFC on FUEL TV 6's Kim wants Maia rematch in Japan, Gomi also wants on March card
Following one of the most dominating wins of his career, Korean welterweight Dong Hyun Kim wants a chance to erase the memories of one of his most embarrassing losses.
After UFC on FUEL TV 6, Kim said he'd like to rematch Brazilian Demian Maia, and he'd love to do it at the UFC's newly announced card in Japan.
And as long as UFC officials are listening, fellow UFC on FUEL TV 6 winner Takanori Gomi wouldn't mind fighting at that event, too.
Glory 4 Event To Merge With Dream 18 On New Year's Eve
With Glory Sports International's recent decision to help Dream put on a New Year's Eve event, Glory has decided to move a planned December 2 card to be featured on Dream 18.
Dream 18 is set for New Year's Eve from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The card will begin at 4 p.m. December 31 and run up until midnight, with several bouts expected to be announced in the coming days.
"We are confident that the fans will see our good intentions to create the best possible show ever and once they see the details of the New Year's Eve show, they will be blown away," said Marcus Luer, managing director for GSI.
Ryan Couture vs. K.J. Noons booked for 'Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy' on Jan. 12
The competition continues to stiffen for lightweight Ryan Couture.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com that Couture is set to meet onetime welterweight title challenger K.J. Noons at "Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy."
The bout is likely to serve on the Showtime Extreme-televised preliminary card of the event, which takes place Jan. 12 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. Main-card fights, including three title bouts, air on Showtime.
MMA pioneer Dan Severn wants late peer Jeff Blatnick in UFC Hall of Fame
UFC Hall of Famer Dan Severn will remember friend and 1984 Greco-Roman wrestling American gold medalist Jeff Blatnick for his ability to stretch the imagination.
They'd known each other since the late 1970s because Blatnick's Greco-Roman style had few practice spaces, so he sought out freestyle wrestling haunts that Severn frequented.
They last saw each other Sept. 15, a few months before Blatnick's untimely death.
Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson Pass Random Drug Tests for Steroids and Diuretics
The Ultimate Fighter Season 16 coaches Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson were each notified back in October that they would be required to submit to a random drug test under order of the Nevada Athletic Commission.
Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer on Friday informed MMAWeekly.com that both Carwin and Nelson returned negative results, passing their drug tests. Each was tested for a full battery of steroids and diuretics, but was not tested for recreational drugs such as marijuana.
UFC exec explains Bruce Lee's role in UFC on FUEL TV 6's promotional efforts
MACAU – The list of names plastered on the UFC's promotional materials in Macau isn't really surprising, save for one.
Headliners Rich Franklin and Cung Le are featured prominently in the UFC on FUEL TV 6 campaign, as are Korean fighter Dong Hyun Kim and Chinese competitor Tiequan Zhang.
But listed above them all is a man who passed away 20 years before the UFC made its debut: Bruce Lee.