UFC Suspends Chael Sonnen and Temporarily Freezes Contract
The news was first reported by TMZ.com, and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) subsequently confirmed the suspension with a source close to the fighter.
"Chael Sonnen has gone through a lot in the last few months, and we think it's important for him to focus on getting his personal life together before focusing on his career in the UFC," UFC president Dana White told TMZ.com.
MMAjunkie.com was not immediately able to reach White for comment.
On Monday, MMAjunkie.com reported that Sonnen had been targeted for a UFC 128 matchup with Yoshihiro Akiyama. That bout is now apparently on hold, as TMZ.com reports Sonnen's contract "has been temporarily frozen."
The length of Sonnen's suspension has yet to be revealed.
UFC 128 gets three more contests, including Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian Loveland
With the UFC's return to New Jersey official, the promotion is wasting little time filling out the night's fight card.
UFC brass initially announced "UFC 128: Shogun vs. Evans" would feature Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. Rashad Evans and Urijah Faber vs. Eddie Wineland.
The UFC has since upped the ante with the release of previously reported contests of Kurt Pellegrino vs. Gleison Tibau and Edson Barboza vs. Anthony Njokuani, as well as a new fight between Joseph Benavidez and Ian Loveland.
"UFC 128: Shogun vs. Evans" takes place March 19 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
UFC 128: Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua vs. Rashad Evans Is Official
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on Saturday, March 19 with the long-awaited title fight between UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and former champion "Suga" Rashad Evans.
A bantamweight clash between former WEC champions "The California Kid" Urijah Faber and Eddie Wineland will also be featured at UFC 128.
Tickets for UFC 128: SHOGUN VS. EVANS are priced at $500, $350, $225, $150, $100 and $60, not including applicable service charges, and go on sale Thursday, Jan. 13 at 10 a.m. ET.
MacDonald-Wilks, Brookins-Makdessi Added to UFC 129 in Toronto
Numerous sources have informed that Rory MacDonald and James Wilks have verbally agreed, to square off inside the octagon, on Saturday, April 30th, at The Rogers Centre in Toronto.
...A source has informed me that Jonathan Brookins, will have his hands full, as he is expected to take on undefeated lightweight, John Makdessi.
UFC 125 "UFC Prelims" draws 829,000 viewers on ION Television
While many MMA fans had little knowledge of ION Television before the network partnered with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, more than three-quarters-of-a-million viewers were able to find the channel this past weekend.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today learned from industry sources that this past weekend's "UFC Prelims" special, which featured a trio of live fights from "UFC 125: Resolution," drew an average of 829,000 viewers.
This past weekend's one-hour special marked the UFC's debut on ION Television. Past editions of "UFC Prelims" have aired on Spike TV and UFC.com.
Prior to UFC 125, the most recent edition of "UFC Prelims" to air on TV was "UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida," which drew 1.5 million viewers. The figures for this past weekend's event mark a 44 percent decrease from the November broadcast of UFC 123.
Cruz Certain Faber Rematch Will Happen Eventually
UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has lost only one fight.
In March 2007, Urijah Faber submitted him in a 145-pound contest. Now that Faber has dropped to 135, where Cruz is king, Cruz is sure he’ll get a chance for revenge.
“It’s going to be a guarantee that me and Faber are going to end up fighting,” Cruz said during a recent “Savage Dog Show” interview on the Sherdog Radio Network. “Because I want to fight the best guys in the division, and for sure he’s one of the best guys in the division. You can’t take away the things that he’s done in the sport. You can’t take away the things that he’s done at the weight class above.”
On Wednesday, however, it was reported that Faber’s next bout will be in March against fellow bantamweight contender Eddie Wineland.
Franklin McNeil talks Pettis, title situation
No one could have predicted the level of action Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard delivered Saturday night in their rematch at UFC 125.
Even UFC president Dana White, possibly the most optimistic fight promoter ever, could not have imagined the bout's outcome. And with good reason. Despite never having lost a mixed martial arts bout, Maynard wasn't exactly considered an all-action fighter. In many circles, he was regarded as boring.
Good article from one of the best in the sport, Franklin McNeil
Fedor Emelianenko Signs Contract Extension, Will Face Antonio Silva
A rumored Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Silva fight is expected to be announced imminently, sources with knowledge of the situation have confirmed to MMA Fighting.
As part of the announcement, Strikeforce, Showtime and M-1 will announce that Emelianenko has signed a multi-fight extension that will guarantee his participation in a Strikeforce heavyweight tournament set to begin on Feb. 12.
"Sengoku: Soul of Fight" event debuts in two parts this month on HDNet.
World Victory Road's ambitious "Sengoku: Soul of Fight" event debuts in two parts this month on HDNet.
North American fans can catch the debut editions of the event on Jan. 14 and Jan. 21. The broadcast slot for the episodes is expected to be announced shortly.
"Sengoku: Soul of Fight," which featured a featherweight title fight between former champion Marlon Sandro and new title-holder Hatsu Hioki, took place Dec. 30 at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo.
Shields up: Georges St. Pierre is going to have to deal with 'new strategies' on April 30
I definitely feel that I'll find a way to get him down and I think he's going to try to get me down too. He's a great wrestler and Jiu-Jitsu fighter as well, so I think this fight will definitely hit the ground. There are big differences between me and all of the other guys at 170-pounds. Koscheck shoots in a big blast double from outside and GSP had an answer for that. I have some different strategies and I'm going to try to come up with some new strategies because it is hard to get GSP to the ground. I have a feeling I'll be able to get him down there with my style."
UFC Cuts Phil Baroni (Again)
As expected, Phil Baroni is once again unemployed. Albeit temporarily. Baroni was cut by UFC for the second time after his UFC 125 loss to Brad Tavares, givin ghim the Losing Streak Of Doom once again, but according to sources close to him he's already received offers from at least 5 smaller organizations. Baroni's career mark is now 13-13 but only 3-7 in UFC.
In spite of legal trouble - Sonnen vs. Akiyama at UFC 128
Chael Sonnen's life just got a lot more complicated, as if it weren't already.
The UFC middleweight, who's currently serving a suspension from the California State Athletic Commission, today plead guilty to federal charges of money laundering – a charge that carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine – according to a release issued today by the U.S. District Attorney's Office in Oregon.
His sentencing is set to begin 10 days after he is expected to fight Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 128, according to sources close to the event, which today informed MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the pending booking just as news of the legal trouble broke.
UFC 128 takes place March 19 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and features a light heavyweight title bout between champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and former champ Rashad Evans.
Matt Brown vs Mark Scanlon at UFC on Versus 3
A welterweight bout between Matt Brown (11-10 MMA, 4-4 UFC) and Mark Scanlon (7-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will be part of March's UFC on Versus 3 event.
Sources close to the negotiations today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) verbal agreements are in place for the fight, which Heavy.com first reported.
Chael Sonnen pleads guilty to money laundering, May face Prison Time
Haha, this just keeps getting better....
"Chael Sonnen, an ultimate fighting champion and one-time candidate for a seat in Congress, has pleaded to a federal money laundering charge.
A licensed Realtor from West Linn, Sonnen admitted before a judge Monday that he conducted a financial transaction designed to hide or disguise the ownership and control of proceeds of mortgage fraud, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release"
Now, Where's that Sonnen Bandwagon at?
Benson Henderson vs. Mark Bocek In The Works For UFC 129
A lightweight bout between rising contender Mark Bocek and former WEC champ Ben Henderson is in the works for April's UFC 129 event. Verbal agreements are in place according to a source close to the negotiations, but fighter reps couldn't be reached for comment. If it happens, the fight will mark Henderson's UFC debut.
UFC 125 Medical Suspensions
The NSAC has announced the medical suspensions today from Saturday's UFC 125 event. A total of 9 fighters were suspended and a whopping 6 of them-including UFC Lightweight Champion Frank Edgar-could be out until July 1 due to injuries. All can be cleared to return early, but all of them except for Greg Soto are still suspended until at least February 16 and Phil Baroni can't fight until at least March 3. Getting shorter suspensions were Gray Maynard, Chris Leben and DIego Nunes.
Sources: Fedor-Silva In SF February 12
He's back. Fedor Emelianenko will return to the Strikeforce cage on Feb. 12, as he takes on Antonio Silva in a heavyweight main event from the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J. A match between former UFC heavyweight champions Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett is also said to be in the works for the February date. It remains to be seen how the New Jersey Athletic Control Board handles the licensing situation Barnett -- who allegedly tested positive for a performance enhancing substance prior to a scheduled bout with Emelianenko in the summer of 2009 -- is dealing with in California. His hearing before the California commission was pushed back at their Dec. 2 meeting. As speculated, Strikeforce will indeed hold an eight-man heavyweight tournament in 2011, and Emelianenko-Silva and Arlovski-Barnett are set to serve as quarterfinal bouts. Though the remaining combatants could not be confirmed, a third quarterfinal matchup between Fabricio Werdum and Brett Rogers is expected to take place in Columbus, Ohio, on a planned March 5 event. A fourth and final tournament bout is also set to take place on the March card. Semi-final and final bouts would then be held later in the year at to-be-announced events. The promotion will also hold two alternate bouts in case injury sidelines competitors in the main draw. Potential contestants could include “Challengers” series standouts Lavar Johnson, Daniel Cormier and Shane del Rosario. No word yet on if the winner might get an eventual shot at Heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.
13 For 13: SF Announces Massive Prelim Card For Challengers 13
While it's not known if it's possible to cram 13 MMA fights into 3 hours, Strikeforce is going to try their best. The promotion today announced 13-yes, 13-prelim fights for the upcoming Strikeforce Challengers 13 event for a total of 18 fights for the event. 10 pro fights and 3 amateur fights will make up the undercard, and officials do plan to cram it all into a 3 hour timeslot. The event takes place Friday.
John Hathaway vs. Kris McCray Slotted For UFN 24
A fight with both fighters in need of a win appears set for UFC 124, as John Hathaway & Kris McCray are set to face off at the event on March 26. Verbal agreements are in place, paperwork pending. Hathaway is coming off his first career loss at UFC 120, while McCray tries to avoid losing 3 in a row and in all likelihood his UFC spot since making his official debut at the TUF 11 Finale.