'Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy' preview: A highly underrated card
Rightfully so, eyes should be locked on the two title fights that grace "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy."
Luke Rockhold attempts the second defense of his middleweight title when he meets Tim Kennedy, and Nate Marquardt and Tyron Woodley vie for the vacant welterweight belt.
But with the end of the promotion's prospects-driven Challenger series, there is less real estate on this year's schedule. In the case of Saturday's card, that means lineups more densely packed with talent.
UFC signs top-ranked flyweight fighter Jussier da Silva to contract
One of the most glaring omissions in the burgeoning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight division has just been corrected.
Nova Uniao's Jussier da Silva (14-1), according to manager Andre Pederneiras and the man himself, has just signed with the world's leading mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, adding yet another intriguing element to the growing 125-pound division.
Da Silva, better known as "Formiga" ("ant" in Portuguese), burst onto the scene with an upset decision win over then-top dog Shinichi "BJ" Kojima back in 2009, usurping his place as number one in the division. Da Silva has since gone 7-1, his sole loss coming at the hands of UFC contender Ian McCall with a win over Mamoru Yamaguchi following immediately after.
"Formiga" packs a nasty grappling game, with his airtight back control of particular note. While he struggled for a long time with finishing from there, his last four victories have come via tapout.
Zuffa announces PED Policy
The UFC announced earlier this week at its Fighter Summit that it would provide UFC and Strikeforce fighters a formal policy concerning Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) and other banned substances.
Via UFC press release:
Lawrence Epstein, the company’s Executive Vice-President and General Counsel, explained the written policy is a continuation of existing policy, and that both promotions will follow guidelines drafted by the same law firm which advises the National Football League on PEDs.
Legacy FC 12 results: Hieron earns controversial submission, Drysdale remains unbeaten
Longtime veteran Jay Hieron earned his first post-Bellator Fighting Championship victory, but it came in controversial fashion.
After locking in a second-round head-and-arm choke over late replacement Romario Da Silva, Hieron squeezed until referee Kevin Hancock stepped in and waved off the fight.
Unfortunately, Da Silva did not appear to be in any danger while offering up what appeared to be a "thumbs-up" signal and resisting the referee's tug of his arm.
The bout served as the headliner of Legacy Fighting Championship 12, which took place Friday night at Houston's Arena Theater. The evening's main card aired on AXS TV (formerly HDNet).
Ian McCall lobbying for flyweight fight against Louis Gaudinot at UFC on FOX 4
Ian McCall is looking for a rebound, and he has someone in mind.
After a disappointing loss to Demetrious Johnson in their rematch this past month in Florida, McCall has been bummed. But what better way to put a smile back on his face, he figures, than getting his hand raised again in the octagon.
"I've been pissed off and depressed about losing (to Johnson)," McCall recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "I want to be happy again."
Benavidez vs. Johnson, Bisping vs. Stann Slated for UFC 152
Brian Stann has won the Michael Bisping sweepstakes.
According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Stann will meet Bisping on Sept. 22 at UFC 152 in Toronto. Both Stann and Bisping have verbally agreed to the fight but have yet to sign bout agreements.
In addition to that fight, the pay-per-view will be headlined by Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson for the inaugural UFC flyweight title.
Stann and Alan Belcher have been openly campaigning for a shot at Bisping during the last couple of weeks. In fact, at a UFC 148 pool party last week in Las Vegas the middleweights were seen trying to convince UFC matchmaker Joe Silva to give them the Brit next.
Strikeforce champ Melendez to be offered fourth Thomson fight, Healy on deck
The outcome of several fights slated for "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy" could play a big part in Josh Thomson's next move.
But in the meantime, the former lightweight champ told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). that Strikeforce plans to offer current champ Gilbert Melendez a fourth fight against him.
"From my understanding, they're going to offer him the rematch, and if it doesn't happen, it's not because of me," Thomson said. "I just want everyone to understand that."
If Melendez (21-2 MMA, 11-1 SF) declines, Thomson (19-5 MMA, 10-2 SF) said Pat Healy (27-16 MMA, 5-1 SF), who meets DEEP champion Mizuto Hirota (14-4-1 MMA, 0-0 SF) on the preliminary-card of Saturday's event, is on deck as the next contender should he be victorious.
Donald Cerrone vs. Melvin Guillard set for UFC 150 co-main event in Denver
Donald Cerrone wanted a fight in Denver, and he shall have it – against a former teammate.
"Cowboy," who was born in nearby Colorado Springs, next month will fight Melvin Guillard at UFC 150 in a lightweight bout between two recent title contenders. UFC officials on Friday announced the fight booking, which will serve as the co-main event of the card.
UFC 150 takes place Aug. 11 at Denver's Pepsi Center and features a main event lightweight title fight between champion Benson Henderson and former champ Frankie Edgar, a rematch from their UFC 144 main event. Main-card fights air on pay-per-view, while FX and Facebook are expected to carry the prelims.
UFC 148 drug tests come back clean
All 22 fighters underwent drug testing at this past weekend's UFC 148 event and tested clean for performance-enhancing drugs and recreational/drugs of abuse.
Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer today e-mailed the drug-testing results to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
UFC 148 took place July 7 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. UFC middleweight champion Anderson successfully defended his title with a second-round TKO of Chael Sonnen in the night's heavily anticipated headliner.
Also on the main card, Forrest Griffin sent Tito Ortiz into retirement on a loss, earning a decision victory and claiming victory in the pair's trilogy series.
The NSAC tested those co-headliners along with the remaining 18 fighters on the card.
All tested negative for drugs of abuse (such as marijuana and cocaine), as well as anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancers.
Ref Josh Rosenthal acknowledges late stoppage
"I came home and I watched it, and I was kind of like you know, if I was sitting here, watching this on the couch, I probably would have been talking smack about myself," he said on SiriusXM's Tapout Radio show.
"I always say accountability is a huge part of the sport, and you are accountable for your actions," he said. "I feel like I was just a little slow on the trigger [Wednesday]. I don't want to see guys take unnecessary punishment. It's a rough sport. Everyone knows what they sign in for, but it's a millisecond-basis game. You're making choices right there on the spot, and in the heat of the moment, I felt like I was seeing some stuff. In hindsight, I have to step my game up and make sure I'm on point for the next guys."
Chan Sung Jung to undergo shoulder surgery
While it appeared to be a virtual lock that "The Korean Zombie" would compete on the UFC's debut in China in November, sources close to the fighter have informed MMAFighting.com that Jung has instead decided to undergo shoulder surgery next week to correct an issue that has been plaguing him for quite some time.
Former WWE star Dave Bautista slated for Oct. 6 MMA debut
Former WWE star and longtime MMA enthusiast Dave Bautista is slated for his pro-fighting debut on Oct. 6.
The 43-year-old, perhaps best known as "Batista" during a WWE title reign, will fight New York-based heavyweight Rashid Evans (1-2 as an amateur) at a CES MMA event at Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., TMZ today reported.
Back in 2010, Bautista told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he was in talks with Strikeforce about a possible deal. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker confirmed negotiations, but a deal was never inked.
The CES MMA event will be televised in some form, according to today's report.
Michael Bisping: Win over 'fat' Mark Munoz does not make Chris Weidman a contender
Via [Michael Bisping's] Twitter account:
Weidman looked great last night. But no1 contender? If that's the case I want to fight him and prove I'm the number 1 contender. Let's do it.
Oh, but the brash Brit didn't stop there, not by a longshot. Make the jump to see what he told Fighters Only about the current state of the UFC's middleweight talent pool and the recent plethora of call outs he has received:
Yeah it seems like I am the man of the moment right now doesn't it? That's fine by me, I'm a professional fighter and I've not been busy enough lately to be honest so, I will happily fight all three of them - Stann, Weidman and Belcher can all have it. I've got no problem fighting and beating all three of them, either on three consecutive cards or all on one night if they want. Listen, Belcher's getting on my nerves. He keeps saying he has got the style to beat me - what style? No man with a tattoo like that can talk to anyone about style! He's been calling me out for a while now so I'd say to him, when you beat someone other than a pure jiu jitsu guy then call me. Brian Stann I respect, fine, I think we are on collision course and we can have that fight. I'll win. And now Chris Weidman is calling me out. Well, he's on a roll but I don't think a win over a fat Mark Munoz makes you a contender. Especially when Munoz has bounced into the Octagon like he's at a Take That concert and with a haircut that looks like Belcher's tattooist has switched careers. Did that distract him? It distracted me. I couldn't take my eyes off it. What was it supposed to be, do you know? Everyone's talking about Weidman today but I tell you what, we were on the same card in January and I had to switch his fight with Maia off. I was trying to warm up backstage and the fight was putting me to sleep. I wanted to get hyped up and it was like watching paint dry. He looked good last night - or did Munoz look awful? They all seem like nice guys, good luck to them - except Belcher, he's been getting on my nerves so lets not include him [in the good luck wishes] - but I will happily fight them all, no problem. I want to be the champion and I think I am one more win away from a title shot. And any of these guys can be my first defences.
Chael Sonnen says move up to Light Heavyweight, eventual fight with Jon Jones, are possible
When asked bluntly about what the next steps will be for his career (a question he's been asked many times within the last few days), Sonnen stuck to his original guns, in that he still feels he needs time to clear his head a bit before he makes any major decisions.
But this time, Chael made an inference that is sure to raise some eyebrows:
I love this sport and I would never want to retire. My coach Clayton will be the one that retires me based on my results and productivity in practice. I could have easily defeated him, physically I'm fine, mentally im fine. Give me a couple of weeks to settle in and when you get in the spot that I am in, we will see. Anderson could retire any day now. And there is simply an option to start over by changing weight class. My mentors have done it and it could happen. I would go up to 205. Jon Jones. There are some great guys at 185, but traditionally and historically it is a good way to get a fresh start and start over.
Will Campuzano Plans to Punk Chad Robichaux, Take First Legacy FC Flyweight Belt
Following back-to-back losses in the UFC, Will Campuzano figured it was time for a change.
A year after receiving his release from the promotion, he’s dropped a weight class, resulting in two straight wins, with an opportunity for a third on Friday night at Legacy FC 12 in Houston.
According to Campuzano, the move down to 125 pounds made sense because, “I was gaining too much weight. The night of the fight I was gaining 15-18 pounds, so it always played against me and was a disadvantage.
“I’m definitely getting used to the weight cut now, and it’s a lot easier. It was really hard for me the first two times, but it’s not that bad this time. I feel real strong, and I was a fast 135er, but I’m even faster at 125.”
Bellator 72 Fight Card Features Tourney Finals, Paul Daley’s Debut
Bellator Fighting Championships is headed back to “The Sunshine State” on Friday, July 20 for Bellator 72 from The USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla. Featuring the finals of the Bellator Season 6 Welterweight Tournament between Bryan Baker and Karl Amoussou, Bellator 72 will also showcase the debut of dynamic knockout artist Paul “Semtex” Daley as well as a bad blood welterweight trilogy fight between Marius Zaromskis and Waachiim Spiritwolf.
Additionally, the semifinals of the Bellator Summer Series Light Heavyweight Tournament will take place as Attila Vegh meets Emanuel Newton and Travis Wiuff will face Tim Carpenter. Also, a stacked preliminary card full of the area’s top talent will be in action. Tickets for Bellator 72 are on sale at all online Ticketmaster outlets as well as visiting the USF Sun Dome Box Office.
“A Lotta Late!” UFC Pres Dana White Critical of Munoz vs. Weidman’s Late Stoppage
Fighter safety is solely in the hands of the referee while inside the cage during any combat sport, and referee Josh Rosenthal failed Mark Munoz at UFC on Fuel TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman on Wednesday night, according to UFC president Dana White.
During the second round of the main event, Munoz unloaded a wild right hand and in the process was caught by a well-placed, right elbow by Chris Weidman that hurt the middleweight contender. Munoz fell to the canvas and Weidman followed him. Weidman delivered several unanswered blows before referee Rosenthal stepped in to stop the slaughter.
Munoz was face down on the canvas eating right hand after right hand, unable to defend himself.
The referee’s primary objective is to protect the competitors, but on Wednesday, a referee failed a fighter in the main event on Fuel TV.
“It was a bad stoppage,” said White in a Fuel TV interview following the event.
UFC on FUEL TV 4 ratings: Event peaks with nearly 300,000 viewers
Wednesday's UFC on FUEL TV 4 event averaged 211,000 viewers, which ranks second among the series' four events to date.
Additionally, the July 11 broadcast peaked with a healthy 291,000 FUEL TV viewers for the night's main event, which saw Chris Weidman stop Mark Munoz via second-round TKO.
MMAjunkie.com today confirmed the figures with industry sources.
Lorenz Larkin hopes win over Lawler puts him in reach of Strikeforce middleweight title
It's not hard for Lorenz Larkin to imagine his fight with Robbie Lawler being the kind that delivers the proverbial fireworks.
"That's what everyone's been saying, so I'm sure it does (have fireworks written all over it)," Larkin on Thursday told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
But most importantly to Larkin (12-0 MMA, 3-0 SF), he hopes a win over Lawler (19-8 MMA, 3-4 SF) – and an impressive one – could make him the next top contender for Strikeforce middleweight title.
Larkin and Lawler meet on the main card of "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy" on Saturday at Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Ore. Main-card fights air live on Showtime with prelims on Showtime Extreme.