Oliveira replaces Wiman
The revolving opponent door has swung once again for Efrain Escudero. Originally slated to face John Gunderson at UFC Fight Night 22 in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 15, he was pulled from that fight after Mac Danzig was forced to withdraw from the co-main event versus Matt Wiman. Escudero was elevated to replace Danzig in the headliner.
WEC 50: 316,000 Viewers
Wednesday's Versus-televised WEC 50 event scored an average audience of 316,000 viewers. Ratings remained steady compared to the Las Vegas-based organization's most recent event, WEC 49, which drew an average audience of 324,000 viewers. That event featured a headliner between lightweights Jamie Varner and Kamal Shalorus and – as with WEC 50 – lacked some of the organization's bigger draws, including Urijah Faber, Jose Aldo and Miguel Torres. However, the show does take over WEC 49's slot as the lowest-rated show for the WEC since the promotion's record-breaking WEC 34 event (1.54 million viewers) in June 2008. (Ratings information for broadcasts prior to that event are not available.)
UFC Prelims Returns At UFC 121
Spike TV today confirmed it will air another UFC Prelims special before the upcoming UFC 121 event on October 23. The 2 TV fights this time will be Ultimate Fighter 10 winner Court McGee vs. Ryan Jensen and Patrick Cote vs. Tom Lawlor.
More UFN 22 Changes Coming-Matt Wiman Likely Off
Just as soon as UFC Fight Night 22's co-main event was shuffled, things are in flux once again. While not official yet, Matt Wiman may now be off the card due to an injury suffered in training. Wiman had previously been booked for a rematch with Mac Danzig before an undisclosed injury forced Danzig to withdraw. Wiman was to have faced Efrain Escudero, who replaced Danzig in the fight. A replacement search is now underway.
Dear MMA Fans; F-You! Sincerely, King Mo
Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Lawal has a pretty simple message for fans:..a particular f-word. "Some [fans] are cool, some are idiots. They're fans-they don't know what the f**k they are talking about. That's why I'll say it again: 'f**k the fans.' A lot of them ain't educated. They're just bandwagon jumpers..."
Fans send WEC to Pheonix
The first ever fan voted Amp Energy WEC contest came to a close on Wednesday night with Phoenix coming out victorious as the city that will host a WEC event on Dec. 16.
This will be the first WEC event in Arizona, where fans have long clamored for the promotion to come to their state.
Mac Danzig Off UFN 22, Escudero-Wiman Now Co-Headliner
The planned Mac Danzig vs. Matt Wiman rematch scheduled for UFC Fight Night 22 is now off for now. Danzig reportedly is now off due to an undisclosed injury. Efrain Escudero has been tapped as the replacement, meaning he's now out of his scheduled fight with John Gunderson. As a result, "The Busiest Fighter In MMA", Yves Edwards, will now likely make his return to UFC and face Gunderson in a prelim. Wiman-Escudero will be the co-main event.
UFC 118 Official With 10 Fights, But Harris-Vedepo Off
The fight card for next week's UFC 118 event is complete, UFC officials today announced. The 10-bout lineup features a champion rematch between lightweight champ Frankie Edgar and B.J. Penn, and Randy Couture meets boxer James Toney in the UFC 118 co-headliner. There were 11 fights planned, but Gerald Harris vs. Joe Vedepo is now off. A source says scheduling issues is the reason. They may be shifted to other cards, not necessarily facing each other.
WEC 50 Fighter Payouts-To-Be
NSAC head Keith Kizer today revealed the preliminary fighter payouts for tonight's WEC 50 event. Every fighter will earn at least $3000 for their efforts with the highest possible payday being $35,000, which would be what Joseph Benavidez would earn if he beats WEC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz for the title. Shane Roller would get $32,000 if he wins his fight while both Scott Jorgenson & Cub Swanson can earn over $20,000 with wins.
Showdown Joe: Rory MacDonald vs. Matt Brown @ UFC 123
Numerous sources have informed me that welterweight prospect Rory “The Waterboy” MacDonald (10-1) is likely set to square off against rugged veteran Matt “The Immortal” Brown (11-9) at UFC 123, tentatively scheduled for November 20th.
MacDonald, who hails from Kelowna, BC, suffered the first defeat of his young career, when, with seven seconds left in his UFC 115 bout vs Carlos Condit, the referee stepped in to halt the action.
Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Goran Reljic targeted for UFC 122 in Germany
Goran Reljic's return to the light-heavyweight division appears set.
Reljic (8-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) is expected to fight Krzysztof Soszynski (21-10-1, 4-2 UFC) at UFC 122, according to a source close to the event who told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that verbal agreements are in place with bout agreements expected to be finalized shortly.
Backstage With Ed Soares
Ariel Helwani interviews Ed Soares one of the most recognizable and influential managers in mixed martial arts. With a stable of fighters that includes the likes of Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, Jose Aldo, Junior dos Santos and the Nogueira brothers, Soares has quickly put together one of the most impressive list of clients in the entire sport.
SF Challengers 10 Medical Suspensions
The Arizona State Boxing Commission has announced the medical suspensions from Strikeforce Challengers 10. Only 4 fighters were given suspensions-all got only 30 or 60 days-and no injuries were serious. The worst injury was a possible concussion.
SF Challengers 10 Fighter Payouts
The Arizona State Boxing Commission has released the official fighter payouts from Strikeforce Challengers 10. The total disclosed payouts were $53,250 with the biggest share-$18,000-going to Miesha Tate. The payroll may appear low compared to other major organizations, but keep in mind that the Challengers event series is geared primarily toward up-and-coming fighters who are looking to be promoted to major shows. Additionally, five of the 12 Strikeforce Challengers 10 bouts were classified as amateur fights, though most of the fighters have pro bouts on their records, according to the major databases.
2 Gracies Among 8 Announced For UFC 118 Grappling Superfights
Officials today announced a quartet of "superfights" for the UFC Fan Expo trade and exhibition show in Boston, which coincides with next month's UFC 118 event. Members of MMA's first family, other grappling notables and even a former WEC champion are part of the lineup. The bouts include Rolles Gracie vs. Roberto Abreu, Gregor Gracie vs. Pablo Popovitch, Hermes Franca vs. Ryan Hall, and Penny Thomas vs. Tracey Goodell. On Friday, Aug. 27 at 2 p.m. ET, Thomas, who defeated MMA veteran Shayna Baszler at May's UFC Fan Expo in Las Vegas, takes on Team Lloyd Irvin product Goodell. Additionally, Franca, a former WEC title-holder and UFC title challenger, meets 23-time Grapplers Quest champion Ryan Hall. On Saturday, Aug. 28 at 12:30 p.m. ET, the Gracie clan takes center stage. Rolles, a heavyweight MMA fighter who had a one-fight stint with the UFC earlier this year, takes on Abreu, an undefeated Grapplers Quest champ. And Gregor, a four-time Grapplers Quest champ and half-brother of Rolles', meets Popovich, an ADCC world grappling champion.
Cro Cop: I'm Not Going To Be 100% Against Frank Mir-But I Won't Disappoint The Fans
Mirko Cro Cop confirms his participation in the UFC 119 main event against Frank Mir after "Minotauro" Nogueira was forced to withdraw from the Sept. 25 fight card due to ailing hips. "Cro Cop" doesn't think he can be 100-percent prepared in just five weeks, but was not about to disappoint the UFC or his fans by turning down the fight. "I am aware that I am not going to be 100-percent for this fight because in this sport five weeks notice is basically last-minute notice. But I know the UFC had no other solution and so I could not refuse the owner of the UFC, who has made me financially secure, or the UFC fans, who I do not want to disappoint."
SF Challengers 10: 237,000 Viewers
Ratings this past weekend's Strikeforce Challengers 10 event were better than expected and topped out at 280,000 viewers. Overall, the Aug. 13 event averaged 237,000 viewers, a 17 percent increase from Strikeforce Challengers 9 in July, for its initial run. So which fight coincided with the peak audience? It wasn't the Joe Riggs vs. Louis Taylor headliner, nor was it any of the official fights from the organization's single-night tournament, which included 135-pound female fighters Miesha Tate, Hitomi Akano, Maiju Kujala and Carina Damm. Surprisingly, the peak audience came during a Colleen Schneider vs. Liz Carmouche tourney-reserve bout, which likely was just a quirk since it preceded the night's tournament finale and Riggs vs. Taylor main event.
DREAM FW Champion Bibiano Fernandes Still Hasn't Been Paid For DREAM 13, Turns Down September Title Defense
Apparently DREAM has become the Michael Lohan of the MMA world. According to TATAME, five months after he won the DREAM featherweight tournament, Bibiano Fernandes hasn't been paid his contracted fight purse. Unlike the Impact FC fighters who haven't been paid for their July fights by the Australian promotion, Fernandes has something over the Japanese promotion he is contracted to for one more bout: his belt. The report says that Fernandes has turned down a title defense on the September 25 DREAM 16 card and maintains that he won't fight for the organization until he receives his check for his win over Joachim Hansen at DREAM 13 back in March.