Despite UFC on FOX 2 loss, bonus-winner Nik Lentz told his job is safe
After four consecutive wins in the octagon, UFC lightweight Nik Lentz has hit the skids.
But he also believes he's turned a corner in delivering the kind of performances fans want to see, and despite dropping back-to-back fights, he'll live to fight another day in the UFC.
"(UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva said I wouldn't get cut," he today told MMAjunkie.com following a weekend loss to Evan Dunham at UFC on FOX 2.
XFC 16: Julio Gallegos vs Amaechi Oselukwue booked for 'High Stakes' on Feb. 10 via HDNet
XFC veteran Julio Gallegos returns to the cage on Feb. 10th live on HDNet when he takes on Amaechi Oselukwue at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum at XFC 16: ‘High Stakes.' The heavy handed middleweight is a fan favorite not just for his fighting ability but his charity work as well.
Overcoming tragedy at an early age, that saw the loss of both of Gallegos' parents, the Kentucky native has turned the negative into a positive by focusing his energy on helping sick children. Gallegos works tirelessly promoting cancer awareness and spends his time visiting sick children at St. Jude and Kosair Children's Hospital in Kentucky. Last year Gallegos even started his own charity, the GJG Foundation, which benefits kids in Lexington, KY. Last year the fighter raised several thousand dollars that went into helping children in his hometown.
After 62 Straight Kickboxing and MMA Wins, Stephen Thompson Makes UFC Debut
Jan 31, 2012 - The numbers are something out of a video game or a movie or someone's imagination. In amateur kickboxing, Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson was 37-0. As a pro kickboxer, 20-0. As a professional mixed martial artist, he's 5-0 so far. That's 62 straight fights without a loss.
But it's no facade, and his record is no product of fishy matchmaking. In fact, despite his newness on the MMA scene, he's already wowed some of this sports' brightest minds.Georges St-Pierre's trainer Firas Zahabi recently called Thompson "definitely the best karate guy, the best striker I've ever seen, all around in any sport."
The welterweight brings his exceptional record to this weekend's UFC 143, where he faces fellow octagon rookie Daniel Stittgen, hoping to extend his ridiculous streak.
GSP doesn't see himself as champ anymore
UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre doesn't like Nick Diaz. But that won't stop him from cheering on the Stockton, Calif., native on Saturday at UFC 143 as the latter takes on Carlos Condit in the main event for the interim welterweight title.
GSP will be cageside for the fight and says he will feel conflicted while watching Diaz and Condit compete.
"I respect Carlos Condit, but I want Diaz to win. It will be a weird feeling, sitting at the Mandalay Bay wanting Nick Diaz to win," St-Pierre told the UFC.
"I am very nervous that Carlos Condit will win on Saturday night, and that I won't be able to fight Nick Diaz this summer," St-Pierre said.
"Carlos Condit is a very good fighter, he can strike, he is aggressive and he has submissions. He has been very impressive and is the type of fighter who gets better and better the more confident he gets … I am not personal friends with him but I know him a little and he's a great person.
"All that has done though is make me determined to beat him up. He will bring out the best in me, I will be 100 per cent focused, like a bomb-expert defusing a time bomb. When my back is against the wall and I have no choice but to win … that is when I am most dangerous.
Despite the fact most people don't give much thought to interim titles, St-Pierre feels the opposite.
"The way I see it, I am not the champion anymore on Saturday night," St-Pierre said. "I have not fought since April, against my will, but I understand the champion must fight. You have to put the belt on the line in order to call yourself champion, the best in the world. Right now I am not the best in the world, I am injured.
“The winner of this fight on Saturday will be more than just the new No. 1 contender, but he won't be the new champion either. The winner of this fight will have to beat me to become the true world champion and I will have to beat the winner of this fight in order to call myself the best in the world again."
MFC Pavelich on farewell of fighters, ring
The Maximum Fighting Championship announced the release of three fighters on Tuesday, including former lightweight champion Antonio McKee, who was officially cut after missing weight by seven pounds for his title defence last Friday in Edmonton.
Also let go by the Edmonton-based organization was his opponent Brian Cobb, who lost to McKee in what ended up being a three-round, non-title catchweight bout in the co-main event of MFC 32: Bitter Rivals, as well as James Haddad, who were the other fighters to miss weight but by smaller margins.
McKee was set to defend his belt before coming in well over the 155-pound target at the weigh-ins last Thursday. He was immediately stripped of his belt and MFC owner/president Mark Pavelich said after his "farewell fight" the following day he would never fight in the MFC again, "even if he wins by flying armbar or knockout."
"And I’m not like Dana White," added Pavelich, referring to the UFC president as having given second chances to fighters he’s said would never fight for him again. "When I say 'never,' I mean never. My never is forever."
"I was thoroughly disgusted by the lack of professionalism that Antonio McKee showed towards the belt he was scheduled to defend as well as the (MFC as an organization)," Pavelich said."It was unacceptable behaviour for a champion to demonstrate. On top of that, Antonio never really apologized for missing weight that badly. That was the end of things for him with the MFC."
Also bidding farewell to the MFC on Friday was the ring itself -- the promotion will be switching to a cage on a full-time basis.
The circular cage -- ironically nicknamed "The Ring" -- that will be in use for all future events was first employed at MFC 29 last April for their first show in Ontario, whose province’s athletic commission requires all MMA fights to take place in the cage.
The MFC, which continued to use the ring for its shows in Edmonton as it had for all of its existence, did so for the last time on Friday. Pavelich, who has always maintained that the ring is better especially for the live spectators because it’s better for viewing the action, says their permanent move to the fenced enclosure is a good sign for fans, especially those in Ontario.
"People should be excited in Ontario, because if I’m switching after 12 years of being the biggest advocator on the planet to be inside a ring ... it’s your province that doesn’t allow us to fight in a ring, so that must mean I’m making plans to come back to Ontario if I’m ready to abandon the best apparatus possible to fight on."
Fights in the MFC are now also being scored with the much-talked-about half-point system that was put into place by Edmonton’s athletic commission, where judges can award scores with half-points. Pavelich said he’s not opposed to it, but is not sure it will make a big difference. ...
Pavelich said the commission was looking at other new ideas, such as letting fans and fighters know how judges scored a round after each one is completed. He said he was in favour of that change.
UFC makes official UFC 143 program available for free viewing
For the first time, UFC officials are offering a free version of its event-night program.
An e-version of this weekend's UFC 143 program, which feature headliners and interim-title fighters Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit, is now available online.
Check it out at ufc.com/program.
The UFC 143 program is 35 pages long and features full-color photography of fighters, officials and ring girls. UFC president Dana White penned the welcome letter.
Shinya Aoki And Eddie Alvarez To Rematch In Bellator This April
After losing his Bellator title in a fight of the year candidate against Michael Chandler, Eddie Alvarez decided to skip this season's lightweight tournament so he could negotiate for a chance to redeem another loss - one against the popular Japanese champion, Shinya Aoki.
Alvarez will finally be getting his wish on April 21st, but this time, he'll be taking on the DREAM champion inside the Bellator cage. Sources close to the situation have informed BloodyElbow.com that bout agreements have been sent and Aoki has already put pen to paper, with Bellator expected to make the official announcement soon.
Champ Georges St-Pierre wants Nick Diaz fight as much as he wanted a title shot
"I want this fight with Diaz so badly – as badly as I wanted the title shot when I got down on my knees," St-Pierre today told the UFC.
That was seven years ago at UFC 56, when his career looked a whole lot different than it does today. Of all the punches he's slipped on his current path, this one has hit hardest.
What's more, he can't do anything but sit and wait to settle the rivalry.
"I was (crushed) when I had to pull out of this weekend's fight hurt, but I am determined to get back to the octagon as soon as possible to fight this guy," St-Pierre said of Diaz. "He needs to hold up his part and beat (Carlos) Condit on Saturday to make this fight happen."
"Condit is a very good fighter," he said. "He can strike, he is aggressive, and he has submissions. He has been very impressive and is the type of fighter who gets better and better the more confident he gets.
"I am not personal friends with him, but I know him a little, and he's a great person. I know a lot of people who know him well because we train with the same people, but I have only spoken with him a few times. I feel bad. It is weird that I want him to lose, but I have never wanted to fight anyone as much as I want to fight Diaz."
"I don't truly hate him as a person," St-Pierre said. "I don't know that he is a bad guy, but I hate what he brings to the sport with the disrespect and the unprofessional things he says and does. It is sort of a professional hatred. He has been nothing but disrespectful and arrogant toward me.
"During UFC 137 (week), I felt like I had to walk around Las Vegas with my fists ready because every time I came across him, he wanted to fight there and then. Every time the elevator opened (in the hotel), I needed to be ready to fight in case he stepped in. I was on edge all week. This guy is crazy.
"I am used to hearing (smack) talk from opponents. Matt Serra did it, Dan Hardy did it, and Josh Koscheck did it. But with Diaz, he has taken it to another level. He and his coach have called me a coward and tried to disrespect my accomplishments.
On the Knee
"I am ahead of schedule," he said of his recovery. "I can already train and even kick, but I am remaining calm and not rushing. I won't train properly until July, it is a matter of discipline not to force my knee to go harder than it can heal."
UFC on FOX 2 ratings: Event averages 4.7 million viewers, second-best all-time
This past weekend's UFC on FOX 2 event, which featured three main-card bouts, averaged 4.7 million viewers.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the figures with industry sources.
Overall, the Jan. 28 event – which ran two hours and 19 minutes – scored a 3.21 rating among men 18-49 and a 3.21 among men 18-34. It's tied for the second-highest-rated MMA event in U.S. television history.
All of the numbers are down from November's record-setting UFC on FOX 1 event. The FOX-televised broadcast, which featured just one bout with Junior Dos Santos claiming the heavyweight title from Cain Velasquez, averaged 5.7 million viewers. The event also scored a 4.0 household rating among men 18-49 and 4.3 among men 18-34.
The second event – and the first official show that is part of a seven-year UFC-FOX deal that formally began this month – took place at Chicago's sold-out United Center. Rashad Evans claimed a light-heavyweight title shot with a decision victory over Phil Davis in the headliner. In other FOX-televised bouts, which followed prelims on FUEL TV and Facebook, Chael Sonnen edged Michael Bisping to claim a middleweight title shot, and middleweight Chris Weidman kept his perfect record intact with a decision win over Demian Maia.
On Monday, FOX officials announced that – according to overnight-ratings information – UFC on FOX 2 ratings were up 42 percent compared to the network's previous four weeks of Saturday-night programming.
In counter-programming efforts, Spike TV averaged 828,000 viewers for a UFC Fight Night replay and "UFC Unleashed" episodes that aired from 7-11 p.m. ET/PT. The UFC Fight Night replay kicked off the counter-programming strong and averaged 960,000 viewers...
Asian MMA: Manhoef Vs. Babalu, Imanari Vs. Belingon Set For ONE FC 3 In Singapore
Following yesterday's monumental announcement of a 10-year media partnership with ESPN Star Sports, ONE FC unveiled several more interesting news items on a press conference in Singapore.
On the business side of things, the promotion made a huge announcement that government entities from Singapore will be backing them, with Cui saying that both the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB) will be supporting ONE FC.
ONE FC has also announced two key bouts for their third show that is slated on March 31st. Headlining the card will be UFC vet and former Strikeforce champion, Renato 'Babalu' Sobral (36-10), taking on the very dangerous and explosive striker in Melvin Manhoef (24-9).
Also on a featured bout is Kevin Belingon (9-0), a URCC Champion who is one of the top prospects in the Asia, taking a huge step up in competition by facing the more experienced DEEP Bantamweight Champ, and 'Master of Leglocks', Masakazu Imanari (24-10-2).
ONE Fighting Championship 3
March 31, 2012 - Singapore Indoor Stadium, Singapore
- Renato Sobral vs. Melvin Manhoef
- Masakazu Imanari vs. Kevin Belingon
- Eduard Folayang
- Zorobabel Moreira
- Gregor Gracie
- Eddie Ng
- Nicole Chua
Forrest Griffin and Tito Ortiz call each other out
In fighting, it takes a great rival makes a great champion. Without Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali would not be Muhammad Ali. No Sugar Ray Robinson, no Jake LaMotta. No Micky Ward, no Arturo Gatti. You can go on forever.
MMA does not have the same history prizefighting does, but it is starting to. Tito Ortiz was a great champion. And part of that greatness was defined through rivalries.
The three fights with Ken Shamrock made him rich, and that came after an ongoing feud with the Lion's Den going 1-1 with Guy Mezger, and taking Jerry Bohlander on cuts.
Tito feuded with Chuck Liddell, losing twice.
But perhaps his greatest rivalry was with Forrest Griffin, beating him ny split decision in 2006, and then coming back in 2009 and losing a split decision. Now it is 2012, and the two want to do it one last time.
Griffin and Ortiz appeared on HDNet's "Inside MMA" and made the case, or started it.
UFC's Alistair Overeem charged with battery in Las Vegas
Top UFC heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem has been charged with one count of misdemeanor battery following an incident in a Las Vegas casino soon after his UFC 141 bout this past month.
According to the "Las Vegas Review-Journal," Overeem is slated to appear in court on Feb. 21, and if convicted, he faces a maximum of six months in county jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) had been unable to confirm the long-rumored incident in recent weeks.
Tony Ferguson Fights Dennis Hallman at ‘UFC on FOX 3'
Just two days after wrapping their second show on FOX, the UFC announced a lightweight brawl between Tony Ferguson (Pictured) and Dennis Hallman for their next event on the network.
Ferguson has rattled off two straight wins inside the Octagon since taking “The Ultimate Fighter 13? tournament. He was last seen in December posting a decision victory over Yves Edwards.
Hallman has nearly 70 professional fights under his belt. The veteran submitted John Makdessi last month at UFC 140.
UFC 145: Jon Jones Opens As Massive Favorite Over Rashad Evans
After Rashad Evans beat Phil Davis at UFC on Fox 2, he sat at the post-fight press conference fielding questions about his upcoming bout with rival Jon Jones, currently scheduled as the main event of UFC 145 in Atlanta on April 21st. In one of the answers, he stated that he'd "probably be a huge underdog" going into the bout. Well, he was right about that. Bookmaker was the first site to drop a betting line for Jones vs. Evans, and it's pretty lopsided:
Tachi Palace Fights 12 adds Jenkins vs. Gomez, Huckaba vs. Wilson
Twenty-three-year-old lightweight prospect Bubba Jenkins (1-0), a former NCAA Division I national wrestling champion, returns to action on March 9.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today learned that Jenkins will meet Millennia MMA product Chris Gomez (2-3) on March 9 at Tachi Palace Fights 12.
Additionally, Dave Huckaba (16-4) meets Liron Wilson (9-5) in a heavyweight matchup.
"TPF 12: Second Coming" takes place at Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, Calif.
The card is expected to stream online.
UFC on Fox 2 Tops Network’s Recent Primetime Ratings
UFC on Fox 2 might not have provided as much action as some had hoped, but the event did manage to draw a better rating than the network’s previous month of Saturday primetime programming.
According to Nielsen Media Research, UFC on Fox 2 posted a 2.7/5 household rating, a 42-percent increase from the average for the past four weeks on Fox (1.9/4).
Fox Sports Research projects that the network will win Saturday night in the Adults 18-49 demographic by a wide margin, and might also beat ABC, CBS and NBC in the 18-34 category when official figures are released on Tuesday.
Report: Satoshi Ishii Suffered Cerebral Edema Against Fedor Emelianenko, MMA Career May Be Over
Fading Russian MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko beat Satoshi Ishii by TKO in the first round at the Dream New Year 2011 event. According to reports coming out of Japan, Fedor did more than finish Ishii in that one fight, he may have ended his MMA career. Fight Opinion has the details:
Japanese weekly publication Cyzo reports that doctors have told Ishii that he suffered a cerebral edema from the NYE beating. As a result, he was warned that any further blows to the head would cause some serious damage. As Cyzo put it, Ishii is facing a retirement crisis. There had been some discussion that he would face Ricardo Arona in late March in Brazil but that fight didn't look to be in the cards. After this latest development, the MMA prospects for Ishii look to be bleak as well.
Leonard Garcia Injured - out of UFC 144
The injury bug bites again.
UFC 144 is starting to feel the sting of injuries as Leonard Garcia is the latest to fall victim, forcing him out of his scheduled fight with Tiequan Zhang.
Sources close to the fighter confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that Garcia would be forced off the card in Japan on Monday.
While the nature of the injuries are unknown, Garcia, who is widely considered one of the toughest fighters in the sport, obviously was banged up enough to have to drop out of the fight.
Jorge Lopez out at UFC 143, Matt Riddle now meets Henry Martinez
The lineup shuffling continues for UFC officials, as Jorge Lopez (11-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has been forced out of his planned contest with Matt Riddle (5-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC).
In his place steps octagon newcomer Henry Martinez (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
UFC officials recently announced the change.
Featuring an interim welterweight title fight between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit UFC 143 takes place Feb. 4 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
Riddle looks to snap a two-fight losing streak, the first such run of his career. A rare fighter who has fought all of his professional contests in the octagon, he was beaten by UFC newcomer Lance Benoist this past September but was rewarded with a "Fight of the Night" bonus following the UFC Fight Night 25 bout. Riddle also dropped a decision to Sean Pierson at 2010's UFC 124 card.
He now faces Martinez, a Greg Jackson product who makes his UFC debut. Martinez, who competed as a featherweight in 2009 at Bellator Fighting Championships 2 (where he suffered his lone career loss), carried a four-fight win streak into the contest. All four wins have come via submission.