Thiago Alves Tapped to Face Swedish Prospect Papy Abedi
According to UFC.com, former UFC welterweight contender Thiago Alves (23-7) is tapped to face Swedish prospect Papy Abedi, the #1-ranked middleweight fighter on the 2011 World MMA Scouting Report, at UFC 138 on November 5th in Birmingham, England. Abedi is currently undefeated at 8-0, finishing seven of his eight opponents within the confines of the 185 lb. weight class. The contest at UFC 138 will be Abedi's first weight cut down to 170 lbs., creating some concern whether he'll be able to make the cut and maintain his brute strength.
Ranger Up Out as UFC/Strikeforce Sponsor
With Strikeforce recently adding a "sponsor fee" in the vein of the UFC, some sponsors are now unable to advertise in the Strikeforce cage. One of them is Ranger Up, who has decided to step away from sponsoring fighters in Strikeforce for the time being. This affects two of their fighters competing in events over the next couple of months - Tim Kennedy and Liz Carmouche.
Ryan "The Real Deal" Ford signs with Bellator
Canadian welterweight Ryan "The Real Deal" Ford (16-3) has signed with Bellator and will make his debut in October. He announced it on his facebook page today:
"The Real Deal Will Be Keepin It GDUP For Bellator Fighting Championships. Debut In October @ Casino Rama Then The 170lb 100k Tournament In January 2012 Representing E-Town And Canada!!!!"
DaMarques Johnson vs. Clay Harvison set for UFC Fight Night 25
A welterweight bout between "The Ultimate Fighter" alumni DaMarques Johnson and Clay Harvison will be part of September's UFC Fight Night 25 event.
Officials today announced verbal agreements are in place for the fight.
Featuring a welterweight matchup between Jake Shields and Jake Ellenberger, UFC Fight Night 25 takes place Sept. 17 at New Orleans' Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
Brad Pickett vs. Renan Barao Booked for UFC 138 in November
The UFC's November trip to the U.K. was only announced this morning and we're already getting news of fight bookings for the November 5th event. Just this afternoon, the promotion announced via Gareth Davies at the Telegraph, that two top-ranked bantamweights will meet on the UFC 138 card when Brad Pickett faces Renan Barao:
Dana White Says Issues With Lyoto Machida, Alistair Overeem Will Blow Over
As if Zuffa executives didn't have enough headaches with the injury bug that has wreaked havoc on cards for months, there have also been a pair of high-profile flare-ups with major Zuffa stars within the last week.
The first one came when UFC president Dana White revealed that Lyoto Machida had accepted a fight with Rashad Evans at UFC 133, but then changed his mind and demanded "Anderson SIlva-money." The second came when Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem seemingly dared the powers that be to pull him from the Heavyweight Grand Prix after he claimed they threatened him with withdrawal from it if he couldn't fight on the desired Sept. 10 date.
While the two reports gained heavy traction with fans and media over the last several days, White seemed to indicate during a Tuesday press conference that he expects both situations to be resolved.
Personalities clash as UFC 135 headliners Jones and Jackson visit Denver media
It was perhaps the simplest question during a gathering that at times was more frat party than media event.
But it produced the most meaningful exchange during a pre-event media tour ahead of UFC 135.
Asked by a fan how the fight would go – without getting into game plan, of course – light-heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones (13-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) was interrupted by Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (32-8 MMA, 7-2 UFC).
"You know who he is – c'mon man," Jackson said today at the Pepsi Center in Denver, which also hosts the pay-per-view UFC 135 event on Sept. 24. "Who been standing with me, dog? Everybody been wrasslin' me, dog. You already know, player."
It was one of many interruptions from the former champ, who bounced between the role of class clown and frustrated MMA veteran as questions about his motivation to fight surfaced.
On the other side of the podium, Jones kept a mostly stoic exterior as he responded to persistent attacks about a perceived cockiness as the second-youngest champion in UFC history.
Octagon Girl Brittney Palmer No Longer With the UFC
UFC Octagon Girl Brittney Palmer has parted ways with the organization. Fighters Only Magazine has the scoop:
Brittney Palmer is no longer with the UFC.
Following a fortnight of behind the scenes rumblings, her departure from the company has been confirmed and her profile has been removed from UFC.com
Fighters Only has been able to confirm her departure but has not been able to unearth any concrete reasons for it.
Chris Leben vs. Mark Munoz Set For UFC 138
Although earlier reports suggested that the UFC would not be holding an event in the U.K. this year, it now appears that British fans will indeed see the Octagon arrive on their shores this fall. Gareth Davies at the Telegraph has confirmed with UFC U.K. president, Marshall Zelaznik, that UFC 138 will be held at the LG Arena in Birmingham, England on November 5th. The UFC's November 19th event in San Jose will now apparently be re-numbered as UFC 139:
Marshall Zelaznik, UFC UK vice-president, told The Telegraph yesterday: "I’m very happy to announce UFC 138 will be bringing fireworks to Birmingham on November 5. The last time the UFC was in the second city was UFC 89 in October 2008, and we are very happy to be going back there this bonfire night."
One FC Announces Inaugural Card; Baroni vs. Yoshida to Co-Main Event
The upstart ONE Fighting Championship has announced the full card for its inaugural show on Sept. 3 in Singapore, and some familiar names will be competing on the event to be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Former UFC fighters Phil Baroni and Yoshiyuki Yoshida will meet in a 170-pound bout, while TUF 5 cast member Andy Wang will meet Zorobabel Moreira in a 155-pound bout.
According to a press release, ONE FC "will feature a combination rule set of modified" PRIDE FC and the Unified MMA rules. The organization will also recognize the Unified MMA rules weight classes and is expected to "make additional major announcements soon."
Strikeforce Announces Top Fights for Sept. 10 Card
A slew of fights were recently confirmed for Strikeforce's Sept. 10 card via the organization's Twitter account.
Middleweight champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza will defend his title against Luke Rockhold. Souza (14-2, 1 NC) last defended his title against Robbie Lawler in January.
This will undoubtedly mark the biggest fight of Rockhold's career, as the American Kickboxing Academy member has never fought on the main card of a major Strikeforce event before nor for a title. The 7-1 fighter has battled a series of injuries, which have kept him out of action since February 2010.
Light heavyweights Roger Gracie (4-0) and Muhammed Lawal (7-1) have also agreed to meet on Sept. 10. The 205-pounders were supposed to meet on July 30, but an injury suffered in training forced Gracie to pull out of the fight. Lawal hasn't competed since losing the light heavyweight title to Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante last August.
UFC Fight Night 26 likely to take place Nov. 5 in Birmingham, England
The UFC is moving forward on a likely Nov. 5 event expected to take place in Birmingham, England.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed with event sources that the show, likely to be dubbed UFC Fight Night 25, could be the first overseas edition of the Spike TV event series.
Although not official, the event is expected to take place at the 16,000-seat LG Arena at the National Exhibition Centre.
Rather than UFC Fight Night 26, the event could be dubbed UFC 138 (which would make a Nov. 19 event, which is headlined by Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos, UFC 139 rather than UFC 138). Regardless, the Nov. 5 event is expected to air on Spike TV via same-day delay.
Nick Catone vs. Aaron Simpson added to October's UFC 136 event
A middleweight scrap between two fighters boasting modest win streaks will take place at UFC 136.
UFC officials today announced that Nick Catone will face Aaron Simpson at the event.
Featuring a pair of title fights in the evening's headlining contests, UFC 136 takes place Oct. 8 at Houston's Toyota Center.
Alistair Overeem Out of Strikeforce Grand Prix, Antonio Silva to Face Daniel Cormier
It didn't take long for Strikeforce to make up their mind regarding Alistair Overeem. Hours after he mentioned that he would not fight on September 10th and Zuffa had threatened him with removal from the Grand Prix, it came to fruition. Tatame first reported that Overeem was out and Daniel Cormier was in to take on Antonio Silva on September 10th:
Alistair Overeem, the Strikeforce heavyweight champion, defeated Fabricio Werdum at Strikeforce GP’s first round, but he’s no longer fighting at the tournament.
Rory MacDonald Still Wants Revenge On Carlos Condit
It seems despite being touted as one of the best prospects in MMA today, Rory MacDonald (11-1) is having trouble letting go of the one defeat on his record. At UFC 115, MacDonald found himself two rounds up against Condit, but when the third round kicked off, Condit came out and absolutely destroyed MacDonald, marking up his face and forcing the ref to stop the fight just 7 seconds before the end of the fight. Speaking to Sportsnet.ca, 21 year old MacDonald stated:
"I still want my revenge against Carlos, though, because I truly believe I am a better fighter than him. I made a mistake in our fight and he capitalized. It happens to fighters on a weekly basis, and I wasn't the first or last to find myself in that position.
Zuffa Threatens To Pull Overeem Out of Strikeforce Grand Prix
Zuffa Threatens To Pull Overeem Out of Strikeforce Grand Prix
Speaking to Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of MMAFighting.com's "The MMA Hour", Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair "The Reem" Overeem (35-11-0-1) had some shocking news to share, as he confirmed that he has been "threatened" by Zuffa to be pulled from the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix if he does not comply with a scheduled September 10th date to compete in the semi-finals vs. Antonio Silva.
"Stikeforce has requested me to accept the fight for Sept. 10, to agree on that, but I have not agreed on it and I also had some emails, some questions asked, is the fight confirmed? No, the fight is not confirmed. I do not confirm it and I will not confirm it," said Overeem...