Benavidez, Johnson poised to make history
Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson are so very similar that it just makes sense they'll meet this Saturday at UFC 152 in Toronto for the opportunity to become the organization's first flyweight champion.
"They both have a championship spirit, so neither will stop whether they're winning or losing," UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz said. "They're just going to go. Pedal to the metal. If there's no finish, they'll go until the bell rings. It's going to be insane to watch that pace."
Belfort and the shelf life of a 'Phenom'
Vitor Belfort is the longest-tenured UFC fighter, an ante-Zuffaian heirloom who was Jon Jones long before there was a Jon Jones. If he’s distinguished, it’s because he’s learned to adapt within the meanest landscape in sports.
Now 35, he’s facing the Jon Jones of today -- the Jon Jones. Jones, the invulnerable. Jones, the colossus of the light heavyweight division, a division that Belfort hasn’t fought in since 2007. It’s a legit old-meets-new with a sense of “martyrdom” underwriting it all. To go by the specs, Jones -- at 25 years old -- is the new “phenom.” Belfort, in his twilight, is the new “unenviable.”
ESPN Outside The Lines piece on Vitor Belfort
And the fighter prays. Vitor Belfort, UFC middleweight, cinches the prayer circle with his dangerous hands. Wife, children, cousin, pastor, reporter. It is nighttime in Rio de Janeiro, July, behind the secure gates of a Barra da Tijuca development, far from the events that have disordered the fighter's life into the shades of scattered memory. "Jesus, we love you," he says.
On Saturday, Sept. 22, in Toronto, Belfort will fight Jon Jones, the UFC light heavyweight champion. Belfort was a champion, a name of the '90s, relying on the knockout, his hands landing faster than any opponent could interpret them, scattering memory in his own way. Belfort is 35 years old now, a long shot.
Frank Mir injured, out of Strikeforce heavyweight fight against Daniel Cormier
Frank Mir (16-6 MMA, 14-6 UFC) will not fight Daniel Cormier (10-0 MMA, 7-0 SF), as it turns out.
An undisclosed injury has forced the ex-UFC champ to withdraw from "Strikeforce: Cormier vs. Mir," which takes place Nov. 3 at Chesapeake Energy Center in Oklahoma City, Okla., and airs live on Showtime and Showtime Extreme.
MMAjunkie.com (mmajunkie.com) confirmed the news on Tuesday night with a source close to the promotion following an initial report from news show Sports Rage. It's unknown whether a replacement for Mir has been found.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news guys. I think Mir realises its a lose/lose for him
Frank Mir gives me Frank Mir face
Bobby Green vs. Jorge Masvidal targeted for 'Strikeforce: Cormier vs. Mir'
An intriguing lightweight fight between Bobby Green (19-5 MMA, 4-1 SF) and Jorge Masvidal (23-7 MMA, 5-1 SF) is being targeted for November's "Strikeforce: Cormier vs. Mir" event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned that at least one fighter has agreed to the bout, which promotion officials are hoping to lock up for the evening's main card.
Featuring a headliner between Strikeforce grand prix winner Daniel Cormier and former UFC champ Frank Mir, "Strikeforce: Cormier vs. Mir" takes place Nov. 3 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. The main card airs on Showtime (10 p.m. ET/PT) following prelims on Showtime Extreme (8 p.m.).
Not in joking mood, Bisping fires back at fellow UFC 152 fighter Benavidez
Things could get a little chilly in the locker rooms at UFC 152 – at least if Michael Bisping and Joseph Benavidez are sharing space.
Putting it mildly, Bisping didn't appreciate the UFC flyweight's off-the-cuff remark that he was a harder puncher.
"That smug-faced little t--- in a prepubescent boy's body needs to shut the f--- up because I'll take the Pepsi Challenge with that short-ass any day of the week," Bisping told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
Benavidez made his claim at the end of a recent video blog shot for the UFC. While watching a promo for UFC 152, his longtime training partner Urijah Faber asks him if he hits harder than "The Count."
"Yes, I hit harder than Bisping," Benavidez answers.
You'll Never Guess How They Chose The Location For UFC ON FX 5
As you would expect from the head of a billion-dollar business, Ultimate Fighting Championship CEO Lorenzo Fertitta does not take the future of his Las Vegas-based company for granted, and each decision that impacts his promotion is carefully considered while utilizing vast amounts of data, market research and historical perspective.
Of course, every now and then choices boil down to little more than a gut decision, or at least a decision dictated by the gut.
"It was kind of funny, because we do a lot of analysis and we're running numbers and doing all kinds of different things, and we said, 'Sometimes you just have to go literally by gut feel.
"I'm a huge fan of Guy Fieri's show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and I had actually downloaded the app on my iPhone. I said, 'You know what we're going to do? I'm going to go on my app right now, and whichever city has more Guy Fieri locations, that's where we're going to do the fight.' That's literally how it came down."
'Mayday' eyes December return, history
Michael McDonald won’t be 22 years old until January. There’s a chance -- if the cards fall in his favor, and his hand is healthy enough to chin-hunt, and UFC matchmakers throw him a bone -- that by the time “Mayday’s” birthday rolls around, he’ll be accessorizing with UFC gold.
It’s a lot of “ifs,” and a few asterisks -- but it’s possible, and the scenario isn’t all that hard to fathom.
Jon Jones was 23 years and 8 months old when he defeated Mauricio Rua for the light heavyweight belt. If Mayday gets a fight with bantamweight interim titleholder Renan Barao in December -- which is the month McDonald has circled for his return -- he could usurp Jones’ feat of becoming the youngest fighter to be a UFC champion. By a full year and a half, no less.
Yeah, yeah -- even if it’s a placeholder belt that is mostly illusion, while the genuine article remains off-limits until Dominick Cruz returns from his ACL injury.
But first things first. The only jones McDonald is dealing with is the one to crush a heavy bag without wincing.
Gold Coast Selected as Location for TUF: The Smashes Finale at UFC on FX 6
With the premiere episode of TUF: Australia vs. UK “The Smashes” right around the corner, the UFC on Monday announced that the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia, would host UFC on FX 6, which features TUF: The Smashes finale on Dec. 15 (Dec. 14 in the U.S.).
The main event will be a fight between the TUF: The Smashes coaches. Australia’s George Sotiropoulos and the U.K.’s Ross Pearson will meet in the lightweight division. The main card also features the fight between adopted Aussie Hector Lombard and submission specialist Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares, as well as the TUF lightweight and welterweight finals.
Zorobabel Moreira Faces Kotetsu Boku at One FC 6 for Promotion’s Inaugural Lightweight Title
According to sources close to the event, Zorobabel Moreira will square off against Kotetsu Boku for the promotion’s inaugural 155-pound belt at One FC 6 “Rise of Kings,” which takes place at Singapore Outdoor Stadium in Singapore. The card is also expected to include a lightweight bout between former Dream titlist Shinya Aoki and Frenchman Arnaud Lepont.
A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Moreira is unbeaten in three appearances under the One FC banner. The Singapore-based Brazilian debuted with the promotion last year, defeating “The Ultimate Fighter” veteran Andy Wang via TKO. “Zoro” continued his momentum through 2012, submitting Felipe Enomoto with an armbar on March 31 before knocking out Roger Huerta with a soccer kick at One FC 4 in June.
UFC unveils online availability for 'The Ultimate Fighter: Australia vs. UK'
The season debut of "The Ultimate Fighter: Australia vs UK," which has also been dubbed "TUF: TheSmashes," will be available worldwide beginning this Thursday.
While FX holds the TV rights in Australia, and ESPN holds the rights in the U.K., the rest of the world can watch the show online.
A number of online outlets will make each episode of the competition-reality series available beginning Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT).
Brunson, Osterneck, Silva, Hicks among 120 hopefuls at 'TUF 17' open tryouts
LAS VEGAS – Four-time Strikeforce veteran Derek Brunson, UFC veterans Nissen Osterneck and Jay Silva, and six-time WEC veteran Marcus Hicks were among more than 120 middleweight and light-heavyweight hopefuls who attended Monday's open tryout session for "The Ultimate Fighter 17."
The prospective cast members gathered at the Fertitta family-owned Palace Station Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
The tryouts started out with a bang – literally – as light-heavyweight hopefuls Diman Morris and Dan Charles went crashing through a folding table during their two-minute grappling session.
The pair was just the second set of fighters to step before UFC matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby for evaluation. Fortunately, neither fighter was injured, and cooler heads prevailed throughout the remainder of the day.
New Jersey trainer pleads guilty to falsifying pre-fight medical paperwork
A New Jersey-based trainer pleaded guilty today to falsifying medical paperwork so his fighters could fight without undergoing pre-bout physicals.
The state attorney general office will recommend 49-year-old Mahwah, N.J. resident Philip Dunlap be sentenced to probation, 200 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine.
"The sport is criticized enough, and young enough where it's still trying to grow," New Jersey State Athletic Control Board legal counsel Nick Lembo today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "We don't need somebody getting hurt ... off of fake medicals."
Dunlap, who trains fighters out of Advanced Fighting Systems in Mahwah, agreed to a plea deal in connection with a third-degree felony charge of tampering with public records or information. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 26.
Sarah Kaufman scratches from Invicta FC 3, Kaitlin Young now rematches Leslie Smith
Former Strikeforce champion Sarah Kaufman (15-2) has pulled out of next month's Invicta 3 event due to an injury, officials today announced.
Her opponent, Kaitlin Young (7-6-1), now will rematch fellow bantamweight Leslie Smith (3-2-1) instead. Additionally, Smith's original opponent, Kim Connor-Hamby, now will meet late replacement Raquel Pennington (3-1).
Both bouts are part of the night's main card.
Invicta FC 3, the latest offering from the all-female promotion, takes place Oct. 6 in Kansas City, Kan., and the event is expected to stream online for free.
DaMarques Johnson, not Rich Attonito, meets Gunnar Nelson at UFC on FUEL TV 5
DaMarques Johnson (16-11 MMA, 4-5 UFC), not Rich Attonito (10-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC), will meet Gunnar Nelson (9-0-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) later this month at UFC on FUEL TVF 5, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed with sources close to the event.
As reported earlier today, Mjolnir fight team head Dean Nelson (who's also Gunnar's father) initially tweeted that Attonito had stepped in for injured welterweight Pascal Krauss (10-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC).
Instead, it'll be Johnson who takes the short-notice opportunity.
Georges St-Pierre Signs Endorsement Deal with NOS Energy, Part of the Coca-Cola Family
The discussion of MMA going ‘mainstream’ can cover a varied list of ideas in any given arena.
Sometimes it’s just getting more outlets like ESPN to cover MMA on television, while in other avenues it has to do with more major brands getting involved with the fight business.
Thus far companies like Nike, Under Armour and Gatorade have been some of the biggest to dip their feet into the MMA waters, and now you can add the Coca-Cola family to that list as well.
UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has signed a multi-year agreement to become the face of NOS Energy Drinks, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola, as they enter the fray of mixed martial arts for the first time...
Tyrone Spong Signs Deal With World Series of Fighting
Sep 15, 2012 - Tyrone Spong, who for years has been one of the top 209-pound kickboxers in the world, has officially signed with the new World Series of Fighting organization.
He has signed a three-fight deal, and will debut on the promotion's first show on Nov. 3, according to MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani, who confirmed the news with WSOF's executive senior vice president Ali Abdel-Aziz.
Rich Attonito to face Gunnar Nelson following injury to Pascal Krauss
Gunnar Nelson’s father has revealed via twitter that Pascal Krauss has been forced to withdraw from UFC in Nottingham later this month, and that Gunnar will now face Rich Attonito, who has agreed to step in on short notice
“Pascal Krauss out injured. Rich Attonito is Gunnar’s Nelson new opponent at UFC in Nottingham. Credit to him for stepping in.”
Attonito has gone 3-2 in the UFC since his debut back in June 2010 where he TKOed Jamie Yager. “The Raging Bull” lost his last fight against Jake Hecht by TKO back in December
Nick Ring vs. Constantinos Philippou Added to UFC 154: St-Pierre vs. Condit
The latest bout added to the Montreal event is a pivotal middleweight showdown between Canadian Nick Ring and American Constantinos Philippou.
Ring (13-1) is looking to build his momentum back up after a loss – the first of his career – to Tim Boetsch at UFC 135. He started back on the right track with a unanimous decision over Court McGee at UFC 149 in July.
He’ll face Philippou (11-2), who is already riding a wave towards title contention. After stumbling against Nick Catone in his UFC debut, Philippou has been on a tear, reeling off four consecutive victories.