With Hector Lombard hype train derailed, UFC boss thinks slugger should consider 170
The heavily hyped UFC debut of former Bellator middleweight champ Hector Lombard was an utter failure, and UFC president Dana White thinks it may be time for the former Olympic judoka to consider a new weightclass.
After Lombard turned in a lackluster effort against Tim Boetsch at Saturday night's UFC 149 event, the UFC boss said the stocky middleweight should at least consider dropping to 170 pounds.
"Lombard maybe should fight at 170 pounds," White said. "He made 185 easily. He's short and wide, but I think he could make 170."
Urijah Faber Not Sure What’s Next After Second Failed UFC Title Bid
Once counted among the vaunted “nearly indestructible” in mixed martial arts, former WEC champion Urijah Faber has become human over the past few years.
Starting out with an impressive run to 21-1 to start his career, including capturing and defending the WEC featherweight championship, Faber has since gone 5-5 in the cage.
He lost the WEC belt to Mike Brown in late 2008 and has yet to return gold to his waist. Faber failed in three attempts to regain the belt in the WEC, and at UFC 149 on Saturday night in Calgary, was unsuccessful in his second attempt at a UFC belt.
Renan Barão utilized much the same strategy as his teammate, UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, to overcome Faber, using kicks and knees to slow his mobility en route to a unanimous decision.
That puts Faber’s failed attempts to regain a title at five. Most fighters rarely see that number of title fights even from the winning side of the equation, so where does Faber go from here?
“I don’t know. I fought a guy on a huge win streak and didn’t get it done. I fought Dominick (Cruz), who is considered the champ right now, as well,” Faber reflected at the UFC 149 post-fight press conference. “I’m right there, it’s just a matter of continuing to heal up and then reassess this thing.”
Matt Riddle Calls for Dan Hardy Fight, Rails on British Fan that Spit at Him
Dan Hardy already has his next fight lined up. He’s scheduled to fight in his hometown of Nottingham, England, against Amir Sadollah on Sept. 29 at UFC on Fuel TV 5.
But he may already have his next opponent after that… or if Sadollah happens to fall off the card, Matt Riddle is in the wings, ready and waiting.
After he defeated Chris Clements with the UFC 149 Submission of the Night on Saturday night in Calgary, Riddle mentioned at the post-fight press conference that he would really like to fight Hardy next.
“I’m down to fight anybody at any given time, anywhere,” Riddle remarked at the post-fight press conference. “I just picked Dan Hardy because he’s got a lot of hype behind him and I know that it will put me on the map for sure. I have nothing personal against him, but a win over him, I guarantee everybody knows my name afterwards.”
But that was when the fun began. Perhaps when we found out the truth behind Riddle’s “Dan Hardy callout.”
“I heard Riddle hates English people,” UFC president Dana White offhandedly remarked.
“I will be completely honest, when I fought in Manchester, England, they were very cruel to me,” Riddle retorted. “One fan actually spit directly in my face and he was lucky enough where it hit my mouth.”
“Wow. I was kidding,” laughed White.
Renan Barao Says He Will Fight Whoever, Whenever the UFC Asks
Will he or won’t he wait?
That seemed to be the biggest question of Renan Barao before UFC 149, but now that he’s captured the UFC interim bantamweight title it’s an even more relevant inquiry.
Prior to Saturday night, Barao seemed somewhat up in the air regarding the idea of sitting and waiting for champion Dominick Cruz to return from knee surgery, or opting to take another fight to defend his newly won interim belt.
Cruz is expected to be out until at least May or June 2013 after tearing the ACL in his knee while training for his rematch with Urijah Faber, which was originally scheduled for UFC 148 just a few weeks ago.
“I’m a player of the UFC, I fight whenever I’m asked to,” Barao answered when asked about waiting for Cruz or taking another fight.
Dana White ‘Embarrassed’ by UFC 149 Main Card, Praises Undercard Fighters
Saturday night served as a bit of déjà vu for UFC president Dana White, and that was not a good thing.
The main card for UFC 149 ended with four out of the five fights going to decision, with most of them being fairly lackluster affairs drawing boos from the Calgary crowd in attendance.
White remembers an eerily similar night from more than a decade ago when the UFC was hoping to re-launch to the masses with one of the biggest cards ever that quickly turned into one of the biggest disasters ever.
UFC 33 was touted to be one of the biggest cards ever for the promotion, but after injuries scrapped their main event, and every fight on the main card went to decision, forcing the show to go over the pay-per-view time limit, it was anything but a success.
Dana White says UFC would add 115-pound division before considering cruiserweight
It's a question Dana White has fielded before, and usually his answer is quick and simple.
But on Thursday, the UFC president tossed a little curveball during a pre-fight news conference for Saturday's UFC 149 pay-per-view event in Calgary.
When asked if the UFC would soon open up a cruiserweight division as a home for those in-between heavyweights who are too big to drop to 205 pounds, but are undersized compared to those in the division that max out at 265, White said if anything, the promotion is likely to go just the opposite.
"We have not considered (a cruiserweight division)," White said. "A lot of people ask me about adding another division. If we do add another division anytime soon, it's going to be a lighter one."
Not So Fast: Dana White Says Tim Sylvia Not Fighting for UFC or Strikeforce
Is he or isn’t he?
Despite earlier reports, including one from us at MMAWeekly.com, former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia is not going to be facing Daniel Cormier under the Strikeforce banner on Sept. 29 in Sacramento, Calif.
UFC president Dana White on Thursday said that Sylvia was not headed to Strikeforce, but an initial Friday report by MMAJunkie.com, which our sources backed, indicated that Sylvia was indeed headed into a fight with Cormier.
Late Friday evening, however, White talked to MMA.tv, who reported that “White said the signing was never announced, and that ‘long story, but yes, Tim is not with Zuffa.’”White commented on Twitter, shooting down the Tim Sylvia signing.
There were apparently negotiations going on, at least according to our sources, but regardless of the details, the fact remains that White is sticking by his original statement that Sylvia is not going to be fighting under the Zuffa umbrella at either the UFC or Strikeforce.
Ian McCall withdraws from UFC on FOX 4
One day after his fight was announced, Ian McCall (11-3-1 MMA, 0-1-1 UFC) apparently has withdrawn from a fight with newcomer John Moraga (10-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at UFC on FOX 4.
The flyweight posted he was "forced to withdraw days ago" on the Underground, an MMA forum, and he promised a future update.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) could not confirm McCall's exit. UFC.com still lists the flyweight bout.
UFC on FOX 4 takes place Aug. 4 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The main card airs live on FOX following preliminary-card fights on FUEL TV and Facebook.
McCall vs. Moraga was set for the Facebook-streamed portion of the card, though it's unclear whether the bout will now be scratched...
Jimi Manuwa Vs. Kyle Kingsbury Completes UFC On FUEL TV 5 Card
The UFC announced the signing of British knockout artist, Jimi Manuwa, several weeks ago and indicated that "The Posterboy" would be competing on the September 29th Fuel TV card in Nottingham, England, and now it appears that he has an opponent set, as MMANytt.se reports that he'll face Kyle Kingsbury:
Kyle Kingsbury has booked a trip to Nottingham, England on 29 September to meet Jimi Manuwa on UFC on Fuel TV: Struve vs. Miocic, informs a source close to the situation to MMAnytt.se.
British fans have been clamoring to see Manuwa in the Octagon for some time now, as the Nigerian-born fighter has compiled a stellar and violent 11-0 record, with all of those wins coming via stoppage in either the first or second round. After returning from a long injury layoff last year, Manuwa was offered a UFC contract, but instead opted to take one more warm-up fight in BAMMA (where he forced Antony Rea to quit on the stool after one round), declaring that he wanted to make sure he was truly ready for UFC competition before signing a deal with the promotion. Now that time has come and he'll get the chance to make his debut in front of his fellow Brits on September 29th.
Tim Sylvia vs Daniel Cormier, September 29
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Sylvia (30-7 MMA, 9-4 UFC) has signed a deal and will fight recent Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix champion Daniel Cormier (10-0 MMA, 7-0 SF) at an event planned for Sept. 29 at Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento, Calif.
Former UFC fighter Sherman Pendergarst loses battle with cancer
MMA veteran Sherman Pendergarst passed away this morning after a two-year fight with rectal and colon cancer. He was 45.
"He always cared for others more than himself," Pendergarst coach Pat Miletich today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) via text. "He told me a few months ago that he had lived a great life and reached his goals and was at peace."
Pendergarst made a lone octagon appearance at UFC 65, where he lost to Antoni Hardonk. The former heavyweight and light heavyweight also made a lone appearance for Bellator and fought current UFC fighter Joey Beltran at Bellator 5 in May 2009. His overall professional record was 11-18, though he faced many big-show vets, including Shane Carwin, during his seven-year career.
Not even his illness could keep him from competing. He fought just five months ago at a local event in Fargo, N.D., while still suffering from the effects of cancer...
Travis Wiuff Isn’t with Bellator to Shake Hands and Kiss Babies; He’s Here for a Belt!
After mixed results in his initial run at light heavyweight, Travis “Diesel” Wiuff has returned to the weight class and has made real headway by making it to Bellator’s 205-pound tournament semifinals on Friday night.
For Wiuff, the move down from heavyweight was more necessity than anything else.
“Monte Cox and I were having trouble finding fights,” said Wiuff. “It was just a crazy year where fights were falling through, opponents were falling through and shows were backing out at the last moment. Then last September Monte called me and told me that Bellator was looking for someone to fight their light heavyweight champion (Christian M’Pumbu) in a super fight.
UFC boss says Chael Sonnen still in line for big fights, likely to earn television deal
If you just can't get enough Chael Sonnen in your life, don't worry. UFC president Dana White doesn't think he's going anywhere any time soon.
White, who said he hasn't spoken directly with Sonnen since the middleweight's UFC 148 loss to Anderson Silva, believes the self-proclaimed "gangster" still has big fights ahead of him, not to mention a television career.
"He's got a lot of options," White today told MMAjunkie.com. "FOX loves this guy. He's going to end up with a television deal."
Hector Lombard won't be fighting Mark Munoz after UFC 149, says UFC boss
During interviews promoting Saturday's UFC 149 event, Hector Lombard said he would turn down a title shot and instead fight Mark Munoz.
But UFC president Dana White said the recent middleweight addition is missing one tiny detail.
"[Lombard] must not have FUEL TV because Munoz lost the other night," White told MMAjunkie.com at a pre-event press conference for UFC 149. "So if he wins on Saturday, I don't think he'll be fighting Mark Munoz."
UFC planning 2012 event in Seattle
UFC fans in the Pacific Northwest, rejoice. The octagon will soon make a return trip to the region.
UFC president Dana White today revealed the promotion is currently planning on bringing an event to Seattle before year's end.
"I know we're going to Seattle this year," White said. "I can't remember the date."
UFC 152 adds Evan Dunham vs. T.J. Grant, tickets on sale next week
Tickets for "UFC 152: Benavidez vs. Johnson," which range from $85 to $550, go on sale next week.
UFC officials today announced the plans for the Sept. 22 event, which takes place at Toronto's Air Canada Centre and features a flyweight title fight between contenders Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson.
Additionally, the promotion announced a lightweight matchup between Evan Dunham (13-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) and T.J. Grant (18-5 MMA, 5-3 UFC) has also been added to the UFC 152 lineup.
"Everyone knows how much I love Canada, and it's going to be great to have the first-ever UFC flyweight title fight between Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson in Toronto on Sept. 22," UFC president Dana White stated.
Tickets go on sale to the general public Friday, July 27, at 12 p.m. ET.
However, UFC Fight Club members can purchase tickets on Wednesday, July 25, at 10 a.m. ET, and UFC.com e-newsletter subscribers can buy tickets on Thursday, July 26, at 10 a.m. ET.
Ian McCall vs. John Moraga added to UFC on FOX 4 in Los Angeles
"Uncle Creepy" doesn't have to wait long for redemption.
Southern California-based Ian McCall (11-3-1 MMA, 0-1-1 UFC) is a last-minute addition to UFC on FOX 4, which takes place Aug. 4 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
McCall, who fell short this past month to Demetrious Johnson, will meet promotional newcomer John Moraga (10-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in a flyweight bout.
UFC on FOX 4's main card airs live on FOX following preliminary-card fights on FUEL TV and Facebook. McCall vs. Moraga is part of the preliminary card, though it's unknown whether the bout will be seen on FUEL TV or Facebook.