UFC Announces Return to MMA's Birthplace of Brazil
Marking a return to the country that helped create modern mixed martial arts as we know it, the UFC on Wednesday announced that the promotion would stage a show at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Aug. 27, 2011.
UFC chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and UFC president Dana White made the announcement at City Hall, flanked by the city's mayor Eduardo Paes.
Given the economic potential for both the promotion and potential host cities, White said the UFC's move into the country was more than a one-time visit.
Dana White Expects to Know 'Ultimate Fighter' Coaches on Friday
In the week and a half since the Finale of The Ultimate Fighter Season 12, speculation has run rampant about who the coaches will be for the show's 13th season, which will begin taping in early 2011. UFC President Dana White said on Wednesday that he's about 48 hours away from knowing the coaches' identities.
"We should have it done by Friday," White said at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro, where he announced that the UFC would host a fight card in Brazil in August.
So who are the likely choices?
Ultimate Fighter contestant pleads guilty to rape
Jeremy Jackson, who appeared on the television series, “The Ultimate Fighter,” pleaded guilty today to raping his former girlfriend in 2008.
The decision to enter a guilty plea came midway through Jackson’s felony trial, which began earlier this month. The change of plea stunned his lawyer, Russell Baker, who is with the Public Defender’s Office.
“It was against my advice. I tried to tell him not to do that,” said Baker in an interview, adding that he was extremely disappointed. “I feel that we could have beaten his case.”
The alleged victim testified that Jackson had threatened, intimidated and raped her on June 28, 2008. She said Jackson put a gun to her head. Prosecutors say it was a BB gun.
She said Jackson wanted her to call another man and have sex in front of him. She said he threatened to kill her, her children and himself if she didn’t do what he said.
Jackson, 28, will be sentenced on Feb. 14 and is facing 25 years to life, said prosecutor Thomas Dunlevy.
Dunlevy said Jackson pleaded guilty to one count of forcible rape with the special allegation of entering the residence to sexually assault the victim. He said Jackson was facing 60 years to life if he had been found guilty of all charges, including one felony count of criminal threat and one felony count of witness intimidation.
Outside the courtroom, three jurors, a male and two females, said they were also surprised that Jackson decided to plea guilty.
The defense began putting on its case today, and Baker had only called one defense witness to the stand. After the lunch hour, jurors were told that Jackson decided to plea guilty...
Donald Cerrone eyes WEC 53 win, future dates with Jose Aldo, Nate Diaz, Cole Miller
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Three-time WEC title challenger Donald Cerrone (12-3 MMA, 5-3 WEC) is not looking past his WEC 53 fight with Canadian slugger Chris Horodecki (16-2 MMA, 2-1 WEC).
In fact, with roster spots at a premium due to the pending UFC and WEC merger, Cerrone considers the Thursday night contest to be one of the most important of his career.
Cerrone badly wants to claim victory over Horodecki and guarantee himself a spot in the world's premier mixed martial arts organization. From there, Cerrone eyes opportunities from 145 pounds on up to 170, and Jose Aldo, Nate Diaz and Cole Miller are just a few of the names on his to-do list.
UFC Cuts Joe Doerksen
The first post-UFC 124 cut has been made and once again Joe Doerksen finds himself on the outside looking in. Sources close to the fighter confirm he has been released by the promotion following a split decision loss to Dan Miller htis past weekend. Doerksen earned his latest chance with a 6-fight win streak but the Losing Streak Of Doom left him at 1-2 this go-around. Despite an impressive 46-14 career record, Doerksen is just 2-7 all-time in UFC.
Rep: Randy Couture Retirement Announcement Premature
UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture dropped a bomb online Tuesday evening when he suddenly announced that he is calling it quits on an MMA career that's spanned 13 years, 29 fights and two titles. "I think I'm at the end of it y'all," Couture wrote on his official Twitter account, which has just under 70,000 followers. "It's time." "It's time to move on and focus on all the other amazing things going on in my life," he added on his Facebook account. But that statement is premature, according to his lawyer and representative, Sam Spira. "There's been no official announcement," Spira said Tuesday evening. "There's been no decision. Any announcements or decisions would be likely coordinated with the UFC." Couture is currently filming a role in the movie "The Setup" in Michigan, and is expected to begin work on "The Expendables 2" in March.
Randy Couture wants Rua, Machida, or UFC retirement
UFC hall of famer Randy Couture all but announced his retirement on Monday night via his official Twitter account, but told the Times he’d be willing to hold out for bouts against either UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua or former titleholder Lyoto Machida to cap off his storied 13-year MMA career.
“Thanks to everybody who's been tweeting about seeing my fights I must have missed the memo :) I think I'm at the end of it Yall. It's time,” posted the 47-year-old fighting legend.
When reached by the Times Monday evening, Couture (19-10) said he was surprised by the response he’d gotten from the message and hadn’t intended it as an “official statement” on his status. Still, he reiterated that his cage career was likely coming to an end.
“I think I’m done. The time is right,” said Couture via text. “I’d fight Machida or Shogun but outside of that, I wanna focus on other things in my life.”
UFC 127 Penn vs. Fitch Full Fight Card in Sydney; Melbourne Next?
SYDNEY – Marshall Zelaznik, UFC Managing Director of International Development, on Tuesday officially announced the UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch event to be held on Feb. 27 in Sydney at Acer Arena.
In front of a huge media contingent, Zelaznik spoke openly about how serious the UFC is about continuing to hold events in Australia. With recent elections in the state of Victoria there is every chance of the promotion moving to Melbourne for its next Aussie event following UFC 127, if legislation for sanctioning gets approved there.
Jon Fitch: “I Think I’m Better Than Jake (Shields) And Should Be Fighting For The Title”
Jon Fitch has never been a fighter to hold back on saying exactly what he’s feeling.
After watching his teammate Josh Koscheck fall to Georges St-Pierre over the weekend, he then had to hear the news that Jake Shields would indeed be getting the next crack at the UFC welterweight title in 2011. While Fitch has his own fight coming up in Australia in February, he still believes the title shot should be his.
Speaking in Australia on Monday, Fitch let it be known that he believes he’s a superior fighter to Shields, but knows he has a tough test ahead of him at UFC 127.
CEO Bjorn Rebney details Bellator's new three-year deal with MTV2
A seemingly all-but-official deal with the FOX Entertainment Group wasn't in the cards for Bellator Fighting Championships, after all.
Officials today announced the mixed-martial-arts promotion has signed a three-year broadcasting deal with MTV2, which will air two annual 12-week seasons live in the cable station's 80 million homes in 2011. Additionally, "offseason" events will air live between seasons.
In an exclusive interview with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney confirmed the organization was in "advanced negotiations" with three TV groups but that the MTV option was, by far, the most attractive.
"There is absolutely no question our first choice was MTV2," Rebney said today from Bellator's Chicago offices. "It's about who you reach and how reach them. There was no mistake in this deal or in this structure. TNT or USA or ESPN or FX or CBS or NBC or every TV station, the biggest concentration of men ages 12-34 is on MTV2. It's the same demo that lives and breathes MMA.
"If you're going to build a brand ... in this space, where could there be a better home? There's no question this was the No. 1 option."
Zuffa Sues Ubisoft
Two more mixed martial arts-related lawsuits were filed last week, as Zuffa LLC, parent company of the UFC, filed a claim against Ubisoft and two Tapout investors filed a complaint against the company and its affiliates.
Zuffa is claiming trademark infringement over the term “ULTIMATE FIGHTING” against Ubisoft, the company that recently produced and distributed a video game called “Fighters Uncaged.” The game drops players into the world of underground street-fighting and encourages gamers to become “the ULTIMATE FIGHTING weapon.”
Marius Zaromskis vs. Kazushi Sakuraba Title Match Booked for Dynamite!!
It was well short of the 10 fights we were promised, but on Monday at the ANA InterContinental Hotel in Tokyo, FEG President Sadaharu Tanigawa, DREAM Executive Producer Keiichi Sasahara and the newly announced Dynamite!! Executive Producer Antonio Inoki made five bouts official for FEG's end of year effort.
Marius Zaromskis will defend his DREAM Welterweight Title for the first time against Kazushi Sakuraba who will be making his debut as a welterweight at 41 years old; 2010 K-1 MAX 63 kg Japan Tournament Champion Tetsuya Yamato will return to the FEG ring for the first time since capturing the promotion's first belt at that weight limit to face K-1 débutante Akiyo "Wicky" Nishiura; and UFC veteran Caol Uno will debut as a featherweight against Kazuyuki Miyata.
Joe Stevenson Will Not Be Cut After KO Loss To Mac Danzig
Not yet anyway, according to Dana White after UFC 124. "We like guys that fight, we like guys that come in and lay it on the line. Joe Stevenson's had a bad run, it's so tough to cut a guy that comes in and does what he's supposed to do, and he's one of those guys. He got knocked out trying to knock (Danzig) out tonight. That's what happened. We'll see what happens with Joe Stevenson. I respect him, Joe (Silva) respects him, we like him and I wouldn't say he's getting cut, no." Stevenson is 2-4 in his last 6 fights.
GSP Wants 131 Slot, Velasquez-Dos Santos Also Possible
With the UFC's return to Canada already slated for April, it was easy to anticipate the question. Will Canadian superstar and welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre be available to headline April's UFC 131 event, which marks the promotion's debut in Toronto and takes place at the 69,000-seat Rogers Centre? If it's GSP's choice, absolutely. But not so fast, says Dana White. "The fight just got over," White said. "Like I say all the time, every time we go into the press conference, you guys are trying to make fights. I just don't know yet." UFC 131 is scheduled for April 30. If St-Pierre does commit to the four-and-a-half month turnaround, it will be the shortest span between fights for the champ since the sub-four-month break he had between his rematch with Matt Serra and his August 2008 win over Jon Fitch. St-Pierre will need a doctor's clearance first, but immediately after the fight, he said he felt up to the challenge. "I think I'm OK," St-Pierre said. "I will see the doctor. I have some bumps and bruises, but I'm healthy. So far, with the adrenaline, I feel good. We'll see in a few minutes when things slow down, but I think I can go back to training in maybe two or three days." Dana also said while nothing is set 131 has a chance to also host the Cain Velasquez-Junior Dos Santos UFC Heavyweight Title match.
UFC Claims 23,152 Attendance, $4.6 Million Gate For UFC 124
As expected, the UFC's fourth-ever trip to Montreal's Bell Centre was a smashing success at the box office. But it only broke one of the two records the organization hoped would fall. According to UFC president Dana White, Saturday's "UFC 124: Koscheck vs. St-Pierre II" event drew a North American MMA record 23,152 attendees for a live gate of $4.586 million, which fell short of the worldwide MMA record. That record is still $5.397 million at UFC 66 back in 2006. Both are expected to fall in April, however, when UFC 131 is held in Toronto at the 69,000 seat Rogers Centre.
UFC 124 Post-Fight Bonuses
At the UFC 124 post-fight press conference, Dana White announced the Bonus Of The Night winners. The KO Of The Night went ot Mac Danzig, Submission Of The Night went to Jim MIller and Mark Bocek, while fans voted Georges St. Pierre-Josh Koscheck as Fight Of The Night. Danzig, GSP & Kos all earned $100,000 for theirs while Bocek & Miller split it and each get $50,000. For the first time in company history, fans voted online for the "Fight of the Night" winners – much to White's chagrin. "They blew it," joked White, who said it won't be back. For what it's worth, Dana said his FOTN was Sean Pierson vs. Matt Riddle.
Fans Choose UFC FOTN For First Time.
Dana White will offer a $100,000 bonus to be split between the two fighters who participate in tonight's Fight of the Night. And for the first time ever, he's letting the fans choose it.
Starting at 10 pm ET/7 pm PT, fans around the world can vote at www.UFCVote.com via computer, iPhone/iPad or Android phone -- you can change your mind throughout the night, but only your final vote will be counted.
At the end of the broadcast, votes will be tallied and Dana will announce the winning bout at the Post Fight Press Conference, which can be viewed live at UFCLive.com.
myandroid713 RT @DigitalRoyalty UFC President @DanaWhite is allowing fans to decide "Fight of the Night". An unprecedented move.
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Zuffa Cuts LC Davis
Another casualty of the UFC-WEC merger was announced yesterday as Zuffa has released WEC fighter LC Davis. Davis was 3-2 overall in Zuffa but is on the Losing Streak Of Doom after winning his first 3 WEC fights. Additionally, all but one of his last 7 fights have been decisions.