Dana White Says the UFC Has Signed Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto
Dana White routinely has random conversations with all types of fans on his twitter account, but today there was an interesting tidbit that stood out. He was conversing with someone who was psyched about the signing of Japanese featherweight, Michihiro Omigawa, when the fan mentioned that he hoped they would also get Kid Yamamoto. The UFC president then replied with a simple:
"we did sign kid"
If this is true, I want all Kid fans to join me in a Banana dance
TUF Going International In 2011, But Not To Canada (Yet)
"The Ultimate Fighter" is going international in 2011, and three new countries will get a version of the popular reality series. UFC president Dana White today confirmed the plans following a UFC 124 pre-event press conference. Canada won't be one of those three new offerings, but White said the MMA-crazed country likely will be fourth in line. Currently, Spike TV plans only to air the usual U.S.-based versions of the series, the latest of which debuts March 30 with the "TUF 13" season premiere. However, whether it's online or another broadcast outlet, White expects fans worldwide to be able to watch the international versions of "TUF."
Alessio Sakara vs. Maiquel Falcao On Tap For UFC On Versus 3
With a potential bout against Jorge Rivera seemingly cursed, Alessio Sakara instead will turn his attention to fellow middleweight Maiquel Falcao at UFC On Versus 3. News of the booking was provided by Prime Fighters Management and DCA, which represent Falcao. Sakara vs. Falcao likely will be part of the night's Versus-televised main card. Sakara twice had been scheduled to fight Rivera. A UFC 118 meeting in August was scratched when Rivera broke his arm, and a UFC 122 co-headliner was scrapped just hours before fight time because of a stomach flu that depleted Sakara and left doctors unable to OK him for the fight.
"TUF 13" coaches still not set; CSAC suspension won't prevent Sonnen from taking part
With speculation running rampant that recent UFC middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen may soon be tapped as a coach on the upcoming 13th season of "The Ultimate Fighter," UFC president Dana White insists that simply has not yet been determined.
However, White did not rule out the possibility of a Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva themed season.
And while filming for the Spike TV-broadcast series would take place while Sonnen serves a six-month suspension from the California State Athletic Commission, White said he would have no problem using Sonnen in a coaching role during that time.
"He could coach 'The Ultimate Fighter,'" White today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Absolutely."
Sonnen had been relatively quiet since his fifth-round submission loss to middleweight champion Anderson Silva in August. Following the heartbreaking defeat, which saw Sonnen in control of the fight for four-and-a-half rounds, the challenger tested positive for elevated testosterone levels. This past week, Sonnen and his defense team appeared before the CSAC and claimed the test results were due to testosterone-replacement therapy the middleweight was prescribed to treat a case of hypogonadism.
UFC 128 in Abu Dhabi in jeopardy, Scotland to get UFC Fight Night 25 in May
MONTREAL – A UFC 128 event planned for March may not take place in Abu Dhabi, after all.
UFC president Dana White today said the March 12 event may not take place in the United Arab Emirates city, which hosted UFC 112 in 2009, as originally planned.
White, though, confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the organization plans to host a May show, expected to be UFC Fight Night 25, as part of its debut in Scotland.
Although White didn't confirm details, a source told MMAjunkie.com the event is expected to take place at the 4,000-seat Braehead Arena in the city of Renfrewshire. The U.K. country never has hosted a UFC event.
Although tentatively expected to be a UFC Fight Night event, officials ultimately could give the non-pay-per-view international shows a new event-series designation. The UFC Fight Night series, which launched in 2005 following the first season of "The Ultimate Fighter," airs on Spike TV from domestic venues.
Strikeforce Releases Villasenor, Riggs
Strikeforce has parted ways with Joey Villasenor and Joe Riggs.
Five Ounces of Pain first reported the pair's release from the promotion on Wednesday night, and Sherdog confirmed the report with Strikeforce officials early Thursday morning.
Villasenor has recently suffered back-to-back losses for the first time in his career, dropping bouts to Danillo Villefort and Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza. Prior to those defeats, the 35-year-old was riding a four-fight winning streak, earning victories over notables Phil Baroni and Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos in that span.
A Pride Fighting Championships veteran, “Smokin' Joe” contended for the defunct EliteXC middleweight championship in 2007, losing by TKO to Murilo "Ninja" Rua at Strikeforce “Shamrock vs. Baroni.”
An eight-time UFC veteran, Riggs began his career in 2001, fighting as a heavyweight. “Diesel” made the cut to 205 pounds in 2004 and then to middleweight later that year. The 28-year-old now cycles between stints at middleweight and welterweight and has won six of his last seven fights.
Yamamoto In Contract Talks With UFC
In its three-plus years under the umbrella of Zuffa LLC, the WEC aggressively has recruited talent from overseas, particularly among the ranks of Japanese fighters who've traditionally dominated the rankings in lighter weight classes. They've been partially successful in doing so, nabbing competitors such as Takeya Mizugaki, Yoshiro Maeda and Akitoshi Tamura, among others. One of the biggest prizes, Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto, seemed to elude their grasp even as posterboy Urijah Faber continued to call out the then-dominant fighter early in his featherweight title reign. But with a merger already in motion between the WEC and UFC, those doors have opened again, and Yamamoto is in active talks with the UFC. If signed, his debut could come as soon as February or March.
UFN 24 Set For March 26, TUF 13 Premieres March 30
March will be a big month for the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Spike TV. While not yet finalized, UFC FIght Night 24 will take place on March 26, and the premiere of The Ultimate Fighter 13 will come 4 days later on March 30. No fights are rumored for UFC Fight Night 24, though as with past seasons, recent "TUF 12" winner Jonathan Brookins would appear a leading candidate. UFC Fight Night 24 takes place a week after UFC 129, scheduled for March 19. A city and location still are being finalized, but sources said the event will be hosted within the U.S. and likely air on pay-per-view. No word yet on TUF 13 coaches but Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen are rumored to be under consideration.
Jeffrey Kirby Found Guilty In "Mask" Death Case
An Orange County, Calif. jury today convicted a man involved in a 2009 car crash that killed TapouT co-founder Charles "Mask" Lewis. Jeffrey David Kirby, 53, faces a maximum of 13 years in prison on one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act with gross negligence while intoxicated. He faced sentencing enhancements for causing great bodily injury. That's according to a release issued today by the Orange County District Attorney's Office. Kirby's sentencing takes place Feb. 4 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana, Calif.
UFC.com streams UFC 124's Hazelett vs. Bocek, Miller vs. Doerksen prelims live
With Spike TV unable to air a "UFC Prelims" special due to the 2010 Spike Video Game Awards, UFC.com is stepping up to plate.
On Saturday the UFC's official website provides live streams of two UFC 124 preliminary-card fights beginning at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT).
They include bouts of lightweights Dustin Hazelett vs. Mark Bocek and middleweights Joe Doerksen vs. Dan Miller.
Mark Munoz Draws C.B. Dollaway In March For The Next UFC On Versus Card
Mark Munoz will try to keep his streak against former Arizona State All-Americans alive with his next fight. He will take on C.B. Dollaway in a middleweight bout on an as of yet unannounced card for March, set to be the first UFC on Versus for 2011.
The bout was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by sources close to the match-up, with verbal agreements in place from both competitors. No contracts have been issued at this point.
Diego Sanchez vs. Martin Kampmann likely UFC on Versus 3 main event
A bout between welterweight contenders Diego Sanchez (22-4 MMA, 11-4 UFC) and Martin Kampmann (17-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC) is set for UFC on Versus 3 and likely will headline the show.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the booking with sources close to the fighter.
The Versus-televised event takes place Thursday, March 3, though a location and venue haven't been finalized.
It'll be the first UFC on Versus show of 2011. As part of the UFC-WEC merger, Zuffa LLC signed a deal with Versus to air four UFC shows on the all-sports cable station in 2011. Two aired this year as part of an inaugural deal between the two.
"Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu II" medical suspensions go to eight fighters
Eights fighters from this past weekend's "Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu II" event have been issued medical suspensions, and three – all from the main card – are out 60 days or longer.
Strikeforce headliner Renato "Babalu" Sobral, co-headliner Scott Smith and main-card fighter Matt Lindland all face lengthy suspensions.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) recently requested and received the list of suspensions from the Missouri Office of Athletics.
"Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu II" took place Dec. 4 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
Dominick Cruz Out 4-6 Months After WEC 53
The fight between Dominick Cruz and Scott Jorgensen will determine the first ever UFC bantamweight champion, but win, lose, or draw the current titleholder will be taking some time off after the bout. Cruz recently said he will have hand surgery after the fight regardless of the fight result and he's expected to be out at least 4-6 months. Cruz naturally is hoping it's closer to only 4 months.
Has "Captain Canada" Become Predictable?
According to the man most hated by the GSP fanbase-Matt Serra-yes, and he knows how Josh Koscheck can stun the champion and the home crowd this weekend. "It is a brutal crowd if you're fighting Captain Canada in Canada. I thought the cage was shaking. It was brutal. Brutal. But I don’t think it’s going to effect Koscheck at all because he loves being the heel. If Koscheck can truly block out the crowd, or use it to fuel himself, he has a chance to beat St-Pierre. St-Pierre is predictable now. Everyone knows what he’s going to do. But now you gotta stop it."
Sengoku Adds 2 Fights To Year-End Event
World Victory Road today announced 2 more MMA fight's for it's year-end "Sengoku: Seal Of Fight" show on 12/30 in Tokyo. The added fights are Kazuo Misaki vs. Mike Seal and a title fight featuring Sengoku Featherweight Champion Marlon Sandro defending the title against popular fighter Hatsu Hioki, now also the Shooto Lightweight (143) Champion. ONly the Sengoku title will be on the line.
TUF 11 competitor Nick Ring to make UFC debut at UFC 127 against fellow newcomer Riki Fukuda
Middleweight Nick Ring will finally make his UFC debut at UFC 127 in Australia, according to a report from CagePotato.com, when he takes on fellow UFC newcomer Riki Fukuda.
The undefeated Ring was a favorite to win the eleventh season of The Ultimate Fighter, but a lingering knee issue worsened after his decision win over eventual season 11 champ Court McGee, and Ring had to drop out of the competition. He ended up getting surgery in April to repair the torn ACL, and has been rehabbing from that procedure since then.
Fukuda is a 17-4 professional out of Japan, and he enters the UFC on a seven fight win streak and as the current DEEP Middleweight Champion.
I am pumped to see Nick Rings Debut!
Replacement Cody McKenzie meets Yves Edwards at UFC Fight Night 23
Fresh off his 10th consecutive victory by guillotine choke, Cody McKenzie (12-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) now meets Yves Edwards (38-16-1 MMA, 6-4 UFC) at "UFC Fight Night 23: Fight for the Troops 2."
Multiple sources close to the event today alerted MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the fight and said verbal agreements are in place for the lightweight bout.
UFC Fight Night 23 takes place Jan. 22 at Fort Hood in Killeen, Tex., and airs live on Spike TV.
Edwards, a longtime member of American Top Team, previously was scheduled to meet Melvin Guillard at the event. But when Kenny Florian was forced to withdraw from a headlining bout with Evan Dunham, Guillard took Florian's place, and that opened up an opportunity for McKenzie on the night's featured preliminary-card fight.
UFC to hold show in Toronto on April 30
The UFC will make its Ontario debut in April.
UFC president Dana White says UFC 131 will take place April 30 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
White says he expects the mixed martial arts show to be ''massive."
Ontario announced in August that it would allow mixed martial arts, starting in 2011.
Prior to that Premier Dalton McGuinty had always dismissed the idea of permitting the sport, saying it just wasn't a priority for Ontario families.
Ontario's change of heart came after successful UFC shows in Montreal and Vancouver, which both posted record sellouts for the MMA juggernaut.