'Barao' and Johnson Expected to Meet at UFC's TUF 13 Finale
Two of the UFC’s most exciting 135-pound prospects are set to collide, as “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson and once-beaten Brazilian Renan “Barao” Pegado have agreed to square off at the UFC’s “Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale” on June 4 in Las Vegas at the The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort.
Sherdog.com confirmed the match-up with a source close to the fight on Thursday.
The 24-year-old Johnson notched the biggest win of his career in his Feb. 5 UFC debut, dominating Japanese star Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto in a one-sided unanimous decision at UFC 126. Prior to entering the Octagon, the Matt Hume pupil scored back-to-back wins in World Extreme Cagefighting, besting Damacio Page and Nick Pace. The lone defeat on Johnson’s 9-1 ledger came at the hands of Brad Pickett in his April 2010 WEC debut.
Cub Swanson Off UFC On Versus 3
The recent run of injuries continues to claim fighters on upcoming UFC events, the latest victim is Cub Swanson, who is now off UFC On Versus 3 due to an undisclosed injury suffered in training. He was to have faced Erik Koch. UFC is looking for a short-notice replacement.
Update: There will be no replacement.
Welterweight champ Nick Diaz at ready for April 9 Strikeforce event
Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz could defend his title a third time on short notice at an as-yet-unannounced event planned for April 9, though it's far too early to call it a done deal.
Diaz has been told to be ready for a fight on that date, according to manager Cesar Gracie, but has yet to receive an opponent.
"We don't have anybody that's set," Gracie today told MMAjunkie.com
Miesha Tate Off March SF Event, Carmouche Gets Title Shot
Strikeforce officials today announced that Miesha Tate is off next month's event due to a knee injury suffered in training. She was to have faced Marloes Coenen for the SF Women's Welterweight Championship. Liz Carmouche is the replacement and now gets the title shot. No word yet on a Tate return date or if she'll still be in line for a title shot when she does.
Eliot Marshall returns, steps in to meet Luiz Cane at UFC 128
"The Ultimate Fighter 8" cast member Eliot Marshall will get a chance at redemption on short notice.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Marshall (8-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) has verbally accepted a fight with Luiz Cane (10-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) at UFC 128 in the wake of Karlos Vemola's injury withdrawal. Tatame first reported the change.
UFC 128 is slated for March 19 at the Prudential Center in Newwark, N.J
Bellator inks featherweight notable Marlon Sandro for non-tourney fights
Bellator Fighting Championships' recent shopping spree has netted another notable.
Officials today announced the signing of former World Victory Road/Sengoku champion and King of Pancrase Marlon Sandro (17-2 MMA, 0-0 BFC) to its featherweight roster.
Sandro won't compete in the organization's upcoming 145-pound tourney but will compete in season-four non-tourney fights on MTV2.
The Brazilian fighter and Nova Uniao team member never has competed in the U.S.
"Marlon Sandro is a phenomenal talent at 145," Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney stated. "Our featherweight division is absolutely stacked, and Sandro pushes that talent pool to an even higher level. I'm thrilled to have him on board."
Jorge Santiago's UFC deal official, meets Brian Stann at UFC 130
World Victory Road/ Sengoku middleweight champion Jorge Santiago officially has rejoined the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Officials from Authentic Sports Management, Santiago's management team, today announced the long-expected multi-fight contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Although not announced, as MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported, Santiago (23-8 MMA, 1-2 UFC) fights former WEC champ Brian Stann (10-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) at UFC 130 in May
Sanchez Explains Why He Ditched ‘Nightmare’ Nickname, Makes Vague Reference to Getting Scammed Out of $175K
Diego Sanchez sort of unexpectedly dominated the action on Tuesday during the official media conference call for the Versus Network’s upcoming UFC Live broadcast. The newly nickname-free fighter talked openly about the hard times he suffered in the midst of back-to-back losses to BJ Penn and John Hathaway, said a return to lightweight is currently impossible (owing to a new weightlifting regimen courtesy of Olympic-wrestler-turned-Team-Jackson-middleweight Willie Parks) and explained why he recently decided to ditch his longtime moniker as “The Nightmare.” Turns out, it just wasn’t positive enough for him.
“I let the ‘Nightmare’ go,” Sanchez told reporters. “A nightmare is something that is negative and kind of evil. I don’t want to represent that. I want to represent positivity and I want to represent the good. I look back on my whole career (as) the ‘Nightmare’ (and) the nightmare was myself. I was my own nightmare. All the times I fell off track and got into drinking, got into smoking weed, the things that brought me down, the partying. That was my nightmare. I was my own nightmare. I’m grown up (now). I’m going to let that name go … I thought about changing it to ‘The Dream’ but I thought that would be a little bit out there, so I’m just going to stick with Diego Sanchez.”
Fukuda vs. Ring also part of ION Television's UFC 127 prelim-card broadcast
A middleweight bout between DEEP champion Riki Fukuda and "The Ultimate Fighter 11" contestant Nick Ring also will be part of ION Television's preliminary-card broadcast for this weekend's UFC 127 event.
MMAjunkie.com passed along news of the broadcast earlier today but mentioned just two bouts.
Since then, UFC officials have confirmed the broadcast but upped the number of total fights to three, including Fukuda vs. Ring.
Brandon Vera not cut by the UFC
Light heavyweight Brandon Vera is still a UFC fighter.
Vera was cut by the promotion this past month following his third consecutive loss, which came against Thiago Silva at UFC 125.
However, it has been learned that the result of that bout is expected to be changed to a "no contest" following additional scrutiny of Silva's post-fight drug test, and the promotion has rescinded Vera's release, sources close to the event told MMAjunkie.com.
Karlos Vemola Off UFC 128 (Updated)
Unfortunately for UFC fans but perhaps fortunately for Luiz Cane, Karlos Vemola has been "Terminated" and is now off UFC 128. According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Vemola was recently diagnosed with a serious infection that has left him unable to train. Faced with the issue, he was forced to pull out of the fight. No replacement named yet.
Update: Eliot Marshall is the replacement.
Rich Franklin and Forrest Griffin’s Tattoo Bet Ends in Henna-Dragon Nightmare
Remember when Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin tried to add some heat to their UFC 126 meeting by suggesting that the loser would have to get an embarrassing tattoo? As Griffin suggested, “I think the loser should have to get like a big, flaming dragon tattoo, or something just hideous.”
Franklin lost the fight by unanimous decision, and we quickly forgot about this silly business — except Franklin didn’t. An MMAFighting report came out Friday claiming that Ace had actually visited a tattoo shop to honor the bet that nobody thought was real.
Diego Sanchez Staying At Welterweight
One-time lightweight contender Diego Sanchez says his days in the lightweight division are over. After a three-fight stint at 155 pounds that culminated in a December 2009 title shot against then-champion B.J. Penn, Sanchez will stay in a welterweight division in which he spent the bulk of his professional career. "The options are closed for me to ever go down to 155 (pounds) again," Sanchez said during a conference call in support of his headlining fight with Martin Kampmann at "UFC on Versus 3: Sanchez vs. Kampmann."
URCC Promoter Alvin Aguilar Chokes Out Fighter for Attacking Referee
The URCC, the Philippines' top MMA promotion, hosted URCC Baguio 3: "Invasion" this past weekend. It had a good line-up of fights, but as you can see pictured above, most of the attention was stolen by a scuffle.
Razi Jabbari was already banned from competing in the Rizal Sports Complex in Manila for getting in a fight against a sports official a while back. The Iranian was still given another chance to put that all in the past, as the URCC gave him a shot against undefeated lightweight prospect, Honorio Banario of Team Lakay Wushu. Things didn't go his way though, as the Wushu expert had him mounted early, making him tap to strikes a minute and a half into their bout. The referee, Joey Lapiten, stopped the bout, and when he asked the fighters to shake hands after the bout, Jabbari lived up to his reputation and started cursing at him. Things escalated from there. Jabarri assaulted the referee, then a few moments later, Alvin Aguilar, the URCC founder and promoter who also happens to be a BJJ black belt, stepped into the ring and choked out Jabbari to end all the chaos.
‘UFC Prelims Live’ Specials Return to Spike TV with UFC 128
Spike TV will once again broadcast a “UFC Prelims Live” special, as the cable network will air two UFC 128 undercard contests one hour prior to the event’s pay-per-view broadcast.
Sherdog.com confirmed the news with a source close to the broadcast, which MMAJunkie.com first reported Tuesday morning. The free special will feature a light heavyweight duel between former heavyweight prospect Karlos Vemola and hard-hitting Brazilian Luis “Banha” Cane, as well as a lightweight shootout between strikers Anthony Njokuani and Edson Barboza.
UFC 128 will go down March 19 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and will be headlined by a light heavyweight title clash between reigning champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and up-and-comer Jon Jones.
Vemola looks to capitalize on his successful light heavyweight debut, as the powerful Czech most recently pounded out Seth Petruzelli at UFC 122 in November. In his last bout at heavyweight, the London Shootfighters product was outpointed by powerful wrestler Jon Madsen at UFC 116. That loss marked the first and only defeat of Vemola’s career.
UFC Announces Prelim Streaming Plans For UFC 127 (Updated)
In addition to the night's pay-per-view main card, UFC 127 will feature four televised or streamed UFC 127 preliminary-card bouts. UFC officials recently announced that two bouts from this weekend's event stream on Facebook (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT), and then ION Television carries an additional pair of fights (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). The ION fights are scheduled to be Spencer Fisher vs. Ross Pearson and James Te Huna vs. Alexander Gustafsson. The Facebook fights are scheduled to be Jason Reinhardt vs. Zhang Tie Quan and Anthony Perosh vs. Tom Blackledge.
Update: Riki Fukuda vs. Nick Ring has been added to the ION fights, so they will now show 3 fights instead of 2.
Hector Lombard To Face Falaniko Vitale In Non-Title Fight At Bellator 44
It's back to business for Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard. The hard-swinging fighter is expected to meet Falaniko Vitale in a non-title bout on May 14 at Bellator 44. Verbal agreements are in place, paperwork pending. Lombard, who won Bellator's season-one tournament to become champion, beat back the first challenger to his belt this past October when he took on season-three tourney winner Alexander Shlemenko and earned a unanimous-decision win at Bellator 34. Vitale returned to active competition this past year and put together back-to-back wins in his home state of Hawaii.
Sources: Strikeforce to Delay April GP Fights
With the first round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix in the books, April 9 had become the focus for the other half of the quarterfinals, but it now appears that fans will have to wait a little longer to see who will be squaring off with Antonio Silva and Sergei Kharitonov.
Efrain Escudero vs. Fabricio Camoes slotted for Tachi Palace Fights 9 in May
"The Ultimate Fighter 8" winner Efrain Escudero looks for his third consecutive post-UFC win when he meets fellow UFC vet Fabricio Camoes at May's Tachi Palace Fights 9 event.
Soon after Camoes defeated Steve Lopez at this past weekend's Tachi Palace Fights 8 event, Escudero left the broadcast booth and entered the cage.
Officials then announced the Escudero vs. Camoes bout.
Darren Elkins dropping to 145, likely meets Michihiro Omigawa at UFC 131
Darren Elkins is dropping a weight class and is expected to make his featherweight debut against Michihiro Omigawa at UFC 131.
MMAjunkie.com today confirmed the planned bout with sources close to the event, who said verbal agreements are in place but bout agreements not signed.
Although not officially announced, UFC 131 is expected to take place June 11 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.