Bellator Champ Ben Askren Draws UFC Vet Nick Thompson
Unbeaten Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren has his next test, and it will be against his most seasoned opponent yet.
Askren, who won the promotion's Season 2 welterweight tournament to earn a date with champ Lyman Good, whom he beat to win the title in October, will face UFC veteran Nick Thompson at Bellator 40 in April. Bellator made the fight official on Wednesday – though it will be a non-title fight.
Featherweight Ronnie Mann Signs With Bellator
Highly touted featherweight Ronnie Mann has signed an exclusive contract with Bellator, CEO Bjorn Rebney informed MMA Fighting on Wednesday. The 18-2-1 fighter has been released from his Sengoku Raiden Championship contract and will compete in Bellator's upcoming fourth season in a televised non-tournament bout. He will then be a part of the following season's 145-pound tournament.
Mann, the current Shark Fights featherweight champion is 7-1 in his last 8 fights. He lost to Hatsu Hioki via submission in the second round of SRC's featherweight grand prix in May 2009.
Mike Brown Dealing With Hand Injury, Mystery Heart Ailment
Times are tough right now for Mike Brown, to say the very least. The former WEC featherweight champion has lost four of his past six fights and two in a row for the first time since 2004. His future is uncertain and remains on unstable ground due to his recent performances. Couple that with lingering questions regarding the 35-year-old's overall health after nearly a decade in the fight game, and his career officially has been placed in a quandary. He has a torn ligament in a finger suffered against Rani Yahya. But that's not all. He potentially could have a bigger, much more serious issue to address. "I am seeing a cardiologist," Brown said. "It's something to do with my heart rate not being right.
"It happened in the middle of camp. We thought we were overtraining because I was peaking hard, and all the sudden, I started getting more and more tired really quickly. It didn't make any sense. I'd be sparring for half a round, and I was getting exhausted. But two weeks before, I was mowing through everyone in camp." Although he did experience the same sensation against Diego Nunes, it was even more pronounced in the Yahya fight. "My body shut down," he said. "I had this weird lactic acid buildup real early. It's the most bizarre thing. It just wasn't me." Currently, the jury is still out on what exactly has been plaguing him.
Eddie Alvarez vs. Pat Curran Back On, Headlines Bellator 39
A title fight between lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and season-two tourney winner Pat Curran will headline Bellator 39 on April 2. Bellator Chairman and CEO confirmed the once-canceled title fight with MMA Fighting on Wednesday. After Alvarez won the season-one tournament and Curran the season-two tourney, they were scheduled for a title fight in season three. But Curran was forced out of the bout due to a shoulder injury, and Alvarez instead fought and defeated eliminated tourney fighter Roger Huerta in a non-title fight.
Fedors coach blames psychics for loss
“We believe that forbidden psychological technology was used… It seems to us that not everything was right, and that certain technologies were used. Not ones that could be seen by the naked eye but psychological technologies that worked on both fighters at a distance,”
Jason Brilz and Phil Davis targeted for UFC 129 matchup
All may not be lost for Phil Davis.
The light heavyweight is now expected to meet Jason Brilz on the main card of UFC 129, according to sources close to the event who told MMAjunkie.com that verbal agreements are in place for the fight. Contracts are expected to be finalized shortly.
UFC 129 takes place April 29 at Rogers Centre in Toronto and has already broken box-office records for a North American MMA event with 55,000 tickets sold and a live-gate tally of $11 million.
Jeremy Stephens vs. Jonathan Brookins likely for The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale
A lightweight bout between veteran Jeremy Stephens and "The Ultimate Fighter 12" winner Jonathan Brookins is in the works for June.
A source close to the event told MMAjunkie.com the two fighters are expected to meet at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale.
The fight, which will be one of the few not associated with the reality series' conclusion, takes place June 4 at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
"Dragon" Slayer: A Loss To Randy Couture And UFC "Won't Feel Sorry" For Lyoto Machida
That's what the former UFC champ tells the TATAME. "We know Randy Couture is a great champion, a guy who helped to build the sport as it is, and it's a great pleasure to have this fight on my résumé, because I'll be part of Randy Couture's history on the sport. He added much to MMA. I believe we can win, we have many weapons. Despite he's on a certain age, he's tough and experienced, and he's been fighting guys like Minotauro, and he did tough fights and he's tough for anyone. ... UFC considers the incomes a lot, the profits, and if I'm not pleasing the fans anymore, they won't feel sorry for me. That's why I've always invested on me a lot, and it won't be any different now. If I did a lot, I'll do a lot more now. I'll give my best trying to win."
UFC 127: Penn-Fitch Winner Now Becomes Next #1 Contender
The main event of UFC 127: "Penn vs. Fitch" on Feb. 27 in Sydney, Australia just became a lot more interesting. That's because the winner will determine the next number one contender to the welterweight title, according to Dana White on a conference call today (via Twitter). Both fighters have previously fought for the coveted 170-pound strap. Penn, himself a former welterweight champion, last had his shot at UFC 94, a four round beating at the hands of current titleholder Georges St. Pierre.
UFC 126 Draws 9667 For $3.6 Million Gate
The NSAC today announced the official atttendance for UFC 126 was 9667 fans with a total live gate of $3,605,725. The attendance dropped from fight night estimates when UFC claimed 10,893. The gate is 3rd-highest for a UFC event at Mandalay Bay Events Center (#1 appears to be UFC 100). Additionally, a closed-circuit feed at Mandalay Bay drew 1,046 fans for a take of $45,100.
Dana White Details International Expansion in UFC 127/UFC 129 Joint Conference Call
Zuffa held a conference call today to promote both the upcoming UFC 127 show and April's UFC 129 show in Toronto, Ontario. UFC President Dana White, B.J. Penn, and Jon Fitch were on hand for the call. Highlights provided by Luke Thomas via Twitter and SB Nation MMA:
Dana says last set of international fights were sellouts. Goes over Rogers Centre UFC 129 records. Largest North American gate, a Rogers Centre record. Says the event will do $11 million gate.
Dana says 17,000 tickets sold for UFC 127, added 400 seats over the last Australia event.
Dana uses UFC 129's ticket sales to prove UFC will be biggest sport in the world. He also says when "new deals" get done, UFC will be in over a billion homes.
In terms of a show in Dallas, he says UFC 129 ticket sales motivates him. Says, however, as big as the stadium is there aren't enough hotel rooms.
6 Strikeforce ‘Fedor vs. Silva’ Fighters Dealt Medical Suspensions
After sustaining brutal ground-and-pound at the hands of Antonio Silva during Saturday’s Strikeforce “Fedor vs. Silva” main event, Fedor Emelianenko will be required to spend a minimum of 90 days on the shelf, pending a CT scan.
The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board on Tuesday informed Sherdog.com of the medical suspensions from the event, which took place Feb. 12 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J.
Emelianenko was battered and beaten by heavy underdog Silva, who forced the bout to be stopped prior to the third round on the advice of the cageside physician. Emelianenko’s face suffered severe bruising, and his right eye was swollen completely shut after Silva gained the mount in the second round and rained down punches.
Emelianenko-Silva was one of two heavyweight grand prix quarterfinals contested at the show, the other being a bout between former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski and onetime Pride Fighting Championships standout Sergei Kharitonov.
Fedor Emelianenko wanted Strikeforce bout to continue, hints at future fights
Fedor Emelianenko apparently has had a change of heart.
After suggesting an imminent retirement following Saturday's doctor's-stoppage loss to Antonio Silva in the opening round of Strikeforce's eight-man heavyweight grand prix, the fighter today changed his tune.
In a series of Twitter messages, Emelianenko stated he wanted the fight to continue and said he hasn't decided whether he's going to retire.
The 34-year-old Russian headlined Saturday's Showtime-televised "Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva" event at IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J. After a close first round that Emelianenko won on two of the three judges' cards, the much-heavier Silva got him to the mat and unloaded a vicious ground-and-pound assault. Emelianenko's right eye became badly swollen during the exchanges, and prior to the third round, the cageside physician declared the fighter unable to continue.
WEC's former GM Reed Harris now UFC vice president of community relations
As expected former World Extreme Cagefighting General Manager Reed Harris is sticking around following the organization's recent merger with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
And he now has a new job title: UFC vice president of community relations.
Harris today stopped by the MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) studio with UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and briefly discussed the position.
"I'll handle all the community work with the UFC," the longtime fight executive said. "I've been really busy trying to get this moving."
SF Fedor vs. Silva-741,000 Viewers
Saturday's "Strikeforce: Silva vs. Fedor" event shattered the organization's ratings records on Showtime. Overall, the Feb. 12 event averaged 741,000 viewers and peaked with 1.1 million for the Antonio Silva vs. Fedor Emelianenko headliner. Both broke Strikeforce's previous bests on Showtime. The new ratings records break those previously held by "Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg," an August 2009 event headlined by female fighters Gina Carano and Cristiane "Mrs. Cyborg" Santos that averaged 576,000 viewers and peaked with 856,000.
Scott Coker Expects to Book Fedor vs. Overeem-Werdum Loser
Two days after Fedor Emelianenko suffered his second consecutive loss and said in his post-fight interview that it might be time to walk away, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said he expects Fedor to return rather than retire.
And Coker already has an opponent for Fedor in mind: The loser of the April 9 bout between Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum.