Jason Brilz vs. Vladimir Matyushenko targeted for UFC 122 in Germany
Hot on the heels of a new four-fight deal with the UFC, Vladimir Matyushenko (24-4 MMA, 5-3 UFC) is expected to meet Jason Brilz (18-3-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) at October's UFC 122 event.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that verbal agreements are in place and that both fighters are expected to finalize bout agreements shortly.
While not yet officially announced, UFC 122 is expected to take place Nov. 13 at Konig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany.
UFC middleweight Ed Herman leaves Team Quest for new gym, eyes 2011 return
Following back-to-back knee injuries, Ed Herman is turning over a new leaf in Colorado.
The UFC middleweight today spoke to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) and revealed he has left Team Quest and plans to open a new gym with teammate Ryan Schultz in Fort Collins, Colo., where he now resides.
Meanwhile, he is nursing his knee back to health and hopes to be able to train at full bore in November. If all goes well, he anticipates a return to the UFC octagon in the first quarter of 2011.
Dana White Hopes Randy Couture Smashes James Toney
Never one to hide his true feelings, UFC President Dana White tells 790 The Zone in Atlanta (via SportsRadioInterviews) that he is hoping James Toney not only gets beaten by Randy Couture at UFC 118 this coming weekend, but gets beat down bad. "Well, Toney has gotten in the best shape he's ever been in in about I don't know how many years. He's taken this a lot more seriously than he has his boxing career. One of the things with these boxers they have been doing it since they were little kids and how much can they learn? They start to get bored or lazy or whatever you wanna call it. So they don't train as hard. Toney has taken this serious. He's gotten in the best shape he's been in in years and this is going to be a very interesting fight. Anything can happen when two good guys go in there and start throwing punches, scrapping, and fighting. Anything can happen, but James Toney has knockout power in both hands, he's been one of the best and he's fought the best forever. Randy Couture has great wrestling and if you break down stats, James Toney doesn't have as many tools as Randy Couture has so Couture should win the fight. James Toney has talked so much smack I want to see him get smashed in this fight."
Rory Markham out, Tyler Stinson in for Bellator 26's tourney-qualifier bout
Rory Markham (16-6 MMA, 0-0 BFC) is out, and Tyler Stinson (18-6 MMA, 1-1 BFC) is in at Thursday's Bellator 26 event, where he'll meet Steve Carl (10-2 MMA, 1-1 BFC) in a season-four welterweight-tournament qualifier bout.
Bellator officials today announced Markham isn't medically cleared for the fight, which takes place Aug. 26 at the Kansas City Power & Light District in Missouri.
The fight is slated as a 175-pound catchweight affair and is part of the night's FOX Sports Net-televised broadcast.
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. Rashad Evans UFC title fight on hold until mid-2011
The UFC's light-heavyweight championship will be on hold for a year.
Current champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (19-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC), who won the title with a knockout of Lyoto Machida in May, will be out till the spring or summer of 2011.
As expected UFC president Dana White today told ESPN's "SportsCenter" he'll meet top contender and former champ Rashad Evans (15-1-1 MMA, 10-1-1 UFC) upon his return.
M-1: Fedor Will Fight In Japan Or Russia On NYE
That's the word from The Fink, aka M-1 Global head Vadim Finkelstein, with regards to the future plans for their top star, Fedor Emelianenko. "We plan to organize an interim fight for Fedor. We are considering two options: Japan and Russia. We have a lucrative offer from the Japanese partners, who are interested in Fedor fighting on the New Year's Eve. This is the most interesting option for us. But we are also not excluding an option that Fedor Emelianenko will fight in Russia, sometime in December. We have to organize another fight for Fedor, as Fabricio Werdum is currently injured and no one knows when he will come back. Strikeforce have absolutely nothing against the rematch, that's exactly why we are planning the last fight on Fedor's contract to be against Werdum."
Demian Maia Evolves Each Fight
Previously scheduled to face Alan Belcher at UFN 22, Demian Maia had to set up a new camp and strategy for the upcoming fight at UFC 118 versus Mario Miranda on Saturday. The BJJ expert told SenseiSportTV he has trained with boxing coach Luis Dorea to improve his striking skills and become a more complete mixed martial artist. "The opponent and schedule changes affected me just a bit. I had to speed up the process a little. I was at Bahia and had excellent boxing preparation that couldn’t be better. At each fight I evolve more as a result of the training. I’m ready for everything. He has wrestling characteristics and owns just one loss. If he is in the UFC, that’s because he’s good and can face anyone. He is also tall for the division."
Manager: Lawal Out 9 Months
King Mo won't have a chance to reclaim his throne anytime soon. According to his manager, Muhammad Lawal will undergo knee surgery to replace both his anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments in his left knee, an injury that occurred during Saturday night's Strikeforce event where he lost his SF Light Heavyweight Title to Rafael Cavalcante (Feijao). He's likely going to be out 9 months.
Silva vs. Sonnen Rematch Slated for NYE or Super Bowl Event
Lance Pugmire of The Los Angeles Times, one of the few in the media with UFC president Dana White’s direct cell number, is reporting that Chael Sonnen will be granted an immediate rematch against middleweight king Anderson Silva.
According to the report, the highly anticipated mulligan will either go down on the UFC’s New Year’s Eve or Super Bowl weekend card.
UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta told Pugmire that Silva’s bruised – NOT BROKEN – ribs will be the determining factor on when the scrap will take place. He added that it’s possible the champ may require a layoff until early February in order to get right, which would be pushing pigskin time.
Strikeforce to hold event at Cowboys Stadium? Well, if it's in the game...
While Dana White held high praise for Cowboys Stadium after he attended the massive structure earlier this year for a high-profile boxing match, the UFC president has been reluctant to guarantee his organization will soon visit the venue.
But could Strikeforce possibly steal the UFC's thunder by holding an event there first?
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said you'll likely see his organization contesting bouts in the 80,000-seat stadium in October. Well, sort of.
Marcus Davis Has No Doubt He's A Better Boxer Than Nate Diaz
And "The Irish Hand Grenade" thinks it'll give him a clear advantage at UFC 118 this weekend when he faces Diaz. "He's similar to me as far as what he uses in his arsenal. I think that what Diaz does for his boxing, being long, throwing out his lead left hand a lot, he has some good things that he does. But I have more tools. I have better footwork. He moves forwards and backwards. I move side to side. I'm good at closing the gap quickly and getting my shots off and getting back out. I think that I'm the more powerful puncher. I don't think there is any question about that. I hit guys with one shot and they go out. As far as boxing skill goes, I think I have the advantage there."
Belfort Says He's Fighting In November, But Not Silva
Injured UFC fighter Vitor Belfort says on his Twitter he'll return to action in November, but he didn't say against who although it won't be UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva. “This year I am not going to fight for the title because the champion is hurt but November we will be in action for sure that is what I can say”
Jay Hieron Not A Free Agent Yet
Despite a recent Twitter message to the contrary, Strikeforce welterweight Jay Hieron is not a free agent just yet. Early Saturday morning, Hieron stated he had "finally got my release from [Strikeforce]," which prompted speculation of a potential move to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. But following Saturday's Showtime-televised "Strikeforce: Houston" event in Texas, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told MMAjunkie.com that's not exactly the case. "Here's the thing," Coker told MMAjunkie.com. "Jay Hieron doesn't have any fights left with us. He's just in a matching period. The only thing he would have to do is if he has an offer, he has to bring it to us. "But he doesn't have fights with Strikeforce, no." Coker wasn't immediately sure when the matching period ends, but he hasn't given up hope on re-signing the 34-year-old fighter. "I think my guys are talking to him," Coker said.
"Strikeforce: Houston" draws attendance of 8,635; CEO credits K.J. Noons
Strikeforce's first trip to the Lone Star State resulted in an attendance of 8,635, which officials surely will consider a success.
Saturday's event, "Strikeforce: Houston," aired on Showtime with a pair of title fights and took place at the Toyota Center in Texas.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed with a Strikeforce official the attendance figure, which company CEO Scott Coker said in ni doubt was aided by former Houston resident K.J. Noons, who defeated fellow lightweight Jorge Gurgel on the night's main card.
Jay Hieron Says He's Been Released by Strikeforce; Heading to UFC?
Jay Hieron (19-4), who has had some issues with Strikeforce, says that he's officially been released from the promotion. He tweeted:
"I finally got my release from SF... Y'all know what I'm about to do!!!!!!!"
"I have been threw a lot of **** this past year but I have trained the whole time. So all WWs take notice I'm coming for somebodys head..."
Kaufman-Coenen, Lindland-Rockhold Set For 10/9 SF, Diaz Likely
While Strikeforce is just hours away from its first-ever event in Texas, the promotion's brass is apparently busy working on an October return to its home base. Strikeforce 135-pound female champion Sarah Kaufman has agreed to face top challenger Marloes Coenen, while fast-rising prospect Luke Rockhold and longtime veteran Matt Lindland have also signed on to fight at an as-yet-unannounced Oct. 9 Strikeforce event. Additionally, Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz is reportedly targeted to appear at the event, though it was not immediately clear if an opponent has been secured. The event likely will be at HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA and could be announced as soon as tonight. Diaz is currently suspended for his role in the Nashville brawl but should be clear in time for this event.
Fedor & Camp Consider 12/4 Fight With Antonio Silva
Fedor Emelianenko will in the coming week decide what his immediate future holds in Strikeforce, according to a source close to the fighter. While speculation on Emelianenko's next opponent has centered around current heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem or a rematch with Fabricio Werdum, the source said a contest with Antonio Silva on Dec. 4 is currently on the table for the Russian's final fight on his current Strikeforce contract. Strikeforce has yet to determine a city or venue for the Dec. 4 event, and officials could not be reached for comment. Scott Coker recently said Silva is one of 3 fighters being considered for the next Fedor fight, the others being Sergei Kharitonov & Alistair Overeem.
WEC 50 Medical Suspensions
The NSAC has announced the medical suspensions from Wednesday's WEC 50 event. 11 fighters in all were suspended at least 30 days while 5 fighters-including WEC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz and likely next challenger Scott Jorgenson-are suspended 180 days unless cleared to return early.
WEC Boss Says Faber Healed, Likely Meets Mizugaki In November
When his doctor told Urijah Faber he was medically cleared to fight, the former World Extreme Cagefighting champion instantly hopped to his feet, cheered, and began shadowboxing right there in the examination room. WEC General Manager Reed Harris, who accompanied Faber to the checkup, knew right then that a November WEC fight with Takeya Mizugaki was good to go. And though Faber technically would be able to fight as early as next month's WEC 51 event, Harris said the upcoming Colorado card was already full and prompted the tentative November booking. "He was good for September probably," Harris said. "But we had our card set already in Denver, so he's going to fight in November. And I think he's going to fight Takeya Mizugaki." Mizugaki could have taken another fight while Faber healed, but Harris said the Japanese fighter had his heart set on the matchup. "Mizugaki's been funny," Harris said. "He's like, 'I'll wait for the guy. I'll wait for him. I don't care.' He wants that fight." Harris said the organization hasn't chosen a location or venue for the November event, but as with other Faber fights, his hometown of Sacramento, Calif., appears a leading candidate.
UPDATE: The November event will be WEC 52.
Oliveira replaces Wiman
The revolving opponent door has swung once again for Efrain Escudero. Originally slated to face John Gunderson at UFC Fight Night 22 in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 15, he was pulled from that fight after Mac Danzig was forced to withdraw from the co-main event versus Matt Wiman. Escudero was elevated to replace Danzig in the headliner.