UFC extends deal with ESPN in the U.K. through August 2013
Live UFC fights will remain on ESPN in the U.K. and Ireland.
Officials today announced an extension to its existing deal that will keep live UFC fights – including those that air on pay-per-view and cable TV in the U.S. – on the premium cable channel through August 2013.
Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"UFC will continue to be aired on ESPN in the U.K., giving the channel rights to all main live UFC events until August 2013," the company announced via Twitter...
UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen 2 Officially Largest U.S. Live Gate in UFC History
UFC 148 can now officially be called the largest live gate in promotional history in the United States after figures released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Tuesday.
According to the figures, UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen 2 raked in a whopping $6,901,655 live gate, surpassing UFC 66 by nearly $1.6 million dollars.
That live gate totaled out at $5,397,300 for the card featuring the rematch between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz in Las Vegas.
UFC 148 now becomes the promotion’s biggest live gate ever in the United States with UFC 100 coming in at third place.
The commission numbers also state that the event sold 13,606 tickets with 64 tickets remaining unsold and a total of 1,498 tickets comped, which equates to the tickets being given away.
Kyle Noke drops to welterweight, meets Charlie Brenneman at UFC 151
After a two-fight skid at middleweight, Kyle Noke will drop to welterweight for his next bout.
Noke on Tuesday announced on his Facebook page that he is dropping to 170 and will meet Charlie Brenneman at UFC 151 in Las Vegas. Additional sources close to the fight confirmed the booking to MMAjunkie.com.
UFC 151 takes place Sept. 1 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The event's main card airs live on pay-per-view while FX and Facebook host preliminary-card fights.
Josh Barnett welcomes UFC import, thinks Cormier will stop Mir in the second
A new door opened, at least in theory, to Strikeforce fighters this past week when ex-UFC champ Frank Mir was exported to fight Daniel Cormier in October.
While Cormier's engagement is frequently billed as the last in the Strikeforce heavyweight division before being folded, the man he defeated to win the promotion's heavyweight grand prix title also is owed a fight.
That man, Josh Barnett, is one of the more marketable fighters in the division despite a recent loss to Cormier. As quick with submissions as he is in interviews, he would be a welcome addition to the UFC.
Francis Carmont, Tom Lawlor to Fight at UFC 15
Francis Carmont impressed observers in his most recent fight. The performance has earned him a bout in his hometown.
Carmont and "Filthy" Tom Lawlor have agreed to meet in a middleweight matchup at UFC 154 on Nov. 17 at Montreal's Bell Centre, according to MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani.
Cain Velasquez 'wondering what the hold up is' with Junior dos Santos rematch
"Right now, I'm just getting ready and waiting for a date. We don't really know what's going on with the dos Santos thing. The speculation that I was hurt -- I got an x-ray to show people that I'm not. There's speculation that he's hurt, maybe. I dunno what's going on. I'm just getting ready and waiting for a date for me and him to fight."
Since these two big-time heavyweights threw down the first time, Velasquez has been able to re-think his strategy and what he did wrong in defeat:
"The thing with the last fight and this one, this time, what we're gonna do different is actually attack him and actually fight him. We didn't do that last time. I didn't do what I was supposed to do, with the gameplan, and I definitely paid for it. I'm not making the mistake again with him."
He definitely feels like he'll have a better strategy going into his second go-round, but he's still not over the initial setback. According to Velasquez, it's a moment he's re-lived since last November:
"It's always playing in my head. He's my one loss, and I wanna go back and avenge it. Just knowing what you did wrong, I mean, I definitely look back at the fight. I just have to learn from it and move on."
So, when will this second battle of the behemoths take place? As far as Velasquez is concerned, your guess is just as good as his:
"They really haven't said anything as of right now. I was just wondering what the hold up was. They thought that I was hurt, and I went ahead and kinda quieted those things down. I'm just waiting for a date."
Some of the speculation that has been bandied about is that the UFC is dragging its feet because they'd prefer to see "Cigano" fight Alistair Overeem when he returns in December.
He's heard the chatter, but he feels like he is the name that makes the most sense, because he can be ready as soon as they need him to be:
"I think, possibly, if they're waiting for that match-up, but that's in December. I'm ready now."
Matt Mitrione vs. Rob Broughton Rescheduled for UFC on FX 5
If at first you don’t succeed…
A heavyweight bout originally scheduled for UFC on Fox 4 will still take place, except it has been pushed back to Oct. 5 as part of the newly created UFC on FX 5 show instead.
Heavyweights Matt Mitrione and Rob Broughton have agreed to meet at the upcoming show in Minneapolis after Broughton was forced off this weekend’s card due to “personal issues.”
Verbal agreements are in place for the match-up...
Bellator Signs Exclusive Russian TV Deal
Already airing in over 80 countries worldwide, Bellator Fighting Championships continues to expand its reach as the promotion has partnered with Russian broadcasting giant Russia 2, for the largest MMA broadcast alliance in Russian history. Beginning Sept. 28, Bellator will be aired exclusively on Russia 2 throughout the country, introducing over 83 million Russian sports fans to the largest tournament based MMA promotion in the world.
“Over the last year, as the Bellator brand has experienced enormous growth and our talent team has signed the greatest Russian Mixed Martial Artists in the world, the timing was perfect to align Bellator with Russia’s leading sports network,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “R2 carries the world’s greatest sports to Russian viewers. So, aligning Bellator with this industry giant is another very exciting step forward in the evolution of the Bellator brand worldwide.”
UFC champ Jon Jones fined $1,000 and license suspended at DWI sentencing
As expected Jon Jones has avoided jail time following his May 19 arrest on a misdemeanor DWI charge.
The UFC light-heavyweight champion today was issued a $1,000 fine and six-month license suspension. He also will have ignition interlocks installed on his vehicles, and he needs to complete a victim-impact panel.
"Blessed to still have the full support of Broom County/all my fans and my DWI case officially behind me," Jones tweeted soon after the sentencing. "Moving forward."
Binghamton (N.Y.) City Court Judge Daniel L. Seiden sentenced Jones, according to pressconnects.com.
On July 3, Jones appeared in Binghamton (N.Y.) City Court to ask for more time to complete a drug and alcohol abuse program, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) recently reported. The sentencing then was pushed back to today...
UFC changes tune, UFC on FOX 4's Bader-Machida winner also possible for title shot
LAS VEGAS – On Monday Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White announced that UFC on FOX 4 headliners Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (20-6 MMA, 4-4 UFC) and Brandon Vera (12-5 MMA, 8-5 UFC) are competing this weekend for a shot at the promotion's light-heavyweight title.
He later told USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that co-headliners Ryan Bader (14-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) and Lyoto Machida (17-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) also will have that opportunity.
"Whoever wins the most impressively on Saturday night gets the shot at the title," White said.
White's decision comes after a rash of fan backlash following his original announcement. UFC's social-media-savvy fanbase immediately took to Twitter to protest the decision while citing Rua's recent losses to both current champion Jon Jones and the champ's UFC 151 opponent, Dan Henderson – as well as Vera's current run of just one win in four appearances – as reasons why the bout did not deserve to be considered a No. 1 contender's contest.
White said he listened to the complaints, and he's making a change.
"I put together the fights that fans want to see," White said. "The fans didn't like the Rua and Vera choice, so here it is: The guy that wins most impressively on Saturday night out of the co-main event and the main event will get the shot at the winner of Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson."
Travis Browne Happy to Trade FOX Exposure for UFC on FX 5 Main Event Role
Travis Browne is an undefeated heavyweight with 11 finishes among his 13 career wins. He's also mammoth, at 6-foot-7 and 250 pounds. Given his success and size, it would seem Browne would be a lock to be one of the most talked-about fighters on the UFC roster, yet he sometimes seems to remain in the shadows of other big men.
At UFC 145, he earned a submission win, only to see Ben Rothwell upstage him with a 61-second knockout of Brendan Schaub. At UFC 135, he outlasted the durable Rob Broughton, but Mark Hunt earned the spotlight by continuing his career resurgence. And at UFC 130, he flattened prospect Stefan Struve, a result that was at least slightly overshadowed by the high-profile beating Frank Mir laid on Roy Nelson.
August 4's UFC on FOX 4 was supposed to be Browne's turn, matched against Rothwell in the key heavyweight fight of the night, on network TV. Browne was set to have his showcase in front of an audience of millions. Unfortunately for him, Rothwell injured his ankle and was removed from the fight. Instead, he's been relocated to the October UFC on FX 5 main event with Antonio Silva, and despite the lost opportunity, Browne sees the change as a net positive.
Nam Phan Fires Back at Steven Seagal
If Steven Seagal watches TV on Aug. 4, he just might find out who Nam Phan is.
On a recent edition of The MMA Hour, Seagal heard about critical remarks from Phan, who will fight Cole Miller on the Fuel TV portion of the UFC on FOX card at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
"Never heard of him," Seagal told MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani. "Nam Fran? Is he an American guy? I don't know who this guy is and I don't really care."
On Monday's MMA Hour, the Vietnamese-American fighter who already has made a name for himself with MMA fans had a reply for the past-his-prime actor.
"You know what, I'm not the most famous fighter," Phan said. "But, whatever, I still think he's a douche."
Title Shot Within His Grasp, Brandon Vera No Longer Considers Jon Jones a “Punk”
UFC president Dana White recently stated that Saturday’s UFC on Fox 4 in Los Angeles would determine the next light heavyweight contender, but on Monday, he narrowed the field down to just Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and, somewhat surprisingly, Brandon Vera.
Rua and Vera are the headliners of Saturday’s event at the Staples Center.
Initially, co-main event fighters Lyoto Machida and Ryan Bader were part of the equation, but that is no longer the case.
“The winner of Vera and Rua gets the shot,” White stated on Monday’s UFC on Fox 4 conference call with the media.
With Rua, Machida and Bader all entrenched amongst the Top 10 light heavyweights in the world, none would be a surprise when considering who gets the winner of Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson at UFC 151 in September, but Vera’s name came as a tremendous surprise to fans and pundits alike.
UFC on FOX 4's Machida not upset with headliner's title stakes, open to 'TUF' coaching
Ex-champ Lyoto Machida is keeping an open mind about where he is in the UFC's light-heavyweight division.
And after hearing that the winner of Saturday's UFC on FOX 4 headliner – Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. Brandon Vera – will get the next shot at the UFC light-heavyweight title, can you blame him?
"Really, anything can happen," Machida told MMAjunkie.com. "Obviously, I'm trying to train as hard as I can and put on a good fight, and I try to trace a way back to the title. But that's not really what I'm focused on right now."
IMMAF representatives take part in International Olympic Committee seminars
MMA is still years away from serious consideration as an Olympic sport, but the recently formed IMMAF is already beginning to make its presence known with the International Olympic Committee.
IMMAF officials today took part in the first of several planned seminars aimed at studying martial arts and sports not currently included in the Olympics, and the group hopes to educate IOC officials during the meetings.
"We are very grateful for this opportunity to promote MMA in front of the IOC and other fellow sports federations," IMMAF official Erika Mattsson told MMAjunkie.com.
League president considering Invicta FC 3 elimination tourney for title shot
There were many surprises for Invicta FC president Shannon Knapp before, during and after the promotion's second event, Invicta FC 2, this past weekend.
There were 100,000 people waiting in the queue to watch the live Internet stream 30 minutes before the fights got underway. There was a server crash that forced her backstage in a panic mid-event. There was the Invicta name trending on Twitter long after the last punch was thrown.
But a surprise as welcome as any was how the fights turned out.
Dana White: UFC's Alexander Gustafsson on deck for 'big fight'
It'd be easy to consider Alexander Gustafsson the odd man out.
Especially after UFC president Dana White today surprisingly confirmed the winner of Saturday's UFC on FOX 4 headliner between Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Brandon Vera is next in line for a light-heavyweight title shot.
But that doesn't mean Gustafsson is the forgotten contender of the division.
Jon Fitch vs. Erick Silva Set for UFC 153
Jon Fitch will draw one of the UFC's top young guns in his next outing.
The longtime welterweight contender is set to square off with Brazilian Erick Silva at UFC 153, MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani has learned. Sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed the two had verbally agreed to the pairing.
Fitch was supposed to face Aaron Simpson in July, only to be forced out after suffering a knee injury. The setback apparently won't keep him on the shelf long. Upon returning, Fitch will be attempting to win for the first time in three fights. At UFC 127, he fought to a draw with B.J. Penn, and in his follow-up match at UFC 141, he was knocked out by Johny Hendricks, marking the first time he had been finished since 2002.
Francisco "Massaranduba" Drinaldo drops to LW
UF: Brazil competitor and former Jungle Fights champion Francisco Drinaldo is making a return to his natural weight class. The man they call "Massaranduba" fought on the show as a middleweight, including in the season finale at UFC 147, is dropping back to lightweight for a scheduled fight at UFC 153 against an opponent TBA
Remember how he ragdolled Delson Heleno at MW? Hell yeah.