EXCLUSIVE: Junie Browning Says He is in Hiding, Seeks U.S. Embassy Help
Former UFC lightweight Junie Browning is in hiding in fear for his life after an altercation in Thailand that left the 26-year-old fighter with multiple injuries. Injured and scared overseas, Browning is in seclusion, calling for help from the U.S. Embassy to get him back home.
Browning was involved in a bar fight on Dec. 12 in Phuket, Thailand. Reports quickly surfaced that Browning was a fugitive on the run being sought after by local authorities. Browning challenged those claims to MMAWeekly.com on Sunday.
“I was in fact the victim in this case, and it is important I am able to tell my side of the story and provide you with pictures and evidence to support it. There was an attempt to end my life and I am begging for help from the U.S. Embassy.”
Jamie Varner signs multi-fight deal with the XFC
(Tampa, FL) Xtreme Fighting Championships (XFC), the Southeast’s largest Mixed Martial Arts promotion is proud to announce the signing of Jamie Varner. The former WEC lightweight champion has signed a new, multi-fight agreement with the promotion and will make his next appearance at XFC 16:High Stakes, live on HDNet on Feb. 10th at the Civic Coliseum in Knoxville, TN .
Universally recognized as one of the top lightweights in the world, Varner (18-6-1) is not only a dynamic striker, but has slick submission skills as well. Varner has built a reputation for finishing fights throughout his career. In 18 victories, ‘C-4' has finished 12 opponents in the first round. Only two of his wins came from the judge’s scorecards.
Ricardo Funch In To Face Mike Pyle at UFC 142
Ricardo Funch will get a second chance in the Octagon as he steps up on short notice to face Mike Pyle at UFC 142 in Brazil.
UFC officials announced the booking on Saturday.
Funch, a training partner of Gabriel Gonzaga, went 0-2 in his previous UFC stint dropping fights to both Johny Hendricks and Claude Patrick.
The Team Link fighter took some time off after the loss to Patrick in 2010, but returned to action just a couple of weeks ago and picked up a win over Ryan Quinn...
Bellator Signs Two Top Japanese Bantamweights
Bellator Fighting Championships on Saturday announced it has added two dynamic bantamweights in Masakatsu Ueda and Hiroshi Nakamura. Both will compete in the promotion’s upcoming Season 6 Bantamweight Tournament, joining Alexis Vila, Marcos Galvao, Ed West, Rodrigo Lima, Luis Nogueira and a yet to be named final participant.
Ueda joins Bellator already well established within the MMA community, ranked in the MMAWeekly.com World Top 10 MMA Rankings, holding notable wins over Royler Gracie and current Bellator Season 5 Bantamweight Tournament Champion Eduardo Dantas. With those victories Ueda is widely considered one of the best bantamweights in the world. Armed with one of the best grappling pedigrees in the sport, Ueda should be considered a serious contender heading into the deepest bantamweight tournament in Bellator history...
Carlo Prater fills in to fight Erick Silva
Almost as quickly as it was announced that Brazilian phenom Erick Silva was without an opponent for UFC Rio: Aldo vs. Mendes, another fighter has already stepped up to fill the void.
Silva was originally slated to face stand-up specialist Siyar Bahadurzada, but an injury knocked the Afghan out of the fight. Taking his place is Brazilian born Texas transplant Carlo Prater.
UFC 141's Brock Lesnar Hit With Charges for Hunting Violations
If you know anything about Brock Lesnar, you know the man loves to hunt. Unfortunately, it looks like he didn't exactly follow the rules on a recent trip to Canada for a hunting trip and now faces charges along with his guide for not following a few hunting laws.
Slam! Sports with the report:
The burly fighter failed to properly tag at least one of two animals his party had shot - a white tail and a mule deer, said Darcy Whiteside, spokesman for Alberta Sustainable Resource Development.
"They shot an animal and didn't tag it," said Whiteside.
His guide and Albertan Chad Stryker, who was allegedly accompanying the celebrity, is also charged with the offences - unlawful possession of wildlife, abandon/wastage of the edible flesh of big game, and after killing wildlife, failure to immediately affix tag.
The alleged offences occurred over several days in mid November on a grazing reserve near Manyberries.
"In plain language, it would be considered poaching," said Whiteside.
Gabriel Gonzaga to Make UFC Return at UFC 142
One-time UFC title challenger Gabriel Gonzaga is back with the UFC.
According to his own Team Link academy website, the 32-year-old has signed a four-fight deal with the UFC and will replace Rob Broughton against Edinaldo Oliveira at UFC 142 in Brazil.
Gonzaga (12-6-0) last competed for the UFC at UFC 121 in October 2010 in a loss to Brendan Schaub, prompting the UFC to hand him his walking papers. Rather than fight for less money in smaller MMA promotions, Gonzaga said shortly after that he would focus on his Brazilian jiu-jitsu gyms and return to grappling competitions. As most MMA "retirements" go, Gonzaga's was short-lived. Gonzaga made his MMA return just under a year later, defeating Parker Porter this past October at a Reality Fighting event in Uncasville, Conn.
Gilbert Yvel is ready for his light-heavyweight debut tonight
Over the course of Gilbert "The Hurricane" Yvel's nearly 15-year professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) career, he has plied his trade all over the world, in just about every premier organization, against some of the greatest and biggest fighters in MMA history. Yvel has 54 fights to his credit and is a veteran fighter of the UFC, PRIDE, Affliction, M-1, and K-1. What is even more impressive is that Yvel has won two-thirds of his bouts despite competing throughout his career as an undersized heavyweight.
In a weight class that has a weight limit of 265-pounds or in some cases, no weight limit at all, Yvel has usually tipped the scales around 240-pounds against much larger men. This situation, sometimes leads fighters in his predicament to pack on unnecessary weight in an attempt to help close the weight difference between themself and their much bigger opponents. This decision, however, usually slows down the naturally smaller heavyweights and takes away from their cardio, so Yvel decided to take a much more drastic and effective approach by dropping down to the light-heavyweight (205-pound) weight division.
Bahadurzada, Broughton, Nedkov scratched from UFC 142; Thiago also reported out
January's UFC 142 event today took a major hit as Siyar Bahadurzada (20-4-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), Rob Broughton (15-7-1 MMA, 1-2 UFC) and Stanislav Nedkov (12-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) were all officially scratched from the event.
Additionally, Tatame is reporting that Paulo Thiago (14-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) has also been forced to withdraw from the card, though UFC officials have yet to confirm the change.
Replacement opponents have yet to be determined. The UFC blamed injury for all three official withdrawals.
Featuring a featherweight title fight between current champion Jose Aldo and undefeated contender Chad Mendes, UFC 142 takes place Jan. 14 at Rio de Janeiro's HSBC Arena.
Strikeforce Heavyweight Division to be Eliminated Following Grand Prix Finals and 'One More Fight'
Moments ago on the Strikeforce media call to announce the new Showtime deal, it was announced that Strikeforce will be doing away with the heavyweight division in the near future. The way that the set-up is sounds as though Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier will meet in the Strikeforce Grand Prix finals and the winner will fight one more time against a (as it was put) "top heavyweight contender." After that fight, the heavyweight division will be eliminated in the promotion with fighters presumably moving to the UFC based on the promotion's desire.
UFC president Dana White said on the call that the division just is not deep enough to have it in both promotions and they will instead focus on the other classes and women's MMA.
Strikeforce and Showtime announce new deal with eight events and televised prelims
As expected Strikeforce and Showtime have inked a new deal that will keep the Zuffa-owned fight promotion on the premium-cable station.
Officials today the deal, which calls for up to eight events, though no timeframe was disclosed for the shows.
As part of the deal, main-card bouts will continue to air on Showtime, and preliminary-card fights now will be broadcast on sister channel Showtime Extreme.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Officials suggested that events no longer will be held under the Strikeforce Challengers brand.
The deal kicks off with the Jan. 7 "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine" event in Las Vegas, so all fights (prelims and main card) from the card will be televised in some form. Additionally, the event takes place during one of Showtime's free-preview weekends, which makes the channel available for free to more than 60 million households.
As part of the announcement, officials stated that current Strikeforce fighters – including champions Gilbert Melendez, Luke Rochhold, Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos and Miesha Tate – will remain in Strikeforce. (Recently, some champions such as Nick Diaz, Dan Henderson and Alistair Overeem had been folded into the Zuffa-owned UFC.)
MMA - An Acquired Taste
this is a very well written, objective, article about experiencing a live UFC event for the first time...maybe the first MMA event he ever watched. this is written by Michael Grange from Sportsnet, who is slowly becoming one of my favourite sports journalists to read. its a little long but well worth the read. Grange may still not be a fan of the sport afterwards, but this may be one of the most unbiased and objective articles from a non-MMA fan you will ever read.
If not Lesnar, Mir wants Cain
It appears Frank Mir will have to wait for a third meeting with UFC superstar Brock Lesnar.
With rumours swirling about Alistair Overeem’s potential withdrawal from UFC 141, former title-holder Frank Mir said Saturday after submitting Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira -- and breaking his arm in the process -- in the first round of the co-main event rematch at UFC 140 in Toronto that he wouldn’t mind stepping in as a replacement and fighting Lesnar in what would be a rubber match between the two.
"I’m pretty healthy, and three weeks is enough time," Mir said. "I feel pretty good. I only fought a three-minute fight. My wife will want me around at Christmastime, but she can deal with it."
"I don’t want to wait around just to fight for the title," Mir said. "I think Cain is still the real deal, he just got caught (against Dos Santos) like I did tonight. I recovered, he didn’t and (Dos Santos) jumped on him."
No surgery for Big Nog
Heavyweight Antonio Rodrigo (Minotauro) Nogueira was also in Los Angeles on Monday, seeing a specialist after suffering a broken arm in a loss to Frank Mir at UFC 140 at Toronto's Air Canada Centre on Saturday night.
The doctor's visit produced some good news for Big Nog.
The UFC tweeted that surgery won't be needed. Instead he'll wear an adjustable plastic brace using an ultrasound device twice a day for 20 minutes. He's expected back in the cage in no more than nine months.
Bellator season-six bantamweight tourney includes Galvao, Nogueira, Lima, West, Ueda
The field is taking shape for Bellator's newly organized season-six bantamweight tournament.
Although the 135-pound tournament is the fifth and final addition to the early-2012 calendar, some notable names have been booked for it.
Officials told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Marcos Galvao (10-5-1 MMA, 1-2 BFC), Luis "Betao" Nogueira (12-2 MMA, 2-1 BFC), Rodrigo "Ratinho" Lima (9-0 MMA, 0-0 BFC) and Ed West (17-6 MMA, 3-2 BFC) are all slotted for the eight-man field.
Additionally, as MMAjunkie.com reported earlier today, Masakatsu Ueda (14-1-2 MMA, 0-0 BFC) also has signed with the organization and will be part of the field.
Officials will announce the complete field in the coming weeks.
UFC on FUEL TV 1 adds Simpson vs. Markes, Brookins vs. Yahya
Two more bouts are slotted for February's UFC on FUEL TV 1 event, officials today announced.
They include middleweights Aaron Simpson (11-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) vs. Ronny Markes (12-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and featherweights Jonathan Brookins (12-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) vs. Rani Yahya (16-7 MMA, 1-1 UFC).
UFC on FUEL TV 1, which is the first UFC event to air on the FOX-owned cable station, takes place Feb. 15 in Omaha, Neb. The 18,000-seat CenturyLink Arena is likely to host.
It's not clear if Simpson vs. Markes and Brookins vs. Yahya will be part of the FUEL TV-televised main card.
Jungle Fight Bantamweight Champion John Lineker signed by the UFC, set to compete at flyweight
The UFC is going all-out in establishing their newly-announced flyweight division.
That's because Tatame.com reports that Brazilian bruiser John "Mão de Pedra" Lineker (19-5), who captured the Jungle Fight 61 kg. title in September with a split decision over Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Brazil hopeful Ilarde Sabino Belo dos Santos, has been signed by the world's largest fight promotion and will compete at 125-pounds.
Lineker, 20, joins the UFC in the midst of a fantastic 13-fight winning streak. Seven of those have come in in 2011 alone.
Roy Nelson vs. Fabricio Werdum slotted for UFC 143 in February
A heavyweight bout between Roy Nelson (16-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and the returning Fabricio Werdum (14-5-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has been slotted for February's UFC 143 event.
Werdum will jump from Strikeforce to the UFC, where he fought from 2007 to 2008, as part of the long-rumored move.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the bout with event sources. MMAWeekly.com first reported it.
UFC 143 takes place on the eve of the NFL's Super Bowl, Feb. 4, at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The night's main card airs on pay-per-view, and Nelson vs. Werdum is expected to be part of the broadcast.
UFC 142 prelims to air on FX
UFC will make its debut on FX on Jan. 14 when the network airs the UFC 142 prelims, a FUEL TV official confirmed with MMAFighting.com on Tuesday.
FUEL TV, who shares the same parent company, FOX, as FX, will broadcast the majority of UFC prelim bouts in 2012, however, the UFC 142 undercard will air on the network's sister channel, FX.
FUEL TV will air the weigh-ins live and a post-fight show immediately following the event.
Bellator signs world-ranked bantamweight Masakatsu Ueda
Former Shooto champion Masakatsu Ueda (14-1-2 MMA, 0-0 BFC) is Bellator bound.
Sources close to the world-ranked bantamweight told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) the Japanese veteran has agreed to a multi-fight deal with the organization.
Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
A debut date and opponent have not been determined, but Ueda is considered a likely participant in a season-six bantamweight tournament that kicks off in March. Bellator also hosts eight-man tournaments in the featherweight, lightweight, welterweight and middleweights divisions that air on MTV2.