Chael Sonnen says move up to Light Heavyweight, eventual fight with Jon Jones, are possible
When asked bluntly about what the next steps will be for his career (a question he's been asked many times within the last few days), Sonnen stuck to his original guns, in that he still feels he needs time to clear his head a bit before he makes any major decisions.
But this time, Chael made an inference that is sure to raise some eyebrows:
I love this sport and I would never want to retire. My coach Clayton will be the one that retires me based on my results and productivity in practice. I could have easily defeated him, physically I'm fine, mentally im fine. Give me a couple of weeks to settle in and when you get in the spot that I am in, we will see. Anderson could retire any day now. And there is simply an option to start over by changing weight class. My mentors have done it and it could happen. I would go up to 205. Jon Jones. There are some great guys at 185, but traditionally and historically it is a good way to get a fresh start and start over.
Will Campuzano Plans to Punk Chad Robichaux, Take First Legacy FC Flyweight Belt
Following back-to-back losses in the UFC, Will Campuzano figured it was time for a change.
A year after receiving his release from the promotion, he’s dropped a weight class, resulting in two straight wins, with an opportunity for a third on Friday night at Legacy FC 12 in Houston.
According to Campuzano, the move down to 125 pounds made sense because, “I was gaining too much weight. The night of the fight I was gaining 15-18 pounds, so it always played against me and was a disadvantage.
“I’m definitely getting used to the weight cut now, and it’s a lot easier. It was really hard for me the first two times, but it’s not that bad this time. I feel real strong, and I was a fast 135er, but I’m even faster at 125.”
Bellator 72 Fight Card Features Tourney Finals, Paul Daley’s Debut
Bellator Fighting Championships is headed back to “The Sunshine State” on Friday, July 20 for Bellator 72 from The USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla. Featuring the finals of the Bellator Season 6 Welterweight Tournament between Bryan Baker and Karl Amoussou, Bellator 72 will also showcase the debut of dynamic knockout artist Paul “Semtex” Daley as well as a bad blood welterweight trilogy fight between Marius Zaromskis and Waachiim Spiritwolf.
Additionally, the semifinals of the Bellator Summer Series Light Heavyweight Tournament will take place as Attila Vegh meets Emanuel Newton and Travis Wiuff will face Tim Carpenter. Also, a stacked preliminary card full of the area’s top talent will be in action. Tickets for Bellator 72 are on sale at all online Ticketmaster outlets as well as visiting the USF Sun Dome Box Office.
“A Lotta Late!” UFC Pres Dana White Critical of Munoz vs. Weidman’s Late Stoppage
Fighter safety is solely in the hands of the referee while inside the cage during any combat sport, and referee Josh Rosenthal failed Mark Munoz at UFC on Fuel TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman on Wednesday night, according to UFC president Dana White.
During the second round of the main event, Munoz unloaded a wild right hand and in the process was caught by a well-placed, right elbow by Chris Weidman that hurt the middleweight contender. Munoz fell to the canvas and Weidman followed him. Weidman delivered several unanswered blows before referee Rosenthal stepped in to stop the slaughter.
Munoz was face down on the canvas eating right hand after right hand, unable to defend himself.
The referee’s primary objective is to protect the competitors, but on Wednesday, a referee failed a fighter in the main event on Fuel TV.
“It was a bad stoppage,” said White in a Fuel TV interview following the event.
UFC on FUEL TV 4 ratings: Event peaks with nearly 300,000 viewers
Wednesday's UFC on FUEL TV 4 event averaged 211,000 viewers, which ranks second among the series' four events to date.
Additionally, the July 11 broadcast peaked with a healthy 291,000 FUEL TV viewers for the night's main event, which saw Chris Weidman stop Mark Munoz via second-round TKO.
MMAjunkie.com today confirmed the figures with industry sources.
Lorenz Larkin hopes win over Lawler puts him in reach of Strikeforce middleweight title
It's not hard for Lorenz Larkin to imagine his fight with Robbie Lawler being the kind that delivers the proverbial fireworks.
"That's what everyone's been saying, so I'm sure it does (have fireworks written all over it)," Larkin on Thursday told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
But most importantly to Larkin (12-0 MMA, 3-0 SF), he hopes a win over Lawler (19-8 MMA, 3-4 SF) – and an impressive one – could make him the next top contender for Strikeforce middleweight title.
Larkin and Lawler meet on the main card of "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy" on Saturday at Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Ore. Main-card fights air live on Showtime with prelims on Showtime Extreme.
UFC on FUEL TV 4 salaries: Simpson, Weidman, Munoz top payroll
Main-event middleweights Chris Weidman ($44,000) opponent Mark Munoz ($42,000), plus main-card welterweight winner Aaron Simpson ($46,000) were the top earners at Wednesday's UFC on FUEL TV 4 event.
MMAjunkie.com on Thursday obtained the list of disclosed paydays from the California State Athletic Commission.
The total disclosed payroll for the event was $446,000.
Fighters bemoan lack of promotion prior to 'Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy'
Heading out of the Rose Quarter toward I-84 east, there's a billboard advertising an MMA event on Saturday.
It's not for "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy," which occupies the 20,000-seat arena that night and features two world title fights of world-class caliber.
Instead, it's for Caged Combat 6, which takes place about 40 miles down the road at Spirit Mountain Casino in a 1,750-seat event center. There are four billboards around Portland advertising the event. Two days from the show, 1,500 tickets have been sold, according to its promoter, Charles Grijalva.
UFC on FUEL TV 4 medical suspensions: Mark Munoz, James Te Huna draw long terms
The TKO loss Mark Munoz suffered against Chris Weidman at UFC on FUEL TV 4 was as damaging as it looked. He may have suffered a fractured jaw.
Munoz led a list of medical suspensions issued following "UFC on FUEL TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman." The suspensions were reported to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) by the California State Athletic Commission.
UFC on FUEL TV 4 took place Wednesday at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. Its main card aired live on FUEL TV, while preliminary-card fights streamed on Facebook. It drew a reported 4,250 fans for a $163,495 live gate.
Munoz was wobbled by Weidman's standing elbow and was put out by a flurry of punches in the second frame of the headliner. He is suspended six months or until cleared by a physician for a "fractured mandible." The cut the elbow opened up on his right eyebrow and another scalp laceration also were part of the six-month term.
Co-headliner James Te Huna, who reported breaking a hand and foot during a slugfest with Joey Beltran, is suspended six months for a possible left elbow fracture and fractured left foot. He needs a doctor's clearance to be cleared in advance.
Dennis Hallman vs. Thiago Tavares moves from UFC 150 to UFC 151
A lightweight bout between veterans Dennis Hallman (51-14-2 MMA, 4-5 UFC) and Thiago Tavares (17-4-1 MMA, 7-4-1 UFC) has moved from August's UFC 150 event to September's UFC 151 event.
Sources close to the event alerted MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) to the change.
UFC 151 takes place Sept. 1 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
UFC Insitutes Formal Written Drug Policy
The UFC and Strikeforce earlier this week held their fourth Fighter Summit in Las Vegas where company officials and special guests worked to educate fighters on a number of issues from health insurance to dealing with the press to social media and numerous other topics.
One of the key points hit on at the Fighter Summit was the UFC’s new formalized written policy against performance enhancing drugs and other banned substances.
Lawrence Epstein, the company’s Executive Vice-President and General Counsel, explained the written policy is a continuation of existing policy, and that both promotions will follow guidelines drafted by the same law firm that advises the National Football League on PEDs.
“It is important to continue educating our athletes on the dangers of PEDs and other banned substances,” said Epstein. “Additionally, no new UFC or Strikeforce promotional agreement will become effective before the athlete has provided a clean PED test result.
Renan Barao Sees Jose Aldo as UFC 149 Secret Weapon
Aldo went the distance with Faber and presumably learned plenty about his style and tendencies in the process. So it doesn't come as a surprise when Barao says he's leaned on his teammate for some advice in crafting a game plan for Faber.
"We had an excellent camp down here, we have an excellent strategy and obviously we benefitted from Aldo’s input," he said through an interpreter during a Thursday teleconference. "Aldo knows how Urijah fights, and he was also able to help us devise our strategy going in to make this camp, so thank God we had an excellent camp and we’ll be very ready for this fight."
Conference call audio -
Josh Neer signs new four-fight UFC deal
Despite a loss in his most recent bout, Josh Neer apparently won't be leaving the UFC anytime soon.
The 29-year-old welterweight has signed a new four-fight deal with the organization, his manager, Mickey Dubberly of KO Dynasty, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Neer (33-11-1 MMA, 6-7 UFC), who has one of the highest finishing rates in the sport, first debuted with the UFC seven years ago and is in his fourth stint with the organization.
Most recently, Neer suffered a knockout loss to Mike Pyle at UFC on FX 3. Prior to the setback, "The Dentist" was riding a six-fight win streak that included six stoppages. Two of the victories came in the UFC over Keith Wisniewski (TKO due to a doctor's stoppage) and Duane "Bang" Ludwig (technical submission).
Neer went 0-1 in his first UFC stint, 2-2 in his second, 2-3 in his third, and he's 2-1 in his current one. Outside the UFC, he owns a 27-4-1 record.
Stephan Bonnar Leaning Towards Retirement, Unless Major Name Comes His Way
Since beating Kyle Kingsbury last November, Stephan Bonnar has spent quite a bit of time lobbying for a TUF coaching spot opposite Forrest Griffin or a match against Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Right now, it appears neither of those requests are likely to be granted, and if neither materializes, we might have seen the last of Bonnar in the cage.
The longtime UFC veteran who helped propel mixed martial arts into a television staple with his role in a 2005 fight with Griffin said that unless some major fight offer came his way, he'd be at peace with retirement.
"Put it this way, I have no interest in fighting the next big thing before the world realizes the talent of the guy," he said on Wednesday night's UFC on FUEL 4 post-fight show. "I've done that too much in my career, and I'm near the end of it. So if it's not meant to be, if us being [TUF] coaches isn't meant to be, then it isn't meant to be. I've just got to accept that and move on. It's fine with me, it really is."
Roy Nelson, Shane Carwin to be 'The Ultimate Fighter 16' coaches
Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight contenders Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin will serve as coaches on the 16th season of "The Ultimate Fighter," and they'll meet in a season-ending fight in the show's live finale.
UFC president Dana White exclusively revealed the coaches' selections to USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Wednesday.
"TUF," the UFC's long-running reality series, returns to FX in September, and taping begins next month. FX also will air the live finale from Las Vegas in December.
"This is going to be a very interesting dynamic between these two heavyweights," White said. "They both have huge punching power and great chins, but outside of the octagon, they couldn't be any more different.
UFC on Fuel TV 4 Aftermath: James Te Huna Breaks Hand and Foot in First Round
After winning a decisive unanimous decision victory over Joey Beltran at UFC on Fuel TV 4, James Te Huna left the Octagon with a broken hand and a broken foot, albeit also with the Fight of the Night bonus to soften the blow.
Te Huna landed big flurries on the feet and from full mount, dropping Beltran in the first round, but the New Zealander knew something was amiss.
It took until Te Huna went back to his corner following the opening round to realize that halfway through the opening stanza he had broken both his hand and his foot.
“I think it was halfway through the first round,” Te Huna said at the post-fight press conference. “I noticed it towards the end of the first and then in the second or third I felt a bit of it every time I stepped on my foot or used that jab.”
UFC on FUEL TV 4 draws reported 4,250 attendance for $163,495 live gate
Wednesday night's UFC on FUEL TV 4 event drew an announced attendance of 4,250 and a live gate of $163,495.
UFC president Dana White announced the figures at the night's post-event news conference, which MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) attended.
UFC on FUEL TV 4 took place at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., and featured a main event middleweight contenders fight between Chris Weidman and Mark Munoz, which Weidman won by devastating second-round TKO.
The California State Athletic Commission is expected to verify the figures and release an official tally next week. While the number of "comp" or free tickets was not revealed, the figures represent an average revenue of $38.47 per ticket issued.
Chris Weidman: I really think I can submit Anderson Silva
When 2012 began, UFC middleweight Chris Weidman (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) was considered a bright prospect with ample potential.
After dominating Mark Munoz in the headliner of Wednesday UFC on FUEL TV 4 event, "The All American" is now a bona fide contender, and he's certain if given the chance, he could take out the division's longtime kingpin, Anderson Silva.
"Anderson Silva has been through 15 guys," Weidman said at Wednesday's post-event press conference. "All those 15 guys tried to take him down, hold him down, tried to submit him. It's not going to be easy. Chael Sonnen is that good, but he was able to get him down in every fight and put him in that position. I'm going to follow that blueprint.
"I've got the length with Anderson Silva, so he's not going to be able to play on the outside much with me. If he comes in, my takedowns are pretty good. I'll take him down. I think, I really do believe, that I could submit him and finish him. I really think I can."