Noons-Masvidal winner a "frontrunner" for title shot with Strikeforce champ Melendez
DALLAS – The next challenger to Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez's title likely will come from Saturday's "Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum" event.
But it won't necessarily be the K.J. Noons vs. Jorge Masvidal winner.
While that victor is the "frontrunner," Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker today told MMAjunkie.com a preliminary-card bout between Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante and Justin Wilcox also could factor into his decision.
Josh Barnett's Strange Journey to the Strikeforce Cage
Eight hundred seventy-two. That's the number of days since Josh Barnett last fought on U.S. soil (when he forced Gilbert Yvel to tap to strikes). In the interim, we've seen three Super Bowl champions. Two major scandals involving self-portraits of penises. Two earthquakes near 9.0 in magnitude in Japan and Chile. Flooding in Pakistan. The deaths of both Michael Jackson and Osama bin Laden. The rise of Twitter and Facebook. Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien playing hot potato with the Tonight Show. Uprisings in Egypt and Libya and across the Middle East. And so on and so forth.
Duffee/Gaston and Osawa/Fujiwara added to DREAM 17
Two new fights are official for next month's DREAM.17 event: heavyweights Todd Duffee (6-2 MMA, 0-1 DREAM) vs. Nick Gaston (5-0 MMA, 0-0 DREAM) and a Japan bantamweight grand-prix third-place fight of Kenji Osawa (17-10-2 MMA, 2-1 DREAM) vs. Keisuke Fujiwara (11-3-4 MMA, 1-0 DREAM).
DREAM.17 is slated for July 16 at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo.
The Japan bantamweight tournament's finale also concludes at the show.
No North American broadcast plans have been announced for the show.
NAAFS Heavyweight Champion, Stipe Miocic signs with UFC
Undefeated NAAFS heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is taking his talents to the UFC.
The Ohio-based MMA promotion recently announced the signing, though UFC officials haven't made a formal announcement.
Miocic, a former NCAA Division I national wrestling qualifier, went 5-0 as an amateur and owns a 6-0 professional record. All of his victories have come via stoppage.
According to the release, Miocic's first UFC fight and opponent will be announced shortly.
Perhaps not coincidentally, the UFC long has considered hosting a show in northern Ohio. The 28-year-old Miocic fights out of the Cleveland area, which continually draws solid TV ratings for UFC broadcasts.
Five-round UFC non-title fights? Clay Guida says bring on the bonus checks
What would two more rounds have brought to Clay Guida vs. Anthony Pettis?
Would Guida (29-11 MMA, 9-5 UFC) have controlled Pettis (13-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) on the mat? Would Pettis have submitted Guida with a triangle? Would the "Showtime Kick" have made another appearance?
Guida has no idea. He had his hands plenty full for three rounds when they fought at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale. But you'll never have to convince him that five-round non-title fights are a bad idea. He thinks they're just another chance to put some extra cash in his pocket.
Jose Aldo expects a 'tough' fight against Kenny Florian in October
Perhaps the third time will indeed be the charm for Kenny Florian.
Fresh off his winning 145-pound debut over Diego Nunes at UFC 131 this past weekend, the former two-time lightweight number one contender was "more than likely" assured a title shot against division champion Jose Aldo.
It appears word travels fast back to Brazil.
UFC's Fabio Maldonado: 'Americans Will Take MMA Over'
UFC light heavyweight Fabio Maldonado opened up an interesting line of thought in an interview with Brazilian website R7.com recently (article translated by Eduardo Cruz of Fighters Only). Basically, he believes that Brazilians are falling behind Americans in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, in conditioning and other areas. Due to a bunch of recent losses by Brazilian fighters to their American counterparts, he was asked about the topic and was very frank with his response:
Questioned about a potential lack in the conditioning of Brazilian athletes compared to American ones, he went straight to the point:
"I agree with this analysis. Perhaps Brazilians miss the point in training. It's not that we train less, but sometimes we confuse the amount of training with quality. It's sad to say but Americans will dominate the mixed martial arts future," he told R7.com.
Rick Story on Fighting Nate Marquardt on Short Notice: 'No Hesitation'
Rick Story hadn't even yet gotten over the soreness of his May 28 win over Thiago Alves when the phone rang. On the other end was an offer to fight Nate Marquardt, a former middleweight No. 1 contender who was dropping down to welterweight and in need of an opponent after originally scheduled foe Anthony Johnson was forced out.
The proposed fight at UFC on Versus 4 would come with less than a month to recover, study and prepare. For some, the answer would have been a simple no. For others, they would have needed some time to think it over. But for story, the question to fight on short notice might as well have been a rhetorical one.
Bustamante’s Return Tops Slew of Brazilian Fights
Brazilian MMA icon and former UFC middleweight champion Murilo Bustamante will fight again.
Bustamante, 44, this week told Sherdog.com that he will return to the ring to headline a July 20 card from Rio de Janeiro-based promotion Clube da Luta (Fight Club) at Rio’s Via Show nightclub. The bout will be only Bustamante’s second since 2007, and his first since being stopped by Jesse Taylor last July in Australia.
Standing opposite the Brazilian Top Team leader will be Yuya Shirai, a Dream veteran and current welterweight champion of Japanese promotion Deep. The 170-pound bout will be one of two super-fights on the night, with the second pitting Delson “Pe de Chumbo” Heleno against Luis “Besouro” Dutra Jr. at lightweight.
Also slated for the July 20 card are two four-man tournaments with a bevy of recognizable names. The 154-pound bracket includes former UFC lightweight Ronys Torres, resurgent veteran Carlo Prater, Diego Braga and Igor “Chatubinha” Fernandes, while the 170-pound field hosts Octagon vet Edilberto “Crocota” de Oliveira, Daniel Acacio, Hernani Perpetuo and prospect “Zezao Trator,” Jose Gomes de Ribamar.
Bustamante’s return to action was just one in a slew of notable matches made by Brazilian promoters in June. Top Brazilian 205-pounder Glover Teixeira and former UFC fighter Antonio “Samuray” Mendes will vie for the vacant Shooto South America heavyweight strap Aug. 5 in the national capital of Brasilia. Less than three weeks later, Teixeira will compete again at Shooto’s private “Fight for BOPE” show in Rio, likely against Houston Alexander or Marvin Eastman.
"UFC on Versus 4: Marquardt vs. Story" weigh-ins set for June 25th
Weigh-ins for this month's "UFC on Versus 4: Marquardt vs. Story" event take place Saturday, June 25, at the Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center.
The same venue hosts the following night's Versus-broadcast fight card, which features a headliner between former middleweight Nate Marquardt and fast-rising welterweight prospect Rick Story.
Doors to the festivities open to members of the UFC Fight Club, the promotion's official fan club, at 1 p.m. ET. The public is welcome to enter at 1:30 p.m. ET.
UFC 131 'Prelims' ratings average 1.6 million viewers on Spike TV
Spike TV's "UFC Prelims" special for UFC 131: "Dos Santos vs. Carwin" on June 11, 2011, averaged 1.6 million viewers, up from the 1.3 million it scored for the UFC 130: "Rampage vs. Hamill" undercard offering back on May 28.
The two-fight broadcast from the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada featured the eventual "Knockout of the Night" and "Submission of the Night" winners.
Sam Stout proved his "Hands of Stone" are as lethal as ever when he caved in the right side of Yves Edwards face, delivering a scary -- and explosive -- knockout.
Former Sengoku featherweight champion Marlon Sandro ready to impress at Bellator 46
s Bellator's Summer Series Featherweight Tournament moves closer to its June 25th kick off date from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, the buzz continues to grow around Top 10 featherweight Marlon Sandro, who will be making his Bellator and United States debut LIVE on MTV2.
Sandro, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt who trains alongside UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo and Bellator bantamweight Eduardo Dantas at Team Nova Uniao brings an impressive 17-2 record into the tournament, and has made stops with Sengoku, Pancrase, and Shooto throughout his professional career. Known for his devastating knockout power, Sandro has recently put together a string of impressive knockouts, as his last four victories have come via first round KO for a total fight time of just 3:39.
Josh Barnett Licensed to Fight on June 18th in Texas
Josh Barnett has been granted a license to fight in the state of Texas. Barnett, who has faced licensing issues in the past with the California State Athletic Commission, was officially cleared today to compete on the Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum card on June 18th, where he will face Brett Rogers in the first round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Scott Smith vs. Tarec Saffiedine Announced for July 30th Strikeforce Card
Another day, another potential welterweight war added to the Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson card. One day after the promotion added Paul Daley vs. Evangelista Santos to the July 30th event in Hoffman Estates, IL, they found a fight for the guy Santos was originally rumored to face, Tarec Saffiedine. And Saffiedine will be facing the Hands of Steel, Scott Smith