Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen Rematch Date Could Be Changed
In March, the UFC officially announced the date and location of the Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen rematch, but now the timing of the fight appears to be up in the air.
At a press conference following Saturday's UFC on FUEL event, UFC president Dana White confirmed that the date is no sure thing. In trying to finalize the show -- originally scheduled for June 23 -- the UFC has come up against some resistance because Rio happens to be hosting a United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development during the same week.
"The problem is, they don't like the idea of us coming the same time this United Nations convention is going on," he said. "The other problem is hotel rooms. Most of the hotel rooms are being taken up. And we don't think, we know that the Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen fight is one of the biggest sporting events this year, in the world."
Alistair Overeem breaks silence, confident he will fight Junior dos Santos at UFC 146
Embattled Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight number one contender Alistair Overeem, who put his UFC 146 headliner opposite Junior dos Santos in jeopardy after failing a pre-fight drug test, has finally broken his silence.
But "Demolition Man" has (still) refused to address his upcoming hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), scheduled for April 24, 2012 in Las Vegas.
Instead, Overeem broke down his gameplan for his championship fight against "Cigano," (still) scheduled for May 26 at "Sin City's" MGM Grand Garden Casino (until we hear otherwise).
Perhaps "The Reem" knows something we don't?
Check out the transcript from the Dutch striker (via Caged Insider), who was a guest on last night's edition of Spike TV's "MMA Uncensored Live," after the jump.
"I am bigger, I am stronger, I am better in the stand-up and I'm better on the ground. So for me, I don't think about what he is going to do to me. I think about what I am going to do to him and I am only thinking about what I am going to do to him. I am going to be ready wherever the fight takes me. I do prefer to strike, I do prefer a knockout over a submission win but I'm going to be ready for anything ... I'm going to get this guy, I'm going to beat him. Nothing scares me about Junior dos Santos. Everything he's doing, I've seen it before. I'm not worried about it, I've experienced it all. There's no fear, there's only two things - trained and untrained and when I step into the Octagon on May 26 I'm going to be trained."
Tito Ortiz ponders future in the WWE
Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz expects Forrest Griffin to be his final fight with the promotion on July 7, and he hinted his future could be in the WWE.
In his prime Ortiz defended the 205lb belt more times than any other before or after him. A devastating ground-and-pound exponent, the Huntington Beach Bad Boy became one of the most popular figures in the sport.
However, a run of injuries has led to him winning just one of his last eight fights, and it is widely expected that he will bow out against Griffin. The pair have won one fight each, so this settles the trilogy.
"It's my final hurrah, Forrest brings the best out of me and vice-versa, and on July 7 we're gonna get some late fireworks," Ortiz told ESPN.
"I've had some major surgeries but I took the fights anyway, and I've shown that I'm able to compete. A lot of athletes don't compete with injuries, but I have. Those fights with Forrest were tight, and a completion of the trilogy should be the right way to end my career...
Tito Ortiz content with upcoming retirement, hoping for UFC front-office job
Yes, Tito Ortiz is going through with his planned retirement. His UFC 148 bout with Forrest Griffin will be the final one of his illustrious career.
For real. Seriously. No joking, you guys.
While some fighters find retirement too uncomfortable and a return to the cage too enticing, the 37-year-old Ortiz told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he's preparing himself mentally for the end of the line.
"It's my last fight after 15 years," Ortiz told MMAjunkie.com while in Stockholm for promotional duties and fan events at UFC on FUEL TV 2. "I don't know what it's going to feel like to walk out for the last time, step in the octagon for the last time, to walk out of the octagon for the last time. Honestly, man, I don't know what to expect."
In fact, Ortiz (16-10-1 MMA, 15-10-1 UFC) said he recently signed a contract for his bout with Griffin (18-7 MMA, 9-5 UFC), which is part of the pay-per-view main card of UFC 148. The bout takes place July 7 at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena. As Ortiz put pen to paper for the fight, just that simple act put him in a nostalgic mood...
James Te Huna To Face Brandon Vera At UFC On Fuel 4 In July
Light heavyweight slugger James Te Huna will return to the octagon in July, and he'll be facing a veteran who will be making his comeback from injury. UFC on Fuel doesn't have a date or location yet, but it has a fight. The source? Te Huna himself tweeted about the fight a little while ago:
Jamie Te Huna
I'm fighting Brandon Vera, UFC on fuel 4
Apr 12 via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply
Te Huna (14-5) has competed four times in the UFC, picking up three wins. His only loss was to UFC on Fuel 2 main eventer Alexander Gustafsson by first-round submission at UFC 127. His last two bouts have lasted a total of two minutes and fifty-five seconds, with the New Zealand native winning by KO over Ricardo Romero and TKO over Aaron Rosa, respectively.
UFC Supports International MMA Federation With Olympic Aspirations
The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Thursday officially threw its support behind the creation of the new International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF).
The UFC statement said the promotion “wholeheartedly supports this new initiative as well as its leader, IMMAF President August Wallén, who will spearhead the initial growth of this Federation.”
Wallén is a mixed martial arts trainer, who also holds a 6-1 professional record in the sport, as well as a 4-1 amateur record.
IMMAF, through the organization of national mixed martial arts federations, hopes to enable the possibility of international amateur competitions with a common set of rules and regulations, furthering the growth and development of the sport on a worldwide level.
One of IMMAF’s primary goals is to help MMA become and Olympic sport...
Brandon Saling's appeal unsuccessful, license revocation stands in Ohio, NJ
In a 3-0 vote, the Ohio Athletic Commission today denied Brandon Saling's appeal of a license revocation that was handed down this past month after it was discovered he lied about his criminal background.
Saling's status as a sex offender and felon came to light when he fought Roger Bowling (11-2 MMA, 4-2 SF) at "Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey" on March 3. In 2004, a then-18-year-old Saling (8-6 MMA, 0-1 SF) was indicted in Ohio for gross sexual imposition following an incident in which he and friend had sexual relations with two underage girls. Four years later, he went to jail on a domestic violence charge.
On an application he filed prior to the Strikeforce fight, Saling marked "no" when asked about previous convictions beyond traffic offenses.
Ohio initially revoked Saling's license on March 6. He subsequently filed an appeal. Profato said a character witness testified on his behalf during today's appeal.
Strikeforce released Saling following the loss and subsequent controversy over his past. (UFC president Dana White said he'd never fight under the Zuffa umbrella again.) Now 26, the fighter admits he made grave mistakes earlier in his life, but he said he's since been trying to better himself. He also denied being a member of any white supremacist groups despite tattoos linked to Neo-Nazi culture that were visible to viewers of Strikeforce fight, which resulted in a TKO loss to welterweight Roger Bowling on the Showtime Extreme-televised preliminary card.
"Everyone thinks I'm this child predator, like I'm hiding out in the bushes being this sick [expletive] kind of person," Saling said. "That's not me by no means. The charges were because of the age difference between us. It's not like I held anyone down and made them do anything. I know what I did was wrong, and I wish I could go back, but I can't.
"I can get (my tattoos) covered up. If that's the problem with me fighting for anybody, I can get it covered up. Maybe I could change it."
Trio of Canadian MMA Promotions Merge to Create Aggression Fighting Championship
Three Canadian MMA organizations in Western Canada have merged to create the self proclaimed “single largest MMA organization in Canada”, named Aggression Fighting Championship.
Aggression MMA, Armageddon Fighting Championships, and AX Combat have now pooled their efforts in providing the best shows available to Canadian MMA fans under this new banner, which will now hold between nine and eleven fight events per year, with shows taking place in Edmonton and Calgary in Alberta, and Victoria, British Columbia – with expansion plans slated for the latter half of 2012.
The newly formed AFC will unveil its new branding shortly. Fight fans will get to see the new promotion in action at AFC 8 in Victoria on April 14th, AFC 9 in Edmonton June 8th, and AFC 10 in Calgary on June 15th. More details on these and upcoming events will be released shortly...
UFC on FUEL TV 2's Brian Stann says military past now staying private
Brian Stann has trotted out his Marine past for the benefit of his past two MMA employers on many occasions, including his upcoming fight with middleweight Alessio Sakara at Saturday's UFC on FUEL TV 2 event.
He's done it to the point where some fans have wondered if it's his only selling point.
Stann, of course, has always said he's trying to help the gears of promotion, not trying to exploit honor.
But a recent appearance FUEL TV's "UFC Ultimate Insider," which hyped his upcoming fight with Alessio Sakara at UFC on FUEL TV 2, proved too invasive even for him. Now, he's drawing boundaries as to what can and cannot be discussed.
"I don't have to go through those memories of my life with other people," Stann told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Those are my private memories. I did it once. It's out there. I hope that it was for the better of the sport. I hope it was for the better of the men and women who served, and let it be that."
After latest injury, UFC on FUEL TV 2's Alessio Sakara considered retirement
After a series of grueling bouts and countless injuries that left his body a broken mess, Alessio Sakara considered calling it quits.
An ACL surgery this past July was nearly the final nail in the Italian fighter's MMA coffin.
But Sakara, who now meets fellow middleweight contender Brian Stann at Saturday's UFC on FUEL TV 2 event, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) encouragement from friends and family made him realize he couldn't give up on his dream.
So Sakara (15-8 MMA, 6-5 UFC) and Stann (11-4 MMA, 5-3 UFC) now clash at Stockholm's Ericsson Globe Arena. Their bout is part of Saturday's FUEL TV-televised main card following prelims on Facebook.
Rolles Gracie In Consideration to Face Fedor Emelianenko in Russia
Fedor Emelianenko will next compete in June in his home country of Russia against an as of yet unnamed opponent, but a new contender has entered the fray.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and student of legendary trainer Renzo Gracie, Rolles Gracie is now under consideration for the bout with Emelianenko on June 21 in St. Petersburg.
While there is no deal in place at this time, Gracie is one of the leading candidates to potentially land the spot against the former pound-for-pound king later this year.
With a 6-1 record overall, Rolles Gracie may have far less experience in the cage than Emelianenko, it doesn’t mean he’s not a competitor who has show drastic improvements over the last year.
Numbers Never Lie: UFC 145 Jones vs. Evans
Jones comes from a strong Greco-Roman wrestling background and his skills have translated very well to MMA. His takedown accuracy of 63.6% is the very best in light heavyweight history. He’s already scored 21 takedowns, 4th most in division history, and his 3.32 takedowns per 15 minutes average is the 4th highest in division. Aside from winning takedown battles, Jones shows great control on the ground, spending only 12 seconds in the UFC on his back.
100% Takedown Defense
Jones has never been taken down, an impressive feat considering he’s fought high level wrestlers like Quinton Jackson, Ryan Bader, and Jake O’Brien. In the case of O’Brien, who holds the UFC record with 6.44 takedowns landed per 15 minutes, Jones defended all four attempts by O’Brien. Jones’ takedown defense should be one of his biggest weapons when he faces the takedown-hungry Rashad Evans.
Outlands Opponents by 2.4 Strikes per Minute
Jones is known for the unorthodox striking techniques that he displays in the Octagon, but what may surprise most is that he’s actually quite efficient in this area. Jones’ strike differential is 2.40, the fourth best total in UFC history. This means that Jones lands 2.4 more strikes every minute than he absorbs...
Bobby Lashley vs. James Thompson to headlined Super Fight League 3 on May 6
The headliner is set for Super Fight League 3: heavyweights Bobby Lashley (7-1) vs. James Thompson (17-14).
The Indian-based organization today announced the fight, which takes place May 6 at IGI Stadium in New Delhi. The entire lineup streams on YouTube.
Other announced SFL 3 bouts include light heavyweights Trevor Prangley (23-9-1) vs. Baga Agaev (26-11), middleweights Doug Marshall (14-5) vs. Zelg Galesic (10-6), and 125-pounders Lena Ovchynnikova (8-1) vs. Joanne Calderwood (1-0).
As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) reported this past week, Lashley is in the running for a currently unannounced June 21 event in Russia for a fight with Fedor Emelianenko (33-4). The SFL booking makes that possibility a little less likely.
Nick Diaz, World Champion Braulio Estima Agree to Meet in BJJ Superfight
Braulio Estima, one of the best Jiu-Jitsu players in the world, will welcome Nick Diaz back to the world of BJJ.
The Diaz vs. Estima BJJ superfight, which will be contested at 180 pounds, will take place at the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo on May 12 in Long Beach, Calif., according to WJJE officials.
The 31-year-old Estima has won a plethora of BJJ competitions over the past decade. He most recently defeated Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza in a super-fight at the 2011 edition of the prestigious Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling Championship and won gold medals at the 2009 ADCC tournament in the 88kg and Absolute divisions. He is currently training with the Blackzilians in South Florida in preparation for his MMA debut later this year.
Gilbert Melendez wanted a big UFC name next, but doesn’t see the same eagerness from them
One of the best Lightweight fighters in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) today, Gilbert Melendez, has long desired to get his chance to enter the world-famous Octagon and test his skills against the best of the best in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) ranks to prove that he is deserving of being called the best 155-pound fighter in the world.
Rumors ran rampant last year that "El Nino" was set to take his talents to the eight-walled cage, but were quickly shot down as he was matched up with Jorge Masvidal at Strikeforce: "Melendez vs. Masvidal" on Dec. 17, 2011.
Gilbert's training partners, Jake Shields and Nick Diaz, made the jump from Strikeforce to the UFC in 2010 and 2011, respectively, but he was left to hold the fort down with the San Jose based promotion as its poster boy Lightweight champion. Though a move over the world's largest MMA promotion to join his Cesar Gracie trained companions isn't in his near future, he would settle for Zuffa to send down some of the best Lightweights currently in the UFC to challenge him for his Strikforce throne.
Those pleas, unfortunately, have fallen on deaf ears and everyone, for the time being, is staying put with their respective organizations.
George Roop vs. Antonio Carvalho in the works for UFC 149 in Calgary
A featherweight bout between George Roop (12-9-1 MMA, 2-5) and Antonio "Pato" Carvalho (13-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) is in the works for UFC 149.
A source close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) verbal agreements are in place for the fight. "Showdown" Joe Ferraro initially reported the matchup.
UFC 149 takes place July 21 at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo headlines against an opponent to be announced.
Bellator 64 TV Ratings Match Season High, but Future on Spike Holds the Key
The TV ratings for Bellator 64 on Friday night tied the Season 6 high for the promotion, drawing 175,000 viewers on MTV2.
The season low to this point is 108,000 for Bellator 61, with the five weeks thus far averaging 153,400 viewers per episode.
Those numbers pale in comparison to the oft maligned TUF: Live TV ratings that just dipped below one million viewers for the first time in Ultimate Fighter history, but the comparison is a difficult one to make.
Just like UFC programming on Fuel TV doesn’t do as well as programming on FX, Bellator’s programming on MTV2 suffers from the lower availability of the network and MTV2 not being known for sports programming.
Bellator’s season average of viewers per episode has steadily declined over the past three seasons...
Thiago Alves vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama Targeted for July UFC Even
Yoshihiro Akiyama still has a job in the UFC, and now has his next opponent set, as well.
Despite losing four straight in the octagon, Akiyama's spirited performances have ensured him at least one more go, and it will come against Thiago Alves at a July event -- most likely UFC 149 -- according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
The two have both agreed to the matchup, sources told MMA Fighting.
Michael Schiavello: 'Everyone is crucifying Alistair Overeem, but he hasn't technically cheated'
By now, everyone in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community is aware of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Alistair Overeem testing positive for high levels of testosterone during a random drug test by the NSAC, directly following a press conference for UFC 146.
But is Overeem being unfairly targeted?
That's the question "The Voice," Michael Schiavello, wants answered and is the question he was asking his colleagues on the panel of HDNet's "Inside MMA."
"You know, while we're talking about the subject, Kenny, I just wanna chime in here on a couple things that have been playing on my mind, the last week or so, since the news of Alistair (Overeem) broke. Alistair doesn't have a license with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), so how are they testing him in the first place when he doesn't have a license with them? By what jurisdiction are they testing him? And 'B,' everyone seems to be hanging Alistair out to dry. They've been nailing him to the cross and crucifying him, but it's still two months away from his fight. You know, he hasn't technically cheated. Because, unless he pisses hot on the fight night, how could he possibly have cheated? There's still an opportunity he can get from the 14:1 down to the allowed 6:1 level by fight time. But we're calling him out as a cheat, two months out from a fight?"