A kinder, gentler Chael Sonnen talks Brian Stann.
Chael Sonnen's uspension from the California State Athletic Commission expired this week. As soon as he was clear to fight again, the 34-year-old was back to his ways — calling out fighters and injecting himself into the fray as soon as possible, seemingly making up for lost time.
But while he has been callous and combative in other interviews, it was a more genuine, less venomous Sonnen who answered reporter Megan Olivi's questions.
Hatsu Hioki meets George Roop at UFC 137 in October
Former Sengoku World Victory Road champion Hatsu Hioki will make his U.S. debut on Oct. 29.
UFC officials today announced that the Japanese superstar will face scrappy veteran George Roop at UFC 137.
Featuring a pay-per-view headliner between UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and former Strikeforce titleholder Nick Diaz, UFC 137 takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
All Fighters Pass UFC 132 Drug Tests, Nevada to Restart Out-of-Competition Testing
All 15 fighters that were tested for drug by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for the UFC 132 card have come back clean, according to Executive Director Keith Kizer in a statement put out by the commission. This means they passes a test for performance enhancing and recreational drugs.
The fighters that were tested include main eventers Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber, co-main eventers Wanderlei Silva and Chris Leben, Tito Ortiz, Ryan Bader, Carlos Condit, Dennis Siver, Melvin Guillard, Shane Roller, Rafael Dos Anjos, Brian Bowles, Aaron Simpson, Anthony Njokuani and Jeff Hougland.
In other news, an infusion of cash has also allowed Nevada to begin out-of-competition testing again, according to Kizer in an interview with Brett Okamoto of ESPN:
The commission has had the authority to randomly test its athletes since 2008, but financial restrictions have limited its ability to do so since 2009. That changed last month, when Gov. Brian Sandoval signed into law a bill that will feed close to $200,000 into the state's program during the next two years.
"We have the money this month, so I would be surprised if we didn't do some tests in July," Keith Kizer, executive director of NSAC, told ESPN.com. "Each test runs right around $200, so when it's all said and done, we'll test a pretty good chunk."
UFC Bantamweight Star Miguel Torres Wants Urijah Faber for 'Bragging Rights'
It wasn't all that long ago that Urijah Faber and Miguel Torres were the unquestioned kingpins of the under 145lb MMA world. Faber was the WEC featherweight champ from 2006 to late 2008. Torres was the WEC bantamweight champ from February 2008 to August 2009 and was a staple of top 10 pound-for-pound lists.
Now both men are coming off losses in the UFC's bantamweight division. Faber lost a unanimous decision to champion Dominick Cruz at UFC 132 and Torres dropped a decision to Demetrious Johnson at UFC 130.
Ben Saunders vs. Rick Hawn Highlights Bellator's Welterweight Tournament Field
Former UFC fighter Ben Saunders and season four tournament finalist Rick Hawn lead the field of Bellator season five welterweight tournament entrants, as announced by the promotion on Friday.
The welterweight tourney will open with quarterfinal round action on Sept. 10, at an event held at Caesers in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Among the group are several Bellator veterans.
The first round matchups are: Saunders vs. Hawn, Dan Hornbuckle vs. Luis Santos, Douglas Lima vs. Steve Carl and Brent Weedman vs. Chris Lozano.
Bobby Lashley vs. Eddie Sanchez headlines HDNet-televised Titan FC 19
A heavyweight scrap between Bobby Lashley (6-1) and UFC and Bellator Fighting Championships veteran Eddie Sanchez (12-5) will headline this month's Titan Fighting Championships 19 event.
HDNet officials recently announced the matchup. The all-high definition channel airs the evening's main card.
Titan Fighting Championships 19 takes place July 28 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan.
Big-show veterans Rob Kimmons and James Krause are also expected to appear on the card. Additional fight announcements are expected shortly.
UFC 136's Brian Stann expects pre-fight respect from Chael Sonnen.
Three weeks ago, an email showed up in Brian Stann's inbox – from Chael Sonnen (25-11-1 MMA, 4-4 UFC).
Sonnen had two buddies that were military veterans and struggling to find a job. Stann (11-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC), a former Marine who presides over Hire Heroes USA, a not-for-profit that finds jobs for veterans, immediately offered help.
UFC Quick Quote: Why did Junior Dos Santos ditch Ed Soares?
UFC heavyweight number one contender Junior Dos Santos tells MMAmania's own Eduardo Cruz (via Fighters Only) that he'll no longer be passing through the Black House facility in California since he is no longer a Tough Media client under Ed Soares. However, the Brazilian bomber doesn't expect any changes to his training camp or pre-fight preparations as he's still aligned with Team Nogueira and his original sparring partners.
Report: Nate Marquardt in Talks With Bellator?
Much discussion in the last two weeks has focused on the fall out from the Nate Marquardt situation, but one aspect that hasn't been mentioned much is what the immediate future holds for Marquardt as a fighter. For now at least, he's blacklisted from the UFC, and presumably Strikeforce as well, leaving him with limited options.
Now, reports are that there may be some interest from Bellator in signing Nate. ESPN Insider (subscription required) has the scoop:
ESPN is hearing from a source inside Bellator, who contends the company actually tendered an offer to Marquardt. In addition, reports indicate Bellator was/is interested in having him compete at middleweight.
Antonio Rodrigo 'Big Nog' Nogueira on Dana White: 'He's Not a God
UFC President Dana White didn't wait very long to voice his opinion that Wanderlei Silva shouldn't fight again after Silva's KO loss to Chris Leben at UFC 132. That didn't sit very well with another Brazilian legend who's on the downward slope of his own career, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
Nogueira spoke to Brazil's R7 Esportes (translated by Tom Mendes):
"I think he was unfortunate with his comments. They're idols of the sport, (Dana's) not a God who decides on everyone's career.
I loved the fact that Tito Ortiz won his last fight. You see that these people were not champions for nothing. Ortiz, Wanderlei and Fedor were top fighters for a reason. But Dana White can't decide that, he'll have to eat his words regarding Tito (laughs)"
Tom Lawlor Injured, Off UFC on Versus 5 Card, Ed Herman Now Faces Kyle Noke
Kyle Noke was scheduled to face Tom Lawlor at UFC on Versus 5 in a solid middleweight bout. Unfortunately, an injury has forced Lawlor off the card. The Telegraph is now reporting that Lawlor's replacement will be Ed Herman, making for a fight that is just as, if not more, interesting.
Noke is currently riding a five fight win streak, dating back to his February 2008 KO loss to Scott Smith. He also appeared on The Ultimate Fighter, where he lost to Kris McCray. Since the TUF stint, Noke has gone 3-0 in UFC bouts, finishing each in under two rounds.
Josh Koscheck to Fight at 185 in Return Fight?
UFC welterweight Josh Koscheck has been out of action ever since Georges St. Pierre broke his orbital bone in their welterweight title matchup at UFC 124 last December. He has been unable to train due to the injury, and told Dana White in one of his video blogs that he even had numbness on that side of his face close to three months after the surgery. But it appears he's finally ready to make his comeback, and for some reason he's leading people to believe that it's going to be at 185 pounds at UFC 138 in San Jose, for one fight only. Here's what he tweeted today:
did ask for my next fight to be nov 19 in san jose at 185 :) RT @dethrone @joshkoscheck who you asking to fight next?
FYI I only want 1 fight at 185 then back to WW. :) just something real fun for the fans.
UFC 136: Chael Sonnen opens as -215 favorite over Brian Stann
Despite what will be a 14-month layoff due to out-of-the-cage issues, Chael Sonnen has been tapped a sizable favorite over Brian Stann.
As MMAjunkie.com reported on Wednesday, Sonnen and Stann have agreed to meet at UFC 136, which takes place Oct. 8 in Houston.
Today, noted oddsmaker Joey Oddessa told MMAjunkie.com Radio he's opened the line with Sonnen as a -215 favorite and Stann a +175 underdog.