Ohio commission receives request for March 3 Strikeforce event in Columbus
Although not yet announced by the promotion, Strikeforce's second trip to the popular Arnold Sports Festival is all but official.
Ohio Athletic Commission Executive Director Bernie Profato today confirmed to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the promotion has filed an event request for March 3 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
While a list of bouts has yet to be submitted for commission approval, the event is expected to feature the finals of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix, as MMAjunkie.com first reported.
Josh Barnett (31-5 MMA, 2-0 SF) and Daniel Cormier (9-0 MMA, 6-0 SF) square off in the conclusion of the eight-man competition, which began 11 months ago at IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J.
Additionally, featherweight Ronda Rousey (4-0 MMA, 2-0 SF) is expected to drop to bantamweight for a meeting with current champ Miesha Tate (12-2 MMA, 5-1 SF), who makes the first defense of her title.
Strikeforce noncommittal on Cris Santos' future; White says belt will be stripped
Strikeforce officials today issued a statement regarding Strikeforce women's featherweight champion Cris "Cyborg" Santos' failed drug test but offered few clues about what's next for the beleaguered titleholder.
In a statement posted on Strikeforce.com, CEO Scott Coker said the organization will allow the California State Athletic Commission's process to play out.
UFC president Dana White, though, painted a much bleaker future.
"She's getting stripped of the belt," White today told ESPN 1100 AM Las Vegas' "MMA Insiders" show.
White, part of the Zuffa ownership group that acquired Strikeforce in early 2011, also suggested Strikeforce's entire 145-pound female division could be scrapped.
Former UFC fighter Hermes Franca sentenced to 42 months in prison for sexual abuse of underaged student
A former Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight title contender has been sentenced to more than three years in prison after being convicted this week of sexually abusing an underage female student at his Clackamas martial arts school.
Hermes Franca Barros, 37, pleaded guilty in Clackamas County Court on Wednesday to one count of unlawful penetration and one count of first-degree sexual abuse. He was sentenced to 3½ years in prison.
He was arraigned in May on seven counts of first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of second-degree unlawful sexual penetration. The remaining counts were dismissed.
Barros will also have four and a half years of post-prison supervision and must register as a sex offender.
K.J. Noons vs. Josh Thomson targeted for 'Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier' in March
A pivotal lightweight match is likely headed to a yet-unannounced Strikeforce event planned for March.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that K.J. Noons (11-4 MMA, 3-2 SF) and Josh Thomson (18-4 MMA, 9-2 SF) have verbally agreed to meet.
As MMAjunkie.com first reported, "Strikeforce Grand Prix Final: Barnett vs. Cormier" takes place March 3 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The event airs live on Showtime with prelims on Showtime Extreme.
Noons rebounded from a two-fight skid with a decision victory over Billy Evangelista this past month at "Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal." The win put him one step closer to a coveted title shot against current champ Gilbert Melendez, who outpointed Jorge Masvidal in the event's headliner.
'Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine' live and official weigh-in results
LAS VEGAS – MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) is on scene and reporting live from today's official "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine" fighter weigh-ins, where all 18 contestants on the card will look to weight.
Included among the participants are Strikeforce middleweight champ Luke Rockhold and longtime MMA veteran Keith Jardine, who challenges the title holder in the evening's main event.
Cris Cyborg Suspended for Positive Steroid Test
Cristiane "Cris Cyborg" Santos, widely regarded as the best female fighter in mixed martial arts, has been suspended for testing positive for steroids.
The California State Athletic Commission announced on Friday that it has suspended Cyborg because her drug test following her most recent fight, a 16-second knockout of Hiroko Yamanaka, came back positive for metabolites of the anabolic steroid stanozolol. The result of the Cyborg-Yamanaka fight will be changed to a no decision.
Bryan Baker joins Bellator's season-six welterweight tourney
Bryan Baker has entered his third Bellator tournament. But this time, he's doing so in a new weight class.
Following a runner-up and semifinal finish in two earlier middleweight tournaments, Baker has joined the field for a season-six welterweight tourney.
Bellator chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney today announced the news.
The eight-man tourney kicks off in March, and the season airs on MTV2.
Baker now joins Brian Foster (18-5 MMA, 0-0 BFC), Karl Amoussou (13-4-2 MMA, 1-1 BFC), Carlos Alexandre Pereira (33-9-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) and War Machine (12-4 MMA, 0-0 BFC) in the tourney field.
Cesar Gracie Responds to B.J. Penn's Angry Tweet
"BJ Penn has apparently not come to terms with the beating he received at the hands of Nick Diaz...."
"At some point it is up to those around you to protect you from yourself. To take you aside and let you know you are wrong and help save you from your folly. Unfortunately for Penn he is surrounded by "Yes Men" that are unwilling to do that. The outcome will be predictable, resulting in a fighter that will never push himself to the fullest and will always have excuses for his losses."
- Cesar Gracie
UFC 141 pay-per-view (PPV) buys for 'Lesnar vs Overeem' could top 750,000
Not exactly, but considering that UFC 141: "Lesnar vs. Overeem" was held on a Friday night and not Saturday, coupled with the fact that Brock Lesnar was facing Alistair Overeem, an international fighter who was making his Octagon debut, and suddenly 750k seems like a home run.
Dave Meltzer breaks it down in his Wrestling Observer newsletter:
Meltzer: Brock beats most former UFC heavyweight champions
Most people's opinion's of a fighter don't usually go back more than a couple fights. A popular rule to live by in most MMA gym's is that you are only as good as your last fight. But when a fighter retires, you have to look at what he accomplished when he accomplished. Brock Lesnar has lost two fights in a row and announced his retirement from the UFC and sport of MMA.
Most fans have been harsh on Lesnar losing his last two fights in the way he did, but most forgot that not only did Brock Lesnar win the UFC heavyweight title after only three professional MMA bouts, a feat unprecedented in any combat sport, he successfully defended it two times. In his latest Wrestling Observer newsletter, Dave Meltzer discusess Brock's legacy:
The next question is Lesnar’s legacy. Most have been positive about it. The reality is he was an amazing athlete who won the title despite inexperience and a long layoff from competitive sports, succeeding based on athletic ability and a lifetime of wrestling to beat some solid people at their own game.
Former Strikeforce champ Sarah Kaufman on title snub: 'It's a slap in the face'
Sarah Kaufman's frustration is unmistakable.
By all indications, the former women's champ won't get a chance to win back the bantamweight belt any time soon. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the promotion is working on a title fight between current champ Miesha Tate (12-2 MMA, 5-1 SF) and Ronda Rousey (4-0 MMA, 2-0 SF) for March 3 in Columbus, Ohio, confirming initial reports that surfaced Wednesday.
That leaves Kaufman (14-1 MMA, 5-1 SF) in limbo instead of preparing for a fight she thought was hers.
"I didn't mind waiting for the title fight, and if I get stepped over, the waiting has pretty much been in vain," Kaufman said.
So she'll wait, as she's done several times in her career – for opponents, for exposure, and perhaps for respect. But she's not happy about it.
Mac Danzig meets Efrain Escudero at UFC 145 in Montreal
Mac Danzig (20-9 MMA, 4-5 UFC) today revealed his next booking, a UFC 145 matchup with Efrain Escudero (18-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC).
"Just signed to fight in March," Danzig posted on Twitter. "Opponent is tough as hell, but they all are. Efrain Escuerdo, March 24, Montreal."
UFC 145 takes place March 24 at Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. UFC executives later confirmed the Danzig vs. Escudero matchup, which likely takes place on the evening's preliminary card.
UFC on FUEL TV 1 adds Dillashaw vs. Watson, Brookins vs. Rocha
A pair of contests from the UFC's lighter-weight divisions has been added to UFC on FUEL TV 1, as T.J. Dillashaw meets Walel Watson and Jonathan Brookins faces Vagner Rocha.
UFC officials today announced the two new contests.
UFC on FUEL TV 1 takes place Feb. 15 at the 10,000-seat Omaha Civic Auditorium in Nebraska. Diego Sanchez and Jake Ellenberger clash in the welterweight headliner, and heavyweights Dave Herman and Stefan Struve meet in the co-headliner.
Heavyweight Jon Madsen signs with Bellator for upcoming tourney
UFC veteran Jon Madsen (7-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) is the latest addition to Bellator Fighting Championships' heavyweight roster.
Madsen's trainer and manager, Marc Fiore of Fiore MMA, today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the fighter this past month inked a deal that will see him compete in the promotion's next heavyweight tournament.
The timing of such a tournament is up in the air. A Bellator official said there are currently no plans for the heavyweights in its upcoming sixth season, but a tournament is planned for this year.
While he waits, Madsen is set to fight Jan. 21 in regional competition.
Brian Foster joins Bellator's season-six welterweight tournament
As expected Brian Foster (18-5 MMA, 0-0 BFC) has joined Bellator's upcoming season-six tournament.
Bellator officials today confirmed his participation in the eight-man tournament with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). Sherdog first reported Foster's entry.
The eight-man tourney kicks off in March, and the season airs on MTV2.
Foster now joins Karl Amoussou (13-4-2 MMA, 1-1 BFC), Carlos Alexandre Pereira (33-9-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) and War Machine (12-4 MMA, 0-0 BFC) in the tourney field.
UFC on FUEL TV 1 to feature both TV fights and Facebook bouts
The UFC isn't ditching its live streams of preliminary-card fights just yet.
FUEL TV officials today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that next month's UFC on FUEL TV 1 event will include some fights that stream for free on Facebook prior to the televised main card.
However, most bouts from the Feb. 15 card will air live as part of the cable channel's three-hour broadcast.
The latest UFC on FUEL TV 1 card includes:
Jake Ellenberger vs. Diego Sanchez
Dave Herman vs. Stefan Struve
Ronny Markes vs. Aaron Simpson
Jonathan Brookins vs. Rani Yahya
John Albert vs. Ivan Menjivar
Philip De Fries vs. Stipe Miocic