Following Twitter-related release, Miguel Torres rejoins UFC roster
LAS VEGAS – Miguel Torres' UFC release proved a rather short one.
Following a press conference ahead of Friday's UFC 141 event, UFC president Dana White was joined by the former WEC champion.
White confirmed that despite the fighter's release from the promotion earlier this month due to a controversial Twitter message he posted, Torres has rejoined the organization. Torres' representatives confirmed the move when contacted by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Replacement Mitch Gagnon meets Johnny Bedford at UFC on FOX 2
With Eddie Wineland (18-8-1 MMA, 0-2 UFC) scratched from the card, UFC newcomer Mitch Gagnon (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has taken his spot on next month's UFC on FOX 2 card.
He now meets fellow bantamweight and Wineland's original opponent, Johnny Bedford (18-9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC), in a preliminary-card matchup, officials today announced.
UFC on FOX 2 takes place Jan. 28 at Chicago's United Center.
Aaron Rosa vs. James Te Huna slotted for UFC on FX 2 in Australia
A light-heavyweight bout between Aaron Rosa (17-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and James Te Huna (13-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is slated for March's UFC on FX 2 event.
Rosa recently tweeted news of the matchup, and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) subsequently confirmed the planned matchup with event sources.
Featuring a Thiago Alves vs. Martin Kampmann headliner and the opening round of the UFC's four-man flyweight tournament, UFC on FX 2 takes place March 3 (and airs live in the U.S. on March 2) at Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia.
Ed Herman vs. Clifford Starks Added to UFC 143
Ed Herman will look to continue his roll since returning from a severe knee injury, attempting to capture his third straight win since the layoff when he faces Clifford Starks at UFC 143 in February.
The UFC confirmed the fight's booking on Wednesday.
Herman (19-7) has looked spectacular in his first two bouts back from ACL and meniscus damage, finishing both Kyle Noke and Tim Credeur in less than one round apiece. His win over Credeur came via TKO in just 48 seconds, and he followed that up with a submission win against Noke with a heel hook.
Prior to the injury, Herman had struggled, losing three of his last four bouts.
Jamie Varner vs. Drew Fickett headlines HDNet's XFC 16 on Feb. 10
A lightweight bout between former WEC champ Jamie Varner (18-6-1) and UFC veteran Drew Fickett (41-16) will headline Xtreme Fighting Championships' next major event.
XFC officials announced the fight earlier today.
The show, "XFC 16: High Stakes," takes place Feb. 10 at Knoxville Civic Auditorium-Coliseum in Tennessee. The main card airs live on HDNet
Despite video blog, UFC's Krzysztof Soszynski undecided on potential retirement
It was news to Krzysztof Soszynski that he was retired from fighting.
Not that he hadn't previously considered it – but that he had announced it to the world on Monday evening.
"I'm sitting down surfing the net, and I come across Dana White's video blog," Soszynski (26-12-1 MMA, 6-3 UFC) told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I pop it on because I'm always a fan of those things, and next thing you know, there I am."
It would make sense that the Canadian light heavyweight appears on the UFC president's blog since he fought on the UFC's most recent pay-per-view card, UFC 140. The webisodes take a behind-the-scenes look at these events and everyone around them, and as of late, they frequently feature a fighter's raw moments immediately following a fight as a doctor checks him out. Victorious or not, viewers are often privy to intimate confessions and revelations they might never hear in public.
Such as a fighter who calls it quits, as Soszynski does in the bowels of Toronto's Air Canada Centre after a knockout loss to Igor Pokrajac.
Or did he?
"The truth is, I don't remember," Soszynski said. "The last thing I remember before the knockout was going into the cage, setting up across from Igor, and then shaking hands. The next thing I remember is I'm woken up in the back, fully dressed, and (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva came up to me, sort of gave me a hug and told me to keep my head up."
For UFC 141's low-key Nam Phan, MMA stardom admittedly has its perks
Spend 10 minutes talking to Nam Phan, and it's clear the UFC featherweight is in a good place.
The California-based fighter has trained in multiple disciplines, boxed professionally, plied his MMA skills across the globe, and after years of hard work, he's now cemented his place in the sport's big show.
Now, just days before a UFC 141 fight with undefeated Jim Hettes (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Phan (17-9 MMA, 1-2 UFC) admits life is pretty damn good.
"For me, making it to the UFC is like making the NFL," the featherweight recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "All the years, all the shows – I fought in Sengoku in Japan, and I fought K-1 – all the shows, all these years, it's all been worth it. I finally made it."
UFC 145 official for March 24, gets Ben Rothwell vs. Brendan Schaub
The UFC's return to Canada is now official for March 24, and a pair of heavyweights will clash on the card.
UFC officials today announced that Ben Rothwell (31-8 MMA, 1-2 UFC) and Brendan Scahub (8-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) have verbally agreed to meet at UFC 145, which takes place in Montreal.
The promotion had previously declined to name a specific date for the event, which is expected to take place at the city's Bell Centre.
Lentz vs. Dunham set for UFC on FOX 2; Wineland forced off card with injury
The night's three headlining fights remain in place, but UFC on FOX 2's undercard continues to undergo changes.
UFC officials today announced that Nik Lentz (21-4-2 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC) replaces an injured Paul Sass (12-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and faces Evan Dunham (12-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), while Eddie Wineland (18-8-1 MMA, 0-2 UFC) has suffered an injury in training and has been forced to withdraw from the card.
Wineland's opponent, Johnny Bedford (18-9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) – who was actually a replacement for Demetrious Johnson – now awaits a new foe.
UFC on FOX 2 takes place Jan. 28 at Chicago's United Center. The night's main card, which features three bouts, airs on FOX. Prelims air on FUEL TV.
Winkeljohn Analyzes Jones Versus Hendo, Evans.
For his next title defense, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones could face the winner of the Jan. 28 matchup between Rashad Evans and Phil Davis. He could also face Dan Henderson, who’s coming off a win in November over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Jones’ trainer Mike Winkeljohn likes how the champion matches up against all three possibilities.
“They all present different challenges,” Winkeljohn told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show.” “I’m not sure which one’s the biggest. Dan’s big right hand is always a big challenge. [He’s] somebody that could be able to close that gap and find a hole and try to get to Jon’s chin. That’s probably the dilemma with him, but he’s small. I don’t think he can outwrestle Jon. I think Jon beats him everywhere. I don’t think he can hit [Jones] with that right hand.”
Roberto Vargas is final addition to Bellator's season-six featherweight tournament
The field is set for Bellator's upcoming season-six featherweight tournament.
Early Bellator fighter Roberto Vargas (12-1 MMA, 1-1 BFC), whose only career loss came to Wilson Reis in a season-two tourney qualifier, is the eighth and final addition to the upcoming tourney.
Sources close to the fighter today confirmed his participation with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Vargas now joins Jeremy Spoon (12-0 MMA, 2-0 BFC), Genair da Silva (11-4 MMA, 1-1 BFC), Marlon Sandro (20-3 MMA, 3-1 BFC), Alexandre "Popo" Bezerra (12-1 MMA, 4-0 BFC), Ronnie Mann (21-4-1 MMA, 3-1 BFC), Wagnney Fabiano (14-3 MMA, 0-0 BFC) and Daniel Straus (17-4 MMA, 3-1 BFC) in the tourney, which kicks off on MTV2 in March.
The combined record of the eight tourney fighters is am impressive 119-20-1.
HDNet airs 'DREAM: New Year! 2011' live in its entirety
DREAM's ambitious year-end event, "DREAM: New Year! 2011," will air live in its entirety on HDNet.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) recently confirmed the plans with HDNet officials, who have set aside a nine-hour programming block to air the massive combat sports fight card.
Headlined by a heavyweight matchup between Fedor Emelianenko and Satishi Ishii, "DREAM: New Year! 2011" airs in North America at 1 a.m. ET on Saturday morning, Dec. 31 (10 p.m. PT Friday evening, Dec. 30).
A few additional bouts are expected to be added to the lineup in the next few days, but the current card includes:
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Satoshi Ishii
Ryo Chonan vs. Hayato "Mach" Sakurai
Champ Shinya Aoki vs. Satoru Kitaoka (for lightweight title)
Yuichiro Nagashima vs. Katsunori Kikuno (mixed-rules bout)
Champ Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Takeshi "Lion" Inoue (for featherweight title)
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Kazuyuki Miyata
Rodolfo Marques Diniz vs. Bibiano Fernandes (bantamweight grand-prix semifinal)
Antonio Banuelos vs. Masakazu Imanari (bantamweight grand-prix semifinal)
Hideo Tokoro vs. Yusup Saadulaev (bantamweight grand-prix reserve match)
Karla Benitez vs. Megumi Fujii
Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Peter Aerts (pro-wrestling match)
Atsushi Sawada and Shinichi Suzukawa vs. Kazushi Sakuraba and Katsuyori Shibata (pro-wrestling match)
Josh Barnett vs. Hideki Suzuki (pro-wrestling match)
Yuta Kubo vs. Nils Widlund (kickboxing match)
Masaaki Noiri vs. Kengo Sonoda (kickboxing match)
* A Tim Sylvia vs. Jerome Le Banner Pro Wrestling match has been announced today.
Travis Browne meets Strikeforce import Chad Griggs at UFC 145
Undefeated heavyweight slugger Travis Browne (12-0-1 MMA, 3-0-1 UFC) returns to action in March, and he'll welcome once-beaten Strikeforce vet Chad Griggs (11-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
UFC officials today announced the matchup, which will take place at UFC 145.
While complete details for the card have yet to be announced, UFC 145 takes place in March in Montreal. The city's Bell Centre is expected to host the pay-per-view event on March 24.
Verbal agreements are in place for Browne vs. Griggs, and bout agreements are expected to be finalized shortly.
Georges St. Pierre Named One of the Most Overhyped Athletes of 2011
Georges St. Pierre may be one of the top draws in the UFC, but he has not been immune from criticism as of late for his risk-averse style while Anderson Silva and Jon Jones continue to finish opponents with flash. Now, sidelined for the rest of 2011 and much (if not all) of 2012, it appears that St. Pierre's time being thought of as one of the two most elite fighters in the sport may be over.
St. Pierre's 2011 campaign and inability to get a stoppage win since early 2008 has him on Perry Lefko's list of the most overhyped athletes of 2011 at Sportsnet.ca:
Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White said in December 2011 that St-Pierre is still the most popular athlete in Canada in terms of his international recognition -- we're not so sure about that -- but the welterweight champion is sidelined indefinitely with damaged knee ligaments. And even before his injury, St-Pierre was taking verbal shots from the public, the media and fighters for his inability to put away opponents.
He grabbed the international spotlight in April for headlining the first UFC card in Toronto, producing GSP mania. A record UFC crowd of more than 55,000 packed the Rogers Centre to finally see the conquering Canadian hero and he went the full five rounds with Jake Shields in what was more of a clinic on how not to lose a fight than actually win it.
Yes, GSP had problems seeing out of one eye because of a shot in the fight, but we've seen fighters with far bigger issues turn it up a notch. It was boring at best and continued a pattern of St-Pierre going the full distance without delivering the knockout blow or submission. Heck, the fight before it on the card was way more entertaining than the main event.
Following risky move, Chicago MMA fighter paralyzed in amateur bout
This past Saturday at an MMA event in Joliet, Ill., 20-year-old amateur fighter Jeff Dunbar was stuck in a bad way.
In the ninth of 11 scheduled fights at a Dec. 17 Fight Card Entertainment event, fellow fighter Rudy Bahena clung to Dunbar's back, torqued a standing rear-naked choke, and had his opponent desperate enough to try the unthinkable.
Believing to be out of better options, Dunbar dove forward, hoping he could spike Bahena into the canvas. It was an ill-fated decision – one that's now cost Dunbar the use of his limbs and forever changed his life.
Jon Jones Receives No AP Athlete of the Year Votes
Despite having what many (including myself) feel is, without a doubt, the greatest year in the history of mixed martial arts, Jon Jones did not receive a single vote in the AP vote for Athlete of the Year. To Mike Chiapetta of MMA Fighting, this was proof that it is the mainstream that needs to catch up to MMA, not vice versa.
From the article:
I'm not arguing that Jones should have won the award. The winner, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, had an amazing calendar year. He won the Super Bowl, led his team to a 19-game win streak and has them in position to possibly repeat. Runner-up Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers won both the American League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young awards, the first pitcher to do that in 27 years. Third-place went to tennis star Novak Djokovic, who won 10 tournaments -- including three majors -- and finished the year with an exceptional 70-6 record.
Jones, MMA Fighting's Fighter of the Year, had arguably the best calendar year in MMA history, winning four matches overall, defeating three former UFC champions and becoming the youngest title holder in UFC history. He wasn't exactly invisible doing it, either. He was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and on the day of his title win, helped thwart a robbery, an act that resulted in major national attention.
If a boxer like Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather put together a year like that, you better believe that they would have earned votes.
But because Jones fights in a cage instead of a ring, his accomplishments go unappreciated and unrecognized. It's not like this was a small sample size; 212 alleged experts in sports cast ballots for the award.
The problem with saying this is an example of a larger ignorance of MMA is that to vote for Jones meant that the voters would have had to have not voted for who they truly felt was deserving of the award. Yes, maybe some (most) of the voters are ignorant of MMA, but would more information have caused them to vote for Jones over Rogers? Is a courtesy vote really that important?