Renan Barao to fight Urijah Faber at UFC 148 for interim bantamweight title
Urijah Faber (26-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has his opponent for UFC 148's co-headliner and interim-bantamweight-title fight.
During tonight's new episode of "The Ultimate Fighter: Live," UFC president Dana White confirmed surging 135-pound contender Renan Barao (28-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) has gotten the slot.
The fight was booked after reigning champion Dominick Cruz (19-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) was forced out of a rubber match with Faber following a recent ACL injury.
Cruz and Faber currently are coaches on "TUF: Live," and their season-ending fight was slated for UFC 148, which takes place July 7 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Faber vs. Barao, which will be contested over five rounds, is the pay-per-view co-headliner behind the night's main event of middleweight champion Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen.
Barao initially was slated to fight Ivan Menjivar (24-8 MMA, 3-0 UFC) at UFC 148. Menjivar's next move is at this point unknown.
Strikeforce: Grand Prix Finale' weigh-in results: Barnett (248), Cormier (238) official
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) was on scene and reporting live from today's official "Strikeforce: Heavyweight Grand Prix Finale" fighter weigh-ins, where all 18 fighters successfully made weight for their upcoming matchups.
Today's festivities took place at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., which also hosts Saturday's Showtime- and Showtime Extreme-televised event.
MAIN CARD (Showtime)
Josh Barnett (248) vs. Daniel Cormier (238)
Champ Gilbert Melendez (153) vs. Josh Thomson (153)
Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante (206) vs. Mike Kyle (203)
Nah-Shon Burrell (170) vs. Chris Spang (169)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Showtime Extreme)
Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante (156) vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg (156)
Virgil Zwicker (204) vs. Guto Inocente (205)
Derrick Mehmen (205) vs. Gian Villante (205)
Quinn Mulhern (170) vs. Yuri Villefort (170)
Bobby Green (155) vs. James Terry (156)
Report: Fedor Reveals Retirement Plans
After much speculation, Fedor Emelianenko is calling it a career.
Following his June 21 bout against Pedro Rizzo in St. Petersburg, Russia, Fedor will hang up his gloves for the final time.
“June 21 will be the last fight of my career,” Fedor said, according to iSport.ua.
Fedor ruled the Japanese mixed martial arts scene, dominating many of the best heavyweights in the world during his tenure under the Pride banner.
Cody McKenzie vs Chad Mendes meet at UFC 148 at Featherweight
Fresh off of a victory on Tuesday night, Cody McKenzie has decided to drop down to featherweight and face Chad Mendes at UFC 148 in July. UFC officials on Friday announced verbal agreements are in place for the fight.
McKenzie (12-2) emerged from season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter unscathed, holding an undefeated professional record following the show’s finale. He then dropped back-to-back bouts to Yves Edwards and Vagner Rocha, before submitting newcomer Marcus LeVesseur at Tuesday night’s UFC on Fuel TV 3.
Even with the victory, however, McKenzie has decided it’s time to drop down from lightweight to the 145-pound division.
Missouri's ShoFIGHT launches pro series June 16 with Bailey-Parisyan, Grove-Martin
ShoFIGHT, a Missouri-based promotion with 19 amateur fight cards under its belt, has scheduled its first professional event for June 16.
Determined to make waves from day one, the debut card features Shamar Bailey vs. Karo Parisyan in the main event, with Kendall Grove facing Terry Martin in the co-feature.
The 15-fight lineup also features a host of additional notables on the card, including Marcus Aurelio, Lyle Beerbohm, Charles "Krazy Horse" Bennett, Shonie Carter, Karen Darabedyan, Roli Delgado, Drew Fickett, John Gunderson, Sevak Magakian, Aaron Rosa and Mike Wessel, among others.
ShoFIGHT 20 takes place June 16 at O'Reilly Family Event Center on the campus of Drury University in Springfield, Mo. Tickets, which are available at DruryTickets.com, run from just $18 to $118 for ringside seats.
ShoFIGHT was launched in April 2010, and the promotion has already held 19 sold-out amateur events in Branson, Mo. However, ShoFIGHT CEO J.T. Tilley said the promotion now has its eyes on establishing itself as the top regional pro promotion in the Midwest...
Michael McDonald Injured, Out Of UFC Interim Bantamweight Title Picture
A favorite to get a shot against Urijah Faber for the interim UFC Bantamweight title, Michael McDonald will not get his opportunity in July as a hand injury has put him on the shelf.
Wrestling Observer founder Dave Meltzer reported in his Thursday update that UFC president Dana White said McDonald's hand was injured but didn't go into details about the severity or how long he would be out for. Meltzer added that one source told him that McDonald was the favorite to get the nod against Faber.
As of this writing, McDonald had not acknowledged the injury on Twitter. Faber's opponent will be announced on Friday night's edition of The Ultimate Fighter Live. He was to fight UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz in the main event of UFC 148 in Las Vegas on July 7, but Cruz suffered a torn ACL in training and will be out indefinitely.
UFC 146's 12-bout broadcast plans complete with FX, Facebook specials
The UFC's first-ever five-bout all-heavyweight main card broadcast will be complemented by "UFC Prelims" specials on both FX and Facebook.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the plans with sources close to the event, and UFC officials are expected to make an announcement shortly.
"UFC 146: Dos Santos vs. Mir" takes place May 26 at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena. The night's main card, which features UFC champ Junior Dos Santos (14-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) vs. former titleholder Frank Mir (16-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC), airs on pay-per-view.
MAIN CARD (pay-per-view)
Champ Junior Dos Santos vs. Frank Mir (for heavyweight title)
Antonio Silva vs. Cain Velasquez
Dave Herman vs. Roy Nelson
Shane Del Rosario vs. Stipe Miocic
Lavar Johnson vs. Stefan Struve
PRELIMINARY CARD (FX)
Diego Brandao vs. Darren Elkins
Edson Barboza vs. Jamie Varner
C.B. Dollaway vs. Jason "Mayhem" Miller
Dan Hardy vs. Duane "Bang" Ludwig
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook)
Paul Sass vs. Jacob Volkmann
Kyle Kingsbury vs. Glover Teixeira
Mike Brown vs. Daniel Pineda
* - Not officially announced
Mark Hunt Forced Out at UFC 146, Stefan Struve Now Meets Lavar Johnson
Lavar Johnson is getting another big opportunity.
A source close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Johnson (17-5 MMA, 2-0 UFC) is expected to replace Mark Hunt (8-7 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in a heavyweight bout against Stefan Struve (23-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) at UFC 146, which takes place May 26 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Bellator 69 weigh-in results: Maiquel Falcao good on second try (Updated)
Bellator 69's official fighter weigh-ins are in the books, and all but one of four co-headlining tournament fighters successfully made weight on the first attempt.
Middleweight tournament finalist Maiquel Falcao weighed 188 pounds on his first attempt but was able to drop down to 186 pounds on a second try.
Today's weigh-ins took place at L'Auberge du Lac Casino Resort in Lake Charles, La.
The same venue hosts Friday's event, which includes Falcao vs. Andreas Spang (middleweight-tourney final) and Karl Amoussou vs. David Rickels (welterweight-tourney semifinal).
Tomorrow's main-card action airs on MTV2 following prelims on Spike.com.
BJ Penn rejects Josh Koscheck fight and insists he's 'not coming back anytime soon'
I've got bad news for all you B.J. Penn fans.
It looks like your Hawaiian hero won't be coming out of his self-imposed retirement to fight fellow welterweight veteran Josh Koscheck, despite getting called out by "Kos" earlier in the day on Twitter. In fact, he may not be coming back at all.
Live by the tweet, die by the tweet.
@joshkoscheck I know it costs a lot of money to live that lavish lifestyle, big house, fast cars & you need big fights but sorry I’m not coming back anytime soon!
And there you have it.
Bellator 69 weigh-in results
Here are the Bellator 69 weigh-in results. Maiquel Falcao was not able to make the middleweight limit on the first try and has two hours to lose two pounds. If he doesn't make weight, he's out of the tournament (info via Brian Hemminger of MMA Mania).
Maiquel Falcao (188) vs. Andreas Spang (185.8)
David Rickels 170.6) vs. Karl Amoussou (170)
Megumi Fujii (116) vs. Jessica Aguilar (115.6)
Ron Sparks (264.6) vs. Kevin Asplund (239)
Shanon Slack (146) vs. Booker Arthur (145.4)
Josh Quayhagen (158.2) vs. Cliff Wright (155.6)
Josh Burns (206) vs. Richard Hale (205.5)
E.J. Brooks (156.6) vs. Kalvin Hackney (156)
Andrey Koreshkov (170.8) vs. Derrick Krantz (170.8)
Mark Holata (250.5) vs. Abe Wagner (248.8)
Junior Assuncao vs Douglas Frey at Legacy Fighting Championship 13
Junior Assuncao now has an opponent for his Legacy Fighting Championship debut.
Sherdog.com learned Thursday from Legacy promoter Mick Maynard that the UFC veteran will square off with Douglas Frey at LFC 13, which takes place Aug. 17 in Dallas.
Maynard also confirmed several new bouts for the event, which airs on HDNet. Shark Fights vet Francisco Derek Campos, undefeated Brad Cox and ex-Bellator talent Steven Peterson will all see action, locking horns with Donnie Bell, Russell Brewer and Matt Hobar, respectively. The event will be headlined by a heavyweight title collision between Derrick Lewis and Jared Rosholt.
Rampage and Matt Brown on MMA@Work tonight!
This week hosts Josh "BlueSkiesBurn" Webb and Mike Hammersmith, who is filling in for Tim "gartface" Herb, welcome none other than Rampage Jackon to the show along with Matt Brown! They will also be giving away 3 BJ Penn fatheads, so make sure you tune in tonight at 6:30EST!
Bantamweight Michael McDonald auctions off UFC 145-worn fight shorts for charity
"Mayday" recently placed up for auction the actual shorts he wore during his UFC 145 knockout of former WEC champ Miguel Torres.
Interested buyers can bid on the shorts at ebay.com, and McDonald has committed to giving 100 percent of the proceeds to Crossover International, Inc., a 501.3c organization "that promotes using sports to spread God’s word."
McDonald is also willing to autograph or personalize the shorts if the winning bidder so desires.
"The reason I'm choosing to support Crossover International is because
we share a common cause, which is something I find incredibly valuable
and close to my heart," McDonald told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Going out into the world, spreading the good news of Jesus Christ and shining a light in a place that very few lights are shone, Crossover uses the sport of basketball to reach kids and show them that being a Christian doesn't mean that you can't
have fun by bringing the community together and putting the word of God
into kid's lives.
"If just one kid's life could be changed for the better, then it would all be worth it to me. That is why we are going to do our best to help Crossover International in their cause."
Josh Koscheck: UFC offered me BJ Penn fight and I said YES!
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight title challenger Josh Koscheck took to Twitter tonight and spilled the beans on the next fight he was offered by UFC Matchmaker Joe Silva ... none other than B.J. Penn. You know, the guy who is supposedly retired from the sport.
#UFC just offered me to fight BJ Penn...I said YES!!!!! Just waiting on him!!!!!! Let's scrap bra?
Rafael Natal vs. Andrew Craig slated for UFC on FUEL TV 4
A middleweight bout between Rafael Natal (14-3-1` MMA, 2-1-1 UFC) and Andrew Craig (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is slotted for July's UFC on FUEL TV 4 event.
Natal today announced the fight via Twitter.
UFC on FUEL TV 4 takes place July 11 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The event's main card airs on FUEL TV, and Facebook is expected to carry the prelims.
It's not clear where Natal vs. Craig will end up on the lineup.
UFC confirms Urijah Faber's new opponent to be revealed on Friday's edition of 'TUF: Live'
Friday's 11th episode of "The Ultimate Fighter: Live" features the season's final two quarterfinal fights, but the most newsworthy moment of the night will involve one of the season's coaches.
As expected, UFC president Dana White will on Friday announce Urijah Faber's new opponent for UFC 148, where "The California Kid" and the soon-to-be-named foe will compete for the newly minted UFC interim bantamweight title.
The replacement slot was necessitated when opposing coach and current bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz was forced to bow out of the card with a blown ACL.
"TUF: Live" features Cruz and Faber as opposing coaches. Following a two-and-a-half-hour debut episode in which an initial group of 32 was whittled down to 16, the series continues with one or two fights each week. After pre-taped content, the lightweights-only show concludes with live bouts.
The 11th episode sees Team Cruz's Vinc Pichel vs. Team Faber's Chris Saunders and a bout between teammates, as Team Faber's Al Iaquinta faces Andy Ogle. The winner advance to the season's semifinal bouts.
Leading candidates to face Faber in July include Renan Barao, who is currently scheduled to face Ivan Menjivar at UFC 148, and Michael McDonald, who recently earned an impressive knockout win over Miguel Torres.
Injury forces Sergei Kharitonov to withdraw from Tony Lopez fight on May 26 in Stockholm
Hard-hitting heavyweight striker Sergei Kharitonov injured his neck and was forced to withdraw from his upcoming mixed martial arts (MMA) fight against Tony Lopez at the "2012 Glory World Series" on May 26 in Stockholm, Sweden.
Golden Glory head coach Martijn de Jong recently confirmed the change on Twitter.
Kharitonov (18-5) was last seen disposing of Mark Miller under the United Glory banner earlier this year in Russia. It was a nice rebound win (under kickboxing rules) for the former paratrooper, who was bounced from the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix with a submission loss to Josh Barnett back in 2011.
Stepping in to take his place will be Swedish "Sledgehammer" Llir Latifi (5-2-1), who was previously booked to throw hands opposite Jeremy Horn until "Gumby" blew out his knee.
Nick Penner vs. Tom DeBlass targeted for UFC on FUEL TV 4
UFC light heavyweights Nick Penner (11-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and Tom DeBlass (7-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will meet this summer at UFC on FUEL TV 4.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed the planned matchup, which theScore.com first reported earlier today.
UFC on FUEL TV 4 takes place July 11 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. Broadcast plans for the event haven't been announced, but main-card action airs on FUEL TV, and prelims are expected to stream on Facebook.
Penner vs. DeBlass is expected to be part of the prelims.
UFC officials: Jason MacDonald not retiring following UFC on FUEL TV 3 loss
Despite his quick knockout loss to Tom Lawlor at Tuesday's UFC on FUEL TV 3 event, the 36-year-old Canadian middleweight isn't calling it quits.
"To set record straight ... [MacDonald] never said he's retiring," officials stated via the UFC Canada Twitter account. "Tough break last night. Hope to see him back soon."
In a FUEL TV-televised main card bout at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va., MacDonald suffered his third loss in four fights. Lawlor connected on a left hand to the chin and a right to the temple to drop MacDonald and pick up the TKO victory in just 50 seconds. He also earned a $40,000 "Knockout of the Night" bonus with the effort.
Prior to the fight, MacDonald hoped he could pick up a win and get booked for UFC 149, which takes place in his home country on July 21 in Calgary, Alberta. With the knockout loss, MacDonald likely faces a decent-sized medical suspension, which would make the UFC 149 plans unlikely.