UFC to hold show in Toronto on April 30
The UFC will make its Ontario debut in April.
UFC president Dana White says UFC 131 will take place April 30 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
White says he expects the mixed martial arts show to be ''massive."
Ontario announced in August that it would allow mixed martial arts, starting in 2011.
Prior to that Premier Dalton McGuinty had always dismissed the idea of permitting the sport, saying it just wasn't a priority for Ontario families.
Ontario's change of heart came after successful UFC shows in Montreal and Vancouver, which both posted record sellouts for the MMA juggernaut.
Report: Strikeforce Commits To Arnold Expo Event
As expected Strikeforce will make its Ohio debut in March as part of the Arnold Sports Festival. Today, Ohio Athletic Commission Executive Director Bernie Profato confirmed that Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker since has committed to hosting a show in Ohio's capital city on March 6. The event is expected to air on Showtime from the 19,000-seat Nationwide Arena. Coker and Arnold Sports Festival co-promoter Jim Lorimer currently are working out details. The Arnold Sports Festival is three-day sports and fitness exhibition that draws tens of thousands of attendees. From 2007 to 2010, the UFC or WEC hosted a show in conjunction with the Arnolds but abandoned the slot this year to focus on continued international expansion. Profato continually calls the Arnolds/MMA event weekend "as perfect a marriage as you'll find in professional sports." Profato said a few organizations expressed interest in the vacant March slot, but after the two finally spoke, Coker recently confirmed the company's interest in holding a show. No details for the event are confirmed but a source hinted that the main event could be Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Rafael Cavalcante (Feijao) vs. Dan Henderson for the title.
Kizer "Shocked" With Phan-Garcia Scores But Takes Issue With Rogan Criticism
Keith Kizer plans to re-watch this past Saturday's fight between Leonard Garcia and Nam Phan at The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale, and if necessary, have a sitdown with the judges who rendered a controversial split decision in favor of Garcia. That's about the extent of what he can do other than relieve the judges of their positions, a call he believes is both premature, and, for now, unwarranted. Kizer, the Nevada State Athletic Commission's executive director, said that while he was "shocked" that only one of the fight's three judges ruled in favor of Phan, he does not believe he needs to "clean house" with current NSAC judges, as UFC commentator Joe Rogan suggested following the featherweight fight. "He may think some of the judges aren't as good as I do, and that's fine," Kizer on Monday said. "There's nothing wrong with him thinking that. "But I've gotten rid of several judges during my tenure, and every judge has to keep doing well if they want to stay a judge, so I don't disagree with cleaning house of officials that aren't worthy of it, and I've done so." Kizer said UFC actually does have a say in judges for fights-at least for some international events where MMA isn't regulated or there isn't enough staffing to do so.
Leonard Garcia Is "Pissed Off" About Joe Rogan's Criticism Of His "Fighting Style"
He also adds that he can't fight, as he calls it, Joe Rogan's fighting style. "It does piss me off, because I have nothing to do with the decision. ... it bothers me to hear him say some of that stuff he said. It's kind of a bad deal, but all it's going to do is fire me up for the next one. He talks about certain things that I do in the fight, but that's just my fighting style. I don't fight Joe Rogan's fighting style. I apologize to Joe Rogan, but I can't fight his style. That's not my style of fighting. What makes me who I am is my style of fighting, and people seem to enjoy it. I've won several Fight of the Night [bonuses] because of it, and I enjoy fighting that way. I think it's something the fans deserve, is to see two guys give it their all. And that's one thing I know about myself is I go out there and give it my all."
TUF 12 Finale fighters salaries: Demian Maia leads $398K payroll
UFC middleweight contender Demian Maia ($80,000) was the top earner at Saturday's The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) recently requested and today received the list of disclosed paydays from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The total disclosed payroll for the Dec. 4 show was $398,000.
Other top earners from the evening include winners Stephan Bonnar ($62,000), Leonard Garcia ($32,000) and Rick Story ($26,000), as well as main-card losers Kendall Grove ($28,000) and Johny Hendrickcs ($22,000).
The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale took place at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas and aired live on Spike TV.
The full payouts included:
Jonathan Brookins: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Michael Johnson: $8,000
Stephan Bonnar: $62,000 ($31,000 win bonus)
def. Igor Pokrajac: $10,000
Demian Maia: $80,000 ($40,000 win bonus)
def. Kendall Grove: $28,000
Rick Story: $26,000 ($13,000 win bonus)
def. Johny Hendricks: $22,000
Kenny Florian injured, forced to withdraw from UFC Fight Night 23
A highly anticipated lightweight main event between top UFC contenders Kenny Florian (14-5 MMA, 11-4 UFC) and Evan Dunham (11-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) will not take place as scheduled.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the promotion that Florian suffered an undisclosed injury while training for a planned matchup with Dunham and has been forced to withdraw from the bout.
The pair was expected to meet in the main event of "UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fight for the Troops 2," which takes place Jan. 22 at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.
The UFC has yet to announce the change, and it's currently unknown whether a replacement opponent will be found or if the matchup will be pushed back to a later date.
Florian's manager, Malki Kawa, declined to comment on the report when contacted by MMAjunkie.com.
Trainer: only top-10 opponents for UFC's Rick Story from here on out
Rick "The Horror" Story is quietly terrorizing the middle tier of the UFC welterweight division.
But his team says he's capable of much more. And after a decision win over Johny Hendricks (9-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) this past Saturday at The Ultimate Fighter 12, Story (12-3 MMA, 5-1 UFC) is looking for big things in 2011.
"I don't think he should be fighting anyone out of the top 10 now," Pat White, Story's longtime trainer, today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The 26-year-old Story turned in his fifth consecutive octagon victory by dominating Hendricks where he wasn't supposed to – the mat.
Rikuhei Fujii Claims King of Pancrase Crown
TOKYO -- Pancrase's penultimate event of the year at Differ Ariake on Sunday featured three title fights in which all participants had met in the ring before.
Light heavyweight King of Pancrase Ryo Kawamura made a small step towards redeeming himself from his embarrassing knockout loss to Yuji Sakuragi in September as he managed to fight to a tense majority draw in the rematch for the belt.
Yuki Kondo was looking for redemption as he dropped a unanimous decision to Wajutsu Keishukai RJW's Rikuhei Fujii in Cage Force back in September, but it was spoiled as Fujii again outworked the 85-fight veteran on the feet and on the canvas to claim Kondo's crown.
Following TUF 12 Finale loss, Michael Johnson says it's jiu-jitsu every day
LAS VEGAS – For Michael Johnson (8-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC), the difference between victory and defeat boiled down to one split-second decision.
Unfortunately, at this past Saturday's The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale event, Johnson made the wrong choice against Jonathan Brookins in the evening's main event.
"The opening round, I came out and I felt real good," Johnson told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I hit him with some big shots. I looked up, and I noticed I dropped him a little bit late. I was thinking, 'Here is my time to finish.'
"He did a great job of recovering. I just made a mistake and took a backstep a little too much and let him recover from the knockdown."
Joe Rogan: You Should Be Able To Leave It In The Hands Of The Judges
And he made his feelings on the outrage following the Nam Phan-Leonard Garcia decision known during the Rick Story-Johny Hendricks fight. "I don't think the last fight was close and the decision went the wrong way. It puts a tremendous amount of pressure on fighters not knowing what kind of officiating you're getting. It's gross. You should be able to leave it in the hands of the judges. You should be able to just fight. And we should point out, that is the situation because of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. It has nothing to do with the UFC. People keep saying 'oh the UFC!' We have no say whatsoever. And (NSAC executive director) Keith Kizer has denied that there's an issue. I think (Kizer) needs to clean house. There's a few very good judges surrounded by a bunch of incompetent morons, who know nothing about the sport. They need to do something about that, because it's ruining MMA. It's making people think that this sport is corrupt. It has nothing to do with corruption. It's sheer and total incompetence."
Coker: We're "Getting Very Close" With Fedor Negotiations
Prior to Saturday's "Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu II," a few industry insiders suggested officials might announce a contract extension with famed heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko during the Showtime broadcast. The announcement, of course, never came. But following the show, which took place at St. Louis' Scottrade Center, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker confirmed the organization has made some progress in the negotiations. Emelianenko, a former PRIDE champion who long held the title as the world's No. 1 heavyweight, was upset earlier this year by Fabricio Werdum. The submission defeat remains the only true and legitimate loss of his decade-long career and cost him a likely title shot with current Strikeforce champ Alistair Overeem. Emelianenko's M-1 representatives have discussed the possibility of a Werdum rematch – and/or future Overeem fight – and even considered a fight with Antonio Silva at one point. But Emelianenko first needs a new deal to replace his current contract, which has a single fight remaining on it. But the two sides have gotten no further than the negotiating table in recent months. But the sometimes-plodding talks in no way represent an Emelianenko disinterest in fighting again, according to Coker. "Fedor has never been the issue," he said. "But we don't talk to Fedor. We're talking to M-1, and it's an ongoing process."
The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale bonuses
LAS VEGAS – Pablo Garza, Cody McKenzie, Leonard Garcia and Nam Phan each earned $30,000 fight-night bonuses for their performances at The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale on Saturday.
Garza earned the "Knockout of the Night" award, McKenzie earned the "Submission of the Night bonus, and Garcia and Phan both earned "Fight of the Night" honors.
The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale recap
LAS VEGAS – Michael Johnson was so close to winning the 12th season of "The Ultimate Fighter," he was probably considering exactly where he was going to display his trophy.
Then suddenly, it was all snatched away.
Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu II recap:
ST. LOUIS – Dan Henderson wasn't about to be left out of the party.
On a fight night that featured some of the year's most vicious knockouts, Dan Henderson scored one of his own in a main-event fight with fellow light-heavyweight Renato "Babalu" Sobral.
Oregon Ducks and Oregon St. Beavers Took Civil War To Next Level
Randy Couture is flying in to coach the Beavers this week.
OK, Couture won't be at Saturday's Civil War football game.
He is going to be on hand for the Full Contact Fighting Federation's Cage Fights: Ducks vs. Beavers on Thursday at Gill Coliseum.
Couture is a popular MMA fighter and actor who was an assistant wrestling coach at Oregon State. He will coach the Beavers while former University of Oregon wrestler and mixed martial arts middleweight Chael Sonnen will coach the Ducks for the event.
There are 18 fights on the card with two FCFF championship bouts.
Oregon St. won the MMA Civil War by 2 bouts.
Mike Pierce Vs. Kenny Robertson Agreed For UFC 126 In February
Undefeated prospect Kenny Robertson will finally get his chance to debut in the Octagon in February when he faces a very tough challenge in Mike Pierce. The welterweights will lock horns at UFC 126.
The fight was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com on Friday by sources close to the match-up, with verbal agreements in place but no signed bout agreements at this time. The fight was originally reported by MMAJunkie.com.
Report: Bellator Season 4 to Air Live on FX
Bellator Fighting Championships’ days of having televised events pre-empted by high school football games and air racing competitions may finally be over.
After two seasons’ worth of sometimes-live, but often tape-delayed events on Fox Sports Net, the promotion is reportedly close to announcing a new, multi-year deal with Fox Entertainment Group which would see its fourth season aired live weekly on cable station FX. News of the deal was first reported Friday by MMAJunkie.com.
The report also states that while Bellator’s live shows -- which have been held on Thursday nights for each of its first three seasons -- would be broadcast on FX, replays and highlight packages will likely continue to run on FSN, as well as the Fox-owned “extreme sports” channel Fuel TV.
Asked to comment on the potential new deal, Bellator chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney issued the following statement to Sherdog.com: