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A head-to-head showdown between the UFC and Bellator highlights a slew of early 2017 events announced by the UFC.
UFC 208 will take place on Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. That will run head-to-head in the market against Bellator 170, which is headlined by Tito Ortiz vs. Chael Sonnen, just 35 miles down the road at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
- UFC 209 was announced for the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on Feb. 11.
- It returns to its home base of Las Vegas on March 4 for UFC 210. A venue was not announced.
- The UFC released several news UFC Fight Night dates: January 28 in Denver; Feb. 19 in Halifax, Nova Scotia; and March 11 in Brazil, venue TBD.
The middleweight matchup between Rashad Evans and Tim Kennedy could go on after all, just at a different time and place as was originally set.
Sources tell MMAFighting.com that plans are in the works for Evans and Kennedy, who were scheduled to meet at UFC 205 in New York City this weekend, to instead compete against each other at UFC 206 in Toronto.
The inevitable became a reality on Wednesday as Jon Jones was stripped of his interim UFC light heavyweight just days after receiving a one-year suspension in the arbitration case for his failed UFC 200 drug test. ESPN first reported the news, which marked the second time in the past two years that Jones has been stripped of a UFC title.
The UFC is going international in back-to-back months with a trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada in February and a trip to London in March.
UFC Fight Night Halifax will go down Feb. 19, 2017 at Scotiabank Centre while UFC Fight Night London is set to take place March 18, 2017 at The O2 in London. Specific broadcast details were not announced, though the events are expected to air on FS1.
Shane Carwin now has an opponent for his return to mixed martial arts competition.
The former UFC interim heavyweight champion, who recently announced he's coming out of a five-year retirement, will meet Iran's Amir Aliakbari, a fellow heavyweight, in the quarterfinal round of the RIZIN World Grand Prix open weight tournament on Dec. 29 in Saitama, Japan.
Additionally, the remaining three quarterfinal bouts are also set: In a previously announced fight, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic will take on former PRIDE 205-pound champion Wanderlei Silva; super heavyweight Baruto takes on heavyweight Tsuyoshi Kosaka, who takes the place of Jiri Prochazka (who dropped out due to a knee injury); and light heavyweight Valentin Moldavsky squares off with heavyweight Szymon Bajor.
A middleweight bout between Rashad Evans and Tim Kennedy is officially off Saturday’s UFC 205, but both fighters will receive their show money.
Unfortunately for Kennedy (18-5 MMA, 3-1 UFC), a replacement opponent will not be sought after Evans (19-5-1 MMA, 14-5-1 UFC) was forced off the event.
The most loaded lineup in UFC history just became a little bit less so.
The UFC 205 middleweight matchup between former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans and Tim Kennedy is off due to an issue with Evans' medical work. MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani confirmed an initial Tuesday report by ESPN.com.
George Sullivan has accepted a one-year suspension from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
Officials today announced the sanction, which is retroactive to Jan. 31 of this year, despite the fighter not actually failing a drug test.
The Top 10 ranked bantamweight had some comments regarding the “uncomfortable“ statements made by Cerrone.
During a joint appearance on The MMA Hour on Monday, the Long Island trio of Gian Villante, Al Iaquinta and Aljamain Sterling closed out the show with a long segment filled with hijinks. Many items were discussed, including their upcoming fights as well as the forthcoming UFC 205, for which they offered their predictions.
Yet when the topic turned to Donald Cerrone vs Kelvin Gastelum, Villante was surprised at Sterling’s choice as Sterling favored Cerrone to win.
Sterling “I’m going with Cerrone. He had that liver thing...”
Villante: “You ARE?!”
Helwani: “What happened?”
“Cerrone almost beat up Al - I mean Alj... (breaks into laughter)”
Helwani then asked for clarification as to what took place between Cerrone and Sterling, which Sterling delved into after some prodding, recounting an incident that took place at a promotional event (at around 4:00:40).
Flyweight Dustin Ortiz (15-6 MMA, 4-4 UFC) has stepped in for an injured John Moraga (16-5 MMA, 5-4 UFC) and will face Zach Makovsky (19-7 MMA, 3-3 UFC) at UFC 206.
UFC officials recently announced the change in plans.
RFA welterweight champion Brian Camozzi is set for a UFC debut.
A few months after winning the vacant RFA title, Camozzi (7-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has been tapped as a replacement for Irish fighter Charlie Ward (2-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who was ruled out of a UFC Fight Night 102 bout with Randy Brown (8-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) due to visa issues.
UFC officials announced the new Camozzi vs. Brown matchup via newsday.com.
This month’s UFC Fight Night 101 lineup has a late addition.
Light heavyweight Khalil Rountree (4-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will fight promotional newcomer and local product Tyson Pedro (4-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at the Australian event.
UFC officials announced the bout via heraldsun.com.au.
Another top-notch amateur wrestler will go down the pipeline from the mat world to Bellator MMA.
On Monday, Bellator announced the signing of three-time NCAA Division 2 wrestling champion Romero Cotton to an exclusive mixed martial arts contract.
While the card still needs a main event, the UFC’s return to Arizona is quickly taking shape.
UFC officials today confirmed three new matchups for UFC Fight Night 103, including welterweights Court McGee vs. Ben Saunders, lightweights Devin Powell vs. Jordan Rinaldi and lightweights Erik Koch vs. Tony Martin.
Invicta FC women’s bantamweight Irene Aldana is octagon bound.
According to multiple people close to the promotion, Aldana (7-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is targeted for a fight with standout Leslie Smith (8-7-1 MMA, 2-3 UFC) at UFC on FOX 22. Verbal agreements are in place, but contracts have yet to be signed.
Jon Jones wanted to be back in the cage sooner, but was happy the decision acknowledged he didn't knowingly cheat.
The UFC interim light heavyweight champion released a statement Monday following the decision came down from arbitrators that Jones would be suspended one year in his USADA doping case. The crux of the arbitrators' decision was that Jones was "reckless" in taking a sexual-performance pill given to him by a teammate and didn't do enough to comply with the UFC anti-doping policy.
In the statement, Jones said he was "hopeful for a better outcome," but happy he was cleared of intentionally taking performance-enhancing drugs.
For the third time, Kevin Ferguson Jr. will attempt his professional MMA debut later this month.
Ferguson Jr. (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) is set to take on Aaron Hamilton (0-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) in a welterweight fight on the prelims of Bellator 165, which takes place Nov. 19 at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.
Bellator officials announced the new booking today.
Despite getting destroyed by what he called a “lucky punch,” Kharitonov will return to combat sports action in less than a month when he battles Francisco Sandro da Silva Bezerra in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight and welterweight champion, BJ Penn, was recently cleared of all wrongdoing after one of his ex-employees filed a police report earlier this year accusing "The Prodigy" of sexual assault.
On Saturday night, Tony Ferguson put on one of the best performances of his career taking a unanimous decision victory over former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. It was the ninth straight victory for Ferguson - a record in the UFC for consecutive divisional wins as well as for consecutive wins without a title shot - and possibly (probably? one can never tell where Conor McGregor is involved) sets him up for the next lightweight title shot.
But Ferguson isn't only gunning for the lightweight strap, he's got multiple divisions in mind. Speaking with MMAJunkie in a post-fight scrum, Ferguson outlined his plan to vie for three UFC titles.