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As it turns out, Mirsad Bektic will be able to fight at UFC 204.
The UFC announced Tuesday featherweight Bektic will face Russell Doane. Doane takes the fight on five days' notice and is the third-announced opponent for Bektic.
Australian Alex “The Hulk” Volkanovski will get his long awaited shot inside the Octagon as he steps up to face Jon Tuck in the UFC next month.
Riding a ten-fight win streak, Volkanovski replaces French fighter Mehdi Baghdad who was forced off the card due to an injury. Confirmation of the bout came via Tiger Muay Thai on social media earlier today.
Volkanovski (13-1) started off his career as a welterweight winning three on the trot, including a stoppage over current UFC fighter Anton Zafir before losing to Corey Nelson, in what has been his only career loss. Since then, Volkanovski has bounced between the featherweight and lightweight divisions where he has wracked up 10 wins on the trot. Impressively, only one of those fights has gone to a decision. He was awarded the Fight News Australia domestic fighter of the year in 2014 and has gone on to capture both the Australian Fighting Championships and the Pacific X-Treme Combat titles. “The Hulk” currently splits his training camps between Freestyle Fighting Gym and Tiger Muay Thai.
Fighting out of Guam, Jon Tuck (9-3) has competed in the UFC six times however has struggled to win two fights in a row for a mixed 3-3 record in the Octagon. His victories have come against Tiequan Zhang, Jake Lindsey and Tae Hyun Bang. The 32-year-old is tough to put away with all his career losses coming via a decision, including an Ultimate Fighter loss against Al Iaquinta. He last competed back in May, losing a split decision to American Josh Emmett.
Jose Aldo wants to leave the UFC and the sport for good, and says that not even an offer to rematch Conor McGregor would change his mind.
In an interview with Brazilian sports channel SporTV on Monday, Aldo said that not even a call from UFC president Dana White saying that he would fight McGregor would convince him to not leave the promotion or retire from the sport.
"No. Not even that because that would be the right thing to happen," Aldo said. "This fight is the fight that should happen next in the featherweight division. I conquered that [right] ever since I entered the UFC. I saw other champions losing and fighting right away for the belt. That was the right thing.
"I didn’t fight for the belt. They made me fight for the interim title, I went there and won, and still have no definition whatsoever. To me, not even a fight with McGregor… It’s not about him being fighting now or not. I don’t care where he’s going. I want to follow my path. Today, the right is me getting released from the contract."
"It’s hard for me. If there’s something good [the UFC can do] is release me," he said. "I don’t want to fight for other promotion. I’m at the level above. There’s no reason why leave the first division to fight at the second division when I’m well appreciated in the first division, it would mean taking a step back. I don’t want to fight for other promotion. I want to follow my way in a different sport, do new things. I’m a young guy, and I want to enjoy that side, too.
"A good thing would be if they release me without a fight. I’m not mad at the UFC or no one else. I like Dana, I have a special love for Lorenzo [Fertitta], a guy that always treated me well since I got to the UFC. If there’s something good from this, I hope they release me so I can follow my way and the UFC follows its way."
A UFC fighter has been removed from his scheduled fight after a domestic violence arrest.
Michael Graves was arrested by Atlanta police Saturday for misdemeanor battery (family violence) Saturday, according to Fulton County jail records. The welterweight fighter was given $5,000 bail, but has yet to be released, per the county website.
UFC senior vice president of public relations Dave Sholler told MMA Fighting on Monday in a statement that Graves has been taken out of his fight against Sergio Moraes at UFC Fight Night 100 on Nov. 19 in Brazil.
While no official cause for his condition has been made available, the Internet has run wild with speculation, probably because it’s the Internet and that’s kind of why it exists these days.
But Samman’s mother recently issued a statement to reporter Christopher Rothstein (via FOX Sports) to shoot down some of the recent rumors:
"Josh is still in a coma, and more tests are being done. That is the latest update on my son's condition. And in spite of speculation, there was no heroin found in Josh's system whatsoever. No matter what people are posting on social media. The reason I am making this statement is, because Josh touched so many lives, and loved inspiring others, especially young people. I don't want them to lose faith in him, and whatever he brought out in them, because of the lies. He would want them to ‘never give up."
It's been almost a year since Ronda Rousey last stepped foot in the Octagon. but despite that absence, UFC President Dana White is still singing her praises.
Recently, while doing promotion for the UFC's upcoming debut at Madison Square Garden in November, White spoke to Hot 97 where he fielded questions about Ronda Rousey and whether she was the biggest star in the history of the UFC.
"By far. Not even close, by far the biggest star ever."
"Ronda Rousey is such a big star that when you go down to Brazil - I don't know if you guys have watched any of the fights we do from Brazil — they don't care who you are. They want the Brazilian to whoop your ass. When Ronda went down there, they cheered for Ronda over the Brazilian. Never seen that before in my life and will probably never see it again. That's how big Ronda Rousey is."
"The truth with Ronda is this: Ronda Rousey worked her ass off for four years. She worked hard. All the time she fought, all the PR that she did for us, and more importantly the training. The training takes a lot out of you. And after the loss she said, 'I need a break. I need time off.' And the minute anybody says that in this business...you don't do that in this sport. Your head has to be in this game 24-7 and you've got to be a killer. The minute you think you need a break, you definitely need a break."
Lawler's teammate at American Top Team, Bellator contender Muhammed Lawal, believes the decision for Lawler to withdraw was necessary to protect the 34-year-old veteran, who suffered a brutal knockout loss to Tyron Woodley on July 30 at UFC 201.
"It's like this, personally, me, I think that Robbie shouldn't fight until December or January," Lawal said recently on The MMA Hour. "Take time off, because these past two years, man, at the gym, Robbie's been going to the max. Take some time to recharge, because Cerrone is a good fighter, it's a great fight for the fans -- why rush it? Cerrone ain't going nowhere. Cerrone is always in shape, always ready. So once Robbie recharges, if Cerrone wants to fight Robbie, then they can fight."
"Robbie, he's always in shape. It's just that, why rush it," Lawal said. "The past two years, man, his schedule and his fights -- man, take some time for your family, take some time for yourself. Recharge. After his last three fights, the following Monday he's back in the gym, lifting weights or doing something. He really hasn't stepped away from the gym. He has to be forced out by coach Kami (Barzini), like, ‘hey, go home. Go do something. Go fish, go mow your lawn, go do something. Go swimming.' They have to push him out of there because he always wants to be in there."
Law enforcement officers found UFC fighter Josh Samman unresponsive and his friend dead in a Florida home Thursday evening, the Hollywood (Fla.) Police Department said Monday in a statement.
Samman was breathing and had a pulse, but was not responding. The deceased was identified as Troy Kirkingburg, Samman's friend and the announcer for Samman's Florida MMA promotion. Police responded to the "call of a possible drug overdose," per the statement.
Samman and Kirkingburg were found by a friend, Hunter Sundberg, who called 911 and administered CPR until police arrived, the release said.
Police said there were no signs of foul play and detectives are currently investigating.
Samman, 28, has been in the hospital since Thursday in a coma, per the Tallahassee Democrat. He was in critical condition as of Saturday morning.
Paul Daley finally has an opponent for next month’s Bellator 163 event.
Officials today confirmed with MMAjunkie that Daley (38-14-2 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) will meet Derek Anderson (14-2 MMA, 5-2 BMMA) in a welterweight bout at the event.
Bellator 163 takes place Nov. 4 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Sergei Kharitonov's Bellator debut will finally go down, a few months later than anticipated.
The popular Russian knockout artist will meet Javy Ayala on the main card of Bellator 163 on Nov. 4 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Company president Dana White declared that Punk's next fight would likely not be inside the Octagon, stating that it would be in his best interest to get some more experience on the regional circuit, first. However, during a recent interview on the "UFC Unfiltered" podcast, White didn't completely rule out CM's return to the eight-walled cage.
"So what I told him to do is go home, spend some time with your wife, be normal for a little while and we'll get on the phone and talk. Obviously we haven't talked yet, but we will, we'll see what's next," said White.
That said, Dana isn't taking anything off the table when it comes to the ex-WWE superstar.
"You know, we'll see. I've got to talk to him, see where his head's at and what he's thinking, you know."
As Michael Bisping gets set to tangle with Dan Henderson for the UFC middleweight title in less than two weeks' time at UFC 204, a mini-tournament of sorts is expected to help determine the next challenger in line.
The reigning champ has two main thoughts about the impending fights: 1. Romero should be disqualified from consideration for a title shot due to his recent USADA suspension; 2. Weidman is the fight which interests him the most out of the four potential opponents, should Bisping beat Henderson.
"I'll tell you who I don't think deserves it -- Yoel Romero," Bisping said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "I don't think he deserves it. There's no smoke without fire. He got a reduced sentence, but the fact is, he still got a sentence. Even if you take performance enhancing drugs, the benefits of those stay in your system for a long, long time. So I don't think Yoel Romero deserves it."
"I would like Chris Weidman simply because, listen, for all the back and forth and the s--- talking and because for all of that, I respect Chris Weidman," Bisping said. "I like Chris Weidman and what he does. He's got a little bit of a case of sour grapes and this and that, he's talking a lot s--- about me, but, you know, I respect this guy, the way carries himself and this and that, you know, he's a likable guy. But he's talking shit, so I'd like to fight him."
Despite having several wars at Saturday's UFC Fight Night 96, there was no Fight of the Night. Instead, the UFC handed out four $50,000 Performance of the Night bonuses to Nate Marquardt, Brandon Moreno, Henrique da Silva and Curtis Blaydes.
The news was announced by the promotion following the event. The main event between John Lineker and John Dodson likely would have won Fight of the Night, but Lineker was disqualified from bonuses due to missing weight.
There is a lot of buzz building up for Marc Diakiese's official UFC debut in Manchester.
The 23-year-old lightweight ran roughshod through smaller promotions on the European circuit, and "The Bone Crusher's" success earned him a call to fight at UFC 204 in England on Oct. 8. Diakiese was initially set to face Reza Madadi, but the Swedish scrapper was forced to pull out of the bout due to an eye injury. The UFC immediately sought a replacement opponent, and FloCombat has confirmed with sources close to the bout Lukasz Sajewski has been tapped to step in.
With a week to go, Mirsad Bektic needs a replacement opponent – again.
On the same day Jeremy Kennedy (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) was announced as a replacement for injured featherweight Arnold Allen (11-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) at next week’s UFC 204 event, a UFC official today confirmed with MMAjunkie that Kennedy has also been forced off the card with an undisclosed injury.
Bektic (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) now awaits yet another replacement opponent.
Three months ago, Bisping found himself directly in the crosshairs of Georges St-Pierre when the welterweight legend declared Bisping his "first choice" as an opponent for St-Pierre's UFC return. The fight between two of the most well-traveled fighters in UFC history ultimately failed to come together, as the promotion instead granted Bisping a shot at revenge against Henderson. However, Bisping would be more than willing to revisit talks with St-Pierre after UFC 204.
"If GSP wants to come out of retirement," Bisping recently said, "if he's finally grown a set of balls to become a fighter again, (I could) beat Anderson Silva, beat Dan Henderson, beat Luke Rockhold, beat GSP? Yeah, why not. Of course."
Let the "legends ass kicking tour" commence.
Fight fans have been waiting for an announced opponent ever since Chael Sonnen ended his retirement by signing with Bellator MMA. The self-proclaimed "Bad Guy" wasted no time calling out the "Bad Boy" himself in Tito Ortiz.
Luckily for fight fans, the legendary mixed martial arts (MMA) trashtalkers will square off early next year, per a news break by Ortiz himself on AXS TV's Inside MMA.
At a location yet to be determined, "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" and the "American Gangster" will throw down next January in what will presumably be the main event of a "tent pole" Bellator event.
Mirsad Bektic will remain on next week’s UFC 204 lineup, after all.
Earlier this week, MMAjunkie first reported Arnold Allen (11-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) had been forced out of his bout with featherweight Bektic (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC), and undefeated Jeremy Kennedy (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has stepped in as a replacement, officials today announced.
Alexander Gustafsson's time as the headliner for UFC Fight Night 100 didn't last very long.
Gustafsson is out of the main event fight with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira due to an undisclosed injury, sources told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani. In Gustafsson's place will step fellow light heavyweight contender Ryan Bader for a rematch. UFN 100 is scheduled for Nov. 19 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.