Bellator vet Travis Browne signs with UFC, faces James McSweeney in debut
Undefeated heavyweight Travis Browne (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has signed a multi-fight deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship and is expected to make his octagon debut against "The Ultimate Fighter 10" veteran James McSweeney (4-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC).
Sources close to the situation informed MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the new deal and said both fighters have agreed to the contest, but a date has not been finalized for the meeting.
The bout could either take place at UFC 115, expected to take place June 12 at GM Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, or at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale held one week later in Las Vegas.
Browne has fought eight times since his professional debut this past February with seven of his nine victories coming by way of TKO or knockout. In his most recent performance, Browne knocked out veteran Aaron Brink in 35 seconds for the interim Gladiator Challenge heavyweight title this past Sunday in California.
In early February, Browne knocked out "The Ultimate Fighter 10" veteran Abe Wagner in eight seconds to take the Night of Champions heavyweight belt. He is a veteran of Bellator Fighting Championships' first season.
Browne currently trains at the Alliance Training Center alongside UFC veterans Brandon Vera and Joey Beltran and WEC bantamweight contender Dominick Cruz. When he's not in the gym, he runs a company that trains dogs for military service.
McSweeney, 29, graduated from his turn on "The Ultimate Fighter 10" with a TKO victory over fellow castmate Darrill Schoonover at the show's Spike TV finale this past December. However, he injured his hand in the fight and has since been forced to the bench for several months.
A former kickboxer, McSweeney works with Greg Jackson's squad in Albuquerque, N.M., and is a friend and training partner to former light heavyweight champion and "TUF 10" coach Rashad Evans.
KOTC champ Bobby Green promises exciting fights as he targets UFC contract
Bobby "King" Green (13-3) got his start fighting in backyards with no thought of YouTube stardom.
Green sized up who he wanted to fight that day and put socks on his hands to protect them while 100 or so acquaintances milled about. Then, it was go time.
"I just tried to entertain the crowd," Green recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
When a trainer told Green he had potential after spotting him at a grappling tournament he did on a lark, "King" leaped head-first into MMA and took fights on short notice. Sometimes, it was very short notice, as little as 20 minutes. But it was always about giving the audience a show – being memorable.
"Win or lose is not important for me," Green said.
Green has fought 16 times in a little more than two years. He's taken fights stateside on Friday and driven across the border to fight Saturday in Mexico. Matchmakers know he doesn't turn down fights.
One week ago, Green, who trains out of Pinnacle Jiu-Jitsu in Redlands, Calif., defeated Ricky Legere Jr. for the King of the Cage 160-pound championship.
"I do it whenever they call," Green said. "This is a lifestyle – versus a lot of guys that are doing the business right now. They're doing it because it's cool – maybe I can get a girlfriend or two out of this, maybe a little respect from their friends. But to me, it's just a lifestyle. This is what I do every day."
Green said he likes fighting so much, he'd do it for free. But with a new son in his life, that isn't in the cards. He isn't keeping his pace out of greed or a well of rage, but because he never wants his son to go without.
"Becoming a father changes you," Green said.
He usually makes between $3,000 and $4,000 dollars a fight – enough to last him a couple of months at a time if he spends it well. Like most up-and-comers, Green's not getting rich. He's fought but once on a national stage.
That fight, the first pay-per-view bout on "Affliction: Day of Reckoning," angers him to this day.
The battle lasted 4:55. Green faced current UFC fighter Dan Lauzon and was deducted two points for kicks to his opponent's groin.
Lauzon, brother to top UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon, pulled guard during the fight and quickly worked himself to Green's back at the end of the first round. With five seconds left, he tapped Green out with a rear-naked choke.
Lauzon returned to the UFC in the wake of Afflliction's collapse, while Green continues to make his way on the smaller circuit.
Green claims only one of his kicks went south and that Lauzon faked the rest for show.
"He was trying to get a breather because he couldn't handle the pressure," Green said. "He got his butt whooped the whole fight, and then he ends up catching a lucky choke, and then, all of a sudden, his balls don't hurt any more and he can do backflips.
"He was crying all day that I was kicking him in the balls, and as soon as it's over, he's doing a back flips. If my balls hurt, I would not be doing back flips off the rope."
Green took a little over a month to lick his wounds and got back to work. He amassed a 4-1 record in 2009, including a victory over Charles "Krazy Horse" Bennett, before his King of the Cage victory this past week.
It's Green's dream to compete on "The Ultimate Fighter" as a lightweight. He wants another chance to prove he belongs in the big leagues. No more fighting month-to-month.
That's why when he fights, he tries to bring the backyard to the big stage.
"The most important thing is that the fight is exciting and people remember it."
Claude Patrick signs four-fight UFC deal, expected to make debut in Vancouver
It didn't take long for Claude Patrick (11-1) to take that next step in his career.
The Toronto, Ontario, Canada-based welterweight recently signed a four-fight deal with the UFC and is expected to make his octagon debut four provinces west in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Patrick today shared news of the signing with "The Fight Show with Mauro Ranallo," and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has since learned from sources close to the promotion that while an opponent has not yet been determined, the Canadian is expected to compete on the as-yet-unannounced UFC 115 event.
UFC 115 is expected to take place June 12 at the 19,000-seat GM Place, a recent host for many of the 2010 Winter Olympics' games. A third light heavyweight grudge match between "The Ultimate Fighter 11" coaches Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz is expected to headline the event.
A one-time veteran of the now-defunct International Fight League, Patrick most recently fought at Aggression MMA in Edmonton, Alberta, where he stopped Matt McGrath by guillotine choke in the third round of their co-main event fight.
Patrick has nine first-round stoppages to his credit and has won eight of those victories by submission.
In a recent interview with MMAjunkie.com, Patrick spoke of the hardships he's endured as a fighter in a Canadian province where MMA is illegal. He hoped the UFC's lobbying efforts in Toronto would help change the current laws banning the sport.
"I'm really looking forward to do the sport that I love," he said.
Patrick trains with Mark Bocek and Sean Pierson and runs the Elite Training Center in his hometown of Mississauga, Ontario.
Mike Swick offered fight with Matt Serra on April 17, won't fight due to arm injury
Mike Swick (14-4 MMA, 9-3 UFC) can't straighten his left arm, much less train or fight.
The UFC welterweight spoke to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Friday after rumors surfaced of his participation in an as-yet-unannounced UFC event planned for Spike TV on April 17, the same date on which Strikeforce is slated to hold their second CBS-televised fight card.
Swick said the UFC offered a fight with Matt Serra (10-6 MMA, 7-6 UFC) on the quickly developing card through his management, but he had to turn it down due to his arm.
"[My management] knew about the situation and pretty much said I wasn't going to be able to do it," Swick said.
"The Ultimate Fighter" veteran recently got an MRI confirming a problem he's dealt with since his fight with Dan Hardy this past November at UFC 105. He will consult with a specialist Monday to determine options for treatment.
"The only way I'm going to get [my arm] to where it straights out, or even close to all the way out, is most likely the surgery," Swick said.
The arm is similar to the injury he sustained in the build-up to his fight with Marcus Davis in June 2008. Swick underwent surgery after the fight and had his elbow "scoped" to take out bone fragments accumulated from hard training.
Swick won't have a concrete timetable for his return until Monday, but wants to get back into the cage as soon as possible.
"I'm sure it's going to be along the lines as the first time I had surgery on my right arm," Swick said. "I don't remember how long that was, but I do know that I started back too soon and it slowed down the healing process.
"I'm going to have to be really smart about it, because I want to fight as soon as I can. The sooner I can fight, the better it is for me."
Swick said his recent adventures in Thailand with lightweight Roger Huerta, which he chronicled on his official blog, were for rest and relaxation and not to sharpen his skills.
Simply put, a fight with Serra in a little more than six weeks is just not in the cards.
"All I can really say on that is that I'm not (fighting him)," Swick said.
Chan Sung Jung Likely Headed To WEC
Japanese MMA veteran Chan Sung Jung, a Korean fighter with a 10-1 career mark, appears headed to WEC. Nicknamed "The Korean Zombie", Jung is in negotiations with WEC and a deal is expected to be done soon. No confirmation yet from WEC and no date set for a debut for Jung, who is expected to compete at Featherweight (he recently has competed at 143 in Japan).
Ben Askren: 'My wrestling and my grappling are good enough to beat anybody'
"I chose Bellator for a number of reasons. They offered me the best contract, I can get three fights done in three months, and on top of that I really think that they will do a good job of promoting me. I feel good about facing (Ryan) Thomas. I hear that he’s a good wrestler, and if that’s his strongest suit, obviously he’s not going to beat me there. I also hear that submissions are strong for him, but he’s not going to beat me there either. So for me this is a really good match-up."
Kiuma Kunioku Ready For Rebirth At 155 Pounds
With wins over Nate Marquardt, Frank Shamrock, Genki Sudo, and Yuki Kondo, you'd think that Kiuma Kunioku would be a household name to hardcore MMA fans, but truth be told the Japanese fighter has slipped under everybody's radar for far too long.
Couture, Kimbo, Forrest? Who's First For Toney?
Who gets the first shot at James Toney?
That is the million-dollar question... or likely somewhere near the million-dollar mark considering that Toney signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC.
It’s unclear how soon we’ll find out just who the former world champion boxer will draw in his Octagon debut, even UFC president Dana White told MMAWeekly.com content partner Yahoo! Sports that he wasn’t sure yet what he’d do with Toney.
Interview: Clay Guida on His Renewed Motivation, RV Living, and More
Clay Guida has twice been on the cusp of getting a title shot in the UFC’s ultra-competitive lightweight division, only to come up a little short. On the heels of back-to-back losses against Diego Sanchez and Kenny Florian, “The Carpenter” has a chance to get things rolling again on March 21st, when he faces Shannon Gugerty. Clay sat down with CagePotato to discuss training with Greg Jackson, why he's living in an RV in the desert, and much more.
Arona "hibernating to come back hunting"
Ricardo Arona was considered one of the best light heavyweight fighters of the world. But, when Pride ended, in 2007, Arona decided to stop competing for a while. Since then, the “Brazilian Tiger” kapt saying that this time off was helping him to think about everything he had done in his career.
‘Morango’ controls the mind to fight ‘Batman’
Fabrício “Morango” Camões debuted in the UFC with a draw against Caol Uno. Scheduled to return against Kurt “Batman” Pellegrino at UFC 111, the black belt under Royler Gracie is excited to win his first fight in the UFC octagon.
Tim Sylvia Off DREAM.13 Card, Looking at Pudzianowski, Sims Fights
With a fight falling through for the DREAM.13 event on March 22, former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia is next looking to fight against Mariusz Pudzianowski on April 23 and Wes Sims on June 5, his manager confirmed to MMA Fighting.
Although not officially announced, Sylvia has been training to fight at DREAM.13, but it appears his Japan debut will have to wait. He was first offered Josh Barnett and declined. He agreed on an opponent, but bowed out Thursday when offered a different opponent.
Coker declines comment on title talk, says Overeem vs. Rogers news might provide surprise
While the California-based Strikeforce organization has spent the past year building its roster of athletes, one of the most burning questions on MMA fans' minds regarding the promotion has been, "When will heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem return?"
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker confirmed on Thursday's edition of ESPN.com's "MMA Live" that Overeem's (32-11 MMA, 2-0 SF) return will indeed be on the promotion's as-yet-unannounced May event (believed to take place in St. Louis) in a fight with power-puncher Brett Rogers (10-1 MMA, 2-1 SF) as had been previously reported, but one simple question remains: Will the "Demolition Man's" title be on the line?
Coker refused to answer that question when he recently spoke with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), but he did say that fans could expect some surprises in forthcoming news.
"We're going to make an announcement next week, so I don't want to say anything about [the title implications of the fight], but it might be something that people are not expecting," Coker said.
SF: 4/17 Event Has "Some Fluidity", Though Future UFC Conflicts Unavoidable
New fans of MMA are tasked with learning a daunting list of jargon when first approaching the sport, but in recent years, a new term has made its way to the fighting lexicon: counter-programming. With UFC now reportedly set to go head-to-head with "Strikeforce: Nashville" on April 17 according to report from The Wrestling Observer, Strikeforce executives may be looking at a little retaliation of their own. The recently announced "Strikeforce: Nashville" show may end up going head-to-head with the UFC's sister promotion, the WEC, on that company's first-ever pay-per-view event, "WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber," on April 24. SI.com's Josh Gross recently posted a report on his Twitter account that Strikeforce "had the option" of changing dates, and Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker confirmed an adjustment was a possibility. UFC hasn't officially announced that it would be adding an April 17 card to its already loaded Spring schedule, but Coker said Strikeforce and its broadcast partner, CBS, are currently considering a date change. "It hasn't been decided yet," Coker said. "I think we're meeting probably Monday. But for now, everything is going to be locked and loaded for the 17th."
Zack Micklewright Off WEC 48
The curse has arrived in WEC. For the second time in less than 2 days a fighter has been forced off an upcoming card, this time it's Zack Micklewright, who is off WEC 48 due to an undisclosed injury suffered in training. He was to have faced Alex Karalexis. No word on if WEC will try to find a replacement foe for Karalexis.
Stephan Bonnar steps in for Frank Mir in WEC 47 commentator role
Cast member of "The Ultimate Fighter" and 11-time UFC veteran Stephan Bonnar will take over for former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir in the the "WEC 47: Bowles vs. Cruz" commentating booth this weekend.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the change to the Versus broadcast team with WEC officials.
Mir is understandably busy as he prepares for a UFC 111 interim title fight with Shane Carwin, which led to the change. WEC officials insisted that Mir's recent controversial statements regarding Brock Lesnar – and subsequent apology – had nothing to do with the change.
"Kimbo Slice" manager welcomes James Toney fight but says nothing currently in works
Hold your horses.
Amid rabid speculation this morning that Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson (5-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) may be James Toney's first octagon opponent, his manager told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Thursday afternoon that it's business as usual for the bearded brawler.
Slice, who is expected to face Matt Mitrione at UFC 113 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, is absent from the promotion's official event page. But Mike Imber, Slice's longtime manager otherwise known as "Icy Mike," said his client was never on the page to begin with.
And Slice's absence does not mean he has other plans.
"I really don't think that's got anything to do with us," Imber said.