UFC Signs Top 205-Pound Prospect, Former NCAA Champ Phil Davis
With the war for MMA talent heating up lately, the importance of every signing has become magnified. The UFC has captured the latest prized recruit, signing former four-time collegiate wrestling All-American and undefeated pro fighter Phil Davis to a multi-fight deal, according to his manager Chad Dubin.
"We signed him yesterday to a UFC contract and we expect to have a date for his first fight soon," Dubin wrote in an email to FanHouse.
The ex-Penn State star, who won the 197-pound NCAA National Championship in 2008 and started his pro career months later, is 4-0 in his brief stretch as a pro, and has been considered one of the sport's true blue-chip prospects since his debut.
Fight vs. Overeem Nixed, Andrei Arlovski Looking to Return First Quarter 2010
Andrei Arlovski is now looking to fight next sometime in the first quarter of 2010 after an offer to fight Alistair Overeem at Dynamite!! 2009 on New Year's Eve was pulled for a reason unknown to Arlovski's camp.
Arlovski was under the impression that he would be the opponent for the Strikeforce heavyweight champion in Japan, but DREAM announced Tuesday that Overeem would fight Kazuyuki Fujita.
Bellator signs standout Dan Hornbuckle for season-two welterweight tourney
Bellator Fighting Championships added another star to its season-two welterweight tournament with the signing of top free agent Dan Hornbuckle.
Bellator officials today exclusively revealed the signing to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Hornbuckle (19-2), whose 2009 breakout year included knockouts of Akihiro Gono and Nick Thompson in the Japanese-based World Victory Road promotion, has posted stoppages in 18 of his 19 career wins.
Bellator's season-two tournaments, which commence on April 8 with a 12-week season, are held in four different weight classes and determine No. 1 contenders for the champions who were crowned in the organization's debut season. In addition to Hornbuckle, Bellator also recently signed former U.S. Olympic wrestler and two-time NCAA Division I national champion Ben Askren (3-0) and highly touted prospect Jacob "Tick Tock" McClintock (6-0) for the 170-pound tourney.
Lorenzo Fertitta: 140,000 People Viewed UFC 106 Illegally
UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta testified Wednesday at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on piracy of live sports broadcasting over the Internet, and he said the UFC is potentially losing tens of millions of dollars because people are illegally streaming UFC pay-per-views online.
"Just last month, the broadcast of UFC 106 from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, had over 271 unauthorized streams with over 140,000 views, and those are only the ones that our anti-piracy team and consultants identified," Fertitta told the committee. "There were likely more streams that we simply couldn't find."
Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Could Pose for Playboy
Since stopping Gina Carano in August, Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos has been moving to the forefront of women’s MMA. In addition to winning a title belt and plenty of praise, she has received coverage in various MMA and fitness magazines. One offer from outside the industry caught her by surprise, though: an invitation to pose for Playboy.
“Actually we are still talking, and I’m thinking about that possibility,” she said. “After all, only one man saw me naked in my entire life and I have to think deeply about that.”
Cyborg returns to MMA on Jan. 30 in Sunrise, Fla., where she’ll defend her Strikeforce women’s title against Marloes Coenen.
Get your copy fellas
Lawler’s Strikeforce Bout Canceled
A middleweight bout featuring Robbie Lawler has been scratched for Saturday’s Strikeforce “Evolution” event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., Sherdog.com confirmed with the promotion on Wednesday.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told Sherdog.com via text that the promotion was unable to secure a quality opponent for the Iowan power puncher in time. Among the candidates considered for the former EliteXC middleweight champion was Kala Hose, who had twice been scheduled to face Lawler for Icon Sport back in 2008 before both bouts were called off. Coker said Hose had the flu and could not accept the bout.
With UFC, WEC On Versus, PPVs To Remain Split
While the UFC and WEC will now both host live events on Versus, don't expect the two companies to share talent anytime soon. Despite longstanding reports, rumors and requests for a potential merge between the two Zuffa, LLC-owned fight promotions, UFC president Dana White today said not to read too much into the fact that both organizations will now share a broadcast partner. And when asked specifically if WEC talent would ever be featured on the same card as that of the UFC's, White had a simple answer. "No."
Execs says Versus to air UFC Fight Night-type events; move to NBC possible?
The two Ultimate Fighting Championship events that air on Versus in 2010 will likely be UFC Fight Night broadcasts similar to those on Spike TV, UFC president Dana White today said.
In a media conference call, White and Versus executive Marc Fein today discussed the finer points of a deal announced earlier this week. It calls for two 2010 UFC events to air on Versus, which also airs shows from the UFC's sister promotion, World Extreme Cagefighting.
No UFC events have been selected for Versus just yet, nor have company executives determined which days of the week the events will air.
However, White assured it won't be a second-rate event.
Bellator champ Hector Lombard: "I want Dan Henderson" in Strikeforce
With the recent revelation that UFC import Dan Henderson (25-7) will fight for Strikeforce at an as-yet-unannounced April event on CBS, speculation immediately turned to whom the dual-weight class star would be fighting.
While initial reports have suggested that Strikeforce middleweight champ Jake Shields is a likely first step, another MMA title-holder has volunteered for the contest, as well.
Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard (22-2-1) told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he's itching for the chance to prove himself on the big stage.
Cung Le: Jake Shields is using my name to get publicity
Former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Cung Le talks about his decision to return to mixed martial arts on Dec. 19 at "Evolution" to face the hard-hitting Scott Smith while in the midst of a break between acting gigs. The San Shou disciple came under fire from Shields, who claims Le vacated the title in order to escape having to defend it against him on national television. While they seemed destined to collide, the influx of hungry middleweights like Manhoef, Henderson and Souza doesn't bode well for a future Le vs. Shields grudge match. Will Le stick around long enough to face any of the aforementioned fighters? And what are his chances if he does?
James Toney Still Wants to Fight in the UFC, Still Out of His Damn Mind
“I met up with Dana. He was cool and said we could do business. We exchanged numbers and I texted him all night, ‘Don’t forget chicken ****!’ But I was sitting behind Chuck Liddell and I could tell he was uncomfortable with my presence. …I think I can break records with the UFC. I would fight Kimbo Slice, Chuck Liddell, or Randy Couture. Brock Lesnar, too. He could get it and we would do a ton of buys.”
Okay, Erin Toughill Has a Point About Kim Couture’s Website
The beef between female fighters Erin Toughill and Kim Couture just won’t die, mainly because Toughill won’t let it die. She hates “Sugar Free” so much, she managed to take a UG thread about Gina Carano and turn it into another rant about Couture, who no one had even mentioned up until that point. At first it was the usual criticism of Kim’s lack of talent and inflated sense of self-importance, but then she took aim at Couture’s website, pointing out that the bio page doesn’t really make sense.
Palhares: “I can do even better”
Winning for the third time in the UFC, Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares finished the fight against Lúcio Linhares with his favorite move: attacking the foot. “The fight was good, I won, what’s most important”, Rousimar celebrates, on United States, talking to TATAME.com by phone.
Spike TV To Air 10 Prelim PPV Teasers In '10
After three successful broadcasts in 2009, Spike TV officials today announced the cable station will air a total of 10 preliminary-card specials prior to UFC pay-per-view events in 2010. The one-hour specials, now dubbed "UFC Prelim," feature between two and four bouts from the un-aired preliminary cards of each pay-per-view event. The first 2 installments will be prior to UFC 108 & UFC 109, the rest TBA.
TUF 10 Finale Drug Tests: All Clean
The TUF 10 Finale was officially a drug-free zone. NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer today announced that 9 fighters on the event were tested for drugs after the event, and all passed. Both main event fighters, Roy Nelson and Brendan Schaub, were tested, as were undercard fighters Matt Hamill, Jon Jones, Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson, Frankie Edgar, Matt Mitrione, John Howard and Mark Bocek.
Cain Velasquez Has Too Much Respect For Big Nog
And the fast-rising UFC Heavyweight even says so. In a recent newspaper interview on his UFC 110 fight against Minotauro Nogueira, he's quoted as saying "It's going to be a tough fight. Minotauro is one of the best. He is always hard and you can never underestimate him. Even while he is losing, always finds a way to invert the situation and finish the bout. I have too much respect for him. I watched The Ultimate Fighter in which he was one of the coaches and I respect him as a person and for the legend he is in this sport."
Strikeforce Newcomer Brian Travers Off Saturday's Event
It seems even those outside UFC are not safe from the recent injury curse. Strikeforce newcomer Brian Travers, who was to have debuted in the promotion Saturday, is now off due to an injury in training. He was to have faced Daisuke Nakamura. No word yet on if a replacement will be named on very short notice.
Brandon 'The Truth' Vera Vs Jon 'Bones' Jones At UFC Fight Night 21, March 31, Denver, Colorado
An ankle injury has forced recent UFC addition Antonio Rogerio Nogueira out of a planned bout with fellow light heavyweight Brandon Vera (11-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC) on Feb. 6 at UFC 109.
While the latest bout cancellation in the UFC – which was first reported by Sherdog.com – may cause many fans to groan, the potential replacement contest may result in the complete opposite.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the organization that the UFC is targeting Vera for a potential headlining contest against Jon Jones (9-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) at an as-yet-unannounced UFC Fight Night 21 event on March 31 in Denver, Colo.
Shane Carwin vs. Frank Mir in the works for interim heavyweight title at UFC 111 in March
While UFC president Dana White recently said the status of UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar would be decided in the next four to six weeks, things are apparently progressing much faster.
MMAjunkie.com has learned from sources close to the organization that the UFC is targeting an interim heavyweight title matchup between top contender Shane Carwin and former UFC champion Frank Mir.
If both parties agree, the contest may take place at the increasingly attractive UFC 111 event on March 27 in Newark, N.J.