Welcome to the UFC, Cutelaba & Elmose
Two new fighters are on their way to the UFC, to help fill out two of the promotion's shallowest divisions.
It's good to see the UFC finally taking a run at some of their downtrodden divisions. Women's bantamweight and men's light heavyweight are two of the most stagnant places for new talent in the UFC (men's flyweight is right in there too), but both divisions are getting a bit of a kick this week with the signing of two new fighters, or three if you want to consider Cyborg's final move into the UFC ranks as a new. Ion Cutelaba is set to make his light heavyweight debut at UFC Ottawa as announced by MMA Junkie alongside a slew of new bouts for the card. Also making headlines is the addition of a Anna Elmose. The bantamweight will make her debut in Rotterdam on May 8th against Germaine de Randamie. So...
'Windy City' gets a second straight summer card: UFC on FOX 20 set for July 23 in Chicago
After going to Chicago for three straight January dates and finding out first-hand about the city’s nickname, the UFC will head to the “Windy City” for the second straight July.
UFC on FOX 20 will take place July 23 at the city’s United Center, home of the NBA’s Bulls and NHL’s Blackhawks. UFC on FOX 16 took place there on the same weekend in 2015. UFC officials today announced the card.
No fights or ticket information has been announced for the event, but the main card will take place on FOX following prelims likely for either FOX or FOX Sports 1 and early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
UFC on FOX 20 will be the sixth UFC show in Chicagoland. It will be the fifth in Chicago proper, all at the United Center. The promotion’s first visit to Chicago came with the UFC 90 pay-per-view in suburban Rosemont in October 2008. That event has been the only pay-per-view in Chicago. The other five have all been on FOX.
Bellator MMA Signs Multi-Year, Multi-Fight Extension with Featherweight Emmanuel Sanchez
Bellator MMA announced on Monday that it had retained the services of 25-year-old talent Emmanuel Sanchez (13-2), having re-signed the fighter to a multi-year, multi-fight contract extension.
Sanchez boasts a 6-1 record under the Bellator banner, with his only loss coming in the form of a decision at the hands of former featherweight champion Pat Curran (21-7). The exciting product from the famed Roufusport Team earned his contract extension after winning three fights in a row against Henry Corrales (12-2), Justin Lawrence (8-3) and Daniel Pineda (21-12) all in under five months.
UFC: 32,000 tickets sold to UFC 198 in Brazil within first 90 minutes
With a loaded lineup resembling an All-Star Game of Brazilian MMA, UFC 198 in Curitibia, Brazil, figured to be a box-office hit.
It didn't take long to confirm that hunch. According to UFC Brazilian executive Giovanni Decker, 32,000 tickets sold within the first 90 minutes after they went on sale Wednesday. Those figure include pre-sale tickets.
That initial surge alone would already place the May 14 card at the outdoor Arena de Baixada as the third-highest attended show in UFC history, behind UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia (56,214) and UFC 129 in Toronto (55,724). A sellout at Arena de Baixada would be approximately 45,000 tickets.
Diaz vs McGregor II - Official for UFC 200
"The anticipated rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz is set to headline UFC 200.
The fight, which was first reported by MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani on March 18, was made official during a UFC Tonight broadcast on Wednesday night. It will be contested at 170 pounds, as part of a milestone event on July 9 set to christen Las Vegas’ new T-Mobile Arena."
Apparently, Aldo vs Edgar II is also set for UFC 200:
"Conor McGregor and Frankie Edgar will be fighting at UFC 200, just not against each other. The UFC's featherweight champion will rematch Nate Diaz, again at 170 pounds, in the July 9th pay-per-view headliner at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Meanwhile, Edgar will rematch Jose Aldo for the interim featherweight title, in a fight that wasn't officially named the co-main event. MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani first reported the news before it was announced on FS1's UFC Tonight."
Shannon Knapp: Cris Cyborg could still return to Invicta, defend her title
Cris Cyborg will make her UFC debut in May. But that doesn't necessarily mean she is done with Invicta FC.
Cyborg, arguably the top pound-for-pound women's fighter in the world, will face Leslie Smith at UFC 198 on May 14 in Brazil, the UFC announced Monday. The event will take place inside a 40,000-seat soccer stadium in Cyborg's hometown of Curitiba.
The fight will take place at a catchweight of 140 pounds. Cyborg normally fights at 145 pounds and she remains the Invicta champion in that featherweight division. That will not change any time soon, Invicta president Shannon Knapp told MMA Fighting.
Knapp said Cyborg will not be vacating the title, because there is the possibility of her returning to Invicta to defend it.
WSOF 30 ‘Branch vs. Starks’ Fight Card Finalized with 10 Bouts
World Series of Fighting has confirmed the 10-fight lineup for Saturday’s WSOF 30.
The event, which takes place April 2 at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, will be headlined by a WSOF middleweight title bout between two-division champ David Branch and challenger Clifford Starks. In the co-main event slot, longtime UFC contender Jon Fitch will try to snatch the vacant WSOF welterweight belt in a meeting with Brazil’s Joao Zeferino.
Also featured on the NBCSN-televised main card is a light heavyweight tilt between Vinny Magalhaes and Jake Heun, plus a welterweight clash pitting Abu Azaitar against Danny Davis Jr.
Topping the preliminary slate is a duel of welterweight prospects Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Matthew Frincu, both of whom enter the bout with just one loss to their name.
Unbeaten lightweight Steve Kozola, who was set to take on Gil Guardado, will instead meet late replacement Matt Church in a 160-pound catchweight affair. Guardado recently suffered a broken nose and was forced to withdraw, according to a statement from WSOF.
Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Lauzon in the works for UFC 200
A lightweight bout between Diego Sanchez and Joe Lauzon is targeted for July's landmark event, UFC 200, according to multiple reports. VendettaFighter.com initially reported the news last week and MMAFighting.com followed up with a report of their own. UFC officials have yet to confirm the booking.
Sanchez and Lauzon were initially scheduled to square off in November 2014 at UFC 180 -- the UFC's debut in Mexico City -- but both were forced out of the contest with an injury.
Sanchez (26-8) recently got back into the win column with a unanimous decision nod over Jim Miller at UFC 196 earlier this month. Prior to that, he suffered a decision loss to top contender Ricardo Lamas in his first featherweight fight of his career. He afterwards discovered the weight cut was too harsh for him and returned to 155 pounds.
Lauzon (25-11) is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Evan Dunham at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale this past December. The 31-year old has a mix of wins and losses over the past two years, with TKO wins over Takanori Gomi and Michael Chiesa, and a stoppage loss to top contender Al Iaquinta.
Despite 6-2 record, UFC releases heavyweight Jared Rosholt
Jared Rosholt's uninspiring unanimous decision loss to Roy Nelson has marked the end of his UFC tenure. Bloody Elbow confirmed with UFC officials today that Rosholt has been released after just his 2nd loss in his last 8 fights. Rosholt (14-3) was ranked in the UFC's top 15 in the heavyweight division as recently as March 21st (two days after the completion of UFC Brisbane), but was pulled from the list and replaced by Stefan Struve just two days later.
Jon Jones remains in custody, has hearing scheduled for Thursday morning
Jon Jones has a hearing set.
The UFC star will go before a judge at 8 a.m. Thursday morning in New Mexico Second Judicial District Court in his probation violation case, a court spokesperson said Wednesday.
Jones will remain in custody at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center until then. He turned himself in around 10 a.m. local time Tuesday. No bail has been set, as is protocol in a probation violation case. Jones will be in custody until he sees judge Michael Martinez on Thursday when terms of release are discussed.
Only one camera will be allowed in the courtroom for the hearing. Albuquerque news station KOB has been the designated party and will likely air the proceeding on KOB.com, the spokesperson said.
Leon Edwards steps in for injured Peter Sobotta at UFC Fight Night 87 in Rotterdam
An injury has forced Peter Sobotta out of May’s UFC Fight Night 87 lineup, officials today announced.
As a result, Leon Edwards (10-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has stepped in as a replacement for Sobotta (15-5-1 MMA, 2-4 UFC) and now fights welterweight Dominic Waters (9-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC). UFC officials didn’t disclose the nature of Sobotta’s injury.
The latest UFC Fight Night 87 card includes:
Andrei Arlovski vs. Alistair Overeem
Antonio Silva vs. Stefan Struve
Rustam Khabilov vs. Chris Wade
Yan Cabral vs. Reza Madadi
Magnus Cedenblad vs. Garreth McLellan
Leon Edwards vs. Dominic Waters
Gunnar Nelson vs. Albert Tumenov
Nick Hein vs. Jon Tuck
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Neil Seery
Francimar Barroso vs. Nikita Krylov
Heather Jo Clark vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Anna Elmose vs. Germaine de Randamie
Germaine de Randamie meets newcomer Anna Elmose at UFC Fight Night 87
Women’s bantamweight contender Germaine de Randamie will welcome a promotional newcomer to the UFC in her next bout.
UFC officials today announced de Randamie (5-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) meets undefeated Danish fighter Anna Elmose (3-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 87.
UFC Fight Night 87 takes place May 8 at Ahoy Rotterdam in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The card is expected to air on FOX Sports 1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.
Blagoy Ivanov vs. Josh Copeland, Jason High vs. Mike Ricci set for WSOF 31
A heavyweight title fight between Blagoy Ivanov (13-1) and Josh Copeland (12-3) is set to headline WSOF 31. Additionally, a lightweight bout between Jason High (19-5) and Mike Ricci (11-4) will serve as the co-main event of the card. The news was announced by the promotion on Tuesday.
Ivanov, who captured the WSOF heavyweight gold back in June 2015 against Smealinho Rama, will be defending his belt for a second time in this fight with Copeland. The 29-year-old Bulgarian fighter last competed on October 2015 at WSOF 24 where he defeated Derrick Mehmen via second-round TKO.
His opponent, Josh Copeland, is currently 3-1 in his past four fights. 'Cuddly Bear' is coming off a unanimous decision win over Mike Hayes earlier this year at WSOF 29. Prior to that, the 33-year-old heavyweight suffered a submission loss to Vitaly Minakov in Russia.
Former champ Carla Esparza returns to action against Juliana Lima at UFC 197
Former strawweight champion Carla Esparza will return to the octagon at UFC 197 when she takes on Juliana Lima.
The UFC confirmed the bout, first reported by ESPN, today. UFC 197 takes place April 23 at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The latest UFC 197 card now includes:
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
Champ Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones – for light heavyweight title
Champ Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo – for flyweight title
Edson Barboza vs. Anthony Pettis
Rafael Natal vs. Robert Whittaker
Andre Fili vs. Yair Rodriguez
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1)
Chris Kelades vs. Sergio Pettis
Danny Roberts vs. Dominique Steele
Carla Esparza vs. Juliana Lima
Glaico Franca vs. James Vick
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass)
Clint Hester vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima
Efrain Escudero vs. Kevin Lee
6 fights added to UFC Fight Night 89, including Bosse-O'Connell, Alvey-Theodorou
The card for UFC Fight Night 89 is developing quickly.
The UFC today announced six new fights for the event, which takes place June 18 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It’s expected to air on FOX Sports 1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
The new bookings include Steve Bosse (11-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) vs. Sean O'Connell (17-7 MMA, 2-3 UFC) at light heavyweight, Sam Alvey (26-7 MMA, 3-2 UFC) vs. Elias Theodorou (11-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) at middleweight, Misha Cirkunov (11-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) vs. Ion Cutelaba (11-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at light heavyweight, Olivier Aubin-Mercier (7-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) vs. Thibault Gouti (11-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at lightweight, Krzysztof Jotko (17-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) vs. Tamdan McCrory (14-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) at middleweight and Colby Covington (8-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) vs. Alex Garcia (13-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) at welterweight.
With the additions, the latest UFC Fight Night 89 card now includes:
Rory MacDonald vs. Stephen Thompson
Donald Cerrone vs. Patrick Cote
Steve Bosse vs. Sean O’Connell
Sam Alvey vs. Elias Theodorou
Jason Saggo vs. Leandro Silva
Misha Cirkunov vs. Ion Cutelaba
Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Thibault Gouti
Krzysztof Jotko vs. Tamdan McCrory
Colby Covington vs. Alex Garcia
ROAD FC signs “Ryo” Young Choi, DEEP Champ makes 10-year return to Korea in May
ROAD FC announces the signing of “Ryo” Choi Young, 1st generation Korean MMA star and current DEEP Champion.
29 March, 2016 - ROAD Fighting Championship is excited to announce the signing “Ryo” Choi Young, of one of Korea’s “first generation” of Mixed Martial Artists and current DEEP Middleweight Champion. After almost ten years away from Korea, he is expected to make his promotional debut on 14 May, 2016 at ROAD FC 031 in Seoul.
Choi Young (18-10-3, Shinbukan/Land’s End) is a third generation ethnic Korean who was born and raised in Osaka, Japan. Choi first fought MMA in Japan in 2000, however his MMA career really kicked off in Korea in Spirit MC. In 2004, he faced “Stun Gun” Kim Dong-Hyun in Spirit MC’s first Interleague tournament, and beat him by Unanimous Decision. At the point of Spirit MC’s closure, Choi fought in K-1's HERO’S and returned to Japan where he became a staple of DEEP. Along the way, Choi fought the top in the middleweight division, including Lim Jae-Seok, Ryuta Sakurai, Kazuhiro Nakamura, Tatsuya Mizuno, and Yoshiyuki Nakanishi.
UFC Fight Night 88 tickets on sale this week; $175 gets you cageside in Las Vegas
Planning to attend UFC Fight Night 88 in May? You can buy your tickets starting this week.
UFC Fight Night 88 takes place May 29 – a Sunday – at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The main card airs on FOX Sports 1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
The show features a pair of unbeaten bantamweights in the main event. Thomas Almeida (20-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) takes on Cody Garbrandt (8-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) in the 135-pound headliner.