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The next phase of the career of MMA legend Wanderlei Silva began today with the announcement that “The Axe Murderer” has signed with Bellator.
The 39-year-old Silva (35-12-1 MMA, 5-7 UFC), the promotion today announced, has signed an exclusive multi-fight, multi-year deal. The signing appeared to be an inevitability after Bellator President Scott Coker said recently that the promotion was having serious talks with the former UFC standout and PRIDE champion about coming out of retirement.
The lineup is set for this month’s UFC Fight Night 85 event, which marks the promotion’s return to Australia.
UFC Fight Night 85 takes place at Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The event, which airs on FOX Sports 1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, takes place Sunday, March 20, in Australia but airs Saturday, March 19, in North America due to the time difference.
The event kicks off at a normal time of 6:30 p.m. ET, and the main card is slated for 10 p.m. ET.
The top bouts are set for next month’s RFA 37 event, which features a pair of title fights as the organization heads to South Dakota.
The event takes place April 15 at Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D. The main card airs on AXS TV.
In the headliner, the organization will crown its inaugural light-heavyweight champion. Undefeated South Dakotan Devin Clark (5-0), an NJCAA wrestling champion and Golden Gloves champion who’s 3-0 under the RFA banner, looks to win a title when he takes on Brazilian Rafael Viana (6-0), a promotional newcomer and Shooto Brazil champ who’s earned five stoppages in six career wins since his 2011 pro debut.
In the co-headliner, the organization crowns its third 135-pound champion after past titleholders Pedro Munhoz and Luke Sanders both moved on to the UFC. The title hopefuls include Joey Miolla (8-1), a 31-year-old American riding an eight-fight winning streak, vs. 27-year-old Brazilian Leandro Higo (15-2), who’s won six straight and has nine submissions in 15 career wins.
Following the withdrawal of Bartosz Fabinski (13-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC), Nicolas Dalby (14-0-1 MMA, 1-0-1 UFC) has a new opponent for next month’s UFC Fight Night 86 event.
Officials today announced welterweight Zak Cummings (18-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) has stepped in as a replacement. A reason wasn’t given for Fabinski’s removal from the card.
UFC Fight Night 86 takes place April 10 at Zagreb Arena in Zagreb, Croatia. It airs on FOX Sports 1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass. The bout order hasn’t been finalized.
The co-main event for Bellator 153: Koreshkov vs. Henderson is set, with the news that Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (24-3) will compete against John “Macapa” Teixeira (19-1-2) in featherweight action on April 22 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
In addition, Connecticut’s own “Irish” Brennan Ward (13-3) returns to action in his home state fresh off an impressive victory in Japan, when he welcomes Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos (20-16) into the Bellator MMA fray at 170-pounds.
Bellator 153: Koreshkov vs. Henderson Updated Fight Card:
Welterweight World Title Bout: Andrey Koreshkov (18-1) vs. Benson Henderson (23-5)
Featherweight Co-Main Event: Patricio Freire (24-3) vs. John Teixeira (19-1-2)
Welterweight Feature Bout: Brennan Ward (13-3) vs. Evangelista Santos (20-16)
Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Sam Watford (1-0) vs. Dean Hancock (2-0)
Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Chris Foster (8-4) vs. Felipe Lavandoski (5-0)
Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Jason Bakanowski (3-2) vs. T.J. Hepburn (4-2)
Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Pete Rogers (2-3) vs. Mike Mangan (0-3)
Sergio Moraes and Kamaru Usman are slated to battle on May 14, when the Octagon makes it return to Brazil. MMAFighting.com confirmed the welterweight match-up with sources close to the situation following a report by Combate.
The UFC has yet to announce the city and venue for the event.
Moraes (10-2) enters the bout coming off four straight wins under the UFC banner, capped off by a third-round knockout over Omari Akhmedov in December. Two of his previous three wins also came with stoppages, tapping out Neil Magny and Renee Forte.
Usman (7-1) has won twice after competing at the 21st edition of The Ultimate Fighter. The Blackzilians welterweight defeated Leon Edwards and Hayder Hassan inside the Octagon after going 2-0 in the reality show.
TUF 15 alum and veteran lightweight Daron Cruickshank is one of three fighters gone from the UFC roster.
After more than a dozen fights inside the Octagon, TUF 15's Daron Cruickshank has been handed his UFC pink slip following a dramatic submission loss at UFC Boston two months ago. The 30-year-old lightweight striker confirmed the news to fans on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.
UFC heavyweight fighter Alistair Overeem was in attendance at this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 84 Q&A in London. During the Q&A press event, Overeem was asked about giving Brock Lesnar a rematch at some point down the road.
TULSA, Oklahoma -
A father and son were shot in a busy parking near 31st and Garnett Monday night. Police said the men were shot in an attempted robbery.
A family member of the victims said her husband and son had been working out at the gym but parked in the nearby Rib Crib parking lot around 7:30 p.m.
Tulsa police said, as the father, Mikey Burnett, and son, Freddie Burnett, got to their car, two men walked up and tried to rob them. We're told Freddie tried to fight off the suspected robbers after they shot his dad.
Police said the Mikey was shot three times in the abdomen and Freddie was shot once in the leg. Police said Mikey was taken to the hospital for surgery. Both are expected to survive.
A solid welterweight bout has been added to the UFC’s upcoming debut in the Netherlands.
Albert Tumenov (17-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) is slated to meet Gunnar Nelson (14-2-1 MMA, 5-2 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 87 in May, UFC officials today announced.
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.
Anderson Silva lost to Michael Bisping via unanimous decision at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 84 in London, but his coach Luiz Dorea believes the former middleweight champion beat "The Count" by knockout and decision.
Dorea, who cornered Silva in the 25-minute contest at the O2 Arena, revealed to MMAFighting.com "The Spider" suffered an injury early in the fight. Even with the injury in the same leg Silva fractured in his rematch with Chris Weidman in 2013, Dorea thinks he did enough to win.
"He felt a kick he landed in the first round, thought he cracked his leg and a screw moved," Dorea said. "That limited his movements, made him stop attacking for a moment. I asked him to attack, but he said ‘professor, I’m feeling it, I have no confidence’. I said ‘use your heart, you’re Anderson Silva, go after him’. That slowed him down a bit. Bisping attacked more, but less effectively. Anderson was more effective. I hope the commission reviews this result because this is bad for the sport. Even Dana White saw that way. Everybody knows who won the fight."
Despite the pain, Silva is apparently out of danger.
"Silva did some exams after the fight. He suffered an injury, but the screw didn’t move," he added. "I don’t know how bad the injury was, but I know the screw didn’t move and he won’t need a surgery. He was in pain in the locker room, but he won’t need surgery. He was in pain, he couldn’t even put his shoes on, but he’s fine now."
Anderson Silva fought Michael Bisping in enemy territory Saturday, and his team wants a rematch on his home turf.
The former UFC middleweight kingpin lost to Bisping via unanimous decision at the O2 Arena in London, suffering his first decision loss since 2000. After the decision was read, Silva called it "total corruption", and his manager suggests an immediate rematch in Brazil.
If you put on a frantic main event filled with twists and turns, stops and starts, and dramatic action, you're probably going to walk away with some extra money at the end of the night.
Such was the case for Michael Bisping and Anderson Silva on Saturday night. While there was much dispute over whether Bisping deserved the 48-47, across-the-board decision at UFC Fight Night 84 in London's O2 Arena, there was little dispute it was the night's best fight.
Bisping and Silva will each take home an extra $50,000 U.S. for their efforts.
All three judges scored the UFC Fight Night 84 main event for Michael Bisping. UFC President Dana White, however, said he saw the middleweight headliner differently.
Bisping (28-7 MMA, 18-7 UFC) topped former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (33-7 MMA, 16-3 UFC) by unanimous decision in Saturday’s main event at The O2 in London for what will go down as one of the most significant victories of his career.
LONDON – Today’s UFC Fight Night 84 event drew an announced attendance of 16,734 and a live gate of $2 million.
James Elliott, the UFC’s vice president and general manager for the Europe, Asia and Middle East regions, announced the figures at the post-event news conference, which MMAjunkie attended.
UFC Fight Night 84 took place at The O2 in London. The entire card streamed on UFC Fight Pass. In the main event, Michael Bisping topped Anderson Silva by unanimous decision in what should go down as a classic middleweight battle.
To date, the UFC has hosted five events at The O2. The all-time attendance figures include:
“UFC 120: Bisping vs. Akiyama” – 17,133 ($2,560,000 gate)
“UFC Fight Night 84: Silva vs. Bisping” – 16,734 ($2,000,000 gate)
“UFC 75: Champion vs. Champion” – 16,235 ($2,700,000 gate)
“UFC Fight Night 37: Gustafsson vs. Manuwa” – 14,604 ($2,000,056 gate)
“UFC 95: Sanchez vs. Stevenson” – 13,268 ($1,000,000 gate)
Rafael Carvalho looks to defend his Bellator middleweight title against Melvin Manhoef May 20 at Bellator 155 in Boise, Idaho.
The 29-year-old Brazilian is 12-1 in professional action, most recently snatching the Bellator title from Brandon Halsey at Bellator 144 with a devastating body kick knockout. His lone loss came in his professional debut, a submission defeat to Julio Cesar Araujo Fernandes in December 2011.
Sergio Pettis will once again share a card with his brother when he faces Chris Kelades at UFC 197 on April 23.
The UFC confirmed the flyweight pairing following an initial report from the Halifax Metro News. UFC 197 takes place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and is headlined by a light heavyweight title rematch between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones. Former lightweight champ Anthony Pettis is slated to meet Edson Barboza in a featured lightweight tilt on the pay-per-view draw.
Kendall Grove has been on the open market before. Except that time, he didn't expect it.
In 2011, Grove dropped a unanimous decision to Tim Boetsch at UFC 130 and he was released by the promotion. Yes, the Ultimate Fighter 3 winner had lost two in a row, but the first defeat came against Demian Maia and Boetsch is a perennial top-15 fighter at middleweight.
"The UFC didn't want me and I only lost two decisions to two tough guys and they let me go for some reason," Grove said. "But that's the business. I'm not mad over it. I'm a little disappointed, but it's their company."
Joe Schilling doesn't think he'll have many friends at the Sears Centre Arena this weekend.
It's not often that a fighter will compete for an organization when he is already set to bolt after his contract is up and everyone knows it. But that's exactly the case for Schilling when he meets Michael Lemaire at GLORY 27 on Friday night.
Schilling, the most well-known American kickboxer and fan favorite, has already inked a deal with Bellator Kickboxing and was introduced at the new promotion's introductory press conference last Friday in Houston. That contract just won't begin until he fulfills two more fights with GLORY. This particular one will come on the Superfight Series in Chicago and will air on UFC Fight Pass.
A lightweight bout pitting Rashid Magomedov against Chris Wade has been added to the UFC Fight Night Rotterdam lineup.
The Las Vegas-based promotion announced the matchup on Friday. Additionally, Dominic Waters will face Peter Sobotta in a welterweight duel, while Garreth McLellan will meet Magnus Cedenblad in a middleweight tilt at the May 8 event.