Chicago's UFC on FOX 20 lineup gets first 4 bouts, including LaFlare vs. Yakovlev
The fight card is starting to take shape for the UFC’s July return to network television.
UFC officials recently announced the first four matchups for UFC on FOX 20.
The event takes place July 23 at United Center in Chicago. The bulk of the lineup, including the main card, is expected to air on FOX following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
The latest UFC on FOX 20 card includes:
Ryan LaFlare vs. Alexander Yakovlev
George Sullivan vs. Hector Urbina
James Moontasri vs. Alex Oliveira
Luis Henrique vs. Dmitry Smolyakov
Julianna Pena cleared to resume UFC career following assault allegations
The UFC today announced it has completed an investigation into allegations of assault by women’s bantamweight Julianna Pena and reinstated “The Ultimate Fighter 18” winner, freeing her to resume her professional career.
The 26-year-old fighter reportedly volunteered to undergo counseling as a condition of her return.
“Pena acknowledges that her actions as a professional athlete should reflect well of her, the sport of mixed martial arts, and the UFC,” the promotion said in a prepared statement.
Mike Wilkinson announces he was released by the UFC
An exciting up-and-comer from England has been released by the UFC.
Mike Wilkinson announced Monday on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani that he was cut by the promotion following his last fight, a unanimous decision loss to Makwan Amirkhani in February. Wilkinson went 2-2 in the UFC and earned a Performance of the Night bonus with a first-round knockout of Niklas Backstrom in 2014.
After the win over Backstrom, Wilkinson (9-2) suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out for more than a year. Wilkinson, 28, hails from Manchester and was a castmate on The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes.
Wilkinson's release comes on the heels of uncharacteristic UFC cuts of solid fighters like Jared Rosholt and Norman Parke.
WSOF 30 salaries range from $130,000 to $500
David Branch continues to be one of the highest earners outside of the UFC. The two-division World Series of Fighting champion pocketed a $130,000 purse for his middleweight title defense over Clifford Starks at WSOF 30, according to information the Nevada Athletic Commission released Monday to MMA Fighting.
Main card (NBC Sports Network)
David Branch ($65,000 + $65,000 = $130,000) def. Clifford Starks ($15,000)
Jon Fitch ($35,000 + $35,000 = $70,000) def. Joao Zeferino ($15,000)
Vinny Magalhaes ($7,000 + $7,000 = $14,000) def. Jake Heun ($10,000)
Abu Azaitar ($3,000 + $3,000 = $6,000) def. Danny Davis Jr. ($3,000)
Preliminary Card (MMA Fighting)
Abubakar Nurmagomedov ($3,500 + $3,500 = $7,000) def. Matt Frincu ($4,000)
Rex Harris ($1,500 + $1,500 = $3,000) def. Clinton Williams ($4,000)
Steve Kozola ($3,000 + $3,000 = $6,000) def. Matt Church ($1,000)
Adam Acquaviva ($2,000 + $2,000 = $4,000) def. Andres Ponce ($800)
Zach Bunnell ($500 + $500 = $1,000) def. Jeff Roman ($500)
Wanderlei Silva to Partner with Kiyoshi Tamura for Rizin Tag Match Against Sakuraba, Tokoro
Former Pride FC champion Wanderlei Silva will join forces with Japanese MMA pioneer and onetime opponent Kiyoshi Tamura for a tag-team grappling match at this month’s Rizin Fighting Federation event.
Rizin officials last week announced that Silva and Tamura will go up against Kazushi Sakuraba and Hideo Tokoro in the submission-only match. Exact rules for the contest have not been revealed.
The grappling match will headline Rizin 1, the organization’s first official event following its pair of New Year’s Eve cards. The event takes place April 17 at Nippon Gaishi Hall in Nagoya, Japan, and will also feature the likes of Daron Cruickshank, Hisaki Kato and Gabi Garcia.
Yoel Romero suspended six months after USADA confirmation of tainted supplement
Yoel Romero has been handed a six-month suspension by USADA after failing a drug test after his UFC 194 split decision win over Ronaldo Souza.
USADA announced Romero (11-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC), ranked No. 3 in the MMAjunkie/USA TODAY Sports MMA middleweight rankings, accepted their sanction via a statement on their official website.
Romero, a 2000 Olympic silver-medal wrestler for Cuba, has won seven straight fights – all in the UFC – and was knocking on the door of a potential title fight after the victory at UFC 194.
Warlley Alves Ready to take out Bam Bam
When it comes to Brazilian fighters, Warlley Alves appears to be one with the talent for a long, sustainable and perhaps even championship-caliber career under the UFC banner.
At 25 Alves (10-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) has already built an undefeated record, which includes four straight wins in the octagon. He has the chance to make it five in a row when he takes on Bryan Barberena (11-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) in a welterweight bout at UFC 198.
UFC 198 takes place May 14 at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.
Alves carries plenty of momentum into the event, as will Barberena. “Bam Bam” scored a huge upset over another hyped and undefeated fighter when he submitted Sage Northcutt at UFC on FOX 18 in January. Alves plans to claim that momentum for himself.
Lil' Nog: 'Plans for retiring are not in my mind for at least the next two years'
When former Pride and UFC champion Antonio "Minotauro" Nogueira hung up his gloves last September after three losses in a row, one of the true MMA legends has left the sport. Fortunately, his twin brother Rogerio remains active and thoughts of retirement haven't crossed his mind yet, despite his own series of two back-to-back losses against Anthony Johnson and Mauricio Rua.
In fact, the 39-year old Pride veteran plans to stay around for at least two more years.
After Legacy FC 51 win, Cody East signs with UFC, meets Walt Harris at UFC 197
The final piece of the preliminary card is in place for UFC 197 later this month, and it will feature a heavyweight promotional newcomer.
After impressing UFC President Dana White with his win at Legacy FC 51 earlier this year while White was filming an episode of “Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight,” Cody East (12-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will make his promotional debut at UFC 197 against Walt Harris (7-4 MMA, 0-3 UFC).
The fight was made official on the latest episode of “Lookin’ for a Fight,” which debuted today on UFC Fight Pass.
Daniel Cormier won't need surgery, expected back by August or September
C light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who pulled out of the UFC 197 main event on April 23 in Las Vegas, is expected to be able to fight again by around August or September according to a source close to the fighter.
Cormier suffered a lower left leg injury in training on March 25. It was described as a freak injury doing light kickboxing training, which was diagnosed several days later through an MRI as being a complete middle substance rupture of the interosseous membrane from the fibula. FOX Sports' Damon Martin first reported the injury news.
No surgery will be needed for the injury and the healing time is expected to take four to eight weeks. Doctors believed there was a chance he may heal sooner than that. The injury should have no long-term effects.
‘TUF: Smashes’ Winner Norman Parke Announces UFC Release
Norman Parke, the lightweight winner of “The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes,” has been released by the UFC.
The 29-year-old Northern Ireland native announced the news via Facebook on Friday.
“I just wanna say a huge thanks to the UFC for giving me the great opportunity to compete at the highest level in combat sports,” Parke wrote. “I’ve had many great memories that will stay with me forever!! I’m now looking to fight this summer so whatever comes up I’ll be ready to go!! On any show anywhere.
DC pulls out of UFC 197
The highly-anticipated rematch between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones won't be happening later this month after all.
An injury has forced Cormier, the UFC light heavyweight champion, to withdraw from the fight, MMAFighting.com has confirmed via multiple sources. Cormier wasn't available for comment when contacted by MMAFighting.com Friday night.
BJPenn.com first reported the news.
Adrien Broner Loses another title to the scales
Controversial boxer Adrien Broner (31-2-1 NC, 23 KOs) is just 1 day away from a Premier Boxing Champions on Spike main event against England's Ashley Theophane (39-6-1, 11 KOs). This is despite the fact that Broner is wanted by Ohio police on assault and robbery charges stemming from an alleged bowling alley incident in January. Washington DC's commission still agreed to license him, with the expectation that Broner would turn himself in once he returned to Ohio.
Coming into today's weigh-ins in Washington DC, Broner vs. Theophane was supposed to be a title defense for "The Problem", who won the vacant WBA super lightweight (140 lbs) title against Khabib Allakhverdiev with a 12th round TKO. The problem (see what I did there?) for Broner? He didn't make weight.
Bryan Caraway vs. Aljamain Sterling booked for UFC Fight Night 88 in Las Vegas
Another pivotal bantamweight matchup is set for UFC Fight Night 88.
The recently re-signed Aljamain Sterling (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) and Bryan Caraway (20-7 MMA, 5-2 UFC) will meet at the FOX Sports 1-televised event, which takes place May 29 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. UFC officials announced the new booking today after an initial report from Newsday.
The fight bolsters a bantamweight headliner featuring Cody Garbrandt versus Thomas Almeida in a meeting of two top prospects.
With the addition, the latest UFC Fight Night 88 card now includes:
Thomas Almeida vs. Cody Garbrandt
Renan Barao vs. Jeremy Stephens
Tarec Saffiedine vs. Rick Story
Bryan Caraway vs. Aljamain Sterling
Chris Camozzi vs. Vitor Miranda
Lorenz Larkin vs. Jorge Masvidal
Josh Burkman vs. Paul Felder
Jessica Eye vs. Sara McMann
Diego Ferreira vs. Abel Trujillo
Jake Collier vs. Alberto Pereira Uda
Erik Koch vs. Joe Proctor
Chris DeLaRocha vs. Adam Milstead