Dana White defends UFC's ION Television deal, says future plans uncertain
LAS VEGAS – While the UFC's recent announcement that preliminary bouts from this weekend's UFC 125 event would be broadcast on ION Television left many MMA fans scratching their head, UFC president Dana White said those same fans should be busy celebrating the deal.
"Every fan that wanted to see the prelims should be doing Diego Sanchez 'Yes Cartwheels' down the street right now," White said. "We got it on free TV."
Instead, White said he has received some questions and complaints regarding the upcoming broadcast. However, the UFC boss believes the situation is a win-win for all involved.
Breaking: Cain Velasquez Injured, Out 6-8 Months (Updated)
It seems that the "Cain Train" has been derailed for a while. After today's UFC 125 pre-fight presser, Dana White revealed that UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez is out 6-8 months due to a shoulder injury. White hopes the champ can return in summer 2011.
More when it becomes available.
UPDATE: Badly torn rotator cuff, it happened during the UFC 121 fight with Brock Lesnar but initial MRIs were inconclusive. Best-case for recovery is 4-6 months.
Steve Cantwell vs. Cyrille Diabate Addded To UFC On Versus 3
Steve Cantwell has another fight if he can keep it. This time he's scheduled to face Cyrille Diabate at UFC On Versus 3 Cantwell has had a difficult time getting into the octagon as of late. The former WEC light-heavyweight champion was due to meet Stanislav Nedkov in October at UFC 120 but was forced to withdraw only 48 hours prior to the event with a knee injury suffered in the practice room. It was supposed to be Cantwell's first fight back after the Nevada State Athletic Commission refused to issue him medical clearance for a fight against Vladimir Matyushenko at UFC 108. He spent five months on the bench as the commission reviewed his denial, which centered around the medical paperwork he submitted for the January bout. In May the commission gave him the all-clear for a fight license. Cantwell was heavily rumored for a bout with Ricardo Romero in July at UFC 116, but the bout did not materialize. He hasn't fought since September 2009, when he lost a unanimous decision to former WEC champ Brian Stann in a rubber match of two previous meetings in which they swapped wins. His skid started one fight prior when he was outpointed by Luis Cane at UFC 97.
Luiz Cane vs. Karlos Vemola On Tap For UFC 128
Karlos Vemola will seek to be "The Terminator" of Luiz Cane's UFC career as they're set to meet on a rapidly filling UFC 128 fight card. Verbal agreements are in place, paperwork pending. Cane vs. Vemola is likely to be part of the event's untelevised preliminary card, though its position could not be verified at the time of this writing. Vemola will try for 2 wins in a row after losing his UFC debut, while Cane will try to avoid a 3rd loss in a row and a likely pink slip.
Dana Remains Against Lesnar In WWE Slot, Nothing On TUF Coaches
UFC president Dana White still isn't quite ready to announce who will be coaching on the upcoming 13th season of "The Ultimate Fighter." However, White did say speculation that Frank Mir was pulled from a proposed UFC 128 matchup with Brendan Schaub in order to take a slot on the Spike TV reality series was unfounded. "We're moving [expletive] around all the time," White said. "What we like to do is that when we nail a fight and sign it, that's usually it. It's solid. But stuff happens with these other fights.
"We're still laying out the map for next year. [Mir's removal from UFC 128] has nothing to do with ['The Ultimate Fighter]."
"I don't know, man," White admitted. "I can't even talk about the 'TUF' coaches right now. I don't know." As for Lesnar, the UFC boss remains steadfast in his position regarding the former heavyweight champion and his desire to make an appearance for the WWE. "Not going to happen," White said. "He can't leave the UFC. He's under contract." Lesnar, a former professional wrestling superstar, has been linked to a potential appearance at Wrestlemania XXVII, which takes place in April. While White wouldn't reveal what is next for Lesnar, he made it clear the heavyweight won't be starring for the WWE anytime soon – even in some kind of limited special role. "Like row 3, seat 16?" White asked. "Row 3, seat 16 in aisle 2 sounds good to me."
There's little chance Lesnar leaves UFC to wrestle full-time
Oh you silly blogosphere. Once a rumor starts it often spins out of control on the Internet.
Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer spoke about Brock Lesnar's future on his Monday radio show. Meltzer, who also covers MMA right here on Yahoo!, said Lesnar has an exit plan in mind for his future. Somehow that turned into:
Brock Lesnar Rumored To Be Looking For A Way Out Of The UFC
Eleven minute video with Dave Meltzer embedded in article
Chuck Liddell retires and becomes VP of business development for the UFC
LAS VEGAS – Chuck Liddell officially is retired from the UFC cage, but "The Iceman's" career isn't over.
The UFC Hall of Famer and former champion has turned in his fight gloves for a spot in the UFC's front office.
The 41-year-old MMA legend and business-school graduate today was named the UFC's executive vice president of business development.
"He's now on level and on par with all the top executives," UFC president Dana White said at today's pre-UFC 125 press conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
An emotional Liddell briefly addressed the media and fans. He thanked the UFC for a memorable career and said he looks forward to promoting a sport he helped put on the map.
"I love this sport, and I'm ready for a new chapter in my career," he said.
Urijah Faber vs Eddie Wineland at UFC 128
A battle between former WEC champs is brewing for the UFC's third trip to New Jersey.
Urijah Faber (24-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC), once tops in the featherweight class before his reinvention as a bantamweight, is expected to meet Eddie Wineland (18-6-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), the first-ever 135-pound champion, at UFC 128.
Bart Palaszewski Headed to UFC
While lightweights Jamie Varner and Chris Horodecki's respective WEC contracts won't be carried over to the UFC, veteran 155-pounder Bart Palaszewski was fortunate enough to have his deal brought over to the organization.
MMA Fighting confirmed the news with Palaszewski's manager, Brian Butler of SuckerPunch Entertainment, Tuesday evening.
No word on when "Bartimus" will make his UFC debut just yet.
Overeem vs. Duffee (Finally) Official For Dynamite!!, Special Rules Detailed
A previously reported heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem and recent UFC castoff Todd Duffee now is set for Friday's DREAM "Dynamite!! 2010" event. Before the recent booking of Duffee, DREAM officials talked about Overeem possibly fighting for the organization's first-ever heavyweight title. However, officials said it's currently slated as a regular fight with three five-minute rounds.
UFC Cuts Tyler Toner
After getting his big-time shot after the WEC-UFC merger, it's one and done in the main promotion for Tyler Toner, who has been released by UFC. Toner went 1-1 in WEC, then following the merger made his UFC debut at the TUF 12 Finale and lost to Ian Loveland.
Strikeforce champ Nick Diaz signs multi-year contract extension
Strikeforce welterweight champion and potential free agent Nick Diaz (23-7 MMA, 4-0 SF) will not test the open market.
Strikeforce officials today announced that the popular and sometimes controversial Diaz has signed a new multi-year agreement with Strikeforce.
"I'm looking forward to continuing my career with Strikeforce," Diaz stated in today's release.
Exact terms of the new contract were not revealed.
Diaz debuted for Strikeforce in the main event of the April 2009 event "Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz." Diaz earned a second-round TKO over Shamrock, and the California native hasn't looked back since.
Diaz has ripped through Strikeforce's welterweight division with one-sided wins over K.J. Noons and Scott Smith, and he's also handled a Lithuanian import in Marius Zaromskis, as well as a trip to Japan to face Hayato "Mach" Sakurai.
Jamie Varner released
Two-time UFC veteran Jamie Varner will have to wait to make his triumphant return to the octagon.
Following a recent four-fight winless streak, the former WEC champion was released by Zuffa officials.
News of the roster move was first reported by PunchDrunkGamer.com, and MMAjunkie.com subsequently confirmed Varner's release with his management.
Lightweight Chris Horodecki cut from Zuffa roster
Chris Horodecki (16-3 MMA, 2-2 WEC) is the latest fighter to be released from Zuffa's lightweight roster.
The 23-year-old London, Ontario, Canada, native was submitted by Donald Cerrone at WEC 53 in the promotion's final event before ceding its talent to the UFC.
"One door closes and another one opens," Horodecki today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I'll be back sooner than later."
The baby-faced striker went 2-2 in his stint with the WEC with wins over Danny Downes and Ed Ratcliff and losses to Cerrone and Anthony Njokuani.
The loss to Njokuani was particularly devastating. Six months after returning to the cage, Horodecki wound up on the wrong side of a highlight reel when Nojuanki knocked him out with a head kick in the first round of his promotion debut at WEC 45. Horodecki had spent a year-plus on the bench in the wake of the International Fight League's late 2008 collapse.
Todd Duffee's New Year's Gamble
For a certain kind of MMA fighter, New Year's Eve in Japan represents a simple math problem. It's about risk versus reward, money versus pain and embarrassment, and, more often than not, overflowing optimism versus some very long odds.
Mostly though, it's about money.
That might not be the only reason Todd Duffee reportedly agreed to end a tumultuous 2010 with a fight against Alistair Overeem on this year's Dynamite!! New Year's Eve show, but it's definitely one of the reasons.
An interesting piece on one of the more hyped fights in this week's trio of events.
Volkmann Looks to Break McKee
“They trained us to break people.”
Those are the stark and intimidating words of Jacob “Christmas” Volkmann. The UFC lightweight is not referencing the mysterious Russian military doctors who trained Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. Volkmann is referring to the very real teachings of the Division I wrestling coaches at the University of Minnesota. A “Golden Gopher” sounds a lot less friendly now, doesn’t it?
“That is what I'm trying to carry over to the UFC - the idea of breaking somebody,” states the three-time All-American wrestler, who has shown dramatic improvement with each of his appearances in the Octagon. “It's getting closer. I still have to open it up more like I did back when I was at the U of M. I'm still holding back a little bit.”
Tito Ortiz Signs Bout Agreement to Face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Tito Ortiz has made a ritual out of signing his bout agreements on camera, and he did just that recently.
Ortiz shot a video last Wednesday while signing the agreement to fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and posted it online. In doing so, Ortiz confirmed that the fight will take place on March 26 in Seattle, Wash. The light heavyweight bout is expected to headline UFC Fight Night 24 on Spike TV.
Article includes video of Ortiz signing the agreement
Shane Roller vs. Thiago Tavares in the works for UFC on Versus 3
Former top WEC contender Shane Roller (9-3 MMA, 6-2 WEC) makes his octagon debut against nine-time UFC veteran Thiago Tavares (15-3-1 MMA, 6-3-1 UFC).
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned both fighters have agreed to face each other at UFC on Versus 3, and bout agreements are expected to be finalized shortly.
While not yet officially announced by the promotion, UFC on Versus 3 is expected to take place March 3 in Louisville, Ky.
Sean McCorkle vs. Christian Morecraft Slated for UFN 24
Heavyweights Sean McCorkle and Christian Morecraft have agreed to fight at the upcoming UFC Fight Night 24 in Seattle, Wash., MMA Fighting has learned from sources close to the fight.
The event, which has yet to be officially announced by the UFC, is expected to air live on Spike TV. All signs point to the card being headlined by Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.