Rory MacDonald up for Chael Sonnen fight at 'gangster weight'
The press release from Bellator announcing Sonnen's signing stated that he wanted to fight in three different weight classes (which he dubbed gangster weight), and one of the specific names he called out was the aforementioned MacDonald. That's a bit strange, since Rory has always been a welterweight. But Chael said he'd take him on at 185, and for his part, it looks like Rory is down with it. He responded to a tweet about the fight by MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani:
Tyron Woodley announces he'll defend title against Stephen Thompson at UFC 205
The suspense is over: Tyron Woodley has his first championship defense set, and Madison Square Garden has a title fight.
Woodley, the UFC welterweight champion, will defend the belt against red-hot Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson at UFC 205 card in New York City on Nov. 12. He made the announcement on FOX Sports 2's weigh-in show Friday, and UFC sources confirmed that matchup is the plan for the two fighters.
Cody East vs. Curtis Blaydes slated for UFC Fight Night 96 in Oregon
A heavyweight bout has been added to next month’s UFC Fight Night 96 lineup.
Officials today announced Cody East (12-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) is slated to fight Curtis Blaydes (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC).
UFC Fight Night 96 takes place Oct. 1 at Moda Center in Portland, Ore. The card air on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.
Uriah Hall blasts Michael Bisping: ‘I’ve kicked his ass in training before’
Reigning middleweight champion Michael Bisping has drawn the ire of many fighters, due to his brash demeanor. One of them being number nine-ranked contender Uriah Hall, who is apparently aching to get his hands on “The Count.”
“Primetime” takes on number-ten ranked middleweight Derek Brunson this weekend at UFC Fight Night 94 in Hidalgo, Texas. But he is seemingly looking past his task at hand, and is already entertaining the idea of settling an apparent personal grudge against Bisping, as he talked about during a recent guesting on the UFC Unfiltered podcast.
Joe Warren says he has no sponsors for Bellator bout, having trouble supporting family
Joe Warren's shorts will be free of logos Friday night in the Bellator 161 main event. And it won't be him trying to make any kind of fashion statement.
Warren, a former two-division Bellator champion, said he doesn't have any sponsorships for his headline fight against Sirwan Kakai in Cedar Park, Texas. After his first-round submission loss to Darion Caldwell in March, all the companies split, he said.
"I'm not used to losing and people turn and run when you lose," Warren told MMA Fighting. "I know it's only one loss, but they turn and run on you. So yeah, no sponsors for this fight.
"There's fair weather fans out there. I don't believe getting sponsors is as easy as it used to be and it's just kind of sad. What I've put into this game, what I've given into the MMA field, to not even get sponsors, it's sad, man. It's sad. But it's the game. It is what it is. That's not gonna hold me back from performing, it just would have sweetened the pot a little bit."
Frankie Edgar vs. Jeremy Stephens targeted for UFC 205
With the UFC's first ever show at Madison Square Garden only two months away, the card is slowly starting to fill up. According to Brazil's Combate, former UFC lightweight champion and perennial featherweight contender Frankie Edgar will fight Jeremy Stephens on the November 12th pay-per-view event. UFC officials haven't announced the matchup themselves.
Ex-champ Chris Weidman vs. Yoel Romero slated for UFC 205 in New York City
Two middleweight notables will meet in November at UFC 205.
Former champion Chris Weidman (13-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and fellow contender Yoel Romero (12-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC) are slated to fight at the event.
Although UFC officials haven’t made a formal announcement regarding any fights on the fall card, people close to the event told MMAjunkie that the bout has been finalized. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity since they’re not authorized to announce the matchup.
The long-rumored bout features two highly ranked contenders; Weidman is No. 3 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, and Romero is No. 4.
UFC 205 takes place Nov. 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The event airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.
Weidman vs. Romero is expected to be part of the main card but not headline it.
Minakov: Contract dispute with Bellator delaying UFC debut
As far as Vitaly Minakov is concerned, he would already be fighting for the UFC had Bellator not interfered.
BloodyElbow's Karim Zidan confirmed that Minakov will likely transition to the UFC in 2017. Speaking to Russian outlet izvestia.ru, the former heavyweight champion revealed that this was indeed likely to be the case, though he was uncertain when the move would occur because of Bellator's "strange" behaviour.
"I had signed a contract with [Bellator], not on the number of matches, but for a certain period of three years," said Minakov. "The three years have elapsed but the conditions if you are the champions of the organization, and I was to them, is that they have the right to extend twice or three times more for six months. And they did.
"My agreement with Bellator will expire in a few months. But now there is strange behavior on their part. They insist that I have to perform a few more fights under their banner, although the contract does not have a word about the number of fights. Now this issue is being studied by my lawyer."
Jose Aldo wants Anthony Pettis next if Conor McGregor doesn’t return to featherweight
Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis can finally happen in 2016.
"I’m already frustrated that it might happen, but we’ll see," Aldo recently told Brazilian TV show Revista Combate. "Every night I ask ‘give me one more chance to get in there again with him and I know it won’t happen again.’ but if it’s not him, I think I’d prefer to fight Pettis. I with them learned that I don’t have to look at the promotion’s side, the title run. A fight with Pettis would sell a lot more than Holloway."
"Holloway is way tougher than Pettis today," Aldo said. "‘Do Bronx’ (Oliveira) was winning the fight, but (his cardio) goes down drastically during the fight. I think that a fight with Pettis would sell a lot and is way easier for me. If I had to choose one of them it would be him because it sells more and I have a better chance, but I respect him."
"It makes sense, but I’m not looking at the whole title thing now," Aldo said of fighting Holloway in New York. "I look at the financial aspect of it. I thought about my legacy and career before, but now I look with different eyes. I think Dana White taught me that. The biggest slice of the cake has to be mine.
"I’m trying to get a fight at this UFC card in New York, but we’ll see what ‘Dede’ (Pederneiras) has to say when he comes back. ‘Dede’ is (in Cleveland) now for a meeting with Dana to decide our future. I hope everything goes right. If it’s not against (McGregor) we fight for the undisputed belt. We’ll see."
Ex-champs Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum likely to meet at UFC 207
Cain Velasquez will likely get his rematch with fellow ex-UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum in December.
Werdum (21-6-1 MMA, 9-3 UFC) and Velasquez (14-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC), respectively No. 2 and No. 3 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings, are targeted for a long-awaited rematch at UFC 207.
The fight isn’t signed but has been offered to the competitors, according to people close to both camps who requested anonymity because they aren’t authorized to discuss the booking publicly.
UFC 207 takes place Dec. 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. As with other major year-end UFC events, it airs on pay-per-view.
Marco Beltran vs. Guido Cannetti 2 added to TUF: Latin America 3 Finale
A rematch between Marco Beltran and Guido Cannetti has been added to The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 3 Finale. The news was announced by UFC Español on Wednesday.
The two bantamweights first fought during the first season of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America in a fight that had a controversial ending. Cannetti dominated the action for the majority of the fight, but due to an illegal kick on a downed Beltran, Cannetti was deducted a point that would cost him the fight, losing via split decision.
Daniel Cormier says Jon Jones remaining interim champion 'makes no sense'
Jones - who is under temporary suspension for testing positive for Hydroxy-clomiphene, an anti-estrogenic agent, and a Letrozole metabolite, an aromatase inhibitor - has been suggesting that investigations before his appeals with USADA and the NAC have turned up good news and that he will "be back in the Octagon really soon." Jones has yet to face his official hearing but his looming presence has called the Cormier-Johnson fight into question. This was exacerbated by comments from UFC President Dana White who suggested that Jones' return could come in an interim title fight against Anthony Johnson instead of the assumed rematch between DC and Rumble.
But not everyone is happy with that idea. Speaking with Brian Stann on Toe-2-Toe on SiriusXM Rush, Cormier addressed the Jones return rumors and Dana White's idea to have Jones and Johnson square off for the interim title.
"Now one thing I completely disagree with, completely - and I don't care who hears it - why in the hell would Jon still be the interim champion? That makes no sense. That makes absolutely no sense. They should not be fighting for an interim championship. That makes no sense at all. I don't even know why he would still be the interim champion. His ass was disqualified. Take that freakin' belt off of him. That's stupid.
"I hope to God Dana misspoke, because that makes absolutely no sense. They aren't fighting for some interim title if they fight. They can fight in the main event because it's a big fight but it's a fun fight. If they fight, they fight to determine the number one contender it's not some interim championship fight. That makes no sense at all... You'd have an interim champion defending the interim championship while the actual champion is actually still there. That makes no sense whatsoever."
Donald Cerrone vs. Kelvin Gastelum in the works for UFC 205
It didn't take long for Donald Cerrone to find a new opponent for UFC 205.
According to multiple sources, Cerrone vs. Kelvin Gastelum is in the works for the Nov. 12 card at Madison Square Garden in New York City. If all goes according to plan, the welterweight fight is expected to be finalized shortly.
UFC commentator Kenny Florian confirmed death of younger brother
UFC commentator Kenny Florian announced Tuesday night that his younger brother passed away Sunday at age 33 after going missing one day earlier.
Florian wrote on Instagram, “Always loving. Always loved. Always my little brother Kiki. Kirk Andrew Florian 6/22/83-9/11/16. Thank you all for sharing his picture/information. Go tell your loved ones that you love them.”
The retired fighter offered no details about his brother’s death, and MMAjunkie was unable to reach him for comment. Monday on Twitter, Kenny Florian asked anyone with information about his brother’s whereabouts to call the Dover Police Department in Delaware. He said his brother had been missing since Saturday. He later deleted the message.
After scary concussion, UFC welterweight Matt Brown taking his return slowly
Although UFC welterweight Matt Brown estimates he’s probably suffered “hundreds” of concussions in his fighting career, he got his first official diagnosis in 2015.
The treatment he subsequently received was an experience he’d rather forget.
“I had to sit in my room for 10 days with no lights, no loud noises, no TV, no reading,” Brown told MMAjunkie Radio. “Like, literally stare at the wall and do nothing for 10 days, like jail.”
It’s for that reason that Brown isn’t in a rush to return to the octagon two months after suffering his first TKO loss in a fight against Jake Ellenberger at UFC 201.
“It’s the first time from a head shot that I’ve been dropped in my entire life, and I’ve sparred with heavyweights and big guys,” said Brown. “I hope that I can speak near-full sentences when I’m done fighting.”
He had his first training session earlier this week and would like to fight by the end of the year or early next year.
“I would love New York (at UFC 205), but I’m really fat right now,” Brown said.
“There’s still a lot of hunger in my heart,” Brown said. “I’m still pressing toward the ultimate goal. I still, to this day, remember my motivation. I still remember what it’s like to go to a UFC and have that dream in my head.”
So Brown will pick himself back up and begin the process of sharpening his skills. This time, though, he’ll try to avoid unnecessary damage.
Daniel Omielanczuk steps in as replacement, faces Stefan Struve at UFC 204
After an illness scratched Ruslan Magomedov from UFC 204, Daniel Omielanczuk has agreed to step in as a replacement and fight Stefan Struve at UFC 204.
The news was confirmed to MMAjunkie by a person close to one of the fighters. The person requested anonymity because UFC officials haven’t formally announced the bout.
Magomedov (14-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), who’d won three straight in the UFC, was diagnosed with staph infection.