Zak Ottow gets call to replace Bobby Green, faces Josh Burkman at UFC Fight Night 96
Zak Ottow has gotten his call-up to the big leagues. “The Barbarian” will face Josh Burkman at UFC Fight Night 96.
Burkman (28-13 MMA, 6-8 UFC) was originally set to face Bobby Green (23-7 MMA, 4-2 UFC) in the lightweight bout. However, Green withdrew from the bout citing “personal issues,” opening the door for Ottow (13-3 MMA, 0-0) to make his octagon debut.
A UFC official today confirmed the bout to MMAjunkie.
UFC hires former Legacy FC owner Mick Maynard, promotes Sean Shelby in wake of Joe Silva’s retirement
The UFC is preparing for a future without longtime matchmaker Joe Silva.
The promotion announced Tuesday that it has hired former Legacy FC front man Mick Maynard as the vice president of talent relations. Sean Shelby, who worked under Silva, has been promoted to Silva's old role of senior senior vice president of talent relations. The two will work together to organize UFC bouts, develop athletes on the roster and scout potential talent, per a release.
Silva will retire at the end of 2016 after more than 20 years with the UFC. Silva began with the promotion before the Fertitta brothers and Dana White even bought it, while it was still owned by Semaphore Entertainment Group (SEG).
"Joe Silva's contributions to the UFC over the last 20 years were huge, and he played a big role in helping make the sport as big as it is today," UFC president Dana White said in a release. "He left his mark on this sport and I wish him nothing but success in retirement."
"I'm excited to have Mick on board working alongside Sean. Mick has become one of the most respected people in the fight game and he's done a great job in finding and developing talent. Sean has been a tremendous asset to the UFC for a long time, and I look forward to working with Sean and Mick in the years to come."
AXS TV's long-running 'Inside MMA' show set for Sept. 30 series finale
One of MMA’s most iconic and trail-blazing programs is set for a series finale on Sept. 30.
“Inside MMA,” which launched nearly a decade ago on AXS TV (formerly HDNet), airs it 433rd and final episode on Sept. 30, officials recently announced.
Hosts Mauro Ranallo, Bas Rutten and Ron Kruck, along with former/original host Kenny Rice, will look back on the show’s history and favorite moments.
“Inside MMA” gave the sport some of its first mainstream coverage and acceptance. The news and interview show has been a Friday-night staple for fight fans and has featured many of the top fighters, coaches and executives in the sport. (MMAjunkie is a previous content partner with “Inside MMA.”)
“‘Inside MMA’ blazed the trail for mainstream media’s acceptance of MMA,” AXS TV Founder and CEO Mark Cuban stated. “Bas, Kenny and Ron were there from the start, introducing the sport and its stars to a national television audience when other networks and newspapers were too afraid and out of touch to recognize its appeal.”
In a press release, officials said the show’s cancellation will help accommodate AXS TV’s “increased commitment to live MMA events.” That includes the new Legacy Fighting Alliance – the merger of the successful Legacy FC and RFA promotions – and its planned 30 live events in 2017.
Jim Miller fills Al Iaquinta's spot at UFC 205, takes on Thiago Alves
Al Iaquinta’s unhappiness has become Jim Miller’s gain because the New Jersey-based lightweight has jumped at the chance to fight at UFC 205.
Alves tweeted news of a replacement, and shortly thereafter, Talk MMA tweeted Miller (27-8 MMA, 16-7 UFC) had stepped in for the bout.
When reached by MMAjunkie, UFC officials stated, “There’s nothing to confirm at this time.” However, a source close to Alves stated the fight is a go.
RFA and Legacy promotions to merge in 2017, will be called Legacy Fighting Alliance
The future is now, at least for the springboard promotions for upcoming talent in MMA
On Monday, Resurrection Fighting Alliance president and longtime fight manager Ed Soares broke the news on The MMA Hour that two prominent second-tier promotions are merging into one.
"Well, I'm here to tell you that the RFA and Legacy Fighting Championship has merged," Soares said during his appearance on the show. "We merged into one organization, and we just signed a five-year deal with AXS TV. Starting in 2017, we're going to be doing 30 shows a year on AXS TV, and it'll be called the Legacy Fighting Alliance. LFA is the name of the new company."
UFC 205: Contract dispute forces Al Iaquinta from Thiago Alves fight on Nov. 12
Easy come, easy go.
By his own admission, lightweight power puncher Al Iaquinta will no longer be competing against Thiago Alves at the upcoming UFC 205 pay-per-view (PPV) event, scheduled for Nov. 12, 2016 inside Madison Square Garden in New York City.
“Raging Al” elaborates to FOX Sports:
"I got the contract and I was just looking at it for a couple of days. I was like I just can't sign it. I can't do it. I felt like it wasn't right. I talked to my manager, I said listen I really want to fight in New York. There's nothing I want to do more than fight in New York, but I can't take a pay cut for this fight. I'm taking a pay cut from all of my sponsors. I'm taking a pay cut of all the last 18 months of the sponsors that could have been. I told (my manager) that I wanted more. I wanted to have a conversation with the UFC and see if they would do some kind of negotiation because when I signed my contract, there was no Reebok deal."
Amanda Cooper vs. Anna Elmose added to UFC Fight Night 99 in Belfast
November’s UFC Fight Night 99 event in North Ireland has its second fight.
Officials today announced a strawweight bout between Amanda Cooper (1-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and Anna Elmose (3-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC).
UFC Fight Night 99 takes place Nov. 19 at SSE Arena in Belfast, and the entire card streams on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.
Gustafsson vs. Lil’ Nog to headline UFC Fight Night 100
Having recorded his first win since 2014, Alexander Gustafsson is apparently going to headline UFC Fight Night 100. Combate reported that the two-time UFC light heavyweight title challenger will travel to Sao Paulo, Brazil to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira on Saturday, November 19th. UFC Fight Night 100’s main card airs live on Fox Sports 1 from the Ginásio do Ibirapuera.
Gustafsson (17-4) defeated Jan Blachowicz by unanimous decision in this month’s UFC Hamburg co-main event. He’d previously lost by 1st round TKO to Anthony Johnson in January 2015, then fought for the LHW title at UFC 192, dropping a thrilling split decision to Daniel Cormier.
Nogueira (22-7) halted his own two-fight losing streak with an impressive 1st round KO of Patrick Cummins at UFC 198. The 40-year-old suffered a vicious KO loss to Anthony Johnson in July 2014, then didn’t fight again until August 2015, when he took a unanimous decision defeat vs. Shogun Rua.
Jacare says ‘wonderful’ rematch will be 'a big problem' for Luke Rockhold
Ronaldo Jacare will finally get the chance to settle his score with Luke Rockhold.
Now, as his rematch has been announced, he feels like it's the perfect opportunity to show he's better than Rockhold, as he told Gazeta Esportes.
"This Rockhold fight is going to be wonderful for me, but it's going to be a big problem for him. I need to defeat him so I can get in line for a title shot. I'll show everything I know to win and become the next title challenger. I rather not talk about it, but I see holes in his game. We've been studying his fights and we know he's a tough fighter. Nevertheless, I feel confident and I know what I have to do to win."
BJ Penn on Georges St-Pierre turning down trilogy: ‘That’s why he’ll never be remembered’
BJ Penn was hoping to make a trilogy fight with Georges St-Pierre happen upon his comeback, aiming at UFC 205 in November. But apparently, it is not a plan that GSP has in his immediate future, as he feels it is a risk that is not worth taking.
“I remember when I fought him the first time, when he was nobody, I didn’t think about it being risky for my legacy,” Penn said in an interview with Rapid Fire. “That’s why I believe, when all this is said and done, that’s why I’ll be remembered but he will never be remembered.”
“You know, Anderson Silva was there, he could have fought Anderson Silva, but he never fought Anderson Silva for his legacy. Just as a rule of thumb, for myself personally, I don’t live thinking about my legacy. I’ll fight. I want to fight anyone, you know?”
A.J. McKee vs. Emmanuel Sanchez slated for Bellator 166 in Oklahoma
The first fight is set for December’s Bellator 166 event.
Officials today announced featherweights A.J. McKee (5-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) and Emmanuel Sanchez (13-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) are set as the fight card’s first official matchup.
Bellator 166 takes place Dec. 2 at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.
McKee, the son of MMA vet Antonio McKee, has spent his entire career in Bellator since making his pro debut in April 2015. All of the 21-year-old’s victories, including a recent second-round submission win over Cody Walker at Bellator 160, have come via stoppage.
Jimmie Rivera: T.J. Dillashaw is my ‘top choice’ after UFC 203 win over Urijah Faber
Jimmie Rivera continues to rise in the UFC bantamweight division, and he eyes another former champion next to get closer to a shot at the gold.
Fresh off a unanimous decision win over Urijah Faber at UFC 203 in Cleveland, Rivera spoke with Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour and explained why a clash with T.J. Dillashaw makes the most sense for him next.
"I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s T.J. Dillashaw," Rivera said. "Cody and Cruz are going to have a fight soon, I heard, that’s probably gonna be in the works for December. I wouldn’t be surprised. I think it’s gonna be probably T.J. Dillashaw next."
"That would be my top choice because now you have Cody and Cruz," he said. "I think Dillashaw really wants the rematch but Cruz doesn’t want it, and the UFC is not giving to him anyway."
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."