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RIZIN FF has announced the debut of Kaido Höövelson, better known as; BARUTO. He will take on combat sports legend Jérôme Le Banner on December 31.
30-year-old Baruto (0-0) will be making his MMA debut following his run as a sumo-wrestler which gained him popularity in Japan. After suffering some injuries, Höövelson has transitioned to MMA and has trained under the supervision of world class fighters like Peter Aerts and Akira Shoji.
42-year-old combat sports legend Le Banner (3-2-1, 81-22-2 KB) has been fighting professionally for almost 20 years but has not competed in MMA since December of 2010 where he lost to Satoshi Ishii via decision. He went 2-0 in kickboxing this year, including a knockout and a decision. Along with the experience in MMA and kickboxing, Le Banner has an undefeated boxing record at 6-0 w/ five knockouts.
This fight will take place as the co-main event of RIZIN 2, headlined by Fedor Emelianenko, on December 31.
Two more bouts have been announced for UFC’s annual trip to London, the first being a bantamweight scrap between TUF 18 finalist Davey Grant and Marlon Vera, and the second also being a bantamweight scrap between UFC veteran Brad Pickett and Henry Briones.
(Courtesy of on Twitter)
Luke Rockhold may be the UFC middleweight champion, but he hasn’t let go of his lone setback to take place inside the octagon.
After taking out Chris Weidman (13-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) by fourth-round TKO to capture the 185-pound belt in Saturday’s UFC 194 pay-per-view co-headliner in Las Vegas, Rockhold (15-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) said he wants his shot at revenge against Vitor Belfort (25-11 MMA, 14-7 UFC), who gave him a rude welcome to the UFC with a spinning wheel-kick knockout in May 2013.
“What I would like, why not? Vitor Belfort on a silver platter,” Rockhold said after the event, which took place at MGM Grand Garden Arena. “I got to right my wrong. What can I say?”
Although Rockhold’s desire to avenge his lone defeat is the past seven years is admirable, Belfort may not be the most deserving challenger after Weidman stopped him in the first round of a title fight at UFC 187 in May.
New UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor is officially joining an ex-titleholder on the cover of “EA Sports UFC 2.”
With his shocking 13-second knockout win over longtime champion Jose Aldo (25-2 MMA, 7-1 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC 194 pay-per-view headliner and title-unification bout, new champ McGregor (19-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) secured his spot on the new video-game cover with Ronda Rousey.
LAS VEGAS – Fronting his own press conference after unifying the UFC featherweight belt at UFC 194, Conor McGregor said he’ll celebrate his win over Jose Aldo at a local steakhouse with his family before attending an afterparty and turning in early.
As for his next career move, he told reporters he’ll soon head home to his native Dublin, enjoying Christmas and plotting what comes next after his eye-popping win.
Whatever McGregor (19-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) does, it’s bound to be ambitious. After knocking out Aldo (25-2 MMA, 7-1 UFC) in just 13 seconds in the pay-per-view headliner at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena for a new UFC record, the undisputed champ relished his record. But he added he’s got ground to gain on combat sports box office champs Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.
Good thing is, he’s got time to do it.
“I’m only 27,” he said. “Them mother(expletives) are 40.”
LAS VEGAS – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC 194 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $285,000.
It’s the biggest event payout since the program’s launch in July.
In the pay-per-view headliner at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena, Conor McGregor (19-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC), who entered the event as interim featherweight champ, unified the title after dethroning longtime champ Jose Aldo (25-2 MMA, 7-1 UFC) with a staggering 13-second knockout. In the co-headliner, Luke Rockhold (15-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) needed a little longer – but ultimately proved pretty dominant – after dethroning middleweight champ Chris Weidman (13-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) via fourth-round TKO.
LAS VEGAS – Frankie Edgar emerged from this week’s trio of UFC events much as he did entering it: confident, yet uncertain about the future.
The former lightweight champ boosted his stock immeasurably with a first-round knockout of three-time title challenger Chad Mendes (17-4 MMA, 8-4 UFC) on Friday at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale. Edgar (20-4-1 MMA, 14-4-1 UFC) received a verbal promise from UFC President Dana White that he would get the next featherweight title shot after “putting the stamp on it” with his fists.
Then came Saturday’s UFC 194, which saw Conor McGregor (19-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) unify the featherweight title with a blistering 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo (25-2 MMA, 7-1 UFC).
While the dual results appeared to make the UFC’s matchmaking job easy, Edgar, as before, wasn’t so certain. So he showed up to the post-UFC 194 press conference to see what was up.
“Definitely,” Edgar told MMAjunkie when asked whether he was worried about what would be said. “Like I said, I was told yesterday that I was next in line. We will see.”
Conor McGregor’s prediction of becoming a two-weight world champion is coming closer to fruition. UFC Dana White has promised McGregor a lightweight title shot if he chooses to move up to the weight class.
McGregor (19-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) captured the UFC featherweight title from Jose Aldo (25-2 MMA, 7-1 UFC) with a record-setting first-round knockout in UFC 194’s main event and continued to take the sport by storm with another brilliant performance.
“The Notorious” has called his shots since the day he set foot in the UFC, and prior to his showdown with Aldo he revealed his intention to jump up a weight class after UFC 194 and become a champion in two weight classes.
Although the plan seemed lofty at the time, White said McGregor’s performance made him worthy of the opportunity.
“(McGregor’s coach) John Kavanagh said in the octagon he’ll never make 145 again. He said, ‘I don’t want him making that weight again; it’s not good for him,'” White said on the UFC 194 post-fight show on FOX Sports 1. “I’d bring him straight in for a title shot. … They’ve been talking about going to ’55, but you never know with Conor.”
LAS VEGAS – Saturday night’s UFC 194 event drew an announced attendance of 16,516 and a live gate of $10.1 million.
UFC officials announced the figures at the night’s post-event news conference, which MMAjunkie attended.
According to UFC executive Dave Sholler, the attendance total was the largest UFC event ever in Las Vegas. The gate total is the second highest in UFC history after UFC 129 at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
Among the seven UFC events at MGM Grand Garden Arena in 2015, UFC 194 now is in the top position. The full list includes:
UFC 194: 16,516 attendance ($10.1 million live gate)
UFC 189: 16,019 attendance ($7.2 million)
UFC 183: 13,114 ($4.5 million)
UFC 187: 12,615 ($5.2 million)
UFC 182: 11,575 ($3.7 million)
UFC 191: 10,873 ($1.36 million)
The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale: 4,844 ($291,000)
Stephen Thompson wanted a big fight in that UFC welterweight division. That’s exactly what he’ll get at UFC 196.
“Wonderboy” is set to take on former champ Johny Hendricks at the Super Bowl weekend event. UFC officials announced the matchup on Saturday’s UFC 194 broadcast, along with three other bouts for the card.
Hendricks (17-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) will fight Thompson (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) after Thompson was moved from UFC 195, where he was supposed to fight Neil Magny before Magny replaced Matt Brown vs. Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Fight Night 79 in November.
UFC 196 takes place Feb. 6 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.
Frankie Edgar earned the most significant victory of his featherweight career when he knocked out Chad Mendes at the TUF 22 Finale. And it appears to have finally earned him another UFC title shot.
Edgar (20-4-1 MMA, 14-4-1 UFC) finished Mendes (17-4 MMA, 8-4 UFC) in dramatic fashion less than three minutes after the highly anticipated main event began for his fifth consecutive octagon victory.
“The Answer” has been pleading for a UFC featherweight title shot for some time, and according to his post-fight interview on FOX Sports 1, he’s been granted his wish by UFC President Dana White.
Sarah Kaufman has had trouble finding UFC opponents so far, and after another one dropped out at UFC on FOX 17 next, the Canadian will indeed get a fight.
UFC newcomer Valentina Shevchenko (9-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will step in for the injured Germaine de Randamie make her octagon debut opposite Kaufman (17-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) in a women’s strawweight bout at the Dec. 17 event at Orlando’s Amway Center.
Main card (PPV at 10 p.m. ET)
Jose Aldo (145) vs. Conor McGregor (145)
Chris Weidman (185) vs. Luke Rockhold (185)
Jacare Souza (186) vs. Yoel Romero (185)
Demian Maia (170) vs. Gunnar Nelson (170)
Max Holloway (146) vs. Jeremy Stephens (145)
Undercard (FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET)
Urijah Faber (136) vs. Frankie Saenz (135)
Tecia Torres (116) vs. Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger (116)
Warlley Alves (171) vs. Colby Covington (170)
Leonardo Santos (156) vs. Kevin Lee (156)
Undercard (UFC Fight Pass at 6:30 p.m. ET)
Joe Proctor (155.5) vs. Magomed Mustafaev (155)
John Makdessi (156) vs. Yancy Medeiros (155.5)
Court McGee (170) vs. Marcio Alexandre Jr. (171)
While the UFC has been in the news for the large number of fighters they've released lately (or are rumored to be releasing), it's Bellator's roster trimming that's in the news today. The Viacom-owned organization cut five fighters from their roster, one of which held a title in the organization. Jason Floyd of The MMA Report fills us in via Twitter:
Rose Namajunas was completely dominant, but Paige VanZant somehow kept on coming.
That combination was enough to earn Namajunas a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” award for her victory in the UFC Fight Night headliner at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas on Thursday night. Namajunas thoroughly outclassed VanZant in all facets, battering her with clean shots on the feet, landing multiple takedowns and passing guard with ease. Still, VanZant kept fighting until “Thug Rose” was finally able secure a rear-naked choke at the 2:25 mark of round five.
POTN- Rose Namajunas
POTN- Tim Means
FOTN- Michael Chiesa vs Jim Miller
Fighters from Thursday’s UFC Fight Night 80 event at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $95,000.
The full UFC Fight Night 80 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:
Rose Namajunas: $2,500
def. Paige VanZant: $2,500
Michael Chiesa: $5,000
def. Jim Miller: $20,000
Sage Northcutt: $2,500
def. Cody Pfister: $2,500
Thiago “Marreta” Santos: $2,500
Elias Theodorou: $2,500
Tim Means: $10,000
def. John Howard: $10,000
Sergio Moraes: $2,500
def. Omari Akhmedov: $2,500
Antonio Carlos Junior: $2,500
vs. Kevin Casey: $2,500
Aljamain Sterling: $2,500
def. Johnny Eduardo: $2,500
Santiago Ponzinibbio: $2,500
vs. Andreas Stahl: $2,500
Danny Roberts: $2,500
def. Nathan Coy: $2,500
Zubaira Tukhugov: $2,500
def. Phillipe Nover: $2,500
Kailin Curran: $2,500
def. Emily Kagan: $2,500
A rematch between UFC strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha is in the works, UFC President Dana White confirmed following Thursday’s UFC Fight Night 80 event.
White did not mention a timetable for the bout, which was in the works for this past month’s UFC 193 pay-per-view event before a hand injury scratched Gadelha (13-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), but he said the Brazilian-born Gadelha is “ready to go.”
Now, the only thing holding her up may be Jedrzejczyk’s (11-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) hand, which was surgically repaired after she defeated Valerie Letourneau at the Nov. 15 event.