Welcome to the UFC, Mihajlovic & Di Chirico
I don't know what's going on down in Zuffa central, but heavyweight seems to be the flavor of the moment. Once a division that couldn't buy a new body, it's now chock full of fresh talent. The latest newcomer in the field? Bojan Mihajlovic, who MMA D'Eferlante reports will fight Francis Ngannou in Zagreb, Croatia on April 10th.
Making his way to the UFC alongside Mihajlovic is a new middleweight fighter and a rare talent out of Italy. Alessio Di Chirico's signing was announced by the UFC on January 20th. Di Chirico will be making his debut in Croatia as well on the April 10th card. No debut opponent has been announced yet. So...
Donald Cerrone trolls Reebok, praises Nike gear
few weeks ago, veteran lightweight contender Donald Cerrone was fined by the UFC for violating the Reebok's outfitting policy at last month's UFC on FOX 17. According to Cerrone, the violation was for sewing an unauthorized patch, which pays homage to his grandmother, onto his fight trunks.
Russian Muay Thai champion explains why she signed with Bellator instead of the UFC
Several weeks ago, Bellator MMA announced a portion of their line-up for the Turin, Italy fight card. Amongst the competitors was a new face: recently signed Russian Muay Thai champion Anastasia Yankova.
The longtime fighter decided to test the water in MMA last year and compiled a undefeated 2-0 record as a flyweight under the Fight Nights banner in Russia. With a varied striking arsenal based in Muay Thai and boxing, Yankova has a wealth of experience in combat sports that is not represented in her MMA record.
Report: KSW 35 to feature Mamed Khalidov and Mariusz Pudzianowski
Following an impressive streak of shows last year that culminated in a KO victory for Mamed Khalidov to become the middleweight champion, KSW appears to have decided on the date for his first title defense.
According to KSW co-founder Maciej Kawulski, Khalidov will likely headline the KSW 35 show in May. Five-time World's Strongest Man Mariusz Pudzianowski will also be featured on the card, as will former middleweight champ Michal Materla.
Fabricio Werdum reacts to backlash after UFC 196 withdrawal
UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum received some criticism for his decision to withdraw from UFC 196 after his opponent Cain Velasquez pulled out with a back injury, and the promotion selected Stipe Miocic as a replacement. Confident he made the right move, "Vai Cavalo" released a statement reacting to the backlash from the fans.
Read the full statement below:
I think it was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life not to fight Cain, Miocic or any other fighter because I had a back injury. Yet, at the same time I’m sad I wasn’t able to compete, I’m happy because I was able to see many things after this injury. I spent some time with my family, my wife and kids, and saw that everything is transitory.
Michael Chiesa vs. Beneil Dariush in the works for UFC on FOX 19
Another bout between ranked fighters is in the works for UFC on FOX 19, as Michael Chiesa and Beneil Dariush are expected to put their win streaks on the line in a pivotal lightweight clash on April 16. Sources confirmed the match-up Wednesday to MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani.
Chiesa (13-2) looks to further his momentum after submitting Jim Miller to pick up a statement win at UFC Fight Night 80.
UFC signs heavyweight Adam Milstead to four-fight deal
The UFC recently beefed up its heavyweight division with the signing of Adam Milstead (7-1).
Sources close to the situation confirmed to MMAFighting.com that Milstead penned a four-fight deal with the promotion.
Fighting out of Pittsburgh, the 28-year-old Milstead has won seven straight, all via finish (five knockouts, two submissions). He has finished his last three opponents with strikes in just over four minutes of combined fight time.
Manager: Stipe Miocic did not turn down fight with Jon Jones, anticipates showdown with Fabricio Werdum
Stipe Miocic has had a tumultuous 48 hours.
He's gone from UFC title challenger to odd man out to potential opponent for Jon Jones' heavyweight debut to a man who reportedly turned down a $1 million opportunity.
At least, that's the storyline if you believe everything you read on Twitter.
When Cain Velasquez bowed out of his Feb. 6 title fight at UFC 196 against Fabricio Werdum with a back injury, Miocic stepped up to bat, offering his services for the golden opportunity. Wish granted - Miocic was officially named the next UFC heavyweight title challenger shortly thereafter.
Nate Diaz offered to fight Anthony Pettis in UFC 196 main event
Stockton almost saved UFC 196.
Nate Diaz offered to fight Anthony Pettis in the main event of UFC 196 when the heavyweight title headliner was lost this week, sources told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani.
The UFC considered the matchup, and it was a viable option as of Tuesday morning, but the promotion decided for undisclosed reasons to ultimately go in another direction.
RFA 36 set for March 4 with Barcelos vs. Vannata featherweight title headliner
RFA heads to the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” for RFA 36 on March 4. The event will feature a featherweight title fight in the main event with Raoni Barcelos looking to defend his belt when he meets Landon Vannata.
As officials recently announced, RFA 36 takes place at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, Minn. The main card airs live on AXS TV.
The RFA 36 card currently features:
Champ Raoni Barcelos vs. Landon Vannata – for featherweight title
Melvin Blumer vs. Shawn West
Chico Camus vs. Matt Brown
Marcelo Guimaraes vs. Vitor Miranda joins UFC 197 lineup
A middleweight bout between Marcelo Guimaraes (9-1-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) and Vitor Miranda (11-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is the latest addition to March’s UFC 197 lineup.
UFC officials announced the bout on Tuesday.
The latest UFC 197 card includes:
Champ Rafael dos Anjos vs. Conor McGregor – for lightweight title
Champ Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate – for women’s bantamweight title
Corey Anderson vs. Tom Lawlor
Erick Silva vs. Nordine Taleb
Darren Elkins vs. Chas Skelly
Jim Miller vs. Diego Sanchez
Marcelo Guimaraes vs. Vitor Miranda
Rothwell: 80% of heavyweights were on PEDs before USADA
UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell spoke with ESPN recently, ahead of his fight with Josh Barnett at UFC on FOX 18? in Newark on Saturday. Among other subjects, Rothwell talked about the role of PEDs in the heavyweight division.
"Before USADA, I would say 80 percent or more heavyweights were on performance-enhancing drugs," said Rothwell to Brett Okamoto. "Let's just look at the facts. Bigger athletes don't like to train the way we do. This sport is exhausting. Big guys come and go all the time because they hate the hard work. The ones who survive seem to think they need steroids and PEDs to cope with the training.
Al Iaquinta: I'll be unstoppable when I come back with two healthy knees
Al Iaquinta ended 2015 riding a four-fight winning streak. With things fully clicking in his UFC career, the lightweight had to put things on hold to repair damage to the articular cartilage in his knee.
It isn’t the first time Iaquinta (12-3-1 MMA, 7-2 UFC) has had knee surgery. After a runner-up finish on “The Ultimate Fighter 15,” he also went under the knife.
The biggest difference between then and now may be Iaquinta’s decision to give up drinking alcohol, something that cost him during his first recovery.
RDA: It's good McGregor's in my head
Signing to fight Conor McGregor is a red panty night financially, but to reach that check, you get trash talked by a master for months. UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos is no exception.
At the first UFC 197 press conference, McGregor talked about RDA's children and his faith, all while wearing a shirt popularized by the just arrested Mexican drug dealer 'El Chapo' which means shorty.
"He crosses the line all the time," said dos Anjos in Niteroi, Brazil, as translated by Guilherme Cruz for MMAFighting.com. "He answered questions the media asked me, talked about my kids, said I’m not a Brazilian. Man, all the time. He said I’m sloppy. He crosses the line all the time.
Former LHW Champions Mauricio Shogun Rua and Rashad Evans Scheduled for April 16th fight in Tampa, Florida
The Ultimate has already defined the next step of Shogun in the organization. The idea is that Brazil faces Rashad Evans, on 16 April, in an event that is scheduled to be held in Tampa, Florida (USA), as it was found the Combate.com. The confrontation was originally asked by the US to the company, and the athlete of Kings MMA accepted the challenge soon after. No confirmation on what the card's main event. The UFC also search for names, but it is not ruled out Evans x Shogun lead the show.
After losing headliner, UFC 196 shifts from pay-per-view to FOX Sports 1
Next week’s UFC 196 event will come without the usual hefty pay-per-view price tag.
After losing a headlining heavyweight title fight earlier this week, the event now instead will air on FOX Sports 1. Yahoo! Sports first reported the plans, citing UFC President Dana White.
UFC 196 takes place Feb. 6 at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena. Following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, the remainder of the card is now slated for FOX Sports 1.
Co-headliner, ex-champ Johny Hendricks willing to move up to UFC 196 main event
It may not be the ideal main event, but former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks is willing to fight two extra rounds and move up a slot on next week’s UFC 196 fight card.
The Feb. 6 pay-per-view event, which takes place at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena, recently lost its planned main event. Hendricks, who’s currently slated for the co-main event, is willing to step up.
Victory FC 48 heads to Iowa on Feb. 19 with Jackson vs. Moreno title fight
Victory FC, which recently announced a new deal with UFC Fight Pass, has set a full lineup for its second event of the year.
Victory FC 48, which streams on the UFC’s digital streaming network, takes place Feb. 19 at Buccaneer Arena near Des Moines in Urbandale, Iowa.
The full Victory FC 48 lineup includes:
Jason Jackson vs. Victor Moreno – for vacant welterweight title
Cameron Olson vs. Jordan Young
Anthony Baccam vs. Kamuela Kirk
Rakim Cleveland vs. Jaquis Williams
Nate Endres vs. Bryce McKeever
Jeremiah Deever vs. Mike Estus
Chris Dunn vs. Justin Morrison
Study – Steroid Use Linked to Worse Traumatic Brain Injury
An important study was recently published in the open access journal, PLOS ONE, analyzing the relationship between the severity of traumatic brain injury and anabolic steroid use.
In the Study, titled “Chronic Exposure to Androgenic-Anabolic Steroids Exacerbates Axonal Injury and Microgliosis in the CHIMERA Mouse Model of Repetitive Concussion” the authors noted that in about 20% of known Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) cases the subjects had a history of substance use including androgenic-anabolic steroids.