Michael Page returns at Bellator 153
After pulling out of Bellator 151 for undisclosed reasons, undefeated welterweight Michael Page is set to fight again next month at Bellator 153 in Uncasville, Connecticut. MMA Fighting reports that "Venom" will fight Jeremie Holloway on April 22nd. Bellator officials have not yet confirmed the booking.
Countdown to Korean Zombie's UFC return begins now!
Once upon a time, a very long time ago, there was a land called the WEC. And in this land lived a man. But he was not just an ordinary man. No, far from it. He was a man of action. His name was Chan Sung Jung.
Of course, Chan Sung Jung made it to the UFC as well, fighting four times for the larger Zuffa platform and making his way all the way to a title fight against former divisional kingpin Jose Aldo. Chan Sung lost to Aldo, dislocating his shoulder in the process. He hasn't returned to the cage since.
Jessica Eye vs. Sara McMann set for UFC Fight Night 88 on May 29
UFC Fight Night 88 got a big addition tonight with the announcement that top 10 bantamweights Jessica Eye and Sara McMann will face off in the octagon.
The bout was announced on FOX Sports 1’s “UFC Tonight.”
UFC Fight Night 88 takes place May 29, a Sunday, at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The card airs FOX Sports 1 and streams on UFC Fight Pass.
With the addition, UFC Fight Night 88 includes:
Thomas Almeida vs. Cody Garbrandt
Renan Barao vs. Jeremy Stephens
Tarec Saffiedine vs. Rick Story
Chris Camozzi vs. Vitor Miranda
Lorenz Larkin vs. Jorge Masvidal
Josh Burkman vs. Paul Felder
Diego Ferreira vs. Abel Trujillo
Erik Koch vs. Joe Proctor
Keith Berish vs. Jake Collier
Adam Milstead vs. Chris DeLaRocha
Jessica Eye vs. Sara McMann
Marcin Held vs. Dave Jansen, Joey Beltran vs. Chase Gormley set for Bellator 155
A lightweight matchup of Marcin Held vs. Dave Jansen and a heavyweight contest of Joey Beltran vs. Chase Gormley have been added to May’s Bellator 155 event.
MMAjunkie today confirmed the two new bookings, which round out the evening’s five-fight main card, with a person with knowledge of the agreements. That person spoke in the condition of anonymity because the contests have not been officially announced by the promotion.
An official announcement is expected shortly.
The official bout order for Bellator 155 has yet to be revealed, but the lineup currently includes:
Rafael Carvalho vs. Melvin Manhoef
Pat Curran vs. Georgi Karakhanyan
Dan Charles vs. Augusto Sakai
Marcin Held vs. Dave Jansen
Joey Beltran vs. Chase Gormley
Jason High vs. Mike Ricci targeted for co-main event at June's WSOF 31
A lightweight matchup between top contenders Jason High and Mike Ricci is expected to take place at June’s WSOF 31 event.
MMAjunkie today confirmed the planned booking with a person with knowledge of the negotiations. That person spoke on the condition of anonymity because they promotion has not officially confirmed the contest.
WSOF officials declined to comment when contacted by MMAjunkie.
Rob Font vs. John Lineker added to UFC 198 in Brazil
The lineup for May’s UFC 198 event in Brazil continues to grow, and a bantamweight matchup between Rob Font and John Lineker is the latest addition to the card.
UFC officials today announced the matchup.
With the addition to the card, UFC 198 now includes:
Champ Fabricio Werdum vs. Stipe Miocic – for heavyweight title
Vitor Belfort vs. Ronaldo Souza
Corey Anderson vs. Mauricio Rua
Matt Brown vs. Demian Maia
Uriah Hall vs. Anderson Silva
Patrick Cummins vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Warlley Alves vs. Bryan Barberena
Yancy Medeiros vs. Francisco Trinaldo
Nate Marquardt vs. Thiago “Marreta” Santos
Sergio Moraes vs. Kamaru Usman
Renato Moicano vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
Rob Font vs. John Lineker
'UFC on FOX 19: Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson' lineup set with 8 bouts on FOX
The lineup for next month’s UFC on FOX 19 event is now official, and eight bouts will be part of the night’s network broadcast.
The event takes place April 16 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. The event airs on FOX following five early prelims on MMAjunkie.
The latest UFC on FOX 19 card includes:
MAIN CARD (FOX, 8 p.m. ET)
Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Rashad Evans vs. Glover Teixeira
Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida
Rose Namajunas vs. Tecia Torres
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX, 6 p.m. ET)
Michael Chiesa vs. Beneil Dariush
Hacran Dias vs. Cub Swanson
John Dodson vs. Manny Gamburyan
Bethe Correia vs. Raquel Pennington
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 4 p.m. ET)
Court McGee vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
Randy Brown vs. Michael Graves
Cezar Ferreira vs. Caio Magalhaes
Drew Dober vs. Islam Makhachev
Omari Akhmedov vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos
Russian heavyweight Konstantin Erokhin suspended 12 months for anabolic steroid use
Two-time UFC veteran Konstantin Erokhin has been suspended 12 months and fined $3,300 after testing positive for drostanolone and/or drostanolone metabolites.
Nevada State Athletic Commission officials today issued the suspension and fine at the commission’s monthly meeting in Las Vegas. Drostanolone is an anabolic steroid.
Erokhin’s failed test stemmed from a pre-fight urinalysis at this past December’s The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale event, which took place on Dec. 11 at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. On that card, Erokhin lost a lackluster decision to Gabriel Gonzaga. Because Erokhin lost the bout, the result of the contest will stand.
'RFA 37: Viana vs. Clark' lineup finalized for April 15 with two title fights
The lineup is set for next month’s “RFA 37: Viana vs. Clark” event, which features a pair of title fights.
The event takes place April 15 at Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D. The main card airs on AXS TV.
The full RFA 37 lineup includes:
MAIN CARD (AXS TV, 10 p.m. ET)
Devin Clark vs. Rafael Viana – for inaugural light heavyweight title
Leandro Higo vs. Joey Miolla – for vacant bantamweight title
Brian Camozzi vs. Jordon Larson
Joseph Gigliotti vs. John Poppie
Eli Finn vs. Matthew Lopez
Scott Futrell vs. Logan Storley
PRELIMINARY CARD (Untelevised, 9 p.m. ET)
Chris Hugh vs. David Michaud
Ryan Debelak vs. Jordan Johnson
C.J. Hunter vs. Bryce Logan
UFC Fight Night 86 lineup set with 10:30 a.m. ET start time, 10 bouts on FOX Sports 1
The 13-bout lineup is official for next month’s UFC Fight Night 86 event in Croatia.
The event takes place April 10 at Zagreb Arena in Zagreb, and it marks the UFC’s debut in Croatia.
The event kicks off at 10:30 a.m. ET (7:30 a.m. PT) with three preliminary-card bouts on UFC Fight Pass. The rest of the prelims and the main card then shift to FOX Sports 1 at noon ET.
The full UFC Fight Night 86 lineup includes:
MAIN CARD (FOX Sports 1, 2 p.m. ET)
Ben Rothwell vs. Junior Dos Santos
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Derrick Lewis
Curtis Blaydes vs. Francis Ngannou
Timothy Johnson vs. Marcin Tybura
Jan Blachowicz vs. Igor Pokrajac
Maryna Moroz vs. Cristina Stanciu
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1, noon ET)
Zak Cummings vs. Nicolas Dalby
Damir Hadzovic vs. Mairbek Taisumov
Ian Entwistle vs. Alejandro Perez
Filip Pejic vs. Damian Stasiak
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 10:30 a.m. ET)
Lucas Martins vs. Robert Whiteford
Cyril Asker vs. Jared Cannonier
Alessio Di Chirico vs. Bojan Velickovic
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Neil Seery slated for UFC Fight Night 87 in Rotterdam
A flyweight bout with a top-10 fighter is the latest addition to May’s UFC Fight Night 87 event.
Officials today announced former title challenger Kyoji Horiguchi (16-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) and vet Neil Seery (16-11 MMA, 3-2 UFC) are booked to fight at the event.
The latest UFC Fight Night 87 card includes:
Andrei Arlovski vs. Alistair Overeem
Antonio Silva vs. Stefan Struve
Rustam Khabilov vs. Chris Wade
Yan Cabral vs. Reza Madadi
Magnus Cedenblad vs. Garreth McLellan
Peter Sobotta vs. Dominic Waters
Gunnar Nelson vs. Albert Tumenov
Nick Hein vs. Jon Tuck
Francimar Barroso vs. Nikita Krylov
Heather Jo Clark vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Neil Seery
With road paved for MMA in New York, Bellator looking at Barclays Center for possible event
With today’s passage of a bill legalizing MMA in New York, it’s not just the UFC ready to head to the “Empire State.”
The Viacom-owned Bellator, the UFC’s biggest competitor, today said it already has been in touch with arenas in the state and is planning to hold events there once the bill is passed into law.
“The New York Assembly’s vote to legalize MMA is a watershed moment for this incredible sport,” Bellator President Scott Coker stated. “As someone who has been promoting combat sports for more than 30 years, this is a very exciting time for mixed martial arts. We at Bellator MMA are very much looking forward to hosting an event in the ‘Crown Jewel of America,’ New York.
“… We’ve already been in contact with the great people at the Barclays Center and several other incredible venues, and we can’t wait bring our world-class athletes and action-packed shows to an arena in the ‘Empire State’ soon.”
New York State Assembly passes bill legalizing mixed martial arts
The biggest hurdle preventing the legalization of mixed martial arts in New York State has finally been cleared.
Long the only state in the United States which banned the sport, the Assembly in the capital city of Albany voted to legalize MMA on Tuesday on a bipartisan vote of 113-25.
The bill now moves to the desk of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has expressed his intention to sign it. From there, the New York State Athletic Commission has 120 days to adopt guidelines.
If all goes according to plan, the UFC will debut at Madison Square Garden in New York City in November.
Former UFC exec Michael Mersch joins WSOF as COO and general counsel
Michael Mersch, who this past summer quietly left the UFC after eight years with the industry leader, is joining the WSOF’s executive ranks with a similar title to his old job.
WSOF officials today announced Mersch will act as the promotion’s COO and general counsel, joining CEO Carlos Silva in another high-profile addition eight months after Silva signed on.
Prior to accepting the job, Mersch had worked as general counsel for the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, where he had previously worked as a senior counsel prior to working for the UFC.
EA Sports apologize to Khabib for religious blunder in UFC game
EA Sports apologized to Khabib Nurmagomedov, a devout Muslim, following a religious blunder that gave undefeated fighter a Christian post-fight celebration.
On Sunday evening, Khabib took offence to the new EA Sports UFC game and the way his character was designed to celebrate a victory and immediately took to social media to criticize EA Sports for their error. Following a victory, his character, much like the majority of those in the game, gestured in the form of a cross.
Greg Jackson: B.J. Penn getting better every day, probably has 'a few good years left'
Renowned MMA trainer Greg Jackson said B.J. Penn could’ve pulled off a March return to the promotion’s octagon. But in light of a delay, the UFC Hall of Famer has had more time to get better, he said.
“He’s really starting to look really good,” Jackson told MMAjunkie. “It’s starting to click with him. Good sparring. More of the same. Just pushing forward.”
Penn (16-10-2 MMA, 12-9-2 UFC) was targeted to meet Dennis Siver (22-11 MMA, 11-8 UFC) earlier this month at UFC 196, and then at UFC 197 before the promotion tabled his comeback due to allegations from a former employee of his website. UFC officials and Penn’s rep did not immediately respond to a request for comment on his current status.
13-fight UFC veteran George Roop gets new MMA life with ROAD FC for May debut
After seven years being almost exclusively under the Zuffa banner with the UFC and WEC, veteran fighter George Roop has a new fighting home.
Roop (15-12-1), who went 5-8 in 13 UFC fights and 1-2 for the WEC, has signed an exclusive multi-fight deal with South Korea’s ROAD FC. The promotion recently announced the news, saying Roop is expected to make his debut with the company on May 14 at ROAD FC 31.
Ex-WSOF champion Steve Carl meets Belal Muhammad for vacant 170 title at Titan FC 38
Titan FC heads to Miami this spring, and a local standout and former WSOF champion has joined the promotion looking for another belt.
Ex-WSOF titleholder Steve Carl (22-4) will meet Belal Muhammad (8-0) for the vacant welterweight title at Titan FC 38, the promotion recently announced. The card takes place April 30 at Miccosukee Casino in Miami and will stream live at UFC Fight Pass.
Also on the card, Jason Novelli (11-1) will meet UFC veteran and Blackzilians-trained fighter Yosdenis Cedeno (10-5) in a lightweight bout. Unbeaten bantamweights Peter Petties (3-0) and Caio Rocha (4-0) will fight. And bantamweight Jose Torres (1-0) will be on the card against an opponent still to be determined.
Sergio Pettis vs. Chris Kelades now closes out UFC 197's preliminary card
The lineup is nearly set for next month’s UFC 197 event, which has a new featured preliminary-card bout.
A flyweight bout between Sergio Pettis (13-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) and Chris Kelades (9-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has moved from the UFC Fight Pass preliminary card to the FOX Sports 1-televised portion of the prelims. It serves as the lead-in to the night’s main card.
The latest UFC 197 card includes:
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
Champ Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones – for light heavyweight title
Champ Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo – for flyweight title
Edson Barboza vs. Anthony Pettis
Rafael Natal vs. Robert Whittaker
Andre Fili vs. Yair Rodriguez
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET)
Chris Kelades vs. Sergio Pettis
Danny Roberts vs. Dominique Steele
Juliana Lima vs. opponent TBA
Glaico Franca vs. James Vick
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)
Clint Hester vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima
Efrain Escudero vs. Kevin Lee