UFC on Versus 4 bonuses: Kongo, Lauzon, Oliveira and Lentz earn $50K awards
PITTSBURGH – Cheick Kongo, Joe Lauzon, Charles Oliveira and Nik Lentz each earned $50,000 "Fight Night" bonuses for their performances at Sunday's "UFC on Versus 4: Kongo vs. Barry" event.
Kongo earned the night's "Knockout of the Night" award, Lauzon picked up the "Submission of the Night" bonus, and Oliveira and Lentz took home "Fight of the Night" honors.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) learned of the bonus winners and award amounts while at UFC on Versus 4's post-event press conference.
The amounts mark the largest across-the-board bonuses ever issued at a UFC on Versus event, although Diego Sanchez and Martin Kampmann were each given special $160,000 "Fight of the Night" awards following their epic UFC on Versus 3 brawl.
Helwani's updates on the Marquardt story from last night
Ariel Helwani has posted his latest information on the failed Nate Marquardt pre-fight medical test and his ultimate dismissal from the UFC.
arielhelwani Ariel Helwani
Nate failed the medical requirements for the fight and was put on suspension by the PA athletic commission until he provides a medical ...
... report showing that he's satisfied those requirements. He was given every opportunity to meet the requirements ...
UFC signs undefeated Swede Papy Abedi
Highly sought-after Swedish prospect Papy “Makambo” Abedi has signed with the UFC.
Abedi’s manager, Manos Terzitane, Sunday confirmed to Sherdog.com that the 32-year-old judo black belt has inked a four-fight deal with the American promotion.
The Kongo-born fighter stands undefeated at 8-0 and has posted finishes in all but one of his fights, including five knockouts and two submissions. Despite previously competing at middleweight, Terzitane told Sherdog.com that Abedi will drop to 170 pounds for his Octagon debut.
PSAC indefinitely suspends Marquardt, says UFC, fighter had six weeks to get clearance
PITTSBURGH – The Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission still won't reveal exactly what forced Nate Marquardt out of tonight's UFC on Versus 4 event, but PSAC executive director Gregory Sirb did reveal the fighter was given plenty of time to address the issue.
And after failing to fulfill the PSAC'S requirements, the commission has now put Marquardt on indefinite suspension.
"He's been put on suspension," Sirb told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "When he meets those requirements, he'll be taken off. How long of a suspension (it will be) is up to him."
Video: Ken Shamrock vs. James Toney Press Conference
A press conference was held yesterday to formally announce the match up between two aging legends from their respective sports, UFC Hall-of-Famer, Ken Shamrock and Boxing champ, James Toney. The two met with the press, exchanged words, and almost got into an altercation.
The date and venue on their match up still hasn't been finalized yet. Though amidst the trash talk between the two, earlier reports that the rules for their bout would be modified a bit have been confirmed. It will be contested at eight rounds of only 3-minutes each, with both fighters only allowed to stay on the ground for 30 seconds before they get stood back up. Rules are adjusted to slightly favor the boxer, and while it probably won't change the outcome of the fight either way, that special rule-set makes this an even bigger freakshow bout than originally expected.
Focus is on Brown, but UFC on Versus 4's Howard ready to settle score with Johnson
PITTSBURGH – John Howard (14-6 MMA, 4-2 UFC) hasn't lost focus on the task at hand.
When he meets fellow welterweight Matt Brown (11-10 MMA, 4-4 UFC) on the Versus-televised main card of Sunday's UFC on Versus 4 event at Pittsburgh's CONSOL Energy Center, both of the once-hot prospects are fighting for their job security.
But Howard knows that – one way or another – he and rival Anthony Johnson eventually are going to clash, whether it's in the UFC octagon or in the street.
Paul Daley vs. Tyron Woodley targeted for "Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson"
Another big addition has been made to next month's "Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson" event.
Sources close to the show today told MMAjunkie.com that a welterweight bout between Tyron Woodley (8-0 MMA, 6-0 SF) and Paul Daley (27-10-2 MMA, 2-1 SF) is in the process of being finalized for the card.
It's not clear if Nick Diaz's recently vacated welterweight title will be on the line.
Nate Marquardt cut from the UFC
Nate Marquardt (MMA 31-10-2 UFC 10-4) Has been cut from the UFC:
It's just going from bad to worse for Nate, not only did he lose his Main Event spot at UFC Live on Versus but he has been cut from the UFC in the space of 40 minutes as Dana says in the video link below:
What's next for Nate, I don't know, but this is big big news. Greg Jackson's Camp Instist the setback is temporary and his future still lies at 170 pounds. With regards to him being taken off the main event.
However with the cut from the UFC it's a huge shake up for Nate's career and both the Middleweight and Welterweight Divisions.
Marquardt scratched from UFC on Versus 4; Barry-Kongo now main, Story gets Brenneman
One-time UFC middleweight title challenger Nate Marquardt will not be making his welterweight debut this weekend.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned that Marquardt is a late scratch from Sunday's UFC on Versus 4 event, and opponent Rick Story (13-3 MMA, 6-1 UFC) will now instead meet Charlie Brenneman (12-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) on the evening's main card.
With the late change, a highly-anticipated heavyweight bout between Pat Barry (6-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Cheick Kongo (15-6-2 MMA, 8-4-1 UFC) has now been promoted to main-event status.
The reason for Marquardt's last-minute withdrawal, mere hours before he was scheduled to hit the scales at the event's official weigh-ins, wasn't immediately evident. However, Marquardt's camp did release a statement insisting the setback was temporary and his future still lies at 170 pounds.
John Makdessi injured, forced out of UFC on Versus 5 bout with Paul Taylor
Undefeated lightweight prospect John Makdessi (9-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) will have to wait a little bit longer to get back to action.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the event that Makdessi has been forced to withdraw from a planned UFC on Versus 5 contest with Paul Taylor (11-6-1 MMA, 4-5 UFC).
An undisclosed injury is said to be the culprit, though Makdessi's manager, Mitch Mayberger, was unavailable for comment when contacted by MMAjunkie.com.
Top-ranked Japanese featherweight Hatsu Hioki signs UFC deal
Former World Victory Road/Sengoku featherweight champion Hatsu Hioki (24-4-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) officially is octagon-bound.
UFC officials today announced the top-ranked Japanese star is the newest addition to the roster of the world's biggest MMA promotion.
Officials did not reveal Hioki's debut appearance and first opponent.
Strikeforce Challengers 16 Results: Fodor vs. Terry
MMA Fighting has Strikeforce Challengers 16 results of Caros Fodor vs. James Terry, Ryan Couture vs. Matt Ricehouse and the rest of the Showtime card from the ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash.
In the main event, Caros Fodor extended his win streak to four with a unanimous decision win over James Terry. In other action, Ryan Couture, son of UFC Hall of Famer Randy, lost in his third trip inside the cage, dropping a decision to Matt Ricehouse.
Caros Fodor def. James Terry (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Matt Ricehouse def. Ryan Couture via unanimous decision (29-28 3x)
Lorenz Larkin def. Gian Villante via unanimous decision (29-28 3x)
Jason High def. Quinn Mulhern via unanimous decision (30-27 3x)
Julia Budd def. Germaine de Randamie via unanimous decision (29-28 3x)
Derek Brunson def. Jeremy Hamilton via unanimous decision (30-27 3x)
Eduardo Pamplona def. Jerron Peoples via first-round TKO
Trevor Smith def. Keith Berry via second-round technical submission
Hector Lombard vs. Jesse Taylor targeted for August AFC event in Australia
Hector Lombard (29-2-1) is headed back to his second home.
Sources close to negotiations today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the Bellator middleweight champion has received permission to take a fight against "The Ultimate Fighter 7" veteran Jesse Taylor (19-6) late this summer.
The bout is targeted for an Australian Fighting Championship event expected for Aug. 27, likely in Melbourne, Australia. The promotion's broadcast plans are unknown at this time.
Lombard most recently was seen in the cage this past month at Bellator 44, where he knocked out Falaniko Vitale in a non-title bout. The two got off to a very slow start while circling each other for two rounds without much offense. Lombard, though, eventually landed a crushing right hand.
The Cuban native has defended his Bellator belt once with a decision victory over Alexander Shlemenko at Bellator 34. He also holds the middleweight title in the Australia-based Cage Fighting Championship and has defended it seven times during an unbeaten streak that's stretched nearly four years.
An emigrant to Australia from his native country, Lombard, a former Olympian in Judo, spends the bulk of his time in Coconut Creek, Fla., where he moved several years ago to train with American Top Team.
Taylor, meanwhile, enjoys a five-fight win streak that includes a win under the AFC banner. He most recently dispatched UFC and PRIDE vet Denis Kang at "Battlefield Fight League 8: Island Beatdown" this past month and defeated former UFC middleweight champ Murilo Bustamante 11 months before at "Impact FC 2: The Uprising 2."
Since his release from the UFC in 2008, Taylor has gone 13-3 while shuffling between welterweight, middleweight and even light heavyweight.
Neil Melanson chooses MMA over body part
LAS VEGAS -- Rest in peace, Neil Melanson’s second toe on his left foot. You’re in a better place.
After enduring more abuse than any toe should, Melanson’s is officially gone. The head jiu-jitsu trainer at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, best known for his work with Randy Couture, had it removed last week after it became arthritic due to a severely damaged joint.
Had he been willing to stay off the mats for approximately one year, Melanson likely could have avoided amputation. But when given a choice between 365 days away from training or forfeiting the Little Piggy who Stayed Home, he chose the latter.
“I broke it in the first tournament I ever competed in,” Melanson told ESPN.com. “Then over the years I broke it again and two years ago it snapped. It just didn’t want to live I guess.
“It’s really not a big deal to me. It’s just a toe. I guess when you love the sport and you’re committed to it, you don’t let little things like toes get in the way.”
Shogun Rua calls for UFC to permit stomps
Mauricio Shogun Rua has told ESPN that he believes stomps should be made legal in the UFC.
Former Pride star Shogun has spent the majority of his career in competitions permitting stomps, and he is a huge advocate of that particular weapon.
The UFC had to outlaw the technique in order to bring the sport of MMA into the mainstream, a move Rua completely understands as president Dana White continues to take the sport into new territories.
Mizuto Hirota Finally Ready to Return Twenty Months After Shocking Injury
On December 31, 2009, Mizuto Hirota got his arm wrenched behind his back by possibly the most ruthless man in MMA: DREAM lightweight champion Shinya Aoki.
Hirota, who was then the Sengoku lightweight champion and had engaged in a war of words with Aoki prior to the bout, refused to tap and so Aoki wrenched the arm further and further until Hirota's body shook and a sickening snap was heard through Saitama Super Arena as referee Yuji Shimada proceeded to dive in and covered his mouth in shock.
With Hirota lying stunned on the canvas and his arm destroyed, Shinya Aoki stood over his defeated opponent while sticking his tongue out and extending his middle finger before excitedly running around the ring and flipping off the audience. Not yet finished, Aoki then laughed at Hirota and mocked his broken arm before proudly named the submission after his boss, the "Keiichi Sasahara 2010."
Hirota obviously should have tapped, but Aoki's performance at Dynamite!! 2009 was one of the lowest points in the history of Japanese MMA. At Deep 55 on August 26, twenty months after getting his arm snapped, Hirota will finally be ready to return.
Undefeated newcomer Lance Benoist signs multi-fight deal with UFC
Undefeated welterweight Lance Benoist (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is octagon bound.
A source close to the promotion today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the fighter has signed a four-fight deal with the UFC.
Benoist's debut has not been set.
A standout on the Midwest regional circuit, Benoist brings an impressive (albeit brief) resume into a deep division.
He has ended all of his five professional fights and all but one of his six amateur fights in the first round. In fact, two of his first three professional victories came in the opening minute of the first round.
While his amateur record is marked by TKO victories, his professional record boasts four submission wins.
Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre, Fabricio Werdum nominated for 2011 ESPY Awards
UFC champions Jon Jones and Georges St-Pierre, as well as Strikeforce heavyweight contender Fabricio Werdum, have all been nominated for 2011 ESPY Awards.
Jones and St-Pierre were each nominated in the "Best Fighter" category while Werdum's June 2010 submission win over Fedor Emelianenko was nominated in the "Best Upset" category.
Fans can vote on the winners from now through July 9, and the awards show airs on ESPN on July 13.
Jones and St-Pierre are joined in the "Best Fighter" pool by standout boxers Bernard Hopkins, Sergio Martinez and Manny Pacquiao.