Top-ranked featherweight Hatsu Hioki vacates Shooto belt, will attend UFC 131
If all goes well, the UFC could have all the top-ranked featherweight talent locked up by next month.
Japanese featherweight Hatsu Hioki turned down an offer to fight featherweight champion Hiroyuki Takeya at DREAM.17 and on Tuesday announced that he's vacating his Shooto lightweight title.
Shu Hirata, an associate of Hioki who represents several Japanese fighters, today told MMAjunkie.com that the fighter is headed to UFC 131 as a guest, and all signs point to contract negotiations.
UFC 130 medical suspensions: Jackson, Mir, Stann, Santiago face six-month layoffs
UFC 130's list of walking wounded was lengthy, and five fighters from this past weekend's card face medical suspensions of up to six months.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today requested and received the list of suspensions from the Nevada State Athletic Commissions.
The potential half-year suspensions went to main-event winner Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, co-main-event winner Frank Mir, main-card fighters Brian Stann and Jorge Santiago, and preliminary-card competitor Michael McDonald.
Anderson Silva Says Yushi Okami Shouldn't Train With 'Loser 'Sonnen
UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva defends his title in August when the UFC returns to his home country of Brazil for the first time since the late 90's as he takes on Yushin Okami in the main event of UFC: Rio.
Silva has faced Okami one time before, losing to the Japanese fighter in Hawaii via a disqualification, and will look to avenge that loss in the process of defending the strap.
Silva talked about Okami this week and gave his thoughts on his decision to align himself with Chael Sonnen and company prior to the contest to prepare:
“You have to find the best people to train with, and I think [Okami] chose wrong,” Silva said.
UFC 130 payouts, salaries and earnings for 'Rampage vs Hamill' event fighters
UFC 130 fighter payouts for those who competed at the "Rampage vs. Hamill" event this past Saturday night (May 28, 2011) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas were released earlier today by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton Jackson split the top spot with ex-heavyweight champ Frank MIr, as both fighters took home an event-leading $250,000, for their winning performances in "Sin City."
"Rampage" bested Matt Hamill ($32,000) while Mir outpointed Roy Nelson ($15,000).
Tito Ortiz Split With Jenna Jameson Taking Nasty Public Turn Before UFC 132 Bout
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz has been going through some nasty public drama with his ex-partner Jenna Jameson. According to published reports the two split a couple of weeks back. They took their fussing and a feuding to twitter over the weekend (tweets compiled by Fight Opinion obscenities **'d out by me)
Now normally I wouldn't post this or even read it because I think people who take relationship problems public on the internet are VERY pathetic and inappropriate people but this one makes me think it's the first sign that Tito will be pulling out of this fight somehow. I already thought he was going to pull out but this just makes me believe it even more.
"DREAM.17: Japan GP Final" gets Mousasi vs. Izumi, Takaya vs. Miyata title fights
DREAM.17 is slated for July 16 at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, official recently announced.
The event features a championship doubleheader with light-heavyweight champ Gegard Mousasi (30-3-2 MMA, 8-0 DREAM) vs. Hiroshi Izumi (4-1 MMA, 2-0 DREAM) and featherweight titleholder Hiroyuki Takaya (15-9-1 MMA, 6-2 DREAM) vs. Kazuyuki Miyata (11-7 MMA, 4-1 DREAM).
The organization's Japan bantamweight tournament also concludes at the show.
No broadcast plans have been announced for the show.
In addition to the title fights, DREAM's eight-man Japan bantamweight grand prix concludes with finalists Masakazu Imanari (23-8-2 MMA, 2-1 DREAM) vs. Hideo Tokoro (29-23-1 MMA, 7-6 DREAM). Additionally, a third-place fight between semifinalists Atsushi Yamamoto and Kenji Osawa (17-10-2 MMA, 2-1 DREAM) also is slated for the card.
UFC vet Kurt Pellegrino announces MMA hiatus, potential retirement
Kurt Pellegrino's days as a professional fighter may be over, he recently announced.
The veteran UFC lightweight, who had climbed into title contention with a recent four-fight win streak and 8-2 run, is taking a hiatus from active MMA competition.
Pellegrino said the disappointment of a recent two-fight losing skid, as well as outside interests, have prompted him not to seek a UFC contract renewal.
"At this time I am choosing to take some time off and step away from the sport as a fighter," he wrote today on kurtpellegrino.com. "Over my most recent fights, I have come to the realization that at this point I no longer can [or] want to make fighting my first priority."
Philippines now likely to host first international "TUF," UFC eyeing future world grand prix
UFC president Dana White is still hanging "TUF" with the Philippines, but his promotion is not quite there in mounting its first international version of the reality show.
"We're like one piece away from finishing the thing," White told reporters following UFC 130, which took place this past Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
That piece, however, could be the start of a much more ambitious drive to create a world grand prix of international competitors on "The Ultimate Fighter," he added.
"Strikeforce Challengers 17: Voelker vs. Bowling III" tickets on sale this week
Tickets for the recently announced "Strikeforce Challengers 17: Voelker vs. Bowling III" event go on sale this week.
Featuring a trilogy bout between welterweight rivals Bobby Voelker (23-8 MMA, 3-1 SF) and Roger Bowling (9-1 MMA, 2-1 SF), "Strikeforce Challengers 17: Voelker vs. Bowling III" takes place July 22 at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
Tickets range from $50 to $150.
Despite initial frustration, White says Mir's UFC 130 performance admirable
LAS VEGAS – On Saturday night, UFC president Dana White said he was frustrated that former heavyweight champion Frank Mir didn't perform up to par in the co-main event of UFC 130.
On Sunday morning, White admitted he may have gone a bit overboard.
Speaking exclusively with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), White said in retrospect, Mir and his team actually put together a perfect gameplan, which the heavyweight executed to perfection. Sure, a finish would have been ideal, but current top contender Junior Dos Santos couldn't put away "Big Country," either.
Jon Jones A Heavy Favorite Over Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson
The first betting line has been released for a future UFC light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, and it seems that the current champion is a heavy favorite out of the gate. Obviously the fight hasn't been booked yet, but bookies always jump on lines quickly if a bout is likely to happen. Bookmaker has is the one offering the line:
Jorge and Zoila Gurgel enjoying married life, eyeing MMA greatness
In mixed martial arts, it's almost a job requirement for fighters to spend countless hours away from their families, and in some cases depart their homes in order to seek the proper instruction needed to be successful.
But Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Jorge Gurgel (14-7) and his wife Zoila (11-1) no longer have to seek out guidance, as they now have each other.
Earlier this year, the pair exchanged vows in a private ceremony, and Jorge recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he's happier than ever.
Roy Nelson To Meet With Dana White Later This Week; Nutritionist Mike Dolce Interested In Working Him
Roy Nelson obviously didn’t have the fight he was hoping for at UFC 130 against Frank Mir, losing by unanimous decision in the co-main event of the night.
Nelson struggled to deal with Mir’s size and power, as well as his wrestling, and by the third round the former “Ultimate Fighter” winner was noticeably gassed, but toughed it out until the fight was over.
The fight left a lot to be desired in the mind of UFC president Dana White, who seemed fairly unimpressed with both Nelson and Mir.
"Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson" tickets on sale this week
Tickets for the recently announced "Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson" event go on sale this week.
Featuring a main event between former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko (31-3 MMA, 1-2 SF) and current Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson (27-8 MMA, 2-1 SF), "Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson" takes place July 30 at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Tickets range from just $35 to $350.
HDNet to carry "Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum" preliminary card
"Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum" is one of the deepest cards in the organization's history, and now all of the July 18 event's fights will be broadcast.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker today announced that in addition to the night's Showtime-televised main card, the preliminary-card lineup will air live on HDNet.
Five bouts, including a featured K.J. Noons vs. Jorge Masvidal lightweight bout, are planned for the broadcast.
"Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum" takes place at American Airlines Center in Dallas, and the night's main card airs live on Showtime. It features the second half of the opening round's heavyweight grand prix.
Coker said the broadcasting team hasn't been determined for the HDNet portion of the event. It also hasn't been decided if future shows will air on the cable station, he said...
UFC 130 bonuses: Browne, Tibau, Stann and Santiago get $70K awards
LAS VEGAS – Travis Browne, Gleison Tibau, Brian Stann and Jorge Santiago each earned $70,000 "Fight Night" bonuses for their performances at Saturday's "UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill" event.
Browne earned the night's "Knockout of the Night" award, Tibau picked up the "Submission of the Night" bonus, and Stann and Santiago took home "Fight of the Night" honors.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) learned of the bonus winners and award amounts while at UFC 130's post-event press conference.
UFC 130 took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The night's main card aired on pay-per-view, two preliminary-card fights aired on Spike TV, and the night's first three bouts streamed on Facebook.