Iranian giant Amir Aliakbari returns for RIZIN Yokohama
RIZIN Fighting Federation has announced that World Grand Prix 2016 runner-up Amir Aliakbari will return in April to face Geronimo Dos Santos in an open weight contest at a RIZIN event in Yokohama.
Aliakbari started off his career with 5 straight wins with three knockout finishes. 2016 was a very good year for the Iranian until the last day at the World Grand Prix Finals when he faced the legend Mirko “Cro Cop”. The Croatian defended well against the power of Aliakbari and pummelled him with two left hooks that floored his opponent.
Shinya Aoki to face Gary Tonon in grappling super-match
Six months after losing his ONE Championship lightweight title, Japanese MMA veteran Shinya Aoki is making a return.
Aoki is heading back to Singapore’s Indoor Stadium for a grappling super-match between former against IBJJF World and Pan American Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion Garry Tonon.
The match-up will take place at ONE: Dynasty of Heroes, a card that will be headlined by women’s atomweight world champion Angela Lee and challenger Istela Nunes.
Aoki (39-7) is one of the most decorated mixed martial artists around the world. He is the DREAM lightweight champion, former Shooto welterweight champion and the former ONE Championship lightweight champion.
ONE: Kings of Destiny Full Fight Card Released
Eduard Folayang has been slated to make the first defense of his lightweight belt at ONE: Kings of Destiny for several weeks now. The Filipino will be fighting Ev Ting. The promotion released on Monday the rest of the nine-fight card, which is set for April 21 in Manila.
In the co-main event at the MOA Arena, Kevin Belingon (14-5) faces Toni Tauru (11-4-1). Both men have challenged unsuccessfully for the bantamweight belt, but got their careers back on track with wins toward the tail end of 2016.
Rizin FF adds many UFC veterans to April 16 card
Rizin will stage their next card in April, and it will feature a few familiar names if you’re a UFC fan.
One of the best flyweights in the world will make his Rizin debut on April 16th. Kyoji Horiguchi, a former UFC flyweight title challenger, was let go by the promotion and quickly scooped up by the company that operates out of his own country to headline their show against Yuki Motoya. Now, they’ve added a bunch more familiar names to the event.
Tatsuya Kawajiri, who lost his Rizin debut on New Year’s Eve to Kron Gracie, will take on fellow UFC vet Anthony Birchak. Birchak, who is coming up a weight class for the bout, went 2-2 in four 135-pound bouts in the UFC and won his last one, but wasn’t re-signed.
Tilek Batyrov in for injured Andrew Leone in ONE Championship 45 interim flyweight title bout
ONE Championship 45 has undergone a big late-notice shift with a change to the card’s main event less than a week out.
Andrew Leone (8-2) was set to meet Adriano Moraes (14-2) for the interim flyweight title. However, an injury to Leone forced him from the event. He will be replaced by Tilek Batyrov (10-1).
With the change, the current ONE Championship 45 lineup includes:
Tilek Batyrov vs. Adriano Moraes – for interim flyweight title
Eduard Folayang vs. Adrian Pang
Honorio Banario vs. Eddie Ng
Christian Lee vs. Martin Nguyen
Alexandre Machado vs. Alain Ngalani
Ma Jia Wen vs. Jimmy Yabo
Ma Hao Bin vs. Chan Rothana
Kritsada Kongsrichai vs. Joshua Pacio
Luis Santos meets ex-champ Igor Svirid in ONE Championship 46 main event in Indonesia
ONE Championship will return to Indonesia later this month with a former champion in the main event.
Ex-middleweight titleholder Igor Svirid (10-2) will take on Brazil’s Luis Santos (62-9-1) in the headlining bout of “ONE Championship 46: Titles and Titans.” The promotion recently announced the main event, as well as five other bouts for the card.
ONE Championship 46 takes place Aug. 27 at Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia. The card will stream as an online pay-per-view.
Also booked for the card: Jake Butler (7-1) vs. Marcin Prachnio (11-2) at light heavyweight; Edward Kelly (7-3) vs. Vincent Latoel (16-17-2) at featherweight; Sami Amin (5-3-1) vs. Anthony Engelen (4-2) at featherweight; Yohan Mulia Legowo (8-4) vs. Sunoto Peringkat (4-2) at featherweight; and Bernard Soriano (2-2) vs. Mario Wirawan (5-3) at bantamweight.
BJJ world champion signs with ONE
The transition between pure Brazilian jiu jitsu and mixed martial arts has proven to be difficult in recent years. As mixed martial artists have become more well-rounded, elite jiu jitsu fighters have began to struggle when they make the switch to MMA. This hasn't put off Michelle Nicolini, who has decided to focus solely on MMA after signing with ONE Championship.
Michelle Nicolini is one of the greatest grapplers alive. Nicolini is an 10-time world champion, an ADCC silver and gold medalist, who has continuously beaten the best over the past decade. After retiring from BJJ after the 2016 World Championships, many believed Nicolini would look to build upon her 2 -1 MMA record, but few expected the grappler to sign with ONE.
ONE Championship Confirms Two More 2016 Cards in Macau and Bangkok
ONE Championship officials on Wednesday confirmed two more cards that for 2016. On Aug. 13, the promotion heads to Macau for the first time. The other new addition to the schedule is a show in Bangkok on Dec. 17.
Venetian MacauNext month’s event will be at the 15,000 capacity Cotai Arena. The venue is situated in the bowls of the Venetian Resort & Casino and has played host to a couple of Manny Pacquiao fights in recent years.
The UFC also held three events at the Cotai Arena between 2012 and 2014, but has not returned in nearly two years. Boxing promoter Top Rank has also held multiple shows in the venue, featuring the likes of Zou Shiming and Rex Tso, as well as Manny Pacquiao.
‘TUF 12’ Winner Brookins Rematches Ishiwatari for BW Crown at Pancrase 279 Title Doubleheader
Pancrase's July 24 card at Differ Ariake in Tokyo will feature a title doubleheader, albeit under unconventional circumstances.
The long-tenured Japanese promotion announced Monday that “Ultimate Fighter” Season 12 winner Jonathan Brookins will return to the promotion to challenge bantamweight King of Pancrase Shintaro Ishiwatari for the title in the main event of Pancrase 279. The 30-year-old Brookins made his promotional debut in November 2014, defeating Ishiwatari by unanimous decision in a three-round non-title affair and has not fought since. Despite not being listed in Pancrase's official rankings and not having fought for over 18 months, the previous win was enough to earn title bid for the yogi Brookins, who now trains out of Tristar Gym in Montreal.
Yuki Motoya Vacates DEEP Flyweight Title; Org Announces Plans For 115-, 125-Pound Belts
Deep already had plans to crown its inaugural strawweight champion in 2016. Now, the company also finds itself in need of a new flyweight ace.
Officials from the Japanese promotion on Tuesday announced that two-time Deep flyweight titleholder Yuki Motoya has vacated his 125-pound title. Motoya, 26, was scheduled to fight Brazilian prospect Allan Nascimento at last week’s Rizin event, but the bout was canceled at the 11th hour after Motoya reportedly suffered health complications related to his weight cut.
Rizin 1 Bout Order Announced; Prochazka vs. Fujita Gets Top Billing Over Wanderlei, Sakuraba
The fight card and bout order have been locked in for Sunday’s Rizin Fighting Federation event in Nagoya, Japan.
The main event of Rizin 1 will see New Year’s Eve grand prix runner-up Jiri Prochazka square off against Japanese veteran Kazuyuki Fujita in a 242-pound catchweight fight. The bout structure will follow the Pride FC model, with an opening round of 10 minutes followed by two five-minute rounds.
Several other fighters from Rizin’s inaugural events are featured on the main card, with tournament competitor Vadim Nemkov taking on Karl Albrektsson in the light heavyweight co-main event. Lithuanian standout Teodoras Aukstuolis will face recent Fedor Emelianenko opponent Jaideep Singh at a catchweight of 216 pounds, while Brazilian jiu-jitsu star Gabi Garcia will make her sophomore MMA appearance in an open-weight tilt against Russia’s Anna Malyukova.
ROAD FC signs “Ryo” Young Choi, DEEP Champ makes 10-year return to Korea in May
ROAD FC announces the signing of “Ryo” Choi Young, 1st generation Korean MMA star and current DEEP Champion.
29 March, 2016 - ROAD Fighting Championship is excited to announce the signing “Ryo” Choi Young, of one of Korea’s “first generation” of Mixed Martial Artists and current DEEP Middleweight Champion. After almost ten years away from Korea, he is expected to make his promotional debut on 14 May, 2016 at ROAD FC 031 in Seoul.
Choi Young (18-10-3, Shinbukan/Land’s End) is a third generation ethnic Korean who was born and raised in Osaka, Japan. Choi first fought MMA in Japan in 2000, however his MMA career really kicked off in Korea in Spirit MC. In 2004, he faced “Stun Gun” Kim Dong-Hyun in Spirit MC’s first Interleague tournament, and beat him by Unanimous Decision. At the point of Spirit MC’s closure, Choi fought in K-1's HERO’S and returned to Japan where he became a staple of DEEP. Along the way, Choi fought the top in the middleweight division, including Lim Jae-Seok, Ryuta Sakurai, Kazuhiro Nakamura, Tatsuya Mizuno, and Yoshiyuki Nakanishi.
Dana White: ‘I absolutely hate’ the ‘business side’ of Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate
When Holly Holm knocked out Ronda Rousey to capture the UFC women's bantamweight title in November, UFC president Dana White joked that he and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta should have their promoters' licenses taken away if they booked anything other than an immediate rematch.
Of course, those statements ended up being premature, considering that Holm is just days out from defending her title for the first time against Miesha Tate at UFC 196, but that doesn't mean White has to be happy about it.
"I'll tell you this, to be brutally honest with you, as a fan, I love her attitude and I love that. As the business side, I absolutely hate it," White said Thursday on The Jim Rome Show. "Holly vs. Ronda is the biggest fight in UFC history, without a doubt. I think this thing does close to two million buys, and she's going in Saturday night against Miesha Tate
Ben Askren to Defend Welterweight Title at ONE: Global Rivals
Ben Askren returns to the cage next month to face Nikolay Aleksakhin in the main event of ONE: Global Rivals. The American will be looking to make the first successful defense of his welterweight title after two scheduled match-ups with Luis Santos last year failed to reach a satisfactory conclusion.
Askren (14-0-0-1) is a former Bellator champion, a two-time NCAA Division One wrestling champion, and a U.S. Olympian. He won the ONE belt in 2014, but saw his first defense against Santos end in a controversial no contest after the Brazilian was unable to continue due to an eye poke.
ONE Championship 40 set for March with Mohamed Ali vs. Aung La N Sang headliner
ONE Championship 40 is set for a March return to Myanmar, and a home country fan favorite is booked for the main event.
Myanmar’s own Aung La N Sang (16-9-1) will take on Egypt’s Mohamed Ali (10-7) in the main event of “ONE Championship 40: Union of Warriors.” The promotion announced the card and headliner today.
ONE Championship 40 will take place March 18 at Thuwanna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar. The card will stream as an online pay-per-view in North America.
Yushin Okami Returns to Japan, Meets Ryuta Sakurai in Pride Rematch at Deep 75
Former UFC middleweight title contender Yushin Okami will compete on the Japanese fight circuit for the first time since 2006 when he makes his Deep debut next month.
The organization on Wednesday announced that Okami will square off against Ryuta Sakurai in a rematch of a 2004 bout from Pride FC. The three-round welterweight affair is slated to co-headline “Deep 75 Impact,” which takes place Feb. 27 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.
(Courtesy of on Twitter)
All ONE Championship Fighters to Move Up a Division After Weight-Cut Ban
ONE Championship recently became the first MMA promotion to ban weight cutting by dehydration. CEO Victor Cui appeared on Fox Sports Asia to talk about the changes and how the fighters on the roster would be affected.
The reception to the ONE Championship announcement that fighters would be forced to fight at their normal weight was overwhelmingly positive. It did raise a number of questions, though; with many people speculating that the existing champions would be stripped of their titles.