Zak Ottow gets call to replace Bobby Green, faces Josh Burkman at UFC Fight Night 96
Zak Ottow has gotten his call-up to the big leagues. “The Barbarian” will face Josh Burkman at UFC Fight Night 96.
Burkman (28-13 MMA, 6-8 UFC) was originally set to face Bobby Green (23-7 MMA, 4-2 UFC) in the lightweight bout. However, Green withdrew from the bout citing “personal issues,” opening the door for Ottow (13-3 MMA, 0-0) to make his octagon debut.
A UFC official today confirmed the bout to MMAjunkie.
AXS TV's long-running 'Inside MMA' show set for Sept. 30 series finale
One of MMA’s most iconic and trail-blazing programs is set for a series finale on Sept. 30.
“Inside MMA,” which launched nearly a decade ago on AXS TV (formerly HDNet), airs it 433rd and final episode on Sept. 30, officials recently announced.
Hosts Mauro Ranallo, Bas Rutten and Ron Kruck, along with former/original host Kenny Rice, will look back on the show’s history and favorite moments.
“Inside MMA” gave the sport some of its first mainstream coverage and acceptance. The news and interview show has been a Friday-night staple for fight fans and has featured many of the top fighters, coaches and executives in the sport. (MMAjunkie is a previous content partner with “Inside MMA.”)
“‘Inside MMA’ blazed the trail for mainstream media’s acceptance of MMA,” AXS TV Founder and CEO Mark Cuban stated. “Bas, Kenny and Ron were there from the start, introducing the sport and its stars to a national television audience when other networks and newspapers were too afraid and out of touch to recognize its appeal.”
In a press release, officials said the show’s cancellation will help accommodate AXS TV’s “increased commitment to live MMA events.” That includes the new Legacy Fighting Alliance – the merger of the successful Legacy FC and RFA promotions – and its planned 30 live events in 2017.
Jim Miller fills Al Iaquinta's spot at UFC 205, takes on Thiago Alves
Al Iaquinta’s unhappiness has become Jim Miller’s gain because the New Jersey-based lightweight has jumped at the chance to fight at UFC 205.
Alves tweeted news of a replacement, and shortly thereafter, Talk MMA tweeted Miller (27-8 MMA, 16-7 UFC) had stepped in for the bout.
When reached by MMAjunkie, UFC officials stated, “There’s nothing to confirm at this time.” However, a source close to Alves stated the fight is a go.
UFC 205: Contract dispute forces Al Iaquinta from Thiago Alves fight on Nov. 12
Easy come, easy go.
By his own admission, lightweight power puncher Al Iaquinta will no longer be competing against Thiago Alves at the upcoming UFC 205 pay-per-view (PPV) event, scheduled for Nov. 12, 2016 inside Madison Square Garden in New York City.
“Raging Al” elaborates to FOX Sports:
"I got the contract and I was just looking at it for a couple of days. I was like I just can't sign it. I can't do it. I felt like it wasn't right. I talked to my manager, I said listen I really want to fight in New York. There's nothing I want to do more than fight in New York, but I can't take a pay cut for this fight. I'm taking a pay cut from all of my sponsors. I'm taking a pay cut of all the last 18 months of the sponsors that could have been. I told (my manager) that I wanted more. I wanted to have a conversation with the UFC and see if they would do some kind of negotiation because when I signed my contract, there was no Reebok deal."
Amanda Cooper vs. Anna Elmose added to UFC Fight Night 99 in Belfast
November’s UFC Fight Night 99 event in North Ireland has its second fight.
Officials today announced a strawweight bout between Amanda Cooper (1-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and Anna Elmose (3-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC).
UFC Fight Night 99 takes place Nov. 19 at SSE Arena in Belfast, and the entire card streams on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.
Jacare says ‘wonderful’ rematch will be 'a big problem' for Luke Rockhold
Ronaldo Jacare will finally get the chance to settle his score with Luke Rockhold.
Now, as his rematch has been announced, he feels like it's the perfect opportunity to show he's better than Rockhold, as he told Gazeta Esportes.
"This Rockhold fight is going to be wonderful for me, but it's going to be a big problem for him. I need to defeat him so I can get in line for a title shot. I'll show everything I know to win and become the next title challenger. I rather not talk about it, but I see holes in his game. We've been studying his fights and we know he's a tough fighter. Nevertheless, I feel confident and I know what I have to do to win."
BJ Penn on Georges St-Pierre turning down trilogy: ‘That’s why he’ll never be remembered’
BJ Penn was hoping to make a trilogy fight with Georges St-Pierre happen upon his comeback, aiming at UFC 205 in November. But apparently, it is not a plan that GSP has in his immediate future, as he feels it is a risk that is not worth taking.
“I remember when I fought him the first time, when he was nobody, I didn’t think about it being risky for my legacy,” Penn said in an interview with Rapid Fire. “That’s why I believe, when all this is said and done, that’s why I’ll be remembered but he will never be remembered.”
“You know, Anderson Silva was there, he could have fought Anderson Silva, but he never fought Anderson Silva for his legacy. Just as a rule of thumb, for myself personally, I don’t live thinking about my legacy. I’ll fight. I want to fight anyone, you know?”
Jimmie Rivera: T.J. Dillashaw is my ‘top choice’ after UFC 203 win over Urijah Faber
Jimmie Rivera continues to rise in the UFC bantamweight division, and he eyes another former champion next to get closer to a shot at the gold.
Fresh off a unanimous decision win over Urijah Faber at UFC 203 in Cleveland, Rivera spoke with Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour and explained why a clash with T.J. Dillashaw makes the most sense for him next.
"I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s T.J. Dillashaw," Rivera said. "Cody and Cruz are going to have a fight soon, I heard, that’s probably gonna be in the works for December. I wouldn’t be surprised. I think it’s gonna be probably T.J. Dillashaw next."
"That would be my top choice because now you have Cody and Cruz," he said. "I think Dillashaw really wants the rematch but Cruz doesn’t want it, and the UFC is not giving to him anyway."
Rory MacDonald up for Chael Sonnen fight at 'gangster weight'
The press release from Bellator announcing Sonnen's signing stated that he wanted to fight in three different weight classes (which he dubbed gangster weight), and one of the specific names he called out was the aforementioned MacDonald. That's a bit strange, since Rory has always been a welterweight. But Chael said he'd take him on at 185, and for his part, it looks like Rory is down with it. He responded to a tweet about the fight by MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani:
Frankie Edgar vs. Jeremy Stephens targeted for UFC 205
With the UFC's first ever show at Madison Square Garden only two months away, the card is slowly starting to fill up. According to Brazil's Combate, former UFC lightweight champion and perennial featherweight contender Frankie Edgar will fight Jeremy Stephens on the November 12th pay-per-view event. UFC officials haven't announced the matchup themselves.
Ex-champ Chris Weidman vs. Yoel Romero slated for UFC 205 in New York City
Two middleweight notables will meet in November at UFC 205.
Former champion Chris Weidman (13-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and fellow contender Yoel Romero (12-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC) are slated to fight at the event.
Although UFC officials haven’t made a formal announcement regarding any fights on the fall card, people close to the event told MMAjunkie that the bout has been finalized. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity since they’re not authorized to announce the matchup.
The long-rumored bout features two highly ranked contenders; Weidman is No. 3 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, and Romero is No. 4.
UFC 205 takes place Nov. 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The event airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.
Weidman vs. Romero is expected to be part of the main card but not headline it.
Minakov: Contract dispute with Bellator delaying UFC debut
As far as Vitaly Minakov is concerned, he would already be fighting for the UFC had Bellator not interfered.
BloodyElbow's Karim Zidan confirmed that Minakov will likely transition to the UFC in 2017. Speaking to Russian outlet izvestia.ru, the former heavyweight champion revealed that this was indeed likely to be the case, though he was uncertain when the move would occur because of Bellator's "strange" behaviour.
"I had signed a contract with [Bellator], not on the number of matches, but for a certain period of three years," said Minakov. "The three years have elapsed but the conditions if you are the champions of the organization, and I was to them, is that they have the right to extend twice or three times more for six months. And they did.
"My agreement with Bellator will expire in a few months. But now there is strange behavior on their part. They insist that I have to perform a few more fights under their banner, although the contract does not have a word about the number of fights. Now this issue is being studied by my lawyer."
Jose Aldo wants Anthony Pettis next if Conor McGregor doesn’t return to featherweight
Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis can finally happen in 2016.
"I’m already frustrated that it might happen, but we’ll see," Aldo recently told Brazilian TV show Revista Combate. "Every night I ask ‘give me one more chance to get in there again with him and I know it won’t happen again.’ but if it’s not him, I think I’d prefer to fight Pettis. I with them learned that I don’t have to look at the promotion’s side, the title run. A fight with Pettis would sell a lot more than Holloway."
"Holloway is way tougher than Pettis today," Aldo said. "‘Do Bronx’ (Oliveira) was winning the fight, but (his cardio) goes down drastically during the fight. I think that a fight with Pettis would sell a lot and is way easier for me. If I had to choose one of them it would be him because it sells more and I have a better chance, but I respect him."
"It makes sense, but I’m not looking at the whole title thing now," Aldo said of fighting Holloway in New York. "I look at the financial aspect of it. I thought about my legacy and career before, but now I look with different eyes. I think Dana White taught me that. The biggest slice of the cake has to be mine.
"I’m trying to get a fight at this UFC card in New York, but we’ll see what ‘Dede’ (Pederneiras) has to say when he comes back. ‘Dede’ is (in Cleveland) now for a meeting with Dana to decide our future. I hope everything goes right. If it’s not against (McGregor) we fight for the undisputed belt. We’ll see."
Ex-champs Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum likely to meet at UFC 207
Cain Velasquez will likely get his rematch with fellow ex-UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum in December.
Werdum (21-6-1 MMA, 9-3 UFC) and Velasquez (14-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC), respectively No. 2 and No. 3 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings, are targeted for a long-awaited rematch at UFC 207.
The fight isn’t signed but has been offered to the competitors, according to people close to both camps who requested anonymity because they aren’t authorized to discuss the booking publicly.
UFC 207 takes place Dec. 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. As with other major year-end UFC events, it airs on pay-per-view.
Marco Beltran vs. Guido Cannetti 2 added to TUF: Latin America 3 Finale
A rematch between Marco Beltran and Guido Cannetti has been added to The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 3 Finale. The news was announced by UFC Español on Wednesday.
The two bantamweights first fought during the first season of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America in a fight that had a controversial ending. Cannetti dominated the action for the majority of the fight, but due to an illegal kick on a downed Beltran, Cannetti was deducted a point that would cost him the fight, losing via split decision.
Daniel Cormier says Jon Jones remaining interim champion 'makes no sense'
Jones - who is under temporary suspension for testing positive for Hydroxy-clomiphene, an anti-estrogenic agent, and a Letrozole metabolite, an aromatase inhibitor - has been suggesting that investigations before his appeals with USADA and the NAC have turned up good news and that he will "be back in the Octagon really soon." Jones has yet to face his official hearing but his looming presence has called the Cormier-Johnson fight into question. This was exacerbated by comments from UFC President Dana White who suggested that Jones' return could come in an interim title fight against Anthony Johnson instead of the assumed rematch between DC and Rumble.
But not everyone is happy with that idea. Speaking with Brian Stann on Toe-2-Toe on SiriusXM Rush, Cormier addressed the Jones return rumors and Dana White's idea to have Jones and Johnson square off for the interim title.
"Now one thing I completely disagree with, completely - and I don't care who hears it - why in the hell would Jon still be the interim champion? That makes no sense. That makes absolutely no sense. They should not be fighting for an interim championship. That makes no sense at all. I don't even know why he would still be the interim champion. His ass was disqualified. Take that freakin' belt off of him. That's stupid.
"I hope to God Dana misspoke, because that makes absolutely no sense. They aren't fighting for some interim title if they fight. They can fight in the main event because it's a big fight but it's a fun fight. If they fight, they fight to determine the number one contender it's not some interim championship fight. That makes no sense at all... You'd have an interim champion defending the interim championship while the actual champion is actually still there. That makes no sense whatsoever."