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."
Donald Cerrone vs. Kelvin Gastelum in the works for UFC 205
It didn't take long for Donald Cerrone to find a new opponent for UFC 205.
According to multiple sources, Cerrone vs. Kelvin Gastelum is in the works for the Nov. 12 card at Madison Square Garden in New York City. If all goes according to plan, the welterweight fight is expected to be finalized shortly.
UFC commentator Kenny Florian confirmed death of younger brother
UFC commentator Kenny Florian announced Tuesday night that his younger brother passed away Sunday at age 33 after going missing one day earlier.
Florian wrote on Instagram, “Always loving. Always loved. Always my little brother Kiki. Kirk Andrew Florian 6/22/83-9/11/16. Thank you all for sharing his picture/information. Go tell your loved ones that you love them.”
The retired fighter offered no details about his brother’s death, and MMAjunkie was unable to reach him for comment. Monday on Twitter, Kenny Florian asked anyone with information about his brother’s whereabouts to call the Dover Police Department in Delaware. He said his brother had been missing since Saturday. He later deleted the message.
After scary concussion, UFC welterweight Matt Brown taking his return slowly
Although UFC welterweight Matt Brown estimates he’s probably suffered “hundreds” of concussions in his fighting career, he got his first official diagnosis in 2015.
The treatment he subsequently received was an experience he’d rather forget.
“I had to sit in my room for 10 days with no lights, no loud noises, no TV, no reading,” Brown told MMAjunkie Radio. “Like, literally stare at the wall and do nothing for 10 days, like jail.”
It’s for that reason that Brown isn’t in a rush to return to the octagon two months after suffering his first TKO loss in a fight against Jake Ellenberger at UFC 201.
“It’s the first time from a head shot that I’ve been dropped in my entire life, and I’ve sparred with heavyweights and big guys,” said Brown. “I hope that I can speak near-full sentences when I’m done fighting.”
He had his first training session earlier this week and would like to fight by the end of the year or early next year.
“I would love New York (at UFC 205), but I’m really fat right now,” Brown said.
“There’s still a lot of hunger in my heart,” Brown said. “I’m still pressing toward the ultimate goal. I still, to this day, remember my motivation. I still remember what it’s like to go to a UFC and have that dream in my head.”
So Brown will pick himself back up and begin the process of sharpening his skills. This time, though, he’ll try to avoid unnecessary damage.
Daniel Omielanczuk steps in as replacement, faces Stefan Struve at UFC 204
After an illness scratched Ruslan Magomedov from UFC 204, Daniel Omielanczuk has agreed to step in as a replacement and fight Stefan Struve at UFC 204.
The news was confirmed to MMAjunkie by a person close to one of the fighters. The person requested anonymity because UFC officials haven’t formally announced the bout.
Magomedov (14-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), who’d won three straight in the UFC, was diagnosed with staph infection.
Alvey gets 4th fight in 5 months
Sam Alvey will get yet another quick turnaround, and will be in a middleweight bout against Alex Nicholson. After losing a somewhat uneventful decision last June, Alvey picked up two stoppage wins in July and August. This will be his 4th bout in the span of 5 months.
Mirko Cro Cop's return highlights RIZIN openweight tourney first-round matchups
The opening-round matchups are set for the RIZIN World Grand Prix 2016.
Six bouts have been announced for the single elimination, openweight tournament, which kicks off on Sept. 25 in Saitama, Japan.
Of biggest note is the return of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, the winner of the PRIDE 2006 open weight tourney. Filipovic (31-11-2) will meet fellow heavyweight Hyun Man Myung (3-2) of South Korea in Filipovic's first bout since 2014.
The remainder of the evening's tourney bouts:
LHW Theodorus Aukstuolis (Lithuania, 9-3) vs. HW Szymon Bajor (Poland, 15-6)
HW Amir Aliakbari (Iran/2-0) 2-0 vs. HW Joao Almeida (Brazil, 4-1)
Super HW Kaito "Baruto" Hoovelson (Estonia, 1-0) vs. HW Kazuyuki Fujita (Japan, 15-11)
LHW Karl Albrektsson (Sweden, 5-0) vs. LHW Valentin Moldavsky (Russia, 3-0)
LWH Jiri Prochazka (Czech, Republic, 17-3-1) vs. HW Mark Tanios (Lebanon, 4-1)
First-round fights are scheduled for two, five-minute rounds. If the bout is ruled a draw, there will be a winner-takes-all third round.
Andre Fili steps in, will face Hacran Dias at UFC Fight Night 96
Things might get a little “Touchy” in Portland, with Andre Fili (15-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC) stepping in to replace an injured Brian Ortega (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC).
Fili now faces Brazilian grappling standout Hacran Dias (23-4-1 MMA, 3-3 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 96. Dias is currently ranked No. 14 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings.
The new booking was first announced by the Oregonian, and MMAjunkie subsequently confirmed the new contest with UFC officials. MMAjunkie first reported Ortega’s withdrawal.
UFC Fight Night 96 takes place Oct. 1 at Moda Center in Portland. The card will air on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
With the change to the card, UFC Fight Night 96 now includes:
John Lineker vs. John Dodson
Will Brooks vs. Alex Oliveira
Sergio Pettis vs. Louis Smolka
Josh Burkman vs. opponent TBA
Joachim Christensen vs. Luis Henrique da Silva
Kelly Faszholz vs. Ketlen Vieira
Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Walt Harris
Nate Marquardt vs. Tamdan McCrory
Hacran Dias vs. Andre Fili
Yushin Okami vs. Paul Bradley added to WSOF 34
Yushin Okami will be back competing in the states.
After two bouts in his native Japan, the UFC veteran will take on Paul Bradley at World Series of Fighting 34 on Nov. 12 in Loveland, Colo., the promotion announced Tuesday. Also added to the card was a heavyweight bout between Josh Copeland and Smealinho Rama.