With Cain Velasquez healing, champ will probably headline UFC 136 in Houston
TORONTO – With Cain Velasquez reportedly recovering nicely from a recent shoulder surgery, UFC president Dana White is eyeing a fall return for his heavyweight champion.
Following Saturday night's UFC 129 post-event press conference at Toronto's Rogers Centre, White told a small group of reporters that Velasquez will likely return at the as-yet-unannounced UFC 136 event, which is expected to take place in Houston and coincide with the company's second UFC Fan Expo of 2011.
"Probably," White said when asked if Velasquez would headline the card. "I think that would make a lot of sense."
Georges St. Pierre vs Nick Diaz hurdles exist but UFC president open to idea
TORONTO – The UFC's current crop of welterweights has little to offer, and with a super fight with middleweight champion Anderson Silva apparently unlikely, what's next for 170-pound titleholder Georges St-Pierre?
It was the big question after St-Pierre's decisive but heavily panned decision victory over Jake Shields in Saturday's UFC 129 main event.
But UFC president Dana White has a potential solution: a fight with Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz.
UFC President Dana White Tells Tito Ortiz to Put Jenna Jameson 'On a Leash'
You'd think Dana White would learn. He was forced to apologize after calling Loretta Hunt (then of Sherdog) a "******* dumb bitch" and her anonymous source a "faggot" and a "*****" in April of 2009 (video here). (As a side note, try to find video of the apology. The UFC took down the official video (it was the lead in to a fight week video blog), and I've had no luck finding a transcript. If I remember correctly, the apology was more PR move than legitimate remorse.)It looked like Dana White had himself under control. Sure, he'll always have that aggressive and abrasive Alpha Male personality, but it seemed as if someone got in his ear and told him to, you know, think before you say something.
Dana White admits hands may be tied with Nick Diaz's boxing aspirations
TORONTO – Boxing is looking better than ever for Nick Diaz.
Two weeks after the Strikeforce welterweight champion's manager announced the fighter would take a break from MMA for a high-profile pro-boxing fight, the UFC appears receptive to the idea.
Of course, the boxing match is in Diaz's current contract.
"What I'm going to do is I'm going to sit down with Nick," UFC president Dana White today said. "I like the Diaz brothers. I'm going to sit down with him, and we'll figure out what he wants to do."
Chuck Liddell Thinks Jake Shields Will Upset Georges St. Pierre
Chuck Liddell knows a thing or two about defending a championship. The "Iceman" captured the UFC light-heavyweight title and held it for two years before relinquishing the crown. Georges St. Pierre has held a UFC belt even longer. He won the undisputed welterweight title in April 2008, so a successful title defense over Jake Shields at this weekend's UFC 129 will make it three years and counting at the top.
Liddell, though, has his doubts about St. Pierre getting there. In a Monday interview on The MMA Hour, Liddell said he thinks the challenger is likely to walk away with the belt.
"I'm siding with Jake," Liddell said. "Jake's going to have to take him down. I'm expecting him to be in great shape for the fight. He'll be in great shape for GSP. But yeah, I expect him to take him down and finish him."
B.J. Penn: 'Teammates Have to Fight Each Other'
If you're a UFC fighter who's unhappy about being pressured into fighting your friends and teammates, don't come crying to B.J. Penn.
The former UFC welterweight and lightweight champion said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour that it's all part of the game, and fighters should plan accordingly.
"I think teammates have to fight each other, and I knew that the whole time," Penn said. "That's why I would always distance myself. Of course they have to. I always thought it was B.S. that [Josh] Koscheck and [Jon] Fitch wouldn't have to fight, but they can just keep taking turns going for title shots, but they never had to fight each other? That doesn't make sense."
Despite three fighters on card, trainer Cesar Gracie won't be at UFC 129
Nate Diaz isn’t the only Cesar Gracie Fight Team member who's had a tough time getting into Canada.
In fact, the team's namesake said he ran into red tape and won't be attending UFC 129 this Saturday in Toronto.
"I don't have the American passport thing going – I have the whole Brazilian thing, and I had issues getting a visa over there," Cesar Gracie today told MMAjunkie.com Radio. "I'm going to watch like you guys on TV."
Jon Jones injured, Phil Davis vs Rashad Evans now targeted for UFC 133
With UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones (13-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) injured, UFC officials now are targeting a bout between the champ's original opponent, Rashad Evans (15-1-1 MMA, 10-1-1 UFC), and replacement Phil Davis (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC).
Sources today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) the new matchup, which is expected to take place at UFC 133. The Canadian Press' Neil Davidson first reported the opponent switch.
A source told MMAjunkie.com that Jones is facing a lengthy recovery from a torn right-hand ligament suffered in his title win. A timetable for his return wasn't immediately available.
Brilz and Matyushenko Aim for an Explosive Battle at UFC 129
If you believe what Vladimir Matyushenko (25-5) and Jason Brilz (18-3-1) are saying ahead of their fight at UFC 129 this Saturday night, this is one wrestler-versus-wrestler match-up that will look like anything but.
Matyushenko – a former Belarusian national team member – claims that he plans to use his wrestling skills mostly to stay off the mat, and his reasoning is fairly simple.
"I've been working on my stand-up skills for a little while now and honestly I'd like to show off a little bit in front of the fans," Matyushenko told MMA Fighting. "And I know my friends and my fans are expecting it."
UFC 129: Jake Shields Walks A Murderer’s Row To Get Ready for Georges St-Pierre
As Jake Shields walks into the gym on any given day, he tapes up his hands, puts the rest of his gear on, and warms up with his mind only on one thing… beating Georges St-Pierre.
But to get to St-Pierre, Shields is going through his own trials and tribulations every day in the gym.
After getting his head gear on and stepping inside the ring, Shields looks out at the crew assembled to get him ready for the biggest fight of his career. Faces staring back at him include the likes of Nick Diaz, Gilbert Melendez, Nate Diaz, and Daniel Roberts.
Drew McFedries and Jens Pulver co-headline HDNet's Titan Fighting 18
Two notables have been tapped co-headliners of next month's Titan Fighting Championships 18 event.
They include former UFC champ Jens Pulver (21-14-1), who meets featherweight Mike Powell (10-2), and former UFC middleweight Drew McFedries (9-6), who meets Darryl Cobb (6-2).
Titan Fighting Championships 18 takes place May 27 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan., and the four-fight main card airs live on HDNet.
Tickets for the event are now on sale.
'Mighty Mouse' Replaces Pickett Against Torres at UFC 130
British bantamweight Brad Pickett has suffered an injury and has been forced to withdraw from his UFC 130 bout with Miguel Torres. Stepping in to face the former WEC champion in Pickett's stead will be Demetrious Johnson, the promotion announced Wednesday evening.
"The fastest man in the division has answered the call, and Demetrious Johnson will move into Pickett’s spot to face the former divisional kingpin," said UFC president Dana White. "Both men have verbally agreed to the fight."
Ben Henderson Isn't Afraid of Canadians, Wants Rematch With Anthony Pettis
Former WEC Lightweight Champion Ben Henderson could be forgiven if he was bitter about his last fight: a tight decision loss to Anthony Pettis that will forever be remembered more for "The Kick" than any of the action leading up to it.
But the 27-year-old isn't looking back and is ready to travel to hostile territory when he faces Canadian Mark Bocek to open the PPV portion of UFC 129 in Toronto, Canada. He isn't concerned in the least with the task of battling Bocek in front of a raucous pro-Canadian crowd of 55,000.
Cartwheeling Bellator Champ Zach Makovsky says bring on Joe Warren
With three-straight outdoor fights to his Bellator Fighting Championships record, Bellator bantamweight champ Zach Makovsky (13-2 MMA, 5-0 BFC) is no stranger to fighting under the sun.
That said, even "Fun Size" admits the glaring afternoon heat of Yuma, Ariz., had him a bit worried a this past week's Bellator 41 event.
"When I went out to the cage earlier in the day, it was really hot," Makovsky recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "If I sat in one place on the canvas, my feet were kind of burning. I was a little nervous, but the temperature went down by the time the fight started, and it was really enjoyable."
Mark Pavelich Attacks Referee Pay, 'Big' John McCarthy Responds
The always outspoken MFC promoter Mark Pavelich made a minor splash with his most recent newsletter. In it he claimed that certain referees have become "celebrity referees" who charge upwards of $10,000 to work an event. From the newsletter:
It’s outrageous and absolutely inappropriate. These certain referees are charging anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 just to show up, bark out a catchphrase, and supervise a fight. But these fees aren’t being paid by any commission. They are paid by a show owner or promoter. And quite frankly it’s sad that some promoters feel obliged to pay them and put them front and center on a poster.
Why would they do that? Honestly, for most of them, it’s because they don’t have any talent pool to draw from so the biggest ovation of the night for anybody in the ring is for the referee. That’s a terrible statement for the sport of mixed martial arts. You don’t have much of a show if you’re paying your referee five times what you’re paying the two guys in the main event.
And how can you not call into question the ethics of these referees. Would you not expect their loyalties to be torn when some promoter is willing to pay them 10K, and that same referee is then calling the action when the promoter’s top fighters are in action.
It’s time for the commissions governing MMA to put a pay structure in place for all referees. They would be paid according to their experience, the level of competition they have overseen, and even feedback from notable fighters and insiders. There are a number of very good referees out there, including those that have worked recent MFC events. But even they shouldn’t be allowed to just toss out a price tag, or have a commission toss out one for them. There should be a pay scale in place – here’s what you get paid (plus reasonable expenses) … take it or leave it.
Bellator 44: Lyman Good vs Dan Hornbuckle booked for welterweight tournament qualifier on May 14
CHICAGO, Ill. (April 18, 2011) - Bellator Fighting Championships continues to add to its already stacked Atlantic City fight card, this time adding a Season 5 welterweight tournament qualifier fight between former Bellator Welterweight World Champion Lyman "Cyborg" Good and Season 2 tournament finalist Dan "The Handler" Hornbuckle.
Headlining the May 14th show will be a non-title Super Fight featuring reigning Bellator World Middleweight Champion and former Judo Olympian Hector Lombard against dangerous Hawaiian UFC veteran Falaniko Vitale. And, rounding out the nights stacked card is a Lightweight Tournament Championship fight between Brazilian Knockout artist Patricky Pitbull and undefeated NCAA Champion Mike Chandler.
"Good vs. Hornbuckle is a fight a lot of MMA fans, myself included, have wanted to see for quite some time," said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. "These two guys have Bellator in their blood, and on May 14th one will move into our next Tournament and one will go home. This promises to be a great fight on May 14th at Caesars."
Dan Severn challenges Royce Gracie to retirement match in Brazil
Since the hint of a UFC Event in Brazil hit the Online Rumor Mill, Dan Severn has been passionate about his intentions to take part in this event as being his finale match to his fans and the MMA Community.
Dan has said on numerous occasions that if he had the opportunity to have such a match in Brazil, he would want it to be with Royce Gracie.
Rashad Evans Responds to Jon Jones on Twitter
No.1 contender Rashad Evans responds to UFC Light-Heavyweight champ and former training partner Jon Jones claims of constantly getting the better of Rashad in training at Greg Jackson's MMA. Jones told ESPN.com that he had several times to finish Evans during pratice but never did out of respect. Rashad Evan tweets: