RFA and Legacy promotions to merge in 2017, will be called Legacy Fighting Alliance
The future is now, at least for the springboard promotions for upcoming talent in MMA
On Monday, Resurrection Fighting Alliance president and longtime fight manager Ed Soares broke the news on The MMA Hour that two prominent second-tier promotions are merging into one.
"Well, I'm here to tell you that the RFA and Legacy Fighting Championship has merged," Soares said during his appearance on the show. "We merged into one organization, and we just signed a five-year deal with AXS TV. Starting in 2017, we're going to be doing 30 shows a year on AXS TV, and it'll be called the Legacy Fighting Alliance. LFA is the name of the new company."
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:
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."
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.
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.
Fedor Emelianenko back in training camp, negotiating with 'all international organizations'
Former PRIDE FC heavyweight champion and one-time WAMMA punchline Fedor Emelianenko is gearing up for his next mixed martial arts (MMA) fight, targeted for late 2016 or early 2017, depending on negotiations.
Where he fights, as of now, is a mystery.
"Fedor has gathered in Stary Oskol with the team," Coach Vladimir Voronov told TASS.ru (via Bloody Elbow). "It is not only for physical fitness, but also to complete a camp. He is negotiating with all international organizations about the future of his career."
Middleweight champ Jack Marshman defends belt vs. Andreas Michailidis at Cage Warriors 79 in Wales
Cage Warriors returns on Saturday for its first event in two months. But ahead of that card, the promotion has announced its next offering.
Cage Warriors 79 will take place Oct. 15 at Newport Centre in Newport, Wales. The card will stream on UFC Fight Pass and is set to feature a middleweight title fight in the main event.
185-pound champion Jack Marshman (20-5) will put his title on the line for the first time when he meets Andreas Michailidis (7-2). Promotion officials today announced the card and its first six bookings.
In addition, Lewis Long (12-4) will meet UFC vet Che Mills (16-8) at welterweight; Martin Svensson (14-6) is back to Cage Warriors after a stint on “The Ultimate Fighter” and one UFC bout and will meet Scott Clist (11-2) at lightweight; Eddi Pobivanez (3-1) vs. Jack Shore (2-0) and Nad Narimani (9-2) vs. Arnold Quero (13-4) are booked at featherweight; and Josh Reed (5-0) takes on Martin Sheridan (8-6) at bantamweight.
Jon Fitch defends title vs. Jake Shields at WSOF 34 – opposite UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden
Jon Fitch will put his welterweight title on the line for the first time in November when he meets Jake Shields in the WSOF 34 main event.
WSOF President Ray Sefo announced the matchup between Fitch (28-7-1) and Shields (31-8-1) to ESPN.com today, confirming the card would run opposite of the highly anticipated UFC 205 pay-per-view set for the same night at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
WSOF 34 takes place Nov. 12 at Budweiser Event Center in Loveland, Colo., near Denver. The main card will air on NBCSN following prelims on MMAjunkie.
Vik Grujic returns against Roger Bowling in Canada
Vik Grujic has found a new home with Canadian based “Z Promotions” and will square off with former UFC and Strikeforce fighter Roger Bowling on the promotion’s Fight Night Medicine Hat 2 event on October 28.
A live stream of the show, which takes place at the Canalta Centre in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, will be available right here at Fight News Australia.
It’s been 16 months since we last saw Grujic (7-5) in action. That was against fellow “TUF Nations” cast member Brendan O’Reilly, who dealt a unanimous decision loss to “The Spartan” at UFC Fight Night 65 in Adelaide. The defeat marked Grujic’s third in four UFC fights, and he was shown the door from the promotion consequently. The 39 year-old’s lone UFC victory came against Chris Indich in New Zealand.
WSOF 33 card finalized with addition of seven preliminary bouts
The card for WSOF 33 is complete with the promotion’s announcement of a seven-fight preliminary card.
The promotion today announced the bouts in a press release.
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WSOF 33 takes place at Kansas City Memorial Auditorium in Kansas City, Kan. A special three-hour main card airs on NBCSN. An official announcement from the promotion is expected soon.
A bantamweight rematch between Chris Gutierrez (9-1-1) and Timur Valiev (10-2) headlines the preliminary card. Also at Bantamweight, Jesse Brock (22-8) battles Bekbulat Magomedov (16-1).
RFA 45 set for Oct. 28 with championship doubleheader
RFA returns to “The Gopher State” in October for a card anchored by a pair of title fights.
RFA 45 will take place Oct. 28 at Mystic Showroom in Prior Lake, Minn. The main card will air on AXS TV.
In the main event, Gerald Meerschaert (23-8) faces Chase Waldon (10-1) for the vacant middleweight championship. Raoni Barcelos (10-1) puts his featherweight title on the line against Dan Moret (11-2) in the co-main event. The evening will also feature the return of Logan Storley (4-0) against an opponent to be named.
Meerschaert brings a four-fight winning streak into the middleweight title bout. All four wins – and 21 of his 23 career victories – have come via stoppage. The bout will mark his debut in the promotion.
Waldon is riding his own eight-fight winning streak. He has also only won by decision twice in his professional career.
With 3-hour broadcast, 6-bout WSOF 33 main card complete with Nurmagomedov-Howard
The lineup is set for WSOF’s first three-hour main-card broadcast.
Officials today confirmed with MMAjunkie two new and final main-card additions for WSOF 33.
They include welterweights John Howard (24-12) vs. Abubakar Nurmagomedov (12-1) and heavyweights Shawn Jordan (18-7) vs. Ashley Gooch (10-4).
WSOF 33, which features two title fights, takes place Oct. 7 at Kansas City Memorial Auditorium in Kansas City, Kan. The main card airs on NBCSN following prelims on MMAjunkie.
Former UFC lightweight Ramsey Nijem signs with WSOF
The Ultimate Fighter season 13 runner-up Ramsey Nijem has signed a an exclusive, multi-fight promotional agreement with World Series of Fighting. The news was announced by the promotion on Monday.
Nijem hasn't fought in over a year. His last fight was at UFC on Fox 16 back in July 2015, where he lost a split-decision to Andrew Holbrook. The 28-year-old lightweight is currently 9-6 as a professional fighter and has fought for the UFC since 2011, compiling a record of 5-5. Nijem holds notable victories over Beneil Dariush, Joe Proctor, and Danny Downes.
Nijem's WSOF debut is expected to be announced soon, according to the promotion.
Shinya Aoki vs. Eduard Folayang booked for ONE: Defending Honor in November
ONE lightweight champion Shinya Aoki will look for his third consecutive title defense in November when he'll face off with Eduard Folayang at ONE: Defending Honor, ONE Championship announced.
Aoki, 33, is riding a nine-fight win streak dating back to 2012 across three weight classes. He won the ONE championship lightweight title after scoring a second-round submission victory over Kotetsu Boku in 2013. Since then, he's competed at featherweight, defended his ONE title twice and most recently scored a first-round TKO victory over Kazushi Sakuraba in a welterweight contest in December. His record stands at 39-6 with 1 no contest.
Invicta FC 19 adds six fights, including MMA debut of Lion Fight champ Tiffany Van Soest
Invicta FC’s returns next month with a pair of title fights at the top of the bill, and now the rest of the card has taken shape.
Invicta FC 19 has six new fights, including the pro MMA debut of muay Thai and kickboxing standout Tiffany Van Soest.
Invicta FC 19 takes place Sept. 23 at Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Mo. The event streams live on UFC Fight Pass. In the main event, interim flyweight champ Jennifer Maia defends her title against Roxanne Modafferi, and in the co-feature, atomweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki defends her belt against Jinh Yu Frey.
David Branch to Defend 205-Pound Title Against Vinny Magalhaes at WSOF 33
WSOF 33 goes down on Oct. 7 at Kansas City Memorial Auditorium in Kansas City, Kan., and will be headlined by a lightweight championship tilt between titlist Justin Gaethje and Ozzy Dugulubgov. NBCSN will televise the action live.
Branch, who is also the promotion’s 185-pound champion, snagged the light heavyweight strap by submitting Teddy Holder via rear-naked choke last September. He defended his crown in April by edging Clifford Starks over five rounds and now Branch, who hasn’t lost since Anthony “Rumble” Johnson beat him on points four years ago at Titan FC 22, looks to win his ninth in a row versus Magalhaes.
Featherweight prospect Paddy Pimblett meets Johnny Frachey in Cage Warriors 78 title fight
Cage Warriors will crown a new featherweight champion next month at Cage Warriors 78.
Officials today announced Paddy Pimblett (11-1) and Johnny Frachey (18-10) are slated for the fight, which awards the winner the vacant 145-pound title.
Cage Warriors 78 takes place Sept. 10 at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. The entire card streams on UFC Fight Pass.
The belt was previously held by current UFC fighters Alex Enlund and Jim Alers.
Russian MMA Union now regulating street fights
On August 21, a beach volleyball stadium in Omsk, Russia was transformed into a gladiator pit for aspiring MMA fighters. A makeshift ring was erected from the sand. The ropes were made of braided rope and the canvas was nothing more than matted grass and patted sand. Small crowds huddled around the makeshift square chanting ‘Russiya' while their countrymen flailed gloved fists at each other.
Incredibly, the fights which appeared to be nothing more than a replica of a scene from ‘Snatch,' were regulated by the Russian MMA Union. A single judge watched the proceedings from alongside the pseudo-ring. The referee placed in the ring with the two fighters was also an official from the Union.
Ex-UFC heavyweight Jared Rosholt signs multi-fight contract with World Series of Fighting
Former UFC heavyweight Jared Rosholt has signed a multi-fight contract with the World Series of Fighting, the promotion announced on Wednesday.
The three-time All-American wrestler from Oklahoma State went 6-2 in the UFC, and is 14-3 overall as a professional, scoring notable wins over Stefan Struve and Soa Palelei. The 30-year old Rosholt lost his last fight at UFC Fight Night 82 during Super Bowl weekend against Roy Nelson via unanimous decision, but had won three fights in a row heading in.
The WSOF also announced it signed another heavyweight, 41-year old Ashley Gooch (10-4), who has won eight fights in a row, most recently in the regional promotion CES. Save for his first professional bout in 2010, all of Gooch's victories have come via finish (seven via TKO/KO, and two by submission).