Shannon Knapp: Cris Cyborg could still return to Invicta, defend her title
Cris Cyborg will make her UFC debut in May. But that doesn't necessarily mean she is done with Invicta FC.
Cyborg, arguably the top pound-for-pound women's fighter in the world, will face Leslie Smith at UFC 198 on May 14 in Brazil, the UFC announced Monday. The event will take place inside a 40,000-seat soccer stadium in Cyborg's hometown of Curitiba.
The fight will take place at a catchweight of 140 pounds. Cyborg normally fights at 145 pounds and she remains the Invicta champion in that featherweight division. That will not change any time soon, Invicta president Shannon Knapp told MMA Fighting.
Knapp said Cyborg will not be vacating the title, because there is the possibility of her returning to Invicta to defend it.
WSOF 30 ‘Branch vs. Starks’ Fight Card Finalized with 10 Bouts
World Series of Fighting has confirmed the 10-fight lineup for Saturday’s WSOF 30.
The event, which takes place April 2 at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, will be headlined by a WSOF middleweight title bout between two-division champ David Branch and challenger Clifford Starks. In the co-main event slot, longtime UFC contender Jon Fitch will try to snatch the vacant WSOF welterweight belt in a meeting with Brazil’s Joao Zeferino.
Also featured on the NBCSN-televised main card is a light heavyweight tilt between Vinny Magalhaes and Jake Heun, plus a welterweight clash pitting Abu Azaitar against Danny Davis Jr.
Topping the preliminary slate is a duel of welterweight prospects Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Matthew Frincu, both of whom enter the bout with just one loss to their name.
Unbeaten lightweight Steve Kozola, who was set to take on Gil Guardado, will instead meet late replacement Matt Church in a 160-pound catchweight affair. Guardado recently suffered a broken nose and was forced to withdraw, according to a statement from WSOF.
Blagoy Ivanov vs. Josh Copeland, Jason High vs. Mike Ricci set for WSOF 31
A heavyweight title fight between Blagoy Ivanov (13-1) and Josh Copeland (12-3) is set to headline WSOF 31. Additionally, a lightweight bout between Jason High (19-5) and Mike Ricci (11-4) will serve as the co-main event of the card. The news was announced by the promotion on Tuesday.
Ivanov, who captured the WSOF heavyweight gold back in June 2015 against Smealinho Rama, will be defending his belt for a second time in this fight with Copeland. The 29-year-old Bulgarian fighter last competed on October 2015 at WSOF 24 where he defeated Derrick Mehmen via second-round TKO.
His opponent, Josh Copeland, is currently 3-1 in his past four fights. 'Cuddly Bear' is coming off a unanimous decision win over Mike Hayes earlier this year at WSOF 29. Prior to that, the 33-year-old heavyweight suffered a submission loss to Vitaly Minakov in Russia.
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.
ACB 32 Free Stream (YouTube)
Russian Promotion Absolute Combat Berkut hosting it's 32nd event "Battle of Lions" is available to watch on YouTube here:
Commentary from Luke 'Bigslow' Barnatt & Steve Cook-Abbott
WSOF Global Expands Into Puerto Rico & Italy
World Series of Fighting – Global Championship (WSOF-GC) continues with the promotion of events around the world having recently entered into a strategic agreement with Royalty Combat in Puerto Rico to develop and build their talent across the Caribbean. WSOF-GC has also added Slam Fighting Championship to their list of affiliates, and will be hosting events under the WSOF Global banner in Italy.
“There are no shows too big or too small for true MMA fans,” states Zachary ‘Bootsy’ Harris, WSOF-GC Affiliate Coordinator. “I’ve traveled to some of the most remote areas in the world to see talented fighters that most people haven’t ever heard of yet. This is a great opportunity for us to work with Royalty Combat and Slam FC to help showcase them on a much grander scale. At the end of the day, we want to promote the sport and help it continue to thrive. Showcasing organizations like these will allow us to do that, and to find the best new talent.”
MMAWeekly.com HOT OFF THE WIRE Venator FC Adds Six Fighters to Growing Roster
After the recent signing of controversial fighters as Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares and Jason “Mayhem” Miller Venator Fighting Championship’s roster continues to grow with today’s addition of many international superstars as Cody McKenzie, Karl Amoussou, Simeon Thoresen, Peter Queally, Igor Araujo, Jack Hermansson along with the already signed Luke Barnatt, Matt Hamill, Sokoudjou, Che Mills, Karl Moore and more.
All these fighters will fight at “Venator Fighting Championship III” card scheduled for May, 21 at the Palasesto Arena in Milan, Italy.
Take a look at the official fight card below:
Welterweight Title Fight: Rousimar Palhares (18-6) vs Emil Weber Meek (7-2-1, 1 NC)
Middleweight Title Fight: Luke Barnatt (9-3) vs. Jason Miller (23-9, 1 NC)
Light Heavyweight Fight: Sokoudjou (16-14) vs Matt Hamill (11-6)
Welterweight Fight: Karl Amoussou (21-7-2) vs Simeon Thoresen (17-6-1)
Middleweight Fight: Igor Araujo (25-8, 1NC) vs Marvin Vettori (9-2)
Welterweight Fight: Peter Queally (8-2) vs Giorgio Pietrini (5-3)
Welterweight Fight: Cody McKenzie (15-8) vs Daniele Scatizzi (6-2)
Welterweight Fight: Che Mills (16-8, 2NC) vs Roberto Rigamonti (4-2-1)
Light Heavyweight Title Fight: Karl Moore (6-1) vs Pietro Cappelli (1-1)
Middleweight Fight: Jack Hermansson (11-2) vs to be announced
Lightweight Title Fight: Leonardo Zecchi (13-8-1) vs Alessandro Botti (12-5)
Bantamweight Title Fight: Cristian Binda (10-10) vs Davide Baneschi (7-3)
Featherweight Title Fight: Federico Mini (4-0-1) vs Ciro Ruotolo (4-3-1)
Middeweight Fight: Stefan Croitoru (6-1-1) vs Mattia Schiavolin (12-2-2)
Featherweight Fight: Danyel Pilò (3-1-2) vs Luca Puggioni (9-9-1, 1NC)
Light Heavyweight Fight: Matteo Minonzio (21-19) vs Franco De Martiis (2-4)
Lightweight Fight: Daniele Miceli (2-0) vs to be announced
Middleweight Fight: Cristian Magro (8-4) vs Marco Zuzolo (1-1)
Welterweight Fight: Stefano Paternò (3-1) vs Andrea Fusi (0-0)
Lightweight Fight: Manolo Zecchini (3-0) vs Dennis Coste (2-1)
Daron Cruickshank signs with Rizin FF, set to debut in April
Former UFC fighter Daron Cruickshank has found a new home.
Cruickshank has inked a new deal with Rizin Fighting Federation, MMAFighting.com has learned. "The Detroit Superstar" will meet Shinji Sasaki in a lightweight bout on the second Rizin FF card, which is scheduled to take place April 17 at the Nippon Gaishi Hall in Nagoya, Japan.
Cruickshank (16-8) was recently released by the UFC after losing his third fight in a row. The Ultimate Fighter season 15 competitor had been in the organization since 2012.
Titan FC signs Gesias Cavalcante, adds three fights to Titan 38
Titan FC is chugging along nicely.
The promotion recently signed Strikeforce and DREAM veteran Gesias Cavalcante to a deal and he will debut in June, Titan CEO Jeff Aronson told MMA Fighting on Wednesday.
Execs have also been busy putting together Titan 38, which takes place April 30 in Miami. Aronson said three new fights have been added to the card: Peter Petties vs. Caio Rocha, Jack May vs. Chase Sherman and Sid Bice vs. Pedro Nobre. The card will air on UFC Fight Pass.
'RFA 37: Viana vs. Clark' lineup finalized for April 15 with two title fights
The lineup is set for next month’s “RFA 37: Viana vs. Clark” event, which features a pair of title fights.
The event takes place April 15 at Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D. The main card airs on AXS TV.
The full RFA 37 lineup includes:
MAIN CARD (AXS TV, 10 p.m. ET)
Devin Clark vs. Rafael Viana – for inaugural light heavyweight title
Leandro Higo vs. Joey Miolla – for vacant bantamweight title
Brian Camozzi vs. Jordon Larson
Joseph Gigliotti vs. John Poppie
Eli Finn vs. Matthew Lopez
Scott Futrell vs. Logan Storley
PRELIMINARY CARD (Untelevised, 9 p.m. ET)
Chris Hugh vs. David Michaud
Ryan Debelak vs. Jordan Johnson
C.J. Hunter vs. Bryce Logan
Former UFC exec Michael Mersch joins WSOF as COO and general counsel
Michael Mersch, who this past summer quietly left the UFC after eight years with the industry leader, is joining the WSOF’s executive ranks with a similar title to his old job.
WSOF officials today announced Mersch will act as the promotion’s COO and general counsel, joining CEO Carlos Silva in another high-profile addition eight months after Silva signed on.
Prior to accepting the job, Mersch had worked as general counsel for the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, where he had previously worked as a senior counsel prior to working for the UFC.
13-fight UFC veteran George Roop gets new MMA life with ROAD FC for May debut
After seven years being almost exclusively under the Zuffa banner with the UFC and WEC, veteran fighter George Roop has a new fighting home.
Roop (15-12-1), who went 5-8 in 13 UFC fights and 1-2 for the WEC, has signed an exclusive multi-fight deal with South Korea’s ROAD FC. The promotion recently announced the news, saying Roop is expected to make his debut with the company on May 14 at ROAD FC 31.
Ex-WSOF champion Steve Carl meets Belal Muhammad for vacant 170 title at Titan FC 38
Titan FC heads to Miami this spring, and a local standout and former WSOF champion has joined the promotion looking for another belt.
Ex-WSOF titleholder Steve Carl (22-4) will meet Belal Muhammad (8-0) for the vacant welterweight title at Titan FC 38, the promotion recently announced. The card takes place April 30 at Miccosukee Casino in Miami and will stream live at UFC Fight Pass.
Also on the card, Jason Novelli (11-1) will meet UFC veteran and Blackzilians-trained fighter Yosdenis Cedeno (10-5) in a lightweight bout. Unbeaten bantamweights Peter Petties (3-0) and Caio Rocha (4-0) will fight. And bantamweight Jose Torres (1-0) will be on the card against an opponent still to be determined.
Prospect Tom Duquesnoy to Challenge 135-Pound Champ Shay Walsh at BAMMA 25
The main event for BAMMA 25 “Champion vs. Champion” is set, and it’s a headliner worthy of the name.
BAMMA featherweight champion Tom Duquesnoy (12-1, 1 NC), one of the sport’s brightest young prospects at only 22 years of age, will challenge bantamweight ace Shay Walsh (14-3) for his title. Sherdog.com confirmed the news with a source within the promotion Monday afternoon.
BAMMA 25 goes down May 14 at Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, England, and will also feature a clash of undefeated lightweight prospects Marc Diakiese (8-0) and Kane Mousah (7-0).
WSOF 30 fills out preliminary card in Las Vegas, including Abubakar Nurmagomedov
The preliminary card for next month’s WSOF 30 event today took shape with the addition of five fights, and at least one more still to come.
Topping the prelims is a welterweight bout between Abubakar Nurmagomedov (11-1-1), the adopted brother of UFC lightweight standout Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Matthew Frincu (7-1). WSOF officials today announced the preliminary card lineup.
MAIN CARD (NBCSN, 11 p.m. ET)
Champ David Branch vs. Clifford Starks – for middleweight title
Jon Fitch vs. Joao Zeferino – for vacant welterweight title
Jake Heun vs. Vinny Magalhaes
Abu Azaitar vs. Danny Davis Jr.
PRELIMINARY CARD (MMAjunkie, 8 p.m. ET)
Matthew Frincu vs. Abubakar Nurmagomedov
Gil Guardado vs. Steve Kozola
Carlos Garcia vs. Jason Pacheco
Adam Aquaviva vs. Andres Ponce
Jeff Roman vs. Nick Salantri
Clinton Williams vs. TBA
UR Fight results: Chael Sonnen vs. Michael Bisping ends in draw, Roy Jones Jr. scores massive KO
PHOENIX -- Four years after their fight on FOX, retired middleweight Chael Sonnen and UFC contender Michael Bisping met once more in an exhibition grappling match Sunday night at UR Fight -- the smorgasbord online pay-per-view from UR Show which also featured MMA, pro wrestling, and the boxing return of Roy Jones Jr. at the Celebrity Theatre.
Sonnen and Bisping first clashed in early 2012 at UFC on FOX 2, with Sonnen claiming a narrow unanimous decision to secure a UFC title shot against Anderson Silva. The win never sat right with Bisping, however the Brit was unable to exact much vengeance at UR Fight. Bisping, weighing 212 pounds, worked to uneventful draw against Sonnen, who weighed in at 231 pounds.
BJJ star Mackenzie Dern signs with Legacy FC, MMA debut set for July
One of the best grapplers in the world is set to make her transition to mixed martial arts.
Mackenzie Dern, a jiu-jitsu black belt under her father Wellington "Megaton" Dias, signed a deal with Legacy FC and will make her MMA debut July 22 in Dallas, the promotion announced Thursday.
Dern, who won the IBJJF jiu-jitsu world championship and ADCC in 2015, competes between 127 and 132 pounds in jiu-jitsu and grappling. For her MMA debut, Dern told MMAFighting.com she will cut down to 115 pounds. The promotion has yet to announce an opponent.
Tank Abbott out of fight vs. Dan Severn, replacement being sought
A rematch between legends Dan Severn and Tank Abbott has been scrapped.
Abbott could not pass his physical and has been removed from the fight against fellow UFC veteran Severn by the Arizona Boxing and MMA Commission, a spokesman for UR Fight confirmed with MMA Fighting on Thursday morning. A replacement is being sought.
MMA Mania's Michael Stets reported Wednesday night that the fight was in jeopardy.
The bout was scheduled for Sunday in Phoenix as part of an amalgamation of combat sports and sports entertainment matchups run by Canadian digital television property UR Show.
Two bouts added to Rizin FF upcoming event in Japan
Rizin Fighting Federation has announced two MMA bouts for its third event in Nagoya, Japan, on April 17. In the heavyweight division, veteran Kazuyuki Fujita is set to take on Jiri Prochazka, while prospects Allan Nascimento and Yuki Motoya battle in a flyweight contest.
Fujita (15-10) looks for his first win since 2008, when he stopped Peter Graham at Sengoku 1. The 45-year-old fighter has faced the likes of Alistair Overeem, Wanderlei Silva, Fedor Emelianenko, Mirko Filipovic, Ken Shamrock, Mark Coleman and Mark Kerr since his MMA debut in 2000.
Roxy leads Invicta FC purses
UFC fighter purses are often lamented by the hardcore fanbase. According to Forbes, in 2013, On average, NBA players made $5.15 million, MLB players made $3.2 million, NHL players made $2.4 million, and NFL players made $1.9 million per year. Minimum salary in the NFL is $450,000. UFC fighters characteristically start at 10/10.
10/10 means a UFC fighter gets $10,000 to show, and $10,000 more to win. The amount escalates if there is a win. In theory fighters fight three times a year, although in practice it is closer to two. Plus there is the Reebok money. And out of league sources of income. But there are also expenses. So on average, an entry level UFC fighter earns ... not a lot.