Francis Ngannou Gets Replacement Opponent Curtis Blaydes for UFC Fight Night Zagreb
Ultimate Fighting Championship has made an alteration to next month’s UFC Fight Night card in Zagreb, Croatia.
UFC’s French division on Monday announced that heavyweight Francis Ngannou -- who was scheduled to meet Bojan Mihajlovic at the April 10 event -- will instead face unbeaten prospect Curtis Blaydes in a three-round tilt. The reason for Mihajlovic’s withdrawal from the bout was not specified.
Renato Moicano vs. Zubaira Tukhugov added to UFC 198 in Brazil
May’s UFC 198 event in Brazil has a new featherweight matchup, officials today announced.
Renato Moicano (9-0-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Zubaira Tukhugov (18-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC) are now slated to fight at the event.
The latest UFC 198 card includes:
Champ Fabricio Werdum vs. Stipe Miocic – for heavyweight title
Vitor Belfort vs. Ronaldo Souza
Matt Brown vs. Demian Maia
Patrick Cummins vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Warlley Alves vs. Bryan Barberena
Yancy Medeiros vs. Francisco Trinaldo
Nate Marquardt vs. Thiago “Marreta” Santos
Sergio Moraes vs. Kamaru Usman
Evan Dunham vs. Leonardo Santos
Renato Moicano vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
Dustin Poirier vs. Bobby Green set for UFC 199
Lightweight contender Dustin Poirier will face Bobby Green at UFC 199 on June 4th in Inglewood, California.
Fresh off both an impressive win over Joseph Duffy, as well as a new contract with the UFC, #10 ranked lightweight Dustin Poirier is set to make his return on June 4th against an opponent who has been out of action since late 2014. Brian Martin of the LA Daily News reported on Monday that "The Diamond" will fight Bobby Green at UFC 199 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. UFC officials have since confirmed the matchup.
Poirier (19-4), a former featherweight contender, went back up to 155 lbs after suffering a 1st round knockout loss to Conor McGregor at UFC 178. The move has paid off well for the 27-year-old, who stopped Diego Ferreira, Yancy Medeiros (at a catchweight when Medeiros came in heavy), and most recently scored a unanimous decision against Duffy. Last month, it was announced that Poirier had agreed to a new deal with the UFC, with the Duffy fight representing the penultimate one on his old contract.
Matt Mittrione signs with bellator
For the first time in his professional MMA career, Matt Mitrione will fight for an organization other than the UFC.
Mitrione (9-5 MMA, 9-5 UFC), who first joined the UFC in 2009 after a quarterfinal-round finish on “The Ultimate Fighter 10,” has signed an exclusive four-fight contract with Bellator.
Damien “Beatdown” Brown signs with the UFC, steps up to face Alan Patrick at UFC Fight Night 85 in Brisbane
Australian lightweight standout Damien Brown has signed with the UFC and will step up for a short notice opportunity at UFC Fight Night 85 in Brisbane.
Brown (15-8 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will square off with Brazilian Alan Patrick (12-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) at the event, which takes place on March 20 at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Queensland. News of the announcement was revealed via The Courier Mail.
Patrick was originally expected to face Chad Laprise in Brisbane, however Ross Pearson’s opponent, Abel Trujillo, was forced off the card after encountering visa issues and Laprise was slotted in as a replacement to face the Brit.
Nick Hein vs. Jon Tuck added to UFC Fight Night 87 in Rotterdam
A lightweight matchup between German product Nick Hein (13-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) and Guam’s Jon Tuck (9-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) has been added to UFC Fight Night 87.
UFC officials recently announced the new contest.
Featuring a heavyweight headliner between top contenders Alistair Overeem and Andrei Arlovski, UFC Fight Night 87 takes place May 8 at Ahoy Rotterdam in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
The night’s official bout order has yet to be released, but UFC Fight Night 87’s main card airs on FOX Sports 1 following prelims that air on FOX Sports 1 and stream on UFC Fight Pass.
Nguyen vs. Scoggins scrapped, Laprise now meets Pearson in UFC Fight Night 85 shuffle
Next week’s UFC Fight Night 85 has undergone a bit of a facelift, as a handful of changes were announced late Friday night by promotion officials.
First, injury has forced flyweight Justin Scoggins (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) to withdraw from the contest, and a planned fight with Ben Nguyen (14-5 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has been scrapped.
Additionally, lightweight Abel Trujillo (13-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC) encountered issues securing a visa and has been pulled from a planned matchup with Ross Pearson (18-10 MMA, 10-7 UFC). UFC officials have since elected to match Pearson with Canadian Chad Laprise (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), instead, leaving Laprise’s opponent, Alan Patrick (12-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), without a fight for the time being.
UFC officials are currently looking to fill that void.
Featuring a heavyweight fight between Mark Hunt and Frank Mir, UFC Fight Night 85 takes place Sunday, March 20 at Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Due to the time change, the card airs on FOX Sports 1 and streams on UFC Fight Pass on Saturday, March 19 in the U.S.
Matt Mitrione has 'very nice' Bellator offer, but 'unfinished business in UFC'
Matt Mitrione is at a career crossroads, but not a desperate one. Despite dropping his last two fights in the UFC (albeit the last one against Travis Browne ending on controversial terms), Mitrione is not begging for work or desperate for attention. In fact, he has a lot of options. The only question is which path he'll take, not so much which path is better.
"I'm in a good spot, man," Mitrione said on Monday's The MMA Hour.
According to Mitrione, who fought out his UFC contract to seek free agency, he's received an offer from Bellator. While specifics were not detailed, Mitrione was quick to note the deal Bellator offered is quite alright by him.
Felipe Olivieri flagged for potential USADA anti-doping violation
The UFC announced Friday that Felipe Oliveiri is under scrutiny for a potential anti-doping policy violation. The Brazilian, who lost to Tony Martin via submission in his promotional debut on Jan. 30, tested clean for prohibited substances on fight night, but an out-of-competition test came with a different result.
The UFC’s statement can be read below.
The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Felipe Olivieri of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection. Although the sample collected from Olivieri following his bout at UFC Fight Night: Johnson vs. Bader on January 30, 2016, was reported as negative for prohibited substances, a sample collected from him in Brazil earlier that month, and analyzed at the WADA accredited laboratory in Rio de Janeiro, was recently reported to USADA as containing a prohibited substance.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Olivieri, as it relates to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and future UFC participation. Because Olivieri participated in a bout sanctioned by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board after the sample in question was collected, USADA will work to ensure that the Board has the necessary information to determine the appropriate course of action under the Board’s rules.
Dana White: UFC 196 did 1.5 million PPV buys
Despite a late replacement in the main event and two memorable upsets in the top two feature fights, UFC 196 appears to have broken all previous pay-per-view records.
According to the promotion's president Dana White, UFC 196 seemingly earned a 1.5 million PPV buy rate, which puts it ahead of UFC 100 and all over landmark events in the promotion's history.
"People have been telling me 'what are you going to do when Chuck Liddell retires?' then 'what are you going to do when GSP is gone?' There is always new great fighters coming down the pipeline," White told ESPN's Max & Marcellus. "In this sport, we put the best against the best, or sometimes we do crazy stuff like on Saturday night, where Conor McGregor says 'I want to fight Nate Diaz. I'll fight him at 170 [pounds].'
Dana White: Conor McGregor’s Going to ‘Fight on UFC 200’
Featherweight champion Conor McGregor was not medically suspended following his second-round loss to Nate Diaz at UFC 196 on March 5, and the Irishman is expected fight on the UFC 200 fight card on July 9.
Conor-McGregor-UFC-196-wo-01-750x370“He wants to fight again as soon as possible. He wants to jump back in there, and he wants to fight again. We’re working on who the next opponent will be,” UFC president Dana White said during a recent appearance on ESPN Radio.
During the UFC 196 post-fight press conference, McGregor said he’d likely defend his 145-pound title in his next fight. It would be his first title defense, and according to White, “The Notorious” will fight again at UFC 200.
Source: Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate 2 in the works for UFC 200
Sources close to BJPENN.COM have confirmed that the UFC is looking to set up a rematch between Holly Holm and Miesha Tate for July’s UFC 200 event in Las Vegas, Nevada...
...However, our sources are saying that because Rousey will not be ready in time for the blockbuster event, the UFC is looking to set up the rematch between Holm vs. Tate.
Derrick Lewis vs. Gabriel Gonzaga in works for UFC Fight Night 86
“Big Country” is going to have to wait for now, as it seems “The Black Beast” is heading to Croatia first.
With Ruslan Magomedov recently forced out of a planned UFC Fight Night 86 appearance, UFC officials needed a replacement opponent for Gabriel Gonzaga (17-10 MMA, 12-9 UFC). MMAjunkie today confirmed with multiple people with knowledge of the negotiations that Derrick Lewis (14-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) has verbally agreed to step in for Magomedov, and bout agreements are expected to be finalized shortly. Those people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to publicly discuss such matters.
An official announcement is expected shortly.
WSOF champ Justin Gaethje: I won't take a pay cut to go to the UFC
At 15-0, World Series of Fighting lightweight champion Justin Gaethje opens up about his serendipitous entry into MMA and about his upcoming title fight against tournament winner Brian Foster.
Eddie Mercado: You are the World Series of Fighting lightweight champion. Why MMA?
Justin Gaethje: I'm not sure. I started wrestling at 4 years old. It was never a dream of mine but I knew I always wanted to compete in something. When I was wrestling in college I took 7 amateur fights without ever being in a street fight, without sparring, without even training MMA. I won those and then decided to find a gym and turn pro and haven't lost yet. Now I'm making good money and I love it!
Tristar Gym partners with Reebok
Reebok has partenered with lauded Montreal, Quebec, training facility Tristar Gym, MMAFighting.com has learned.
Reebok's involvement in MMA exploded in December 2014, when the apparel company announced an exclusive sponsorship as the UFC's global outfitter. Since then, Reebok has partnered with Ireland's SBG Gym, home to UFC featherweight champ Conor McGregor, UFC welterweight Gunnar Nelson, and more.
This current partnership with Tristar Gym serves as the next step forward for the brand as it continues to expand its Reebok Combat Training division and to develop deeper ties within the sport of MMA.
Omari Akhmedov vs. Elizeu Zaleski added to UFC on FOX 19
Welterweights Omari Akhmedov and Elizeu Zaleski will both seek redemption on April 16, as they battle at UFC on FOX 19 in Tampa, the promotion announced Wednesday. Combate first reported the matchup.
Akhmedov (15-3) looks for his fourth win under the UFC banner after suffering a knockout loss to Sergio Moraes in December, snapping a two-fight winning streak. Akhmedov currently holds a 3-2 UFC mark.
Gegard Mousasi wants Anderson Silva fight, but not until UFC 199 or UFC 200
Gegard Mousasi and Anderson Silva fought on the same card 10 days ago, and it seems there are plenty of people who would love to see the veterans matched up for their next fights.
But if everyone gets what they want in the near term, it may be a fight that isn’t destined to happen right now.
Giovani Decker, general manager of the UFC’s Brazil office, has said the promotion would love to have Silva (33-7 MMA, 16-3 UFC) on the card for the UFC’s next show in the country, which takes place May 14 for UFC 198 in Curitiba.
Mousasi (38-6-2 MMA, 5-3 UFC) is interested in a fight against Silva. But if the terms are that it needs to take place in a little more than two months in Brazil, those who want to see the fight may have to wait.