With knee finally healed, Mitch Gagnon eyes fall UFC return following lengthy layoff
After 18 months on the sidelines, Mitch Gagnon is finally ready to step back into the UFC cage. Almost.
“I just started to get back in the swing of things, and I plan on being back in there by the end of the year,” Gagnon told MMAjunkie.
Gagnon (12-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) hasn’t fought since a December 2014 loss to former UFC bantamweight champ Renan Barao at UFC Fight Night 58. While the submission defeat was disappointing enough, things got worse for Gagnon afterward, when he discovered that he tore his ACL during the contest.
Pete Williams vs. Mark Coleman at UFC 17 added to UFC Hall of Fame
A heavyweight matchup that provided one of the most surprising and spectacular knockouts in UFC history will be enshrined in the UFC Hall of Fame.
It was revealed on Wednesday’s new edition of FOX Sports 1’s “UFC tonight” that Pete Williams vs. Mark Coleman will join Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg at UFC 52, as well as Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar at The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale in the UFC Hall of Fame’s fight wing.
Williams (12-6 UFC, 3-5 UFC) vs. Coleman (16-10 UFC, 7-5 UFC) joins fellow 2016 inductees Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Don Frye and Bob Meyrowitz.
Yair Rodriguez-Alex Caceres Headliner, 5 Other Bouts Set for UFC Fight Night in Utah
The bout was announced during Wednesday’s edition of “UFC Tonight.” In addition to the main event, five other contests were revealed: Cub Swanson vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri at featherweight; Court McGee vs. Dominique Steele at welterweight; Zak Cummings vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio at 170 pounds; Marcin Tybura vs. Viktor Pesta at heavyweight and Thales Leites vs. Chris Camozzi at middleweight. UFC Fight Night Salt Lake City takes place at Vivint Smart Home Arena and airs on Fox Sports 1.
Anthony Pettis faces Charles Oliveira in featherweight debut at UFC on FOX 21
Anthony Pettis has his first opponent as a featherweight.
The former UFC lightweight champion takes on Charles Oliveira at UFC on FOX 21 on Aug. 27 in Vancouver, FOX Sports reported Wednesday, per UFC executive Tom Wright.
Pettis (18-5), once considered one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, lost three straight at lightweight before deciding to move down a weight class. "Showtime" dropped the belt last year to Rafael dos Anjos, then fell to Eddie Alvarez and Edson Barboza. Pettis, 29, is also now doing part of his training camp at JacksonWink MMA in Albuquerque.
Will Brooks signs with UFC, meets Ross Pearson at The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale
Top free agent lightweight Will Brooks (17-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has signed a six-fight deal with the UFC and will meet Ross Pearson (19-10 MMA, 11-7 UFC) at The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale.
MMAjunkie today confirmed the booking with UFC officials.
Brooks currently sits at No. 11 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings.
As MMAjunkie previously reported, Pearson was expected to face James Krause at the event, but Krause was forced to withdraw from the card.
Tim Means got job as metal fabricator during USADA suspension, hopes to return in August
Tim Means is ready to get back inside the UFC Octagon.
The welterweight fighter was recently suspended from competition after being flagged for a banned substance prior to his UFC Fight Night 83 main event showdown against Donald Cerrone in February.
In the wake of the USADA violation, Means maintained his innocence, asserting that either the testing machinery or one of his supplements was tainted. Recently, Means and his legal team reached a settlement with USADA. Means would accept a six-month suspension, retroactive to February, after extensive testing proved one of his supplements to indeed be tainted.
Cub Swanson vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri targeted for UFC Fight Night in Utah
A featherweight fight between Cub Swanson and Tatusya Kawajiri is in the works for later this year.
According to sources, the fight is currently slated for UFC Fight Night 92 on Aug. 6 in Salt Lake City, Utah. It has yet to be officially announced by the promotion.
Swanson (22-7) is coming off a unanimous decision over Hacran Dias in April, while Kawajiri (35-9-2) most recently dropped a unanimous decision to Dennis Bermudez in February.
James Krause withdraws from The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale, UFC seeks new opponent for Ross Pearson
UFC lightweight James Krause 23-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC) has withdrawn from a planned meeting with Ross Pearson (19-10 MMA, 11-7 UFC), and the promotion is currently seeking a replacement opponent.
MMAjunkie today confirmed Krause’s decision with UFC officials. The bout was set to take place at The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale, which takes place July 8 at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The current lineup for The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale includes:
Champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Claudia Gadelha – for for women’s strawweight title
opponent TBA vs. opponent TBA – “TUF 23” light heavyweight tournament final
opponent TBA vs. opponent TBA – “TUF 23” women’s strawweight tournament final
Ross Pearson vs. opponent TBA
Doo Ho Choi vs. Thiago Tavares
Andrew Holbrook vs. Joaquim Silva
Fernando Bruno vs. Gray Maynard
Cezar Ferreira vs. Anthony Smith
Li Jingliang vs. Anton Zafir
John Moraga vs. Matheus Nicolau
Kevin Lee vs. Jake Matthews
Sam Sicilia itching for return, eyes Dennis Siver in Hamburg
It’s been six months since UFC featherweight Sam Sicilia (15-6 MMA, 5-5 UFC) has set foot in the octagon, and he’s anxious to book a return. And if it’s going to take playing matchmaker to get a fight, Sicilia said he’ll take Dennis Siver (22-11 MMA, 11-8 UFC) at September’s UFC Fight Night in Hamburg.
“I would love that fight,” Sicilia told MMAjunkie. “I have always wanted it. I feel like it’s appropriate right now.
“Nothing against him personally, but I’ve always just watched him fight and gone, ‘Oh, come on. Give me that guy. I would love it.'”
Kamaru Usman in for injured Ryan LaFlare vs. Alexander Yakovlev at UFC on FOX 20
An injury has knocked Ryan LaFlare from his scheduled UFC on FOX 20 bout with Alexander Yakovlev. Stepping in for LaFlare is red-hot Kamaru Usman.
Usman (7-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) announced the change while working the commentary booth at Titan FC 39. A UFC official confirmed the LaFlare injury to MMAjunkie.
The latest UFC on FOX 20 card includes:
Holly Holm vs. Valentina Shevchenko
Anthony Johnson vs. Glover Teixeira
Edson Barboza vs. Gilbert Melendez
James Moontasri vs. Alex Oliveira
George Sullivan vs. Hector Urbina
Kamaru Usman vs. Alexander Yakovlev
Luis Henrique vs. Dmitry Smolyakov
Kailin Curran vs. Felice Herrig
Darren Elkins vs. Godofredo Pepey
Tony Martin vs. Michel Prazeres
Frankie Saenz vs. Eddie Wineland
Bojan Mihajlovic vs. Francis Ngannou
Chad Mendes flagged for 'potential' USADA violation
The dominoes continue to fall in the UFC's crusade for a cleaner sport.
The UFC announced Friday that two-time featherweight title contender Chad Mendes has been flagged for a "potential Anti-Doping Policy violation" stemming from an out-of-competition drug test collected by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The UFC did not specify the nature of the banned substance found in Mendes' sample.
The UFC's statement can be read below.
"The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Chad Mendes of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case. It is important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward."
UFC targeting Jessica Eye vs Bethe Correia for UFC 203
The UFC are targeting a women’s bantamweight bout for UFC 203 as Ana Hissa of Combate is reporting that Jessica Eye vs. Bethe Correia is being targeted for the event.
UFC 203: Miocic vs. Overeem is an upcoming mixed martial arts event that will be held on September 10, 2016 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. This will be the first event that the organisation will host in Cleveland.
The event is expected to be headlined by a UFC Heavyweight Championship bout between current champion Stipe Miocic and the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix Champion and former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem.
Brock Lesnar drug tested prior to UFC 200 comeback
As reported last week Brock Lesnar received a USADA exemption for his return to MMA.
However, Kevin Iole has reported that Brock Lesnar has already been tested by the U.S. Anti Doping Association as soon as the former UFC heavyweight champion once again became a UFC fighter.
Nate Diaz involved in backstage brawl at UFC 199
On top of wildly entertaining wins by Michael Bisping, Max Holloway and Dan Henderson — and the commotion involving journalist Ariel Helwani — come reports of a backstage brawl involving none other than Nate Diaz.
Conor McGregor’s conqueror was in attendance at The Forum in Inglewood, California, and unintentionally found himself in a scuffle with the team of fighter Clay Guida, after Guida was knocked out by Brian Ortega on the preliminary card.
“We were walking in the back after. Clay was in front of everyone, it was Clay, Danny (Castillo), Jason, then me, I was in the back, walking Clay in. Nate had come out of a bathroom in the hallway. And Clay said something to him. But Clay was discombobulated at that time, you know. He said something to Nate like ‘Man, I’m going to f*** you up again’, something like that, and Nate — I didn’t see what Nate did but Danny told me Nate kind of smiled and was like ‘What mother f***er? You joking?’ Beause there’s no reason for this s*** to go down like this.
“Then f***ing Jason and Nate got into it. I don’t know what happened but Jason bullrushes Nate and tries to put him against the wall.
“Nate’s got him in a clinch — and like fifty people from the UFC come rushing into this thing. And I’m staying in the middle, like, ‘No!’
“Clay’s grabbing Jason. A bunch of people are grabbing Nate and they’re trying to f***ing kill each other for a good 30-40 seconds. They get broken up. Clay’s got Jason. People got Nate.
I’m standing there. I’m looking at Nate, like, ‘f***’. We’re not trying to f***ing fight. I don’t know what the hell happened.”
Evan Rodner, who produces Brendan Schaub and Bryan Callen’s popular “Fighter and the Kid” podcast, backed up the story in an interview with MMAmad.com.
“It looked like Nate Diaz got into an altercation with Jason Guida, Clay Guida’s older brother,” Rodner said. “I have no idea what it was over, but all of a sudden there were a ton of bodies entering the tunnels in the back. After the scuffle had ended, Diaz walked back into the arena as though nothing had happened. He didn’t give one single f***.”
Mark Hunt blasts Brock Lesnar as being ‘juiced to the gills’ after four-month drug testing notice is waived
AUSSIE UFC fighter Mark Hunt has launched a stunning attack on Brock Lesnar, his opponent at UFC 200, after the former WWE superstar was granted an exemption from drug testing.
Last week, Lesnar came out of a UFC hiatus lasting four and a half years to agree to fight Hunt in the co-main event to Jon Jones v Daniel Cormier II in July.
Normally four months notice is required for drug testing under the UFC’s Anti-Doping Policy rules, which is now governed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
However, according to the rules an exemption may be given at the UFC’s discretion “in exceptional circumstances or where the strict application of that rule would be manifestly unfair to an athlete.”
Jose Aldo believes it's 'impossible not to cry' after watching his new biopic
RIO DE JANEIRO -- Jose Aldo went through a lot before becoming the longest featherweight champion in history, and his life story hit theaters in Brazil.
"Mais forte que o mundo" ("Stronger than the world", in Portuguese) premiered Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro, and the former UFC 145-pound champion couldn’t hold his tears back while watching Jose Loreto play the MMA star on the big screen.
Tim Means agrees to six-month USADA suspension after taking tainted supplement
Tim Means will be able to fight again before the close of summer.
The popular UFC welterweight settled with USADA this week and was given a six-month suspension by the UFC's anti-doping policy partner, it was announced Thursday. The suspension is retroactive to Feb. 3, so Means should be able to get back in the Octagon by August.
Means was flagged by USADA in February after testing positive for ostarine in a Jan. 21 out-of-competition test. Ostarine is a banned substance in the selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMS) category. SARMS are similar to anabolic steroids, but don't carry as many negative side effects. Means was pulled from his main event fight with Donald Cerrone at UFC Fight Night 83 due to the positive test.
Rustam Khabilov vs. Reza Medadi set for UFC Fight Night 93
UFC lightweights Rustam Khabilov and Reza Madadi are set to lock horns when the duo meets in the Octagon in the UFC's return to Germany on September 3rd. The UFC made the news official on Twitter on Friday.
Khabilov, 29, is on a two-fight win streak having most recently defeated Chris Wade via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 87 in May. His professional record stands at 19-3.