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.
UFC 199 prelims were second-most watched sports event on Saturday night
Saturday's UFC 199 prelims did normal numbers, but they had a unique makeup.
The show leading up to the Luke Rockhold title loss to Michael Bisping did 798,000 viewers, making it the second-most watched sports event of the night, trailing the 2,789,000 viewers of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The number was slightly up from UFC 198, the showfrom Brazil with a Stipe Miocic vs. Fabricio Werdum main event, which did 786,000 viewers. But that show went head-to-head with a Bellator show, dividing the audience. UFC 197, the show headlined by Jon Jones vs. Ovince Saint Preux saw the prelims average 835,000 viewers.
Lineup set for next week's UFC Fight Night 89 in Ottawa with wicked-good welterweights atop the card
Four of the most exciting welterweights in the world top the bill for the UFC’s return to Canada next week.
The bout order for the 13-fight UFC Fight Night 89 event now is set. In the main event, former title challenger Rory MacDonald (18-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) fights on his home Canadian soil against Stephen Thompson (12-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC). The pecking order for a title shot likely is at stake. MacDonald is ranked No. 2 behind champ Robbie Lawler in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings; Thompson is No. 5.
UFC Fight Night 92 heads to Salt Lake City on August 6
Salt Lake City, Utah will host a UFC event for the first time with UFC Fight Night 92.
The promotion announced the event on the official UFC website.
The event takes place Aug. 6 from Vivint Smart Home Arena – home of the NBA’s Utah Jazz. Tickets for the FOX Sports 1-televised event go on sale June 24.
The UFC previously tried to hold UFC on Versus 2 at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City but was forced to move the event to San Diego, Calif., due to poor ticket sales. The Aug. 1, 2010 card was anchored by a fight between Jon Jones and Vladimir Matyushenko.
Belal Muhammad says he's in for injured Nordine Taleb vs. Alan Jouban at UFC Fight Night 90
It appears the UFC has landed a replacement to face Alan Jouban at UFC Fight Night 90.
According to an Instagram post from Belal Muhammad, the undefeated welterweight will step in for the injured Nordine Taleb at the event.
The UFC Fight Night 90 lineup now includes:
Champ Rafael dos Anjos vs. Eddie Alvarez – for lightweight title
Derrick Lewis vs. Roy Nelson
Alan Jouban vs. Belal Muhammad
Mitch Clarke vs. Joseph Duffy
Alberto Mina vs. Mike Pyle
Mehdi Baghdad vs. John Makdessi
Anthony Birchak vs. Dileno Lopes
Gilbert Burns vs. Lukasz Sajewski
Marco Beltran vs. Reginaldo Vieira
Alvaro Herrera vs. Vicente Luque
Russell Doane vs. Pedro Munhoz
Felipe Arantes vs. Jerrod Sanders
Arielgate: The Whole Story of Helwani vs. the UFC (Article)
Ariel Helwani is the most prominent mixed martial arts (MMA) reporter in the sport’s short history. How paradoxical it was then that reporting is what (temporarily) ended his career covering the top MMA organization in the world: the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Helwani and his colleagues from MMAFighting.com (which included renowned photographer, Esther Lin, and videographer, E. Casey Leydon) were banned from ever covering the UFC again at the UFC 199 event on June 4, 2016, right before Michael Bisping realized a lifelong dream of winning the UFC Middleweight Championship. Earlier in the show, UFC aired two big announcements in video package form: the long-anticipated rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz was officially announced for UFC 202, and Brock Lesnar was making his surprising comeback for a one-off at UFC 200. But in the UFC’s eyes, there was a problem. Helwani had beaten them to the punch, and reported that both bookings were “close to being finalized” in the hours prior to the event.
Sparring partner: Sage Northcutt's dad 'is probably the worst coach I've seen'
UFC lightweight prospect Sage Northcutt is looking to rebound from his first professional loss, as he draws nearer to his return at UFC 200. Northcutt saw his undefeated record come to an end back in January, when he was submitted by Bryan Barberena in a welterweight matchup at UFC on FOX 18.
Northcutt is getting in in his final training sessions before fight night, but his last one apparently was "a disaster" according to his sparring partner. In an Instagram post published on Tuesday, Israeli Muay Thai champion Ilya Grad pointed the finger at the 20-year-old's father as the root cause of yesterday's problems:
@supersagenorthcutt came in for sparring today preparing for UFC 200. I want to say something nice about the kid but oh my what a disaster it was. His dad is probably the worst coach I've seen in my life. He walks around talking shit from the start like we owe him something, then he interrupting his real coach during the rounds and gives poor Sage negative pet talk in between! Then at the 3rd round when I was just warming up and started pushing the pace they accused me of trying to hurt him and retired him from sparring! ?? - When I train someone for a fight I want to put them in difficult situations, as you would in a real fight but these clowns just want him to do well and when he doesn't they accused me of some shit and made a scene! Never have I seen such bad coaching in my life! You have great potential kid, If you smart tell your dad to stay away from your fight camp so you could actually get some training done! Good luck for 200 ??