UFC 145 ratings: FX's prelims broadcast scores record 1.6 million viewers
This past weekend's UFC 145 preliminary-card broadcast scored a record 1.6 million viewers on FX.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the ratings information with industry sources.
The April 21 broadcast, which preceded the night's pay-per-view main card, bested every UFC on FX main-card broadcast and PPV preliminary-card special since the UFC moved from Spike TV to the FOX family of channels earlier this year.
UFC 145 took place at Atlanta's Phillips Arena, and in the headliner, UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones defended his title with a unanimous-decision victory over Rashad Evans. On the two-hour FX-televised prelims, which followed earlier prelims on Facebook, notables such as Travis Browne, Matt Brown, Mac Danzig and Anthony Njokuani picked up victories.
Previously, Spike TV aired 27 "UFC Prelims" specials that averaged 1.5 million viewers. The UFC 145 prelims special is the first on FX to best that average.
Additionally, every FX-televised UFC prelims special has topped ratings for the previous one.
NSAC's Keith Kizer expects no licensing issues with UFC 148's Chael Sonnen
It may be a lot easier this time around for Chael Sonnen (27-11-1 MMA, 6-4 UFC) to get licensed in Nevada.
Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he sees no issues with granting the fighter a license to fight at UFC 148, though he will ultimately defer to NSAC Chairman Raymond "Skip" Avansino.
"He's done his time," Kizer told MMAjunkie.com. "He's come clean on his prior dishonesty, and that's all appreciated."
The UFC announced this morning that Sonnen's rematch with champ Anderson Silva (31-4 MMA, 14-0 UFC) is being moved to the July 7 pay-per-view event after venue problems scratched it from UFC 147.
The bout now serves as the pay-per-view headliner of UFC 148, which takes place July 7 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Earlier interactions between Sonnen and the Nevada commission weren't so friendly. Kizer said the fighter lied about receiving approval from him to use prescribed testosterone for a fight against Nate Marquardt at UFC 109. Kizer said Sonnen also disparaged referee Josh Rosenthal.
These issues were at the center of a closed-door meeting with Kizer, Sonnen and UFC officials to address the alleged lies and discuss what Sonnen should expect if he applied for a second's (cornerman's) license to serve as a coach on "The Ultimate Fighter 14" opposite Michael Bisping this past year. (Jason "Mayhem" Miller ultimately took Sonnen's spot.)
Kizer said the meeting did not go well and said Sonnen would be required to appear before the commission before being granted the license.
Big Nog vs. Kongo Agreed for UFC 149 in Calgary
The same day that UFC president Dana White announced that he is likely taking featherweight champion Jose Aldo off of the fight card in Calgary, the Calgary Sun reported that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira would face Cheick Kongo at UFC 149.
Though the Calgary Sun cited anonymous sources pointing to the fight, the UFC’s Canadian contingent endorsed the report by re-tweeting it.
NSAC denies Alistair Overeem fight license for period of nine months
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Alistair Overeem appeared in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) today (April 24, 2012) to answer for a failed drug test administered back on March 27 in advance of the UFC 146 pay-per-view (PPV) event on May 26 in Las Vegas.
"Demolition Man" returned a testosterone-to-epitestosterone (T/E) level of 14:1, which he subsequently blamed on anti-inflammatory medication -- not performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) -- but it didn't stop the UFC from pulling him from his upcoming bout against Junior dos Santos and replacing him with former 265-pound champion Frank Mir.
It turned out to be the right call.
Overeem came into today's hearing saddled with the burden of proving that he was indeed the victim of bad medicine -- not bad intentions -- and requested a continuance from the NSAC to help his team prepare its case and "demonstrate Alistair's intent."
Cruz vs. Faber title fight remains on UFC 148, part of stacked PPV lineup
Although it'll no longer headline the event, a bantamweight title fight and rubber match between champion Dominick Cruz (19-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and longtime rival Urijah Faber (26-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC) will remain a part of UFC 148.
UFC officials today announced it'll co-headline the July event, which now features a headlining title fight between middleweight champion Anderson Silva (31-4 MMA, 14-0 UFC) and Chael Sonnen (27-11-1 MMA, 6-4 UFC).
Silva vs. Sonnen was moved from UFC 147 to UFC 148 earlier today, which promoted concerns Cruz vs. Faber might also be moved to a different event.
Instead, it'll now be part of the one of the most stacked cards in UFC history.
The latest UFC 148 card now includes:
Champ Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen (for middleweight title)
Champ Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber (for bantamweight title)
Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le
Forrest Griffin vs. Tito Ortiz
Michael Bisping vs. Tim Boetsch
Renan Barao vs. Ivan Menjivar
Fabricio Camoes vs. Melvin Guillard
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Gleison Tibau
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Demian Maia
Riki Fukuda vs. Constantinos Philippou
Marcus LeVesseur replaces Aaron Riley, meets Cody McKenzie at UFC on FUEL TV 3
Newcomer Marcus LeVesseur (21-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has replaced Aaron Riley (30-13-1 MMA, 3-5 UFC) and now meets fellow lightweight Cody McKenzie (12-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) at next month's UFC on FUEL TV 3 event.
Mickey Dubberly of KO Dnyasty today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that LeVesseur has signed a four-fight deal with the UFC and taken the open slot.
McKenzie initially tweeted news of the change.
The reason for Riley's scratch from the card wasn't immediately known.
Champ Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson possible for UFC 149 in Calgary
With UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo likely off the card and headed to UFC 147 in Brazil, July's UFC 149 event in Calgary may still get a title fight.
At a press conference today in Rio de Janeiro, UFC president Dana White mentioned the possibility of light-heavyweight champ Jon Jones (16-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) and Dan Henderson (29-8 MMA, 5-2 UFC) headlining UFC 149.
However, White said it'll depend on Jones' recovery following this past weekend's win over Rashad Evans.
"If we could make that fight happen (at UFC 149), that'd be great," White said.
UFC 149 takes place July 21 at Calgary's Scotiabank Saddledome. The night's main card airs on pay-per-view.
UFC 147 keeps Belfort vs. Silva 2, expected to get champ Aldo at date TBA
Although the event has lost its headliner, UFC 147 will soldier on.
At a press conference today in Rio de Janeiro, UFC president Dana White today announced UFC 147 will take place at a date to be determined with a Wanderlei Silva (34-11-1 MMA, 4-6 UFC) vs. Vitor Belfort (21-9 MMA, 10-5 UFC) bout. Additionally featherweight champion Jose Aldo also (21-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) is expected to fight at the event.
A previously announced headliner and rematch between middleweight champion Anderson Silva (31-4 MMA, 14-0 UFC) and challenger Chael Sonnen (27-11-1 MMA, 6-4 UFC) has been moved to July's UFC 148 event, as MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) reported earlier today.
Currently, White said, a date and venue have not been determined for UFC 147, though it'll remain in Brazil.
UFC officials initially announced UFC 147 as taking place June 23 at Joao Havelange Stadium (also known as Engenhao Stadium) in Rio. However, White recently said conflicts with the United Nations' "Rio +20" meeting, which is scheduled for June 20-22 in Rio, could prompt some changes. Instead of the stadium, which could have broken the UFC's all-time attendance record (55,724 attendees at UFC 129), UFC 147 now is searching for a new venue.
Del Rosario vs. Miocic added to UFC 146, main card remains all heavyweights
Next month's UFC 146 event will keep its all-heavyweights pay-per-view main card.
After Gabriel Gonzaga (13-6 MMA, 8-5 UFC) recently took a vacant slot against Roy Nelson (16-7 MMA, 3-3 UFC) on the card, Shane Del Rosario (11-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) was left without an opponent.
However, fellow unbeaten Stipe Miocic (8-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has stepped in as a replacement, UFC president Dana White today announced via Twitter.
UFC 146 takes place May 26 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. In addition to the PPV main card, which features UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos vs. Frank Mir, FX and Facebook carry the preliminary card.
UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans Medical Suspensions
Following this weekend’s UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans event, the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission passed out suspensions to 20 of the 24 fighters. Three fighters were issued lengthy suspensions, while one was given an indefinite suspension.
Jon Jones: Suspended seven days for precautionary reasons
Rashad Evans: Suspended seven days for precautionary reasons
Rory MacDonald: Suspended seven days for precautionary reasons
Che Mills: Suspended 45 days for precautionary reasons
Ben Rothwell: Suspended seven days for precautionary reasons
Brendan Schaub: Suspended 45 days for precautionary reasons
Michael McDonald: Suspended seven days for precautionary reasons
Miguel Torres: Suspended 60 days; needs CT scan
Eddie Yagin: Suspended 30 days, including 21 days with no contact
Mark Hominick: Suspended 30 days, including 21 days with no contact
Mark Bocek: Suspended seven days for precautionary reasons
Travis Browne: Suspended seven days for precautionary reasons
Chad Griggs: Suspended 30 days, including 21 days with no contact
Matt Brown: Suspended 14 days for precautionary reasons
Stephen Thompson: Suspended 14 days for precautionary reasons
Anthony Njokuani: Suspended seven days for precautionary reasons
John Makdessi: Suspended seven days for precautionary reasons
Mac Danzig: Suspended indefinitely pending results of right-ankle X-ray
Efrain Escudero: Suspended seven days for precautionary reasons
Chris Clements: Suspended seven days for precautionary reasons
Keith Wisniewski: Suspended 14 days for precautionary reasons
Marcus Brimage: Suspended seven days for precautionary reasons
Maximo Blanco: Suspended seven days for precautionary reasons
Eddie Yagin Upsets Mark Hominick
The featherweight division was the home for the second fight on the UFC 145 pay per view card. Former title contender, Mark Hominick, was looking to bounce back after getting knocked out in his last fight to Chan Sung Jung in just seven seconds. He was 3-2 in his UFC career, while his opponent, Eddie Yagin, was 0-1 in his UFC career, losing to Junior Assuncao in his debut fight. Yagin came into the fight with a 15-5 record, with his most notable opponent being Rich Clementi back in May 2004.
Teammates fighting? UFC prez says MacDonald just needs to look at GSP's bank account
UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and his training partner, UFC 145 winner and fast-rising prospect Rory MacDonald, both have publicly stated they won't fight each other.
We've heard that credo before, but UFC president Dana White thinks that could easily change in this case.
"I guarantee you if Rory looks looks at GSP's [expletive] bank account, he'll want to beat the [expletive] out of him," White said.
UFC 146 shakeup continues: With Mir moved to main event, Velasquez draws 'Bigfoot'
With Frank Mir pulled from a planned UFC 146 bout with Cain Velasquez (9-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) in favor of a main-event contest with UFC heavyweight champ Junior Dos Santos, Antonio Silva (16-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has now also drawn a new opponent.
Originally expected to face Roy Nelson at the event, "Bigfoot" Silva now takes Mir's original slot against Velasquez.
After refusing to disclose the matchup at Saturday night's UFC 145 post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White today announced the plans via Twitter.
Nelson is expected to remain on the card, but UFC execs have yet to reveal his new opponent.
Looks like Nelson was just screwing around when he announced he got the fight.
Despite previous reports, UFC boss says B.J. Penn looking to fight again
Fear not, B.J. Penn fans: "The Prodigy" may return, after all.
UFC president Dana White on Saturday night revealed he and Penn spoke at this past weekend's UFC on FUEL TV 2 event in Sweden, and the future UFC Hall of Famer said he wants another go in the octagon.
"I heard some [expletive] that he said he was going to retire and all this stuff," White said following Saturday's UFC 145 post-event presser in Atlanta. "I talked to him, and he's like, 'I want to fight again.'"
In October, former UFC champion Penn (16-8-2 MMA, 12-7-2 UFC) suffered a one-sided loss to Nick Diaz, prompting "The Prodigy" to call it quits at the conclusion of the fight.
In the time since, many MMA fans and pundits have speculated on Penn's future, wondering aloud if the fiery competitor is truly ready to walk away at just 33 years old. Penn, who was a guest fighter at UFC on FUEL TV 2, told several media outlets he was still retired and remained happy with his decision. However, it appears he was singing a different tune behind closed doors.
Silva vs. Sonnen II details still in limbo, UFC boss promises answers to come Tuesday
It looks like UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (31-4 MMA, 14-0 UFC) may not get to enjoy home-field advantage after all.
UFC president Dana White revealed continued logistical problems, which may force the rescheduling of UFC 147 in Brazil, might also mean Silva's long-awaited rematch with top contender Chael Sonnen (27-11-1 MMA, 6-4 UFC) will instead take place in North America.
"Yeah, there's stuff going on down there in Brazil, and I'm working on it," White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) following Saturday's UFC 145 event at Atlanta's Philips Arena. "We're working on it still at this minute."
Silva vs. Sonnen II was originally expected to headline UFC 147 on June 23 at Rio de Janeiro's Joao Havelange Stadium. However, White recently revealed the company was considering a different date due to the United Nations' "Rio +20" meeting, which is scheduled for June 20-22 in Rio de Janeiro.