Jose Aldo vs Anthony Pettis? 'Showtime' considering a drop to featherweight
The last man to hold the World Extreme Championship (WEC) lightweight title, Anthony Pettis, wanted to prove that beating Ben Henderson to earn that distinction was not a fluke.
In order to do that, he required a "Smooth" rematch against "Bendo," who took over the 155-pound throne under the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) banner by outpointing Frankie Edgar last month in Japan.
"Showtime" held up his end of the bargain by cleaning the clock of Boston grappler Joe Lauzon, also at UFC 144, and put himself in prime position to make it two in a row against Henderson.
Unfortunately nobody cleared it with Edgar.
His "Answer" to UFC President Dana White, who urged the Jersey Shore native to drop a few pounds and challenge Jose Aldo for the featherweight crown in the promotion's desolate 145-pound division, was an emphatic "No." Edgar instead wanted a Henderson rematch based on the (mildly) controversial finish from their championship tilt at the Saitama Super Arena.
That means Pettis will have to fend off another round of lightweight hopefuls to keep his spot in line. Or he can do what Edgar wouldn't, and shed some skin to give "Junior" the fits in a featherweight title fight. A move his manager tells Ariel Helwani (via UFC Tonight) is currently under consideration.
Fabio Maldonado vs. Igor Pokrajac slated for UFC on FUEL TV 3
After losing opponent Thiago Silva (14-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) to a rescheduling, light heavyweight Igor Pokrajac (24-8 MMA, 3-3 UFC) now will fight replacement Fabio Maldonado (18-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) at May's UFC on FUEL TV 3 event.
Maldonado recently announced the fight.
UFC on FUEL TV 3 takes play May 15 at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va., and features a No. 1 contender's bout between featherweights Dustin Poirier and Chan Sung Jung.
The event's main card airs live on FUEL TV, and Facebook is expected to stream the preliminary card. It's not clear where Pokrajac vs. Maldonado will end up on the card.
Fedor Emelianenko: I have to go to the UFC to face the strongest opponents
Stop me if you've heard this one before.
Former Strikeforce heavyweight attraction and longtime PRIDE FC champion Fedor Emelianenko is still yapping about a return to the United States, under the UFC banner, no less, despite persistent rumors from the M-1 camp that he's slated to compete later this year in Monaco.
"The Last Emperor" snapped a three-fight losing skid with a unanimous decision win over Jeff Monson last November, before making it two in a row with a first round knockout finish of judo expert Satoshi Ishii in the DREAM: "Genki Desu Ka Omisoka" year-end MMA extravaganza in Japan.
But was it good enough to warrant an appearance inside the Octagon?
TUF Live Premiere TV Ratings Lower Than Past Premieres
The ratings are in and the first episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Live debuted on FX on Friday night to an average audience of 1.3 million viewers, according to industry sources.
The Ultimate Fighter: Live kicked off season 15 with 16 one-round fights, aired live on FX. Each episode for the rest of the season will feature footage filmed and edited within a few days of each Friday night episode, culminating in at least one live fight each week.
Rampage Doesn’t Want to be a Part of the UFC
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has been the talk of the town since losing to Ryan Bader at UFC 144 in Japan. He’s brought up TRT usage, a knee injury leading up to his fight with Bader, and wanting to be done with the UFC.
Rampage on Monday did an extensive phone interview with Inside MMA’s Bas Rutten.
Chris Leben Calls Positive Drug Test 'Best Thing to Ever Happen to Me'
Mar 12, 2012 - Speaking publicly for the first time since the UFC suspended him for testing positive for painkillers at UFC 138, Chris Leben said that the suspension forced him into rehab and forced him to turn his life around.
"I've battled drugs and alcohol," Leben said on The MMA Hour. "I've battled with those for my entire life. I've had an issue with being addicted to painkillers for years now. I had some issues with my camp and it was almost a cry for help. I knew I was going to get caught and I just didn't care at the time. I'm extremely embarrassed, I feel like I let down the UFC, but at the same time I think getting caught is probably the best thing to ever happen to me. The UFC has been unbelievable, they sent me to a rehab facility and they really took care of me."
Dana White Says UFC May Move Away From PPV
Since its inception nearly 20 years ago, the UFC has been primarily a Pay Per View based company. While live gates, merchandising, and ratings matter, the PPV model has always been the staple of UFC programming. Over time, we've seen a gradual shift away from this model - first with The Ultimate Fighter, then the Spike TV fight nights and Live on Versus shows. In recent months, there's been more of a shift away, with major PPV-quality shows on Fox, and an increase in content on FX and Fuel.
Now, hot on the heels of the UFC taking The Ultimate Fighter to its new live format on FX, Dana White has made an intersting statement on the future of this PPV model. White told MMA Weekly:
"I do believe there will be a day when there probably isn't pay-per-view."
White went on to explain that he, like many media analysts, sees the future of television and cable changing drastically in coming years and anticipates the UFC being on the front edge of that change. And one of those changes could very likely be the death of the UFC on PPV.
'The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil' cast unveiled with 32 featherweights and middleweights
The fighters competing in the first-ever international edition of "The Ultimate Fighter" have been revealed.
"TUF: Brazil," which features UFC notables Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva as coaches, streams in the U.S. on UFC.com (simultaneously as it debuts March 25 in Brazil on Globo) and airs on FUEL TV (air times TBA).
A total of 32 featherweights and middleweights take part in the competition-reality series, the winners of which earn UFC contracts.
As with the recently debuted 15th U.S. edition of the reality show – "TUF: Live," which debuted this past Friday on U.S. – "TUF: Brazil" features an elimination round of fights. All winners of the those fights become official cast members. They then compete in the two tournaments, which are the focus of the reality show's regular-season run.
While most of the fighters are veterans of the Brazilian scene and largely undiscovered talent (in North America), there are a few notables, including featherweight Rodrigo Damm, a former Strikeforce and World Victory Road/Sengoku fighter, and 10-time IFL veteran Delson Heleno. However, notable Hacran Dias (20-1), one of the country's top prospects, isn't on the list.
The full list of "TUF: Brazil" fighters (courtesy globoesporte.com) includes:
Alexandre Ramos (5-0)
Rodrigo Damm (9-5)
Rony Mariano Bezerra (10-3)
Godofredo Pepey (8-0)
Marcos Vinicius Borges Pancini (19-3-1)
Medeiros Anistavio (12-7)
Johnny Goncalves (4-0)
Medeiros Anistavio (5-0)
Fernando Duarte Guerra (10-1)
John Teixeira (13-0-1)
Rafael Bueno (7-1)
Wagner Campos (11-3)
Pedro Nobre (10-0-1)
Fabricio de Assis Costa da Silva (14-1)
Dileno Lopes (8-0)
Giovanni da Silva Santos Jr. (10-1)
Sergio Moraes (6-1)
Cezar Ferreira (4-2)
Leonardo Mafra Teixeira (5-0)
Daniel Sarafian (7-2)
Gustavo Sampaio (5-1)
Richardson Moreira (3-0)
Fabio Luiz Vital da Costa (9-0-1)
Renee Forte (7-1)
Joao Paulo de Souza (8-4)
Francisco Drinaldo (10-1)
Thiago Rela (3-1)
Charles Maicon (8-1)
Gilberto Galvao (19-4-1)
Thiago de Oliveira Perpetuo (8-1-1)
Samuel Trindade (6-1)
Delson Heleno (23-6)
UFC Primetime returns for 'Jones vs Evans' and 'Dos Santos vs Overeem'
Good news, "Primetime" fans. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is rolling out its real-time documentary style series for two upcoming title fights.
And neither of them feature Georges St. Pierre!
Indeed, the promotion has announced it will bring "Primetime" back to the FX channel for the Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans light heavyweight championship showdown slotted for UFC 145 on April 21, 2012, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Air dates and times on FX are as follows:
Rampage quit threats don't concern Dana White
UFC president Dana White plans to do little in response to Quinton Rampage Jackson's threat to quit the UFC, insisting the light-heavyweight is merely an emotional character.
Not for the first time in his career, Jackson threatened to walk away from the UFC on Monday when he claimed his next fight will be his last.
Rampage previously stated after defeat to Jon Jones that he would pursue a career in boxing, but returned to the Octagon to fight Ryan Bader - a bout he lost via unanimous decision.
Antonio Silva Returns To American Top Team In Advance Of Fight With Roy Nelson
Antonio Silva has some old-new training partners to help him prepare for his upcoming UFC debut fight with Roy Nelson. "Bigfoot" recently returned to training at American Top Team after leaving to work with the Blackzilians.
Silva, who will face Nelson on May 26 at UFC 146, will now get a chance to work with ex-Nelson opponents Fabricio Werdum and current UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos. "Cigano" will main event the same card against Alistair Overeem for the title.
Dana White Publicly Apologizes To Showtime Execs
It was revealed this week that UFC president Dana White had reached a creative impasse with the Showtime production team in packaging Strikeforce and would no longer be dealing with the promotion, declaring himself "100% UFC."
Apparently, though true, White never meant for the disparaging comments he made about the Showtime production team in making that declaration to reach the public. In a recent conversation with MMAFighting's Ariel Helwani, White apologized to Showtime for the publication of those comments.
Hendo not open to Rampage, would take Sonnen - White
UFC president Dana White is convinced Dan Henderson would fight any man in the world, as long as a UFC title was on the line.
White has been frustrated by Henderson's reluctance to commit to potential bouts, with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Lyoto Machida reportedly not to the veteran's liking. The reason? Neither man offers him a UFC title.
Henderson has since been linked to a war with Rampage Jackson, whom he previously lost a decision against in a fight to unify Pride and UFC titles.
'UFC Primetime' airs on FX for 'UFC 146: Dos Santos vs. Overeem'
In anticipation of their highly anticipated UFC 146 heavyweight title fight, current titleholder Junior Dos Santos (14-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) and former Strikeforce champ Alistair Overeem (36-11 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will be featured in an upcoming edition of "UFC Primetime," a three-part special that airs on FX.
The first episode airs Friday, May 11, at 11 p.m. ET/PT, with subsequent episodes premiering in the same timeslot on May 18 and May 25.
Replays of each episode air on FUEL TV...
Jon Jones Says He Doesn't Want to Fight Anderson Silva, Considers Him a 'Mentor'
Since becoming UFC light heavyweight champion last year, the comparisons between Jon Jones and Anderson Silva have been endless.
Both competitors' performances in their respective divisions have made fans call for a potential dream fight, but Silva has already shot down the idea of facing Jones.
And now Jones has also played down the notion of fighting the Brazilian, who he considers the top-pound-for-pound fighter in the sport and a role model.
Episode No. 1 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter: Live'
And then there were 16.
Thirty-two lightweights squared off Friday night at "The Ultimate Fighter" Gym in Las Vegas, and 16 earned their way into the "TUF" house.
UFC president Dana White and "The Ultimate Fighter: Live" coaches Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber looked on as 16 155-pounders took the first step toward becoming "the next Ultimate Fighter," earning victories in special one-round exhibition bouts.