UFC 147 official with Silva-Sonnen, Silva-Belfort on June 23 in Rio de Janeiro stadium
As expected, two long-awaited rematches will co-headline the UFC's return to Brazil.
Officials today announced that UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (31-4 MMA, 14-0 UFC) will rematch Chael Sonnen (27-11-1 MMA, 6-4 UFC), and "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil" coaches Wanderlei Silva (34-11-1 MMA, 4-6 UFC) and Vitor Belfort (21-9 MMA, 10-5 UFC) also will meet again at UFC 147.
UFC 147 takes place June 23 at Joao Havelange Stadium in Rio de Janiero. It's expected to set a new UFC record attendance.
UFC 147's main card airs on pay-per-view, and FX and Facebook are expected to carry the prelims. It takes place the day after UFC on FX 4 in Atlantic City, N.J.
Joao Havelange Stadium (also known as Engenhao Stadium) is the first soccer stadium to host a UFC event. It won out after UFC officials faced issues with its initially planned host site of Sao Paulo. The Rio stadium, which also hosts the 2016 Summer Olympics, currently can seat approximately 47,000 spectators. UFC officials didn't specify a seating configuration, but they expect it to break the record that Toronto's Rogers Centre set with UFC 129 (55,724) in 2011.
UFC president Dana White mentioned the possibility of 80,000 fans attending the event during a press conference this past week. However, it's not known if that's the figure they're currently shooting for...
TUF Brazil Competitor List – Watch It Online Tonight At Midnight ET
Seven years after its debut in the United States, in 2005, the first international edition of the famed reality TV show The Ultimate Fighter® begins in Brazil. Co-produced by Brazilian production company Floresta, the inaugural Brazilian version of the show is the first time a TUF series was filmed outside of the United States.
The Ultimate Fighter – Brasil® features UFC legends Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort as the coaches of the first season, which features both the featherweight(145 lbs) and middleweight (185 lbs) divisions. As is standard on this series, the coaches will face-off in a highly anticipated live rematch in June for the grand finale.
The Premiere episode will showcase elimination bouts, narrowing down the initial group of 32 fighters to the final 16 who will move into the TUF house. From there, theywill be split between “Team Vitor” and “Team Wanderlei” and face weekly eliminations until the finale, where a winner from both weight classes will be declared The Ultimate Fighter®and win an international UFC contract.
Lightweight Tilt Reported For UFC on FX 4, Ramsey Nijem vs. CJ Keith
A lightweight bout appears to be in the works for June’s upcoming UFC on FX 4 event between TUF 13 finalist Ramsey Nijem (5-2) and UFC newcomer C.J. Keith (8-0).
News of the matchup was reported by MMAWeekly.com who learned of the bout through Nijem’s management.
UFC on FX 4 is expected to take place on June 22, 2012 at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The event is headlined by a lightweight bout between Gray Maynard and Clay Guida.
Eddie Wineland And Scott Jorgensen To Scrap At UFC on FX 3
Officials with the Ultimate Fighting Championship Tweeted another bantamweight matchup Friday night (@ufc) pitting former WEC champ Eddie Wineland (18-8-1) against former WEC contender Scott ‘Young Guns’ Jorgensen (13-5).
The two fighters are set to meet at the upcoming UFC on FX 3 event, which is expected to take place on June 8, 2012 with fans voting for the host city through the Hometown Showdown contest.
Bantamweight shakeup: Easton out, Hougland meets Jabouin and Menjivar fights Barao
An injury to Mike Easton (12-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has shuffled the bantamweight deck.
Now meeting Yves Jabouin (17-7 MMA, 2-1 UFC) at UFC on FUEL TV 3 is Jeff Hougland (10-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC), whose originally scheduled opponent, Renan Barao (28-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), is now set to meet Ivan Menjivar (24-8 MMA, 3-0 UFC) in a possible No. 1 contender bout at UFC 148.
Sources close to the event today confirmed the news to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) following a tweet from reporter Joe Ferraro, host of Sportsnet's "UFC Central."
Reached today for comment, Easton declined to confirm he was out of the fight but admitted to dealing with injuries in training. His reps were unavailable for comment.
"I really want this fight, but it's no good going into a fight realy, really banged up," he said. "It makes for not a good night."
"UFC on FUEL TV 3: Korean Zombie vs. Poirer" takes place May 15 at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. Main-card fights air live on FUEL TV while preliminary-card fights stream on Facebook.
UFC 148 takes place July 7 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. It's main card airs live on pay-per-view while preliminary-card fights air on FX.
Featherweights Jimy Hettes and Steven Siler meet at UFC on FX 4 in June
Two featherweight prospects will square off in Atlantic City this June, as the UFC announced on Friday that Jimy Hettes and Steven Siler will square off at UFC on FX 4 on June 22.
Hettes made a splash in his last bout, looking immensely impressive in a decision win over Nam Phan. That followed up a submission win over Alex "Bruce Leroy" Caceres, and brought the 24-year-old's career record to a perfect 10-0.
Fox TV UFC Producers Told Joe Rogan To Tone It Down
UFC announcer Joe Rogan took to his podcast to vent some frustration with the Fox TV brass who produce the UFC. Apparently the execs told Rogan to "tone it down." This didn't sit well with the enthusiastic announcer who's been working the mic for the UFC since 1997.
Here's what he had to say on his podcast:
Jose Aldo Headlines UFC 149 in Calgary, Dana White Promises ‘Sick’ Card
UFC president Dana White announced that featherweight champion Jose Aldo will headline UFC 149 in Calgary on July 21.
“The headliner here will be Jose Aldo. He’ll be defending his title here,” said White during a press conference in Calgary on Wednesday.
One side of the UFC 149 main event is in place, but Aldo’s opponent will be named at a later date.
“We don’t know that. This card is still so far away, we’re working on it,” answered White when asked who Aldo will face.
Joseph Benavidez: Waiting Will Just Make Winning the Title That Much Sweeter
Joseph Benavidez‘s trip to Australia for UFC on FX 2 started out pretty good.
The former bantamweight title contender made an easy cut to 125 pounds for the first time, and then proceeded to knock out former Shooto star Yasuhiro Urushitani to advance to the finals of the first ever UFC flyweight title tournament.
That’s when the night took a turn into a strange series of events.
Following surprise fight booking, Rich Franklin hoping for UFC Cinderella story
Rich Franklin had wowed doctors with the speed of his recovery from shoulder surgery and recently returned to near-full speed training in the gym.
All the while, he kept the UFC updated on his progress and talked about a return to the cage. But even he was surprised at the speed with which he went from disabled to active after his doctor cleared him this past Friday.
"I'm sitting there, my phone goes off on Sunday night and I found out via Twitter that my fight was signed," Franklin (28-6 MMA, 13-5 UFC) today told MMAjunkie.com Radio.
The fight, in this case, is a middleweight bout against Cung Le (7-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at UFC 148, which takes place July 7 at MGM Grand Garden Arena and airs live on pay-per-view. (Preliminary-card fights air on FX.)
Bernardo Magalhaes says he's fighting Henry Martinez at UFC on FX 3
Brazilian-born Bernardo Magalhaes (11-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) says his second opportunity at a UFC win is coming on June 8.
The Australian resident recently revealed on Twitter that he's booked to face Henry Martinez (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at UFC on FX 3.
UFC executives have yet to make an official announcement for the lightweight fight.
UFC on FX 3 takes place June 8. While the main card airs on FX, officials haven't finalized a venue for the event.
Mike Pyle: I'm fighting Josh Neer at UFC on FX 3 on June 8
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) might be doing some matchmaking on the sneak -- either that or Mike Pyle is issuing some forward-looking statements regarding his participation at the UFC on FX 3 fight card, booked for June 8 at a location to be determined.
That's where "Quicksand" says he'll be fighting Josh Neer and looking to make it two in a row after stopping Ricardo Funch at the UFC 142: "Aldo vs. Mendes" pay-per-view (PPV) event back in January. Pyle (22-8) is 4-1 over his last five fights, his only blemish a technical knockout loss to division upstart Rory MacDonald back at UFC 133.
Ferguson vs. Tavares official, UFC on FOX 3 again complete with 12 bouts
A previously reported lightweight contest between Tony Ferguson (13-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Thiago Tavares (17-4-1 MMA, 7-4-1 UFC) is now officials, and May's UFC on FOX 3 event is again complete with 12 bouts.
Tavares replaced an injured Dennis Hallman in the preliminary matchup.
MAIN CARD (FOX)
Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller
Johny Hendricks vs. Josh Koscheck
Alan Belcher vs. Rousimar Palhares
Pat Barry vs. Lavar Johnson
PRELIMINARY CARD (FUEL TV)
Tony Ferguson vs. Thiago Tavares
John Dodson vs. Darren Uyenoyama
John Hathaway vs. Pascal Krauss
Louis Gaudinot vs. John Lineker
Danny Castillo vs. John Cholish
Dennis Bermudez vs. Pablo Garza
Johnny Bedford vs. Nick Denis
Mike Massenzio vs. Karlos Vemola
UFC on FX 4 adds Miller-Funch, Story-Attonito, Riddle-Ramos, Ebersole-Waldburger
UFC on FX 4's dance card is quickly filling.
The promotion announced a quartet of new welterweight bouts for the event, which takes place June 22 at Revel Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.
Additions for the card include Dan Miller (13-6 MMA, 5-5 UFC) vs. Ricardo Funch (8-3 MMA, 0-3 UFC), Rick Story (13-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC) vs. Rich Attonito (10-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC), Matt Riddle (6-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) vs. Luis Ramos (19-7 MMA, 0-1 UFC), and Brian Ebersole (49-14-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) vs. T.J. Waldburger (15-6 MMA, 3-1 UFC).
The event's main card airs live on FX while preliminary-card fights air on FUEL TV. It's not clear where the above fights will be placed on the lineup.
UFC on FX 4 is the promotion's first trip to Atlantic City in seven years after UFC 53 took place at Boardwalk Hall
Rich Franklin returns to his rightful home
Before guys like Joseph Benavidez and Jon Fitch knew limbo, Rich Franklin was the original purgatory in the UFC. He was the middleweight champion for 16 months in the mid-aughts, beginning with a declarative victory over Evan Tanner and ending three fights later where things for all men come to an end ... with Anderson Silva.
Back in the day when immediate rematches were hard to come by, Franklin had to beat Jason MacDonald and Yushin Okami to get a chance at reclaiming his belt. “Ace” finally stepped in with Anderson Silva again at UFC 77, in a conflict that was dubiously dubbed “Hostile Territory.” That is, at least for Silva. Franklin was in the friendly confines of his native Cincinnati, eschewing his trademark Neapolitan trunks for those sporting Bengals colors. It was a homecoming full of furnace warmth.
Until he was being fetched back into consciousness with smelling salts.
Bisping's good, but Silva would outclass him - Hendo
Dan Henderson believes Michael Bisping deserves a future shot at the UFC middleweight title, but he warned that the Brit will be in big trouble if he does ever face champion Anderson Silva.
Bisping was named to fight Tim Boetsch on Monday, in a bout that will take place at UFC 148. With Silva set to face Chael Sonnen this summer, victory for Bisping may be enough to secure him the next shot at the belt.
Henderson knows the Briton well from their time as rival coaches on The Ultimate Fighter, which culminated in Hendo delivering one of the all-time great knockouts.
Brian Ebersole Responds To Josh Koscheck's Anti-AKA Statements
UFC welterweight Brian Ebersole is a former member of American Kickboxing Academy, and he wasn't a big fan of some recent comments made by former AKA member Josh Koscheck. Kos, who has never been known to keep quiet about things, had some harsh words for Javier Mendez and his training camps at AKA, and has since moved to his own gym in Fresno full-time. In an interview with Vigilante MMA, Ebersole fired back at Kos in regards to the camp issue:
"He couldn't get good work in? It was there to be had. He mentioned that Javier coached him but that he didn't learn anything. Really? I learn from BJJ blue belts whilst I travel the globe teaching and training. And you can't learn from a former World Champion? That's a curious comment, if you ask me, which you did."