UFC changes tune, UFC on FOX 4's Bader-Machida winner also possible for title shot
LAS VEGAS – On Monday Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White announced that UFC on FOX 4 headliners Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (20-6 MMA, 4-4 UFC) and Brandon Vera (12-5 MMA, 8-5 UFC) are competing this weekend for a shot at the promotion's light-heavyweight title.
He later told USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that co-headliners Ryan Bader (14-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) and Lyoto Machida (17-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) also will have that opportunity.
"Whoever wins the most impressively on Saturday night gets the shot at the title," White said.
White's decision comes after a rash of fan backlash following his original announcement. UFC's social-media-savvy fanbase immediately took to Twitter to protest the decision while citing Rua's recent losses to both current champion Jon Jones and the champ's UFC 151 opponent, Dan Henderson – as well as Vera's current run of just one win in four appearances – as reasons why the bout did not deserve to be considered a No. 1 contender's contest.
White said he listened to the complaints, and he's making a change.
"I put together the fights that fans want to see," White said. "The fans didn't like the Rua and Vera choice, so here it is: The guy that wins most impressively on Saturday night out of the co-main event and the main event will get the shot at the winner of Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson."
Travis Browne Happy to Trade FOX Exposure for UFC on FX 5 Main Event Role
Travis Browne is an undefeated heavyweight with 11 finishes among his 13 career wins. He's also mammoth, at 6-foot-7 and 250 pounds. Given his success and size, it would seem Browne would be a lock to be one of the most talked-about fighters on the UFC roster, yet he sometimes seems to remain in the shadows of other big men.
At UFC 145, he earned a submission win, only to see Ben Rothwell upstage him with a 61-second knockout of Brendan Schaub. At UFC 135, he outlasted the durable Rob Broughton, but Mark Hunt earned the spotlight by continuing his career resurgence. And at UFC 130, he flattened prospect Stefan Struve, a result that was at least slightly overshadowed by the high-profile beating Frank Mir laid on Roy Nelson.
August 4's UFC on FOX 4 was supposed to be Browne's turn, matched against Rothwell in the key heavyweight fight of the night, on network TV. Browne was set to have his showcase in front of an audience of millions. Unfortunately for him, Rothwell injured his ankle and was removed from the fight. Instead, he's been relocated to the October UFC on FX 5 main event with Antonio Silva, and despite the lost opportunity, Browne sees the change as a net positive.
Title Shot Within His Grasp, Brandon Vera No Longer Considers Jon Jones a “Punk”
UFC president Dana White recently stated that Saturday’s UFC on Fox 4 in Los Angeles would determine the next light heavyweight contender, but on Monday, he narrowed the field down to just Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and, somewhat surprisingly, Brandon Vera.
Rua and Vera are the headliners of Saturday’s event at the Staples Center.
Initially, co-main event fighters Lyoto Machida and Ryan Bader were part of the equation, but that is no longer the case.
“The winner of Vera and Rua gets the shot,” White stated on Monday’s UFC on Fox 4 conference call with the media.
With Rua, Machida and Bader all entrenched amongst the Top 10 light heavyweights in the world, none would be a surprise when considering who gets the winner of Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson at UFC 151 in September, but Vera’s name came as a tremendous surprise to fans and pundits alike.
UFC on FOX 4's Machida not upset with headliner's title stakes, open to 'TUF' coaching
Ex-champ Lyoto Machida is keeping an open mind about where he is in the UFC's light-heavyweight division.
And after hearing that the winner of Saturday's UFC on FOX 4 headliner – Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. Brandon Vera – will get the next shot at the UFC light-heavyweight title, can you blame him?
"Really, anything can happen," Machida told MMAjunkie.com. "Obviously, I'm trying to train as hard as I can and put on a good fight, and I try to trace a way back to the title. But that's not really what I'm focused on right now."
Dana White: UFC's Alexander Gustafsson on deck for 'big fight'
It'd be easy to consider Alexander Gustafsson the odd man out.
Especially after UFC president Dana White today surprisingly confirmed the winner of Saturday's UFC on FOX 4 headliner between Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Brandon Vera is next in line for a light-heavyweight title shot.
But that doesn't mean Gustafsson is the forgotten contender of the division.
Jon Fitch vs. Erick Silva Set for UFC 153
Jon Fitch will draw one of the UFC's top young guns in his next outing.
The longtime welterweight contender is set to square off with Brazilian Erick Silva at UFC 153, MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani has learned. Sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed the two had verbally agreed to the pairing.
Fitch was supposed to face Aaron Simpson in July, only to be forced out after suffering a knee injury. The setback apparently won't keep him on the shelf long. Upon returning, Fitch will be attempting to win for the first time in three fights. At UFC 127, he fought to a draw with B.J. Penn, and in his follow-up match at UFC 141, he was knocked out by Johny Hendricks, marking the first time he had been finished since 2002.
Francisco "Massaranduba" Drinaldo drops to LW
UF: Brazil competitor and former Jungle Fights champion Francisco Drinaldo is making a return to his natural weight class. The man they call "Massaranduba" fought on the show as a middleweight, including in the season finale at UFC 147, is dropping back to lightweight for a scheduled fight at UFC 153 against an opponent TBA
Remember how he ragdolled Delson Heleno at MW? Hell yeah.
Report: Jussier Da Silva Debuts Against John Dodson At UFC On FX 5
MMA fans were buzzing a few weeks ago when news broke that the UFC had signed one the top flyweight prospects in the world: Jussier da Silva. Now, it appears that he has a date and opponent for his Octagon debut as Tatame is reporting that he'll face TUF 14 winner, John Dodson:
Jussier ‘Formiga’ da Silva will make his UFC debut on October. The former Shooto champion, fighter, who was considered the best flyweight in the world years ago, will have his chance on the show against John Dodson at October 5th, for UFC on FX 5.
UFC on FOX 4's 'Shogun' Rua vs. Brandon Vera winner gets title shot
The winner of Saturday's UFC on FOX 4 headliner will get a title shot.
Despite both fighters having already suffered losses to reigning light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones – the winner of Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (20-6 MMA, 4-4 UFC) vs. Brandon Vera (12-5 MMA, 8-5 UFC) will get a shot at the belt.
UFC president Dana White today confirmed the plans. "Yes," White said flatly when asked about the title stakes.
With win Saturday, manager likes Machida vs. Rua at 'TUF: Brazil 2'
First, a disclaimer: Lyoto Machida is 100 percent focused on his upcoming fight with Ryan Bader.
But should Machida be victorious, Machida's manager, Ed Soares, has an idea about the ex-champ's next step.
"If Lyoto wins and (Mauricio) 'Shogun' (Rua) wins, maybe make them the coaches of the next Brazilian 'TUF,' and have them fight the rubber match," Soares told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Ex-champs Machida and Rua fight alongside each other on the FOX-televised main card of UFC on FOX 4, which takes place Saturday at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Rua fights veteran Brandon Vera in the main event while Machida vs. Bader serves as the co-main.
Diego Brandao vs Joey Gambino set for UFC 153
Diego Brandao (14-8 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is coming home for his next fight.
The winner of "The Ultimate Fighter 14" today tweeted that he's set to fight at UFC 153, and that Joey Gambino (9-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will be his opponent.
UFC 153 takes place Oct. 13 at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro and airs live on pay-per-view and FX. Featherweight champion Jose Aldo meets challenger Erik Koch in the evening's main event.
Oct 13, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Jose Aldo vs. Erik Koch [fw title]
- Vitor Belfort vs. Alan Belcher
- Glover Teixeira vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
- Rony "Jason" Mariano Bezerra vs. Sam Sicilia
- Cezar "Mutante" Ferreira vs. TBA
- Sergio Moraes vs. Renee Forte
- Cristiano Marcello vs. Reza Madadi
- Diego Brandao vs. Joey Gambino
With UFC 149 Behind Him Court McGee Believes It’s Hard to Find Good Judges
As the saying mixed martial arts goes, “Don’t leave it in the hands of the judges.”
The judging in MMA is always subject for great scrutiny, and it’s well deserved.
With incompetent officiating, some fighters exit the Octagon holding their heads low because they left it in the judges hands. And at UFC 149 against Nick Ring, Court McGee was another unfortunate fighter that was given a bad call.
All three judges Octagon side scored the fight 29-28 in favor of Nick Ring, but McGee wasn’t at all fazed by the decision. The TUF 11 winner knew that he left it all in the practice room and in the fight and harbors no resentment for the outcome.
“I’m not the judges and I’m not the counter punch guy,” McGee told MMAWeekly Radio.
“I don’t count every little punch, every kick and strike. I’m just the guy who shows up to practice every day and comes out to fight and win. I had an overwhelming amount of people who thought that I had won. People like Dana and stuff had me winning the fight, but I’m just the guy who goes out and fights man.
Matt Serra backs Chris Weidman's UFC middleweight title shot call for Anderson Silva
Former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra sees a future champion in 185-pound pupil Chris Weidman.
Of course, the New Yorker is biased toward Weidman. But as the only fighter to defeat Georges St-Pierre – despite 10-to-1 odds – in the last eight years, Serra’s ability to spot long shots isn’t something to be taken lightly.
He believes Weidman has what it takes to snap Anderson Silva’s historic streak of 10 straight title defenses and 15 straight UFC wins.
Chris Weidman Asks Anderson Silva’s Camp Why Don’t They Want to Face the No. 1 Contender?
There’s probably no quicker way to illicit a response from a fighter than to call them ‘amateur’ or ‘a joke’, especially when those words are coming from a manager and not another competitor.
The strong statement came from Jorge Guimaraes, who is a co-manager of UFC middleweight king Anderson Silva, when speaking to Tatame.com about the prospects hoping to next face his fighter in the Octagon.
“That’s a big joke,” Guimaraes said about Chris Weidman and his fellow middleweight contenders. “Anderson has the biggest paycheck in the UFC and you can’t promote and event with these amateur kids that are coming up now.”
Needless to say Weidman didn’t take too kindly to Guimaraes’ words about him or the other top ten middleweights vying to face Silva in the cage...
B.J. Penn: “I’m trying to get up to AKA but Fitch is trying to give me some problems about that.”
When iconic former UFC champion B.J. Penn announced the end of his brief retirement he likely thought the only welterweight he’d be butting heads with in the coming months was UFC 152 opponent Rory MacDonald. However, it looks like “The Prodigy” has found himself in a fight with Jon Fitch as well with the clash coming as a result of Penn’s desire to spend some time training at American Kickboxing Academy.
“I’m trying to get up to AKA but Fitch is trying to give me some problems about that. All Jon Fitch has to do is look on the wall, at whose picture is on the wall holding the belt. That’s all Jon Fitch has to know,” said Penn in the first of a series of video blogs chronicling his preparation for the September scrap with MacDonald.
'UFC 150: Henderson vs. Edgar II' video preview and full fight card
The full UFC 150 lineup includes:
MAIN CARD (pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
Champ Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar (for lightweight title)
Donald Cerrone vs. Melvin Guillard
Jake Shields vs. Ed Herman
Yushin Okami vs. Buddy Roberts
Justin Lawrence vs. Max Holloway
PRELIMINARY CARD (FX, 8 p.m. ET)
Dennis Bermudez vs. Tom Hayden
Jared Hamman vs. Michael Kuiper
Ken Stone vs. Erik Perez
Nik Lentz vs. Eiji Mitsuoka
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 7:30 p.m. ET)
Dustin Pague vs. Chico Camus
Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin spar on Twitter, then delete tweets
Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson don't like each other – that much is clear.
The two went at it Thursday via Twitter, with Nelson inviting Carwin to set up a pay-per-view sparring session and Carwin bashing Nelson's possible coaches on "The Ultimate Fighter 16."
Then, almost as soon as it began, both fighters deleted from their accounts almost any trace of the skirmish.
Nick Diaz 'Ready To Get Back In The Cage' According To Cesar Gracie, Wants Anderson Silva
Yesterday it was announced that there would be a major announcement on the future of Nick Diaz on the Gracie Fighter website and that announcement has just been made. According to Cesar Gracie, despite Diaz's previous claims that he was retiring from the sport, a decision made in anger following a decision loss to Carlos Condit and reinforced by his subsequent suspension for marijuana metabolites being in his system that same fight, Diaz will return to the cage. Gracie also made it clear that they're hunting big game.
From the announcement:
This week we had a great talk and he made it clear to me that he is ready to get back to the cage. Nick Diaz will return.
To address the NSAC suspension, I will say that we have appealed to the courts and if things go our way, it will be plausible that Nick could return as early as sometime at the end of this year.
Devin Cole says 2008 incident kept him from UFC on FOX 4 fight with Travis Browne
When Ben Rothwell had to pull out of his UFC on FOX 4 fight with Travis Browne, Cole (20-9-1 MMA, 2-1 SF) says he was offered the shot. Then a four-year-old run-in with the law that he thought was done and gone came back to bite him.
In June 2008, Cole was arrested in his native Oregon and hit with five sex charges. He pled down to get the charges reduced, paid the price and has since done his best to keep the incident from making its way to the forefront.
"I had the contract in my hand," Cole on Friday told MMAjunkie.com Radio. "I was signing my bout agreement and was printing out the actual UFC contract to fight Travis Browne. As I'm signing it, (my manager) called to say it got (killed) because of my background."
UFC Signs Korean Bantamweight Champ, Kyung Ho Kang; Rumored to face Alex Caceres
The UFC will be heading to Macau for the first time on November 10, and it looks like they're starting to pick up more Asian fighters to fill up the slots for the event. According to MMA-in-Asia.com, which is one of the most reliable websites that cover the Asian circuit, the UFC has picked up the bantamweight champion of top Korean promotion, Road FC:
Congratulations to the ROAD FC Bantamweight Champion, Kang KyungHo of Team MAD, who has just signed a contract to fight in the UFC.