Cruz, Cormier to work as cageside analysts on upcoming UFC Fight Night events
UFC fans have become accustomed to the likes of Joe Rogan, Kenny Florian, Dan Hardy, and Brian Stann handling color commentary duties at cageside on fight night. Dominick Cruz and Daniel Cormier have been regulars in the FOX and FS1 studios, but you’ll be hearing both of them alongside Jon Anik over the next two weeks.
Lance Pugmire of the LA Times reports that Cruz will be in Brasilia for this Saturday’s UFC Fight Night: Cyborg vs. Lansberg show, while Cormier will do UFC Fight Night: Lineker vs. Dodson on October 1st, in Portland, Oregon.
Gian Villante vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima off UFC 205
Not so fast on that Gian Villante vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima fight at UFC 205 after all.
According to multiple sources, the light heavyweight fight is now off the card due to a minor injury suffered by Villante. The injury isn't expected to sideline Villante for too long, though. It is unclear whether de Lima will remain on the card.
Zak Ottow gets call to replace Bobby Green, faces Josh Burkman at UFC Fight Night 96
Zak Ottow has gotten his call-up to the big leagues. “The Barbarian” will face Josh Burkman at UFC Fight Night 96.
Burkman (28-13 MMA, 6-8 UFC) was originally set to face Bobby Green (23-7 MMA, 4-2 UFC) in the lightweight bout. However, Green withdrew from the bout citing “personal issues,” opening the door for Ottow (13-3 MMA, 0-0) to make his octagon debut.
A UFC official today confirmed the bout to MMAjunkie.
UFC hires former Legacy FC owner Mick Maynard, promotes Sean Shelby in wake of Joe Silva’s retirement
The UFC is preparing for a future without longtime matchmaker Joe Silva.
The promotion announced Tuesday that it has hired former Legacy FC front man Mick Maynard as the vice president of talent relations. Sean Shelby, who worked under Silva, has been promoted to Silva's old role of senior senior vice president of talent relations. The two will work together to organize UFC bouts, develop athletes on the roster and scout potential talent, per a release.
Silva will retire at the end of 2016 after more than 20 years with the UFC. Silva began with the promotion before the Fertitta brothers and Dana White even bought it, while it was still owned by Semaphore Entertainment Group (SEG).
"Joe Silva's contributions to the UFC over the last 20 years were huge, and he played a big role in helping make the sport as big as it is today," UFC president Dana White said in a release. "He left his mark on this sport and I wish him nothing but success in retirement."
"I'm excited to have Mick on board working alongside Sean. Mick has become one of the most respected people in the fight game and he's done a great job in finding and developing talent. Sean has been a tremendous asset to the UFC for a long time, and I look forward to working with Sean and Mick in the years to come."
Jim Miller fills Al Iaquinta's spot at UFC 205, takes on Thiago Alves
Al Iaquinta’s unhappiness has become Jim Miller’s gain because the New Jersey-based lightweight has jumped at the chance to fight at UFC 205.
Alves tweeted news of a replacement, and shortly thereafter, Talk MMA tweeted Miller (27-8 MMA, 16-7 UFC) had stepped in for the bout.
When reached by MMAjunkie, UFC officials stated, “There’s nothing to confirm at this time.” However, a source close to Alves stated the fight is a go.
UFC 205: Contract dispute forces Al Iaquinta from Thiago Alves fight on Nov. 12
Easy come, easy go.
By his own admission, lightweight power puncher Al Iaquinta will no longer be competing against Thiago Alves at the upcoming UFC 205 pay-per-view (PPV) event, scheduled for Nov. 12, 2016 inside Madison Square Garden in New York City.
“Raging Al” elaborates to FOX Sports:
"I got the contract and I was just looking at it for a couple of days. I was like I just can't sign it. I can't do it. I felt like it wasn't right. I talked to my manager, I said listen I really want to fight in New York. There's nothing I want to do more than fight in New York, but I can't take a pay cut for this fight. I'm taking a pay cut from all of my sponsors. I'm taking a pay cut of all the last 18 months of the sponsors that could have been. I told (my manager) that I wanted more. I wanted to have a conversation with the UFC and see if they would do some kind of negotiation because when I signed my contract, there was no Reebok deal."
Amanda Cooper vs. Anna Elmose added to UFC Fight Night 99 in Belfast
November’s UFC Fight Night 99 event in North Ireland has its second fight.
Officials today announced a strawweight bout between Amanda Cooper (1-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and Anna Elmose (3-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC).
UFC Fight Night 99 takes place Nov. 19 at SSE Arena in Belfast, and the entire card streams on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.
Gustafsson vs. Lil’ Nog to headline UFC Fight Night 100
Having recorded his first win since 2014, Alexander Gustafsson is apparently going to headline UFC Fight Night 100. Combate reported that the two-time UFC light heavyweight title challenger will travel to Sao Paulo, Brazil to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira on Saturday, November 19th. UFC Fight Night 100’s main card airs live on Fox Sports 1 from the Ginásio do Ibirapuera.
Gustafsson (17-4) defeated Jan Blachowicz by unanimous decision in this month’s UFC Hamburg co-main event. He’d previously lost by 1st round TKO to Anthony Johnson in January 2015, then fought for the LHW title at UFC 192, dropping a thrilling split decision to Daniel Cormier.
Nogueira (22-7) halted his own two-fight losing streak with an impressive 1st round KO of Patrick Cummins at UFC 198. The 40-year-old suffered a vicious KO loss to Anthony Johnson in July 2014, then didn’t fight again until August 2015, when he took a unanimous decision defeat vs. Shogun Rua.
Tyron Woodley announces he'll defend title against Stephen Thompson at UFC 205
The suspense is over: Tyron Woodley has his first championship defense set, and Madison Square Garden has a title fight.
Woodley, the UFC welterweight champion, will defend the belt against red-hot Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson at UFC 205 card in New York City on Nov. 12. He made the announcement on FOX Sports 2's weigh-in show Friday, and UFC sources confirmed that matchup is the plan for the two fighters.
Cody East vs. Curtis Blaydes slated for UFC Fight Night 96 in Oregon
A heavyweight bout has been added to next month’s UFC Fight Night 96 lineup.
Officials today announced Cody East (12-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) is slated to fight Curtis Blaydes (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC).
UFC Fight Night 96 takes place Oct. 1 at Moda Center in Portland, Ore. The card air on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.
Uriah Hall blasts Michael Bisping: ‘I’ve kicked his ass in training before’
Reigning middleweight champion Michael Bisping has drawn the ire of many fighters, due to his brash demeanor. One of them being number nine-ranked contender Uriah Hall, who is apparently aching to get his hands on “The Count.”
“Primetime” takes on number-ten ranked middleweight Derek Brunson this weekend at UFC Fight Night 94 in Hidalgo, Texas. But he is seemingly looking past his task at hand, and is already entertaining the idea of settling an apparent personal grudge against Bisping, as he talked about during a recent guesting on the UFC Unfiltered podcast.
Frankie Edgar vs. Jeremy Stephens targeted for UFC 205
With the UFC's first ever show at Madison Square Garden only two months away, the card is slowly starting to fill up. According to Brazil's Combate, former UFC lightweight champion and perennial featherweight contender Frankie Edgar will fight Jeremy Stephens on the November 12th pay-per-view event. UFC officials haven't announced the matchup themselves.
Ex-champ Chris Weidman vs. Yoel Romero slated for UFC 205 in New York City
Two middleweight notables will meet in November at UFC 205.
Former champion Chris Weidman (13-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and fellow contender Yoel Romero (12-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC) are slated to fight at the event.
Although UFC officials haven’t made a formal announcement regarding any fights on the fall card, people close to the event told MMAjunkie that the bout has been finalized. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity since they’re not authorized to announce the matchup.
The long-rumored bout features two highly ranked contenders; Weidman is No. 3 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, and Romero is No. 4.
UFC 205 takes place Nov. 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The event airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.
Weidman vs. Romero is expected to be part of the main card but not headline it.
Jose Aldo wants Anthony Pettis next if Conor McGregor doesn’t return to featherweight
Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis can finally happen in 2016.
"I’m already frustrated that it might happen, but we’ll see," Aldo recently told Brazilian TV show Revista Combate. "Every night I ask ‘give me one more chance to get in there again with him and I know it won’t happen again.’ but if it’s not him, I think I’d prefer to fight Pettis. I with them learned that I don’t have to look at the promotion’s side, the title run. A fight with Pettis would sell a lot more than Holloway."
"Holloway is way tougher than Pettis today," Aldo said. "‘Do Bronx’ (Oliveira) was winning the fight, but (his cardio) goes down drastically during the fight. I think that a fight with Pettis would sell a lot and is way easier for me. If I had to choose one of them it would be him because it sells more and I have a better chance, but I respect him."
"It makes sense, but I’m not looking at the whole title thing now," Aldo said of fighting Holloway in New York. "I look at the financial aspect of it. I thought about my legacy and career before, but now I look with different eyes. I think Dana White taught me that. The biggest slice of the cake has to be mine.
"I’m trying to get a fight at this UFC card in New York, but we’ll see what ‘Dede’ (Pederneiras) has to say when he comes back. ‘Dede’ is (in Cleveland) now for a meeting with Dana to decide our future. I hope everything goes right. If it’s not against (McGregor) we fight for the undisputed belt. We’ll see."
Ex-champs Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum likely to meet at UFC 207
Cain Velasquez will likely get his rematch with fellow ex-UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum in December.
Werdum (21-6-1 MMA, 9-3 UFC) and Velasquez (14-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC), respectively No. 2 and No. 3 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings, are targeted for a long-awaited rematch at UFC 207.
The fight isn’t signed but has been offered to the competitors, according to people close to both camps who requested anonymity because they aren’t authorized to discuss the booking publicly.
UFC 207 takes place Dec. 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. As with other major year-end UFC events, it airs on pay-per-view.