Gabriel Gonzaga to Make UFC Return at UFC 142
One-time UFC title challenger Gabriel Gonzaga is back with the UFC.
According to his own Team Link academy website, the 32-year-old has signed a four-fight deal with the UFC and will replace Rob Broughton against Edinaldo Oliveira at UFC 142 in Brazil.
Gonzaga (12-6-0) last competed for the UFC at UFC 121 in October 2010 in a loss to Brendan Schaub, prompting the UFC to hand him his walking papers. Rather than fight for less money in smaller MMA promotions, Gonzaga said shortly after that he would focus on his Brazilian jiu-jitsu gyms and return to grappling competitions. As most MMA "retirements" go, Gonzaga's was short-lived. Gonzaga made his MMA return just under a year later, defeating Parker Porter this past October at a Reality Fighting event in Uncasville, Conn.
Bahadurzada, Broughton, Nedkov scratched from UFC 142; Thiago also reported out
January's UFC 142 event today took a major hit as Siyar Bahadurzada (20-4-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), Rob Broughton (15-7-1 MMA, 1-2 UFC) and Stanislav Nedkov (12-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) were all officially scratched from the event.
Additionally, Tatame is reporting that Paulo Thiago (14-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) has also been forced to withdraw from the card, though UFC officials have yet to confirm the change.
Replacement opponents have yet to be determined. The UFC blamed injury for all three official withdrawals.
Featuring a featherweight title fight between current champion Jose Aldo and undefeated contender Chad Mendes, UFC 142 takes place Jan. 14 at Rio de Janeiro's HSBC Arena.
MMA - An Acquired Taste
this is a very well written, objective, article about experiencing a live UFC event for the first time...maybe the first MMA event he ever watched. this is written by Michael Grange from Sportsnet, who is slowly becoming one of my favourite sports journalists to read. its a little long but well worth the read. Grange may still not be a fan of the sport afterwards, but this may be one of the most unbiased and objective articles from a non-MMA fan you will ever read.
If not Lesnar, Mir wants Cain
It appears Frank Mir will have to wait for a third meeting with UFC superstar Brock Lesnar.
With rumours swirling about Alistair Overeem’s potential withdrawal from UFC 141, former title-holder Frank Mir said Saturday after submitting Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira -- and breaking his arm in the process -- in the first round of the co-main event rematch at UFC 140 in Toronto that he wouldn’t mind stepping in as a replacement and fighting Lesnar in what would be a rubber match between the two.
"I’m pretty healthy, and three weeks is enough time," Mir said. "I feel pretty good. I only fought a three-minute fight. My wife will want me around at Christmastime, but she can deal with it."
"I don’t want to wait around just to fight for the title," Mir said. "I think Cain is still the real deal, he just got caught (against Dos Santos) like I did tonight. I recovered, he didn’t and (Dos Santos) jumped on him."
No surgery for Big Nog
Heavyweight Antonio Rodrigo (Minotauro) Nogueira was also in Los Angeles on Monday, seeing a specialist after suffering a broken arm in a loss to Frank Mir at UFC 140 at Toronto's Air Canada Centre on Saturday night.
The doctor's visit produced some good news for Big Nog.
The UFC tweeted that surgery won't be needed. Instead he'll wear an adjustable plastic brace using an ultrasound device twice a day for 20 minutes. He's expected back in the cage in no more than nine months.
UFC on FUEL TV 1 adds Simpson vs. Markes, Brookins vs. Yahya
Two more bouts are slotted for February's UFC on FUEL TV 1 event, officials today announced.
They include middleweights Aaron Simpson (11-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) vs. Ronny Markes (12-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and featherweights Jonathan Brookins (12-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) vs. Rani Yahya (16-7 MMA, 1-1 UFC).
UFC on FUEL TV 1, which is the first UFC event to air on the FOX-owned cable station, takes place Feb. 15 in Omaha, Neb. The 18,000-seat CenturyLink Arena is likely to host.
It's not clear if Simpson vs. Markes and Brookins vs. Yahya will be part of the FUEL TV-televised main card.
Jungle Fight Bantamweight Champion John Lineker signed by the UFC, set to compete at flyweight
The UFC is going all-out in establishing their newly-announced flyweight division.
That's because Tatame.com reports that Brazilian bruiser John "Mão de Pedra" Lineker (19-5), who captured the Jungle Fight 61 kg. title in September with a split decision over Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Brazil hopeful Ilarde Sabino Belo dos Santos, has been signed by the world's largest fight promotion and will compete at 125-pounds.
Lineker, 20, joins the UFC in the midst of a fantastic 13-fight winning streak. Seven of those have come in in 2011 alone.
Roy Nelson vs. Fabricio Werdum slotted for UFC 143 in February
A heavyweight bout between Roy Nelson (16-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and the returning Fabricio Werdum (14-5-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has been slotted for February's UFC 143 event.
Werdum will jump from Strikeforce to the UFC, where he fought from 2007 to 2008, as part of the long-rumored move.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the bout with event sources. MMAWeekly.com first reported it.
UFC 143 takes place on the eve of the NFL's Super Bowl, Feb. 4, at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The night's main card airs on pay-per-view, and Nelson vs. Werdum is expected to be part of the broadcast.
UFC 142 prelims to air on FX
UFC will make its debut on FX on Jan. 14 when the network airs the UFC 142 prelims, a FUEL TV official confirmed with MMAFighting.com on Tuesday.
FUEL TV, who shares the same parent company, FOX, as FX, will broadcast the majority of UFC prelim bouts in 2012, however, the UFC 142 undercard will air on the network's sister channel, FX.
FUEL TV will air the weigh-ins live and a post-fight show immediately following the event.
UFC champ Georges St-Pierre's knee surgery deemed a success
UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has cleared one hurdle on his comeback trail.
The injured fighter had successful knee surgery on Tuesday in Los Angeles, he recently tweeted.
A torn ACL and damaged meniscus recently forced St-Pierre (22-2 MMA, 16-2 UFC) out of a February UFC 143 title fight with Nick Diaz. Carlos Condit and Diaz now will fight for an interim title while St-Pierre's on the sidelines for six to 10 months.
St-Pierre's surgery was performed by Dr. Neal S. ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic.
St-Pierre's torn ACL marked the second time St-Pierre had injured his knee in two months. The champ sprained his knee in preparation for a planned UFC 137 title fight with Condit back in October.
'TUF 14' fighter Johnny Bedford takes UFC on FOX 2 slot against Eddie Wineland
"The Ultimate Fighter 14" semifinalist Johnny Bedford will look to make it 2-0 in official UFC competition.
With Demetrious Johnson scratched from the card so he could compete in the inaugural UFC flyweight tournament in March, Bedford has taken his spot on next month's UFC on FOX 2 card.
Bedford (18-9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) takes on fellow bantamweight Eddie Wineland (18-8-1 MMA, 0-2 UFC) on the night's preliminary card.
CSAC changes UFC on FOX 1's Peralta vs. Semerzier result to no contest
It's almost as if it never happened.
The California State Athletic Commission today changed the result of a Nov. 12 bout between Mackens Semerzier and Robert Peralta after it was determined an inadvertent headbutt was responsible for ending the UFC on FOX contest in Anaheim, Calif.
Semerzier's manager, Brian Butler-Au of SuckerPunch Entertainment, first announced the change via Twitter.
UFC on Fuel TV Kicks Off with 24-Hour Marathon
Fox Sports Media Group’s dynamic entertainment and sports network for males, officially kicks off the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) on FUEL TV January 1 with a 24-hour marathon of UFC programming featuring five show premieres. In 2012, FUEL TV telecasts more than 2,000 hours of UFC programming, with more than 100 hours of live fights, weigh-ins, preliminary bouts, and pre- and post-fight shows. In the New Year, FUEL TV offers more UFC programming than any network has ever offered.
“We’re beyond excited for the monster launch of the UFC on FUEL TV and can’t wait for the ball to drop on New Year’s so we can finally unveil all this incredible programming,” says George Greenberg, FUEL TV Executive Vice President and General Manager. “On January 1, FUEL TV becomes the number-one television destination for UFC fans. We’re going to deliver amazing live fights, FOX-style pre- and post-fight shows with expert commentary, insightful news shows with exclusive material and powerful documentaries that followers of the UFC have never seen before.”
Check article for full Fuel TV/UFC launch schedule and Fuel's 2011 schedule.
Fuel TV to air 'UFC Tonight' weekly show
Fuel TV's package of content for the Ultimate Fighting Championship will include once-a-week news show.
UFC Tonight will start Jan. 3 as a weekly 30-minute program, said George Greenberg, executive vice president and general manager of Fuel. Todd Harris will be the host, with lightweight fighter and Kenny Florian as the co-host.
Jay Glazer will contribute weekly features. Ariel Helwani will have an "Insider" role similar to that of Glazer on Fox's NFL pregame show, reporting news and acting as UFC Tonight's man on the scene at UFC events.
Harris was the play-by-play announcer for World Extreme Cagefighting. Florian has been a studio analyst for ESPN's MMA Live program since its inception in 2008.
Glazer was part of the team on Fox Sports Net's highlight shows for Pride Fighting Championships and took part in the pre-fight coverage for last month's UFC on Fox premiere. He also was on the broadcast crew for an Affliction Entertainment's show in July 2008.
Helwani started covering MMA as an online journalist in 2006 and has been with the MMA Fighting site since 2009. He has become the sport's most popular reporter, winning "Journalist of the Year" for the last two years in the World MMA Awards, which are decided by online voting.
Content for UFC Tonight will include interviews, more access to fighters and exclusive angles for fight footage, said Greenberg, who described the program as the "official vessel" for UFC news and information.
The show will be weekly for the first six months. "If we like what we see, it could go a couple of nights a week to possibly every night of the week, depending on performance," Greenberg said...
Alistair Overeem granted conditional license for UFC 141, facing four drug tests
For now, at least, former Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem (35-11 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will face Brock Lesnar (5-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) in the main event of December's UFC 141 event.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission today granted Overeem a conditional license to face Lesnar on Dec. 30, subject to a pre-fight drug test to be submitted in Europe within the next 72 hours, as well as an additional screen submitted in the U.S. when the Dutch heavyweight arrives for the contest.
Overeem's conditional license also includes two post-fight drug screen orders, to be completed less than six months after the bout.
The decision was made during Monday's Nevada State Athletic Commission monthly meeting, which took place at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building in Las Vegas.
Overeem's status for the bout was in doubt after he failed to comply with out-of-competition testing ordered by the NSAC on Nov. 17...
UFC 142's Rousimar Palhares seeing sports psychologist following bizarre incidents
Rousimar Palhares' manager, Alex Davis, thought it might be slightly more prudent to seek out the expertise of an actual, licensed clinical sports psychologist following a series of head-scratching episodes involving his client.
Currently, there are only questions surrounding the Brazilian fighter's recent behavior, which has included blatantly ignoring referee instructions, wrongfully accusing opponents of cheating, and just about everything in between.
Why does it always seem like he's trying to bend the rules? Does he simply lose focus under pressure? Is he a dirty fighter? Could there be something more serious going on regarding his mental fitness?
Dan Henderson Calls Out Jon Jones, Wants to Test His Chin
Shortly after UFC 140 ended, former Strikeforce and PRIDE champion, Dan Henderson campaigned for a shot at Jon Jones. He turned to twitter to make the case for a title shot:
Congrats to @jonnybones -- great win. Hey @danawhite, I'd like to see if his chin is as good as he thinks & I'm ready to go.
Dec 11 via SeesmicFavoriteRetweetReply
Aside from the winner of Phil Davis vs. Rashad Evans, Henderson is probably the only light heavyweight that can draw a ton of interest in a match against Jones.
He has the wrestling, and that bomb of a right hand that can cause stylistic problems, plus he's riding high coming off a very impressive run in 2011. That hot-streak has seen him win the Strikeforce light heavyweight title, KO the greatest heavyweight of all-time in Fedor Emeliananko, and defeat Shogun Rua in a fight of the year candidate.
While it is a very interesting match up, there could be issues with timing, as Jones said during the post-fight press conference that he wanted to take a few months off. (Transcribed by MMA Mania):
"I would like to take up to four months of, maybe even five. Come on Dana, give me a break, give me a break please. Yeah, fighting maybe three times in 2012 would be nice, but you know a break sounds nice, too. So, it's really up to the UFC, one of my goals is to be a company guy, so if the UFC asks me to do something, I probably won't put up much of a fight. So it's really up to Dana."
Following hospital visits, UFC futures of 'Big Nog' and Tito Ortiz uncertain
Former UFC champions and MMA legends Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (33-7-1 MMA, 4-3 UFC) and Tito Ortiz (16-10-1 MMA, 15-10-1 UFC) may have reached the end of the line.
Nogueira and Ortiz were each transferred to a Toronto-area hospital following losses to Frank Mir and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, respectively, on the main card of Saturday night's UFC 140 event, and UFC president Dana White admitted each of them may have fought for the final time in the octagon.
Following the evening's post-event press conference, which took place at Air Canada Centre, White said he would have to talk with each fighter individually, but he wasn't willing to guarantee a UFC return for either athlete.