GSP trainer Firas Zahabi: Nick Diaz is No. 1 welterweight contender
Tristar head trainer Firas Zahabi on Tuesday told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Georges St-Pierre dropped by his gym this past week to wish teammates well and get in a quick workout.
A conversation with the UFC welterweight champ about his future has yet to take place.
Zahabi, however, said that if St-Pierre decides for now to stay in his native division, he believes Nick Diaz should be considered the No. 1 contender.
Johny Hendricks is also deserving of a title shot, he said, but lacks the resume to be the next challenger.
"I think Diaz is the guy who deserves it most," Zahabi said. "His fight with Carlos (Condit) was so close. Who knows? People judge it both ways.
"[Diaz is] the guy who is the Strikeforce champion. He climbed up the ladder all the way. Johny deserves it very much, but Diaz has been there longer and done more fights and has bigger wins.
"If you want to be really fair about it, he is the guy who beat the most amount of names in the biggest fights."
Matt Riddle vs. Che Mills Rumored For UFC on FUEL TV 7 In London
News broke this afternoon that the Ultimate Fighting Championship would be returning to the United Kingdom this coming February with UFC on FUEL TV 7 and now the event may have it’s first event, pitting Matt ‘Deep Waters’ Riddle (7-3, 1NC) and English fighter ‘Beautiful’ Che Mills (15-5, 1NC) against one another.
News of the Riddle vs. Mills bout was posted by Fighters Only, who noted that the “fight was being lined up for the London show.”
UFC on FUEL TV 7 is expected to take place on February 16, 2013 at the Wembley Arena in London, England. The bout between Riddle and Mills should be featured on the main card, possibly even the co-main event.
UFC's Michael McDonald eyes January return, open to interim title shot
When bantamweight contender Michael McDonald (15-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) heard UFC President Dana White was considering him for a potential shot at interim champ Renan Barao (29-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC), the 21-year-old Californian didn't react exactly as you might think.
"It was a very anticlimactic reaction," McDonald admitted to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I looked at it, and I thought, 'Oh, that's cool,' and I exited out.
"I really stand by what I've said in previous interviews: I feel right now that I'm ready to fight anybody in the world. I really will accept whoever they put in front of me, no matter who it is. I feel like I'm ready, skill-wise, to take on anybody they put in front of me, and if that's who they're talking about, then that's cool."
FOX EXEC HOPES SUPER BOWL XLVIII AND UFC DOVETAIL IN 2014
A weekend traditionally targeted by the UFC to piggyback on the Super Bowl may not host a pay-per-view, if broadcast partner FOX has its say.
FOX President Eric Shanks said that the network would "love" to see a UFC on FOX event held in conjunction with Super Bowl XLVIII, which is set for Feb. 2, 2014, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
"We think that Super Bowl week in New York is going to be unlike anything else, and … we're going to own that week of sports television," he said. "There's nothing better than we can think of than a big fight that week."
Shanks said he is working to convince UFC executives Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta to make the idea a reality. He joked that FOX wanted an outdoor stadium show in the chilly East Coast weather.
John Hathaway & Matt Riddle Agree To Fight Via Twitter
UFC matchmaker Joe Silva has been getting help from his fighters recently. Now, you can add John Hathaway and Matt Riddle to the list.
The two took to Twitter to discuss a potential match, which could be added to the UFC on Fuel TV 7 card just reported for England in February.
"(Dana White) last week I asked my twitter followers who they'd like to see me fight next and the resounding answer was (Riddle)," Hathaway posted. "He doesn't like British people, I'm British so lets do this! I'll even fight him in the UFC if he wants! What do you think?"
UFC on FUEL 7 heading to London's Wembley Arena
The UFC will finally return to London after a two-and-a-half year drought, booking a show that will take place on February 16 at Wembley Arena.
MMA Fighting confirmed the event, which will be UFC on FUEL 7, with sources close to the promotion. It was first reported by the UK's Daily Mirror newspaper, though the report was eventually taken down from their website.
The UFC has not visited London since October 2010,
Alistair Overeem vs. Bigfoot Silva Official… with Conditions; UFC 156 Tickets On Sale Friday
Leading the way is a UFC featherweight title bout between champion Jose Aldo and challenger, and 145-pound first-timer, Frankie Edgar.
A heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva was also confirmed. It comes with a special stipulation, however, as Overeem is still serving out a nine-month Nevada Athletic Commission suspension.
Overeem’s sanction comes to an end as the year closes out, but he still has to go before the commission in January to receive approval for a license to fight in the state, so there are no gimmies. UFC officials wouldn’t book him if they weren’t all but sure he would regain licensure, but any promotion of the bout comes with the caveat “pending approval and licensing by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.”
Pascal Krauss vs. Mike Stumpf Joins UFC on FOX 6 in Chicago
Two welterweights will return from extended layoffs in January at UFC on FOX 6.
Well-rounded German competitor Pascal Krauss (10-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Illinois-based fighter Mike Stumpf (11-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) are set to meet at the event.
UFC on FOX 6, the UFC's first network-televised event of 2013, takes place Jan. 26 at United Center in Chicago.
The main card, including a title fight between featherweight champion Demetrious Johnson and challenger John Dodson, airs on FOX, and FX and Facebook are expected to carry the prelims. Krauss vs. Stumpf likely will be part of the prelims...
Jesse Ronson guns for UFC contract following weekend win over Ryan Healy
Sore hands and feet are Jesse Ronson's only career roadblocks at this moment.
Ronson believes a recent victory over fellow lightweight Ryan Healy proves he's capable of joining his well-known teammates in the UFC.
"I would like for this fight to put me on the next level, but we'll see how it goes," he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Ronson (12-2) dominated Healy (23-12) over three rounds to earn a unanimous-decision win at this past Friday's Score Fighting Series 7 event, which took place at Hamilton Place Theatre in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The event's main card, including Ronson's feet, aired on AXS TV.
Former WEC announcer Joe Martinez tapped for octagon debut at UFC on FX 6
Former WEC announcer Joe Martinez will soon make his octagon debut.
Martinez recently revealed to Examiner.com that he has been hired for in-cage duties at next month's UFC on FX 6 event, which takes place on Saturday, Dec. 15 in Australia but due to the time difference airs live in the U.S. on Friday night.
Promotion mainstay Bruce Buffer is set for his familiar announcing role that same weekend at The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale.
UFC's Chael Sonnen and Molly Qerim again host World MMA Awards ceremony
For the second straight year, UFC fighter Chael Sonnen will serve as host of Fighters Only's World MMA Awards.
Sonnen has again has been paired up with CBS Sports Network/NFL Network anchor Molly Qerim.
The duo hosts the 2012 World MMA Awards official ceremony, which is a black-tie ceremony held Jan. 11 at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Broadcast and/or streaming plans haven't been announced for the event, though Versus and FUEL TV has aired past installments.
Johny Hendricks: “Boxing is not my strong point, my jiu-jitsu is better”
Bold statement from the Collegiate wrestler turned knockout machine. UFC 154 marked Johny Hendricks’ fifth straight victory in the octagon, with three by way of knockout. Hendricks has now placed himself in the number one spot for a title shot, which he feels he is more than ready for.
“That’s why I laugh when people say ‘we’ve figured out your left hand.’ My boxing isn’t my strong point. It’s something I’ve only been doing for five years; I’ve only been striking for five years. I’ve done wrestling my whole entire life,” Hendricks told MMAWeekly Radio. “So if anybody’s going to say anything, wrestling is my strong point. I feel my jiu-jitsu is better than my hands.”
Quebec commission declines to hear Alessio Sakara's UFC 154 appeal request
Patrick Cote's controversial UFC 154 disqualification victory over Alessio Sakara will stand.
On Friday, Quebec's La Regie des alcools des courses et des jeux (the baord that governs combat sports in the province) declined to hear Sakara's protest that referee Dan Miragliotta mishandled the bout, which took place Nov. 17 at Montreal's Bell Centre.
French-language outlet LaPress.ca was the first to report the board's decision.
Fabio Maldonado Appreciative of UFC 153 Post-Fight Bonus, Even in Losing Effort
Maldonado on Friday took to his Facebook page to let all his friends know that, despite losing the fight, White & Co. took care of him rather well after the fight.
“Just got a check from the UFC,” he commented in Portuguese, noting it was the fourth time he received a bonus. “The UFC paid me more than if I had won the fight. Thanks to the Fertitta brothers, Dana White and Joe Silva.”
UFC's Dan Hardy plans future training sessions with St-Pierre, targets spring return
After a four-fight skid that had him thinking about retirement, Dan Hardy's evolution is continuing in the midst of a two-fight resurgence.
The former UFC welterweight title challenger is coming off a stint at Montreal's Tristar Gym to help champion and former nemesis Georges St-Pierre prepare for common opponent Carlos Condit.
And recently, the Brit revealed he is planning to train in the future with St-Pierre and the Tristar crew.
'TUF' times: Sonnen says he turned down spot on 'TUF 1,' Jones once cut from tryouts
LAS VEGAS – The debut season of 'The Ultimate Fighter' has long been recognized as the starting point of MMA's current popularity boom and was responsible for launching the careers of stars such as Stephan Bonnar, Kenny Florian, Forrest Griffin, Josh Koscheck, Chris Leben, Diego Sanchez and Mike Swick.
But as successful as the 2005 series debut proved, imagine what it could have been with one Chael P. Sonnen.
Sonnen, who coaches on the upcoming 17th edition of the series, says he actually turned down a spot on "TUF 1."
Report: Urijah Faber vs Vaughan Lee slated for UFC 156 on Feb. 2 in Las Vegas
Reports are emerging out of Brazil that "The California Kid" Urijah Faber will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon at UFC 156 on Super Bowl weekend against tough British fighter Vaughan Lee.
A Bantamweight bout that features one of the biggest names in mixed martial arts (MMA) is in the works for UFC 156 on Super Bowl weekend as Urijah Faber is reportedly set to make his return to the Octagon against Vaughan Lee.
UFC interim champ Renan Barao's coach prefers title shot, but doesn't want to wait
Barao coach Pederneiras would prefer title shot, but doesn't want fighter to wait.
Nova Uniao leader and coach Andre Pederneiras on Wednesday told MMAjunkie.com he's waiting on UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby's call to tell him when and where UFC interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao is fighting next.
"If I had a choice, I would rather Renan fight Dominick (Cruz), but I don't want to wait too long," Pederneiras said.
Yves Edwards vs. Jeremy Stephens rebooked for UFC on FOX 5
After their initial meeting was infamously canceled last minute, lightweights Yves Edwards and Jeremy Stephens will give it another go at UFC on FOX 5.
As MMAjunkie.com first reported earlier today, Edwards' original opponent, John Cholish, recently scratched due to a groin injury.
In his place steps Stephens, whose incarceration canceled their planned bout this past month at UFC on FX 5.