Lentz vs. Dunham set for UFC on FOX 2; Wineland forced off card with injury
The night's three headlining fights remain in place, but UFC on FOX 2's undercard continues to undergo changes.
UFC officials today announced that Nik Lentz (21-4-2 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC) replaces an injured Paul Sass (12-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and faces Evan Dunham (12-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), while Eddie Wineland (18-8-1 MMA, 0-2 UFC) has suffered an injury in training and has been forced to withdraw from the card.
Wineland's opponent, Johnny Bedford (18-9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) – who was actually a replacement for Demetrious Johnson – now awaits a new foe.
UFC on FOX 2 takes place Jan. 28 at Chicago's United Center. The night's main card, which features three bouts, airs on FOX. Prelims air on FUEL TV.
Travis Browne meets Strikeforce import Chad Griggs at UFC 145
Undefeated heavyweight slugger Travis Browne (12-0-1 MMA, 3-0-1 UFC) returns to action in March, and he'll welcome once-beaten Strikeforce vet Chad Griggs (11-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
UFC officials today announced the matchup, which will take place at UFC 145.
While complete details for the card have yet to be announced, UFC 145 takes place in March in Montreal. The city's Bell Centre is expected to host the pay-per-view event on March 24.
Verbal agreements are in place for Browne vs. Griggs, and bout agreements are expected to be finalized shortly.
Georges St. Pierre Named One of the Most Overhyped Athletes of 2011
Georges St. Pierre may be one of the top draws in the UFC, but he has not been immune from criticism as of late for his risk-averse style while Anderson Silva and Jon Jones continue to finish opponents with flash. Now, sidelined for the rest of 2011 and much (if not all) of 2012, it appears that St. Pierre's time being thought of as one of the two most elite fighters in the sport may be over.
St. Pierre's 2011 campaign and inability to get a stoppage win since early 2008 has him on Perry Lefko's list of the most overhyped athletes of 2011 at Sportsnet.ca:
Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White said in December 2011 that St-Pierre is still the most popular athlete in Canada in terms of his international recognition -- we're not so sure about that -- but the welterweight champion is sidelined indefinitely with damaged knee ligaments. And even before his injury, St-Pierre was taking verbal shots from the public, the media and fighters for his inability to put away opponents.
He grabbed the international spotlight in April for headlining the first UFC card in Toronto, producing GSP mania. A record UFC crowd of more than 55,000 packed the Rogers Centre to finally see the conquering Canadian hero and he went the full five rounds with Jake Shields in what was more of a clinic on how not to lose a fight than actually win it.
Yes, GSP had problems seeing out of one eye because of a shot in the fight, but we've seen fighters with far bigger issues turn it up a notch. It was boring at best and continued a pattern of St-Pierre going the full distance without delivering the knockout blow or submission. Heck, the fight before it on the card was way more entertaining than the main event.
Chael Sonnen 'Done With Anderson Silva', Wants GSP, Jon Jones, dos Santos Next
On Friday, Chael Sonnen returns to the program he walked off last month, claiming he is done with Anderson Silva and after his fight on January 28th with Mark Munoz, he wants either Georges St. Pierre, Jon Jones or Junior dos Santos in a title match next.
Sonnen will appear on TSN's Off The Record with Michael Landsberg at 5 PM EST and a preview clip released today has the top middleweight claiming his pursuit of the current UFC Middleweight Champion is over.
"I'm done with the guy. He and I have no business. He's cold product. He's like jheri curls and Pepsi Clear. He's yesterday's news. I destroyed this guy back when he was tough. That was years ago. He's so far over the hill and so far past his prime that it's not worth talking about.
I'm going to become the No. 1 contender on January 28th and despite what you may think, I'm not going to use that voucher to fight Anderson Silva. I'll be looking at (Jon) Jones, (Junior) dos Santos and possibly (Georges) St. Pierre. I will take that voucher to Dana White and pick one of those three guys. My time with Anderson is done."
Glover Teixeira visa issues fixed
Glover Teixeira finally got a visa to fight in the U.S.. After months of waiting, the light heavyweight granted permission to enter the country and its destination should be the UFC.
"I knew that the visa should leave, but the interview was scheduled for today. All went well and my passport arrives 10 days with a visa, "he said," I'm very close to signing with the UFC. In fact they called me to fight in the UFC against Fabio Maldonado Rio, but I'm a hand injury and did not have time to train. Ed Smith talked to Joe Silva, who told me to rest assured that my place in the UFC would be guaranteed. In the coming weeks, I will meet with them and sign, everything is well underway. "
Glover explained his injury and revealed that hopes to fight in the first quarter of 2012.
"I hope my next fight is already in the UFC in February or March," he said, "I hurt in the fight against Ricco Rodriguez. My hand injury is not serious, it is only in cartilage, but bothers. So I'm trying not to be always bothering me about it. I think here about 20 days I can train, but I'm doing physical conditioning and everything else. I just can not punch, because it is precisely the part that bothers."
Matt Brown vs. Chris Cope slated for UFC 143 in Las Vegas
A welterweight bout between Matt Brown (12-11 MMA, 5-5 UFC) and Chris Cope (5-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) has been added to February's UFC 143 event.
UFC officials today announced that verbal agreements are in place for the fight.
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. However, Brown vs. Cope is expected to be part of the preliminary card, which is expected to air on FX.
UFC on FOX 2's Munoz: Cancel security detail, Sonnen won't be fighting in Brazil.
It should have happened. It hasn't happened. It'll eventually happen.
The rematch between UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen is fait accompli in the eyes of many fans and pundits, and Mark Munoz knows it.
But if he has anything to say about it, Brazil's public enemy No. 1 will never get the opportunity to travel south of the equator to fight Silva on his home turf, where a mid-2012 event is possible for his return.
Rankings: Jones’ stunning rise in 2011.
At this time last year, Jon Jones was considered a bright prospect, but one who still had a ways to go before he could be considered a truly elite fighter. In the December 2010 Yahoo! Sports pound-for-pound Top 10 poll, Jones fell squarely in the “votes for others” category, with just four points.
‘Tractor’ Oliveira Injured, Out of UFC on FX 1
Despite originally receiving clearance to compete at UFC on FX 1, it appears Rafaello Oliveira has withdrawn from his bout with Reza Madadi due to a nagging hand injury.
Oliveira revealed his situation via Twitter Thursday, announcing that he will not compete Jan. 20 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
“Guys, unhappily I won't be able to fight [in] Nashville,” Oliveira wrote. “My hand still hurts a lot. I was really looking forward to [fighting in] my state.”
Dan Hardy wants to 'smash' Matt Hughes
The Brit currently does not have an opponent nor date, but he is targeting late Spring for his next fight. Top of his list of opponents would be the legendary Matt Hughes, and Hardy revealed he has already alerted the UFC to the potential fight.
"I've mentioned Matt Hughes to Lorenzo [Fertitta]," Hardy told ESPN. "He's been on a rough streak as well recently, he'll look at me and see I've lost four fights and think he can outwrestle me.
"I also genuinely don't like him. I need a fight to get up for and I'd take great pleasure in smashing him in the face. I won't talk about why I don't like him, it's some knowledge I have about him away from the sport. Even students around where he lives bet against him."
UFC signs undefeated Azamat Gashimov
MMADieHards.com has learned that russian prospect Azamat Gashimov to the UFC
Azamat has a record of 7-0 with six impressive finishes with his latest being an armbar submission victory over Azay Mamedov at Tsumada Fighting Championships 5.
Samuel Kardan, a V.P at MVC Sports Management who is also the President of KDojo MMA told MMADieHards.com, “I am very proud to work with Michael Constantino to continue to bring Russian talent to the UFC & Strikeforce.”
Think Brock Lesnar Can't Take a Punch? He Begs to Differ
As isolated as Brock Lesnar is in his Minnesota training camp, and as successfully as he manages to avoid the internet most of the time, some criticisms still find their way out of the petri dish of MMA and into the former UFC champ's world. But as he told me when I spoke to him for a Sports Illustrated story this week, the key is not so much in avoiding those criticisms entirely, but rather in knowing what to make of them once they get there.
For instance, take the oft-repeated claim that Lesnar can't take a punch.
"I think it's a bunch of bulls---," Lesnar said. "The fights that I've gotten hit, I've stood and banged with Heath Herring, Randy Couture, Frank Mir -- I've taken a lot of shots. I mean, Shane Carwin. And I've yet to be knocked out. I had refs stop a fight for a submission and a TKO, which is a referee stoppage. I've never been knocked out cold."
Philip De Fries vs. Stipe Miocic added to UFC on FUEL TV 1
A pair of undefeated heavyweights will clash in Nebraska as Phil De Fries (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) faces Stipe Miocic (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at UFC on FUEL TV 1.
UFC officials today announced the contest.
"Undefeated heavyweights will collide as verbal agreements are in for 8-and-0 Phil De Fries versus 7-and-0 Stipe Miocic on Feb. 15 in Omaha, Neb.," UFC president Dana White stated in an official release.
Chad Griggs Set to Make UFC Debut in 2012
MMA's most famous mutton chops are heading to the Octagon. Heavyweight, Chad Griggs, is among several fighters to jump ship to the UFC as Strikeforce phases out its heavyweight division, as MMA Weekly reports that he has signed a new UFC deal:
Sources close to the fighter confirmed to MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday that Griggs will move to the UFC and begin fighting there in the new year.
The Outlaw and The Losing Streak
If Dan Hardy had his way he would have shaved the mohawk by now. Five minutes with some clippers, one quick swoop down the middle of his head, and the signature hairstyle that makes him so recognizable to fight fans could be gone. Maybe then he could blend in. Maybe then he could get a moment to be alone with himself and figure out just what in the hell is going on.
He'd do it if he had it his way. But he doesn't.
It's a UFC fight week in Toronto and Hardy has come at the request of Xyience, a sponsor of his that has him scheduled for autograph signings and fan meet-and-greets all week. And Xyience? You better believe Xyience wants the mohawk. That's because the fans want the mohawk. They expect it. You book Dan Hardy and he shows up with a shaved head, it's like having Carrot Top show up as a blonde.
The fans want the guy they've seen on TV. They want the brash, cocky Brit with the punk rock swagger. But after a rough stretch of four straight losses in the UFC -- a 17-month span that dropped him from top contender to just barely employed -- he's not even sure where that guy went, or if he's ever coming back.
"I don't feel like myself right now," Hardy says.
You look in his eyes and you know he means it. He sits slumped in a plush leather chair in the lobby of a posh downtown Toronto hotel. He speaks so softly you have to lean in close just to hear him. The last thing he wants to do these days is draw attention to himself. He knows what people are thinking. And even if they aren't thinking it, they might as well be, since he hears their accusations in the wordless glances from across the room. It's not just the fans, either.
"I start to feel like other fighters are looking at me like, why is he still in the UFC? And I don't want people looking at me like that."
Mayhem: Dana White was right, I displayed the worst of everything
As someone who goes to my website, you are well aware that I lost my recent
fight. I am very disappointed about it, but have used the past couple weeks to reflect on everything and have come to some conclusions.
Dana White was right. He made some disparaging comments about my performance, and I agree with him. I displayed the worst of everything that night in the octagon. I was tense in round one and I locked up after that. I didn’t perform to my potential, and I take full responsibility for it. That wasn’t a UFC caliber performance, and I’m not happy about it- I won’t, however, write a worthless diatribe on myself, because that is not constructive. I elect instead to take this misstep and make something positive out of it.