Demetrious Johnson defends UFC flyweight title vs. John Moraga at TUF 17 Finale
Just about two weeks after his successful first title defense, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson has his next assignment.
Johnson (17-2-1 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC) will face John Moraga (12-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) in April at the TUF 17 Finale in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Review-Journal on Monday first reported the news, and UFC officials later confirmed the matchup.
Sources close to the Johnson camp also confirmed the fight to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). The event takes place at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and airs on FX, FUEL TV and Facebook.
Second UFC women's fight set: Miesha Tate meets Cat Zingano at TUF 17 Finale
At long last, the UFC has booked its second women's fight.
Former Strikeforce bantamweight champion Miesha Tate (13-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will face Cat Zingano (7-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in April at the TUF 17 Finale. UFC officials on Monday announced the matchup.
The TUF 17 Finale takes place April 13 at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The event is expected to have a main card on FX following prelims on FUEL TV.
UFC 160 slated for May 25 in Las Vegas on Memorial Day weekend
The UFC has requested a May 25 fight date for its annual Memorial Day weekend card in Las Vegas, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned.
UFC officials have requested the date with the Nevada State Athletic Commission for a pay-per-view event at MGM Grand Garden Arena. The event would be targeted as UFC 160 and would be expected to feature 12 fights on the card.
NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer confirmed to MMAjunkie.com via email that the UFC has put in for that date and location.
Though the event has not been formally approved by the NSAC, based on the UFC's history in Las Vegas it is not likely to be turned down.
No fights have been announced or rumored for the event, though four of the UFC's past six Memorial Day weekend shows in Las Vegas have featured a title fight.
UFC on FUEL TV 7's Danny Castillo calls on Nate Diaz for triangle-choke help
When you want to learn how to escape a triangle choke, it's best to contact someone who specializes in putting people in them.
For UFC lightweight Danny Castillo (14-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC), that was Nate Diaz, who helped him prepare for Paul Sass (13-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) ahead of Saturday's UFC on FUEL TV 7 event, which takes place at Wembley Arena in London.
"He pretty much just ran me through a seminar on technique," Castillo told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
Castillo vs. Sass is part on the Facebook-streamed preliminary card before main-card fights on FUEL TV.
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Travis Browne booked for The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale
A heavyweight bout between Gabriel Gonzaga (14-6 MMA, 9-5 UFC) and Travis Browne (13-1-1 MMA, 4-1-1 UFC) will take place in April at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale.
UFC President Dana White today announced that verbal agreements are in place for the bout.
As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported, The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas hosts the April 13 event, which includes a main card on FX and prelims on FUEL TV and Facebook.
Gonzaga vs. Browne likely will be part of the main card.
UFC on FUEL TV 7's fight card and start time for Saturday
The UFC returns this week with an overseas title fight with Saturday's UFC on FUEL TV 7 event.
The event takes place at the 12,500-seat Wembley Arena in London, and UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao (29-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) meets Michael McDonald (19-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) in the headliner.
Saturday's card kicks off with Facebook prelims at 12:15 p.m. ET (9:15 a.m. ET), and the main card follows on FUEL TV at 3 p.m. ET.
MAIN (FUEL TV, 3 p.m. ET)
Champ Renan Barao vs. Michael McDonald - for interim bantamweight title
Dustin Poirier vs. Cub Swanson
Cyrille Diabate vs. Jimi Manuwa
Gunnar Nelson vs. Jorge Santiago
Ryan Jimmo vs. James Te Huna
Che Mills vs. Matthew Riddle
PRELIMINARY (Facebook, 12:15 p.m. ET)
Terry Etim vs. Renee Forte
Danny Castillo vs. Paul Sass
Josh Grispi vs. Andy Ogle
Stanislav Nedkov vs. Tom Watson
Vaughan Lee vs. Motonobu Tezuka
Ulysses Gomez vs. Phil Harris
Sonnen: Big gap between Jon Jones & Anderson Silva
Chael Sonnen has highlighted the almighty task facing him at UFC 159, insisting light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones is "considerably better" than Anderson Silva.
Silva is widely regarded as the greatest fighter on the planet, having set all manner of records as the promotion's middleweight champion, beating several 205-pounders along the way. He holds the most wins and title defences during a UFC career spanning seven years.
The Brazilian is frequently linked to a superfight with Jones, who looks equally as untouchable at light-heavyweight having beaten former champions in Mauricio Shogun Rua, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Rampage Jackson and Vitor Belfort.
Melvin Manhoef wants fight with Wanderlei Silva in the UFC
There’s no rest for the wicked, and as far as Melvin Manhoef is concerned there will be “No Mercy” if he has his way and cuts a deal with the greatest MMA organization in the world. Manhoef has recently expressed his desire to fight for the UFC, and he already has an opponent in mind. Wanderlei Silva, one of the most exciting strikers the sport has to offer, and a former Pride Middleweight Champion holding the most knockouts in Pride history.
Report: Michael Kuiper vs. Tom Lawlor added to UFC on FUEL TV 9
A middleweight matchup between Dutch prospect Michael Kuiper (12-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and eight-time UFC veteran Tom Lawlor (8-5 MMA, 4-4 UFC) is the latest reported addition to April's UFC on FUEL TV 9 event.
Swedish website MMAnytt.se was the first outlet to report the new booking, though UFC officials have yet to confirm the contest.
With the reported addition, UFC on FUEL TV 9 now includes:
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Gegard Mousasi
Philip De Fries vs. Matt Mitrione
Ryan Couture vs. Ross Pearson
Mike Easton vs. Brad Pickett
Akira Corassani vs. Robert Peralta
Papy Abedi vs. Besam Yousef
Marcus Brimage vs. Conor McGregor
Ben Alloway vs. Ryan LaFlare
Adlan Amagov vs. Chris Spang*
Michael Johnson vs. Reza Madadi*
Michael Kuiper vs. Tom Lawlor*
* - Not officially announced
EXCLUSIVE (Part 3) | Anthony Pettis Dives Deep On The Passing Of His Father, Being A Father & More
MMA fans got to know a completely different side of Anthony Pettis and fighters in general when he appeared on the MTV series, “World of Jenks,” back in 2010. Camera crews followed Pettis around and chronicled his preparation for his bout with Danny Castillo. One of the most emotional segments of the show took place when Pettis discussed the death of his father who was murdered when he was just 16. It was one of the first times since MMA started breaking into the mainstream that we were offered a look into the heart and soul of a fighter. Fans were able to witness how close Pettis is with his mother, younger brother Sergio and head coach Duke Roufus. Since then Pettis has had a daughter of his own who is at the forefront of his mind at all times.
“In the fight game before my daughter was born I drew a lot of inspiration from my pops,” offered the BJJ purple belt. “I grew up for the most part in a single family household, my dad was pretty much in and out of my life. When he was there he was always a good dad and I always respected him. For the 16 years I had him in my life I developed a lot of him in me, a lot of what he taught me makes sense now. He’s still a big inspiration to me, before every fight I’m always at his grave talking to him. All the stuff they showed in the World of Jenks and even the UFC Countdowns is real, none of it is staged.”
Bisping disappointed by Belfort TRT revelations
Michael Bisping has reacted with disappointment to the news that Vitor Belfort was granted a special exemption to undergo testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) prior to their UFC on FX 7 middleweight meeting.
Bisping, aware that a title shot against division champion Anderson Silva was his if he beat Belfort, instead suffered a second round technical knockout loss to the Brazilian - before it was later revealed that Belfort had been given a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) to bolster his testosterone levels using TRT.
With Belfort having tested positive for steroid use back in 2006 - a side-effect of which can be reduced testosterone levels - Bisping, while refusing to use the news as an excuse for his eventual defeat, admitted it was "very disappointing" to hear.
UFC on FOX 7's Dan Hardy says retirement on the horizon
A four-fight skid that nearly ended his UFC career also brought clarity to Dan Hardy.
Now back on the winning track, the British welterweight is planning to retire next year, if all goes well.
"I'm ready for a new challenge, I'll be honest," Hardy said. "There are a lot of things about this sport that I love, and a lot of things about this sport that I don't like at all."
Hardy declined to elaborate on his reasons for leaving and said he'll do so when he's closer to retirement.
"Martial arts for me has always been a tool to understand myself a little more, and it's getting to the stage where it's run its course now," he offered. "The structure the sport has taken on is taking away from that for me, and I think I'm best served to be somewhere else in the future."
For now, Hardy (25-10 MMA, 6-4 UFC) is focused on a fight with Matt Brown (16-11 MMA, 9-4 UFC) at UFC on FOX 7, which takes place April 20 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.