Karlos Vemola vs. Mike Massenzio added to UFC on FOX 3 in New Jersey
Karlos Vemola (8-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) is dropping another weight class and moves from light heavyweight to middleweight and now meets Mike Massenzio (13-6 MMA, 2-4 UFC) in May at UFC on FOX 3.
UFC officials today announced the fight.
UFC on FOX 3 takes place May 5 at IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J. The main card airs on FOX, and prelims are expected to air on FUEL TV. Vemola vs. Massenzio likely will be part of the prelims.
Jose Aldo and Ed Soares part ways
UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo will no longer be represented by Ed Soares, according to a report by Tatame.com, heading back to his original manager of Andre Pederneiras. This is the second high-profile fighter to part ways with Black House MMA and Soares, as UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos abandoned ship in late 2011.
Thiago Silva vs. Brandon Vera rematch set for May 15 in Virginia
Don't think for a moment this one won't be personal.
Thiago Silva (14-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and Brandon Vera (12-5 MMA, 8-5 UFC), who first met in a UFC 125 bout that was eventually ruled a "no contest," will fight again on May 15 in Fairfax, Va.
As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported, the UFC is expected to hold an event at this city's Patriot Center, though UFC executives have yet to reveal the venue for the card or where the action will be broadcast.
Nevertheless, the UFC announced the matchup early Thursday morning.
Diaz vs. Miller set as UFC on FOX 3 main event; Barry vs. Johnson added to card
An intriguing lightweight matchup between Nate Diaz (15-7 MMA, 9-5 UFC) and Jim Miller (21-3 MMA, 12-2 UFC) will serve as the main event of UFC on FOX 3.
The matchup, which was announced in January, will now be contested as a five-round affair.
Additionally, a heavyweight bout featuring sluggers Pat Barry (7-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) and Lavar Johnson (16-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has also been added to the evening's main card.
UFC officials announced the changes late Wednesday night.
Joey Beltran Released From The UFC
As told to FightersOnly magazine by none other than Joey Beltran himself, it appears that the UFC has released “The Mexicutioner” following his first round “kickstand KO” (Props to Stak40 for coining the term) loss to Lavar Johnson at UFC on Fox 2. The loss was Beltran’s fourth in his last five outings.
FTC ends probe of UFC/Strikeforce deal
The Federal Trade Commission closed a non-public investigation into the Ultimate Fighting Championship's purchase of Strikeforce last week and will take no further action in the case.
Documents published on the FTC website dated January 25, confirm the FTC's Bureau of Competition conducted an investigation to determine whether the $34 million acquisition of Explosion Entertainment, LLC, by UFC's parent company, Zuffa LLC, violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act or Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
In closing letters issued to counsel for Zuffa and Explosion Entertainment, FTC secretary Donald S. Clark stated, "Upon further review of this matter, it now appears that no further action is warranted by the Commission at this time. Accordingly, the investigation has been closed."
UFC on FOX 2 medical suspensions: Davis, Weidman among eight suspensions
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation issued mandatory medical suspensions to eight fighters from this past weekend's UFC on FOX 2 event.
Main-card fighters Phil Davis and Chris Weidman were among the group, though no suspension lasts more than two months.
MMAjunkie.com today obtained the suspensions from state officials.
UFC fighter Jacob Volkmann's latest suspension lifted, though rules now stricter
UFC lightweight Jacob Volkmann said he followed the rules – to the letter – when he said President Barack Obama needed a "glassectomy," even after being placed on paid administrative leave a second time by the high school that employs him as a part-time wrestling coach.
Now, the rules are a little bit stricter.
Volkmann was taken off administrative leave from White Bear Lake High School today after a meeting with school administrators.
Despite UFC on FOX 2 loss, bonus-winner Nik Lentz told his job is safe
After four consecutive wins in the octagon, UFC lightweight Nik Lentz has hit the skids.
But he also believes he's turned a corner in delivering the kind of performances fans want to see, and despite dropping back-to-back fights, he'll live to fight another day in the UFC.
"(UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva said I wouldn't get cut," he today told MMAjunkie.com following a weekend loss to Evan Dunham at UFC on FOX 2.
After 62 Straight Kickboxing and MMA Wins, Stephen Thompson Makes UFC Debut
Jan 31, 2012 - The numbers are something out of a video game or a movie or someone's imagination. In amateur kickboxing, Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson was 37-0. As a pro kickboxer, 20-0. As a professional mixed martial artist, he's 5-0 so far. That's 62 straight fights without a loss.
But it's no facade, and his record is no product of fishy matchmaking. In fact, despite his newness on the MMA scene, he's already wowed some of this sports' brightest minds.Georges St-Pierre's trainer Firas Zahabi recently called Thompson "definitely the best karate guy, the best striker I've ever seen, all around in any sport."
The welterweight brings his exceptional record to this weekend's UFC 143, where he faces fellow octagon rookie Daniel Stittgen, hoping to extend his ridiculous streak.
UFC makes official UFC 143 program available for free viewing
For the first time, UFC officials are offering a free version of its event-night program.
An e-version of this weekend's UFC 143 program, which feature headliners and interim-title fighters Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit, is now available online.
Check it out at ufc.com/program.
The UFC 143 program is 35 pages long and features full-color photography of fighters, officials and ring girls. UFC president Dana White penned the welcome letter.
Champ Georges St-Pierre wants Nick Diaz fight as much as he wanted a title shot
"I want this fight with Diaz so badly – as badly as I wanted the title shot when I got down on my knees," St-Pierre today told the UFC.
That was seven years ago at UFC 56, when his career looked a whole lot different than it does today. Of all the punches he's slipped on his current path, this one has hit hardest.
What's more, he can't do anything but sit and wait to settle the rivalry.
"I was (crushed) when I had to pull out of this weekend's fight hurt, but I am determined to get back to the octagon as soon as possible to fight this guy," St-Pierre said of Diaz. "He needs to hold up his part and beat (Carlos) Condit on Saturday to make this fight happen."
"Condit is a very good fighter," he said. "He can strike, he is aggressive, and he has submissions. He has been very impressive and is the type of fighter who gets better and better the more confident he gets.
"I am not personal friends with him, but I know him a little, and he's a great person. I know a lot of people who know him well because we train with the same people, but I have only spoken with him a few times. I feel bad. It is weird that I want him to lose, but I have never wanted to fight anyone as much as I want to fight Diaz."
"I don't truly hate him as a person," St-Pierre said. "I don't know that he is a bad guy, but I hate what he brings to the sport with the disrespect and the unprofessional things he says and does. It is sort of a professional hatred. He has been nothing but disrespectful and arrogant toward me.
"During UFC 137 (week), I felt like I had to walk around Las Vegas with my fists ready because every time I came across him, he wanted to fight there and then. Every time the elevator opened (in the hotel), I needed to be ready to fight in case he stepped in. I was on edge all week. This guy is crazy.
"I am used to hearing (smack) talk from opponents. Matt Serra did it, Dan Hardy did it, and Josh Koscheck did it. But with Diaz, he has taken it to another level. He and his coach have called me a coward and tried to disrespect my accomplishments.
On the Knee
"I am ahead of schedule," he said of his recovery. "I can already train and even kick, but I am remaining calm and not rushing. I won't train properly until July, it is a matter of discipline not to force my knee to go harder than it can heal."
UFC on FOX 2 ratings: Event averages 4.7 million viewers, second-best all-time
This past weekend's UFC on FOX 2 event, which featured three main-card bouts, averaged 4.7 million viewers.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the figures with industry sources.
Overall, the Jan. 28 event – which ran two hours and 19 minutes – scored a 3.21 rating among men 18-49 and a 3.21 among men 18-34. It's tied for the second-highest-rated MMA event in U.S. television history.
All of the numbers are down from November's record-setting UFC on FOX 1 event. The FOX-televised broadcast, which featured just one bout with Junior Dos Santos claiming the heavyweight title from Cain Velasquez, averaged 5.7 million viewers. The event also scored a 4.0 household rating among men 18-49 and 4.3 among men 18-34.
The second event – and the first official show that is part of a seven-year UFC-FOX deal that formally began this month – took place at Chicago's sold-out United Center. Rashad Evans claimed a light-heavyweight title shot with a decision victory over Phil Davis in the headliner. In other FOX-televised bouts, which followed prelims on FUEL TV and Facebook, Chael Sonnen edged Michael Bisping to claim a middleweight title shot, and middleweight Chris Weidman kept his perfect record intact with a decision win over Demian Maia.
On Monday, FOX officials announced that – according to overnight-ratings information – UFC on FOX 2 ratings were up 42 percent compared to the network's previous four weeks of Saturday-night programming.
In counter-programming efforts, Spike TV averaged 828,000 viewers for a UFC Fight Night replay and "UFC Unleashed" episodes that aired from 7-11 p.m. ET/PT. The UFC Fight Night replay kicked off the counter-programming strong and averaged 960,000 viewers...
Forrest Griffin and Tito Ortiz call each other out
In fighting, it takes a great rival makes a great champion. Without Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali would not be Muhammad Ali. No Sugar Ray Robinson, no Jake LaMotta. No Micky Ward, no Arturo Gatti. You can go on forever.
MMA does not have the same history prizefighting does, but it is starting to. Tito Ortiz was a great champion. And part of that greatness was defined through rivalries.
The three fights with Ken Shamrock made him rich, and that came after an ongoing feud with the Lion's Den going 1-1 with Guy Mezger, and taking Jerry Bohlander on cuts.
Tito feuded with Chuck Liddell, losing twice.
But perhaps his greatest rivalry was with Forrest Griffin, beating him ny split decision in 2006, and then coming back in 2009 and losing a split decision. Now it is 2012, and the two want to do it one last time.
Griffin and Ortiz appeared on HDNet's "Inside MMA" and made the case, or started it.
UFC's Alistair Overeem charged with battery in Las Vegas
Top UFC heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem has been charged with one count of misdemeanor battery following an incident in a Las Vegas casino soon after his UFC 141 bout this past month.
According to the "Las Vegas Review-Journal," Overeem is slated to appear in court on Feb. 21, and if convicted, he faces a maximum of six months in county jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) had been unable to confirm the long-rumored incident in recent weeks.
Tony Ferguson Fights Dennis Hallman at ‘UFC on FOX 3'
Just two days after wrapping their second show on FOX, the UFC announced a lightweight brawl between Tony Ferguson (Pictured) and Dennis Hallman for their next event on the network.
Ferguson has rattled off two straight wins inside the Octagon since taking “The Ultimate Fighter 13? tournament. He was last seen in December posting a decision victory over Yves Edwards.
Hallman has nearly 70 professional fights under his belt. The veteran submitted John Makdessi last month at UFC 140.
UFC 145: Jon Jones Opens As Massive Favorite Over Rashad Evans
After Rashad Evans beat Phil Davis at UFC on Fox 2, he sat at the post-fight press conference fielding questions about his upcoming bout with rival Jon Jones, currently scheduled as the main event of UFC 145 in Atlanta on April 21st. In one of the answers, he stated that he'd "probably be a huge underdog" going into the bout. Well, he was right about that. Bookmaker was the first site to drop a betting line for Jones vs. Evans, and it's pretty lopsided:
UFC on Fox 2 Tops Network’s Recent Primetime Ratings
UFC on Fox 2 might not have provided as much action as some had hoped, but the event did manage to draw a better rating than the network’s previous month of Saturday primetime programming.
According to Nielsen Media Research, UFC on Fox 2 posted a 2.7/5 household rating, a 42-percent increase from the average for the past four weeks on Fox (1.9/4).
Fox Sports Research projects that the network will win Saturday night in the Adults 18-49 demographic by a wide margin, and might also beat ABC, CBS and NBC in the 18-34 category when official figures are released on Tuesday.