Jon Jones breaks silence, says he's 'expecting to be back in the Octagon really soon'
The Jon Jones saga is not even close to being over. As the greatest talent to ever enter the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon, it's going to be very tough to keep the former Light Heavyweight champion away from a comeback.
But as Jones gets dragged through the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) process after testing positive for banned substances prior to his UFC 200 title rematch with Daniel Cormier, which Jones got yanked from, what's going to be left of the 29-year-old superstar? And for that matter, when can fight fans expect Jones back?
Leave it up to the pound-for-pound legend to finally break his silence following UFC 200's debacle, reach out to his fans and give an update about his current state of play, recently posting this video to Instagram
Thiago 'Marreta' Santos vs. Eric Spiceley heads to UFC Fight Night 95 in Brasilia
The UFC’s return to Brazil next month has one more fight added to the lineup and with 14 bouts likely is filled.
Thiago “Marreta” Santos (13-4 MMA, 5-3 UFC) will fight in front of his home fans against Eric Spicely (8-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) in a middleweight matchup. UFC officials recently announced the new booking for UFC Fight Night 95.
UFC Fight Night 95 takes place Sept. 24 at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
Derrick Lewis says he's fighting Marcin Tybura at UFC Fight Night 97 in Manila
Derrick Lewis may have been hoping to get on the UFC 203 spot in Cleveland against Fabricio Werdum. But with that slot taken by Travis Browne, he’ll have to settle for something else.
It appears Lewis (16-4 MMA, 7-2 UFC) will fight fellow heavyweight Marcin Tybura (14-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) when the UFC returns to the Philippines in October. Lewis posted the matchup on his Instagram feed, and a Lewis representative told MMAjunkie verbal agreements for the bout are in place. The UFC has not yet made a formal announcement of the booking.
Multiple injuries lead to new bouts at UFC Fight Night 95
UFC Fight Night 95 has a new set of fights, as four of its fighters have pulled out of the card citing injury. The promotion announced the news on Friday.
Welterweights Brandon Thatch, who suffered a hand injury, and Shinsho Anzai, who suffered a back injury, have pulled out of the card. Now, their opponents Erick Silva and Luan Chagas will fight each other in the preliminary part of the card.
Lightweight Joaquim Silva is out of his fight with Gregor Gillespie due to a knee injury. Glaico Franca, who's coming off a loss to James Vick at UFC 197, will step up on short notice to fight the undefeated promotional newcomer Gillespie.
Also, Renato Carneiro is out of his fight against Mike De La Torre due to an undisclosed injury. Taking his place will be the Brazilian Godofredo Pepey, who recently dropped a unanimous decision to Darren Elkins at UFC on Fox 20.
Additionally, a middleweight bout pitting Thiago Santos and Eric Spicely has been added to the card.
Dana White: ‘Wonderboy’ Next for Tyron Woodley; McGregor Will Defend 145-Pound Title
UFC President Dana White has some specific thoughts on the futures of featherweight king Conor McGregor and welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, and it might not be exactly what either man had planned.
“I fully expect Conor to come back and defend his 145-pound title,” White told UFC.com. “I think that Nate [Diaz] feels his brother [Nick Diaz] should have the fight at 170, but Nick is not going to come back and fight for the title right away.
“There are other guys deserving of a title shot. Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson is going to fight for the 170-pound title and then we’ll see what happens with Nick and Nate.”
After Lengthy Hiatus, UFC Middleweight Tim Kennedy Says He Has a Fight Booked
After nearly two years away, it appears that UFC middleweight Tim Kennedy is ready to return to the Octagon.
“I have a fight. I can’t tell you anything about it. The UFC has to announce it, but after I come back from South America, I am in shape. I have been training, I knew I had a fight coming up,” Kennedy said in a video on his Facebook page. “And now I’m telling you -- I have a fight"
Alexa Grasso makes UFC debut against Heather Jo Clark in Mexico City
Undefeated strawweight Alexa Grasso will make her UFC debut in November, facing “The Ultimate Fighter 20” cast member Heather Jo Clark at UFC Fight Night in Mexico City.
MMAjunkie today confirmed the booking following an initial report from Indiscutido.com.
Grasso is currently sitting at No. 6 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA strawweight rankings.
The UFC’s Mexico City “Fight Night” card will take place Nov. 5. at Mexico City Arenaand also is expected to feature the finale of the latest edition of “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America.” In the main event, Tony Ferguson takes on former lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos.
Erik Koch out, Drew Dober draws newcomer Jason Gonzalez at UFC 203
RFA and “The Ultimate Fighter 22” vet Jason Gonzalez is headed to the big show after a training injury scrapped Erik Koch from next month’s UFC 203, the promotion announced today.
Gonzalez (10-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will face off with veteran Drew Dober (16-7 MMA, 2-3 UFC) at the Sept. 10 pay-per-view event, which takes place at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The fight card’s official order has yet to be announced. Preliminary card bouts can been seen on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
Travis Browne steps in for Ben Rothwell, rematches Fabricio Werdum at UFC 203
Travis Browne will get a second crack at Fabricio Werdum.
MMAjunkie today confirmed with two people familiar with the agreement that Browne and Werdum have verbally committed to meet at UFC 203. Those people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not publicly authorized to discuss such matters.
The move was necessitated by an injury to Ben Rothwell, who was originally expected to face Werdum. Bout agreements for the new contest are expected to be finalized shortly.
The UFC 203 lineup now includes:
Stipe Miocic vs. Alistair Overeem
Travis Browne vs. Fabricio Werdum
Nik Lentz vs. Mairbek Taisumov
Damir Hadzovic vs. Yukawa Kazuya
Mickey Gall vs. CM Punk
Bethe Correia vs. Jessica Eye
Urijah Faber vs. Jimmie Rivera
Jessica Andrade vs. Joanne Calderwood
Ray Borg vs. Ian McCall
Caio Magalhaes vs. Brad Tavares
Drew Dober vs. Jason Gonzalez
Conor McGregor unsure of going back to 145 after UFC 202, interested in Nate Diaz trilogy
UFC president Dana White has promised that Conor McGregor will drop back down to featherweight and unify the title with Jose Aldo, the interim champ, next. McGregor, though, doesn't seem to be all that interested in an Aldo rematch.
McGregor defeated Aldo to win the UFC featherweight title by knockout in just 13 seconds at UFC 194 back in December. Aldo bounced back to defeat Frankie Edgar to win the interim title at UFC 200 last month.
McGregor was present at that bout, even standing up and watching much of the fight from that position while everyone was sitting down around him. But McGregor made it seem like Friday on a UFC 202 media conference call that he was looking toward a fresh fight — one against Frankie Edgar.
Injury forces Ben Rothwell out of UFC 203 co-main event with Fabricio Werdum
UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell is withdrawing from UFC 203 due to a knee injury, multiple sources today told MMAjunkie.
The UFC is seeking a replacement for ex-champ Fabricio Werdum (20-6-1 MMA, 8-3 UFC) for the event, which takes place Sept. 10 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
A team representative said Rothwell (36-10 MMA, 6-4 UFC) may have suffered a torn meniscus and could have an ACL injury.
Not cut, Ben Saunders explains why he’s no longer on the UFC roster
Ben Saunders wanted to clear up a few things, so he took to the UG forum Monday evening.
After news surfaced that he was no longer with the UFC, the popular welterweight fighter explained his version of what went on over the last few months. Saunders said he was not cut by the UFC. Instead, he said he fought out his contract and, due to multiple personal reasons, was not quick to re-sign.
Once Saunders did feel ready to put pen on paper, he said, it was too late. The UFC had already moved on without him.
UFC 202's Guangyou Ning Not at Fault After Testing Positive for Banned Anabolic Agent
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has determined that UFC bantamweight Guangyou Ning is not at fault for a failed out-of-competition drug test earlier this year.
Ning, 34, tested positive for traces of the banned anabolic agent clenbuterol in a urine sample provided on May 19. Clenbuterol is often used to treat breathing disorders and while it has never been approved by the U.S. FDA, it is available in other countries throughout the world. As far as a potential performance enhancer, it is believed to aid fat loss for anabolic steroid users.
However, USADA issued a statement Tuesday clearing Ning of any wrongdoing because his positive test likely resulted from contaminated meat.
Tim Means gets replacement opponent, meets Titan, Bellator vet Sabah Homasi at UFC 202
Tim Means will in fact compete at next week’s UFC 202 event. Newcomer Sabah Homasi has signed with the promotion and will make his debut opposite “The Dirty Bird” as a welterweight replacement for the injured Sean Strickland.
A 170-pound matchup between Means ((25-7-1 MMA, 7-4 UFC) and Homasi (11-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) finalizes the lineup for the Aug. 20 card, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The bout is expected to air on the pay-per-view main card following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
With the change to the card, UFC 202 now includes:
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
Champ Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz – non-title welterweight bout
Anthony Johnson vs. Glover Teixeira
Donald Cerrone vs. Rick Story
Hyun Gyu Lim vs. Mike Perry
Sabah Homasi vs. Tim Means
PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)
Cody Garbrandt vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Raquel Pennington vs. Elizabeth Phillips
Chris Avila vs. Artem Lobov
Cortney Casey vs. Randa Markos
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6 p.m. ET)
Lorenz Larkin vs. Neil Magny
Colby Covington vs. Max Griffin
Ning Guangyou vs. Marlon Vera
Alberto Uda vs. Marvin Vettori
Aisling Daly out at UFC Fight Night 93, promotion seeks new opponent for Michelle Waterson
Injury has forced strawweight Aisling Daly (16-6 MMA, 2-1 UFC) to withdraw from a planned UFC Fight Night 93 contest with Michelle Waterson (13-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC).
MMAjunkie today confirmed with UFC officials that the promotion is currently seeking a new opponent for Waterson.
With the change, UFC Fight Night 93 now includes:
Andrei Arlovski vs. Josh Barnett
Jan Blachowicz vs. Alexander Gustafsson
Ryan Bader vs. Ilir Latifi
Michelle Waterson vs. TBA
Tae Hyun Bang vs. Nick Hein
Nicolas Dalby vs. Peter Sobotta
Christian Colombo vs. Jarjis Danho
Scott Askham vs. Jack Hermansson
Rustam Khabilov vs. Leandro Silva
Germaine de Randamie vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith
Leandro Issa vs. Taylor Lapilus
Jessin Ayari vs. Jim Wallhead
Henry Briones vs. Brad Pickett
Demetrious Johnson now targeting December return against TUF 24 winner
Demetrious Johnson was hoping to get two more fights in before the end of the year, but that doesn't appear to be the case anymore.
The UFC flyweight champion is now targeting a return to the Octagon in December, according to sources. His opponent will be the winner of "The Ultimate Fighter" season 24, which will feature flyweight champions from outside the UFC competing for a title shot.
UFC featherweight Mirsad Bektic on battle to recover from ACL injury
UFC featherweight Mirsad Bektic was three weeks from a fight with Tatsuya Kawajiri at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale when he landed wrong on his knee and popped his ACL.
Today, he is cleared to train, having passed a series of benchmarks in a rehabilitation regimen that started almost immediately after his injury. But as he told MMAjunkie Radio, he is not the same person in the gym as he once was.