Brad Pickett vs. Renan Barao Booked for UFC 138 in November
The UFC's November trip to the U.K. was only announced this morning and we're already getting news of fight bookings for the November 5th event. Just this afternoon, the promotion announced via Gareth Davies at the Telegraph, that two top-ranked bantamweights will meet on the UFC 138 card when Brad Pickett faces Renan Barao:
Dana White Says Issues With Lyoto Machida, Alistair Overeem Will Blow Over
As if Zuffa executives didn't have enough headaches with the injury bug that has wreaked havoc on cards for months, there have also been a pair of high-profile flare-ups with major Zuffa stars within the last week.
The first one came when UFC president Dana White revealed that Lyoto Machida had accepted a fight with Rashad Evans at UFC 133, but then changed his mind and demanded "Anderson SIlva-money." The second came when Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem seemingly dared the powers that be to pull him from the Heavyweight Grand Prix after he claimed they threatened him with withdrawal from it if he couldn't fight on the desired Sept. 10 date.
While the two reports gained heavy traction with fans and media over the last several days, White seemed to indicate during a Tuesday press conference that he expects both situations to be resolved.
Personalities clash as UFC 135 headliners Jones and Jackson visit Denver media
It was perhaps the simplest question during a gathering that at times was more frat party than media event.
But it produced the most meaningful exchange during a pre-event media tour ahead of UFC 135.
Asked by a fan how the fight would go – without getting into game plan, of course – light-heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones (13-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) was interrupted by Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (32-8 MMA, 7-2 UFC).
"You know who he is – c'mon man," Jackson said today at the Pepsi Center in Denver, which also hosts the pay-per-view UFC 135 event on Sept. 24. "Who been standing with me, dog? Everybody been wrasslin' me, dog. You already know, player."
It was one of many interruptions from the former champ, who bounced between the role of class clown and frustrated MMA veteran as questions about his motivation to fight surfaced.
On the other side of the podium, Jones kept a mostly stoic exterior as he responded to persistent attacks about a perceived cockiness as the second-youngest champion in UFC history.
Octagon Girl Brittney Palmer No Longer With the UFC
UFC Octagon Girl Brittney Palmer has parted ways with the organization. Fighters Only Magazine has the scoop:
Brittney Palmer is no longer with the UFC.
Following a fortnight of behind the scenes rumblings, her departure from the company has been confirmed and her profile has been removed from UFC.com
Fighters Only has been able to confirm her departure but has not been able to unearth any concrete reasons for it.
Chris Leben vs. Mark Munoz Set For UFC 138
Although earlier reports suggested that the UFC would not be holding an event in the U.K. this year, it now appears that British fans will indeed see the Octagon arrive on their shores this fall. Gareth Davies at the Telegraph has confirmed with UFC U.K. president, Marshall Zelaznik, that UFC 138 will be held at the LG Arena in Birmingham, England on November 5th. The UFC's November 19th event in San Jose will now apparently be re-numbered as UFC 139:
Marshall Zelaznik, UFC UK vice-president, told The Telegraph yesterday: "I’m very happy to announce UFC 138 will be bringing fireworks to Birmingham on November 5. The last time the UFC was in the second city was UFC 89 in October 2008, and we are very happy to be going back there this bonfire night."
UFC Fight Night 26 likely to take place Nov. 5 in Birmingham, England
The UFC is moving forward on a likely Nov. 5 event expected to take place in Birmingham, England.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed with event sources that the show, likely to be dubbed UFC Fight Night 25, could be the first overseas edition of the Spike TV event series.
Although not official, the event is expected to take place at the 16,000-seat LG Arena at the National Exhibition Centre.
Rather than UFC Fight Night 26, the event could be dubbed UFC 138 (which would make a Nov. 19 event, which is headlined by Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos, UFC 139 rather than UFC 138). Regardless, the Nov. 5 event is expected to air on Spike TV via same-day delay.
Nick Catone vs. Aaron Simpson added to October's UFC 136 event
A middleweight scrap between two fighters boasting modest win streaks will take place at UFC 136.
UFC officials today announced that Nick Catone will face Aaron Simpson at the event.
Featuring a pair of title fights in the evening's headlining contests, UFC 136 takes place Oct. 8 at Houston's Toyota Center.
Rory MacDonald Still Wants Revenge On Carlos Condit
It seems despite being touted as one of the best prospects in MMA today, Rory MacDonald (11-1) is having trouble letting go of the one defeat on his record. At UFC 115, MacDonald found himself two rounds up against Condit, but when the third round kicked off, Condit came out and absolutely destroyed MacDonald, marking up his face and forcing the ref to stop the fight just 7 seconds before the end of the fight. Speaking to Sportsnet.ca, 21 year old MacDonald stated:
"I still want my revenge against Carlos, though, because I truly believe I am a better fighter than him. I made a mistake in our fight and he capitalized. It happens to fighters on a weekly basis, and I wasn't the first or last to find myself in that position.
Inside the Numbers: Tito Ortiz Will Become the First to 25 UFC Fights
By agreeing to fight Rashad Evans at UFC 133 on August 6, Tito Ortiz is set to become the first fighter ever to participate in 25 UFC fights -- narrowly beating Matt Hughes to that milestone, as Hughes is scheduled to have his 25th UFC fight in September at UFC 135.
Ortiz is obviously on the down side of his career, and until his stunning upset of Ryan Bader at UFC 132 he was treated as something of a punchline. But no one can deny that he's among the great fighters in the history of the UFC.
We'll take a closer look at Ortiz's 24 previous UFC fights below.
Ben Rothwell: Its Not Right How Champions Act
Dont call it a comeback !
"Big" Ben Rothwell (31-7), has not been seen in the UFC cage in over a year now. His last steps inside the Octagon saw him take a hard earned decision win over tough kickboxer Gilbert Yvel. Despite the win, Rothwell left the cage with a torn ACL and a deviated septum. After surgery and a hell of alot of work, Rothwell is set to step back into action, and will square off against big hitting Mark Hunt at UFC 135. Speaking to CageWriter.com, Rothwell stated:
"I've really worked hard on myself. It's not a comeback. It's an unveiling. I have been off for more than a year, and instead of using it as a layoff I've used it as a huge building block. I posted a few pictures, and people said, 'Whoa, this guy ain't the same.' When I came back to Duke, he said, 'People who are off because of an injury usually gain 20 lbs. You look like you've lost 20 lbs.' ... A lot of these guys, especially champions, I see how they act, and it enrages me.
Rich Franklin's days at middleweight are done forever
Not exactly breaking news ... more of a confirmation of what's long been thought to be the case.
Rich Franklin, despite his build and natural body type, has seen his last days in the middleweight division. For the remainder of his career, he will compete at 205-pounds, as he tells MMA Weekly:
Video in MMA Playground videos section
James Te Huna vs. Ricardo Romero added to UFC 135 in Denver
A light-heavyweight bout between New Zealand-based James Te Huna (12-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Ricardo Romero (11-2 mma, 1-1 UFC) is slated for UFC 135.
Officials from the UFC's Australia office announced the fight overnight.
UFC 135 takes place Sept. 24 at Denver's Pepsi Center. A title fight between light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson headlines the pay-per-view main card.
Te Huna vs. Romero likely will be part of the preliminary card.
Rashad Evans Predicts Jones vs. Rampage; Criticizes Jackson
Coming up on September 24th, the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship will be on the line as current champion Jon "Bones" Jones faces one of the nastiest punchers to ever compete in the sport, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
One fighter who undeniably has more history with both of these men than anyone else is top 205 pound contender "Suga" Rashad Evans.
Johnny Eduardo Joins UFC, Debuts Against Assuncao in Rio
Brazilian veteran Johnny Eduardo has signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship and will make his Octagon debut against expat countryman Raphael Assuncao at UFC 134.
Eduardo enters the UFC riding an 11-fight win streak which extends back to 2008. Fighting out of Rio’s renowned Nova Uniao camp, the 32-year-old has finished all but two of his opponents in that time span. Eduardo holds a career mark of 25-8, including 13 submissions and six knockouts, and last August claimed the Shooto South America 143-pound title with a win over Paulo “Guerreiro” Dantas.
Which UFC Champ has faced stiffest compettition?
This is a very interesting scientific look at determining which current belt holder has faced the toughest road to present day.
So don't look at the following list as a concrete ranking, but rather as a quick-and-dirty snapshot for my own curiosity. There is no subjectivity here, just cold, hard numbers.
In order to compile this list, I have taken the combined win-loss-draw totals for all of the fighters that the current UFC champions have faced. I then subtracted that champion's record from the totals to determine a winning percentage independent of the champion's success or failure.
The following is an ordering of each UFC champion, starting with the lowest strength of schedule (SOS), and continuing to the highest. And just for the sake of argument, Emelianenko's SOS stands at .612, with a combined opponent independent W-L-D of 455-270-18.
Rich Franklin Scratched From UFC 133, Ebersole/Hallman Promoted
It seems that the UFC finally ran out of light heavyweights. The UFC 133 card has been decimated by injuries to 205 lb fighters Phil Davis, Vladimir Matyushenko, and finally Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Though they were able to save the first two bouts, they couldn't find a late replacement for Nogueira and this fight had to be scrapped. Franklin is now off the card. UFC.com has it:
A third light heavyweight in a week has been forced to withdraw from UFC 133 - Dana White confirmed today via Twitter that Antonio Rogerio Nogueria is out of the August 6 fight against Rich Franklin due to an injury. The bout will not replaced, and the Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama bout will be moved to the co-main event slot, while the welterweight battle between Dennis Hallman and Brian Ebersole has been moved to the main card.
Ryan Bader: No More Calling Out Fighters
It seems Ryan "Darth" Bader (12-2) is done with calling out fighters in the future. After being dominated at UFC 126 by current Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Bader decided to call out MMA legend Tito Ortiz. Against all odds, "The Huntington Beach Badboy" produced a stunnung upset and choked out Bader in the first round. That was a wake up call for Bader, who told ESPN.com:
"I lose three in a row, that's tough man. You see guys get cut for that. So yeah, I do feel that pressure.