Assuncao: 99-Percent Chance I’ll Fight Pearson at UFC 141
Junior Assuncao thinks he will be the one to welcome “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 9 winner Ross Pearson to the UFC featherweight at the promotion’s year-end pay-per-view event.
The Brazilian fighter Monday told Sherdog.com that he is nearly certain UFC officials will grant his wish for a fight with the Englishman at UFC 141, which takes place Dec. 30 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“We haven’t signed yet, but I can say it’s a 99-percent chance that this fight will happen,” Assuncao told Sherdog.com. “I asked the UFC to face Pearson when I found out he was dropping to 145 pounds. He’s already telling everyone that he’ll fight me and I will welcome him.”
Manager: Demian Maia Wants to Fight Jake Shields at 185
Jake Shields hasn't had the best year so far inside the cage, and there has been some minor speculation that he might like to return to middleweight after two losses in a row at welterweight. While there's no shame at all in losing to Georges St. Pierre and Jake Ellenberger, especially with the fact that he had to deal with the death of his manager and father going into the second fight, it is believed the former Strikeforce middleweight champion might be a better fit up at 185. If that is the case, Demian Maia's manager Eduardo Alonzo told Tatame that he wants his fighter to get the first crack at Shields:
"It’s a personal desire, but I guess it’d be a good fight, an interesting challenge for Demian. For his record and skills as a fighter, I’m guessing it’d be interesting", said the manager to TATAME.
UFC 137's Bart Palaszewski 'disrespected' when opponent missed weight
Prior to their fight at UFC 137, Bart Palaszewski issued an edict to opponent Tyson Griffin to "come and fight."
Concerned Griffin (15-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC) might try to turn the bout into a wrestling match, Palaszewski (36-14 MMA, 1-0 UFC) used his pre-fight interviews to goad the fellow featherweight into a standup fight.
But on the eve of the event, his focus instead shifted to Griffin's failure to even make weight for the event.
And Palaszewski made him pay.
Donald Cerrone vs. Nate Diaz targeted for UFC 141 in Las Vegas
A clash of hard-swinging lightweights is likely headed to the UFC's year-end show.
Multiple sources close to the event today informed MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Donald Cerrone (17-3 MMA 4-0 UFC) and Nate Diaz (14-7 MMA, 9-5 UFC) have verbally agreed to meet at UFC 141.
UFC 141 takes place Dec. 30 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Cerrone vs. Diaz is expected to be part of the event's main card, which airs live on pay-per-view. As MMAjunkie.com first reported, the event also gets a two-fight "UFC Prelims" special on Spike TV.
The latest UFC 141 card now includes:
Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem
Donald Cerrone vs. Nate Diaz
Jon Fitch vs. Johny Hendricks
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Vladimir Matyushenko
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Sean Pierson
T.J. Grant vs. Jacob Volkmann
Clean-shaven Roy Nelson not dwelling on the past after UFC 137 win
Roy Nelson wore a fat suit to Friday's UFC 137 weigh-ins because fans shouldn't get to see half-naked people for free.
After a much-needed victory that sent MMA legend Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic into retirement, Nelson shaved his Grizzly Adams beard and trimmed a nest of hair so people like me would have something to write about.
In other words, Roy Nelson (16-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) hasn't changed a bit.
"The Ultimate Fighter 10" winner, who had suffered back-to-back losses (and was one more away from receiving his UFC walking papers), staved off the termination with a third-round TKO victory over Filipovic (27-10-2 MMA, 4-6 UFC). The bout was part of the pay-per-view main card of UFC 137, which took place at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Events Center.
UFC 137's Cheick Kongo aiming for rematch with 'lucky' champ Cain Velasquez
Slow and steady wins the race, though fighting ugly does little to win fans.
Cheick Kongo knows Saturday's UFC 137 co-main-event win over Matt Mitrione wasn't a signature or highlight-reel win that dazzled fans, but it served its purpose.
It got him one step closer to a rematch with champ Cain Velasquez, whom Kongo said was "lucky" in their first meeting.
Kongo (17-6-2 MMA, 10-4-1 UFC) earned a unanimous-decision victory over the previously unbeaten Mitrione (5-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) in the pay-per-view co-headliner of UFC 137, which took place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. An action-light first round was showered in boos, though Kongo picked up the pace for an effective third round that led to the victory.
"Most of the time, when I win a fight, I can say it was exciting," Kongo told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) after the event. "But I was kind of slow.
"I was expecting to exchange more than I did tonight. I wanted to see what he would do specifically. The last round, I just decided to go for it."
Despite lopsided UFC 137 win, Diaz unhappy with performance, training, finances
While former Strikeforce champ Nick Diaz (26-7 MMA, 7-4 UFC) certainly didn't have the best first round of his professional career on Saturday night, he rebounded over the final 10 minutes in an epic beatdown of MMA legend B.J. Penn.
UFC president Dana White called the performance "awesome," and labeled both Diaz and Penn "warriors."
It's everything Diaz could have hoped for in his octagon return and yet it sounds as if it was nothing that he wanted. In fact, at Saturday night's post-event press conference, Diaz admitted he simply wasn't happy – about just about anything, really.
"I'm not happy with my performance at all," Diaz said of his win over Penn, which served as the main event of Saturday's UFC 137 event in Las Vegas. "I wasn't 100 percent today. I felt good, but just leading up to this fight, I went through a lot of hard times."
UFC boss complimentary of 'Cro Cop,' uncertain if Penn's retirement will stick
Saturday night's UFC 137 event may very well have marked the final fights in the careers of two MMA legends.
That said, UFC president Dana White isn't 100 percent certain both Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (27-10-2 MMA, 4-6 UFC) and B.J. Penn (16-8-2 MMA, 12-7-2 UFC) have entered the cage for the final time.
"B.J. is a warrior," White said. "What happened to him tonight has never happened to him in his entire career. What he's thinking tonight he might not think eight weeks from now."
A battered Penn told UFC broadcaster Joe Rogan he was done fighting after being demolished in the final two rounds of his main-event contest with Nick Diaz at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Events Center. A CompuStrike report pegged the final striking tally at 239-76 in Diaz's favor, and while his right eye bore the marks of a war, it paled in comparison to the damage on Penn's face.
White admitted he didn't speak to Penn following the fight, but he's not completely convinced that at just 32 years old, "The Prodigy" is done competing.
"They took B.J. right to the hospital," White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Who knows. It might be or it might not be (Penn's last fight). That's up to him. I don't know."
UFC 137 bonuses: Diaz, Penn, Palaszewski and Cerrone earn $75,000 awards
Nick Diaz, B.J. Penn, Bart Palaszewski and Donald Cerrone each earned $75,000 fight-night bonuses for their performances at Saturday's UFC 137 event.
Palaszewski earned the night's "Knockout of the Night" award, Cerrone picked up the "Submission of the Night" bonus, and Diaz and Penn took home "Fight of the Night" honors.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) learned of the bonus winners and award amounts at UFC 137's post-fight press conference.
UFC 137 took place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The night's main card aired on pay-per-view, and Facebook and Spike TV carried portions of the preliminary card.
When GSP scratched, Chris Lytle briefly considered post-retirement UFC 137 return
Let's make it perfectly clear: Chris Lytle has no plans to come out of retirement.
After a recent storybook ending to a memorable UFC career, Lytle is focused on an Indiana State Senate run and spending more time with his family.
But admittedly, when he heard UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre had scratched from this weekend's UFC 137 event and that Carlos Condit might be without an opponent, he briefly entertained the idea of a comeback.
So there's still that itch to get back in the cage?
"Actually there is," Lytle recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "I really didn't realize it that much until a few weeks ago. I heard Carlos Condit was going to fight GSP and GSP got injured, and I was thinking, "Hmmm, I'm not doing anything that day.'
"But I haven't been training or anything. I've been running for state Senate. That's keeping me really busy. I've been disappointed with how little I've been able to get into the gym. I've been able to get in there a little bit but not as much as I like."
UFC 137 weigh-in results
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view)
•Nick Diaz (170) vs. B.J. Penn (169)
•Cheick Kongo (234) vs. Matt Mitrione (255)
•Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (235) vs. Roy Nelson (252)
•Jeff Curran (134) vs. Scott Jorgensen (135)
•Hatsu Hioki (145) vs. George Roop (145)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike TV)
•Donald Cerrone (156) vs. Dennis Siver (155)
•Tyson Griffin (149)* vs. Bart Palaszewski (146)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook)
•Eliot Marshall (204) vs. Brandon Vera (205)
•Danny Downes (155) vs. Ramsey Nijem (155)
•Chris Camozzi (185) vs. Francis Carmont (185)
•Dustin Jacoby (185) vs. Clifford Starks (186)
* - Bout to be contested at catchweight of 148 pounds; Griffin fined 25 percent of "show" money
UFC Smartly Nixes Plans for UFC Japan to Lead Into U.S. Pay-Per-View
According to a report from MMAFighting.com's Daniel Herbertson, the UFC has finally wised up to the realities of promoting an event in Japan. It was originally suggested by UFC President Dana White that the UFC Japan card, scheduled to take place at Saitama Super Arena on February 26, would act as a prelude to a stateside pay-per-view, but sources have confirmed that the UFC has nixed that approach:
The UFC's long-awaited return to Japan on Feb. 26, 2012 will be a full pay-per-view level event, sources have confirmed to MMA Fighting as initially reported by Dave Meltzer. Zuffa has thus abandoned its controversial plan to have the UFC Japan event act as a free-to-air lead-in to a Las Vegas PPV event.
Officials detail Jon Anik's new duties with UFC broadcasting team
Following Thursday's announcement that veteran ESPN broadcaster Jon Anik has joined the UFC broadcasting team, officials today detailed some of his new duties with the promotion.
Anik, the longtime host of "MMA Live" on ESPN2 and ESPN.com, has officially joined the UFC as a play-by-play man.
The duties include broadcasts on both FX and FUEL TV.
FX and FUEL TV are both owned by FOX, which recently inked a landmark seven-year deal with the UFC. The partnership officially kicks off in 2012.
While the longtime broadcasting team of Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan will remain intact and handle the usual pay-per-view events, Anik's duties will include a mix of cable events and highlights programs.
Anik will provide play-by-play commentary for shows that air on FX and FUEL TV, including UFC Fight Night and The Ultimate Fighter Finale events. He'll also handle the newly created host position for the revamped "TUF" reality series that moves from Spike TV to FX in 2012. He'll also host a new "Ultimate Insider" show that debuts January on FUEL TV.
Officials have not announced who may be paired with Anik as a color commentator.
UFC 142 booked for Rio de Janeiro's HSBC Arena on Jan. 14
The Ultimate Fighting Championship won't wait long to return to spiritual home of mixed martial arts.
Following this past August's ultra-successful UFC 134 event, the UFC will return to Rio de Janeiro's HSBC Arena on Jan. 14 for an event expected to serve as UFC 142.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the booking with UFC officials.
The UFC has yet to make an official announcement regarding the event, and potential fight bookings for the card have yet to be revealed
FUEL TV debuts 'UFC Champions Roundtable' with Jay Glazer on Nov. 8
UFC president Dana White has promised FUEL TV is planning "must-have" programming for MMA fans, and the cable channel will soon debut a "UFC Champions Roundtable" special with host Jay Glazer.
Featuring current and former UFC champions Forrest Griffin, Chuck Liddell, Jon Jones and Frank Mir, the special debuts on Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT).
The channel also plans frequent replays leading up to that week's UFC on FOX 1 event.
FX and FUEL TV are both owned by FOX, which recently inked a landmark seven-year deal with the UFC. The partnership officially kicks off in 2012.
Additionally, FUEL TV has announced plans for both a pre- and post-fight show for the Nov. 12 UFC on FOX 1 event, which features a heavyweight title fight between current champ Cain Velasquez and top contender Junior Dos Santos. Th event takes place at Anaheim, Calif.'s Honda Center.
Charles Oliveira making transition to UFC's featherweight division
Brazilian youngster Charles Oliveira (14-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) is dropping to 145 pounds.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today learned from Oliveira's manager, Wade Hampel, that Oliveira has informed UFC brass he would like for his next fight to take place in the company's featherweight division.
"Charles hopes to return to action before the end of the year, if possible," Hampel said. "We're extremely excited to see what he can achieve at 145 pounds."
White says 'TUF: Brazil' a done deal, will hold 'as many events as possible' in country
LAS VEGAS – Canada and the Philippines' loss will apparently be Brazil's gain.
UFC president Dana White, who has long teased an international version of "The Ultimate Fighter" today said a Brazilian edition of the long-running reality series is "a done deal" and will debut in the near future.
And while White insists the company has not yet confirmed when it will return to Brazil for a live event, he said the UFC is actively working on booking "as many (events) as we possibly can."
NSAC says UFC 137 headliner Nick Diaz passed required pre-fight drug test
The shuffling deck of UFC 137 squashed the Nevada State Athletic Commission's plans for out-of-competition testing of the headliners.
However, one competitor did not and could not escape a pre-fight drug test: Nick Diaz. And as it turned out, he took headliner status.
Thankfully, the NSAC received notice on Wednesday that Diaz passed a test for drugs of abuse and is cleared to fight, NSAC executive director Keith Kizer told MMAjunkie.com.