Alistair Overeem granted conditional license for UFC 141, facing four drug tests
For now, at least, former Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem (35-11 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will face Brock Lesnar (5-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) in the main event of December's UFC 141 event.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission today granted Overeem a conditional license to face Lesnar on Dec. 30, subject to a pre-fight drug test to be submitted in Europe within the next 72 hours, as well as an additional screen submitted in the U.S. when the Dutch heavyweight arrives for the contest.
Overeem's conditional license also includes two post-fight drug screen orders, to be completed less than six months after the bout.
The decision was made during Monday's Nevada State Athletic Commission monthly meeting, which took place at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building in Las Vegas.
Overeem's status for the bout was in doubt after he failed to comply with out-of-competition testing ordered by the NSAC on Nov. 17...
UFC 142's Rousimar Palhares seeing sports psychologist following bizarre incidents
Rousimar Palhares' manager, Alex Davis, thought it might be slightly more prudent to seek out the expertise of an actual, licensed clinical sports psychologist following a series of head-scratching episodes involving his client.
Currently, there are only questions surrounding the Brazilian fighter's recent behavior, which has included blatantly ignoring referee instructions, wrongfully accusing opponents of cheating, and just about everything in between.
Why does it always seem like he's trying to bend the rules? Does he simply lose focus under pressure? Is he a dirty fighter? Could there be something more serious going on regarding his mental fitness?
Dan Henderson Calls Out Jon Jones, Wants to Test His Chin
Shortly after UFC 140 ended, former Strikeforce and PRIDE champion, Dan Henderson campaigned for a shot at Jon Jones. He turned to twitter to make the case for a title shot:
Congrats to @jonnybones -- great win. Hey @danawhite, I'd like to see if his chin is as good as he thinks & I'm ready to go.
Dec 11 via SeesmicFavoriteRetweetReply
Aside from the winner of Phil Davis vs. Rashad Evans, Henderson is probably the only light heavyweight that can draw a ton of interest in a match against Jones.
He has the wrestling, and that bomb of a right hand that can cause stylistic problems, plus he's riding high coming off a very impressive run in 2011. That hot-streak has seen him win the Strikeforce light heavyweight title, KO the greatest heavyweight of all-time in Fedor Emeliananko, and defeat Shogun Rua in a fight of the year candidate.
While it is a very interesting match up, there could be issues with timing, as Jones said during the post-fight press conference that he wanted to take a few months off. (Transcribed by MMA Mania):
"I would like to take up to four months of, maybe even five. Come on Dana, give me a break, give me a break please. Yeah, fighting maybe three times in 2012 would be nice, but you know a break sounds nice, too. So, it's really up to the UFC, one of my goals is to be a company guy, so if the UFC asks me to do something, I probably won't put up much of a fight. So it's really up to Dana."
Following hospital visits, UFC futures of 'Big Nog' and Tito Ortiz uncertain
Former UFC champions and MMA legends Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (33-7-1 MMA, 4-3 UFC) and Tito Ortiz (16-10-1 MMA, 15-10-1 UFC) may have reached the end of the line.
Nogueira and Ortiz were each transferred to a Toronto-area hospital following losses to Frank Mir and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, respectively, on the main card of Saturday night's UFC 140 event, and UFC president Dana White admitted each of them may have fought for the final time in the octagon.
Following the evening's post-event press conference, which took place at Air Canada Centre, White said he would have to talk with each fighter individually, but he wasn't willing to guarantee a UFC return for either athlete.
Brittney Palmer Lands Playboy Cover
Popular UFC octagon girl Brittney Palmer, who just returned to the fold after a few months away, will appear in the March issue of Playboy, MMA Fighting has learned.
Sources close to Playboy Magazine confirmed the pictorial to Ariel Helwani.
Palmer had last been seen in the UFC at July's UFC 132, but took some time off to move to California and attend art school.
After her sabbatical, in November, UFC president Dana White announced she would be back walking around the cage soon, and she returned at Saturday night's UFC 140.
Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills Planned for UFC 145 in Montreal
Welterweight prospect Rory MacDonald will make his return to the UFC in March against Che Mills, MMAFighting.com has confirmed with sources close to the fight.
The Canadian MacDonald, who pulled out of his UFC 140 fight against Brian Ebersole last month due to an injury, will meet Mills at UFC 145 on March 24 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Frank Mir - A myriad of threats
Fight day is here! As I get set for my fight at UFC 140 Saturday night, I take great confidence from the belief that I have more ways to win than my opponent Antonio (Minotauro) Nogueira. Although a great fighter in his own right, I truly don't think "Big Nog" has the same options as me going into this fight.
Let me explain. If I'm not happy with the way the fight is going on my feet, I have the option of taking it to the floor and maintaining control there, and the same applies if I'm unhappy with how my grappling is working out. Nogueira will have to be resigned to do whatever I want him to do in this fight.
Sure, he can fight me jiu-jitsu versus jiu-jitsu, but if there comes a point where he doesn't like what's going on down there, he's not going to be able to change that. I can change where this fight takes place, he can't. If he starts getting hurt on his feet in a striking battle, I really don't see how he is going to take me down and take me away from what I was doing with punches and kicks.
Dan Miller schedules surgery for son, camp thanks UFC for financial support
With Dan Miller facing medical bills in the neighborhood of $100,000, things weren't exactly heading in the right direction for the UFC middleweight contender.
Now, thanks to a little help from his employers, Miller is in much better shape.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) recently learned from Miller's camp at AMA Fight Club that UFC co-owners Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White each made significant private donations to the Daniel James Miller Foundation, which was created to assist in the funding of a kidney transplant for Miller's son, Daniel Jr.
"Zuffa went above and beyond to make sure that Daniel James Miller and his aunt Kathy, who will be the living donor, will have the absolute best health care and the funding possible to make the surgery happen," AMA trainer Mike Constantino told MMAjunkie.com. "In addition to that, Dana and Lorenzo also made a substantial donation to the Daniel James Miller Foundation."
Frank Mir - Beware the Rematch
When you get offered a fight by the UFC, you have a choice: either embrace it, get ready for it and win it, or sulk and question whether you are even a fighter in the first place.
I was offered a fight against Antonio (Minotauro) Nogueira on Dec. 10 at UFC 140 and, although I already held a win over the man, I jumped at the chance. It was another big fight in my career, against a legend, and one that will move me a step closer to another UFC heavyweight title shot. What is there not to like about that?
Naturally, some people look at this weekend's fight and think to themselves, 'Damn, Frank already holds a win over that guy -- isn't he going over old ground,' and, in a sense, I guess they are right. I beat Nogueira inside two rounds back in December 2008 and, three years on, it does kind of feel as if I'm going through it all again, especially as I personally believe this rematch will bear an uncanny resemblance to the first fight.
I am a fighter, though, and fighters can't afford to ever think like that. I knew this was a fight I had to take seriously, despite the fact I had already beaten the man. Nogueira is someone I have a victory over, but, right now, that only means he is hungry for revenge and will be much better in this rematch than he was in the first fight.
After camping with Tristar, Mark Bocek wiping the slate clean at UFC 140
UFC lightweight Mark Bocek (9-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) spent 15 minutes in the cage with current No. 1 contender Ben Henderson and knew something had to change.
Fighting in front of the largest crowd in North American MMA history at this past April's UFC 129 event, Bocek knew he had been defeated, and it was a feeling he didn't like.
So Bocek promptly relocated his camp to Montreal's famed Tristar Gym and reinvented himself. Wipe the slate clean, says Bocek. The real work starts Saturday night.
"I changed the camp up a little bit," Bocek told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I did my camp in Montreal at Tristar with Firas Zahabi and all the guys down there. They have a bunch of different gyms. The way they train, it's not all in one place. It's kind of decentralized, so I've got a new look on things. I felt like my learning curve was getting a little flat, but I feel ready.
"I wasn't happy about the Henderson fight, but I've changed things around. I'm 30 years old now. I think things, now, are starting to come together nicely for me in my game. I feel good."
Bocek gets a chance to display his new skills Saturday night, when he faces Nik Lentz (21-3-2 MMA, 5-0-1 UFC) on the preliminary card of UFC 140, which takes place at Toronto's Air Canada Centre.
Is Lyoto Machida Sick Heading Into Fight With Jon Jones?
Lyoto Machida made weight just minutes ago for his UFC 140 bout with Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight championship. He looked to be in his usual level of shape while Jones looked very fit but also was booed loudly by the Toronto crowd.
Of course, these are just rumors at this point and it's not the first time we've heard such information heading into a fight. But it is worth noting that the word is out there and Machida may face more than Jones' dynamic attacking style when the two men step into the cage.
We'll keep you up to date on any new information or developments as best we can heading into the event.
UFC 140 weigh-in results: Champ Jones (205), challenger Machida (204) on weight
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view)
Champ Jon Jones (205) vs. Lyoto Machida (204)
Frank Mir (260) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (239)
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (204.5) vs. Tito Ortiz (206)
Brian Ebersole (170.5) vs. Claude Patrick (171)
Mark Hominick (145) vs. Chan Sung Jung (145.5)
PRELIMINARY CARD (ION Television)
Igor Pokrajac (205) vs. Krzysztof Soszynski (206)
Jared Hamman (185) vs. Constantinos Philippou (185)
Dennis Hallman (158.5)* vs. John Makdessi (155.5)
Yves Jabouin (136) vs. Walel Watson (135.5)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook)
Mark Bocek (156) vs. Nik Lentz (156)
Rich Attonito (170.5) vs. Jake Hecht (170.5)
John Cholish (156) vs. Mitch Clarke (154.5)
What's Missing From UFC's Response to Miguel Torres, Rashad Evans? Consistency.
Here's a question that became very important, yet difficult to answer this week: If you're a UFC fighter living in this wild world of social media, how do you know when you've crossed the line between edgy and irredeemably offensive? Better yet, how do you know when crossing that line will get you chewed out by your boss, and how do you know when you've committed an offense so egregious that it's cause for termination?
Answer: You don't. Not until it's too late. Not until your fate is already sealed. And that, whether you think of yourself as a shockingly clever Twitter comedian or a press conference trash-talk specialist, is a problem.
It's a problem for fighters, and it's a problem for the UFC. It's also a problem that has a solution, if the UFC cares enough about fairness and clarity to implement it.
As you probably know by now, two UFC fighters made the issue of sexual assault into fodder for their own attempts at entertainment this week, but with very different repercussions.
At a UFC on FOX press conference earlier this week, light heavyweight Rashad Evans referenced the Penn State sex abuse scandal when trying to zing former Nittany Lions wrestler Phil Davis. Meanwhile on Twitter, bantamweight Miguel Torres joked about "rape vans," suggesting that if they were renamed "surprise vans," maybe people would be more likely to ride in them.
Go out on the street and present these two cases to strangers who know nothing about the world of the UFC. See if they can guess which guy got fired, and which got off with just a stern talking to. I'll bet you a six-pack of your finest domestic ale that more people guess wrong than right.
Despite Close to UFC Career, Mirko Cro Cop Plans Return to Kickboxing
A third straight knockout loss brought a close to Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic's UFC career, but the Croatian apparently isn't quite ready to call it quits when it comes to combat sports. While he's rehabbing a torn right biceps muscle, he is also plotting a return to kickboxing, and says he will fight in a March 10 show in his nation's capital city, Zagreb.
In an interview with Croatia's Fight Channel, Cro Cop revealed that he injured his right arm before his recent UFC 137 fight with Roy Nelson and decided to fight anyway. Even beforehand, he told fans that it was likely his last time in the octagon, and while he says he's done in the MMA realm, he plans to return to K-1 for the first time since 2003.
"K-1 is the sport where I started," he said. "This is my first love and I find K-1 more attractive and more suitable for our Croatian fans than MMA."
Cro Cop isn't scheduled to have his right arm removed from a cast until December 20, but despite his doctor's advice of staying on the sidelines for eight weeks, he has begun training in preparation for his return...
UFC confirms Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce for UFC 143
A day after joining MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) and starting his campaign, Mike Pierce has his fight.
UFC officials today confirmed Pierce (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) will meet fellow welterweight contender Josh Koscheck (16-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC) in February at UFC 143.
Koscheck became available when his original opponent, Carlos Condit, was promoted to the main event to fill in for injured champ Georges St-Pierre against Nick Diaz.
UFC 143: Renan Barao vs Scott Jorgensen in the works for Feb. 4 in Las Vegas
And this is why we love the bantamweights.
The owner of MMA's longest unbeaten streak, Renan Barao, will face off against perennial bantamweight contender Scott Jorgensen at UFC 143: "Condit vs. Diaz" on Feb. 4, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The promotion brought word of the match-up just last night.
Barao was last seen going balls-to-the-wall against British bomber Brad Pickett, cracking the returning brawler's notoriously rugged chin with an enormous standing knee before taking his back and securing the rear-naked choke win.
The victory brought Barao's unbeaten streak to an unbelievable 28 fights. In fact, the badass Brazilian has yet to lose since his professional debut.
There's a certain mohawked wrestler who'd like to change that.
Mike Pierce Confirms Fight With Josh Koscheck At UFC 143
Josh Koscheck was scheduled to be Carlos Condit's opponent at UFC 143 until Georges St. Pierre injured his knee and was forced out of his title fight. The UFC decided to match Condit with Nick Diaz for the interim welterweight title. Koscheck was left without an opponent while the UFC was dealing with the fall out of St. Pierre's injury.
During this time Koscheck was attempting to get a fight at 185, even tweeting that he'll have an announcement soon. Looks like the UFC have decided to keep Koscheck busy at weltwerweight with a fight against Mike Pierce. Piece has a grinding style that could cause Koscheck fits. Pierce tweeted, "It's on! KOS tried wiggling outta this one too, but Feb 4th he's mine #ufc#ufc143".
Dana White Discusses Why He Released Miguel Torres Over Tweet
TORONTO -- MMA Fighting spoke to UFC president Dana White Thursday evening about why he decided to release Miguel Torres after the bantamweight fighter tweeted about a "rape van" recently. White explained his reasons for the release, why he didn't release other UFC fighters who appeared to make light of rape, and what kind of message he is sending to his fighters.