Former title challenger Thales Leites returns against Tom Watson at UFC 163
After a four-year absence, Thales Leites (20-4 MMA, 5-3 UFC) is once again a UFC fighter.
The onetime middleweight title challenger is slated to return to the octagon at UFC 163 against up-and-comer Tom Watson (16-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC), according to UFC officials, who confirmed the matchup to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) following a report on Tatame.
UFC 163 takes place Aug. 3 at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro. The event's pay-per-view main card includes a featherweight title headliner between champion Jose Aldo and Anthony Pettis. Preliminary-card bouts serve on FX and Facebook. It's unknown whether Leites vs. Watson will serve on the main card or prelims.
Silva vs. Jones, Cain vs. JDS III rumored for Cowboys Stadium - UFC 20 year anniversary
According to Dave Meltzer, the UFC is working on putting together what could be their biggest event in promotional history this fall in Dallas at Cowboys Stadium. The show would have two huge fights on top. Meltzer has the scoop:
Nothing was said as far as when or where the match will take place. There is an idea floating around to try and put on the biggest show in company history at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas this fall. Several things would have to fall into place for this to happen, the key being Anderson Silva retaining the middleweight title against Chris Weidman, and not being banged up in the process. In addition, Jon Jones would have to be recovered from his own toe injury, and UFC would have to work out a deal to get the two of them to fight. Each has his own reasons, but neither has exactly clamored to fight the other. Having all those things fall into place makes this very much a longshot of actually happening.
The idea would be to have Silva vs. Jon Jones and Velasquez vs. Dos Santos at the stadium, in October, at the same time as the state fair of Texas, perhaps on 10/12 or 10/19. That much is known to be at least something talked about. With Madison Square Garden seeming more and more unlikely for November, this show could be billed as UFC 20th anniversary show, with the idea of trying to repeat the success of UFC 100.
Soa Palelei vs Nikita Krylov in the works
Australian fighter Soa Palelei was forced off the UFC 161 fight card after last week's reshuffle of the card however Fight News Australia can reveal through a reliable source that negotiations are underway for Palelei to face undefeated Ukraine youngster Nikita Krylov (pictured). UFC officials are yet to confirm the match-up.
Palelei was scheduled to meet Stipe Miocic at UFC 161 before Miocic got the call-up to face Roy Nelson on the main card, leaving Soa Palelei without a fight. Palelei will now have to wait a bit longer for his UFC return with the match-up against Krylov likely to be part of the UFC 164 card which is scheduled to be held at the BMO Harris Bradley Arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA on August 31.
Wanderlei Silva won't fight in Boston, wants December return against Sonnen
"I will not fight in Boston, that's right. Sonnen still [has] not been officially proposed, no one called me offering to fight. Is it interesting? Yes, very. But if it is held, will be after Boston. Before, or in Boston, no. Now, in Brazil would be a dream. I think he'd even have to wear armor and earplug to walk there. A fight against Sonnen in Brazil would be very interesting. My last in the country was in Belo Horizonte, and the audience was wonderful, was very well received. I had a week of king, did fight of the night ... It was a very good experience. Fight with Sonnen is good for any event. I'm ready for December, in the year-end event. [I need to rest] my head and body for now, because my last fight was very difficult because I was recording the TUF and prepared there. This year I was already two months away from home, and now I have to rest a bit."
Vinny Magalhaes vs. Anthony Perosh targeted for UFC 163
A light-heavyweight bout between Vinny Magalhaes (10-6 MMA, 1-3 UFC) and Anthony Perosh (13-7 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is targeted for UFC 163 in August.
Magalhaes retweeted news of the bout following an initial report from Ataque Total.
UFC 163 takes place Aug. 3 at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.
The latest UFC 163 card now includes:
Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis - for featherweight title
Josh Koscheck vs. Demian Maia
Vinny Magalhaes vs. Anthony Perosh
Neil Magny vs. Sergio Moraes
Cezar Ferreira vs. opponent TBA
Josh Barnett vs. Frank Mir added to UFC 164
Former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett's first octagon appearance in more than 11 years will take place at UFC 164, where he meets Frank Mir.
UFC officials today announced the booking.
UFC 164 takes place Aug. 31 at Bradley Center in Milwaukee. The main card will air on pay-per-view.
James Krause replaces Isaac Vallie-Flagg, meets Sam Stout at UFC 161
Former WEC fighter James Krause (19-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has replaced injured Isaac Vallie-Flagg (14-3-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and now meets fellow lightweight Sam Stout (20-8-1 MMA, 8-7 UFC) next month at UFC 161.
UFC officials today announced the change following an earlier report from MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) about Vallie-Flagg's injury.
UFC 161 takes place June 15 at MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.
Now free and unfiltered, Jon Fitch hoping to thrive with a promotion that pushes him instead of holding him back
Talk about a hostile work environment.
Jon Fitch held a 14-3-1 record in his seven and a half year UFC career, earning a title shot and regularly holding the number two ranked position in the unofficial welterweight rankings, but that didn't score him any points with his superiors.
The American Kickboxing Academy standout had to fight tooth and nail to earn his title shot against Georges St. Pierre, and when he came up short, the dream was likely over.
That's what happens when you have a smothering wrestling style that neutralizes everyone you face, including popular strikers like Thiago Alves and more.
When Fitch suffered a rough patch, going 1-2-1 over a period of four fights,he was released from his contract and quickly scooped up by World Series of Fighting. In his debut fight with the promotion next month (June 14, 2013), he'll be competing in the main event against Josh Burkman. He tells Bleacher Report that it's nice to be a part of a promotion that actually wants to push him for once.
"I'm going to show everybody what I'm capable of with support behind me. It's going to be really nice to fight for an organization that is pushing and promoting me instead of trying to hold me back and put me down."
Despite his tremendous run of victories in the UFC, holding win streaks of eight and five wins respectively, he never felt any job security heading into a fight.
"There wasn't a fight I went into where I didn't feel as if I was fighting for my job. If I didn't win I was going to be fired. Every fight I had before was not just a fight against the guy in front of me but a fight against the people putting on the show."
With promoter Ray Sefo having his back completely, Fitch is hoping to capitalize on the good vibes heading into his first fight outside the UFC in nearly eight years.
"People can expect to see the best of Jon Fitch. No filters. No worries other than the fight in front of me and I think that is going to bring out the best Jon Fitch you've seen."
Eddie Wineland officially out of UFC 161, rebooking with Barao not guaranteed
After opponent and UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao recently was forced off the card, Eddie Wineland also now is officially out of next month's UFC 161 event, and he will be rebooked for a future show.
However, with Barao's recovery timetable unknown, Wineland isn't necessarily guaranteed a rebooking with the titleholder, UFC officials confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
UFC 161 takes place June 15 at MTS Centre in the Canadian city of Winnipeg. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.
Josh Thomson has an eye on Donald Cerrone – and the UFC lightweight title
At first, it sounded like veteran fighter Josh Thomson was ready to retire from MMA.
"My days of trying to plead for notoriety are over," he told a small group of reporters prior to UFC 160 this past Saturday at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. "I don't care. I just want to fight Benson. If I get the title shot, I can end my career and be done. I want to end my career with my title shot, and just get ready for whatever happens."
Chuck Liddell: 'Anderson Silva is one of my favorite fighters ... but I would have beat him'
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Hall-of-Famer Chuck Liddell likes to one-up his former rival, Tito Ortiz, in as many ways possible.
It wasn't that long ago when "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" told reporters he would have "dominated" current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones had they ever fought when Ortiz was in his prime.
See those comments here.
Now Liddell, who retired in 2010 following a string of brutal losses, is going one step further by insisting he would have defeated reigning UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, no stranger to the 205-pound weight class, had "The Spider" tried to get loud while "The Iceman" ruled the roost.
His comments (via Fighters Only):
"I would beat him, I always said that I would. I have the advantage in weight and height, so it would be more likely that I would beat him. But Anderson is one of my favorite fighters."
And just for shits and giggles, he'd even entertain the idea of an Octagon return to face "Bones."
Liddell (21-8) at one time was the most popular -- and most dangerous -- fighter UFC had on its roster. During a nearly three-year period, beginning at UFC 47 in 2004, "The Iceman" racked up seven straight wins by way of knockout or technical knockout.