Ten Best - Top European Fights in UFC History
On February 16th, the UFC’s Octagon will travel overseas to London, setting down for an event at Wembley Arena that is headlined by the interim bantamweight title fight between Brazil's Renan Barao and California's Michael McDonald.
Barao-McDonald promises to be an explosive matchup, and if it does live up to expectations, it may just earn a spot on this list of the ten best fights to appear on the UFC’s European cards.
Anthony Pettis to challenge Jose Aldo on August 3
FC lightweight contender Anthony Pettis will drop a weight class and face featherweight champion Jose Aldo on Aug. 3. UFC has not yet determined a site for the event, but venues in Texas, Chicago, Las Vegas and Rio de Janeiro are being considered. Promotion president Dana White confirmed plans for the bout to USA Today on Monday. "These guys are two of the most amazing, gravity-defying athletes in the sport," White told the newspaper. "I am so pumped for this fight."
Made it official, i guess with mendez getting bendo, pettis did not wanna wait for title fight.
Amused' Anthony Pettis says he's not dropping to featherweight because he's scared to fight Ben Henderson
With his long-desired Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight title fight secured after his win over Donald Cerrone at UFC on FOX 6, Anthony Pettis felt it was time to drop down to the featherweight division and challenge for that title, instead.
While many felt the move was unwarranted and confusing all at the same time, "Showtime" was gifted the 145-pound title fight by the UFC, which is set to go down this August.
That's right around the same time the winner of Ben Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez would likely be ready to defend their 155-pound title after battling on April 20, 2013 at UFC on FOX 7.
So why the drop?
Did Pettis see a weakness in Aldo's game during his bout against Frankie Edgar at UFC 156? Is "Showtime" avoiding a potential rematch against current 155-pound champion, Ben Henderson?
The Roufusport-trained fighter spoke to BJPenn.com to break it all down:
"The biggest reason I never went down to 145 was because of my teammate, Erik Koch. He was right there for a title shot, he almost fought Aldo. I always knew I could make '45, but I was wrecking things at '55 and I never had to drop down. I've been reading some of the blogs and people are claiming I'm scared to fight Henderson, but it's nothing like that. It wasn't anything that I saw during the fight, like he (Aldo) had a weakness in his game or I could beat him here or do this to him. Aldo's a great fighter and I'm in this game to fight the best and fight the fights that people want to see. I think all the fans want to see this fight, I can make '45. You have one of the toughest guys in his division just wrecking it and he's considered one of the top pound-for-pound fighters. That right there just amuses me and has me interested in this fight."
Michael Bisping keeps losing his title shot to fighters on TRT, but does it matter?
Michael Bisping was in a position to challenge Anderson Silva for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight title on three different occasions.
His first chance came against Dan Henderson at UFC 100, but he was rendered unconscious by an incoming "H-Bomb" and sent to the back of the line. He was able to re-climb the 185-pound ladder and once again needed one big win to earn his crack at the crown.
Then Chael Sonnen defeated him at UFC on FOX 2.
Last but certainly not least, "The Count" went for his third attempt at UFC on FX 7 last month in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and was put on his ass by a Vitor Belfort head kick (watch it here), removing him from the middleweight title picture for the foreseeable future.
What do Henderson, Sonnen and Belfort all have in common (aside from getting finished by "The Spider")?
They all compete with a prescription for Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), which Quinton Jackson (also a user) said "immediately changed him" for the better after a few small doses.
If UFC champ Jose Aldo moves up in weight, teammate Renan Barao could follow
If UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo does indeed make a move to lightweight, current interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao (29-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) could also move up a division.
"I feel very good in this weight division, but I feel in two or three years, if Aldo decides to move up a weight division, I might do that, too," Barao recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The 5-foot-7 Barao, best known for his incredible 29-fight win streak, actually debuted for the WEC in June 2010 in a 142-pound catchweight bout. That mark was requested by his opponent, Anthony Leone, who took the fight on short notice. His five fights since have all been at 135 pounds.
But before his time under the Zuffa banner, Barao competed at 145 pounds, and he admits he wouldn't mind doing it again someday in the future.
"I used to fight at 66 kilos (145 pounds), but when we closed the deal with the WEC, our trainer decided that I needed to fight at bantamweight because I would never be champion since Aldo had been there forever," Barao said. "He wanted another champion on the team."
Ovince St. Preux meets Gian Villante in battle of Strikeforce vets at UFC 159
A pair of Strikeforce vets will make their UFC debuts in April at UFC 159.
Ovince St. Preux (12-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will meet Gian Villante (10-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in a light heavyweight bout when the UFC returns to New Jersey. UFC officials passed on word of the fight overnight, citing news first reported by Newsday.
UFC 159 takes place April 27 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The main card, including a headliner between light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.
The latest UFC 159 lineup includes:
Champ Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen - for light heavyweight title
Alan Belcher vs. Michael Bisping
Phil Davis vs. Vinny Magalhaes
Pat Healy vs. Jim Miller
Cheick Kongo vs. Roy Nelson
Nick Catone vs. James Head
Al Iaquinta vs. Joe Proctor
Rustam Khabilov vs. Yancy Medeiros
Ovince St. Preux vs. Gian Villante
Anthony Pettis: “I Was Wrecking Things At 55? No Need To Drop Down Until Now
26-year-old Anthony Pettis has accomplished quite a lot in his short time in mixed martial arts. The 3rd degree Taekwondo blackbelt holds an impressive 16-2 record with seven wins coming by way of knockout and six by submission. He was the last reigning WEC Lightweight Champion having defeated current UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson for that distinction.
Since coming over to the UFC in June of 2011, Showtime is 3-1 with wins over Jeremy Stephens, Joe Lauzon and Donald Cerrone. His lone loss came via decision to Clay Guida in his Octagon debut at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale.
Pettis’ performances continue to be more impressive with each passing fight. It seems the more he fights inside the Octagon the more comfortable he becomes. His confidence is growing by leaps and bounds inside the cage and out. Pettis has never been known to be shy and has no problem going after things he wants. After defeating Lauzon via headkick knockout in the first round at UFC 144, Pettis asked for a shot at Henderson and the UFC lightweight crown.
Unfortunately for Pettis he was on the shelf for the rest of 2012, but made a huge statement upon his return. After being called out and having his manhood questioned by Cerrone, the two met on Saturday January 26 in Chicago on the UFC on Fox 6 card. It took all of 2:35 for Pettis to dispatch of Cowboy via TKO. Afterwards UFC President Dana White announced that Pettis would meet the winner of the upcoming UFC lightweight title bout between Henderson, the reigning champion and Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez. Those two will meet on April 20 in San Jose at UFC on Fox 7.
Silva wants second shot at Velasquez
Antonio Silva has thrown down the gauntlet to Cain Velasquez, insisting he wants a second crack at the UFC heavyweight champion.
Silva put himself firmly in the mix for a title shot with a dominant win over Alistair Overeem at UFC 156 last weekend, but the memories of his crushing loss to Velasquez last year sit prominent in the memory bank.
The UFC will have the final say on who Velasquez will face, but Silva does not believe he did justice to himself in their previous meeting on account of a nasty cut he picked up early in the fight.
Tickets For UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Melendez On Sale Next Week
UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson will defend his title in a long-awaited showdown with Gilbert Melendez, the last man to hold the Strikeforce® lightweight title, on Saturday, April 20 when the Ultimate Fighting Championship brings the Octagon back to HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
The 29-year-old Henderson is 6-0 in the UFC, including two consecutive title defenses over Nate Diaz and Frankie Edgar. He’ll look to cement his status as the world’s best 155-pounder when he meets Melendez, a San Francisco resident riding a seven-fight winning streak.
“Benson Henderson wants to beat Gilbert Melendez to prove once and for all that he’s the best lightweight in the world,” UFC President Dana White said. “Gilbert was a champion in Strikeforce and he’s been on an incredible tear. Benson wants this fight badly and I’m excited that it’s headlining such a stacked card.”
UFC 158 lineup finalized with Ricci-Fletcher on PPV, Cote-Voelker on FX
The lineup, including the division of the main and preliminary cards, is set for March's big "UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz" event.
The event takes place March 16 at Montreal's Bell Centre, and UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre (23-2 MMA, 17-2 UFC) meets Nick Diaz (26-8 MMA, 7-5 UFC) in the headliner.
In addition to the pay-per-view main card, FX and Facebook carry the prelims.
UFC on FOX 7 adds Jury-Nijem, Parke-Tuck, Masvidal-Means, Njokuani-Bowling
Four lightweight fights have been added to the next UFC on FOX event, including fights featuring another pair of Strikeforce imports.
The unbeaten Myles Jury (11-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) takes on "TUF 13" winner Ramsey Nijem (7-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC); "TUF Smashes" lightweight winner Norman Parke (17-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) meets Jon Tuck (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC); Strikeforce vet Jorge Masvidal (23-7 MMA, 0-0 UFC) faces Tim Means (18-3-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC); and fellow Strikeforce crossover Roger Bowling (11-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) fights Anthony Njokuani (15-7 MMA, 2-3 UFC). UFC officials announced the four match ups late Wednesday.
UFC on FOX 7 takes place April 20 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The main card airs on FOX following prelims on FX. The main event is a lightweight title fight between champion Benson Henderson and former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez. Tickets for the show go on sale next week.
UFC on FUEL TV 9: Brad Pickett vs. Mike Easton in the works for April 6 in Sweden
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is adding some bantamweight flavor to its Swedish menu, as Brad Pickett has verbally agreed to lock horns with Mike Easton at UFC on FUEL TV 9, which is slated for April 6, 2013 at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.
Kimura.se brought word of the pending match-up earlier today.
Easton (13-2) saw his eight-fight win streak snapped at the hands of Raphael Assuncao at UFC on FOX 5 back in December, while Pickett (22-7) was edged out by Eddie Wineland in a close split decision at UFC 155, just a few short weeks after "The Hulk" came up short in Seattle.
Will this contest be decided by "One Punch?"
Conor McGregor Signs For UFC; Debuts In Sweden against Marcus Brimmage
Conor McGregor was already seen as a potential UFC signee even before his huge knockout win over Ivan Buchinger on New Year's Eve, but the world was really opened up to 'The Notorious' as he became a two-weight world champion under the Cage Warriors banner,
With acclaim coming from all sides, the UFC's attention was obviously zoned in on Irishman McGregor, and mmanytt.se have now revealed he is set to debut for the promotion at their Stockholm event in April.
SBG Ireland's McGregor (12-2) will take on Marcus Brimage in a featherweight clash at UFC Stockholm 2013.
Rich Franklin Talks: Loss Lit A Fire Under Him, Looking For Summer Return
Rich Franklin is highly regarded in the MMA community. He has held the UFC Middleweight Championship, put out fight of the night performances, knocked out Chuck Liddell with a broken arm, and the list goes on. He is respected by hardcore fans and casual fans alike.
After a knockout loss to Cung Le at the UFC on Fuel TV 6 event Rich has decided to take some time off.
“I haven’t decided how long of a break I am going to take”, Franklin said. “I hate training in the winter, so I figure summer sometime”.
Rich is one of those fighters who appears to use a loss to motivate himself. After his loss to Lyoto Machida Franklin went on an 8 fight win streak. Unsure of what’s next in the Octagon he did give his thoughts on the effect of a loss.
“It varies from fight to fight. I think a loss always lights a fire in me”, Rich stated. “I seem to do well after my losses”
In the meantime, Franklin has other things to keep him busy.
Josh Barnett Turns Down UFC Offer
Josh Barnett may not be coming back to the UFC after all.
According to Barnett's manager Leland LaBarre, Barnett has officially declined the promotion's latest contract offer.
"We agreed on guaranteed compensation," LaBarre said. "In fact, we never even countered. We accepted their original offer.
"However, there are some outlying issues -- one in particular -- that as of this point we were unable to agree on."
UFC reveals Vitor Belfort used testosterone replacement therapy for UFC on FX 7
UFC officials today answered the question Vitor Belfort refused to address: Yes, "The Phenom" did use testosterone replacement therapy in advance of his UFC on FX 7 win over Michael Bisping.
UFC officials today revealed Belfort was granted a therapeutic-use exemption for testosterone replacement therapy prior to the bout and that his post-fight drug screen "did not indicate the presence of any prohibited substance for increasing performance improvement."
Belfort and Bisping headlined the Jan. 19 event, which took place at Sao Paulo's Ibirapuera Gymnasium. The Brazilian scored a second-round TKO over the Brit and then proceeded to call for a rematch with current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
All 22 fighters who competed on the card were tested for performance-enhancing drugs and drugs of abuse, and the UFC this past week confirmed one test result in an "irregular" finding, which led to speculation that Belfort – who in 2006 was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after testing positive for the anabolic steroid 4-Hydroxytestosterone – was the culprit.
Etim: Renee Forte gets punished at Wembley Arena
Terry Etim has warned Renee Forte that February 16 is going to be a very bad night for him when the pair meet at UFC London.
Etim will return to action in front of his home crowd at Wembley Arena fuelled by frustration after spending a year on the sidelines due to injury.
His opponent Forte enters the bout potentially fighting for his UFC career following an opening loss to Sergio Moraes. Etim admits he has limited information on the Brazilian, but that will not matter come February 16.
"I've only seen a couple of his fights so it's hard to make too much of him, but come fight night, he's going to be in deep water - he's definitely in for a long night," Etim told ESPN.
White tells Edgar: Don't go back to 155lbs
UFC president Dana White has urged Frankie Edgar to give up on any hopes he has of regaining the lightweight title after his latest defeat at featherweight at UFC 156.
Edgar claimed a unanimous decision over BJ Penn in 2010 to take his lightweight championship belt before losing it to Ben Henderson two years later at UFC 144. Henderson defeated Edgar once more at UFC 150, prompting 'The Answer' to step down to featherweight division.
But after his points defeat to reigning featherweight champion Jose Aldo in Las Vegas, White insisted Edgar would not be stepping back up to the 155lb flyweight division.
UFC 156 prelims score all-time best ratings for FX with almost 1.9 viewers
Dave Meltzer at MMA Fighting is reporting some more good news for the UFC:
Saturday's UFC 156 prelims drew 1,897,000 viewers, topping the previous UFC on FX record of 1,860,000 viewers set two weeks earlier for the Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping card from Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The number was a huge increase from the prelims on FX on Jan. 26 before the FOX network special from Chicago's United Center which did 1,208,000 viewers.
The largest previous audience on FX for prelims before a big show came on July 7 when the UFC 148 prelims did 1.8 million viewers. But that was to be expected, since there was more interest in UFC on that day with the Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen middleweight title rematch than any day over the past two years.