Next step in UFC expansion: Market-specific live events
When Rony Mariano Bezerra came to the cage on Oct. 13 at the show in Rio de Janeiro for one of the Fuel prelims to face Ameican Sam Sicilia, the crowd of 16,844 at the HSBC Arena erupted like the main event with Anderson Silva was about to happen.
For most Americans watching, it suddenly felt like we were in another dimension. Rony Jason, as he was called because he usually enters the ring wearing a Jason mask from the 'Friday the 13th' movie series, would barely be known in the United States. He had appeared on a pay-per-view once before from Brazil. And a few fans may have seen him as one of the stars of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter in Brazil.
But Brazil is a different world, and about 12 million people weekly were watching the show. To them, Rony Jason, who won that night - and fighters like Erick Silva, who wasn't even on the show but has had explosive first-round finishes on major UFC events - were like Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture and Forrest Griffin in the United States going back seven years. Perhaps even multiplied due to greater exposure.
Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson Turned Down 'TUF 17' Coaching Spot Opposite Sonnen
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson could have been the next coach of "The Ultimate Fighter."
According to both Jackson and UFC president Dana White, the organization offered "Rampage" an opportunity to be a coach opposite Chael Sonnen on TUF 17 before asking Jon Jones. Interestingly enough though, Jackson turned down the opportunity.
"Forget TUF," Jackson told MMAFighting.com on Thursday. "I'm not interested in that."
"I don't want to fight Chael. He's the kind of fighter that I don't want to fight. He's a boring fighter that just wants to hump people."
Antonio Silva: Even if he was 'created in a lab,' I want to fight Alistair Overeem
While it appears former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem could be in line for a UFC title shot, it doesn't seem the "Demolition Man" is necessarily willing to wait for such a fight.
So if Overeem is intent in returning as soon as his suspension ends in late December, he's got a willing opponent: Antonio Silva.
"Bigfoot," who is coming off a recent win over Travis Browne, said he's more than happy to take on the massive Overeem, even if he was "created in a lab."
Mixed Martial Arts - Rousey to spearhead UFC female league
The burgeoning superstar remains under contract to Strikeforce, but Rousey's performance in 2012 has convinced UFC president Dana White to add a women's division to the sport's flagship brand.
Rousey still has three fights on her Strikeforce contract, White told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday, and will fulfil that deal before she moves to the UFC. Sports Illustrated first reported Tuesday that the UFC would add women.
Kyle Noke out at UFC on FX 6, Seth Baczynski awaits new foe
Injury has forced Aussie favorite Kyle Noke out of a planned UFC on FX 6 matchup with Seth Baczynski.
UFC officials today announced the withdrawal, and "The Polish Pistola" now awaits a new opponent.
UFC on FX 6 takes place Saturday, Dec. 15, at Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Broadbeach, Gold Coast, Australia. The event's main card airs live on FX (on Friday, Dec. 14, in the U.S. due to the time difference) following prelims on FUEL TV.
Sean Sherk discusses his health, UFC return, Ben Henderson vs. Nate Diaz, and much more
It's been over two years since former UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk has stepped inside the Octagon, but "The Muscle Shark" hasn't gone anywhere. Sherk's battled a series of nagging injuries during that time, but he's continued training, hosted seminars, and has gotten himself into the equipment business with his Elevation Training Mask (available at TrainingMask.com).
All the while, he's continued planning his return to action, and isn't near ready to walk away from a sport he's been involved with for the last 13 years. I caught up with Sherk last weekend in Maplewood, Minn., where he was a guest for an event from local Minnesota promotion Cage Fighting Xtreme, and he discussed a number of topics, including his health, returning to action, the UFC's lightweight division, the upcoming Championship bout between Ben Henderson and Nate Diaz, and more. Here's what Sherk had to say:
David Mitchell vs. Hyun Gyu Lim completes UFC on FUEL TV 6 lineup in Macau
A welterweight bout between David Mitchell (11-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) and Hyun Gyu Lim (10-3-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is the final addition to next month's UFC on FUEL TV 6 event in Macau.
Mitchell recently replaced injured Marcelo Guimaraes (8-0-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC).
With the addition of the event-opening bout, UFC on FUEL TV 6 now features 10 total fights, including a Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le middleweight headliner.
Report: Jose Aldo Vs. Frankie Edgar Targeted For UFC 156 In Brazil
On October 13, 2012, we saw one of the greatest fighters on the planet completely destroy Stephan Bonnar in the headline fight at UFC 153. Though that fight in itself was a nice little treat for fight fans, it was a result of a super fight falling through, a bout that was supposed to feature Jose Aldo defending his featherweight crown against Frankie Edgar.
Now, as reported by Brazilian website clicrbs, that matchup is being sought out yet again by the UFC, and it is likely for UFC 156 in Brazil.
Details on the event have yet to emerge, but it is expected to be a major Brazilian show in a high-profile city. The event is likely to occur in January of 2013. So far, Aldo vs. Edgar has been the only bout rumored for the card, but seeing how great recent Brazilian cards have been, I'd expect it to fill out quickly.
Luiz Cane released from UFC contract
Luiz Cane entered UFC 153 in a must-win position. After losing three of four at light heavyweight, the Brazilian striker decided to drop to the middleweight division and was matched up with Chris Camozzi. Unfortunately for him, he dropped a unanimous decision. And according to his manager Alex Davis (via Tatame), he has been released from his UFC contract as well. Davis also said that Cane has had to undergo two knee surgeries lately and that he will be back with some wins outside the organization.
Olympic gold medalist Jeff Blatnick dies
NISKAYUNA - NewsChannel13 has confirmed that Olympic gold medalist Jeff Blatnick from Niskayuna has died following complications from heart surgery.
Sad day for MMA this guy was one of the biggest proponents for MMA in the dark days.
Replacement Marcus LeVesseur meets Michael Chiesa at UFC on FOX 5
A broken hand has forced lightweight Rafaello Oliveira to withdraw from UFC on FOX 5, but he's been replaced.
Stepping in for the Brazilian is Marcus LeVesseur (22-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC), who is set to meet "The Ultimate Fighter 15" winner Michael Chiesa (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), sources close to the event told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The new matchup serves on the FUEL TV-televised prelims of the event, which takes place Dec. 8 at KeyArena in Seattle. Main-card fights air on FOX.
MMAjunkie.com passed along news of Oliveira's injury earlier today, though his replacement wasn't known at the time.
Earlier this month, LeVesseur won a hard-fought split decision over Carlo Prater at UFC on FX 5, which put him back on the right track after his octagon debut at UFC on FUEL TV 3 ended in a first-round submission loss to Cody McKenzie. Boasting an amateur wrestling record of 155-0, LeVesseur notably outpointed current Bellator welterweight champ Ben Askren on the mats at Augsburg College.
Josh Koscheck calls out Nick Diaz and Demian Maia for 2013 return to UFC
Josh Koscheck is coming back to UFC in 2013 and he's already got a handful of opponents in mind for his Octagon return, including Nick Diaz, Jake Ellenberger, Rory MacDonald and Demian Maia.
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight number one contender Josh Koscheck has been to the promised land once before. Sure, he came up short in his bid to dethrone Georges St. Pierre at UFC 124, but he's not getting any younger.
And he doesn't have time to dick around with the middle of the pack.
UFC targeting Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira for Super Bowl weekend
According to Brazil's SporTV, former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans will return to the Octagon on Super Bowl weekend and face off with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
While the UFC hasn't officially announced the bout, a source close to the fight confirmed to MMAFighting.com on Wednesday that the bout is under serious consideration for a planned Feb. 2 event in Las Vegas.
If the fight is finalized, it would mark Evans' first bout since losing a unanimous decision to champion Jon Jones on April 21. The loss snapped a four-fight win streak for the 33-year-old Evans (17-2-1).
Hand injury forces Rafaello Oliveira out of UFC on FOX 5, Michael Chiesa bout
"The Ultimate Fighter 15" winner Michael Chiesa (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will need a new opponent for his first post-"TUF" bout.
Lightweight opponent Rafaello Oliveira (15-5 MMA, 2-4 UFC) suffered a broken hand in training and has pulled out of their scheduled UFC on FOX 5 meeting.
Oliveira and Chiesa tweeted news of the injury, though UFC officials haven't formally removed it from the December card.
Fabio Maldonado camp: 'Toughest SOB on UFC roster' considering drop to middleweight
After enduring a brutal assault from top light heavyweight contender Glover Teixeira, Fabio Maldonado is at least considering a drop to 185 pounds.
Maldonado's manager, Alex Davis, said that his client hasn't yet made a commitment to middleweight, but he's certainly considering the option.
"Maldonado has been relying on his capability to withstand punishment, and it caught up with him," Davis told MMAjunkie.com. "Now I'm hearing he wants to drop to 185 pounds. I think it could be a good move."
Pat Barry vs. Shane Del Rosario targeted for December's TUF 16 Finale in Las Vegas
A battle between a pair of heavyweights has been added to the slate for the TUF 16 Finale.
Pat Barry and Shane Del Rosario are targeted for a meeting in December. Sources with knowledge of the fight booking on Tuesday confirmed the matchup to MMAjunkie.com.
The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale takes place Dec. 15 at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas with a main event between TUF 16 coaches Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson.
Cutting to 155 from 'a little too much,' UFC champ Henderson fights future move to 170
If Benson Henderson were in the throes of a weight cut, a night at a restaurant would be one of those experiences filed under "Reasons why it sucks to be an MMA fighter."
There's a little less than two months until his title fight with Nate Diaz, however, and Henderson has the freedom to be a little more liberal than usual with his diet.
He polishes off an entree, finishes a neglected appetizer and orders dessert during an interview at Elliott's Oyster House in Seattle.