After latest injury, UFC on FUEL TV 2's Alessio Sakara considered retirement
After a series of grueling bouts and countless injuries that left his body a broken mess, Alessio Sakara considered calling it quits.
An ACL surgery this past July was nearly the final nail in the Italian fighter's MMA coffin.
But Sakara, who now meets fellow middleweight contender Brian Stann at Saturday's UFC on FUEL TV 2 event, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) encouragement from friends and family made him realize he couldn't give up on his dream.
So Sakara (15-8 MMA, 6-5 UFC) and Stann (11-4 MMA, 5-3 UFC) now clash at Stockholm's Ericsson Globe Arena. Their bout is part of Saturday's FUEL TV-televised main card following prelims on Facebook.
Numbers Never Lie: UFC 145 Jones vs. Evans
Jones comes from a strong Greco-Roman wrestling background and his skills have translated very well to MMA. His takedown accuracy of 63.6% is the very best in light heavyweight history. He’s already scored 21 takedowns, 4th most in division history, and his 3.32 takedowns per 15 minutes average is the 4th highest in division. Aside from winning takedown battles, Jones shows great control on the ground, spending only 12 seconds in the UFC on his back.
100% Takedown Defense
Jones has never been taken down, an impressive feat considering he’s fought high level wrestlers like Quinton Jackson, Ryan Bader, and Jake O’Brien. In the case of O’Brien, who holds the UFC record with 6.44 takedowns landed per 15 minutes, Jones defended all four attempts by O’Brien. Jones’ takedown defense should be one of his biggest weapons when he faces the takedown-hungry Rashad Evans.
Outlands Opponents by 2.4 Strikes per Minute
Jones is known for the unorthodox striking techniques that he displays in the Octagon, but what may surprise most is that he’s actually quite efficient in this area. Jones’ strike differential is 2.40, the fourth best total in UFC history. This means that Jones lands 2.4 more strikes every minute than he absorbs...
Gilbert Melendez wanted a big UFC name next, but doesn’t see the same eagerness from them
One of the best Lightweight fighters in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) today, Gilbert Melendez, has long desired to get his chance to enter the world-famous Octagon and test his skills against the best of the best in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) ranks to prove that he is deserving of being called the best 155-pound fighter in the world.
Rumors ran rampant last year that "El Nino" was set to take his talents to the eight-walled cage, but were quickly shot down as he was matched up with Jorge Masvidal at Strikeforce: "Melendez vs. Masvidal" on Dec. 17, 2011.
Gilbert's training partners, Jake Shields and Nick Diaz, made the jump from Strikeforce to the UFC in 2010 and 2011, respectively, but he was left to hold the fort down with the San Jose based promotion as its poster boy Lightweight champion. Though a move over the world's largest MMA promotion to join his Cesar Gracie trained companions isn't in his near future, he would settle for Zuffa to send down some of the best Lightweights currently in the UFC to challenge him for his Strikforce throne.
Those pleas, unfortunately, have fallen on deaf ears and everyone, for the time being, is staying put with their respective organizations.
George Roop vs. Antonio Carvalho in the works for UFC 149 in Calgary
A featherweight bout between George Roop (12-9-1 MMA, 2-5) and Antonio "Pato" Carvalho (13-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) is in the works for UFC 149.
A source close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) verbal agreements are in place for the fight. "Showdown" Joe Ferraro initially reported the matchup.
UFC 149 takes place July 21 at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo headlines against an opponent to be announced.
Thiago Alves vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama Targeted for July UFC Even
Yoshihiro Akiyama still has a job in the UFC, and now has his next opponent set, as well.
Despite losing four straight in the octagon, Akiyama's spirited performances have ensured him at least one more go, and it will come against Thiago Alves at a July event -- most likely UFC 149 -- according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
The two have both agreed to the matchup, sources told MMA Fighting.
Mark Hunt Rallies 'Army of Doom' in Quest for UFC 146 Title Shot
The UFC has always prided itself on keeping its ear to the pulse of the fans. In the coming weeks, we're about to see just how far that dedication goes.
Following the announcement of Alistair Overeem's failed drug test, a new surprise candidate for UFC 146's title shot has emerged. Led by a burgeoning #RallyForMarkHunt crusade that shows no sign of slowing, former K-1 champion Mark Hunt and his ‘Army of Doom' have besieged the MMA community, bombing the social networks of Dana White, Lorenzo Feritta, and anyone else with a say in the UFC's decision making process, in the hopes of awarding "Super Samoan" a shot at the UFC heavyweight strap.
Twitter Beef of the Day: Chael Sonnen Serves Mayhem Miller a Nice Glass of STFU
There is no truly no place on the Internet more hate stricken than that of the Twittersphere, other than Sputnikmusic or well…here, of course. I’ll be honest, I’ve had a Twitter account for a few months now and I’m still not truly sure as to what its purpose on this world is. Do I care if Kourtney Kardashian is currently releasing the contents of her latest trip to Moe’s in the second floor bathroom of a Versace outlet? Not really, but apparently there are nearly six million people on this planet that need to be made aware of this disturbing fact, right down to how many pieces of corn managed to find their way into the bowl. But I digress.
Perhaps the most ironic aspect of Twitter, at least in my mind, is its ability to make celebrities willingly trade away the last bit of privacy they so desperately ask for when bombarded by the media. In less than 150 characters, these public figures can run their names into the ground, yet even the UFC encourages it, handing out monetary awards for “creativity” and “growth percentage” for this “social” media network. Where, in times past, people wrote down their thoughts in journals, diaries, or simply let a thought go, nowadays everyone from Miguel Torres to King Mo have significantly screwed themselves by using this device as a platform to express their innermost feelings for the world to see, somehow unaware that it would bite them in the ass almost immediately. Such is the case for Jason “Mayhem” Miller.
Always the funnyman, Miller took to his Twitter yesterday and jotted down quite a zinger in light of Chael Sonnen’s recent Twitter remarks concerning Alistair Overeem:
Greg Jackson Explains Decision To Corner Jon Jones At UFC 145
Jon Jones had hoped to have his coach Greg Jackson alongside him for his UFC 145 Light Heavyweight Title defense against Rashad Evans but the fact Evans was a former student of Jackson's made things awkward for the sought after coach from New Mexico.
After time, Jackson decided to corner Jones in a few weeks when the title in on the line and explained his decision to MMAFighting.com> this week:
Former Tachi Palace champ Ulysses Gomez committed to flyweight, seeking UFC bid
Flyweight Ulysses Gomez (9-2) is certain of two things in his career: He wants to be in the UFC, and he's not a bantamweight, no matter how much it might hurt to admit.
The UFC aspirations he's known for sometime, the return to 125 pounds is a more recent decision.
"As much as I hate to admit it, I'm not big enough for 135," Gomez recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "I learned that in my last fight when I fought Cody Gibson. He was a little bit taller at the weigh-in. Then when he walked in the cage, I was like, 'Man, this guy rehydrated pretty good.'"
Fortunately for Gomez, who recently vacated the Tachi Palace Fights bantamweight belt in order to make a permanent return to 125 pounds, the UFC recently added a flyweight division. It was bittersweet for Gomez, who saw fellow TPF champ Ian McCall earn entry into the promotion's four-man 125-pound tourney.
It's the final fight on Gomez's Tachi Palace Fights contract, and he's hoping the bout can serve as an informal UFC tryout. The UFC dream is front and center, and Gomez believes now is his time to make a run to the bright lights.
"The UFC has been in the corner of my head for how many years?" Gomez asked. "I've been pumped up since like 2010, when the WEC was supposed to have the 125-pound division. I've been pumped up for a while.
"I'm supposed to fight May 10 – Tachi Palace one more time. This is my last one on my contract, and hopefully bigger and better things after that."
Caught in the Middle: How Teammates Have Dealt with Jones vs. Evans
What started as a rift between teammates has spawned into one of the biggest fights in UFC history, as Jon Jones gets ready to defend his light heavyweight title against Rashad Evans on April 21 in Atlanta.
Before they were ever set to face off at UFC 145, Evans and Jones were both students of famed coach and MMA guru Greg Jackson at his camp in Albuquerque, N.M.
The two light heavyweights trained alongside each other, and at one time promised to never let the fight game interfere with their friendship or team. It’s funny how a title can change all that, and now the one-time friends have become bitter rivals.
How would Josh Barnett fare in the UFC?
Alistair Overeem hasn't spoken publicly since news broke Wednesday that he tested positive for an increased testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio. He probably doesn't have to for Josh Barnett to understand what the 31-year-old Dutch heavyweight is feeling right now.
Barnett, of course, paid a heavy price when he failed a prefight drug test in California almost three years ago. Lost was a huge payday against Fedor Emelianenko, then ranked No. 1 in the division and widely considered among the best competitors in mixed martial arts. The loss of the fight was also the impetus for Affliction Entertainment going under, a situation that rattled the business, fostered the growth and subsequent decline of Strikeforce, and eventually led to Zuffa's move to consolidate the industry.
It's unclear what penalties Overeem will suffer, but similar to Barnett (32-5) he could easily surrender a huge payday as well as the most important fight of his career -- a UFC title tilt against Junior dos Santos. Hey, at least he doesn't have to worry about bringing down a promotion, though he might not be around to partake in UFC's continuing prosperity.
Still, with dark clouds currently hanging over his head, Overeem should take solace in the notion of Barnett's return the UFC for the first time in a decade -- the message being: No matter how badly someone messes up, Zuffa is prone to forgive under the right circumstances.
Barnett's new lease on a UFC life is incumbent on defeating Daniel Cormier on May 19 to cap off the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix tournament. If that happens, UFC president Dana White has suggested that the 34-year-old American could enter the Octagon for the first time since stopping Randy Couture in 2002 to claim the promotional title.
How would he fare against the men ranked above him (which for the time being continues to include Overeem)?
Munoz: TRT is cheating
"It's cheating. I think it's cheating. I think anything that's synthetic that you put in your body is cheating. Get it from food, get it from training. That stuff jacks you up when you're done. For me, I'm a family man, I have kids, I have a wife and I want to be there for them at the end. I think when you take PEDs or anything like that, it cuts your life short. When it becomes like that, it's almost hedonistic. It's not a sport anymore. It becomes more than a sport and it shouldn't be like that.
Silva Says He Has Waited His Whole Career To Rematch Belfort
Wanderlei Silva has had an itch to get back in the cage with Vitor Belfort ever since Belfort embarrassed him at UFC: Brazil way back in 1998. Belfort needed only 44 seconds before he blasted his fellow countryman with a barrage of shots that still plays on UFC highlight reels today.
The two are opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil and will meet some time down the road in a rematch that Silva has waited 14 long years for. He discussed it this week with The MMA Hour:
UFC inks Nova Uniao Featherweight Hacran Dias to a 3-fight deal.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has procured the services of another 145-pound member of Andre Pederneiras’ Rio de Janeiro-based team Nova Uniao.
Hacran Dias, the 27-year-old cousin of Bellator competitor Marlon Sandro and main sparring partner of UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo, signed a three-fight contract with the UFC on Saturday before the cameras of Brazil’s Sensei SporTV.
Alistair Overeem NSAC hearing set for April 24, UFC 146 main event decision comes after
Earlier today, it was reported that UFC President Dana White has already decided to keep the Frank Mir vs. Cain Velasquez fight intact as a main card showcase at UFC 146 on May 26 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
That seemed like an interesting decision considering the circumstances.
Those circumstances include Alistair Overeem having failed a surprise drug test at a press conference and throwing his main event match-up against Junior dos Santos into doubt. The situation is murky in the sense that Overeem can't be suspended because he hasn't actually been licensed for the heavyweight title fight over the Memorial Day weekend.
UFC on FX 3 adds Brenneman-Silva, Magalhaes-Roberts, Magalhaes-Martinez, Means-Salas
The fight card is official for the recently announced "UFC on FX 3: Johnson vs. McCall" event.
As officials announced earlier this week, UFC on FX 3 takes place June 8 at BankAtlantic Center near Fort Lauderdale in Sunrise, Fla.
Previously reported and now-confirmed bouts include welterweights Charlie Brenneman (15-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) vs. Erick Silva (13-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC), middleweights Buddy Roberts (11-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Caio Magalhaes (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), and lightweights Bernardo Magalhaes (11-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) vs. Henry Martinez (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC).
Additionally, the card got a new addition with lightweights Tim Means (17-3-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Justin Salas (10-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who both made promotional debuts at UFC on FUEL TV 1, where they picked up decision victories over Bernardo Magalhaes and Anton Kuivanen, respectively.
UFC on FX 3's main card airs on FX, and FUEL TV is expected to carry the prelims. The event, which is the latest in the UFC's Harley-Davidson Hometown Throwdown promotion, allows fans to vote for the final main-card bout.
Bantamweight’s John Albert And Byron Bloodworth Set For TUF 15 Finale
A bantamweight bout for the TUF 15 Finale is set featuring TUF 14 fighter John ‘Prince’ Albert (7-2) and promotion sophomore Byron Bloodworth (6-2).
The TUF 15 Finale is expected to take place on June 1, 2012 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada and will be headlined by a five-round non-title bout between Martin Kampmann and Jake Ellenberger.
UFC Sophomore’s Max Holloway And Pat Schilling To Square Off At TUF 15 Finale
Featherweight’s Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway (4-1) and Pat ‘Thrilling’ Schilling (5-1) will both step into the Octagon for a second time when the two fighters square off at the TUF 15 Finale this June.
Officials with the UFC announced the matchup Friday night at UFC.com.
The TUF 15 Finale is expected to take place on June 1, 2012 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. Welterweights Martin Kampmann and Jake Ellenberger are set to headline in a five-round non-title match..
UFC 146 latest: 'Hendo' interested in Dos Santos title fight, Mir-Velasquez 'will happen'
A few days after Alistair Overeem failed a drug test and likely cost himself a title shot, UFC officials have announced no replacement for his UFC 146 bout with heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos.
However, there have been some interesting developments.
Veteran middleweight and light heavyweight Dan Henderson has expressed his interest in the bout, and UFC president Dana White seemingly has ruled out the possibility of Frank Mir stepping in.
UFC 146, of course, takes place May 26, and the pay-per-view main card airs from Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena. Overeem (36-11 MMA, 1-0 UFC) was expected to take on Dos Santos (14-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) in the championship headliner, but the former Strikeforce and DREAM champ recently failed a surprise drug test (his T/E ratio was 14:1, well over the 6:1 cutoff), and the Nevada State Athletic Commission is now unlikely to license him for the fight.
In recent days, fans have launched campaigns to push for everyone from Mark Hunt (8-7 MMA, 3-1 UFC) to Fedor Emelianenko (33-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) to Fabricio Werdum (15-5-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) to be the replacement. However, many considered Mir (16-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC), who's currently slated to fight ex-champ Cain Velasquez (9-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) on the UFC 146 main card, the leading candidate.
But UFC president Dana White seemed to discount that possibility in a recent tweet when responding to a fan.
"Mir vs. Cain will happen," he tweeted early this morning, suggesting he won't break up that matchup.
Charles Oliveira Vs. Jonathan Brookins Booked For TUF: Live Finale
Two of the UFC's most promising young featherweights have agreed to face off at the June 1st finale event for the 15th season of The Ultimate Fighter, with UFC.com announcing the addition of Charles Oliveira vs. Jonathan Brookins to the card, earlier this evening
TUF 12 champ Jonathan Brookins will take on submission specialist Charles Oliveira. Brookins looked as good as ever in his last outing, as he knocked out his opponent in the first round. And in Olivera's recent featherweight debut, he took only a few seconds longer to dispatch his opponent to earn a stunning submission win via the rarely-seen calf-crusher.