Injured McKenzie out at UFC on FOX 2; Roller steps in to face Johnson
Lightweight Cody McKenzie (12-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has been forced off the preliminary card of UFC on FOX 2 with an undisclosed injury.
Stepping in for the guillotine specialist is Shane Roller (10-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC), who meets Michael Johnson (9-6 MMA, 1-2 UFC) at the FOX-televised event, which takes place Jan. 28 at United Center in Chicago.
James Head vs Papy Abedi Slated for UFC's Debut in Sweden
Papy Abedi is scheduled to meet James Head in a welterweight bout at the UFC's debut in Sweden on April 14, MMAFighting.com has confirmed with sources close to the fight.
Abedi's involvement on the card is an obvious one, considering he currently fights out of Stockholm, Sweden. Abedi grew up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, France and Belgium before moving to Sweden in 1997. The 33-year-old lost his Octagon debut to Thiago Alves via first-round rear-naked choke at UFC 138 in November. The loss marked Abedi's first in nine professional MMA bouts (8-1).
The fight will mark Head's first at 170 pounds since signing with the UFC last year. The 7-2 Head dropped his Octagon debut to Nick Ring at UFC 131. He was supposed to fight John Maguire at UFC 138 but an injury forced him to pull out of the bout.
Europe, James Head, Sweden, James Head, UFC, James Head, April... I know one playgrounder who is gunna change his birthday plans! YEEESSSSSS!!!!
Ludwig Elated That UFC Acknowledges Fastest KO Record
On Jan. 16, 2006, Duane Ludwig knocked out Jonathan Goulet very quickly. Just how quickly, though, is a matter of debate.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission recorded the finish for the UFC Fight Night 3 bout at 11 seconds. Pretty much everyone else could agree the fight was over sooner, but the NSAC’s time has long been accepted as official. For that reason, Ludwig’s lightning-quick knockout has been kept out of the record books.
On Dec. 24, though, UFC President Dana White announced on Twitter that Ludwig’s KO was the fastest in UFC history. White then followed up with a video blog that showed footage to prove it.
“It was very cool,” Ludwig told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “Definitely a little bit unexpected. It’s been about five years. It’s definitely cool to have it credited to me finally.”
Of course, at this point the NSAC is not going to change its record books. Ludwig prefers the UFC’s version of history anyway.
UFC 142's Mendes more than ready for champ Aldo, no matter what Maynard says
Two-time lightweight title challenger Gray Maynard thinks featherweight Chad Mendes isn't ready for a title shot.
Mendes, who's four years into pro MMA with 11 fights to his name, strongly disagrees.
"Maynard saying that he doesn't think that I'm ready for a title shot – I don't know why Maynard's saying anything about anyone," Mendes (11-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) said today during a media call in support of UFC 142, which he headlines opposite featherweight champ Jose Aldo (20-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC).
UFC 142's Anthony Johnson done for now with welterweight division
After years of cutting in excess of 30 pounds – and sometimes as much as 50 – to fight in the welterweight division, Anthony Johnson likes the idea of fighting at middleweight.
So much so, in fact, that he's "so far" done with his former weight class.
"This is easy," he said. "This is going to be a lot of fun for me."
Johnson (10-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) is now 215 pounds in advance of his debut at middleweight, which comes Jan. 14 at UFC 142 against former champ Vitor Belfort (20-9 MMA, 9-4 UFC). Johnson vs. Belfort is part of the main card of the pay-per-view event. Preliminary-card bouts air live on FX.
"Everything has come to where it needs to be right now," Johnson said. "I'm peaking at the right time."
Previously, Johnson struggled just to make weight in the 170-pound divisions. On two occasions the 27-year-old failed to get down to 171 pounds, which is the minimum weight required for non-title welterweight bouts. At UFC 104, he was so weak he was carried to and from the weigh-ins, and he was fined 20 percent of his purse for the miss.
UFC on Fuel TV 2 confirmed for April 14 in Stockholm, Sweden
As expected the UFC will makes its debut in Sweden on April 14.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) recently passed along news of the debut, and UFC officials today confirmed that UFC on FUEL TV 2 will take place April 14 at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.
No fights have been officially announced for the FUEL TV-televised show.
However, welterweights DaMarques Johnson (15-9 MMA, 4-3 UFC) and John Maguire (17-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) are expected to clash during the landmark show, as previously reported.
Additionally, top Swedish fighter Alexander Gustafsson recently told MMAjunkie.com he hopes his UFC 141 victory will earn him a spot on the UFC on FUEL TV 2 card.
UFC targeting summer for Junior Dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem title fight
The UFC's first heavyweight title fight of 2012 is likely to take place mid-year.
While on Tuesday's debut episode of "UFC Today" on FUEL TV, UFC president Dana White said he's tentatively scheduling a bout between heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos (14-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) and recent UFC 141 winner Alistair Overeem (36-11 MMA, 1-0 UFC) for the summer.
However, no specific date has been determined.
"Hopefully this summer," White said when asked about the heavyweight tilt. "This summer is probably when it's going to go down.
"Alistair wants to take some time off. Dos Santos is ready but needs to get some training in. So hopefully, this summer."
Anthony Perosh vs. Nick Penner slated for UFC on FX 2 in Sydney
A light-heavyweight bout between Anthony Perosh (12-6 MMA, 2-3 UFC) and promotional newcomer Nick Penner (11-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has been added to March's UFC on FX 2 event.
UFC officials announced the fight overnight.
UFC on FX 2, which marks the UFC's return to Australia, takes place March 3 at Allphones Arena in Sydney.
Lyoto Machida Undergoes Successful Surgery, Calls Out Chael Sonnen
Lyoto Machida recently had successful left elbow surgery, and moments after the procedure, he took to Twitter to lay down a challenge to the loquacious Chael Sonnen.
"Chael Sonnen, I just had surgery but I can still give you your present in the octagon with just one arm. All you have to do is accept," he wrote.
Of course, Sonnen dismissed Machida's challenge in classic "Chael P. Sonnen" style.
"I don't have time for 'pee pee' mouth," he tweeted. "All the time I can spare him is enough to cold cock him and walk away."
Amir Sadollah out, Matt Riddle in against Jorge Lopez at UFC 143
After dropping off the recent UFC 141 fight card on the day of the event due to an illness, Matt Riddle is quickly returning to action.
UFC officials today announced Riddle (5-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) has replaced injured Amir Sadollah (5-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) and now meets Wanderlei Silva protege Jorge Lopez (11-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at next month's UFC 143 event.
UFC officials today announced the change.
UFC 143 takes place Feb. 4 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The event's main card airs live on pay-per-view. Preliminary-card bouts, including Riddle vs. Lopez, are expected to air on FUEL TV.
Ken Stone out of UFC on FX 1 main-card bout due to injury
Just days after he was announced as part of this month's UFC on FX 1 event, Ken Stone has been forced off the card with an undisclosed injury.
UFC officials today announced a search is underway for a replacement for Stone (10-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC), who was slated to fight bantamweight Mike Easton (11-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC).
It was the final fight added to the night's FX-televised main card.
UFC on FX 1 takes place Jan. 20 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. In addition to the main card, prelims are expected to air on FUEL TV.
Matt Wiman vs. Mark Bocek added to UFC 145 in Montreal
The dance card is rapidly filling for the UFC's first Canadian jaunt this year.
The promotion today announced that lightweights Matt Wiman (14-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC) and Mark Bocek (10-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) have agreed to square off at UFC 145, which takes place March 24 at Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec.
It's not yet known whether Wiman vs. Bocek is set for the pay-per-view main-card or the preliminary card, which is expected to air on FX.
Mark Hominick vs. Eddie Yagin on tap for UFC 145 in Montreal
Hopefully, the third time is a charm for Canadian fighter Mark Hominick.
The onetime featherweight title challenger is set to meet Eddie Yagin at UFC 145, which takes place March 24 at Bell Centre in Montreal.
UFC officials today confirmed the bout. It's not yet known whether Hominick vs. Yagin will be part of the event's pay-per-view main-card or the preliminary lineup, which is expected to air on FX.
UFC making inroads in China one fighter at a time
Zhang Tiequan returned to Beijing after making his UFC debut in Australia last year and was in for a shock when he sat down at his computer.
Weibo is a social networking site in China, similar to Twitter. When Zhang logged into his account after returning home, he had 100,000 friend requests awaiting him.
In a country of 1.3 billion people, 100,000 might not seem like a significant number. But Zhang, who is working with the UFC in an effort to develop mixed martial arts in his country, expects that one day MMA will surpass basketball as the most popular sport in China.
And that’s also why the UFC is making such a concerted effort to develop Chinese talent. Zhang, along with Yao Honggang, Li Jinliang Li, A Mu Ri Ji Ri Ga La and Cui Liucai, are in Las Vegas for the month, training with some of the city’s top fighters and trainers.
The plan, according to UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, is to properly train the Chinese fighters so they can train others in an attempt to tap into the country’s love of martial arts...
Jimy Hettes represents the next, great generation
I have seen a lot of fighters really early in their career.
I judged Tim Sylvia's first fight. At first he thought his opponent was me. I was glad I wasn't - the opponent ended up in the ambulance with foam coming out of his mouth, and that was with palm strikes only.
I trained with Mike Brown before he ever fought. We touched hands standing, he heel hooked me.
I saw Jon Jones fifth fight. Actually, I missed it, as I looked down, more less.
When you see the ones who are going to be great, you know. I got that feeling Saturday night, but it wasn't an obscure fight in some obscure arena in some obscure place, it was on the main card of UFC 141 in Las Vegas, when Jimy Hettes dominated Nam Phan for three rounds, including two 10-8 rounds on two judges score cards.
I think the undefeated Jimy Hettes is going to great.
Tito: I will be fighting my last fight July 4 weekend
The career of Tito Ortiz spans 15 years. At his peak he was the UFC lightheavyweight champion, the sport's biggest PPV draw, and more. He proved that mixed martial arts could be viable, at a point where its future was in doubt. In now small way, he carried MMA.
As the caliber of the athlete has markedly improved, as exemplified by current lightheavyweight champion Jon Jones, Tito's skill have fallen just, barely, short. He has gone 1-5 his last six fights, although many of them were highly competitive.
After losing to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the first round at UFC 140 in Dec. 10, many fans thought that was the end.
It's not. Tito wants one more fight, n July 4th, against Forrest Griffin or Chuck Liddell. As Liddell is firmly retired, that would leave a rubber match with fellow ex lightheavyweight champion Forrest Griffin as the most likely scenario.
MELTZER: "The illness devastated Brock Lesnar."
SBNation's MMA commander Luke Thomas interviews Dave Meltzer, the world's foremost authority on the intersection of MMA and prowrestling, about Brock Lesnar's rise and fall and rise and fall and rise and apparently final fall.
Luke Thomas: Were you surprised by Brock Lesnar's retirement?
Dave Meltzer: Well, since I heard rumors all week ... no, I wasn't surprised. The way he lost, when that fight was over, I expected him to retire at that moment. When he grabbed the mic and started talking, I go, "He's gonna retire."
Lesnar has made a lot of money and this time he saved his money. He doesn't live high and he's got a life that he wants to lead and he's got the money to lead it for the rest of his life and I always thought that Lesnar wasn't gonna stick around and be a Chuck Liddell or a Wanderlei Silva or a Mirko Cro Cop or all these guys who keep fighting because they're fighters and they just convinced themselves that they can still get it. They say, "Physically, I'm diminished, but I'm a smarter fighter." I think a lot of older fighters think that. You are smarter but it cannot overcome your physical diminishment as you get older. Very, very few can do that.
UFC's Thiago Silva serves term of one-year NSAC license revocation
Thiago Silva's career is back online – at least in theory.
The UFC light heavyweight on Sunday served the final day of his license revocation from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Silva's name is no longer present on a commission registry that tracks fighters with administrative actions against them, and he is now free to reapply in Nevada or elsewhere.
However, Silva (14-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) is required to appear before the commission should he reapply in Nevada, NSAC executive director Keith Kizer today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Dennis Siver Targeting Move to Featherweight
Former lightweight contender Dennis Siver is planning a move to featherweight in 2012, sources close to the fighter confirmed with MMAFighting.com. No word just yet on when the 19-8 German fighter will make his debut in the 145-pound weight class.