Mauricio Rua targeted for tilt with Thiago Silva
It appears former light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua’s next bout will involve a fellow Brazilian, as UFC President Dana White went on Twitter today to start the rumor mill by saying Thiago Silva would serve as Rua’s opponent though stopped short of confirming the event. Both seasoned scrappers are coming off hard-fought decision defeats and should produce a memorable result given their generally aggressive approach to combat.
With the announcement that Jose Aldo’s title-defense against Erik Koch will indeed take place at UFC 149 a likely landing spot for Silva-Rua could be UFC 147 given the June 23 event’s attachment to Brazil and need for a solid bout alongside Wanderlei Silva-Vitor Belfort.
Hector Lombard vs. Brian Stann targeted for UFC on FOX 4 in Los Angeles
Brian Stann (12-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC) will serve as the UFC's welcoming committee for longtime Bellator champion and recent UFC signee Hector Lombard (31-2-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
UFC president Dana White today tweeted the Stann vs. Lombard matchup but didn't reveal a date for it. MMAjunkie.com later confirmed the targeted event.
UFC on FOX 4 takes place Aug. 4 at Los Angeles' Staples Center. In addition to the FOX-televised main card, FUEL TV is expected to carry the prelims.
Champ Jose Aldo vs. Erik Koch title fight headlines UFC 149 in Calgary
A featherweight title fight between champion Jose Aldo (21-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and challenger Erik Koch (13-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) will headline July's UFC 149 event in Calgary.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the plans with multiple sources, who said bout agreements will soon be finalized.
At a recent press conference, UFC president Dana White suggested Aldo could be moved from UFC 149 to UFC 147 in Brazil, but a source close to the fighter told MMAjunkie.com the champ wouldn't be ready in time for the earlier date.
Instead, Aldo remains on the Canadian card, which takes place July 21 at Calgary's Scotiabank Saddledome. The main card airs on pay-per-view, and FX and Facebook are expected to carry the prelims.
With UFC deal official, Hector Lombard calls out middleweight champ Anderson Silva
Well that didn't take long.
With the ink barely dry on his new UFC deal, former Bellator middleweight champ Hector Lombard (31-2-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) made his intentions perfectly clear.
"I want to be UFC middleweight champion, and I want to fight Anderson Silva to do it," Lombard stated. "I have such respect for him as a fighter. It would be an honor and a dream come true to test my skills against his."
UFC 150 official for Denver's Pepsi Center, adds Luiz Cane vs. Yushin Okami
As expected, the UFC returns to its birthplace on Aug. 11.
UFC officials today confirmed with "The Denver Post" that Denver's Pepsi Center will play host to UFC 150.
The report also confirmed the previously reported matchup of Dennis Hallman vs. Thiago Tavares while also revealing Luiz Cane (12-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) will drop to 185 pounds to meet Yushin Okami (26-7 MMA, 10-4 UFC) at the event.
A featured bout for the card was not revealed.
Eight-time UFC veteran Cane fights as the middleweight for the first time after mixed results in the company's light heavyweight division. After opening his octagon career at 3-1, he's since fallen to .500 in the UFC with three losses in his past four fights. Most recently, Cane was handed a disappointing first-round TKO result by Stanislav Nedkov.
Edgar vs. Henderson 2 Targeted for UFC 150
"Benson Henderson's first defense of the UFC lightweight belt is likely to take place in Denver.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed with sources close to the event that Henderson and former champ Frankie Edgar have verbally agreed to meet at UFC 150, which is expected to take place on Aug. 11.
Edgar (14-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC), of course, surrendered the belt to Henderson (16-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC) at this past February's UFC 144 event."
UFC 150 likely for Aug. 11, gets Dennis Hallman vs. Thiago Tavares
Dennis Hallman (51-14-2 MMA, 4-5 UFC) and Thiago Tavares (17-4-1 MMA, 7-4-1 UFC) have been added to a new UFC pay-per-view event.
The lightweights are set to meet at the yet-unannounced UFC 150, which is targeted for Aug. 11. Sherdog.com first reported the matchup, and Tavares confirmed it via Twitter.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) sources say Denver's Pepsi Center may host the fight card, but nothing has been finalized to date.
Hallman most recently appeared at UFC 140, where he quickly submitted hometown hero John Makdessi at the Canadian pay-per-view event. That eased the sting of a first-round TKO at the hands of Brian Ebersole at UFC 133. Still, the 36-year-old has in the midst of a career resurgence with an 8-2 mark over the past five-and-a-half years.
"Superman" was supposed to fight "The Ultimate Fighter 13" winner Tony Ferguson at next weekend's UFC on FOX 3 but was forced to withdraw due to injury. His replacement was Tavares, but then Tavares was forced to withdraw due to injury.
So the UFC has taken the injured and put them together.
Anthony Njokuani vs. Paul Taylor added to UFC on FUEL TV 4
A lightweight matchup featuring Anthony Njokuani (15-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC) and Paul Taylor (11-6-1 MMA, 4-5 UFC) is set for UFC on FUEL TV 4, sources close to the event today confirmed to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
As previously reported, UFC on FUEL TV 4 takes place July 11 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. Broadcast plans for the event haven't been announced, but main card action airs on FUEL TV.
Fighters Only first reported the bout, which was originally scheduled for UFC 138 before a car accident forced Taylor to withdraw.
Njokuani gets a quick turnaround after an impressive showing at this past weekend's UFC 145. The Las Vegas resident outstruck fellow standup specialist John Makdessi en route to a unanimous decision, which put him back on the right track after a split decision loss to Danny Castillo at UFC 141.
Report: UFC 147 To Be Held In A Stadium In Minas Gerais
According to a report from respected Brazilian MMA news outlet Tatame, the UFC has found a home for UFC 147 on June 23: Estadio Jornalista Felippe Drummond in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The UFC had originally hoped to book the fight in a Sao Paulo stadium but ran afoul of noise restrictions. Then they planned on Rio de Janeiro but a UN conference that same week threatened to take up too many hotel rooms in the city.
The UFC has already moved the putative headliner between Middleweight champ Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen to UFC 148 in Las Vegas on July 7th. The card is now expected to feature Featherweight champ Jose Aldo defending his title against Erik Koch as the headliner.
Ultimate Fighter Brazil coaches Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort will face off in the co-main event. The card will also feature heavyweights Fabricio Werdum vs. Mike Russow and the Ultimate Fighter Brazil finals in 2 divisions.
UFC sponsor Anheuser-Busch warns promotion to monitor fighter behavior
Blue-chip sponsor Anheuser-Busch has sent a message that it's keeping an eye on the behavior of UFC fighters outside the cage.
The multi-national brewer, which owns the Bud Light and Bud Light Lime brands prominently advertised in the UFC, reprimanded the fight promotion for a series of sexist and homophobic remarks made by fighters in public and over social media.
"If the incidents continue, we will act," Anheuser-Busch said in a statement prepared for Advertising Age...
former UFC fighter Ricardo Almeida will be a judge at next week’s UFC on FOX 3 show in East Rutherford, N.J.
The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board announced Thursday that former UFC fighter Ricardo Almeida will be a judge at next week’s UFC on FOX 3 show in East Rutherford, N.J.
Almeida, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt who fought out of the Garden State and had a UFC record of 6-5, will score the co-headliner bout between Johny Hendricks and Josh Koscheck, as well as a main card heavyweight clash between Pat Barry and Lavar Johnson, according to Sherdog.com.
On a pre-fight conference call Thursday, the two co-main event fighters gave their thoughts on the appointment of Almeida, a New York City native who runs a jiu-jitsu school in Hamilton, N.J.
UFC 145 winner Eddie Yagin: I'm like a wedding crasher – but not
Setup fights can build momentum for the favorite, or they can give an underdog a huge boost.
UFC featherweight Eddie Yagin said he's never been the guy that's supposed to win, so he's learned to relish his role as the spoiler.
"I'm like a wedding crasher – but not," Yagin told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
UFC on FUEL TV 2 drug tests come back clean
Every one of UFC on FUEL TV 2's 24 fighters underwent drug testing at March's UFC on FX 2 event tested clean for performance-enhancing drugs and recreational/drugs of abuse.
UFC vice president of government and regulatory affairs Marc Ratner confirmed the drug-testing results with MMAjunkie.com.
UFC on FUEL TV 2, which is the second of six main-card broadcasts planned for the FOX-owned cable station in 2012, took place April 14 at Stockholm's Ericsson Globe Arena.
UFC Reveals Security Steps Taken To Protect Chael Sonnen In Brazil
The UFC had to abandon plans to book UFC Middleweight champ Anderson Silva defending his title against Chael Sonnen in a Brazilian stadium due to logistical issues involving hotel room shortages due to a UN conference. That might not be such a bad thing, for the UFC security team that is since apparently just bringing Sonnen into the country for a press conference is a serious security challenge.
The wise-cracking Sonnen, who gave Silva the toughest fight of his UFC career at UFC 117, certainly knows how to piss off Brazilian fans. He's made a long series of semi-racist remarks about the alleged primitive state of the country, made endless jokes at the expense of the Nogueira brothers and other Brazilian stars and continues to push his luck at every opportunity.
Sonnen and Silva will now meet in the headliner of UFC 148 in Las Vegas. UFC 147 will remain in Brazil, although the promotion is still working to secure a venue. UFC Featherweight champ Jose Aldo vs. Erik Koch is expected to headline that event with a co-main of Ultimate Fighter Brazil coaches Vitor Belfort vs. Wanderlei Silva.
Report: Erik Koch Expected To Face Jose Aldo At UFC 147 Or UFC 149
There has been a bunch of confusion over what is actually going to happen at UFC 147 since Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen was moved off the card. Dana White said at the Brazil press conference that Jose Aldo would "probably" be moved onto the card to defend his UFC featherweight title, as opposed to UFC 149 where he was originally scheduled. But who would he fight? Hatsu Hioki was just booked against Ricardo Lamas. Dustin Poirier vs. Chan Sung Jung is only five weeks before UFC 147 (which is tentatively scheduled for June 23rd in Belo Horizonte, Brazil), so who's left? MMA Weekly has your answer:
Erik Koch looks like the "to be named opponent" for Aldo's next title defense, whenever the UFC decides on a date for the featherweight champion to get back in action.
Sources close to the two fighters confirmed that Koch is the likely candidate to get the shot at Aldo, although bout agreements have not been issued for the 145-pound title fight showdown.
Dana White: Tito Ortiz, BJ Penn Deserve to Be in UFC Hall of Fame
The UFC hasn’t set a time or date for its next set of inductions into the company’s Hall of Fame. But when they get around to it, said company president Dana White, two former champions will likely get a call.
During a lunch gathering at The Palm restaurant, White said two fighters coming close to the end of the line, former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz and multi-weight class champ B.J. Penn, belong in the Hall of Fame.
"Despite my personal problems with Tito, he belongs in," said White. "He was the champion when we first bought this thing. The fact that Tito is still here, Tito and I have had our moments, but it doesn’t change what he did for the company."
Penn is one of just two fighters to win titles in multiple weight classes. In 2004, the natural lightweight went up to welterweight and submitted Matt Hughes to claim the crown, ending Hughes’ 13-fight win streak. In 2008, he defeated Joe Stevenson for the vacant UFC lightweight title and held the belt for two years.
"Definitely," White said when asked if Penn belongs in the Hall. "The thing about B.J. Penn is that what he brought to the lightweight division, there was a point in time when we first bought this company when people thought guys in the lighter weight divisions couldn’t be stars and couldn’t see pay-per-views and couldn’t cross over. B.J. Penn was definitely that first crossover guy for us."
Hatsu Hioki vs. Ricardo Lamas added to UFC on FX 4 in New Jersey
UFC officials today confirmed Hioki will meet Ricardo Lamas (11-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) at UFC in FX 4, which takes place takes place June 22 at Revel Atlantic City in Atlantic City, N.J. The night's main card airs on FX, and FUEL TV is expected to carry the prelims.
"Many pegged Hioki as the next possible challenger for Jose Aldo's title, but he wants one more test before going for the belt," White said. "In his way is Lamas, who has proven to be a tough competitor for anyone to deal with, especially since moving down to featherweight and finishing both opponents at 145 pounds. Both guys have verbally agreed to the match."
Dana White says Alistair Overeem lied to him, could decide to cut him after NSAC's suspension ruling
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White, who was airborne for most of the day on Tuesday (April 24, 2012) after rearranging the UFC 148 fight card in Brazil, was unable to keep score in the Alistair Overeem vs. Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) hearing.
Until he appeared on The Jim Rome Show later in the day.
That's where the Las Vegas fight boss first learned that "Demolition Man" had been denied a license to fight in "Sin City" for nine months, keeping him out of action until (at least) Dec. 27 of this year.
As you can imagine, it went over like a lead balloon.
"I wasn't very optimistic about his chances. I didn't think things were gonna turn out very well for him, as expected. Nine months? That's not as bad as I thought it was gonna be. I thought he'd get a year, easily a year. Here's the rules: If he was on anti-inflammatory meds and whatever the deal was, you're supposed to disclose that to the commission before you get any drug tests. Whatever medicine you're on, you're supposed to tell them before you test, not after you test. I'm not a fan. I'm not a fan at all. You're not going to hear me defending Alistair Overeem on your radio show. We'll see what happens. He claimed he was on anti-inflammatories which he should have told them before he tested. I know he lied to me. I don't like it. If they'll sit in front of you and lie to your face, I don't know, not the type of guys I wanna do business with."
UFC 145 salaries: Headliners Jones ($400K), Evans ($300K) earn top paydays
UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones ($400,000) and fellow headliner Rashad Evans ($300,000) were the top earners at this past weekend's UFC 145 event.
They accounted for 56 percent of the event's $1,241,000 payroll.
Champ Jon Jones: $400,000 (no win bonus)
def. Rashad Evans: $300,000
Rory MacDonald: $36,000 (includes $18,000 win bonus)
def. Che Mills: $8,000
Ben Rothwell: $104,000 (includes $52,000 win bonus)
def. Brendan Schaub: $14,000
Michael McDonald: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Miguel Torres: $32,000
Eddie Yagin: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus)
def. Mark Hominick: $17,000
Mark Bocek: $46,000 (includes $23,000 win bonus)
def. John Alessio: $10,000
Travis Browne: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Chad Griggs: $27,000
Matt Brown: $36,000 (includes $18,000 win bonus)
def. Stephen Thompson: $8,000
Anthony Njokuani: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. John Makdessi: $12,000
Mac Danzig: $54,000 (includes $27,000 win bonus)
def. Efrain Escudero: $10,000
Chris Clements: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus)
def. Keith Wisniewski: $10,000
Marcus Brimage: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Maximo Blanco: $13,000
Chuck Liddell would entertain Octagon return for title fight versus Jon Jones
Chuck Liddell was one of the greatest champions in the history of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). As the 205-pound strap owner, he defended his belt four consecutive times, during a two-plus year period where he went undefeated.
"The Iceman" was a pioneer, who held a cult-like following of mixed martial arts (MMA) fans who swore by his legend. Some of them even cut their hair like him, mimicking his trademark mohawk.
But "Father Time" caught up with Liddell, as he does, ever so cruelly, with us all.
During a three-year stretch, Liddell painfully dropped five of his last six fights; four of which came by way of (technical) knockout. It was hard to watch, and when UFC President Dana White finally forced him to hang up the eight-ounce gloves, there were few who objected to the decision.
Liddell recently did an interview with "UFC Tonight," where he discussed that decision, as well as what life is like for him after professional fighting. He's comfortable being a father, a businessman and a fight fan. He's in no hurry to step back into the Octagon, but there is one fight he'd seriously consider coming out of retirement for.
The answer may surprise you:
"The only thing that would even make me think about it is if they gave me a shot at the title. So, we'll see. For now? Yeah. Jon Jones. I don't wanna come back as a sideshow. It's just one of those things. It's not something I wanna do."
Liddell went on to comment about "Bones" and the current tear he's been on, as he continues to carve notches into his belt for every big name he puts down in the Light Heavyweight division.
Chuck was highly complimentary, but he was honest about the possibility of Jones eventually meeting his match:
"I'll never say never. Not in this sport. Anybody can lose at any time. If he keeps doing what he does, he's gonna be hard to beat if he keeps doing what he's doing. He follows his game plan. He trains hard. He keeps learning. He's young and he's athletic and a great athlete. He's a great guy. He's gonna be hard to beat, but I'm never gonna say no one's gonna beat him."