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.
UFC Heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez eyes summer return, won't fight teammate Daniel Cormier
Cain Velasquez shocked most of the MMA world at UFC 155 when he dominated Junior dos Santos for 25 minutes to reclaim the UFC Heavyweight title. After rocking dos Santos with a big right hand in the first round, Velasquez never relented and took back the belt he lost over a year before.
Saturday night at UFC 156, Antonio Silva followed Velasquez's lead by pulling off a huge upset over Alistair Overeem. After giving up the first two rounds to the former K-1 HW GP champion, Bigfoot teed off on The Reem with a series of brutal blows that even had referee Herb Dean cringing before he stopped the fight. At the same time he put down Overeem, Silva squashed the UFC's plans for the next Heavyweight contender.
With his next contender in question, Cain talked to UFC Tonight about when he wants to return and who he definitely won't fight:
I was thinking this summer. But I would not fight [Daniel Cormier]. He's my coach, teammate and my friend.
Thiago Tavares fails UFC On FX 7 post fight drug test, suspended 9 months
Last week rumors abound that UFC On FX 7 headliner Vitor Belfort had failed his post fight drug test. Belfort had impressed in his fight against Michael Bisping with a second round knock out. However, shortly after the rumors began UFC president Dana White assured that, while someone had failed their test, it was not Belfort.
Wednesday morning, Tatame reported that it was Thiago Tavares that popped:
After many rumors, the results of doping tests UFC Sao Paulo left. According TATAME found, the name of the athlete is caught Thiago Tavares. Our sources, however, need not know the substance used for light weight. His suspension will be nine months.
UFC 157 Official Fight Card & Video Preview
After four straight weeks of shows for Strikeforce and the UFC, Zuffa relaxes this week before returning next week in London.
But after that, get ready for a strong assault leading up to the hotly anticipated start of the women's era in the UFC.
"UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche" takes place at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Feb. 23. The main event is the first women's fight in UFC history as Ronda Rousey (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) puts her new UFC women's bantamweight title on the line against Liz Carmouche (7-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC). In the co-main event, Dan Henderson (29-8 MMA, 6-2 UFC) meets Lyoto Machida (18-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC). Also on the card, "The California Kid," Urijah Faber (26-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC), will feel the home-state love against Ivan Menjivar (25-9 MMA, 4-1 UFC).
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
Champ Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche - for women's bantamweight title
Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida
Urijah Faber vs. Ivan Menjivar
Manny Gamburyan vs. Chad Mendes
Josh Koscheck vs. Robbie Lawler
PRELIMINARY CARD (FX, 8 p.m. ET)
Lavar Johnson vs. Brendan Schaub
Mike Chiesa vs. Anton Kuivanen
Court McGee vs. Josh Neer
Caros Fodor vs. Sam Stout
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 6:30 p.m. ET)
Dennis Bermudez vs. Matt Grice
Brock Jardine vs. Kenny Robertson
Neil Magny vs. Jon Manley
Sean Pierson out at UFC 158, Rick Story now meets Quinn Mulhern
Canadian welterweight Sean Pierson (13-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) has been forced out a planned UFC 158 matchup with Rick Story (14-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC), and Quinn Mulhern (18-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has been tapped as a replacement.
UFC officials today announced the change.
UFC 158 takes place March 16 at Montreal's Bell Centre. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook. Pierson vs. Story was slated for the evening's FX broadcast, but it's unknown if the new fight will keep that same slot.
Mulhern makes his UFC debut after four appearances under the Strikeforce banner. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt debuted in June 2011 with a decision loss to Jason High but then bounced back with victories over Yuri Villefort, David Hulett and Danny Davis.
Manuwa: Diabate not easy, but I'll end it
Jimi Manuwa does not expect an easy night when he takes on Cyrille Diabate at UFC London, but he does predict he will become the first man in the UFC to knock the Frenchman out.
Diabate has fought six times in the UFC, winning four and losing two. Those two defeats both came via submission to Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Perosh, the latter of which took place during his last visit to the UK.
Phil Davis On Magalhaes: He Doesn’t Deserve To Fight Me
“You know, If I say it simply, he is out of my level, he doesn’t deserve to be fighting me, I feel like that sounds worse than it actually is and it almost sounds like I am talking about his character a person rather than his fighting skills. So let’s say, what he’s done in the UFC which is one win, and I guess if you count his old two losses, it doesn’t really warrant him a fight with me. But, you know, it’s fine. Listen, I don’t do matchmaking, Joe Silva is a genius and I am just going to go with what he says, I don’t question him, the man knows what he’s doing.”
Dana White: 'They’ve got some work to do down there at Blackzilians'
f"Blackzilians didn’t represent [at UFC 156]," White stated following Saturday’s press conference. "It was a bad night for them. In the first round, [Overeem] was running into a clinch. He wasn’t throwing anything. Running into a clinch, his hands were down by his knees. Yeah, it was a weird fight.
"I don’t know if he thought he could out-slick him and … I don’t know what he thought. He looked terrible. Both of them looked out of shape. Rashad did nothing but this all night (mimics catching jabs with hand). They had a bad night. They probably got to reevaluate some things in their camp."
"I think [Overeem] looked terrible [Saturday]. Rashad’s a great fighter, Rashad looked terrible, [too]. Yeah, I agree [Melvin Guillard wasn't good in his loss to Jamie Varner]," White said in closing. "They’ve got some work to do down there at Blackzilians. They’ve got some work to do. Vitor [looked good against Michael Bisping], but they didn’t look good."
Tyron Woodley More Interested in Fighting Rory MacDonald Than Demian Maia
Fresh off a vicious knockout of Jay Hieron in his UFC debut on Saturday, Tyron Woodley is hoping for a busy year in the Octagon.
In fact, he’s already told UFC President Dana White that he’ll be available if someone drops out of the March 16 showdown between Carlos Condit and Rory MacDonald. It’s MacDonald in particular that Woodley has his eye on.
“I want to fight him,” Woodley told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “If anything happens with Carlos Condit, God forbid, or something happens with that fight, I already told Dana White.”