Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney will waive matching period should Eddie Alvarez not re-sign
Negotiations to keep Eddie Alvarez in Bellator resumed nearly the moment he stepped out of the cage following a knockout of Patricky "Pitbull" Freire.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney now has advanced the timeline on Alvarez's decision, telling MMAjunkie.com that he'll waive a standard 90-day matching period if the ex-champ doesn't initially take a new contract offer.
"Based on our relationship with Ed, there's no reason to hold him to a series of months of not having the opportunity to look at those offers," Rebney said.
Bryan Caraway in for injured T.J. Dillashaw, faces Mike Easton at UFC on FOX 5
An injury has sidelined T.J. Dillashaw (6-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), forcing him out of the next UFC on FOX event.
But a Washington native has stepped up to fill the gap at UFC on FOX 5 in Seattle. Bryan Caraway (17-5 MMA, 2-0 UFC) will fill in for Dillashaw against Mike Easton (13-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), UFC officials on Tuesday announced.
UFC on FOX 5 takes place Dec. 8 at KeyArena in Seattle. The Caraway-Easton bantamweight fight will be part of the FUEL TV-broadcast preliminary card prior to the main card on FOX.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Fabricio Werdum reportedly agree to coach 'TUF: Brazil 2'
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Fabricio Werdum reportedly have agreed to serve as coaches on the upcoming second season of "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil."
SportTV first reported the coaches, though UFC officials have made no formal announcement, and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) could not immediately confirm the plans.
According to the report, contracts haven't been signed, but verbal agreements are in place.
"TUF: Brazil 2," which is expected to feature welterweight fighters, begins filming in early 2013 with an expected debut in March 2013. More than 300 UFC hopefuls recently attended in an open tryout in Rio.
"TUF: Brazil" was the first-ever international edition of the long-running reality competition series. The show, which featured Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort, debuted in March and aired on Globo in Brazil (with solid ratings). UFC.com and FUEL TV carried it in the U.S.
Following "TUF: Brazil 2," Nogueira (34-7-1 MMA, 5-3 UFC) and Werdum (16-5-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) will fight in the tradition season-ending coach-vs.-coach fight. It actually marks a rematch between the two fighters; Nogueira handed Werdum a decision loss at a 2006 PRIDE event in the opening round of an open-weight grand prix.
Report: Dana White Cuts UFC Ties to The Palms Over Credit Line Reduction
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has been holding its Ultimate Fighter finale and Las Vegas-based Fight Night events at The Palms for several years. In fact, the UFC has held 15 events at the Palms since UFC Fight Night 9 in 2007.
That all came to an abrupt halt this year with the announcement that the TUF 16 Finale would shift over to The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in December.
The move appears to be related to UFC president Dana White’s personal relationship with the Palms, according to a Monday report by Norm Clarke in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Clarke cited unnamed sources indicating that White’s credit line at The Palms was cut in half a few months ago, leading the UFC president to pull all UFC-related events from the Palms.
Matt Riddle replaces Stephen Thompson, meets Besam Yousef at UFC 154
Fresh off a 90-day suspension due to a failed drug test, Matt Riddle (6-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) has stepped up as a late replacement for injured Stephen Thompson (6-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and now meets welterweight Besam Yousef (6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) next month at UFC 154.
UFC officials today announced the change.
UFC 154 takes place Nov. 17 at Montreal's Bell Centre.
The night's main card, including UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre vs. interim titleholder Carlos Condit, airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook. Riddle vs. Yousef, which is the card's 13th fight, is slated for the Facebook stream.
Another Win in the Books, Chris Camozzi Wants to Step Up to Axe Murderers and Predators
Even though he is young, Camozzi would like the opportunity to face top talent sooner than later, and has a few ideas for who he’d like to test himself against at the next level.
“Right now, I’m ready to go and I’m ready to move up,” he said. “I’ve put together three wins in a row and I hope for my next fight that it will be on the main card and it’ll be against a big name.
“I’ve got my eye on some guys, like maybe the winner of Wanderlei Silva and Patrick Cote. I’ve got a lot of respect for them and I think they’re great fighters, and I think they match up well with me and it would make an exciting match for the fans.”
Josh Koscheck wants Nick Diaz at UFC 157 on Super Bowl weekend
If Nick Diaz (26-8 MMA, 7-5 UFC) has to fight at least once more before a title shot, Josh Koscheck (17-6 MMA, 15-6 UFC) figures it might as well be against him.
Koscheck recently mentioned Diaz, Demian Maia, Jake Ellenberger and Rory MacDonald as targeted opponents for 2013.
Now, he said he's taking up Diaz trainer Cesar Gracie's challenge for the contenders to meet at the UFC's Super Bowl weekend show, which is expected to be UFC 157 on Feb. 2 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
"I am DOWN! Don't be scared Homie! #559 lol," Koscheck tweeted.
Ring-Philippou shifts to UFC 154 main card, Diabate-Griggs to prelims
Rising middleweight contenders Constantinos Philippou and Nick Ring will compete on UFC 154's main card after all.
The fighters have taken a spot previously reserved for light heavyweights Chad Griggs and Cyrille Diabate, who have been moved to the preliminary card.
UFC officials recently made the change to the card, which takes place Nov. 17 at Montreal's Bell Centre. Welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre and interim titleholder Carlos Condit meet in the pay-per-view headliner.
Cung Le Not Retiring After Rich Franklin Fight
Cung Le (8-2) knows that his time in MMA is starting to tick away, but that doesn't mean the undefeated kickboxer is planning to retire after his next fight. Le recently revealed that he has several fights left on his UFC contract.
"This isn't the last fight on my contract," said Le on The MMA Hour. "I actually have a six fight deal, so after this fight it will be my half way mark. I'm taking it one fight at a time, and not looking too far ahead, right now. The crosshairs are on Rich Franklin, and nothing else."
With three fights left on his contract, Le knows age is not a friend of the sport and his career can only continue for so long.
"I'm 40 years old," said Le. "I know I won't be fighting until I'm 50, but I do know that I've got a couple more good fights left in me. I really try not to think too far ahead. For me, it always revolves around my current fight."
Randy Couture Says Chael Sonnen’s Wrestling Will Stop Jon Jones
"I think Chael has a great opportunity to win this fight, actually," said Couture on MMA Uncensored.
"Technically, I see a similar style fight as Anderson Silva," said Couture. "If he wades through it and can make Jon Jones wrestle him, I think he can win that. I think he can do it, but he needs to make it a wrestling match, start to finish."
"This is a business, and Chael Sonnen is gonna bring it and hype up any single fight he's in," said Couture. "I think Jon Jones, in denying him the fight on eight days notice, made it inevitable that they were gonna have to fight at some point."
Pat Barry vs. Shane Del Rosario official for December's TUF 16 Finale in Las Vegas
A reported fight between heavyweights Pat Barry (7-5 MMA, 4-5 UFC) and Shane Del Rosario (11-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) now is official for December.
Barry and Del Rosario will meet on the main card of the TUF 16 Finale. UFC officials recently announced the fight, which MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported.
The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale takes place Dec. 15 at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas with a main event between "TUF 16" coaches Shane Carwin (12-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) and Roy Nelson (17-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC).
David Mitchell-Hyun Gyu Lim Completes 10-Fight UFC on Fuel TV 6 Bill in Macau
Welterweights David Mitchell and Hyun Gyu Lim will square off at UFC on Fuel TV 6, completing the event’s 10-fight bill.
Lim was initially expected to face unbeaten Marcelo Guimaraes at the event before Guimares was forced to withdraw due to injury. UFC on Fuel TV 6 is headlined by a middleweight showdown pitting former UFC champion Rich Franklin against ex- Strikeforce king Cung Le and takes place Nov. 10 at CotaiArena in Cotai, Macau. The show’s preliminary draw streams live on Facebook, while the main card broadcast follows on Fuel TV.
Yves Edwards vs. John Cholish Added To UFC On Fox 5
UFC officials have confirmed a lightweight contest for December, as Yves Edwards and John Cholish will collide. The two will be part of the prelims for UFC On Fox: Henderson Vs. Diaz.
The card goes down December 8 from the KeyArena in Seattle. UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson defends his title against Nate Diaz in the main event.
Edwards (41-18-1) will be looking to bounce back from a loss to Tony Ferguson. Also, he was scheduled to meet Jeremy Stephens earlier this month, but Stephens was arrested just hours before the contest.
Cholish (8-2) was dealt his first UFC defeat at the hands of Danny Castillo this past May. He had won eight consecutive fights prior, including his UFC debut over Mitch Clarke.
Vitor Belfort Denies Rumor Of Michael Bisping Fight
Vitor Belfort is planning to return to the middleweight division after a loss to UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. However, "The Phenom" has not signed to face Michael Bisping, despite reports stating the bout was in the works.
"I did not sign anything yet that's what came out on the internet," Belfort posted on Twitter. "I will fight with Bisping (if offered). Still have not decided on my next fight. It's all rumor."
Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping scheduled for UFC 156
Another blockbuster bout has been scheduled for UFC 156 according to UFC officials, this one between top middleweight contenders Michael Bisping and Vitor Belfort.
The event is set for Jan. 19 in an, as of yet, undetermined Brazilian city. Cities currently being considered to play host, however, so far include; São Paulo, Porto Alegre and Florianópolis, and Rio de Janeiro.
The card already features a much-anticipated featherweight clash between UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.
Bisping (23-4) comes into the bout with an impressive 5-1 record in his last six fights. During the streak, he's has collected victories over Dan Miller, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Jorge Rivera, Jason Miller and Brian Stann.
UFC 154: Stephen Thompson pulled from card with knee injury
Yes, we have another injury to report. The preliminary card of UFC 154 has taken a hit as Stephen Thompson has been forced out of his fight with Besam Yousef with a knee injury. MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani has the story:
Welterweight prospect Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson has pulled out of his UFC 154 fight against Besam Yousef due to an injured knee, MMAFighting.com confirmed with sources close to the fight. Thompson recently suffered a torn meniscus in training. He will undergo surgery on Monday and is expected to be out of action for eight weeks.
Streaking lightweight T.J. Grant signs new four-fight deal with UFC
Riding a three-fight win streak since dropping to lightweight, T.J. Grant has a new deal with the UFC.
The Canadian fighter has re-upped with the UFC for four more fights. Grant announced the news on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Grant (19-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC) is coming off a "Fight of the Night" decision win over Evan Dunham at UFC 152 this past month.
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."