Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos at UFC 139
Looks like Zuffa is using UFC 133 to unload a bunch of big news today. While it's been reported as far back as June, reports indicate that the UFC is set to officially announce that Cain Velasquez's first title defense will take place against Junior dos Santos at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
The real news, however, is this MMA Fighting bit on Velasquez's shoulder injury:
Velasquez was first injured during his UFC 121 championship victory over Brock Lesnar, tearing his right rotator cuff, a setback that was expected to take between 6-8 months to heal. After a long layoff and rehabilitation, he recently ramped up his workouts and is said to be progressing well.
Joe Stevenson cut by UFC after four straight losses
"Daddy's" coming home ... for good.
Former UFC lightweight title contender and recent featherweight debutant Joe Stevenson has been released by the UFC, according to MMAFighting.com.
The move comes on the heels of the biggest slump in the longtime veteran's career. After losing three in a row at 155-pounds, UFC brass gave him the opportunity to reinvent himself at 145-pounds.
Dana White hints Strikeforce champ Dan Henderson could soon return to UFC's ranks
Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson may soon return to the UFC's roster, according to UFC president Dana White.
The 40-year-old Henderson recently ended a four-fight Strikeforce deal with an emphatic TKO win over former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko and is free to test the open waters of free agency.
Now White says he'll at least entertain the idea of the seven-time UFC vet making his way back into the octagon.
Chad Mendes ‘Up There’ But Not Guaranteed a Title Shot With a Win at UFC 133
Chad Mendes may be considered the top contender in the UFC’s featherweight division, but a win at UFC 133 doesn’t necessarily guarantee him a title shot.
When asked by reporters following UFC 133's press conference, UFC President Dana White deferred to matchmaker Joe Silva, who stated Mendes is near the top of the division, but wouldn’t solidify if he was next in line with a win.
“Chad’s right up there,” said UFC matchmaker Joe Silva. “He’s in the mix”
UFC 133 Fight Card: Rashad Evans and Tito Ortiz Trade Barbs Again
A few days ago Mike posted a video of a verbal confrontation between UFC 133 main eventers Rashad Evans and Tito Ortiz, and hinted at the idea that there might be more where that came from. Well, there was more. The UFC tweeted a minute-long followup video called Verbal Warfare Part 2, with the two trading pretty weak barbs for the most part. The conclusion more than makes up for the beginning though.
Video after the jump. It's worth watching, it's only a minute.
Jim Miller unsure of title shot with win over Ben Henderson on Aug. 14
At a special conference call held today to promote the upcoming UFC on Versus 5 event on Aug. 14 in Milwaukee, lightweight wrecking ball Jim Miller continues his trend of being the best employee on the entire promotional roster.
That's because despite the fact that he's been all but promised the number one contender spot with a win over Ben Henderson, he's still ready and willing to fight everyone else under the sun except the champion, if that's what his bosses so choose.
Miller is already a champ in my book. What an exceptional attitude.
UFC returns to Toronto for UFC 140 on Dec. 10
Toronto has won the day for the UFC's next excursion into Canada.
After the promotion considered events in the Ontario capital as well as in Montreal, Quebec, which was the site of four previous (and lucrative) shows, Toronto's Air Canada Centre will host host UFC 140 on Dec. 10 .
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the event location with sources close to negotiations. ESPN first reported it.
Leonard Garcia Out, Jim Hettes In Against Alex Caceres at UFC on Versus 5
Leonard Garcia will have to a wait a little while longer to try and get back into the win column. The veteran featherweight was forced out of his August 14th fight with Alex Caceres at UFC on Versus 5 and will be replaced by the debuting Jim Hettes. UFC.com has it:
"Leonard Garcia is out with an injury, so newly signed prospect Jim Hettes is taking his place vs Alex "Bruce Leroy" Caceres on August 14 in Milwaukee," said White. "Hettes is undefeated as a pro and has finished all opponents by submission. Caceres has also never gone the distance. Both fighters have verbally agreed to the bout."
UFC 133 Fight Card: Rashad Evans 'Would Love To Fight' Dan Henderson
Dan Henderson picked up a huge win this past Saturday, knocking out legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson. With his contract ending with Strikeforce, and having picked up three solid wins in a row, it's no shock that the talk of a Hendo return to the UFC has picked up.
Rashad Evans was supposed to be fighting for the UFC light heavyweight championship this weekend against Jon Jones, but an injury forced Jones off the card followed by Phil Davis pulling out with injury leading to a rematch with Tito Ortiz. A win should move Evans into position to fight the winner of the Jones/Quinton Jackson fight for the UFC title. So, would Evans have any interest in fighting Henderson in some sort of fight with Dan in the future (assuming he regains the 205 pound strap)? He tells a recent ESPN.com chat that he'd love it (HT: MMA Mania):
I'm a big Hendo fan. I picked him [against Fedor] even though I didn't think he was really going to win, but it was a pleasant surprise. I would love to fight him. He's getting better and better -- not so much learning new techniques, but having a stronger competitive mentality.
Strikeforce's Tim Kennedy takes Robbie Lawler to task after decision win
Tim Kennedy is looking for a fight. Does anyone have one for him?
The Special Forces soldier is frustrated. He said it's been a while since he's had a good scrap.
In his past three fights, his opponents have spent more time backing away from him than engaging.
He said his most recent opponent, Robbie Lawler (18-8 MMA, 2-4 SF), is guilty of that charge, and Kennedy (14-3 MMA, 5-1 SF) isn't afraid to say it. Following a unanimous decision over the former EliteXC champion this past Saturday, Kennedy, an active duty solider in the Texas National Guard, said he's getting tired of chasing down a firefight.
"I was really disappointed with myself, and honestly, Robbie," he today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I wanted to meet in the middle and go. I felt like I was chasing him for 15 minutes, so yeah, bittersweet."
Not two days after their meeting at "Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Henderson," Kennedy is back at the gym, taking out his frustration on heavy bags and other things that can be hit.
UFC Broadcast Partner Versus Re-Branding To NBC Sports
As the UFC continues to search for a solid long-term TV deal while dealing with an increasingly antagonistic relationship with Spike, it is Versus, the UFC's other home, that is undergoing a big change. The sports network, owned by NBC, is going to officially re-brand into NBC Sports. From AOL Sporting News:
Versus officially will turn into the NBC Sports Network on Jan. 2.
The name change, which has been rumored for much of the last year, is timed to coincide with NBC's broadcast of the NHL Winter Classic and the run-up to NBC's February telecast of Super Bowl XLVI.
"Our goal is for anyone who sees the name or logo of one of our assets to immediately connect with NBC Sports," said NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus. He will officially announce the name change today at the Television Critics Association tour in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Mighty Mouse Believes He has the Answer to Dominick Cruz’s Cat-Like Style
Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (10-1) is a small guy headed to the big stage. On that stage, he’ll meet a fighter with reflexes like that of a cat in UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.
The two are slotted to meet in the main event at UFC on Versus 6 in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 1. The challenger is excited to get the chance to, in his view, be the first to “beat” Cruz in a fight.
Cruz has never been beaten? Wait, what?
Reminder: "Countdown to UFC 133" preview show debuts tonight on Spike TV
With Strikeforce's latest fight card in the books, it's now on to the UFC's next pay-per-view event, "UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz II."
As a reminder, in anticipation of the show, Spike TV debuts "Countdown to UFC 133" Monday night at 11 p.m. ET/PT.
UFC 133 takes place Aug. 6 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The pay-per-view headliner pits ex-champions Rashad Evans against late replacement Tito Ortiz.
Fedor vs. Hendo: Maybe ‘Minotauro’ Knows Best
The fight resumes of Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson are chock full of memorable battles over more than a decade. They fought a range of opponents of all sizes and abilities in all corners of the world. Though they have never been on the same track long enough to face each other, the headliners of the Strikeforce/M-1 Global event on Saturday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill., forged their reputations, in large part, against a common foe.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira spent about 75 minutes of his life locked in combat with Emelianenko and Henderson, a bruising and strenuous slate that laid bare the trio’s grit and gifts.
“I know those guys very well,” Nogueira said during a recent appearance on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Rewind” program. “I’ll tell you, [they are] very similar. Both guys ... they have a very good right hand. They’re both very good Greco-[Roman wrestling] guys, so they throw the right hand and get close, shorten the distance. It’s kind of the same, the way they attack the person in the fight.”
Lightweights Shane Roller vs. T.J. Grant added to UFC on Versus 6
The quickly filling UFC on Versus 6 fight card has another addition.
UFC official today announced that lightweights Shane Roller (10-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and T.J. Grant (16-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) have agreed to meet at the Oct. 1 event.
UFC on Versus 6 takes place at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The evening's main card, including a bantamweight title fight between current champ Dominick Cruz and Demetrious Johnson, airs on Versus.
It's not clear if Roller vs. Grant will be part of the broadcast.
Tito and Rashad: Verbal Warfare
"You're gonna get crushed" Tito tells Rashad. "Are you outta your mind... You should give me the knockout bonus and everything right away..." Rashad replies
On the UFC TV website to help promote and hype the fight Tito and Rashad give a brief debate about there thoughts on the fight.