UFC 130 "UFC Prelims" headed to Spike TV; Torres-Pickett and Alves-Story likely
As with UFC 129, Spike TV will air a "UFC Prelims" special ahead of May's UFC 130 pay-per-view main card.
Sources close to the event today confirmed the plans with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Although the fights for the one-hour broadcast haven't been determined, leading candidates include bantamweights Miguel Torres (39-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Brad Pickett (20-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and welterweights Thiago Alves (18-7 MMA, 10-4 UFC) vs. Rick Story (12-3 MMA, 5-1 UFC).
UFC 130 takes place May 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The pay-per-view headliner pits lightweight champ Frankie Edgar against Gray Maynard for a third meeting between the two.
After self-diagnosis, Phil Davis ready to go "crazy" at UFC Fight Night 24
After winning his first four UFC fights, Phil Davis (8-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) earned a coveted spot in a main event. It's the first of his brief career – but likely not his last.
The 26-year-old has been on a meteoric rise after a seamless transition from collegiate wrestling star to full-time mixed-martial-arts fighter.
He gets his toughest test to date when he faces veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (19-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) Saturday at UFC Fight Night 24 in Seattle at KeyArena. The main card, including the Davis vs. Nogueira headliner, airs live on Spike TV.
Originally targeted for a UFC 129 matchup with Jason Brilz, Davis answered the call when Tito Ortiz pulled out of the fight with Nogueira due to injury. The opportunity to fight a bigger-name opponent on a more prominent platform was simply too good to pass up.
Healthy UFC Fight Night 24 co-headliner Anthony Johnson staying at 170 pounds
As part of his current 16-month layoff, Anthony Johnson wrestled with both his weight and a lack of attention.
He admits his knee surgery and a subsequent layoff had him feeling down, and the welterweight gained noticeable weight in the process.
But Johnson (8-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC), who returns to action Saturday to meet Dan Hardy (23-8 MMA, 4-2 UFC) in a UFC Fight Night 24 co-headliner, said his previous comments about a possible move to middleweight never were serious. Instead, he simply needed some attention.
"When I said I was thinking about going to 185, I just did that to get everyone talking," Johnson, who fights Hardy on the Spike TV-televised main card at Seattle's KeyArena, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) during a recent media call. "It worked obviously.
Kendall Grove vs. Tim Boetsch Set for UFC 130
According to UFC.com, Tim Boetsch will make his middleweight debut against Kendall Grove at UFC 130 on May 28th. Boetsch went 3-3 as a light heavyweight in two separate runs with the UFC. Grove was the season three The Ultimate Fighter reality show tournament winner and is 2-3 in his last five fights.
Integrated Sports Media announces "George St-Pierre: Rush To The Top" PPV special
New Jersey-based pay-per-view distributor Integrated Sports Media today announced the impending release of "George St-Pierre: Rush To The Top," a one-hour special focusing on the early career of UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
According to the release, the special will feature footage from all six of St-Pierre's non-UFC fights.
The special debuts April 1 on DirecTV and DISH Network, April 11 on Avail-TVN and April 12 on iN DEMAND. Replays run throughout April and May.
"TUF 14" tryouts draw notables Din Thomas, Wagnney Fabiano, Micah Miller, Kit Cope
Some 400 hopefuls turned out today at the Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott in Newark, N.J., to audition for the 14th season of "The Ultimate Fighter."
Seen in the crowd were a few familiar faces: UFC vet Din Thomas, who appeared on the show's fourth season, and WEC vets Wagnney Fabiano, Micah Miller and Ian McCall.
"The Ultimate Fighter 14," which begins production this summer and debuts in the fall on Spike TV, is expected to feature bantamweight and/or featherweight fighters. It's the first time the reality show has featured competitors in the UFC's lightest weight classes.
UFC champ Jon Jones scores "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" appearance
Where's Ed McMahon when you need him?
While the UFC's new light heavyweight champ won't get the experience of longtime announcer McMahon's signature, "Here's Johnny," introduction, Jon Jones is heading to "The Tonight Show."
UFC president Dana White today announced via Twitter that Jones will appear on Thursday night's edition of the 67-year-old NBC franchise.
"Congrats, Jon Jones," White wrote. "First UFC fighter to do the 'The Tonight Show' with Jay Leno.
"The hits keep on coming! Tune in Thursday on NBC!"
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has since confirmed the booking with additional UFC executives. The official lineup for "The Tonight Show" does not yet reflect the appointment.
Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale Show Official; Pettis vs. Guida Headlines
The UFC has officially announced the “Ultimate Fighter” season 13 finale show taking place in Las Vegas on June 4 with Anthony “Showtime” Pettis taking on Clay Guida in the main event.
Pettis comes to the UFC after a successful WEC career that included the infamous “Showtime kick” to close out his time with the promotion, and leave as the last ever lightweight champion.
Pettis was expected to fight for the UFC lightweight title in his first bout in the Octagon, but a draw between champion Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard forced another fight and so Pettis will stay busy by facing Guida instead.
Zuffa Officials Meet With Showtime, Paul Daley Expected to Fight April 9
The changing climate in the world of MMA took another step towards the future on Saturday night when Strikeforce advertisements aired during the UFC 128 pay-per-view broadcast.
When Zuffa purchased the second largest MMA organization, everybody knew the crossover appeal would happen sooner rather than later, but it still caught a few people off guard when it happened.
In addition to the advertisements about the upcoming Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley event, middleweight Jason “Mayhem” Miller took over the UFC Twitter account during the pay-per-view to give his thoughts on the show, while Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson sat in the front row for the action.
Trainer: Jones vs. Evans matchup forcing "soul searching" at Jackson's, Grudge
When it comes to the impending fight between newly minted light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones and former champ Rashad Evans, trainer Greg Jackson is sticking to a long-held policy not to corner fighters against one another.
Other coaches are still figuring things out. It's admittedly an uncomfortable situation not only for Jackson but those who've worked with both fighters, or work with the Jackson team.
"Everybody's doing soul searching right now," Jackson today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Not long ago, Evans and Jones were meeting on the mats of Jackson's MMA academy in Albuquerque, N.M., as Evans prepared to face light-heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 128. When Evans hurt his knee in early February, Jones went in his place and dominated the Brazilian champion en route to a third-round TKO.
Tito Ortiz Takes on Ryan Bader at UFC 132 on July 2
Tito Ortiz is ready to step back in the Octagon. He will have a tough test ahead of him when he does, as he has agreed to face Ryan Bader at UFC 132 in July.
Sources close to the fight confirmed the bout to MMAWeekly.com on Monday.
Tito Ortiz (15-8-1) will not only be fighting Ryan Bader in July, he will literally be fighting for his UFC career. The former light heavyweight champion is currently on a three-fight losing streak, but UFC president Dana White said he would give him one more chance to prove himself, and this is it.
Rashad Evans: Disrespected by Jon Jones, Disappointed in Greg Jackson
This past Saturday at UFC 128 was supposed to be the culmination of two years of hard work for former champion Rashad Evans. He was set to face Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in a lightweight title bout that would give Evans the opportunity to finally reclaim the belt he once lost but instead of a moment of potential greatness, instead Evans has found himself in the midst of a bitter dispute. Several weeks from the fight Evans suffered an injury that forced him to withdraw and in his place the UFC tapped his teammate Jon Jones.
This created the potential confrontation between Evans and Jones, and while both men have publically stated this wasn't something they would take part in, after Jon Jones became the youngest light heavyweight champion in the history of the UFC, Evans was sitting right there in the number one contender's position. Now the reality of their matchup has forced a wedge between two men who were once considered close friends and training partners but Evans's frustration is not aimed at Jones alone. I caught up with Evans on the day after he agreed to face Jones later for the light heavyweight title and in his Bloody Elbow Exclusive interview, Evans spoke his mind. While Evans discussed the details of the situation between himself and Jon Jones, he perhaps showed more anger towards former Coach Greg Jackson's public declaration that he will take no part in the matchup.
UFC Wastes No Time Pitting Jones Against Evans, With Good Reason
NEWARK, N.J. – Call it the championship life cycle: one legend is barely out of his post-knockout haze, his facial tissue still in mid-swell, when the new champ is already confronting his next challenger on a canvas where the blood hasn't even dried yet.
It wasn't an unfamiliar encounter when former training partners Jon Jones and Rashad Evans shook hands in the middle of the Octagon before agreeing to beat each other up at some point in the near future. It also wasn't exactly an enthusiastic agreement on either man's part, though it was a decisive one.
UFC boss says new champ Jon Jones' biggest tests may lie outside of the cage
At just 23 years old, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (13-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) appears to have the mixed martial arts world in the palm of his hands.
But after "Bones" dismantled former champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at this past weekend's UFC 128 event, UFC president Dana White said it's not the palm of Jones' hands that need to be monitored right now.
It's his back.
UFC targets Belfort vs Silva II, the Axe Murderer holding out for Leben
For a guy who built a career on fighting anybody, anywhere, anytime, Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1 MMA, 3-4 UFC) is proving incredibly difficult to schedule.
UFC president Dana White said he's trying to book a rematch between Silva and Vitor Belfort (19-9 MMA, 8-5 UFC) – a fight "The Phenom" has verbally agreed to – but "The Axe Murderer" is holding out for a bout with Chris Leben (25-7 MMA, 11-6 UFC).
White admitted he's a little shocked by Silva's actions, especially considering he already turned down a UFC 130 fight with Brian Stann because he didn't want to face a U.S. military hero.
"We asked him to take [a fight with Stann], and he turned it down," White said. "He said, 'I don't like it because everybody likes this guy.' That's kind of a weird philosophy, but I'll accept that. Wanderlei's a warrior. He always goes out there. So we offered him the Vitor fight, and now he's on Twitter lobbying to fight Chris Leben."
Nate Marquardt Mulling Move Down to Welterweight
It's a surprising decree from a fighter that's never been considered small or outmuscled at the weight. Marquardt claimed that he walked around at a lighter weight during this camp, and felt like he could "go all day long" in the fight with Miller.
The most interesting bit of this info is that Marquardt reveals that he discussed the move with his coaches and a couple of teammates, including current UFC welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre. It makes one wonder if St. Pierre has resigned himself to a move up to middleweight should he defeat Jake Shields at UFC 129 in Toronto.
Champ Dominick Cruz gets Urijah Faber next, TUF 14 coaching slots possible
NEWARK, N.J. – UFC president Dana White isn't yet ready to dub UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber coaches for the upcoming 14th season of "The Ultimate Fighter."
But he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he's not closing the door on the possibility either.
Regardless of the possible reality-show duties, one thing is certain: the long-awaited Cruz (17-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Faber (25-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) rematch is going to happen.
UFC Primetime returns to Spike TV for UFC 129
In anticipation of their historic UFC 129 main-event fight, UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar (21-2 MMA, 15-2 UFC) and top challenger Jake Shields (26-4-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will be featured in the newest edition of Spike TV's three-part "UFC Primetime" special.
While broadcast plans for the specials have yet to be finalized, White confirmed the plans following Saturday's UFC 128 card in New Jersey.
"We're going to do a Primetime on those two," White said.