White: GSP could return this summer
Georges St-Pierre’s return may be sooner than we thought.
According to UFC president Dana White, the sidelined welterweight champion is motivated to do what it takes to get back in the cage as soon as possible, suggesting a long-awaited matchup between he and Nick Diaz could happen in "the summertime."
Of course, a couple things would first have to fall into place: Diaz needs to get by Carlos Condit next month at UFC 143; and St-Pierre would have to make significant strides in his rehab following knee surgery -- the previous prognosis had him hoping to get back in the cage only in November.
However, in an interview following Friday’s UFC on FX event in Nashville, White said the Canadian is feeling so much “hatred” for Diaz, who questioned his injured status at an event last October, that he is just itching to get in the Octagon and quiet the American with his fists.
"GSP's rehab could not be going better," White told FUEL TV’s Ariel Helwani. "I kid you not, he texts me every day. Tonight during the fight, he was texting me pictures of him kicking, of him doing things. He says, 'I am praying every night when I go to bed that Nick Diaz wins this fight'
UFC on FX 1 ratings: 1.3 million FX viewers and 148,000 FUEL TV viewers
This past weekend's four-fight UFC on FX 1 event, which was the first UFC main card to air on the FOX-owned FX, averaged 1.3 million viewers.
Additionally, the night's six-bout preliminary card averaged 148,000 viewers on FUEL TV.
The two-hour main card, which boasted four fights on FX, averaged a 1.19 rating among men 18-49 and a 1.21 among men 18-34.
The three-hour preliminary card, which featured Jorge Rivera's successful retirement fight against middleweight Eric Schafer, featured six bouts and was one of FUEL TV's most-watched programs to date.
Weapon Related Sponsers Banned From UFC
Sponsors being banned from UFC events is nothing new, but the new banning of weapon related sponsors is certainly different. It appears that the initial pressure to ban these sponsors actually came from the UFC's new network home.
The MMA Corner with the report:
The MMA Corner has learned from sources close to the situation that the latest impact is that guns and ammunition sponsors, such as The Gun Store and Ammotogo.com, have been banned from events that take place on the Fox family of networks.
*UPDATE * - The MMA Corner has learned that the ban includes companies related to guns, knives, ammunition, and hunting. It will go into effect on Jan. 23. The ban has been extended to all UFC events, not just those broadcast on the Fox family of networks.
'Minowaman' happy to be fighting on U.S. soil, hopes to one day fight for UFC in Japan
With so much uncertainty in his native country's MMA scene, Ikuhisa Minowa began branching off from his usual stomping grounds.
The U.S. was always an attractive option, but he was always under contract with the biggest Japanese promotions, who relentlessly employed him for his showmanship and willingness to fight anyone – really, anyone.
When those promotions fell into disrepair, Minowa had talks with the UFC to appear in the promotion's return to Japan at UFC 144. His profile popped up on their website. But the contract never got done.
UFC on FX 1 draws announced 7,728 attendance and $334,860 live gate
Friday's UFC on FX 1 event drew an announced attendance of 7,728 and a live gate of $334,860.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) learned of the figures during the event's post-fight press conference at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
The Tennessee Athletic Commission will release official tallies in the coming weeks.
UFC on FX 1 marked the first FX-televised main card in UFC history, and prelims aired on FUEL TV. Both channels are part of FOX, which kicks off a seven-year deal with the UFC earlier this month. The FX and FUEL TV cards essentially replace the UFC's smaller events that previously aired on Spike TV and Versus.
Friday's event featured Jim Miller's submission victory over fellow lightweight Melvin Guillard in the night's main event. Josh Neer, Pat Barry and Mike Easton also picked up wins on the main card...
UFC on FX 1 bonuses: Denis, Miller, Barry, Morecraft earn $45K awards
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nick Denis, Jim Miller, Pat Barry and Christian Morecraft each earned $45,000 fight-night bonuses for their performances at Friday's UFC on FX 1 event.
Denis earned the night's "Knockout of the Night" award, Miller picked up the "Submission of the Night" bonus, and Barry and Morecraft earned "Fight of the Night" honors.
UFC 145 gets McDonald-Torres, Blanco-Brimage; seven bouts shift to Atlanta
Two new bouts have been added to April's UFC 145 event in Atlanta, and seven have been shifted to the card after the recent cancellation of a March event in Montreal.
One of the new additions is an intriguing bantamweight bout between former WEC champ Miguel Torres (40-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) and fast-rising Michael McDonald (14-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC).
The latest UFC 145 card now includes:
Michael McDonald vs. Miguel Torres
Maximo Blanco vs. Marcus Brimage
Mark Hominick vs. Eddie Yagin
Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills
Ben Rothwell vs. Brendan Schaub
Mark Bocek vs. Matt Wiman
Travis Browne vs. Chad Griggs
John Makdessi vs. Anthony Njokuani
Mac Danzig vs. Efrain Escudero
Chris Clements vs. Keith Wisniewski
Win or lose, UFC on FX 1's Jorge Rivera set to retire
Jorge Rivera (19-9 MMA, 7-7 UFC) has decided to call it a career after his fight with Eric Schafer (12-6-2 MMA, 3-5 UFC) tonight on UFC on FX 1.
The veteran announced the news today on MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
Rivera has often flirted with the idea but made up his mind recently.
"I've thought about this for a long time," Rivera said. "If I would have won my last fight, I would have walked away. But that's not how it worked out, and I just told myself I would leave no matter what happens.
"It's time to go. I'm starting to feel like that old man in the club trying to pick up chicks. It gets a little creepy after a while."
Sonnen: I don't think Silva will fight again
Chael Sonnen believes a much-anticipated rematch against Anderson Silva will never happen.
In fact, he doesn’t think Silva -- the current UFC middleweight champion -- will fight again. Period.
During a pre-fight conference call Friday ahead of his meeting with Michael Bisping at the UFC on FOX 2 show on Jan. 28 in Chicago, Sonnen said he was done with the man he referred to as "cowardly."
"I guarantee you Anderson Silva and my paths will never cross in the cage again," Sonnen said. "I don’t think he will fight anybody.
"That’s my personal opinion. But it’s a fact that (he) turned down a fight with me four times."
Sonnen added that Silva even turned down the offer when it was presented to him in person by (UFC chairman) Lorenzo Fertitta.
to us Canadians: Full UFC event to air Friday on Sportsnet ONE!!! (fighter interviews as well)
"I am ready for this fight with (Jim) Miller. He’s a top guy, maybe the No. 3 or No. 4 in the division, and if I perform like I can do, I think it will be hard for people to say that I didn’t deserve a UFC title shot. I won’t be reckless, but you will see what I can do on FX Friday night. You will see the Young Assassin!”
“What happened (to me) last time (first-round loss against Joe Lauzon) was a mistake. I rushed in so hard and fast I was stunned with a jab and from there I lost the fight. It was kinda dumb, but I am young enough to learn as long as realize the mistake."
“I’m only 28, but the thing about me is I always think I need to make things happen right now. I’ve only lost one fight in eight, but I made mistakes in that loss to Ben Henderson and I made mistakes in the wins before that, and I am in a hurry to correct those ... Some people say I am more consistent than Melvin in the Octagon, but Melvin is very dangerous on the feet and with someone like that, one mistake is all it takes. I will watch out for his power, but I will be taking this fight to him right from get-go."
"He doesn’t like fighting when you crowd him, but he’s a very quick puncher and will always be very dangerous on the counter. He’s a top lightweight with a lot of weapons, but I think I can beat him go on to challenge for the belt in 2012."
Ludwig, Neer, Barry, Morecraft interviews found in link
Mark Hominick vs. Eddie Yagin moves to Atlanta along with UFC 145
So Mark Hominick won't be on Canadian soil for his next fight.
With UFC 145 now set to take place April 21 at Atlanta's Philips Arena, the onetime featherweight challenger's bout with Eddie Yagin has been booked for the event, officials announced today.
Hominick and Yagin were originally slated to fight on March 24 at Bell Centre in Montreal, where Hominick had twice fought under the UFC banner to disappointing results.
Andrew Craig replaces Jared Hamman, meets Kyle Noke at UFC on FX 2
Legacy Fighting Championships middleweight titleholder Andrew Craig has replaced injured Jared Hamman and now meets fellow middleweight Kyle Noke at March's UFC on FX 2 event.
UFC officials today announced the switch. Legacy officials confirmed with MMAjunkie.com that Craig is headed to the big show.
UFC on FX 2 takes place March 3 at Sydney's Allphones Arena
UFC makes ruling on Erick Silva's UFC 142 disqualification: The loss stands
Erick Silva's controversial disqualification loss to fellow Brazilian welterweight Carlo Prater at UFC 142 won't be overturned.
UFC Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner today issued a statement regarding the fight.
In it, he stated the referee's verbal warning and his determination that the blows were intentional leave him unable to overturn the decision.
UFC targeting 'TUF: Australia vs. U.K.' for 2012, eyes Brisbane for finale
While Brazil has been awarded the first-ever international edition of "The Ultimate Fighter," Australia may not be far behind.
At a Thursday press gathering Down Under, UFC managing director of international development Marshall Zelaznik said the company is "close" to securing a deal for "TUF: Australia vs. U.K."
If signed, the series would likely film in Australia later this year, and Brisbane's Brisbane Entertainment Center has been earmarked to host the finale.
"We are close to getting 'TUF: Australia vs. U.K.' done, and if we can close that, we will look to hold the finale in Brisbane," Zelznik today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Current plans for "TUF: Australia vs. U.K." call for the series to be filmed and aired via tape delay in similar fashion to the U.S. version of "TUF" during its 15 seasons on Spike TV. Zelaznik did not reveal if the company has discussed potential coaches or when the series would likely tape/air.
Michael Bisping: Criticism of UFC Fighter Pay Makes Me Mad
"To be honest, it makes me mad, because people don't understand," said Bisping. "I've worked hard, and I get [the amount stipulated in the contract], but when Dana comes into the locker room and gives me a check afterwards, they don't have to do that. Far from it. I was already very happy with the money I was getting, but then they'll hand you another check on top of that and say, 'Well done...good job,' and there'll be another huge check inside the envelope."
"When I was an up-and-coming fighter I used to fight in these sh---y little shows and make no money," he said. "I used to sleep in my car. I couldn't pay my bills. I had to work on the weekends. So if I had to go out now [as an incoming UFC fighter] and I had to win a few fights, make six [thousand dollars to show] and six [thousand dollars to win], that's $12,000, plus maybe two or three thousand more in sponsors, and fight three or four times a way, that's not bad money. I'd be able to pay my bills and train full-time."
"If you win, and you start getting some notoriety with the fans and put on a good show, your pay's going to quickly go up. You start at six and six because the UFC is running a business. It's not, 'Oh, this guy's good enough to be in the UFC? Let's pay him a quarter of a million dollars.' It's not like that. They'll pay you a decent amount just for showing up, and even that's a big jump up from the regional show that you're used to. If you do well, they'll take care of you. They'll probably give you a bonus backstage and you'll quickly be in a new contract with a significant pay raise. If you put on good shows, you'll find success."
"From my initial involvement with the UFC on, the UFC has done nothing but take great care of me and my family," said Bisping. "They've always gone above and beyond the call of duty. They really have. With bonuses, with care, if I ever have injuries they give me access to the best doctors and then pay for everything. Myself and my family, we're living a great lifestyle. ...I'm making more money in one fight than I could have in 20 years of my old job. So you'll never hear a bad word come out of my mouth about the UFC's pay structure.
UFC Can't Host Event In Melbourne Due To Octagon
The UFC's plans to take the show back to Australia for an event in Melbourne look like they've come to an end. It appears that in the state of Victoria, it's illegal to hold MMA events in a cage rather than a ring.
Via the Sydney Morning Herald:
And while the UFC would like nothing better than to book a date for a Melbourne event, it is unable to while the government refuses to allow MMA bouts to be held in cages.
In the UFC, bouts are held inside the "Octagon" - an eight-side cage. In Victoria, MMA bouts can be sanctioned if held in a boxing ring, but are not allowed to take place in a cage.
Speaking in Melbourne yesterday during a promotional tour for the Sydney event, the UFC's Managing Director of International Development Marshall Zelaznik questioned whether the Victorian Government was more concerned about negative perceptions surrounding "cage fighting" than it was about the safety of the fighters themselves.
"The government has authorised that mixed martial arts can take place [in a ring] - the issue seems to be the Octagon," Mr Zelaznik said.
"The ropes [of a boxing ring] don't protect the fighters enough ... what you always have happen is a fighter will slip through the ropes - hopefully they don't fall - but we have video that we've submitted to the government about how unsafe it is when fighters are actually falling through these ropes and are hurting themselves.
Demian Maia Didn't Want To Fight Palhares Due To Lack Of Brazilian Middleweights
When Mark Munoz got injured it forced Michael Bisping into a match with Chael Sonnen and left Demian Maia without an opponent for the UFC on Fox 2 card. The immediate demand from fans was for the UFC to move Rousimar Palhares (who scored a quick win at UFC 142) into a fight with Maia. It turns out that Palhares turned down the short-notice no-rest fight (at least according to Dana White on Twitter) and the promotion settled on giving the fight to Chris Weidman.
For his part, Maia says that he didn't want to fight Palhares. Not because he was afraid, but because he thinks that Brazilian middleweights shouldn't face each other. Via SporTV (translated by Tom Mendes):
"It was rumored (a fight with Palhares), but I thought there would not be any possibilities (of it happening), because he just fought, it doesn't make sense for him to throw himself into another fight right now. "Toquinho" trained a few months for this fight. Just because it was fast doesn't mean there were no wear and tears. But I don't even think about that. To be honest, the Brazilian fans should be more worried about seeing us fighting foreigners. There are (only) a few Brazilian fighters in the division and I think that, aside of the title, since it's Anderson who is the champion, the Brazilians should not face each other."