Dana White: UFC Close to Utilizing 5-Round Non-Title Fights
Five-round fights are currently reserved only for championship bouts in the UFC, but that may not be the case for long.
On Friday, UFC President Dana White discussed the possibility of big -- but not title -- fights using the 25-minute time limit.
“We’re very close to [implementing five-round non-title fights]” White revealed during the Fan Expo Q&A session while promoting UFC 129.
The extra two rounds for important fights would likely help to prevent those bouts from ending in draws, as in the recent case of B.J. Penn and Jon Fitch at UFC 127 in February. However, the UFC boss says he had another bout in mind for the promotion's inaugural foray into five-rounders without a title on the line. “We were actually going to start it with Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos [at UFC 131], but we had already made the fight,” White said. “But we already made the fight, so it’s kind of hard to go back to those guys after you already make the fight and say that it is going to be five [rounds] instead of three.”
Though the UFC head has discussed the topic of five and even seven-round fights in the past, this appears to be the most serious iteration of that discussion. Though White has also expressed his desire to see seven-round title fights, that topic was not broached on Friday.
UFC 129 Weigh-In Video and Results
Georges St. Pierre (169.5) vs. Jake Shields (169) [WW title]
Jose Aldo (145) vs. Mark Hominick (145.25) [FW title]
Randy Couture (203.5) vs. Lyoto Machida (204.5)
Vladimir Matyushenko (205.5) vs. Jason Brilz (204.5)
Mark Bocek (155) vs. Ben Henderson (156.5*)
On Spike: [8 p.m. ET]
Nate Diaz (171) vs. Rory MacDonald (170.5)
Sean Pierson (170) vs. Jake Ellenberger (170)
On Facebook.com/UFC: [6 p.m. ET]
Claude Patrick (169.5) vs. Daniel Roberts (170.5)
Ivan Menjivar (136) vs. Charlie Valencia (135.5)
Jason MacDonald (185) vs. Ryan Jensen (185)
John Makdessi (155.5) vs. Kyle Watson (155)
Yves Jabouin (146) vs. Pablo Garza (145)
Mike Pierce vs. Johny Hendricks targeted for UFC 133 in Philly
A welterweight bout between Mike Pierce (12-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) and Johny Hendricks (10-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is in the works for UFC 133. A source close to the negotiations told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) the competitors have agreed to the bout. However, bout agreements haven't been signed, and UFC officials haven't announced the fight. UFC 133 takes place Aug. 6 in Philadelphia. The city's Wells Fargo Center is expected to host the pay-per-view event. Pierce vs. Hendricks likely will be part of the PPV broadcast or a preliminary-card teaser that airs or streams in some form.
UFC returns to England on Oct. 15; Liverpool or Nottingham likely host
One day short of a full calendar year, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is making its return to England on Oct. 15.MMAFighting.com reported the return on Wednesday and stated Liverpool's 11,000-seat Echo Arena likely will play host.While Liverpool is the leading candidate, a source close to the show told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) Nottingham's 10,000-seat National Ice Centre also has been reserved as a possible backup site.
Michael McDonald Replaces Kid Yamamoto at UFC 130, Faces Chris Cariaso
An injury has forced Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto out of UFC 130 and in to replace him will be Michael McDonald stepping to face Chris Cariaso on the May card. The UFC announced the new bout late Wednesday“Kid Yamamoto has withdrawn from his May 28th bout vs Chris Cariaso due to injury,” said UFC President Dana White. “In his place will be UFC’s youngest fighter and one of it’s most exciting, Michael McDonald, who is coming off a recent Fight of The Night performance. Chris Cariaso carries a great record of his own with a fast style and he plans on cementing his place in the bantamweight division with a win over the highly touted prospect. Both have verbally agreed to the fight.
Diego Sanchez vs. Matt Hughes tapped for fall UFC event
A welterweight bout between Diego Sanchez (23-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) and Matt Hughes (45-8 MMA, 18-6 UFC) has been tapped for a to-be-announced UFC event in the fall, officials today announced.
No date or location were announced for the fight.
The booking, though, all but assures that UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie won't get his desired rematch with Hughes at August's UFC 134 event in Brazil.
Dana White admits hands may be tied with Nick Diaz's boxing aspirations
TORONTO – Boxing is looking better than ever for Nick Diaz.
Two weeks after the Strikeforce welterweight champion's manager announced the fighter would take a break from MMA for a high-profile pro-boxing fight, the UFC appears receptive to the idea.
Of course, the boxing match is in Diaz's current contract.
"What I'm going to do is I'm going to sit down with Nick," UFC president Dana White today said. "I like the Diaz brothers. I'm going to sit down with him, and we'll figure out what he wants to do."
Cesar Gracie: Showtime snub led to Jason "Mayhem" Miller's deal with UFC
There's a reason fans didn't see Jason "Mayhem" Miller vs. Nick Diaz or Miller vs. Tim Kennedy, and it has nothing to do with weight or scheduling.
According to Diaz's trainer Cesar Gracie, the move of "Mayhem" from Strikeforce to the UFC was based in part on Showtime's disinterest in putting him on the premium-cable channel.
I don't buy this at all.
UFC Sued Over 'Fan Expo' Event Name
Hobby Star Marketing, a company which holds pop culture conventions for comic books, science fiction and other pop culture phenomena has sued the UFC over it's use of the Fan Expo name this weekend in Toronto. One of Hobby Star's largest events is FanExpo Canada and they have filed an injunction at the last minute against the UFC. From Comic Book Resources:
In the federal court statement obtained by CBR News, Hobby Star has filed for trade-mark infringement on the name "Fan Expo" as well as the slogan "The Ultimate Fan Experience" and the web domain www.ufcfanexpo.com. The papers were filed in a Toronto federal court and make no mention of previous UFC events labeled as "Fan Expos" such as a London, England event last summer, nor do they mention anything about the company's potential plans for a Fan Expo in Las Vegas this summer. This is likely because Hobby Star only have the "Fan Expo" trademark registered within Canada.
Zuffa, as legal owners of all names and trade-marks associated with the UFC, are listed as the primary defendant while Reed takes a secondary role in the brief as the organizer of the event, which is set to kick off this Friday at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto.
The document reveals that Hobby Star seeks an injunction against promoting or selling anything involving the mark and slogan as well as an order to "deliver up or destroy upon oath all clothing, goods labels, packages, advertising materials, signage, printed matter, including all plats, moulds, matrices, and other material for producing or printing such items and any other matter or materials in print or electric form" that fall under the offending names. Additionally, in its case Hobby Star cites the fact that a Reed employee named John McGeary was formerly associated with Fan Expo Canada in some capacity and therefore had knowledge of the trade-mark's use in Canada.
Chuck Liddell Thinks Jake Shields Will Upset Georges St. Pierre
Chuck Liddell knows a thing or two about defending a championship. The "Iceman" captured the UFC light-heavyweight title and held it for two years before relinquishing the crown. Georges St. Pierre has held a UFC belt even longer. He won the undisputed welterweight title in April 2008, so a successful title defense over Jake Shields at this weekend's UFC 129 will make it three years and counting at the top.
Liddell, though, has his doubts about St. Pierre getting there. In a Monday interview on The MMA Hour, Liddell said he thinks the challenger is likely to walk away with the belt.
"I'm siding with Jake," Liddell said. "Jake's going to have to take him down. I'm expecting him to be in great shape for the fight. He'll be in great shape for GSP. But yeah, I expect him to take him down and finish him."
UFC on Versus 5 adds T.J. O'Brien vs. Cole Miller, "Bang" Ludwig vs. Amir Sadollah
The first fights for August's UFC on Versus 5 event are in the works.
UFC officials today announced that verbal agreements are in place for lightweights T.J. O'Brien (16-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) vs. Cole Miller (17-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC) and welterweights Duane "Bang" Ludwig (20-11 MMA, 3-2 UFC) vs. Amir Sadollah (5-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC).
Although not officially announced by the organization, UFC on Versus 5 is expected to take place Aug. 14, possibly in Milwaukee.
UFC streams Friday's "Super 7" session with all current titleholders
For the first time ever, all seven UFC champions will take the stage simultaneously, and the organization is proving a live web stream of the Friday event.
The "Super 7" presentation takes place at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto.
MMAjunkie.com will provide a live stream of the session and the following UFC 129 weigh-ins beginning at 3:15 p.m. ET (12:15 p.m. PT).
Damn, Already? Randy Says UFC Could ‘Step Up’ to Avoid His Retirement, Admits Turning Down Jon Jones Fight
OK, before we all start dumping Haterade on Randy Couture, let us state for the record that in the following new video interview with Steve Cofield he still sounds pretty certain he’ll be retiring after UFC 129. In fact, Couture seems a little bit pissed off at this point that people keep asking him about it. Chalk it up to run-of-the-mill fight-week orneriness maybe, but we think we detect a slight edge creeping into “The Natural’s” voice when Cofield claims “one of his media buddies” got a text from Dana White that sums up Couture’s plan to call it quits after this weekend’s fight with Lyoto Machida by saying: “Retire? Not if he wins.”
“It doesn’t matter if I win or not,” Couture sort of snaps. “I know them, I know Dana. He’s got plans already and it doesn’t matter to me. He’s going to really have to step up if he thinks I’m going to come back out (of retirement). I don’t think that’s going to happen. There’s a lot of younger guys … Jon Jones is the perfect example. They offered me that fight in the fall. Nobody wants to fight that cat right now. I don’t see that battle in my future.”
UFC Sends Request to NSAC for Video Monitors for Judges at UFC 130
There was a time when the ringside judge's seat was the best view to watch prize fighting. With the advent of multiple camera angles, HD technology, and slow-motion replay, the couch in your living room is the best seat for fight watching in 2011.
Athletic commissions have been slow to adapt to current technology. While the fan at home has the best possible view of a fight, judges cageside are still forced to ignore big screens in the arena, and make do with a single, suboptimal angle of the action.
After years of judging controversy, the UFC is taking the initiative.
Maiquel Falcao vs. Tom Lawlor in the works for Brazil's UFC 134 event
A middleweight matchup between Brazilian slugger Maiquel Falcao (26-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and the always-entertaining Tom Lawlor (7-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is in the works for UFC 134.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed that both competitors have verbally agreed for the amtchup, and bout agreements are expected to be distributed shortly.
UFC 134, originally announced as "UFC: Rio," takes place Aug. 27 at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro and marks the UFC's first Brazil event since 1998.
Vitor Belfort Stricken with Hep A, Fight with Akiyama at UFC 133 Still a Go
Vitor Belfort will be taking a few weeks to rest after being diagnosed with Hepatitis A recently.
The UFC middleweight made the announcement about his contraction of the disease on his personal Twitter account, which his representative Pedro Lima later verified to MMAWeekly.com.
According to Lima, doctors are unsure how Belfort caught Hepatitis A, but the diagnosis will require the Brazilian to stay out of training and rest for the next three to four weeks.
Jon Jones injured, Phil Davis vs Rashad Evans now targeted for UFC 133
With UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones (13-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) injured, UFC officials now are targeting a bout between the champ's original opponent, Rashad Evans (15-1-1 MMA, 10-1-1 UFC), and replacement Phil Davis (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC).
Sources today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) the new matchup, which is expected to take place at UFC 133. The Canadian Press' Neil Davidson first reported the opponent switch.
A source told MMAjunkie.com that Jones is facing a lengthy recovery from a torn right-hand ligament suffered in his title win. A timetable for his return wasn't immediately available.
UFC 129's "UFC Primetime" replay draws 144,000 viewers on ESPN2
With little to no promotion or fanfare, the UFC's debut on ESPN2 resulted in only tepid ratings.
This past Wednesday, ESPN2 aired back-to-back replays of "UFC Primetime: St-Pierre vs. Shields." Both of the April 20 airings featured the second part of the three-part series, which concludes this week.
An industry source told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) ESPN2 scored 144,000 viewers for the 11 p.m. ET replay and 105,000 viewers for the 11:30 p.m. ET airing.