UFC on Versus 4: Weight Drop Doesn’t Faze Nate Marquardt Heading into Fight with Rick Story
Nate Marquardt steps into the main event at UFC on Versus 4 not only with the weight of a headlining bout on his shoulders, but also the prospect of fighting for the first time in a new weight class in the Octagon.
A staple of the middleweight division since his UFC debut in 2005, Marquardt has bumped up against realizing his dream, a UFC championship, several times at 185 pounds, only to fall short.
Noticing how much better he felt at a lighter walking around weight, he decided to give the welterweight class a go. He has no easy first fight at his new weight, stepping into the Octagon with Rick Story, who has quickly risen up the ranks of the division.
Riki Fukuda out of UFC 133 due to car-accident injury
Japanese striker Riki Fukuda (17-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has been forced out of a UFC 133 bout with fellow middleweight Rafael "Sapo" Natal (12-3-1 MMA, 0-1-1 UFC).
In a Twitter update, Fukuda said he suffered a left-knee injury in a recent car accident. He didn't give a timetable for his return.
UFC officials have not officially announced the withdrawal or a possible replacement opponent for Natal.
UFC 133 takes place at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Aug. 6. The night's main card airs on pay-per-view, though Fukuda vs. Natal was slated for the preliminary card.
TUF 13's Chuck O'Neil Released by the UFC
More trimming has been done from the UFC roster. Shortly after the news that Kendall Grove has been released, another TUF alum has received his walking papers. Season 13's Chuck O'Neil announced it on his facebook page:
I was officially released by the UFC today. I will continue to work hard to improve myself as a person and a fighter everyday. I WILL make it back there because the UFC is where I belong. Thank you to everyone for your continued support and there will be a fight coming soon with a MUCH improved performance!
Kendall Grove cut by the UFC
"Da Spyder" is going to have to find somewhere else to weave his web.
That's because Kendall Grove (12-9) has been released by the UFC following a unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Tim Boetsch at the recent UFC 130: "Rampage vs. Hamill" event on May 28.
Bonnar Injured; Newcomer ‘Markes’ in for UFC Live 5
Stephan Bonnar has suffered an undisclosed injury and will be unable to compete as scheduled at UFC Live 5, the promotion announced Friday. Octagon newcomer Ronny Markes will get the call to confront Karlos Vemola, Bonnar's original opponent for the event.
Headlined by a welterweight clash between hard-hitting Brit Dan Hardy and durable veteran Chris Lytle, UFC Live 5 goes down Aug. 14 from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. The event is also scheduled to feature a pivotal lightweight duel, as the surging Jim Miller squares off with former WEC champion Benson Henderson.
Markes, 23, rides a four-fight winning streak heading into his showdown with Vemola. The reigning light heavyweight king of Shooto Brazil, Markes has only lost once as a professional. The Nova Uniao representative holds nine of his 11 career wins by either knockout or submission and most recently earned a unanimous decision victory over former Pride Fighting Championships standout Paulo Filho in August...
UFC 138: Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos Planned for November in San Jose
After Junior dos Santos beat down Shane Carwin in a #1 contender's match at UFC 131, it was only a matter of time before his shot against heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez would be scheduled. The question mark was Velasquez' recovery time from rotator cuff surgery earlier in the year.
Velasquez pasted Brock Lesnar at UFC 121 to take the title last October but injured his shoulder and has not fought since.
Now apparently UFC officials know enough to set a date.
Despite quick rise, Dustin Poirier still "three of four years" away from UFC title shot
With fast, hard punches and kicks and an aggressive style, Dustin Poirier certainly looks the part of someone who could give UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo trouble.
Of course, if it holds true that a good opponent makes a fighter look good, credit is also due to his most recent one, Jason Young. The British newcomer went toe-to-toe with Poirer for three rounds in one of the more exciting fights of this past Saturday's UFC 131 event.
Jose Aldo Expects to Defend Title Against Kenny Florian in October
The last few weeks have seen a lot of strange stuff coming from the UFC featherweight division. After featherweight champion Jose Aldo defeated Mark Hominick at UFC 129, Dana White made it clear that Aldo's next defense would "likely" be against Chad Mendes at UFC 133 on August 6th. No contract was ever signed, and Aldo (through Ed Soares) ended up turning down that fight for a few different reasons. Mendes decided to stay on the card, and will fight Rani Yayha. And it seems he's lost his title shot as a result of all this.
NAAFS Heavyweight Champion, Stipe Miocic signs with UFC
Undefeated NAAFS heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is taking his talents to the UFC.
The Ohio-based MMA promotion recently announced the signing, though UFC officials haven't made a formal announcement.
Miocic, a former NCAA Division I national wrestling qualifier, went 5-0 as an amateur and owns a 6-0 professional record. All of his victories have come via stoppage.
According to the release, Miocic's first UFC fight and opponent will be announced shortly.
Perhaps not coincidentally, the UFC long has considered hosting a show in northern Ohio. The 28-year-old Miocic fights out of the Cleveland area, which continually draws solid TV ratings for UFC broadcasts.
Five-round UFC non-title fights? Clay Guida says bring on the bonus checks
What would two more rounds have brought to Clay Guida vs. Anthony Pettis?
Would Guida (29-11 MMA, 9-5 UFC) have controlled Pettis (13-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) on the mat? Would Pettis have submitted Guida with a triangle? Would the "Showtime Kick" have made another appearance?
Guida has no idea. He had his hands plenty full for three rounds when they fought at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale. But you'll never have to convince him that five-round non-title fights are a bad idea. He thinks they're just another chance to put some extra cash in his pocket.
Jose Aldo expects a 'tough' fight against Kenny Florian in October
Perhaps the third time will indeed be the charm for Kenny Florian.
Fresh off his winning 145-pound debut over Diego Nunes at UFC 131 this past weekend, the former two-time lightweight number one contender was "more than likely" assured a title shot against division champion Jose Aldo.
It appears word travels fast back to Brazil.
UFC's Fabio Maldonado: 'Americans Will Take MMA Over'
UFC light heavyweight Fabio Maldonado opened up an interesting line of thought in an interview with Brazilian website R7.com recently (article translated by Eduardo Cruz of Fighters Only). Basically, he believes that Brazilians are falling behind Americans in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, in conditioning and other areas. Due to a bunch of recent losses by Brazilian fighters to their American counterparts, he was asked about the topic and was very frank with his response:
Questioned about a potential lack in the conditioning of Brazilian athletes compared to American ones, he went straight to the point:
"I agree with this analysis. Perhaps Brazilians miss the point in training. It's not that we train less, but sometimes we confuse the amount of training with quality. It's sad to say but Americans will dominate the mixed martial arts future," he told R7.com.
Rick Story on Fighting Nate Marquardt on Short Notice: 'No Hesitation'
Rick Story hadn't even yet gotten over the soreness of his May 28 win over Thiago Alves when the phone rang. On the other end was an offer to fight Nate Marquardt, a former middleweight No. 1 contender who was dropping down to welterweight and in need of an opponent after originally scheduled foe Anthony Johnson was forced out.
The proposed fight at UFC on Versus 4 would come with less than a month to recover, study and prepare. For some, the answer would have been a simple no. For others, they would have needed some time to think it over. But for story, the question to fight on short notice might as well have been a rhetorical one.
"UFC on Versus 4: Marquardt vs. Story" weigh-ins set for June 25th
Weigh-ins for this month's "UFC on Versus 4: Marquardt vs. Story" event take place Saturday, June 25, at the Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center.
The same venue hosts the following night's Versus-broadcast fight card, which features a headliner between former middleweight Nate Marquardt and fast-rising welterweight prospect Rick Story.
Doors to the festivities open to members of the UFC Fight Club, the promotion's official fan club, at 1 p.m. ET. The public is welcome to enter at 1:30 p.m. ET.