John Makdessi meets Kyle Watson, not Jonathan Brookins, at UFC 129
Lightweight prospect John Makdessi (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will meet "The Ultimate Fighter 12" semifinalist Kyle Watson (13-6-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at UFC 129, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the event.
Verbal agreements are in place for the bout with paperwork on the way.
Makdessi was rumored to be fighting "TUF 12" winner Jonathan Brookins at the event, but for reasons unknown, the matchup did not materialize.
Makdessi is the ninth Canadian slotted for the event, which takes place April 30 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. A welterweight title match between reigning champ Georges St-Pierre and challenger Jake Shields headlines the pay-per-view event.
Shane Carwin confirms likely UFC 131 slot, was offered Roy Nelson fight
Following recent back surgery, Shane Carwin (12-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) expects to make his return to the cage in June at UFC 131.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported the news on Monday, and Carwin confirmed the tentative booking on his official website, www.shane-carwin.com.
In the update, Carwin also confirmed he had been approached about fighting "The Ultimate Fighter 10" winner Roy Nelson before he ultimately was scheduled for a meeting with Frank Mir at UFC 130.
Officials hope to finalize plans for UFC 131 this week. The show is tentatively planned for June 11 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. As MMAjunkie.com reported on Monday, Carwin is expected to play a prominent role in the pay-per-view event.
The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale is June 4; door opened for Edgar-Maynard as coaches?
The upcoming 13th season of "The Ultimate Fighter" debuts March 30 on Spike TV, and a source close to the show today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale is slated for June 4.
The event takes place at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas and airs live on Spike TV.
Although no coaches have been named, the date would allow for UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar and top contender Gray Maynard, who could be part of UFC 131 in June, to meet in a season-ending fight.
UFC officials will announce the coaches later today during a media call, but they and other industry insiders have been tight-lipped about the names. Edgar and Maynard have emerged as possible candidates, though rumored coaches have included everyone from Dominick Cruz to Urijah Faber to Chael Sonnen to Wanderlei Silva to Brock Lesnar to Frank Mir to Jose Aldo.
Kenny Florian Targeting April Return, Says He's the Man to Fight Pettis
It's been a rough couple of months for Kenny Florian. First, he lost his No. 1 contenders fight with Gray Maynard, then he suffered a knee injury that knocked him out of a potential fight with Evan Dunham, and now, it appears the fighter he hoped to face upon his return has a bout scheduled that won't include him.
Late Monday night, Florian told MMA Fighting that he thought he should be the one to face Anthony Pettis in "Showtime's" UFC debut. Hours later, though, reports of a matchup between Pettis and Clay Guida surfaced, seemingly knocking that possibility out of the water.
Jacob Volkmann Plans to Ride Wave of Attention After Obama Comment
There's no way Jacob Volkmann could have predicted the aftermath of his tongue-in-cheek call out of President Barack Obama after UFC 125, but the Minnesota lightweight knows one thing: he's gonna roll with it.
Volkmann, whose post-fight interview with MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani has garnered more mainstream attention than perhaps any fight interview in years, told Helwani on "The MMA Hour" Monday that he doesn't regret his criticism of the president, even though it earned him a visit from the Secret Service. Well, mostly he has no regrets.
UFC to Announce Formal Intent to Bring Event to New York
It looks like the UFC has its New Year's Resolution.
Just a few days into 2011, the Nevada-based promotion will formally announce its intent to bring mixed martial arts to New York as soon as possible during a Thursday press conference at Madison Square Garden.
The press conference, which will take place at the world-famous MSG arena, will be attended by UFC president Dana White, Zuffa co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta, current lightweight champ Frankie Edgar, and former light-heavyweight champ Rashad Evans, along with MSG executives.
Guida vs. Pettis Targeted For UFC 130 or 131
Sources close the bout informed Heavy.com of the news on Monday night.
Pettis was scheduled to receive a UFC title shot against the winner of the Frankie Edgar/Gray Maynard bout from UFC 125. The fight ended in a draw, however, and Pettis was removed from the title shot in favor of a third bout between Edgar and Maynard. Pettis opted to take a fight instead of waiting on the sidelines for eight to ten months.
UFC Champ Cruz to Undergo Sidelining Surgery
Dominick Cruz will undergo long-delayed surgery on his left index finger this week in Chicago, the UFC bantamweight champion told ESPN.com Monday.
The top-ranked 135 pounder joins the list of sidelined UFC champions which includes featherweight ace Jose Aldo (neck injury) and top heavyweight Cain Velasquez (shoulder injury). Cruz outlined a time frame of 8-12 weeks before he is likely to return to training, with the possibility of a six month hiatus from competition.
“It could be six months, but I’m not planning on six months,” Cruz said.
The 25-year-old Alliance MMA product first sustained the injury last summer in training for his Aug. 18 rematch with Joseph Benavidez at WEC 50. Nonetheless, Cruz defended his WEC bantamweight title against the Urijah Faber pupil, earning a split decision after five rounds. Following the bout, Cruz was issued a 180-day medical suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission due to a potential fracture of his right hand.
Rep: UFC's Anthony Pettis not waiting for title shot, returns May or June
It's certainly a gamble putting Anthony Pettis' lightweight title shot at risk. But the alternative is far worse.
Officials from Pettis' support team today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that keeping the WEC-champion-turned UFC-contender on the shelf while UFC champ Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard collide a third time could would bring cage rust as detrimental as a possible loss.
That's why they're targeting Pettis (13-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) for a May or June fight, presumably UFC 130 or UFC 131, against an opponent to be announced shortly.
Mike Roberts, Pettis' manager, today said verbal agreements are in place for the bout, though he declined to reveal the matchup.
Shane Carwin Plans Return at UFC 131 in Vancouver
UFC 131 is expected to take place June 11 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. ... UFC 131 is in the final planning stages and UFC officials are working this week to finalize the show and venue.
No bouts are rumored for UFC 131, but a source told MMAjunkie.com that former heavyweight title-challenger Shane Carwin could be featured prominently on the card, which would mark his first fight since back surgery.
UFC 130 Likely For Vegas, 131 For Vancouver
While neither event has been officially announced, UFC 130 & 131 are both taking shape and could be announced soon. 130 appears set for Las Vegas at the MGM Grand, while 131 will likely be held in Vancouver. The dates are to be May 28 and June 11, respectively.
"The Ultimate Fighter 13" cast shifts to all welterweights, coaches named this week
While initially intended to feature welterweights and middleweights, the upcoming 13th season of "The Ultimate Fighter" instead now will be a welterweights-only season.
A source close to the long-running competition/reality series today confirmed the plans with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The show begins taping this month, and it debuts March 30 on Spike TV. Coaches are expected to be announced this week, a source said.
With the single weight class, "TUF 13" is expected to use the same 28-man, 32-slot tournament that has been employed in recent seasons. The initial 28 elimination-round fights, which air over the first episode or two of the show, will determine the initial cast of 14. The fighters then enter a 16-slot bracket, and two opening-round losers will get a second shot as "wild card" picks. ("TUF 11" wild-card pick Kris McCray eventually became the show's runner-up.)
White Out: UFC President Dana White Silent on Strikeforce Tourney
It's been more than a week and we haven't heard a peep. No statements have been issued through media favorites like Kevin Iole or Ariel Helwani. There have been no mean spirited video blogs. Strikeforce has announced the biggest tournament in the history of American MMA and the UFC has maintained complete silence. For MMA fans, that has to be a little disconcerting.
Traditionally when UFC President Dana White sees a competitor on the horizon he strikes quickly. White isn't one to work the jab and bide his time for an opening either. He comes in windmilling, much like his favored brand of toughman style MMA, with both hands tossing wild and crazy winging blows. Usually the other guy falls down.
Pat Barry: I don't know how anyone is going to stop Alistair 'The Monster' Overeem
"The dude is a monster. That’s what I think. Not only is he humongous, (but) he’s extremely experienced. That’s what makes him the most dangerous. Not just the size, but he has so much experience in MMA and in kickboxing, and he’s a Dutch trained kickboxer. I was in Amsterdam for five years. I know what the Dutch train like out there... He doesn’t seem to get tired. All he needs to do is hit you one time. He’s fast, he’s athletic, and he’s strong as hell. He’s everything you need all in one body... The dude is a monster. I don’t know how anyone is going to stop him any time soon."
Charles Oliveira Signs New UFC Deal
Despite coming off a loss to Jim Miller at the "St. Pierre vs Koscheck" event last December, UFC lightweight Charles Oliveira has signed a four fight extension with Zuffa, according to the Houston MMA Examiner. The dynamic young fighter commented on the new deal: "I am very happy about the extension. They have been cutting so many 155 pounders, I am very blessed to have a job for 2011."