UFC 129 Officially Breaks Live Gate, Attendance Records
The final numbers are in for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s record-setting Saturday stop at Rogers Centre in Toronto. UFC 129 “St. Pierre vs. Shields” officially drew 55,724 fans for a live gate of $12.075 million, smashing both promotional and North American MMA records.
UFC President Dana White announced the figures during the event’s post-fight news conference.
A Battle With a Union At the Heart of the UFC and MMA Not Being Santioned in New York
With the first ever UFC show in Canada’s province of Ontario a rousing success, the world’s biggest MMA promotion now only has one more giant task to tackle when it comes to conquering a new territory.
New York State.
Sanctioning for mixed martial arts has happened in almost every state, as well as all the major areas in Canada, and across the world, but New York still seems to be the thorn in the side of the UFC as they try to get the sport legalized there.
White: UFC Looking at Aldo-Mendes Title Bout for UFC 133
Hours after the most difficult title defense of his career, Jose Aldo’s next bout was already the subject of speculation.
Following the 24-year-old’s “Fight of the Night”-winning performance against Mark Hominick at UFC 129, members of the press asked UFC President Dana White about the Brazilian’s future as featherweight champion. When questioned whether Aldo would find his way onto the UFC 134 card in Rio de Janeiro, White was non-committal, asserting that he might have other plans for the 145-pound king.
“I don’t know. That’s a curve ball for me right now,” said White. “I think we’re looking at Jose possibly fighting [at UFC 133] in Philly.”
With Aug. 6 now on the table as a tentative return date for the champ, the next logical question surfaced: who will Aldo face in his next title defense?
“Probably [Chad Mendes]. Kenny Florian couldn’t be ready by then,” said White. “Mendes is 10-0. It makes sense.”
With Cain Velasquez healing, champ will probably headline UFC 136 in Houston
TORONTO – With Cain Velasquez reportedly recovering nicely from a recent shoulder surgery, UFC president Dana White is eyeing a fall return for his heavyweight champion.
Following Saturday night's UFC 129 post-event press conference at Toronto's Rogers Centre, White told a small group of reporters that Velasquez will likely return at the as-yet-unannounced UFC 136 event, which is expected to take place in Houston and coincide with the company's second UFC Fan Expo of 2011.
"Probably," White said when asked if Velasquez would headline the card. "I think that would make a lot of sense."
Georges St. Pierre vs Nick Diaz hurdles exist but UFC president open to idea
TORONTO – The UFC's current crop of welterweights has little to offer, and with a super fight with middleweight champion Anderson Silva apparently unlikely, what's next for 170-pound titleholder Georges St-Pierre?
It was the big question after St-Pierre's decisive but heavily panned decision victory over Jake Shields in Saturday's UFC 129 main event.
But UFC president Dana White has a potential solution: a fight with Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz.
UFC 129 Bonuses: Aldo, Hominick, Machida, Garza Bank $129,000
Four fighters walked away from Rogers Centre in Toronto on Saturday night with $129,000 apiece in post-fight bonus money, as Lyoto Machida took home “Knockout of the Night,” while Pablo Garza was awarded “Submission of the Night.” Meanwhile, Jose Aldo (Pictured; file photo) and Mark Hominick earned “Fight of the Night” honors for their thrilling featherweight title affair in front of a reported 55,724 fans at UFC 129.
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.