When GSP scratched, Chris Lytle briefly considered post-retirement UFC 137 return
Let's make it perfectly clear: Chris Lytle has no plans to come out of retirement.
After a recent storybook ending to a memorable UFC career, Lytle is focused on an Indiana State Senate run and spending more time with his family.
But admittedly, when he heard UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre had scratched from this weekend's UFC 137 event and that Carlos Condit might be without an opponent, he briefly entertained the idea of a comeback.
So there's still that itch to get back in the cage?
"Actually there is," Lytle recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "I really didn't realize it that much until a few weeks ago. I heard Carlos Condit was going to fight GSP and GSP got injured, and I was thinking, "Hmmm, I'm not doing anything that day.'
"But I haven't been training or anything. I've been running for state Senate. That's keeping me really busy. I've been disappointed with how little I've been able to get into the gym. I've been able to get in there a little bit but not as much as I like."
UFC 137 weigh-in results
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view)
•Nick Diaz (170) vs. B.J. Penn (169)
•Cheick Kongo (234) vs. Matt Mitrione (255)
•Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (235) vs. Roy Nelson (252)
•Jeff Curran (134) vs. Scott Jorgensen (135)
•Hatsu Hioki (145) vs. George Roop (145)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike TV)
•Donald Cerrone (156) vs. Dennis Siver (155)
•Tyson Griffin (149)* vs. Bart Palaszewski (146)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook)
•Eliot Marshall (204) vs. Brandon Vera (205)
•Danny Downes (155) vs. Ramsey Nijem (155)
•Chris Camozzi (185) vs. Francis Carmont (185)
•Dustin Jacoby (185) vs. Clifford Starks (186)
* - Bout to be contested at catchweight of 148 pounds; Griffin fined 25 percent of "show" money
UFC Smartly Nixes Plans for UFC Japan to Lead Into U.S. Pay-Per-View
According to a report from MMAFighting.com's Daniel Herbertson, the UFC has finally wised up to the realities of promoting an event in Japan. It was originally suggested by UFC President Dana White that the UFC Japan card, scheduled to take place at Saitama Super Arena on February 26, would act as a prelude to a stateside pay-per-view, but sources have confirmed that the UFC has nixed that approach:
The UFC's long-awaited return to Japan on Feb. 26, 2012 will be a full pay-per-view level event, sources have confirmed to MMA Fighting as initially reported by Dave Meltzer. Zuffa has thus abandoned its controversial plan to have the UFC Japan event act as a free-to-air lead-in to a Las Vegas PPV event.
Officials detail Jon Anik's new duties with UFC broadcasting team
Following Thursday's announcement that veteran ESPN broadcaster Jon Anik has joined the UFC broadcasting team, officials today detailed some of his new duties with the promotion.
Anik, the longtime host of "MMA Live" on ESPN2 and ESPN.com, has officially joined the UFC as a play-by-play man.
The duties include broadcasts on both FX and FUEL TV.
FX and FUEL TV are both owned by FOX, which recently inked a landmark seven-year deal with the UFC. The partnership officially kicks off in 2012.
While the longtime broadcasting team of Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan will remain intact and handle the usual pay-per-view events, Anik's duties will include a mix of cable events and highlights programs.
Anik will provide play-by-play commentary for shows that air on FX and FUEL TV, including UFC Fight Night and The Ultimate Fighter Finale events. He'll also handle the newly created host position for the revamped "TUF" reality series that moves from Spike TV to FX in 2012. He'll also host a new "Ultimate Insider" show that debuts January on FUEL TV.
Officials have not announced who may be paired with Anik as a color commentator.
UFC 142 booked for Rio de Janeiro's HSBC Arena on Jan. 14
The Ultimate Fighting Championship won't wait long to return to spiritual home of mixed martial arts.
Following this past August's ultra-successful UFC 134 event, the UFC will return to Rio de Janeiro's HSBC Arena on Jan. 14 for an event expected to serve as UFC 142.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the booking with UFC officials.
The UFC has yet to make an official announcement regarding the event, and potential fight bookings for the card have yet to be revealed
FUEL TV debuts 'UFC Champions Roundtable' with Jay Glazer on Nov. 8
UFC president Dana White has promised FUEL TV is planning "must-have" programming for MMA fans, and the cable channel will soon debut a "UFC Champions Roundtable" special with host Jay Glazer.
Featuring current and former UFC champions Forrest Griffin, Chuck Liddell, Jon Jones and Frank Mir, the special debuts on Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT).
The channel also plans frequent replays leading up to that week's UFC on FOX 1 event.
FX and FUEL TV are both owned by FOX, which recently inked a landmark seven-year deal with the UFC. The partnership officially kicks off in 2012.
Additionally, FUEL TV has announced plans for both a pre- and post-fight show for the Nov. 12 UFC on FOX 1 event, which features a heavyweight title fight between current champ Cain Velasquez and top contender Junior Dos Santos. Th event takes place at Anaheim, Calif.'s Honda Center.
Charles Oliveira making transition to UFC's featherweight division
Brazilian youngster Charles Oliveira (14-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) is dropping to 145 pounds.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today learned from Oliveira's manager, Wade Hampel, that Oliveira has informed UFC brass he would like for his next fight to take place in the company's featherweight division.
"Charles hopes to return to action before the end of the year, if possible," Hampel said. "We're extremely excited to see what he can achieve at 145 pounds."
White says 'TUF: Brazil' a done deal, will hold 'as many events as possible' in country
LAS VEGAS – Canada and the Philippines' loss will apparently be Brazil's gain.
UFC president Dana White, who has long teased an international version of "The Ultimate Fighter" today said a Brazilian edition of the long-running reality series is "a done deal" and will debut in the near future.
And while White insists the company has not yet confirmed when it will return to Brazil for a live event, he said the UFC is actively working on booking "as many (events) as we possibly can."
NSAC says UFC 137 headliner Nick Diaz passed required pre-fight drug test
The shuffling deck of UFC 137 squashed the Nevada State Athletic Commission's plans for out-of-competition testing of the headliners.
However, one competitor did not and could not escape a pre-fight drug test: Nick Diaz. And as it turned out, he took headliner status.
Thankfully, the NSAC received notice on Wednesday that Diaz passed a test for drugs of abuse and is cleared to fight, NSAC executive director Keith Kizer told MMAjunkie.com.
B.J. Penn Challenges Cesar Gracie, Admits to Being 'Hookwinked' By Him
B.J. Penn is an mature adult now and doesn't want to talk smack. That's fine, and I applaud that decision. Penn is usually a pretty honest guy though, and in an interview with Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting, he aims his honesty in the direction of a guy that he thinks might have 'hoodwinked' him - Cesar Gracie, manager of Nick Diaz and a guy B.J. has trained with in the past. He even offers to go five rounds with him. Here's the telling quote:
"Dana called us...it's a funny story actually. Dana called us and said 'Cesar just called me and said they would love that they would love to fight Nick Diaz. I mean, that him and Nick Diaz would love to fight you, and that's the fight they want. So I texted Cesar. I said 'Dana just said you would love to fight us, and this and that's the fight you want'. And I guess, I don't know, maybe Cesar didn't wanna say that he said that. He texted me back and said 'Laugh out loud, Dana just told us the same thing'. So I ended up thinking Dana's trying to set me up and make it into a personal thing, but it was really Cesar. Cesar was...Cesar hoodwinked me, I guess."
UFC on FOX 1 undercard streams free on Facebook and FOX.com
The entire undercard for next month's landmark UFC on FOX 1 event will stream live and for free on Facebook and FOX.com.
UFC president Dana White today announced the plans following a pre-UFC 137 press conference.
The full UFC on FOX 1 card includes:
MAIN CARD (FOX)
Champ Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos (for heavyweight title)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook and FOX.com)
Clay Guida vs. Ben Henderson
Pablo Garza vs. Dustin Poirier
Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto vs. Darren Uyenoyama
Ricardo Lamas vs. Cub Swanson
Clay Harvsion vs. DaMarques Johnson
Robert Peralta vs. Mackens Semerzier
Paul Bradley vs. Mike Pierce
Matt Lucas vs. Aaron Rosa
Alex Caceres vs. Cole Escovedo
ESPN's Jon Anik joins UFC broadcasting team
Jon Anik has joined the UFC family.
UFC president Dana White today announced that the veteran broadcaster, who's been the longtime host and anchor of the weekly "MMA Live" show on ESPN2, has joined the UFC broadcasting team.
Anik will commentate UFC Fight Night and The Ultimate Fighter Finale events on FX, and he'll also call the action for the live "TUF" episodes that begin airing on the cable station in 2012.
"We're very happy to have Jon as part of the team," White said during today's UFC 137 pre-event press conference in Las Vegas.
Anik, 33, is taking a full-time position with the UFC. There's no word on his possible "MMA Live" replacement.
Nick Diaz Wishes He'd Stuck to Boxing Plans
Nick Diaz's chance to come to the UFC was a move made seemingly as much to provide Georges St. Pierre with a new, marketable challenger as it was to prevent him from following through on his Strikeforce contract which allowed him to take a pro boxing match. Diaz had a deal worked out with the well faded (and frankly never all that good) Jeff Lacy which was being shopped to different pay-per-view distributors but the UFC brought him in and gave him the shot at GSP's title.
Diaz no-showed press events and got bumped down to the co-main event to fight B.J. Penn.
Nick is now telling MMA Fighting that he regrets his decision to skip out on his boxing opportunity:
"I would have gone back to boxing," Diaz said. "If I had my chance to do it over again, I would go back to the boxing contract. It would have paid me more money, and I would have took my punches win or lose, and just do my job, fight and get paid."
Though content with career, UFC 137's 'Cro Cop' says another loss would be a 'disaster'
A softer side – in fact, a jovial and even comedic side – has come out of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic ahead of Saturday's UFC 137 fight with Roy Nelson.
The heavyweight fighter's UFC career long has been identified by unrivaled stoicism, but lately, the dangerous Croatian striker has loosened up.
Even with a two-fight losing streak staring him in the face, Filipovic told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he's got every reason be proud of his once-illustrious career. But admittedly, another loss would be a personal disaster, he said.
Filipovic (27-9-2 MMA, 4-5 UFC) and Nelson (15-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC) clash on Saturday's pay-per-view main card at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Events Center. Both notables are stuck in two-fight losing skids, and Saturday's loser could be forced to pack his bags.
With cast removed, UFC's Diego Sanchez cleared to resume training
Diego Sanchez has been cleared to resume training.
The UFC veteran recently scratched from a UFC 135 fight with Matt Hughes earlier this month when he was sidelined by a broken right hand.
Doctors, though, have removed his cast and cleared the lightweight fighter to resume training, though no return bout has been booked.
"I feel great," Sanchez stated in a release. "In some senses, this injury has been a blessing because I've been forced to train in ways and on things that I never before had thought of or considered. I truly feel as going though this injury is going to make me a better fighter in the long run.
With UFC 137 main event looming, Nick Diaz laments choice not to box
Nick Diaz (25-7 MMA, 6-4 UFC) now says he regrets his decision to pass up a boxing contract for a return to the UFC.
Three days before his UFC 137 headliner opposite B.J. Penn (16-7-2 MMA, 12-6-2 UFC), Diaz said a trip to the square circle would have benefitted him more in the long term than the continuation of his MMA career.
"If I had my chance to do it over again, I would have gone back to the boxing contract," the former Strikeforce champion said today.
UFC 137's Donald Cerrone: After 'one-trick pony,' I want Nam Phan at 145 pounds
LAS VEGAS – UFC lightweight contender Donald Cerrone (16-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC) currently has his hands full with German striker Dennis Siver (19-7 MMA, 8-4 UFC), but that doesn't mean "Cowboy" isn't already planning out his next move.
He's giving up Milk Duds and Hot Tamales.
Cerrone said after his bout with Siver at this weekend's UFC 137 event in Las Vegas, he's making a drop down to 145 pounds for one specific reason: to silence Nam Phan.
"I'm about to go to 145 (pounds) after this fight," Cerrone today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I'm going to go after Nam Phan. He's talking [expletive], and now I'm pissed off."
Cesar Gracie Says Gilbert Melendez is UFC-Bound After December Strikeforce Fight
Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez has recently been the subject of much speculation regarding how much longer he would remain with that organization. UFC president Dana White recently said that he wanted to bring him over to the UFC, but he was still booked in a title defense against Jorge Masvidal at a Strikeforce event on December 17th in San Diego. Gil's coach Cesar Gracie made it clear to Tatame that he's going to the UFC after that fight though:
"Absolutely it’ll be his last fight (in Strikeforce)", assures the coach, who didn’t have any doubts about Melendez’s situation on the lightweight division of Ultimate, which title holder is Frankie Edgar. "I believe Melendez is the best of the world in this division".
Brendan Schaub and Fabricio Werdum Eye Potential Matchup
It started off with a simple statement from Brendan Schaub, and has blossomed into something more. It's well known that Fabricio Werdum is looking to return to the UFC and he's apparently willing to grasp at any olive branch that might lead him there, no matter how small. After Schaub said Werdum would be an interesting opponent in an interview last week, Werdum responded on twitter today with a challenge:
@BrendanSchaub I'm ready for you, anytime, anywhere! @SpiderAnderson @kings_mma @wandfc @graciemag_br @TATAMEMAGAZINE @marco_goncalves
Oct 25 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply
The fact that he included 67 other people in the tweet is a major indication that he's looking for some validation here.