UFC 128 gets three more contests, including Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian Loveland
With the UFC's return to New Jersey official, the promotion is wasting little time filling out the night's fight card.
UFC brass initially announced "UFC 128: Shogun vs. Evans" would feature Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. Rashad Evans and Urijah Faber vs. Eddie Wineland.
The UFC has since upped the ante with the release of previously reported contests of Kurt Pellegrino vs. Gleison Tibau and Edson Barboza vs. Anthony Njokuani, as well as a new fight between Joseph Benavidez and Ian Loveland.
"UFC 128: Shogun vs. Evans" takes place March 19 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
UFC 128: Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua vs. Rashad Evans Is Official
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on Saturday, March 19 with the long-awaited title fight between UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and former champion "Suga" Rashad Evans.
A bantamweight clash between former WEC champions "The California Kid" Urijah Faber and Eddie Wineland will also be featured at UFC 128.
Tickets for UFC 128: SHOGUN VS. EVANS are priced at $500, $350, $225, $150, $100 and $60, not including applicable service charges, and go on sale Thursday, Jan. 13 at 10 a.m. ET.
MacDonald-Wilks, Brookins-Makdessi Added to UFC 129 in Toronto
Numerous sources have informed that Rory MacDonald and James Wilks have verbally agreed, to square off inside the octagon, on Saturday, April 30th, at The Rogers Centre in Toronto.
...A source has informed me that Jonathan Brookins, will have his hands full, as he is expected to take on undefeated lightweight, John Makdessi.
UFC 125 "UFC Prelims" draws 829,000 viewers on ION Television
While many MMA fans had little knowledge of ION Television before the network partnered with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, more than three-quarters-of-a-million viewers were able to find the channel this past weekend.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today learned from industry sources that this past weekend's "UFC Prelims" special, which featured a trio of live fights from "UFC 125: Resolution," drew an average of 829,000 viewers.
This past weekend's one-hour special marked the UFC's debut on ION Television. Past editions of "UFC Prelims" have aired on Spike TV and UFC.com.
Prior to UFC 125, the most recent edition of "UFC Prelims" to air on TV was "UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida," which drew 1.5 million viewers. The figures for this past weekend's event mark a 44 percent decrease from the November broadcast of UFC 123.
Cruz Certain Faber Rematch Will Happen Eventually
UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has lost only one fight.
In March 2007, Urijah Faber submitted him in a 145-pound contest. Now that Faber has dropped to 135, where Cruz is king, Cruz is sure he’ll get a chance for revenge.
“It’s going to be a guarantee that me and Faber are going to end up fighting,” Cruz said during a recent “Savage Dog Show” interview on the Sherdog Radio Network. “Because I want to fight the best guys in the division, and for sure he’s one of the best guys in the division. You can’t take away the things that he’s done in the sport. You can’t take away the things that he’s done at the weight class above.”
On Wednesday, however, it was reported that Faber’s next bout will be in March against fellow bantamweight contender Eddie Wineland.
Franklin McNeil talks Pettis, title situation
No one could have predicted the level of action Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard delivered Saturday night in their rematch at UFC 125.
Even UFC president Dana White, possibly the most optimistic fight promoter ever, could not have imagined the bout's outcome. And with good reason. Despite never having lost a mixed martial arts bout, Maynard wasn't exactly considered an all-action fighter. In many circles, he was regarded as boring.
Good article from one of the best in the sport, Franklin McNeil
Shields up: Georges St. Pierre is going to have to deal with 'new strategies' on April 30
I definitely feel that I'll find a way to get him down and I think he's going to try to get me down too. He's a great wrestler and Jiu-Jitsu fighter as well, so I think this fight will definitely hit the ground. There are big differences between me and all of the other guys at 170-pounds. Koscheck shoots in a big blast double from outside and GSP had an answer for that. I have some different strategies and I'm going to try to come up with some new strategies because it is hard to get GSP to the ground. I have a feeling I'll be able to get him down there with my style."
UFC Cuts Phil Baroni (Again)
As expected, Phil Baroni is once again unemployed. Albeit temporarily. Baroni was cut by UFC for the second time after his UFC 125 loss to Brad Tavares, givin ghim the Losing Streak Of Doom once again, but according to sources close to him he's already received offers from at least 5 smaller organizations. Baroni's career mark is now 13-13 but only 3-7 in UFC.
In spite of legal trouble - Sonnen vs. Akiyama at UFC 128
Chael Sonnen's life just got a lot more complicated, as if it weren't already.
The UFC middleweight, who's currently serving a suspension from the California State Athletic Commission, today plead guilty to federal charges of money laundering – a charge that carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine – according to a release issued today by the U.S. District Attorney's Office in Oregon.
His sentencing is set to begin 10 days after he is expected to fight Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 128, according to sources close to the event, which today informed MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the pending booking just as news of the legal trouble broke.
UFC 128 takes place March 19 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and features a light heavyweight title bout between champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and former champ Rashad Evans.
Matt Brown vs Mark Scanlon at UFC on Versus 3
A welterweight bout between Matt Brown (11-10 MMA, 4-4 UFC) and Mark Scanlon (7-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will be part of March's UFC on Versus 3 event.
Sources close to the negotiations today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) verbal agreements are in place for the fight, which Heavy.com first reported.
Chael Sonnen pleads guilty to money laundering, May face Prison Time
Haha, this just keeps getting better....
"Chael Sonnen, an ultimate fighting champion and one-time candidate for a seat in Congress, has pleaded to a federal money laundering charge.
A licensed Realtor from West Linn, Sonnen admitted before a judge Monday that he conducted a financial transaction designed to hide or disguise the ownership and control of proceeds of mortgage fraud, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release"
Now, Where's that Sonnen Bandwagon at?
Benson Henderson vs. Mark Bocek In The Works For UFC 129
A lightweight bout between rising contender Mark Bocek and former WEC champ Ben Henderson is in the works for April's UFC 129 event. Verbal agreements are in place according to a source close to the negotiations, but fighter reps couldn't be reached for comment. If it happens, the fight will mark Henderson's UFC debut.
UFC 125 Medical Suspensions
The NSAC has announced the medical suspensions today from Saturday's UFC 125 event. A total of 9 fighters were suspended and a whopping 6 of them-including UFC Lightweight Champion Frank Edgar-could be out until July 1 due to injuries. All can be cleared to return early, but all of them except for Greg Soto are still suspended until at least February 16 and Phil Baroni can't fight until at least March 3. Getting shorter suspensions were Gray Maynard, Chris Leben and DIego Nunes.
John Hathaway vs. Kris McCray Slotted For UFN 24
A fight with both fighters in need of a win appears set for UFC 124, as John Hathaway & Kris McCray are set to face off at the event on March 26. Verbal agreements are in place, paperwork pending. Hathaway is coming off his first career loss at UFC 120, while McCray tries to avoid losing 3 in a row and in all likelihood his UFC spot since making his official debut at the TUF 11 Finale.
Sam Stout Off UFC 126, Cerrone In
With Sam Stout off next month's UFC 126 event due to injury, former WEC star Donald Cerrone has agreed to be the replacement and will face Paul Kelly at the event. This will be Cerrone's UFC debut after a recent 3-1 run to close out his WEC career.
Junior Dos Santos Needs To Fight Because He Needs To Get Paid
And apparently he can't wait until possibly August to face Cain Velasquez in Rio, so he has a simple message for Dana White: Interim Title Fight. Now. "Of course, it would be amazing to face Velasquez at UFC ‘Rio’ in August, but I cannot stay away from the Octagon for a year just waiting for him to recover. I really think that the fairest thing to do would be for [UFC President] Dana [White] to give me the opportunity to fight for an interim belt. I’m 100 percent focused on getting this belt. I’m in the best moment of my career, training hard and working so hard to reach the fight of my life, and, suddenly, it’s postponed eight months. It’s definitely not fair. I’m already five months away from fighting. I can’t wait eight months. Fighting is my life, not only because I love to do that but because I need to fight for a living. I still don’t make money like the other top guys, so I really need to work."
UFC 125 salaries: Thiago Silva and Frankie Edgar top $872K fighter payroll
Main-card fighter Thiago Silva ($110,000) and UFC lightweight champion/headliner Frankie Edgar ($102,000) were the top earners at this past weekend's UFC 125 event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today requested and received the list of disclosed paydays from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The total disclosed payroll for the New Year's Day event was $872,000.
Champion Frankie Edgar: $102,000 (includes $51,000 win bonus)*
vs. Gray Maynard: $52,000 ($26,000 win bonus)*
Brian Stann: $42,000 ($21,000 win bonus)
def. Chris Leben: $46,000
Thiago Silva: $110,000 ($55,000 win bonus)
def. Brandon Vera: $60,000
Dong Hyun Kim: $70,000 ($35,000 win bonus)
def. Nate Diaz: $33,000
Clay Guida: $62,000 ($31,000 win bonus)
def. Takanori Gomi: $50,000
Jeremy Stephens: $36,000 ($18,000 win bonus)
def. Marcus Davis: $31,000
Dustin Poirier: $8,000 ($4,000 win bonus)
def. Josh Grispi: $15,000
Brad Tavares: $16,000 ($8,000 win bonus)
def. Phil Baroni: $25,000
Diego Nunes: $20,000 ($10,000 win bonus)
def. Mike Brown: $23,000
Daniel Roberts: $24,000 ($12,000 win bonus)
def. Greg Soto: $8000
Jacob Volkmann: $24,000 ($12,000 win bonus)
def. Antonio McKee: $15,000
* - Although not reflected in the NSAC paperwork, both headliners received their win bonuses despite the draw.
Phil Baroni: I Was Given A Chance At UFC 125 And I Blew It
But despite the loss to Brad Tavares that now leaves his career mark at only .500 (13-13), he appearently isn't done fighting yet. "Hey guys thanks for the support. Im a fighter and Ill have to figure out how to fight through this and win some fights and get back in a big show. Its really the only option I have unless the UFC or another big promotion gave me a chance. Im a fighter and this is what I do...... I fight ... I was given a chance and I blew it. Ill have to wait and see. I plan on getting back on the horse ASAP and getting some wins regardless. 2011 can only go up from here lol."
Stann Dedicates UFC 125 Win To Fallen Marine
Brian Stann was fighting with a heavy heart Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena during UFC 125. Stann, a former Marine, dedicated his TKO victory against slight favorite Chris Leben at the 3:37 mark of the first round in the co-main event to a soldier he served with in Iraq who died this week in combat. During Stann’s post-fight interview with pay-per-view announcer Joe Rogan, he spoke about the tragedy and how his thoughts were with the fallen Marine’s family. The crowd of 12,688 fans cheered wildly in support. Sgt. Garrett Misener, 25, of Cordava, Tenn., died Monday in Afghanistan during combat. Misener was one of 42 Marines who served in Stann’s unit during his deployment to Iraq in 2005. Stann, who in 2008 retired with the rank of Captain, received the Silver Star — the third highest military honor — for managing counterattacks and leading his team safely through a six-day ambush in Iraq with no casualties. “He was the most professional Marine I have ever met,” Stann said of Misener. “I believe he volunteered to go to Afghanistan and deploy again. I think this was he third or fourth deployment to combat.”