Rankings: Jones’ stunning rise in 2011.
At this time last year, Jon Jones was considered a bright prospect, but one who still had a ways to go before he could be considered a truly elite fighter. In the December 2010 Yahoo! Sports pound-for-pound Top 10 poll, Jones fell squarely in the “votes for others” category, with just four points.
‘Tractor’ Oliveira Injured, Out of UFC on FX 1
Despite originally receiving clearance to compete at UFC on FX 1, it appears Rafaello Oliveira has withdrawn from his bout with Reza Madadi due to a nagging hand injury.
Oliveira revealed his situation via Twitter Thursday, announcing that he will not compete Jan. 20 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
“Guys, unhappily I won't be able to fight [in] Nashville,” Oliveira wrote. “My hand still hurts a lot. I was really looking forward to [fighting in] my state.”
Dan Hardy wants to 'smash' Matt Hughes
The Brit currently does not have an opponent nor date, but he is targeting late Spring for his next fight. Top of his list of opponents would be the legendary Matt Hughes, and Hardy revealed he has already alerted the UFC to the potential fight.
"I've mentioned Matt Hughes to Lorenzo [Fertitta]," Hardy told ESPN. "He's been on a rough streak as well recently, he'll look at me and see I've lost four fights and think he can outwrestle me.
"I also genuinely don't like him. I need a fight to get up for and I'd take great pleasure in smashing him in the face. I won't talk about why I don't like him, it's some knowledge I have about him away from the sport. Even students around where he lives bet against him."
UFC signs undefeated Azamat Gashimov
MMADieHards.com has learned that russian prospect Azamat Gashimov to the UFC
Azamat has a record of 7-0 with six impressive finishes with his latest being an armbar submission victory over Azay Mamedov at Tsumada Fighting Championships 5.
Samuel Kardan, a V.P at MVC Sports Management who is also the President of KDojo MMA told MMADieHards.com, “I am very proud to work with Michael Constantino to continue to bring Russian talent to the UFC & Strikeforce.”
Think Brock Lesnar Can't Take a Punch? He Begs to Differ
As isolated as Brock Lesnar is in his Minnesota training camp, and as successfully as he manages to avoid the internet most of the time, some criticisms still find their way out of the petri dish of MMA and into the former UFC champ's world. But as he told me when I spoke to him for a Sports Illustrated story this week, the key is not so much in avoiding those criticisms entirely, but rather in knowing what to make of them once they get there.
For instance, take the oft-repeated claim that Lesnar can't take a punch.
"I think it's a bunch of bulls---," Lesnar said. "The fights that I've gotten hit, I've stood and banged with Heath Herring, Randy Couture, Frank Mir -- I've taken a lot of shots. I mean, Shane Carwin. And I've yet to be knocked out. I had refs stop a fight for a submission and a TKO, which is a referee stoppage. I've never been knocked out cold."
Philip De Fries vs. Stipe Miocic added to UFC on FUEL TV 1
A pair of undefeated heavyweights will clash in Nebraska as Phil De Fries (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) faces Stipe Miocic (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at UFC on FUEL TV 1.
UFC officials today announced the contest.
"Undefeated heavyweights will collide as verbal agreements are in for 8-and-0 Phil De Fries versus 7-and-0 Stipe Miocic on Feb. 15 in Omaha, Neb.," UFC president Dana White stated in an official release.
Chad Griggs Set to Make UFC Debut in 2012
MMA's most famous mutton chops are heading to the Octagon. Heavyweight, Chad Griggs, is among several fighters to jump ship to the UFC as Strikeforce phases out its heavyweight division, as MMA Weekly reports that he has signed a new UFC deal:
Sources close to the fighter confirmed to MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday that Griggs will move to the UFC and begin fighting there in the new year.
The Outlaw and The Losing Streak
If Dan Hardy had his way he would have shaved the mohawk by now. Five minutes with some clippers, one quick swoop down the middle of his head, and the signature hairstyle that makes him so recognizable to fight fans could be gone. Maybe then he could blend in. Maybe then he could get a moment to be alone with himself and figure out just what in the hell is going on.
He'd do it if he had it his way. But he doesn't.
It's a UFC fight week in Toronto and Hardy has come at the request of Xyience, a sponsor of his that has him scheduled for autograph signings and fan meet-and-greets all week. And Xyience? You better believe Xyience wants the mohawk. That's because the fans want the mohawk. They expect it. You book Dan Hardy and he shows up with a shaved head, it's like having Carrot Top show up as a blonde.
The fans want the guy they've seen on TV. They want the brash, cocky Brit with the punk rock swagger. But after a rough stretch of four straight losses in the UFC -- a 17-month span that dropped him from top contender to just barely employed -- he's not even sure where that guy went, or if he's ever coming back.
"I don't feel like myself right now," Hardy says.
You look in his eyes and you know he means it. He sits slumped in a plush leather chair in the lobby of a posh downtown Toronto hotel. He speaks so softly you have to lean in close just to hear him. The last thing he wants to do these days is draw attention to himself. He knows what people are thinking. And even if they aren't thinking it, they might as well be, since he hears their accusations in the wordless glances from across the room. It's not just the fans, either.
"I start to feel like other fighters are looking at me like, why is he still in the UFC? And I don't want people looking at me like that."
Mayhem: Dana White was right, I displayed the worst of everything
As someone who goes to my website, you are well aware that I lost my recent
fight. I am very disappointed about it, but have used the past couple weeks to reflect on everything and have come to some conclusions.
Dana White was right. He made some disparaging comments about my performance, and I agree with him. I displayed the worst of everything that night in the octagon. I was tense in round one and I locked up after that. I didn’t perform to my potential, and I take full responsibility for it. That wasn’t a UFC caliber performance, and I’m not happy about it- I won’t, however, write a worthless diatribe on myself, because that is not constructive. I elect instead to take this misstep and make something positive out of it.
Report: Lesnar made $5.3 million from fighting in 2010
ESPN the Magazine is reporting that UFC heavyweight fighter Brock Lesnar made $5.3 million from fighting in 2010.
Lesnar is getting paid huge money to crush his opponents in the ring – and that’s because when he’s fighting on a UFC event, it’s virtually guaranteed to be a blockbuster success.
In 2010, Brock Lesnar joined Mike Tyson as the only fighters to ever draw over 1 million pay-per-view buys in a single year. Tyson actually did it three times in 1996.
While Lesnar’s heavyweight annual income looks great, it pales in comparison to boxing champion Manny Pacquiao who took home a staggering $32 million in 2010.
Lamas replaces Koch, set to fight Dustin Poirer at UFC 143
An injury has forced Erik Koch out of his UFC 143 contenders' match against Dustin Poirier, UFC president Dana White confirmed today. Fellow rising 145er Ricardo Lamas, has stepped up to fill the open slot.
Nice replacement, was kinda hoping for The Korean Zombie but I can't complain with this fight!
As Strikeforce nixes heavyweights, recovering Antonio Silva eyes move to UFC
With consecutive wins over Fedor Emelianenko, Mike Kyle and Andrei Arlovski, former EliteXC champ Antonio Silva (16-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) looked well on his way to establishing himself as one of MMA's top heavyweights.
Then he ran into Daniel Cormier, who booted Silva out of Strikeforce's heavyweight grand prix with a surprising first-round knockout.
As it turns out, the loss provided Silva with a valuable lesson he promises to carry with him for the remainder of his career – a career that looks as if may now play out in the UFC.
"Cormier is a good person and a great fighter, but he should have also payed the lotto that day," the Brazilian recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "The first punch he landed took me out, and I was unable to fight after it.
"I am from Paraiba, and we always come to fight and let it all hang out. But I learned a lesson: We should not fight for the money but for the love of fighting. After Alistair Overeem dropped out of the tournament, I wanted out of the grand prix, as well, but I continued for the money and God punished me. Money should never be the priority."
UFC 145 official for Montreal in March, gets MacDonald vs. Mills
As expected, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will return to Montreal in March for UFC 145.
And while the fight card is expected to take place on March 24 at Bell Centre, UFC executives have to confirm all of the details.
That said, the night's first fight was made official, as Rory MacDonald will meet fellow welterweight prospect Che Mills.
Spike Counter-Programming UFC, Bellator With Friday TUF Marathons
The UFC/Spike relationship continued its jilted lover getting revenge feel as the network announced Tuesday they will air marathons of The Ultimate Fighter on Friday nights starting on Friday, March 2nd.
The three-hour weekly block -- called "The Ultimate Fighter Fridays" -- will feature some of the best episodes from the 14 seasons TUF ran on the male-focused cable network. Spike also said in a press release they will air special-themed editions of TUF based on social media feedback.
When the UFC announced they had signed a deal with Fox, part of the seven year contract was moving the popular reality show to FX on Friday nights with live fights as opposed to taped. The next season of TUF begins on Friday, March 9th with UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber as coaches of teams of welterweights and lightweights.
However, Spike will also be counter-programming their future asset Bellator Fighting Championships, which comes to Spike in 2013. Bellator recently announced a move to Fridays on MTV2, making for a busy night of MMA to start the weekend. They also begin their new night on Friday, March 2nd with Spike.com airing the prelim fights.
2012 marks the final year of Spike's deal with the UFC, enabling them access to archive footage they have been using to counter-program UFC events on Fox and Versus.
Strikeforce import Lavar Johnson meets Joey Beltran at UFC on FOX 2
The Strikeforce heavyweights are coming.
Less than one week after UFC president Dana White announced that Strikeforce would no longer be promoting heavyweight contests, UFC executives today announced Lavar Johnson (15-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has been imported to the UFC and will meet Joey Beltran (13-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC).
The two heavyweights will clash at UFC on FOX 2, which takes place Jan. 28 at Chicago's United Center.
The night's main card airs on FOX, but Beltran vs. Johnson is expected to take place on the evening's preliminary card.
Koch Out of UFC 143 Showdown with Poirier Due to Injury
Erik Koch has suffered an unspecified injury and will be unable to compete at UFC 143, promotion officials announced Tuesday.
Koch was scheduled to lock horns with fellow featherweight prospect Dustin Poirier at the Feb. 4 event, which will be headlined by an interim welterweight title bout between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit. The search for Koch’s replacement is currently underway.
UFC 141's Alistair Overeem passes drug test, cleared for PPV headliner
Next week's UFC 141 main event will remain intact.
After issues with a recent Nevada State Athletic Commission-mandated drug test, Alistair Overeem (35-11 MMA, 0-0 UFC) finally has taken and passed a test and been cleared to compete against Brock Lesnar (5-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC).
UFC president Dana White first hinted at the news today via Twitter, and an official later confirmed the passed test with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"Overeem is ready to go!!!" White tweeted. "Lesnar vs Overeem is on!"
Brock: I've had the same PED accusations as Overeem my whole life
As a massive heavyweight who cuts weight to make the 265-pound heavyweight limit, Brock Lesnar is no stranger to questions regarding performance-enhancing substance use.
But as he prepares for his UFC 141 contest with former Strikeforce titleholder Alistair Overeem, all the question marks have been centered around his chiseled Dutch opponent.
"I've been dealing with the same accusations my whole life," Lesnar said. "Being part of the spotlight and being I guess with the Internet and everything these days – and being social media and everybody knows everything – it's part of the lifestyle. It comes with the territory. I've been used to it for many years now."
"Obviously, it's kind of hard to get away, but I've pretty much centralized myself with pretty much just my family on my ranch, and so I really don't know what's going on in the outside scheme of things. Right now, I'm focused on the fight and my family and the holidays and trying to live a somewhat normal life, you know, other than being a UFC fighter. You've got to be able to manage everything and stay on top of what's most important, and that's the fight and my family and the holiday right now.
Herb Dean hoped Nogueira would submit before break
In professional mixed martial arts a referee is only trained to react after damage has been done, not to prevent it when a submission is being applied. The thought being that these two professionals are being paid a lot of money sometimes and can make their own decision on whether or not to submit.
That said, referees can still have opinions and thoughts on what they hope happens, and more often than not would prefer to see each combatant make it through a fight without serious injury.