UFC boss unhappy with Nelson, will meet with "Big Country" to determine next move
LAS VEGAS – Following his second straight unanimous-decision defeat, Roy Nelson (15-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC) refused to be any less jovial than he was prior to his one-sided loss to former heavyweight champion Frank Mir.
He jokingly blamed new training partner Dan Hardy and his "British wrestling" for being outgrappled by Mir during the UFC 130 contest. He facetiously faulted Canada for infecting with a flu strain during his recent trip north.
It was textbook "Big Country," and as he always does, Nelson kept a room full of reporters thoroughly entertained. However, UFC president Dana White suggested the laugh track may soon come to a screeching halt.
UFC 130 Weigh Ins
Their matchup may lack the box office punch of Frankie Edgar-Gray Maynard 3, but Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Matt Hamill have nevertheless been charged with carrying the torch for the UFC’s latest pay-per-view offering.
His menacing scowl not far behind, Jackson (Pictured, File Photo) tipped the scales at 205 pounds for his showdown with Hamill (205) in the UFC 130 main event on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The eight other men booked for gladiatorial duty on the main card -- including co-headliners Frank Mir (260) and Roy Nelson (260) -- also met their contracted weight requirements at Friday’s official weigh-in.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (205) vs. Matt Hamill (205)
Frank Mir (260) vs. Roy Nelson (260)
Stefan Struve (255) vs. Travis Browne (247)
Thiago Alves (170) vs. Rick Story (170)
Brian Stann (186) vs. Jorge Santiago (185)
Miguel Torres (135.5) vs. Demetrious Johnson (135.5)
Kendall Grove (185) vs. Tim Boetsch (186)
Gleison Tibau (155) vs. Rafaello Oliveira (155)
Michael McDonald (136) vs. Chris Cariaso (135)
Renan “Barao” (135) vs. Cole Escovedo (135)
"The Ultimate Fighter 14" coaches? Michael Bisping and "Mayhem" Miller
Middleweights Michael Bisping and Jason "Mayhem" Miller will serve as coaches on the upcoming 14th season of "The Ultimate Fighter."
UFC president Dana White today confirmed the assignments with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). MMA.tv initially reported the selections.
The season begins filming in June and debuts on Spike TV in September.
Bisping (21-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) and Miller (24-7 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will meet in a season-ending fight at an event to be determined.
For the time in series history, "TUF 14" is expected to feature bantamweight and featherweight fighters. A 28-man, 32-slot tournament will be used. After an elimination round of fights, an official cast of 14 fighters will be determined. Two opening-round losers then will get second life as wild-card picks who fight for the eighth spot in the quarterfinal bracket.
Royce wants Hughes, not Sak, Dan, Art, Ken, Wallid
Brian Hemminger: How much would it mean to you to get on one last UFC event?
Royce Gracie: I have one more fight, but it's a specific fight only. It's one special fight. If it was against anybody else, ehhhhh, not interested. Been there, done that. There's always a new, better opponent, a tougher opponent. I just want one fight.
BH: Is it Matt Hughes? I think I've read in interviews or some articles that it was Matt Hughes. Is that the guy?
RG: Did I say it? I didn't say that. (laughs) I can't say who it is. Come on. But if you think about it, there's only one more.
BH: The first one I heard that really wanted to fight you was Art Jimmerson, the first guy you ever fought in the UFC. What are your thoughts on Art Jimmerson, the one-glove boxer?
RG: I think he wants to redeem himself for that, for wearing one glove. I win without giving one punch. I think he wants to take at least one punch (laughs).
Although "TUF 13" run ended in eye surgery, Zach Davis isn't set on retirement
Zach Davis wishes things would have turned out differently, but he feels proud of what he did on "The Ultimate Fighter 13."
As seen in Wednesday's new episode, Davis lost his fight to Chuck O'Neil in the quarterfinal round of the reality-show tournament.
But a far more devastating blow was dealt to his career when a UFC doctor discovered tears in both his retinas after the bout and opted to perform immediate corrective surgery. Afterward, the doctor said he'd never fight again.
"The Ultimate Fighter 13" ratings again hit season low for episode No. 9
Despite a solid two-fight episode and some of the season's best drama, ratings for the ninth episode of "The Ultimate Fighter 13: Team Lesnar vs. Team Dos Santos" matched a season-low 1.0 million viewers.
Spike TV officials today emailed the ratings information to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Wednesday's episode scored an overall household rating of 0.9, as well as 1.0 among men 18-49 and a 0.9 among men 18-34.
Thiago Alves’ UFC 130 Message to Rick Story: “Be Careful What You Wish For”
Thiago Alves has never been in the business of calling other fighters out.
Sure, he’s asked for a title shot like any top ranked welterweight, but the Brazilian doesn’t believe in calling out anybody for a fight, he just fights the best in the world and whoever the UFC puts in the cage with him.
So it was a little surprising to Alves when he heard that Rick Story was calling him out for a fight. Sure, Story has gone 5-1 in the UFC, and is on the rise in the welterweight division, so in many ways Alves took the statement as a compliment.
Paulo Thiago vs. David Mitchell official for UFC 134 prelims
A welterweight matchup between Paulo Thiago (13-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) and David Mitchell (11-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) is official for August's UFC 134 event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) previously passed along news of the bout, and UFC executives since have made it official.
UFC 134 takes place Aug. 27 at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro and marks the UFC's first Brazil event since 1998.
Belcher vs. MacDonald, Yang vs. McGee added to UFC Fight Night 25
"UFC Fight Night 25: Battle on the Bayou" has its first two fights.
UFC officials today announced that verbal agreements are in place for middleweights Alan Belcher (16-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC) vs. Jason MacDonald (25-14 MMA, 6-6 UFC) and middleweights Court McGee (13-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) vs. Dongi Yang (10-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC).
UFC Fight Night 25 takes place Sept. 17 in New Orleans, and the night's main card airs on Spike TV.
The placement of Belcher vs. MacDonald and McGee vs. Yang on the card isn't currently known.
Mirko Cro Cop Decides Against Retirement, Will Fight One More Time for UFC
LAS VEGAS -- After Mirko Cro Cop's last fight in the octagon, it was thought he was headed for retirement.
Now it turns out, that was a bit premature.
UFC president Dana White on Wednesday said that Cro Cop asked for and will receive the final agreed-upon fight from his contract at a future date to be determined.
White stated that he and Cro Cop (27-9-2, 1 no decision) had made a deal, and he would "honor my deal." He offered no further details as to when or who he would face in the bout.
Over his last 11 fights, the once-feared heavyweight star is 5-5 with one no contest, and has been knocked unconscious three times in the last four years. Each of his last two fights -- one against Frank Mir, the other against Brendan Schaub -- have ended with Cro Cop KO'd.
UFC boss says discretionary bonuses sign of generosity, not devious business plans
LAS VEGAS – For many MMA fans, it has become a post-UFC-event tradition: Wait for the night's salaries to be made public and then dissect them like some high-school biology project.
But of course, there's always that little asterisk at the bottom of our reports. The salaries, while reflective of each fighter's contract, don't include the UFC's famed "discretionary bonuses."
The UFC's procedure of compensating fighters through non-contracted payments often has drawn the ire of critics who assume the promotion must be doing something sinister with the procedure. Not so, said UFC president Dana White. There's nothing to hide. His company just happens to believe in sharing the wealth.
HKL Exclusive with Jorge Santiago: Talks of His Return to the UFC and New Beginnings
I spoke with Jorge Santiago yesterday about his return to the UFC. He's been on a fantastic run in his career and is finally ready to make an impact in the UFC's Middleweight Division. However, this isn't the only new beginning in his life, Santiago also spoke about starting a new team called Imperial with JZ and Rashad Evans. His opponent in Brian Stann will be facing the best Jorge Santiago and one that has a new found maturity.
Follow him on twitter this week at @SantiagoMMA
Dana White: UFC open to pension program for retired fighters
LAS VEGAS – UFC parent company Zuffa LLC made headlines earlier this month when it announced a new accident-insurance policy for the 350 or so fighters under its umbrella.
The move was not only seen as measure of its commitment to protecting the health and safety of its fighters both in and of the cage, but a strong counter to talks of unionization that heated up in the wake of the company's purchase of rival promotion Strikeforce.
Today, UFC president Dana White took a cue from former light-heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson to express his openness to the idea of a pension fund for retired fighters.
Which Rounds Did GSP Lose at UFC 129? Official Scorecards Released
It was a few weeks ago when Georges St-Pierre defeated Jake Shields at UFC 129 in Toronto, but now the official scorecard has been released finally showing how the judges scored the fight.
The real relevance here is GSP had gone 30 rounds without losing a single round on a judge’s scorecard, but at UFC 129, according to two judges, the champion lost two rounds during the fight.
The final scorecard comes courtesy of the Ontario Athletics Commission.
Dana White: Georges St. Pierre and Nick Diaz Will Not Coach TUF 14
Dana White did an interview with HeavyMMA.com's Megan Olivi yesterday, and managed to pack a lot of info into a short amount of time. Earlier today, Mike Fagan covered the tail end of the interview that dealt with Dana's reaction to the Chael Sonnen saga. The beginning of the interview covers some pretty big news as well though - namely, Dana White is very firm about the fact that Georges St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz is not close to happening, and they won't be on a certain reality show anytime soon:
Dana: "That fight is not a done deal, and I guarantee you that those two will not be coaches (on TUF 14). Not even close. All the stuff that's out there about that fight and the meeting we had here is all bulls--t."
Olivi: "Fair enough. So we won't be seeing that fight at UFC 140 in Montreal?"
Sonnen's attorney chews out Josh Gross
Chael Sonnen's Attorney Raffi Nahabedian takes issue with ESPN's Josh Gross for statements made on on MMA Live and Twitter
We have known each other for some time and I had an ongoing respect for you and your reporting. However, I think there is a growing disconnect with my beliefs.
I just watched your interview on MMA Live regarding Chael Sonnen and I respectfully disagree with the manner the information was presented and that crucial information that was purposely left out.
In regards to the testimony issue, there is a continued blatant oversight and disregard for Chael’s testimony/responses to Commissioner Zinkin that fully clarify, explain and vitiate his statement that “he [Chael] spoke to Kizer.” If you read the transcript of Chael’s responses to Commissioner Zinkin (and, perhaps, print them for the public to read), Chael made it unambiguously clear what he meant – “my management and/or my manager.” As someone who represents people/companies, it is not uncommon to hear clients who are represented by agents, managers and attorneys to speak in such a manner (i.e. that they s poke to so-n-so or handled “y” matter). While the initial tweet about Chael’s initial comment is plausibly understandable (solely from the perspective that people like to create controversy to increase readers/viewers), there would not have been such an over zealous and unfounded determination to crucify Chael if there was some responsible journalistic follow-up reporting clarifying Chael’s subsequent testimony. Specifically, what he testified to in response to Commissioner Zinkin (no different than the CSAC issuing a retraction of its incorrect press release and subsequent clarification of its decision). The person who made the initial tweet should have done this which would have eliminated a lot of problems for everyone – Sonnen, Kizer, CSAC, etc.
Benavidez vs. Wineland Set for UFC on Versus 5
Eddie Wineland will take one more crack at Team Alpha Male when he faces Joseph Benavidez at the UFC's show in Milwaukee, UFC on Versus 5, in August.
Wineland, the first bantamweight champion in WEC history, is coming off his first loss in nearly two years, a unanimous decision setback against Alpha Male kingpin Urijah Faber at UFC 128 in March. Now he'll take on Faber's training partner. The UFC announced the verbal agreement at its website late Tuesday night.
Benavidez (14-2, 1-0 UFC) has won two straight since a split decision loss to bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz at WEC 50 last August. He submitted Wagnney Fabiano at WEC 52 in November, and in March, also at UFC 128, he beat Ian Loveland by unanimous decision on the preliminary card.
Alex "Bruce Leroy" Caceres vs. Leonard Garcia slotted for UFC on Versus 5
An intriguing bout between Alex "Bruce Leroy" Caceres (4-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and fellow featherweight Leonard Garcia (15-7-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) had been added to August's UFC on Versus 5 lineup.
UFC officials today announced that verbal agreements are in place for the fight.
UFC on Versus 5 takes place Aug. 14 at Bradley Center in Milwaukee as part of the UFC's Wisconsin debut. The night's main card airs live on Versus.
Caceres vs. Garcia likely will be part of the preliminary card.