Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua Winner Gets Next Shot at the Title After Rashad Evans
When Dan Henderson returns at UFC 139 to face Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, a shot at the UFC light heavyweight title will be on the line.
UFC President Dana White confirmed that the bout between Henderson and Rua will be a No. 1 contender’s match when speaking to MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday.
According to White, Rashad Evans is still next in line to get the winner of this weekend’s fight between champion Jon Jones and challenger Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, but either Hendo or Rua will get the next crack at the belt.
“It would be tough not to give the winner of that the next shot,” said White.
Einemo Returns to UFC, Teammate Bahadurzada Could Follow
The UFC and Golden Glory have apparently found common ground.
Heavyweight submission specialist John Olav Einemo (pictured) Wednesday announced that he will return to the Octagon, though no debut date was mentioned. The news comes on the heels of an announcement from Einemo's Golden Glory teammate, Siyar Bahadurzada, who tweeted on Tuesday that he had been offered a contract with the UFC.
While UFC president Dana White confirmed the Einemo signing at today's UFC 135 press conference in Denver, Bahadurzada's status is still in flux. According to the Shooto 183-pound world champion, he is still deciding whether to sign the deal.
Dana White: Dan Henderson's Contract is Exclusive to the UFC
It looks like Dan Henderson's dream of being able to fight in the UFC and defend his Strikeforce light heavyweight title back in that promotion isn't going to happen. UFC president Dana White did an interview with Tom Ngo of 5thRound.com after the UFC on Fox press conference today, and he might have offered up the shortest Dana White answer of all time whe he was asked if Hendo will only be fighting in the UFC after he signed a new contract to face Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 139:
Ngo: "Does that mean that Dan Henderson is exclusive with the UFC now?"
As Velasquez and dos Santos Prepare, Commercials Sell Out for UFC on FOX Debut
Tickets have yet to go on sale for the UFC's maiden voyage on broadcast television, but the promotion can already boast a sellout in perhaps its most important indicator: television ad sales.
Just one month after the UFC and FOX announced its seven-year deal will begin with a Nov. 12 event at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, the network has already sold out all of its existing commercial slots for the show.
The quick sellout is a positive sign that blue-chip, corporate sponsors are willing to test the waters. In turn, that should mean new opportunities for fighters as well.
After Mayweather-Ortiz debacle, White says UFC on FOX 1 officiating is key
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – Of the million things that concern UFC president Dana White in putting the best foot forward with UFC on FOX 1, the quality of the officiating is up there at the top.
White needs to look no further than the debacle of this past Saturday's mega-fight between boxers Floyd Mayweather and Victor Ortiz to put his nerves on edge.
"I don't care who they put in there as long as he doesn't blow a multi-million-dollar fight and a huge opportunity for the sport," White today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
An animated White launched into a minutes-long tirade on officiating when asked about Mayweather vs. Ortiz, which ended when Mayweather clocked Ortiz with a legal blow after a break in action due to a headbutt from Ortiz.
Although many called Mayweather's punch a cheap shot, there were questions raised by referee Joe Cortez's handling of the foul and subsequent restart of the fight.
White, for one, blasted the veteran referee's call that night.
"Cortez blew a multi-million-dollar fight," he said.
The Ultimate Fighter: Philippines Edition Targeted for 2012
Several months ago, Dana White has announced that plans are in the workss for hosting international editions of the popular reality show, The Ultimate Fighter. Their global expansion has taken a bit longer than he expected, but it looks like it's finally pushing through.
Officials from ABS-CBN, the parent company of Balls Channel which handles UFC programming in the Philippines, have informed BloodyElbow.com that the first international edition of the reality show, The Ultimate Fighter, is close to being finalized. This has been in the works for quite some time now, and we have been told that it is expected to be launched on 2012.
Details from 'TUF Philippines' such as coaches, participants, weight divisions, and prizes, are still being ironed out, but it is expected to be officially announced soon. Jon Jones' trip to the country has been finalized, and is reportedly set-up to not only talk about the UFC and MMA in general, but to help promote TUF Philippines as well.
Shogun Rua Tabbed to Welcome Dan Henderson Back at UFC 139
Dan Henderson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua have verbally agreed to face off at UFC 139 on Nov. 19, MMAWeekly.com has learned.
Independent sources confirmed the fight, which will stand as Henderson’s return to the organization after defeating Russian heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko in Strikeforce.
The bout will likely be the new main event for the card that saw its prior main event between heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and no. 1 contender Junior dos Santos get moved to the main event of the Nov. 12 UFC on Fox fight card.
Henderson’s return will signal the start of his third tenure in the UFC after recently spending some time in Strikeforce, where he won the organization’s light heavyweight crown in March. At 41 years old, Henderson remains a viable competitor at both middleweight and light heavyweight, and will look to hold the same status in his return to the Las Vegas-based organization...
Dana White: Facebook Fights to End in January, All Fights Will Be Televised
Interviwer: One thing we've noticed recently is the Facebook fights. Is that going to continue with the ongoing Fox deal, or is that going to go away with the prelims and all that stuff?
Dana: Yeah it will go away when the Fox deal starts, which is in January. Because all that programming now, I mean the reason we did the Facebook fights was because nobody could see those fights. So we put them up on Facebook as an option for fans, because we always love to give more fights. But with the fact that Fox wants to pick up all these fights, they'll be on television now.
Facebook to stream three remaining UFC 135 preliminary bouts
Once again, the UFC will offer preliminary card matchups for free viewing via Facebook.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed that in addition to the previously announced pay-per-view and Spike TV broadcast plans, the promotion also streams three fights from this weekend's "UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage" event will stream live on the social-networking site.
UFC brass hasn't made an official announcement, but UFC 135 now serves as the 11th consecutive event in which the organization has made an entire lineup available for live viewing.
The streak began with April's historic "UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields" event.
With final fight on contract set for UFC 135, Matt Hughes weighing career options
Josh Koscheck is the final obligation on the current contract of Matt Hughes.
Consequently, the former UFC welterweight champ is playing his future by ear after he fights the onetime title challenger Saturday at UFC 135.
"The outcome of this fight won't really matter, to be honest," he said today. "After this fight, win or lose, doesn't matter, I'll talk to the UFC and we'll figure out what we want to do."
UFC Fight Night 25: Shields out for a month, commission says verbal tap preceded TKO
All fighters who competed at "UFC Fight Night 25: Battle on the Bayou" received mandatory 7-day suspensions.
Those who lost by TKO got a bump to 30 days, as did Jake Shields, who was stopped by Jake Ellenberger in the event's headliner.
Alvin Topham, Chairman of the Louisiana Boxing and Wrestling Commission, today told MMAjunkie.com that a verbal submission occurred as the referee stepped in to stop Shields' bout.
Matt Mitrione fighting for UFC job security, ready to punch Cheick Kongo in the face
Undefeated UFC heavyweight contender Matt Mitrione (5-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) will soon face the stiffest test of his young career when he meets Check Kongo (16-6-2 MMA, 9-4-1 UFC) at October's UFC 137 event in Las Vegas.
But Mitrione, a former professional football player and the man who booted Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson from the octagon, isn't intimidated in the least.
In fact, Mitrione said challenges like Kongo are exactly what drew him to the sport in the first place. A win here, Mitrione says, would provide him exactly what he's currently seeking: job security.
"I want them to not fire me," Mitrione said when asked about his current goals in the UFC's heavyweight division. "That's what I'm most concerned about. I want to have job security. After I beat Cheick, cool, let me get one more fight on the contract, and I'll be good."
It's a typical Mitrione response – one veiled in humor but based firmly in reality.
UFC Fight Night 25's Court McGee says he's not the prettiest, but he has heart
Court McGee said he won't win any beauty contests.
And occasionally, he doesn't heed his corner's instructions, and he pays for it.
But when it comes to heart, "The Ultimate Fighter 11" winner said he has it in spades. And it's a big reason he pulled off a victory in the co-headliner of Saturday's UFC Fight Night 25 event.
McGee (14-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC), fighting for the first time in nearly a year because of a knee injury, topped tough welterweight Dongi Yang (9-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) in the Spike TV-televised co-main event of Saturday's UFC Fight Night 25 event at New Orleans' Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
"Luckily, I was born with heart," he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) after the fight. "I feel you're either born with it or not. Thank goodness tonight I was.
UFC Fight Night 25 win fuels Alan Belcher to again consider middleweight title shot
On the surface, everything seemed to be fine.
After all, UFC Fight Night 25 competitor Alan Belcher (17-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC) was saying all the right things. The eye injury? A thing of the past. Lingering concerns? No way.
But in truth, Belcher admits there were a lot of question marks in his head. Was he really back to 100 percent? Did he still belong among the elite in the UFC's 185-pound division? All that was answered on Saturday night.
"Even up until [the fight], I was kind of uncertain of what I wanted to do," Belcher said following his win over Jason MacDonald, which aired on Spike TV from New Orleans' Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. "I gave my all in this training camp and everything, but I was nervous as hell going into this fight, coming back. I missed the feeling, and I feel like I can definitely continue down the path I was on, trying to go for a title shot. I think that's what I'm going to do now."
Despite UFC Fight Night 25 decision result, Erik Koch still wants division's best
Prior to his UFC Fight Night 25 bout with "The Ultimate Fighter 12" winner Jonathan Brookins, Roufusport fighter Erik Koch (13-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) made his intentions known.
Koch was seeking a knockout and a future matchup with either champion Jose Aldo, Kenny Florian or Chad Menders.
Koch came up short of his goal and was forced to settle for a decision win over Brookins on the Spike TV-televised main card of Saturday's event at New Orleans' Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. But the 22-year-old hasn't budged on whom he should next fight.
"I'm still on a streak," Koch told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I still thought I performed good. Obviously, I think I could have done better, but I can't take it away from Brookins. He's a big 145er, and he's a tough dude. He ran through everybody on the show.
"Like I said, I'm going to improve. That's just how I am. I'm not going to take any time off. I'm going to be right back in the gym. I want to put on exciting fights."
Bonus winners Benoist, Waldburger thrilled with checks but more proud of UFC wins
For being a pair of relative unknowns in the UFC, Lance Benoist (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and T.J. Waldburger (14-6 MMA, 2-1 UFC) provided two of the most memorable performances at Saturday's UFC Fight Night 25 event.
And while newcomer Benoist netted $55,000 for his "Fight of the Night" win over Matt Riddle and Waldburger the same amount for a "Submission of the Night" stoppage of Mike Stumpf, each believes the added income is secondary to the most important thing: an octagon win.
UFC Fight Night 25 winner Ellenberger likes potential fights with St-Pierre, Condit
While fast-rising welterweight contender Jake Ellenberger (25-5 MMA, 5-1 UFC) needed just 53 seconds to dispatch of recent UFC title challenger Jake Shields (26-6-1 MMA, 1-2 UFC), it was hardly the easiest victory of his career.
In fact, Ellenberger said, it was quite difficult to put aside his compassion for Shields, whose father passed away just three weeks prior to Saturday's UFC Fight Night 25 meeting.
But Ellenberger did exactly that, netting his fifth-consecutive UFC win. Now the 26-year-old has his sights set on the top of the division and is confident he could provide a stern test for the winner of an upcoming UFC 137 title fight between current champion Georges St-Pierre and top contender Carlos Condit.
"I think I match-up well with Carlos and GSP," Ellenberger said following Saturday's event, which took place at New Orleans' Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. "I've gotten a lot better since [Condit and I] fought."
UFC Fight Night 25 draws 7,112 attendance and $685,000 live gate
UFC Fight Night 25 drew a top-10 attendance figure in the event series' history.
Overall, Saturday's show drew 7,112 attendees for a live gate of $685,000.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) learned of the figures from UFC executive Steve Keogh at UFC Fight Night 25's post-fight press conference.
UFC Fight Night 25 took place at New Orleans' Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The night's main card aired on Spike TV while the prelims streamed on Facebook.
If the figure holds up, the attendance mark will rank 10th in UFC Fight Night history. Official figures will be available from the Louisiana State Boxing and Wrestling Commission next week.